49 Minutes of Staring

Setting myself up with the task of editing one episode a day, it didn’t feel like too much of ‘job’ to edit the first season of Star Trek’s ‘Deep Space Nine’. It’s all done and can be found here. Season 2 has already begun.

But there are some notes I’d like to share.

  • There are 21* x 43 minute episodes in the first season. Right away, the compilation of edits I’ve made to the first series of DS9 has amounted to 50 minutes of dramatic staring. That’s an entire episode!
  • Not all edits are equal, ‘In the Hands of the Prophets’ the cuts on individuals are longer than in say ‘Progress’ which has cuts which are nearly all the same in length in the supercut.
  • ‘Emissary’ is the longest episode of season one, (double length feature ) but ‘Captive Pursuit’ has the longest supercut with an edit of nearly five minutes (4:57mins) of silence, though most of this is down to the ‘Tosk’ character wondering what the fuck everybody is doing, but dramatically of course ;-).
  • ‘Past Prologue’ has the shortest amount of staring, coming in at 1:21mins.
  • There is an average of 2.3 minutes of staring in each episode, this is 49 minutes of staring divided by 21 episodes.
  • Odo does a special type of staring and there will be a specific supercut for him coming. Odo tends to watch over the station due to his role as security chief.
  • If the stare is longer than 30 seconds then CBS CID will flag the edit as matching 3rd party content, and you can’t play those episodes on consoles or set top boxes for some reason (this is probably down to TV licensing laws). CBS CID don’t take down the episode, thankfully they have a sense of humour (that’s my second guess).

Determiners (What determines a stare for the edit).

  • Whenever the music starts and focuses on a person (most blatant form).
  • When there is an obviously long silent moment (normally somebody says something and they don’t reply right away).
  • When somebody is staring while others are talking in the background, but the camera is on the individual staring.
  • When basically it’s awkward.
  • When it’s ‘Tosk’.
  • When an extra should be talking to another character in the show, but probably due to budgets or poor script writing, they carry the scene with that unnatural silence that is so noticeable.

Why am I doing this? Well, re-watching this Deep Space Nine has made me realise how the show has dated since its release 20 years ago. Viewers can maybe understand better why the alternate universe Star Trek movies have no wasted space when it comes to that frenetic editing style**.

General notes against the show will be discussed in a later episode of JPG.

*There are actually 20 episodes, but ‘Emissary’ is worth two episodes because of its extended running time.

**For the moment who knows what movies and TV shows will be like in another 20 years.