Ben Sisko -
Kira Nerys -
Jadzia Dax -
Julian Bashir -
Siddig El Fadil
Jake Sisko -
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Emissary - Part 1
Commander Benjamin Sisko, veteran starship captain, is assigned to take over the abandoned Cardassian space station left in orbit around the planet Bajor when the occupying force left. Together with the Bajorans, the Federation wishes to forge a new stability in the area. It is unlikely to be an easy task, however, as everyone on the team seems to hate just about everyone else. The planet itself is on the brink of civil war, unless the religious leader can unite the factions. This she refuses to do unless Sisko unlocks the secrets of crystal orbs that have mysteriously appeared.
This is the first episode of a STAR TREK series made without the guiding hand of Gene Roddenberry and it is instantly obvious as such. There is so much more conflict here on the frontier. Personal conflict is likely to be as important as the science fiction stories to be told. No shiny starship here, but rather a broken down station. An interesting slant.
The success of any incarnation of STAR TREK lies in the characters that inhabit it and only time will tell if we can warm to them.Top
Emissary - Part 2
Following the clues about the mysterious orbs, Sisko and Dax locate what appears to be a stable wormhole. Inside the wormhole, Sisko meets a race of aliens and tries to explain the meaning of linear timelines. His success might prove to be the only thing that can save the space station from the destruction promised by an armada of Cardassian warships.
This is a show of two halves. The build up of hostilities in the 'real' world as the Cardassians gather is great, tense and action-packed, but events inside the wormhole, where Sisko is trying to explain the meaning of time and life to beings that have no concept of this are rather ponderous. The beings seem to be just another version of the Q continuum and the ease with which they were found by Sisko when nobody else could find them with centuries of research beggars belief.Top
A Man Alone
A Bajoran is found dead, a Bajoran who was particularly disliked by Odo, the station's shapeshifting security chief. Only he could have carried out the murder, it seems. As the Bajorans on the station start to get a lynching squad together, the Federation team search for a way to prove his innocence.
Half mystery, half western, that's the origin of this episode. How the Bajoran was murdered in a locked room is just updated Sherlock Holmes whilst the crowds gathering outside the town jail just screams of all Hollywood western movies. It all proves to be a lot less interesting than it actually is.Top
An old friend and ex-colleague of Kira's from the Bajoran resistance coems aboard the station with the Bajorans hot on his heels. The arrival of two female Klingons known not to be trustworthy and the interest shown by a Cardassian merchant who may, or may not, be a spy make for an interesting time and a stern test for Kira's new loyalties.
The new moral complexity of this STAR TREK show over its predecessors comes to the fore here with an interesting and more subtle story that gives shades of grey to some of the characters, most specifically Major Kira. If this is a sign of things to come then there might some mileage in this new incarnation.Top
Chief O'Brien is having a rough time of it. There is so much to be fixed on the new station and he seems to be the only one who can do it. It's no surprise then when he starts to become a bit incoherent. When others fall prey to the same disease and slipping into comas, it becomes clear that there is a genetically engineered virus at work, one that might predate the Cardassian withdrawal.
The initial introduction of a virus that makes people talk rubbish seems ridiculous, but the scientific explanation holds water and that makes the situation more plausible and tense as the numbers of the afflicted continue to rise. Adding a ship desperate to leave threatening to explode and destroy everything with only the Odo and Quark double act to save the day seems to be a little over-egging the pudding.Top
A damaged ship comes through the wormhole from the Gamma Quadrant, the first. In it is an alien called Tosk, who is befriended by Chief O'Brien. Tosk is a being that has been bred and raised specifically to take part in an interstellar hunt, as the prey. Can the hunters be far behind?
Not exactly an original plot, even for the STAR TREK universe, but the relationship that builds between O'Brien and the alien is touching enough to make this story worth one more visit.Top
The runabout Ganges returns to Deep Space Nine without even the power to open its doors. Aboard is Vash, self-styled archaeologist in the Indiana Jones vein. Dogging her footsteps is the capricious, but omnipotent, being Q. Their arrival coincides with a number of power losses that send the station whirling towards the wormhole.
This is a crossover episode with Star Trek The Next Generation. At end of Qpid, Vash and Q set off to see the universe together. The relationship between them has soured somewhat since then and she has left him, returning back to the Alpha Quadrant via the wormhole. Both Vash and Q are great characters (although opinions are split on Q) and we love them here at the SCI FI FREAK SITE, but the story that goes with them is very dull, obvious and goes nowhere. Even Q's pithy insults and playing around only manage to partly raise things above the mundane.Top
Three strangers attack Jadzia Dax and attempt to spirit her off the station. When they are stopped, they declare that they have a warrant for the arrest of Dax, the symbiont, for a crime of murder carried out before the birth of the present host. The warrant is in order, but Sisko sends Odo to investigate whilst he tries to stall the extradition hearing.
In Season Two of Star Trek:The Next Generation there was an episode called The Measure of a Man in which the exact legal nature of an android being has to be ascertained to save him from death. This is the same story, the only difference being that Dax is a composite being rather than a synthetic one. Fortunately, the nature of the being that is Jadzia Dax allows for the natural dramatic potential of the courtroom drama to be played out successfully.Top
Major Kira and Doctor Bashir come to the aid of a damaged vessel and save a security officer and a criminal. Things start to go wrong on the station, things that would indicate that the alien is looking for a way of escaping, but his body is lying in Bashir's morgue.
There are no surprises in this rather straightforward episode, but it manages to entertain well enough. Alexander Siddig is fine enough as the doctor, but he fails spectacularly in the second persona of the lifelong criminal, giving a shocking performance.Top
Move Along Home
Quark’s cheating causes an alien lifeform to offer him a chance to play the ultimate game, a game in which senior members of the crew are the playing pieces and the choices that he makes will determine whether they live or die.
Ultimately silly, but thoroughly entertaining nonsense. It also features a lovely moment from Armin Shimerman as Quark begs to be allowed not to sacrifice one of his pieces. Great fun, and completely in character, though hardly believable. There is never, at any time, any real sense of threat to the players despite the life or death situations that they are placed into.Top
The Grand Nagus, supreme head of the Ferengi, arrives on the station to organise a conference about the exploitation of the Gamma Quadrant. He announces that Quark will be his successor and then dies. Quark jumps into the job, but becomes the target of a killer..
This benefits from the performance by Armin Shimerman as Quark, but he is out-ferengi'd by Wallace Shawn playing the Grand Nagus. It's all very silly, but silly fun nonetheless. The strand concerning Sisko and his son is tedious by comparison.Top
Quark sets up a deal that gets an alien killed by another one. Odo is surprised when the killer announces that he knows where there are other shapeshifters, but does not let that sway him from taking the criminal back to his planet to stand trial. The dead alien's brother, however, has different ideas.
The mystery of Odo's origins takes centre stage for a while, but the rest of the episode is rather banal. One man's killer is another's freedom fighter and essential goodness shows through causing a change of heart etc etc etc.
There's nothing here that we haven't seen before.Top
When the Bajoran religious leader comes aboard the station she is taken on a trip through the wormhole by Sisko, Kira and Dr Bashir. They crash on a moon and discover two races locked in eternal combat, dying time and time again and being reborn moments later to go through it all again.
This is a punishment for a warlike race, to fight forever until finally the cycle of death becomes worse than the cycle of hatred. It's a nice idea (though hardly unfamiliar), but sits in a story that doesn't do anything with it apart from provide Kira with a moment of self-discovery.Top
Chief O'Brien and Dr Bashir get summoned to a village that is threatened by a strange source linked to the town's religious leader. He is dying and chooses O'Brien to be his successor, even though he has no idea how to fight the destructive entity. On the station, Jake and Nog fight over how to help a girl who also happens to the leader of her tribe and in delicate land negotiations.
Whilst mildly diverting, this is an episode that slips from the memory as easily as it passes by the eyes. The mystery of the creature is vaguely interesting, but its resolution remains utterly absurd. Using the threat of an outside force to bring together warring factions is one thing, but to keep the practice going long after the divisions have gone makes no sense at all.Top
In order to supply Bajor's burgeoning energy demands, a small moon is to be mined for its power. The tiny number of residents are evacuated off, but one farmer stubbornly refuses to leave and Major Kira finds herself caught up in a dilemma of loyalties.
Moral stands are very fine things, but man are they dull and this episode is easily the dullest of this show so far. One man stands in the way of a project that will benefit the whole Bajoran race and everyone has a crisis of faith over it? I don't think so.
the extremely dull subplot of Nog and Jake attempting to do some wheeling and dealing on the station actually manages to be more interesting than the main plot, which says just about all that needs to be said.Top
If Wishes Were Horses
Chief O'Brien reads a fairy tale to his daughter and Rumpelstiltskin appears in the flesh. Ben Sisko's baseball hero (dead for 200 years) walks off the holodeck. It's snowing on the promenade and Dr Bashir has dreamed up a version of Jadzia that is far removed from the real thing. These are fantasies made flesh, but they presage doom when a spatial anomaly appears to threaten the station.
This episode starts off delightfully with the appearance of Rumpelstiltskin and the Doctor's idealised Jadzia, but then descends into the usual kind of mystery solving storyline with an ending that isn't all that new or revelatory.Top
An alien probe comes through the wormhole filled with computer technology but nothing else. When some of the files are downloaded, the computer system starts to play up, stranding Odo, surely the most private of people, in the turbo lift with Lwaxana Troi, surely the most intrusive.
Lwaxana Troi (mother of Deanna Troi in several episodes of Star Trek:The Next Generation is a fabulous character and wonderful chance for Majel Barrett to strut her stuff, which she does to exremely over the top effect here. The time that she spends in the lift is mostly amusing, but turns touching at the end. When Odo says that she is not what he was expecting, he echoes the thoughts of the audience as she is always able to surprise.
The story behind the computer malfunctions is standard STAR TREK issue.Top
A Klingon ship explodes just outside the station and one survivor beams onto the command deck before dying. Shortly thereafter, everyone with the exception of Odo starts behaving oddly. Two power camps are created, the Federation officers against Kira and the Bajorans vying for power. Odo has to find out what is causing the changed personalities before one side or the other resorts to deadly force.
This is an old story that really doesn't have anything new to say, but it competently carried out and will certainly entertain anyone who is not familiar with other STAR TREK series.Top
A Cardassian with a medical condition that could only have been contracted in the worst forced labour camp of the occupation comes aboard Deep Space Nine and is arrested. Major Kira is determined to prove that he is more than the innocent filing clerk that he claims to be. If she succeeds then he will be executed as a war criminal.
This is easily the most powerful episode of this incarnation of STAR TREK and an episode that stands with the best of all the other shows. It's depiction of the man who may, or may not be, a war criminal is both challenging and uncompromising, right up until the end when it loses it in the final few minutes. By then it doesn't matter because what has passed between Kira and the Cardassian is some of the most powerful dialogue that the show has produced. The examination of war crimes and war criminals and their relationship with their victims is intense, subtle and powerful whilst never lecturing anybody about anything or overtly taking sides except to say that atrocities are bad whoever carries them out.
Nana Visitor rises to the challenge and opportunity presented by the writing, giving a more nuanced version of her angry Cardassian than we have seen to date. She is matched by the guest performance from Harris Yulin as the Cardassian which is quite brilliant, creating a chillingly real monster that is utterly convincing.
If Deep Space Nine can keep coming up with episodes of this quality then long may it continue.Top
In the Hands of The Prophets
The spiritual leader of an ultra-conservative sect of Bajor comes aboard the station and takes offence at Keiko O'Brien's school curriculum. Soon, all of the Bajoran children have quit the school and the two allied races are starting to fracture. Sisko can't find the answer and Major Kira agrees with the religious leader. Religious tensions start to rise and the scene is set for someone to do something stupid.
Religious intolerance isn't exactly a new subject for the STAR TREK universe, but this is not a bad take on it. As the central concept, it is bashed home a bit, but the political wranglings that it masks and the investigation in the murder of a crewman manage to keep things well on the right side of a lecture. Louise Fletcher makes for an imposing opponent as the extreme religious leader with an eye on the top job.
It is, however, a strange episode to end the series on, with no real cliffhanger or continuing storyline to bring us back. Perhaps the makers didn't have the same faith in their show that they are asking their characters to display in this story.Top
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