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Old 02-18-2023, 07:51 PM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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Default 30th Anniversary DS9 Discussion Marathon

I lost track of time. The retrospective entries will start soon, but in the meantime let's look at the series bible:

(There will be different optical effects going the opposite direction through the wormhole)

Did this actually happen? I don't think it did. I'm not sure what the "different optical effects" would actually be. A different color?

[The Prophets] have been sending out orb-like probes from the wormhole, one orb every century for a thousand years, seeking contact with other lifeforms.

We only know of five Orbs:

Contemplation-DS9 Bajoran Temple
Prophecy and Change-Bariel's monastery
Emissary-the so-called "tenth Orb", discovered late in the series so it doesn't count for the series bible
Time-Temple of Iponu on Bajor
Wisdom-on Bajor

The expanded universe names the others:
Held by the Obsidian Order until the relaunch novels-Destiny, Souls, Truth, Unity

Memory-lost in space for thirty years until rediscovered in the relaunch novels)
Possibilities-left behind on Cardassia until the Star Trek Online era

Peace-11th, accidentally send to the Gamma Quadrant

And of course the Millennium books reveal that the Pah-Wraiths made three red Orbs, but that's another story.

So after the Occupation Bajor had three, one of which was lent to DS9.

Bajoran terrorism during the last several decades has been a significant problem for the Cardassians.

Whether or not the Resistance counts as "terrorism" is a can of worms I care not to open. I'll only say that I kinda thought that terrorists tend to threaten civilians, and I doubt that there were that many Cardassian civilians in Bajoran space during the Occupation.

The Bajora desperately need help. They have asked for membership in the Federation and have been granted preliminary acceptance. But the political situation on the planet is terribly unstable. Factions that had been united in opposition to Cardassian rule have resumed age old conflicts.

Okay, so "Bajora" doesn't mean proto-Maquis like we all thought, it was an early alternative to "Bajoran" like "Vulcanian." That raises further questions in light of the events of "Ensign Ro", but let's move on.

It's sad to say that although Kira brought up the factional conflict a few times, we never really saw any evidence of that except for the time Winn wanted to steal those reclamators from Shakkar. In fact we saw more religious factional conflict than political factional conflict.

The Starfleet team's mission is to spearhead the arduous diplomatic and scientific efforts that accompany the lengthy entry procedure.

Picard said as much, but I don't recall seeing much of this on display. The diplomats were working offscreen, Sisko's problem was keeping things calm on the station. In fact, it occurs to me that perhaps this role was taken away from Sisko in light of this "Emissary" business. A Starfleet officer can't get much done politically if you're never sure if the Bajorans are agreeing with Captain Sisko or Emissary Sisko.

Due to the turmoil on the planet, it is deemed unsafe to create a Federation base on the surface so, at the request of the provisional government, Starfleet takes command of a recently abandoned Cardassian space station in orbit of Bajor.

Really? We never saw that much conflict directly between the civilians and Starfleet. It was usually civilians vs. Provisional Government or civilians vs. the church. Furthermore, if Starfleet Security can't protect one building from phasers and grenades they're pretty pathetic.

[Two hundred Bajorans and fifty Starfleet are on the station]

This number seems pretty low considering the size of the station. If the implication is that the Cardassians trashed the place so well that 90% of the station in uninhabitable in the beginning, it would've been nice to tell us that.

Plus, y'know, we know that there are a bunch of aliens on board as well. A couple dozen Ferengi, for starters.

Ships need to stop at DS9 to be outfitted and tuned with special impulse energy buffers to travel safely through the wormhole. [An explanation of how ships cause pain to the Prophets].

I'm glad that this plot point was dropped. It would've caused a lot of headaches for the writers, plus the big question of why Gamma Quadrant ships don't cause pain to the Prophets.

...sexual holosuites upstairs.

I get that a lot of Quark's clientele are looking for a virtual brothel, but I'd still like to know what differentiates a normal holosuite from a sexual holosuite. Would the tech be all that different? One thing that occurs to me is the difference between a regular hotel and a love hotel. If Quark tends to specialize in single-user experiences, why are the holosuites so big? Surely you could make the projections more advanced in a smaller room.

[Runabouts have a max speed of Warp 4.7]

Cute, real cute. Of course on the actual show they tended to use Warp 5 as max speed.

A multi-purpose room for meetings and dining is located directly off the cockpit.

Not really. There's a corridor between the cockpit and aft compartment with the crew quarters and science labs.

It's the Delta Flyer that has direct access, dum-dums.

These ships are the symbol of the Federation presence in this sector.

Which begs the question: why do the runabouts not look like Starfleet ships in the slightest except for the nacelles? Why do they look so similar to the station?

[The Bajoran's religious way of life conflicts with the Federation's secular way of life].

I'm offended by the way so many people assume Federation=atheist. I've mentioned before how the expanded universe has many examples of religious people. They're just kept offscreen because there's no point in bringing religion up if you're not going to take it seriously and use it in a way that advances the story.

SF Debris brings up the issue in his review of "Balance of Terror." Angela Martine engages in some pretty blatant religious behavior before her wedding. It makes sense in that context because she's about to get married and she obviously considers this a spiritual event.

Even in Voyager people are pretty accepting of religious belief as long as it doesn't interfere with their work.
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Old 02-18-2023, 07:52 PM
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[Sisko] frequently goes into a holosuite to have a catch and a chat with one of his legendary ballplayer heroes.

So the genesis of Buck Bokai started this early.

A former "Major" in the Bajoran underground, Kira is now an outspoken critic of the provisional government.

Why would the Resistance use military ranks (outside of Star Wars, that is)? Looks like someone didn't do their homework.

O'Brien has been the Transporter Chief on STTNG for five years.

No, it was four years. During the first season he was in Security and manned the helm.

Three-year-old baby girl, Molly.

Molly was born in 2368, it is now 2369. Oops.

You know, a lot of things in TNG could be explained by having the mission taking longer than seven years, but "All Good Things" clearly states that the mission was seven years.

[A symbiote] looks like a short, fat snake.

Not really. "The Host" is mentioned, but like I've already said, why didn't they just change the name when they changed the makeup and everything else about the Trill?

[The symbiote tries to suppress the youthful passion of the host]

I know that they were trying for a more intellectual, dispassionate feel for Dax in the beginning. How silly that seems in light of later episodes (especially "Playing God"), where she's one of the most hedonistic people on board.

Her sexually appealing new form will create a certain tension between her and Sisko.

Another case of Early Installment Weirdness. Especially when you take a step back and wonder how this would actually work. Sisko being attracted to Jadzia makes sense, Jadzia being attracted to Sisko does not. Curzon had decades to see Sisko as a protege, and furthermore he must've known Jennifer and therefore what kind of woman Ben was attracted to.

[Odo] has a couple of Bajoran deputies.

Really? I'd imagine the station would need a couple dozen Bajoran deputies even before you throw Starfleet Security into the mix.

Dr. Julian Amoros

Amoros as a name is usually French or Spanish. Bashir is Arabic. Alexander Siddig is English/Sudanese. One presumes that the name was changed to match the actor.

[Julian] likes to go to the phaser firing range to practice with O'Brien.

Did they actually do this, ever? The Alamo program is years away, I don't think Bashir would put weapons training high on his priority list at this point.

For that matter, would O'Brien go to the phaser range? Maybe he did it with Worf once or twice, but I'd presume that once he was accurate enough for Security Officer purposes he'd stop. He wouldn't want to remind himself of his service in the Cardassian War, just being on a Cardassian station must be enough trouble for him.

[Jake is] an army brat.

Boy is there a lot to unpack here. I tend to associate "army brat" with "parent lives and breaths the military so child does so as well for approval." Sisko may hope that Jake joins Starfleet, but actual indoctrination should wait for a few years.

[Sisko said there would be other kids on the station, but there are only a handful].

How long did it take for the migration of Bajorans back to the station, anyway?

[Keiko isn't happy on the station, there's nothing to do for a botanist here. She was happy on the Enterprise].

You really gotta wonder what the O'Briens are doing here. The crew of the Enterprise didn't want him to leave, she didn't want him to leave, and what is someone in Operations doing as Chief Engineer anyway?

In any case, TNG has plenty of examples of married couples with different posts. Furthermore the number of juicy plots that Keiko got the first few years were quite minimal, "In the Hands of the Prophets" and "Tribunal" are the only ones that I can think of. Maybe she and Molly should've stayed on the Enterprise for the first few years with occasional cameos.

[Keiko's] scientific background will also be a help to Dax.

How often did that happen? A few times when she was pregnant with Yoshi, but that's years in the future.

[Lwaxana Troi has an entry along with her crush on Odo]

This early? That's an episode premise, not something for the series bible.

[Nog's father is Peck]

I guess "Rom" hadn't been invented yet, just some mysterious "Ferengi Pit Boss" character who wasn't attached to Nog yet.

[Dukat's entry is remarkably short]

A surprise given that I thought they were setting him up as a major recurring villain from the get-go. They even ripped him away from his TNG cameos for this purpose.
mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 02-19-2023, 02:58 AM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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January 3rd, 1993, "Emissary"

Fiver by Zeke

The Episode

On Stardate 43997, Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation Starship Enterprise was kidnapped for six days by an invading force known as the Borg. Surgically altered, he was forced to lead an assault on Starfleet at Wolf 359.

43997 fits the general timeline (on 43996.2 Picard recorded a log while the Enterpise was hiding in the dust cloud). Riker recorded a log on 44001 after the first attempt to rescue Picard. This is about two days after assimilation.

"Family" was 44012. That's four days later. Oops.

CAPTAIN: (a Vulcan) Red alert.

We never learn the name of the captain of the Saratoga in canon. The novelization says it's Storil, the novel Saratoga says Saros, the game Crossroads of Time says Sutik. I think I believe the novelization the most.

Stardate 46379.1. Three years later.

That's two and a half years later. Ugh.

(Through a viewing window we see a circular space station with three curved vertical spines above and below. Oh, you know what it looks like.)

I wouldn't describe the pylons as "vertical spines", Chakoteya!

O'BRIEN: When my wife Keiko saw our quarters, she started talking about visiting her mother in Kumamoto.

Kumamoto is a city in southern Japan.

JAKE: Dad, there is nothing to sleep on in there except a cushion on the floor.

Seriously? People act like the Cardassians just left a couple days ago, but I would certainly wait until there were proper quarters in place before bringing civilians on board. I know that the Enterprise is busy, but there wasn't a smaller starship that could hang around to ensure a peaceful transition?

JAKE: Is this the food replicator?
O'BRIEN: I'm afraid they're all offline. There's plenty of emergency rations. I could send some down.

You don't bring Federation civilians to a place that doesn't even have reliable replicators. Duh. Especially when we've seen that portable replicators the size of vending machines exist.

O'BRIEN: I'd like to ask the designer what he was thinking about when they built this place. I still haven't been able to find an ODN access.

That's 'cause this is a Cardassian station, Miles! Their tech is completely different! Even if Dukat isn't feeling charitable enough to leave behind a DS9 tech manual, this can't be the first time that Starfleet has encountered Cardassian tech.

Seriously, the writers overdid the "grungy" bit WAY TOO MUCH.

SISKO: Is it my imagination or is it unusually warm?
O'BRIEN: The environmental controls in Ops are stuck at thirty-two C. We're working on it.

That's 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Like I said, they're overdoing it.

KIRA: Because I have the bad habit of telling the truth even when people don't want to hear it.
SISKO: Perhaps I want to hear it.
KIRA: I don't believe the Federation has any business being here.

So who does, Kira? Odds are the Bajorans wouldn't have found the wormhole by themselves, not for a few years at least. Let's face it, without Federation support Bajor would've spent decades rebuilding, and that's presuming that the Cardassians didn't swoop back five years from now after rebuilding their military to take Bajor back.

SISKO: The Federation is only here to help
KIRA: Help us. Yes, I know. The Cardassians said the same thing sixty years ago.

Not to be a jerk, but the situations aren't remotely parallel. I definitely get the feeling that Bajor's first contact was with the Cardassians, who took advantage. The Bajorans are older and wiser now, they wouldn't let the situation happen again.

Oh, and the precise length of the Occupation will fluxuate A LOT in coming episode. Eventually the creators will settle on fifty years, but you'll hear forty years from time to time in coming episodes. You'd think something this simple could be set in stone before filming.

SISKO: Major, when I was ordered here, I requested a Bajoran national as my first officer.

You had to request that? The Bajorans wouldn't insist on one of their own in this position, just like the Vulcans and T'Pol?

ODO: I don't allow weapons on the Promenade. That includes phasers.

Good luck enforcing that, Odo!

SISKO: It's been a long time, Captain.
PICARD: Have we met before?
SISKO: Yes, sir. We met in battle. I was on the Saratoga at Wolf 359.

Ugh. What is Sisko trying to accomplish here? Picard's guilt over the Locutus thing is on record, and you're not helping to defuse the situation, Ben!

PICARD: I assume that you have been briefed on the events leading to the Cardassian withdrawal?
SISKO: Yes, sir. I understand they've spent the last half century robbing the planet of every valuable resource before abandoning it.

Not even five minutes and the Occupation has gone from sixty years to fifty years. I thought that pilots are proofread more thoroughly than the rest of the show!

PICARD: They've left the Bajorans without a means of being self-sustaining. The relief efforts we've been coordinating are barely adequate.

Why is that, anyway? At least spout some nonsense about how we're still trying to recover from Wolf 359 and the Klingon Civil War!

PICARD: I've come to know the Bajorans. I'm a strong proponents for their entry into the Federation.
SISKO: Is it going to happen?
PICARD: Not easily. The ruling parties are at each others throats.

Like I said before, we see shockingly little about the politics of the Bajorans, especially when compared to their religious struggles. Why didn't we meet more people of the Pro-Federation, Anti-Federation spiritual, and Anti-Federation military factions?

PICARD: Your job is to do everything short of violating the Prime Directive to make sure that they are.

I don't think that this ever really panned out.

PICARD: I have been made aware by Starfleet of your objections to this assignment. I would have thought that after three years spent at the Utopia Planitia yards, that you would be ready for a change.

Was Utopia Planitia a punishment? I thought Sisko was playing it safe, especially as the only parent of a young child. He could've asked for active service at any time.

SISKO: I have a son that I'm raising alone, Captain. This is not the ideal environment.
PICARD: Unfortunately as Starfleet officers, we do not always have the luxury to serve in an ideal environment.

Really? Unless it's wartime I would assume that Starfleet officers can at least make a demand regarding serving on a ship vs. a starbase vs. a planet.

And lets be real here, at this point Sisko is hardly a prodigy as a commander, much less irreplacable.

ODO: You are a thief.
QUARK: If I am, you haven't been able to prove it for four years.

Quark's been here about ten years, it was Odo who arrived four years ago.

SISKO: We need a community leader and it's going to be you, Quark.
QUARK: Community leader?
ODO: Seems reasonable. You have all the character references of a politician.

Actually Quark would be a better politician than most we have now. At least Quark has a brain and understands the necessity to keep the wheels of industry moving on all levels. After all, peasants can't afford to pay him, but people with money CAN.

QUARK: Commander, I've made a career out of knowing when to leave, and this Bajoran provisional government is far too provisional for my taste. And when governments fall, people like me are lined up and shot.

Why? Quark has nothing to do with the Provisional Government. Furthermore, even if the Provisional Government collapses odds are it will be a military faction who takes command of the station without violence. The worst they would do is evict him from the sector.

KIRA: Our spiritual leader. She's known as the Kai. Our religion is the only thing that holds my people together. If she would call for unity, they'd listen. Leaders of all the factions have tried to get to her, but she lives in seclusion, rarely sees anyone.

How can the Kai be in that kind of seclusion? Kai Winn seemed pretty busy as a politician during her term, so how can Opaka hide away? The Pope has to interact with a lot of people, doesn't he?

For that matter, why did Opaka accept the position of Kai if she didn't intend to do the job?

(She opens a case to reveal a floating, green glowing bolus - an Orb)

Looks like Chakoteya chose to be pompous today. A "bolus" is a rounded mass, a bumpy sphere. If he wanted a fancy alternative to "hourglass-shaped", he could've at least said "hyperboloid".
mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 02-19-2023, 02:59 AM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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JENNIFER: My mother warned me to watch out for junior officers.
SISKO: Your mother is going to adore me.

I mean, who wouldn't?

OPAKA: Tradition says the orbs were sent by the Prophets to teach us. What we have learned has shaped our theology. The Cardassians will do anything to decipher their powers. If they discover the Celestial Temple, they could destroy it.

I think "understanding the Orbs" and "discovering the wormhole" are two unrelated things.

QUARK: What'll you have, Commander?
SISKO: How's the local synthale?
QUARK: You won't like it. I love the Bajorans. Such a deeply spiritual culture, but they make a dreadful ale.

You make synthale by hand? I thought that's what replicators are for.

Station log. Stardate 46390.1. The Enterprise has been ordered to the Lapolis system. They're scheduled to depart at zero-five hundred hours after offloading three runabout class vessels.

Danube-class, grrr.

If you're wondering where the word "runabout" came from, it's a real word, unlike "Puddle Jumper" over on Stargate. A runabout boat is a motorboat with a flat bottom to allow for skipping on the water (some modern jetskis are also called runabouts). Runabout cars are light cars meant for short errands only, based on older horse-drawn buggies of similar purpose. The word is still used in the United Kingdom today to describe a small car meant for local use only.

SISKO: He's a little young for you, isn't he?
DAX: He's twenty-seven, I'm twenty-eight.
SISKO: Three hundred twenty-eight, maybe.

This seems odd. We know that Sisko has met other Trill in the past, and must therefore know that such maturity arithmetic doesn't work the same way as with humans. The idea that joined Trill can only have relationships with other joined Trill is frankly disturbing.

BASHIR: This'll be perfect. Real frontier medicine.
KIRA: Frontier medicine?
BASHIR: Major, I had my choice of any job in the fleet.
KIRA: Did you?
BASHIR: I didn't want some cushy job or a research grant. I wanted this. The farthest reaches of the galaxy. One of the most remote outposts available. This is where the adventure is. This is where heroes are made. Right here, in the wilderness.

And the creators wondered why viewers hated Bashir at first. This guy is really supposed to be genetically enhanced?

DAX: Computer, create a data base for all historical references to the Orbs, including all reports of any unexplained phenomena in Bajoran space.
COMPUTER: Time parameters?
DAX: Ten millennia.
COMPUTER: Initializing data base. Requested function will require two hours to complete.

One wonders how fast the Enterprise computer could do it.

PICARD: This is your favorite transporter room, isn't it?
O'BRIEN: Number three. Yes, sir.

What makes one transporter room different from another?

DUKAT: Excuse my presumption, but this was my office only two weeks ago. I'm not used to being on this side of the desk.

I do wish the writers put more thought into the sequence of events. Quark couldn't find a way off the station in two weeks?

COMPUTER: Idran is based on the analysis conducted in the twenty-second century by the Quadros-One probe of the Gamma Quadrant.

The expanded universe makes clear that this was a Starfleet probe, but knowing what we know now of the Enterprise days, I doubt that Starfleet at that time had deep-space exploration in mind. This seems more like a Vulcan thing. Their lifespans would also allow them to wait the decades required to hear back from these probes.

(Sisko sees a vicious, rocky, lightning-ridden alien planet, but Dax sees they're in a beautiful garden.)
DAX: It's beautiful.
SISKO: You have a strange eye for beauty, Dax.
DAX: You don't think this is one of the most idyllic settings you've ever seen?
SISKO: We are standing on a rock face. Do you see the storm?
DAX: It's as clear as a summer's day.

What was the point of this?

KIRA: Mister O'Brien, what would it take to move this station to the mouth of the wormhole?
O'BRIEN: This isn't a starship, Major. We've got six working thrusters to power us and that's it. A hundred sixty million kilometre trip would take two months.

31 km/s is a thousandth of full impulse. That's really slow.

At least 160,000,000 km isn't unreasonable for the distance from Mars to a point halfway across the asteroid belt.

KIRA: That wormhole might just reshape the future of this entire quadrant. The Bajorans have to stake a claim to it. And I have to admit that claim will be a lot stronger if there's a Federation presence to back it up.

I'm pretty sure that anything inside a solar system is the property of the inhabitants of that solar system. And remember that the Barzan wormhole was merely in the same sector as Barzan.

DAX: Couldn't you modify the subspace field output of the deflector generators just enough to create a low-level field around the station?
O'BRIEN: So we could lower the inertial mass?
DAX: If you can make the station lighter, those six thrusters will be all the power we'd need.

Before you mention "Deja Q" I need to point out that that was a warp field, not a deflector field. I'm pretty sure the station doesn't have any warp coils.

JAKE PROPHET: What comes before now is no different than what is now, or what is to come. It is one's existence.

I always hated this "the Prophets have no concept of the passage of time" thing. Over and over again they show that they know what "before" and "after" are. Furthermore, why do they care about Bajor if humanoid behavior is incomprehensible to them?

JENNIFER 2: I've heard Starfleet officers don't want families because they complicate their lives.
SISKO 2: Starfleet officers don't often find mates who want to raise families on a starship.

I thought that only the Galaxy class was designed for families and large numbers of civilians. The Miranda class was a workhorse, how is there room for families?

PICARD PROPHET: It is terminated.
SISKO: Terminated?
PICARD PROPHET: Our existence is disrupted whenever one of you enters the passage.

This is where the "wormhole travel hurts the Prophets" thing comes from. And you may have noticed that a Prophet just admitted to an if-then sequence of events, i.e. the PASSAGE OF TIME. Grrr....

JAKE: You value your ignorance of what is to come?
SISKO: That may be the most important thing to understand about humans. It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching, not just for answers to our questions, but for new questions. We are explorers. We explore our lives, day by day, and we explore the galaxy, trying to expand the boundaries of our knowledge. And that is why I am here. Not to conquer you with weapons, but with ideas, to co-exist and learn.

Time to link to the Explorers video again.

SISKO: I never left this ship.
JENNIFER PROPHET: You exist here.
SISKO: I exist here. I don't know if you can understand. I see her like this every time I close my eyes. In the darkness, in the blink of an eye, I see her like this.
JENNIFER PROPHET: None of your past experiences helped prepare you for this consequence.
SISKO: And I have never figured out how to live without her.
JENNIFER PROPHET: So you choose to exist here. It is not linear.
SISKO: No. It's not linear.

As much as I HATE the Prophets (I really do, and we'll be discussing them in depth during the retrospective), this is a lesson that Sisko needed to learn.

CARDASSIAN 3: They were using a Thoron field to block our sensors but we were able to penetrate it.
JASAD: What are their defences?
CARDASSIAN 3: According to our scans, an estimated five thousand photons, integrated phaser banks on all levels.
JASAD: When did they receive these armaments? And how did they install them without our knowledge?

A very good question. I'm pretty sure that installing this stuff would necessitate creating scaffolding and equipment outside the station. Stuff that long-range scans would notice. You just can't do the job with workbees (which we know DS9 has).

Station log, Commander Benjamin Sisko, stardate 46393.1. The lifeforms who created the wormhole have agreed to allow safe passage for all ships traveling to the Gamma Quadrant.

When did that happen?
mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 02-19-2023, 03:00 AM
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Memory Alpha

* There's a lot of stuff about what had to be changed when Forbes decided not to join the cast.
* They made a big deal about how expensive the pilot was to shoot. I feel that this isn't fair, because a lot of the cost was the extremely large sets that would be reused for the series itself. The episode-specific stuff was quite minimal and basic.
* The reason Quark looks weird is that Shimmerman's prosthetic nose wasn't ready yet, so they had to steal Rom's instead.
* There were four models of DS9, which surprised me. I thought that there were only two-the full station and a larger version of a runabout pad.
* Sisko told the Prophets that his father is dead. Oops.

The Fiver

Sisko: I request a re-assignment. And I wish I were asking someone else, since I still hate you for the wife-killing thing.
Picard: We are Picard. Grudges are futile.
Sisko: You're not helping.


Kira: Exposition time: Bajor is in political turmoil, with the only hope for unity being Kai Opaka.
Sisko: That sounds like "opaque." Should I be worried?
Kira: No, the opaque one is Kai Winn. She's later.
Sisko: When?
Kira: No, Winn. But she's not involved yet, so it's a no-Winn situation.
Sisko: Hold still for a moment so I can hit you.

I don't really think that Winn is opaque. Spend ten minutes with her and you know exactly where she stands. That's the point: the common Bajoran's haven't spent ten minutes with her.

Kai Opaka: Greetings. Behold my orb.
Sisko: But that's a big figure 8. Orbs are balls.
Kai Opaka: Stop nitpicking and have a vision.

Seriously, why are these things called Orbs?

Kai Opaka: Good boy. Find the Celestial Temple and I'll give you a Scooby Snack.

Now there's a joke that was funnier twenty years ago.

Bashir: Watch me prove my naiveté by accidentally insulting your entire species.
Kira: Hey, this is weird...I'm feeling some sort of attraction to you, even though you're scum.
Bashir: Yeah, me too. Uh oh. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Kira: A classic case of confusing ourselves with the actors playing us?
Bashir: Yep. Kiss me.

I'm with SFDebris: tossing hints at the Siddig/Visitor relationship was never that funny.

Odo: I hate your guts.
Bashir: I want to study yours.
Odo: In case I eventually come down with a disease or something? Get real.


Kira: Recurring villain here to see you, sir.
Sisko: Send him in.
Dukat: Greetings. I am...GUL DUKAT. Mwahahahahahaha!
Sisko: Yeah, hi. You here for a reason, or just to establish yourself?
Dukat: Second one.

Well, actually he's here to be bitter about losing his office. Maybe the chair is really comfortable, who knows?

Quark: Closing time. Put your winnings in this bag, which is not a shapeshifter trying to sneak aboard your ship and disable it.
Cardassian: Prove that.
Bag: It's true. No shapeshifters here.
Cardassian: Good enough.

I can almost hear the canned laughter.

Jadzia: Stable, too. It took us to the Gamma Quadrant.
Sisko: Oh, so we're stranded? Time for a speech. (ahem) We're alone. In an uncharted part of the galaxy--
Jadzia: Um, Ben? We can just take the wormhole back.
Sisko: Don't interrupt.

I'm pretty sure that two people in a runabout could never survive a decades-long journey.

Jadzia: What am I doing back on DS9?
Kira: You're the science officer; you tell us.
Jadzia: Actually, I know very little about science. I'm only here so this show will have a bizarre alien, and later a love interest for Worf.
Kira: What a gyp.

Dax isn't even remotely the most bizarre alien in the cast. I'd put Quark and Garak over her any day.

Prophets: Explain about this "time" stuff.
Sisko: They say time is the fire in which we burn. Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives, but I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey....
Prophets: We don't want sophistry, you kneebiter, we want definitions.

I wonder if Soran was quoting some old El-Aurian saying. Come to think of it, what do Trill and El-Aurians think of each other?

Sisko: Goodbye, sir. My grudge is gone and I respect you now.
Picard: Respect is irrelevant. Your archaic cultures are authority-driven. You will become one with the Borg.
Sisko: Whatever.


Kai Opaka: Good job. Your series is just beginning.
Sisko: But what about my Scooby Snack?
Kai Opaka: Oh yeah. OVER THERE!
Sisko: Where?
(Opaka takes off at Ludicrous Speed)

What? Where? I don't see anything. What's so funny?
I'll tell you in a minute.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil also wonders why the civilians are still here. Couldn't they be dropped off in escape pods far away from the Borg?
* Phil also did the stardate math.
* If Kira hates Bashir's statements that this is the frontier, why isn't she angry about "Deep Space Nine"?
* When did the Starfleet crew become fluent in Cardassian?
* Back in Best of Both Worlds Data clearly said that nobody survived Wolf 359. And yet this episode says that plenty of escape pods were around. There isn't a snowball's chance in Grethor that escape pods can go farther than the Enterprise's sensor range in only a day.
* How come the Saratoga here has a different registry than the one in The Voyage Home, and isn't NCC 1937-C or something?
* Phil has a problem with Kira using "godforsaken." I'm willing to chalk that one up to Universal Translator hiccups. Don't even try to tell me that the Starfleet crew is fluent in Bajoran at this point.
* Phil decides to wait until "Dax" and "Invasive Procedures" to discuss the changes made to the Trill since "The Host."
* Somehow Quark is able to hold the bag that is really Odo, when logically Odo should way too much for that. I'm willing to go with the idea that Odo shifts mass into and out of subspace when he changes. Remember that when he impersonates an inanimate object he's indistinguishable from that object as far as sensors are concerned.
* O'Brien says the Cardassians took everything of value. And yet there's plenty of valuable equipment on board. Phil points out the transporter, but I would argue that the viewscreen counts as well. Remember that the viewscreen isn't a monitor, it's two devices that project a hologram OF a monitor screen. I'd call that valuable as well.
* O'Brien wants the Enterprise to save them from three Cardassian warships when we've seen in the past that two warships were enough to give Picard reason to worry.
* Picard muddles the pronounciation of "Bajor" a few times. This is odd considering how often he dealt with Bajorans (including Ro) in the past.
* How come the DS9 uniforms are different than the TNG ones?
* The ensign in the transporter room calls O'Brien "sir" even though O'Brien makes it clear over and over that he's a noncomm and nobody should call him "sir." Maybe she was on board in the early seasons when O'Brien was a Lieutenant.
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mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

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Old 02-20-2023, 12:52 AM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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January 11th, 1993, "Past Prologue"

Fiver by Derek

The Episode

BASHIR: You know, some people say that you remained on DS Nine as the eyes and ears of your fellow Cardassians.
GARAK: You don't say? Doctor, you're not intimating that I'm considered some sort of spy, are you?

So what is the official story on why Garak was left behind? There must be one.

The novel A Stitch in Time makes it clear that this was Dukat's idea, let Garak suffer in isolation surrounded by Bajorans who hate him.

GARAK: Ah. An open mind. The essence of intellect.

I've remembered this line for years. It takes a wise man to know that stories often have more than one side and it's folly to depend entirely on one perspective.

BASHIR: You're very kind, Mister Garak.
GARAK: Oh, it's just Garak. Plain, simple Garak.

The "Plain, simple Garak" thing went on too long in my opinion. No ordinary Cardassian civilian would've been on DS9 in the first place and even if they were they wouldn't've been left behind by Dukat.

O'BRIEN: Major, upper pylon three'll be shut down for maintenance for forty-eight hours.

48? In the future they'll be a lot more diligent about using the 26-hour Bajoran day.

DAX: What do you think he might want from you, Julian?
BASHIR: I don't know. Federation medical secrets? Rest assured they're safe with me, Commander.

Cardassian physiology is sufficiently different from most other races that I fail to see what the point is. Besides, the Federation seems the type to readily disseminate medical knowledge to whoever asks for it anyway.

TAHNA: My name is Tahna Los. Request political asylum. Kira?

It took a rewatch to realize that Tahna is played by an actor that I've seen before. Jeffery Nordling is best known to me from his roles in the third Mighty Ducks movie and the 1993 Journey to the Center of the Earth (recommended if you want to see Tim Russ give a very non-Vulcan performance). I wish that he could've been in Trek more, he seems like the type of guy who could've played a variety of alien roles a la Tony Todd or Jeffery Combs.

GUL DANAR [on viewscreen]: Federation Commander, you've taken aboard a known criminal. You will turn him over to us.
SISKO: He has requested asylum.
GUL DANAR [on viewscreen]: You have not granted it.
SISKO: To be honest, I haven't decided yet.

To be frank, this sort of thing should've been part of the peace treaty in the first place. The Maquis proved that there are many "war criminals" out there in the DMZ. There should be a lawyer on DS9 and a lawyer on a nearby Cardassian station (possibly Empok Nor) already set up to take this matter out of Sisko's hands.

GUL DANAR [on viewscreen]: He is Kohn-Ma! Even the Bajorans would not grant his kind asylum.

Kira said earlier that the Kohn-Ma were a touchy subject with the Bajorans, but I wish they had gone into greater detail about why Bajor wouldn't want to give them asylum.

KIRA: My priorities are straight, Commander. Let's not be confused here. my loyalties are to Bajor, and Bajor needs men like Tahna Los.
SISKO: Apparently his war with the Cardassians isn't over yet.
KIRA: If Bajor is ever to rebuild a strong and independent society, it will require the repatriation of splinter groups like the Kohn-Ma. You have, we have, an opportunity here.

This really needed more clarification.

SISKO: I assume as a member of the Kohn-Ma you've committed serious acts against them.
TAHNA: Any one of a hundred that would lead to a Cardassian death sentence.
SISKO: Any of them since their withdrawal from Bajor?
TAHNA: Frankly, yes.
SISKO: Why would you continue the violence against them now?
TAHNA: To be honest, I'm not sure anymore. We say we're punishing them for crimes committed against us for over half a century, but I've had enough of the killing.

This seems a bit too pat of an answer.

ROLLMAN [on monitor]: Ben, that Bajoran woman you have working for you interrupted a staff meeting to tell me how she disapproves of your handling of this asylum matter. I think you have a problem there, Commander.
SISKO: Yes, Admiral.

I'm amazed that Kira got through. You don't just establish a comm line with anyone you want among the admiralty on a whim. And frankly as Bajoran liason she should already have a proverbial hot phone to a designated admiral elsewhere.

TAHNA: Don't get along?
KIRA: Oil and water. You're tired.

Oil and water seems like it would be exclusively a human expression. If Bajorans have an equivalent that the Universal Translator has been programmed to turn into "oil and water", someone is working overtime over at Starfleet Communications.

SISKO: I'm going to grant him asylum for the time being. Eventually, he'll want to relocate to Bajor and if you want to pursue the matter with the Provisional Government, then that's your business.

Shouldn't the higher-ups back at Central Command have requested a conversation with the First Minister by now already? FYI, the First Minister at this time is probably Kalem Apren, who Kira will mention in "Shakaar."

KIRA: Look, I don't want the Federation here any more than you do but they are serving a purpose. For the time being, at least. Without the Federation, the Cardassians would be back in a minute to take control of the wormhole.

A good point. And frankly without the Federation the Occupation wouldn't have ended. Although mentioning the wormhole really brings up a big problem-why isn't there a designated starship in the sector yet? At the very least a ship patrolling the DMZ and stopping by every week for a checkup. Maybe before the wormhole there wasn't much reason for the Cardassians to come back so soon, lest the war with the Federation continue. But now things are different.

TAHNA: I don't want to be a power in the quadrant. I want Bajor for Bajorans. I want our homeland back.

A bit short-sighted in my opinion. If Bajor had to rebuild without Federation assistance it would take decades, because there'd be a lengthy civil war before it. And the Cardassians would probably just reinvade in five or ten years. Unless you're really going to tell me that Bajor has no natural resources left and Cardassia has no reason to come back.

ODO: Who are you?
LURSA: We are Lursa and B'Etor. Of the house of Duras.

After the Klingon Civil War I would expect them to be public figures. Odo should really keep up on current events.

SISKO: Lursa and B'Etor.
ODO: You know them, then.
SISKO: They tried to grab control of the Klingon High Council, started a brief civil war. They've been out of sight since then.

It's only been two years since the civil war, everyone should know who they are. Including Odo, the Cardassians would always be on the lookout for people who could disrupt the governments of the other galactic powers.

ODO: I ran a security check. The Klingons have them listed as renegades.
SISKO: We've heard they've been trying to raise capital to rebuild their armies.

How? To have armies and ships you need to be part of a House that actually exists. I'm pretty sure Gowron totally shut down the House of Duras just like he will with the House of Mogh three years from now.

LURSA: Your safety is not our concern.
B'ETOR: Your gold is.
TAHNA: It will be available tomorrow.

The term "gold-pressed latinum" will be used later in the episode, I don't like people using "gold" as an equivalent when it will be made clear that gold is just a shiny container for the valuable latinum.

And like I said, what Klingon would sell ships to people who have been stripped of their honor? No doubt the Ferengi or the Orion Syndicate has a few Klingon ships to sell, but nothing that would make a battle-worthy fleet.

KIRA: I've managed to arrange a hearing of the Ministers' Court.

The what? Do you mean the Council of Ministers? Seriously, this is series bible stuff.

SISKO: Be sure to mention it the next time you chat with Admiral Rollman.
KIRA: Sir.
SISKO: Go over my head again and I'll have yours on a platter.

This seems a bit dark. I'm not sure even Kirk would use an expression that violent.

GARAK: At your service, madam. May I show you our latest fashions? Perhaps some silk lingerie from Kraus Four?

Lingerie doesn't seem like something Klingons would use. They seem to prefer raw animal sex to anything slow and seductive.

GARAK: I meant no offence. I have few Klingon patrons.

Why would Garak have any Klingon patrons at all? They wouldn't be in the area during the Occupation, and they don't seem the type for exploration for exploration's sake through the wormhole.

B'ETOR: We understand you still represent Cardassian interests here.

Where would she get that idea? You have to assume that Garak is spreading lies in order to get enough political capital to "buy" his way back into Central Command's good graces.

LURSA: What is he worth to them?
B'ETOR: In gold-pressed latinum.
(Garak puts a number on a PADD.)
LURSA: You insult us.

This is what TVTropes calls Undisclosed Funds. I'll have to add this example to the page.

KIRA: I have the third minister's vote. The hearing is simply a formality now.

There are only five members of the Council of Ministers? I thought that it would be in the dozens! I would expect the Detapa Council to have more than five!
mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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