One of my new year's "resolutions" was to rewatch Star Trek's third incarnation of the series... Deep Space Nine. It was kind of a half-series half-joking goal. If I had time, I'd watch it. Well, I watched the first episode. And I figured, if I'm going to watch it, I may as well review each episode!
So I present to you... the first episode of Deep Space Nine: Emissary. (A warning: this summary will most likely be very long, since this is the first episode, and characters and plot must be established.)
Summary: 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...
Commander Benjamin Sisko was aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga, one of 39 out of 40 ships that didn't make it through Wolf 359. When the bridge is hit by a Borg beam, Commander Sisko must take over command - the captain is dead. The warp core breaches and Sisko orders evacuation. He goes to his quarters to find his family... His young son Jake is alive! but his wife is not. Another officer helps Commander Sisko to a shuttlecraft, where they escape the massacre of Wolf 359.
Three years later, Ben Sisko and Jake are on their way to Deep Space Nine. It is a space station in the farthest reaches of Federation space, and hovers above the planet Bajor. Until just recently, Bajor had been occupied by the Cardassians. They had been fighting a war against their oppressors and had finally won after long, long years of struggling. The new Bajoran government turned to Starfleet for help, and Starfleet have sent Commander Sikso to be in charge of Deep Space Nine, formerly Terok Nor under Cardassian rule, the new Federation presence in that sector.
On the station, Ben meets Miles O'Brien - a familiar face to Next Generation watchers - who is the new chief of operations. O'Brien takes him on a mini-tour, showing him the havoc the Cardassians left behind when they left. After dropping Jake off in their new quarters, Ben and O'Brien head up to ops, the center of the station.
There they run into Major Kira Nerys, a former resistance fighter - and Sikso's new second in-command. She openly tells him that she doesn't want the Federation to be there. She thinks that within a week, the Federation will be gone, and then Bajor will have Civil War, unless Kai Opaka - Bajor's spiritual leader - prevents it. Later, we learn that Ben Sisko doesn't want to be on Deep Space Nine either. Being a single parent is hard and he'd rather raise Jake on earth.
Major Kira is called away to check on a break-in. Lot of them have been happening since the Cardassians left. Ben follows her and they catch the thieves red-handed ("What color are their hands now?" - Muppets). One of the thieves is Nog, the nephew of Quark, who is a Ferengi bar-owner. Quark, his brother Rom, Nog, and the other bar-workers were going to leave the next day, but Ben makes Quark a deal. If he stays and re-opens his bar on the promenade (a part of the station full of shops and restaurants), Ben won't put Nog in the brig. Quark agrees, though not happily. Constable Odo is also not happy. He's had a lot of trouble with Quark in the past.
Ben is then called down to the planet of Bajor, where he meets Kai Opaka. She shows him an orb and tells him that there were once nine of them, but the Cardassian's stole the others. The orbs were sent by the Prophets, and Ben must find the Celestial Temple before the Cardassians. She gives him the orb and tells him that he is their Emissary.
The next day the science and medical personal arrive and Ben is reunited with an old friend, Dax. He also meets the new chief medical officer, Julian Bashir, who obviously has a crush on Dax, and asks her out to dinner. "Jadzia! Maybe we could get together later for dinner ororororor-or a ddrink?"
Dax: "I'd be delighted."
Ben: "Isn't he a little young for you?"
Dax: "He's 27, I'm 28."
Ben: "328 you mean. Does he know about that worm in your belly?"
Back in ops, a Cardassian ship is sighted. It's the former leader of Deep Space Nine, Gul Dukat. He's come to "welcome" the new Starfleet presence, and "offer" his help. His real purpose in coming is to size Sisko up and ask him about the orb that Kai Opaka gave him.
After Dukat leaves, Sisko and Dax start examining the orb. They figure out that they need to go and look at the nearby Dinorius Belt, but have to find a way to get past the Cardassians unseen.
They employ Odo, who is a shape-shifter, to do the task. He sneaks aboard the Cardassian vessel, disguised as a bag of money, and muddles their sensors. Then, Dax and Ben, in a shuttlecraft, are able to fly out to the Dinorius Belt to have a look.
What they find is astonishing - the only stable wormhole in the known galaxy! They land inside the wormhole (also astonishing) and another orb floats towards them.
A typical Star Trek scene plays out.
"It's scanning us! Let's scan it back. Let's try to talk to it! Hello-" BAM and it blasts them. As Sisko struggle up, Dax is materialized into the orb, and it takes her back to Deep Space Nine. Sisko remains in the wormhole and meets the wormhole aliens, who the Bajorans mistakenly think are gods. Really, they are highly advanced aliens who are outside of linear time. Ben explains linear time to them (and he doesn't use "wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey... stuff") and also life and death. They take him back through his experiences and he lives the death of his wife over again. He learns that he's never truly let go of her, and that in order to be an effective leader and father, he must learn to get over his wife's death.
Back on Deep Space Nine, senior officers are trying to figure out what happened to Sisko, and how to get him out. They plan a rescue mission and go out in a shuttlecraft. By now, Gul Dukat's ship is working again and they've noticed the wormhole. They fly towards it and enter - only to have the wormhole collapse once they've gone through! Now there's no hope for the rescue mission.
To further complicate things, Kira wants O'Brien to move the massive station to the mouth of where the wormhole used to be - to stake a claim to it. He does... and then three Cardassian ships arrive! demanding to know where Gul Dukat's ship is. They don't believe Kira, who tells them that their leader's ship went into a wormhole, which then collapsed. They give Kira one hour to tell the truth, or they'll destroy Deep Space Nine.
Since Deep Space Nine was stripped by the Cardassians when they left, there is no weapons and hardly any shields. O'Brien does some clever stuff with a computer and gives them about 30% shields, and the appearance that they have more shields and weapons than they actually have. The Cardassians don't fall for the rouse and start attacking the station.
Suddenly the wormhole opens up again and Sisko comes out in the shuttlecraft, dragging Gul Dukat's ship with him. Everything is explained and the Cardassians leave. The wormhole aliens agree to let any ships through to the gamma quadrant (which is on the other side) without interfering.
The episode ends with station life settling into normality. Sisko and O'Brien walk down the promenade, discussing things to improve the station, Kira and Odo whip Quark into shape, and Julain settles into his role as doctor.
Thoughts on plot: For a one and a half hour show, they did an EXCELLENT job fitting everything in. They had to introduce the Bajorans, who made an appearance in the Next Generation, but weren't a huge part of the show. Not only did they have to introduce the Bajorans, they had to introduce the Bajorans religion and their history... For the past few decades, they've been occupied by a race called the Cardassians. They finally overthrew their oppressors, and all of that had to be introduced. On top of introducing a whole new cast of characters (Deep Space Nine has one of the largest casts in the Star Trek universe. Off the top of my head, I can think of 15 main characters and even more secondary characters. And Morn).
Thoughts on characters: Here are the characters that were introduced this episode:
Commander Benjamin Sisko: The new commander of Deep Space Nine. His wife was killed at Wolf 359 and he has a 14-year-old son named Jake. Ben is a fair commander who can get along with most anyone. Anyone he doesn't get along with, he's extremely polite to. He loves baseball. He is good friends with the Dax symbiot.
Major Kira Nerys: She is a the Bajoran first officer, and a former resistance fighter. She is most definitely an ex-soldier and is blunt, gruff and strong-willed because of it.
Chief Miles O'Brien: O'Brien is the Irish chief of operations on the station. He makes sure everything is working right. He was introduced in the first episode of Next Generation as transporter chief and made appearances in the show frequently. He is married to Keiko, and they have one daughter named Molly.
Jadzia Dax: Jadzia is the main science officer. She is the Spock or Data-like character... logical and very smart. She also has a mischievous side to her and enjoys having fun. Jadzia is a Trill and is joined to the Dax symbiot. She is Dax's ninth host. The previous host was Curzon, an old man, and friend of Ben Sisko's. As a result, Ben often calls Dax "old man."
Constable Odo: Odo was constable over the station when the Cardassian's were in charge, though he was always sympathetic towards to Bajorans. He has stayed on as constable now. He is a shape-shifter and no one really knows where he came from or what he is. He is a mystery. He is gruff and would like nothing better than to put Quark under bars for good. He and Kira are friends.
Julian Bashir: Chief medical officer. Julian is British and fresh out of Starfleet. He was offered any job in the Federation and chose to come to Deep Space Nine to experience "real frontier medicine." He is eager and very smart. He has a crush on Dax. Also, he was my first fictional crush. He's the type of person you either love or hate.
Quark: Quark is a Ferengi who owned a bar on Deep Space Nine during the occupation. Ben Sisko convinced him to stay after the Federation moved in. Quark's bar in the center of entertainment on the promenade. Quark is a swindler and crook and definitely not to be trusted. He's only out to make more acquisition. But he's Ferengi, so we really shouldn't be surprised.
Gul Dukat: The former Cardassian in charge of the station. He is sneaky, sly, and just has this evil slimy presence about him. Ugh, maybe I'm biased, because I've seen the rest of the series... but argh Dukat is so slimy! He's one of the best bad guys I've ever seen.
Jake Sisko: Ben's 14-year old son.
Nog: Quark's young nephew, quickly learning dishonesty and the other ways of Ferengi.
Things to be wary of: There are a few swear words and some low-cut dresses. Also, the Bajorans weird religion is introduced. They believe that the aliens in the wormhole are their "prophets." Their religion focuses a lot of meditation and finding your inner peace and inner self and stuff.
Rating/overall thoughts: 10/10 for a new Star Trek show. I think that characters and plot were introduced greatly and I'm looking forward to watching the next episode!
Best line or scene: (Kira and Julian are in the infirmary)
Kira: "Sorry about the mess... it looks like looters got in here too."
Julian: "Oh, this will be perfect! Real... frontier medicine."
Kira: "Frontier medicine?"
Julian: "Major, I had my pick of any job in the fleet. I didn't want a cushy job or a research grant. I wanted this - the farthest reaches of the galaxy. One of the remotest places. This is where adventure is! This is where heroes are made! Right here in the wilderness."
Kira: "This wilderness is my home."
Julian: *awkward silence as Kira storms out*
Morn sighting: There is one character who shows up in every single episode of Deep Space Nine. He is Morn, a patron of Quark's bar. He rarely talks and blends into the background, but's he's a staple.
Here is his first appearance:
Next time on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine... A Bajoran terrorist with ties to Kira shows up on the station, with Cardassians hot on his trail.