Friday, March 1, 2013

Deep Space Nine-Emissary

                   Three years after his wife was killed when the Borg,led by Locutus,destroyed the ship he was first officer of,Commander Benjamin Sisko is assigned by Captain Jean-Luc Picard to the space station Deep Space Nine in orbit around Bajor following the Cardassians withdrawing their occupational forces from that world. The reluctant widowed officer,along with his son Jake,arrive on the station to be greeted by a wrecked station partially crewed-with most of it's original occupants preparing to leave. He meets up with the equally reluctant Bajoran nation Major Kira Nyrys,who is convinced the Federation has no place administrating on the station now that the Bajoran's are finally liberated and cynically believes he and the other Starfleet officers will be gone in a week. She convinces Sisko to visit the Bajoran's spiritual leader Kai Opaka. Upon arriving Sisko is introduced to an orb Opaka calls "the tear of the prophets",which reveals Sisko's first meeting with his deceased wife. When his new Trill science officer Jadzia Dax arrives,she studies the orb and suggests she and Sisko,with whom she had been friends in her past host body, take one of the Federation runabouts on the station to investigate a source signal from the orb in the nearby Denorious belt.

                             Upon arriving their they find themselves in an unusual wormhole that Dax discovers to be the only stable wormhole encountered by the Federation-with the end destination in the Gamma Quadrant 75,000 light years away. On the way back,the runabout mysteriously touches down inside the wormhole,Dax believes she is in a tranquil garden while Sisko on a rock face in the middle of an atmospheric storm. An orb appears and whisks Dax away,but envelopes Sisko. He finds himself speaking to aliens who appear as his comrades and loved ones,claiming to be aliens existing in this wormhole outside. As he uses metaphors to explain linear time to the aliens,Kira and Chief of Operations Miles O'Brien attempt to fend off invading Cardassians as they look to stake a claim to the newly discovered stable wormhole. O'Brien manages to re-engage the shields to provide enough power to move the station to the edge of the wormhole-just in time for Commander Sisko's return,after which he formerly accepts his new assignment to Captain Picard.

                            This is an extremely complex premiere that,in approximately 90 minutes,attempts to sum up a number of very complex plot points. There's the shape shifting security chief Odo,attempting to maintain order on Deep Space Nine following the Cardassian desertion and Quark,the conniving Ferengi bar owner who Sisko assigns as a community leader on the new liberated station. The main thrust for Sisko in this story is actually an extension on what was attempted in the original Star Trek pilot The Cage-a tortured man in a command position who is forced to confront his demons with the help of powerful aliens. Only this time while the wormhole aliens are able to express to Sisko he is living in the past,he manages to help them explain linear time effectively through examples like baseball.  Though Deep Space Nine would be a series that was very uneven in quality through it's seven year airing,this counts as one of the best Star Trek pilot episodes ever aired.

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