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Star trek: Deep Space Nine 7.01a - Image in the sand

Stardate around 52110
Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

Three months after leaving DS9, Sisko (Avery Brooks) has a vision of a living female Human face buried in the and of a desert planet. Obsessed with learning the identity of the woman, Sisko uncovers some disturbing secrets from his own past and provokes an attack which puts him on the wrong end of an assassin's blade...

Persons of interest

  • Avery Brooks .... Commander Benjamin Lafayette Sisko
  • René Auberjonois .... Constable Odo
  • Nicole de Boer .... Ensign Ezri Dax
  • Michael Dorn .... Lieutenant Worf
  • Cirroc Lofton .... Jake Sisko
  • Colm Meaney .... Chief O'Brien
  • Armin Shimerman .... Quark
  • Alexander Siddig .... Doctor Julian Bashir
  • Nana Visitor .... Major Kira Nerys
  • Majel Barrett .... Starfleet computer voice
  • Jeffrey Combs .... Weyoun
  • Casey Biggs .... Damar
  • Barry Jenner .... Admiral Ross
  • JG Hertzler .... General Martok
  • Megan Cole .... Senator Cretak
  • Aron Eisenberg .... Ensign Nog
  • James Darren .... Vic Fontaine
  • Brock Peters .... Joseph Sisko
  • Nicole de Boer .... Ezri Dax
  • Ira Steven Behr .... Screenwriter
  • Hans Beimler .... Screenwriter
  • Les Landau .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

Well, Ezri Dax, but... um, er... a little too much spirituobabble for my liking.

First thing first: Ezri is losing the plot because she wasn't meant to have a symbiont, but got one because she was the only Trill available during an emergency. She's short, cute, an Assistant Ship's Counsellor, and very, very confused what with suddenly having 8 lifetimes of memories. Obviously, having discovered the benefits of killing off the odd (ex-) permanent character who isn't quite working and bringing in a new one, in The gift, the producers have tried the same stunt here. The more observant treksters will notice that there is a formula with regards male/female ratios, skin tones, hair colours, etc., so Ezri is female, caucasian and dark haired, just like Jadzia. And naturally, she only appears in the very last few seconds of the episode (love those teasers).

Second things second: I have always enjoyed the fact that the Prophets are so damnably indirect (as you would expect of nonlinear beings). All that changes in this and the following episode, Shadows and symbols. (I will cover that in greater detail in the next review.)

Third things third: the Sisko is of Bajor. Seven years later we finally discover what that means. Sisko is the son of a Human and a Bajoran avatar. The avatar is a prophet who possessed a Human female (Sarah) and forced her to mate with Sisko's father. Talk about inter-galactic date rape. So not only is Sisko of Bajor, he is the offspring of union that is against everything which the UFP and Starfleet stand for. What a lovely moral dilemma that is.

Fourth things fourth: Worf's mission to gain access for Jadzia's soul to Sto-vo-kor is a wee fill-in to take up the slack from the other story. It doesn't go any where, doesn't affect the ongoing storyline much (destroying some shipyards - big deal, they did that before and the KE/UFP alliance is still losing the war), but it does allow for some very nice explosions and other effects.

While this episode is important in the things that can be learned and the things which develop, it is not a particularly entertaining episode. The aforementioned things dominate the story rather than any kind of plot, so fun goes out the airlock. Still, you'll have to watch it to understand what's going on...

Security censorship classification

PG (Medium level violence, adult themes)

Not for public release in Australia before date

29 January 1999

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