Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) – Babel and, Captive Pursuit

Station log: stardate 46423.7

Miles (Colm Meaney) is having a hard time on the station as one system after another seems to be going down, and it’s up to him to see after all the repairs. But things are about to get a whole lot worse.

This episode written by Michael McGreevey and Naren Shankar from a story by Sally Caves and Ira Steven Behr, first aired on 24 January, 1993.

An biological weapon engineered by the Bajorans, an aphasia virus, and planned for use on the Cardassians while they occupied the station is unleashed, and affects everyone, causing them to speak incoherently, and unable to understand one another.

As Sisko’s (Avery Brooks) crew all begin to fall victim to the virus. It spreads through the station without regard to species and Bashir (Alexander Siddig) is struggling to come up with a cure.

And Quark (Armin Shimerman) with his illegal use of replicators may have inadvertently infected the entire station.

Sisko and his team deal with the quarantine, even as each one seems to fall victim, and they’ll have to find a way to communicate with one another, and hopefully are able to find a cure before the process begins to claim lives.

I rather like this one, there’s some fin science, it presents the idea of unexploded weapons causing a threat to those who come after in a war, and it lets the characters continue to grow, even as they settle into their roles.

Considering we are still in the first season, there is some solid work in the series so far.

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Station log: stardate 46477.5

Jill Sherman Donner and Michael Piller pen this episode that first aired on 21 January, 1993.

The space station gets its first visitor from the Gamma Quadrant on the other side of the worm hole, when Tosk (Scott MacDonald) arrives. His ship is damaged, but he’s reluctant to accept O’Brien’s help, and the station crew become suspicious that perhaps there is a secret or something more going on than they know.

And they’re right, Tosk is being hunted. What follows is a great episode that allows for an interpretation of the Prime Directive that doesn’t necessarily lead to a happy ending for any of the characters, but also shows that this show isn’t always going to be shiny and happy.

Tosk and his fellows are an interesting species, and like everything else so far in the series, opens up the world in a new way, making it smart and engaging, and very much Star Trek.

Season one continues next week, as I continue my exploration of the Human Adventure with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Complete Series, now available on DVD from Paramount Pictures.

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