Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1996) – Hard Time, and Shattered Mirror

Station log: stardate unknown

Robert Hewitt Wolfe writes the teleplay for this episode from a story by Daniel Keys Moran and Lynn Barker. It first aired on 15 April, 1996.

This Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney) story is exemplary, and stunning, The Chief tries to integrate back to station life, and deal with implanted memories of twenty years in prison when he is accused and sentenced for espionage.

When he makes it back to the station, Bashir (Alexander Siddig) tries to find a way to remove the experience, but he proves unable to, and Keiko (Rosalind Chao) worries, and tries to help him re-adapt.

But O’Brien is keeping a secret, about a fellow prisoner. He suffers from guilt over a death that may have never happened. Things take a strange turn when Miles keeps seeing the prisoner, Ee’char (Craig Wasson), around the station, and he begins to chafe against old friendships and hobbies.

This is a great episode and lets Meaney really shine, it also demonstrates that the show has truly hit its stride. Its found itself, and is able to tell important, and dark stories, but that those stories are still, undeniably Trek.

And while the episode doesn’t add to the overall Domion arc of the series, it is undeniably one of the best episodes of the season, as O’Brien confronts his humanity, and the possibility of its loss.

Loved it.


Station log: stardate unknown

Ira Steven Behr and Hans Beimler  take us back to the Mirror Universe with this episode that first aired on 22 April, 1996.

Jake Sisko (Cirroc Lofton) gets lured to the Mirror Universe by the appearance of Professor Jennifer Sisko (Felecia M. Bell). Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks) has to follow them, and lend aid to the Terran Alliance with the construction of a Mirror version of the Defiant.

They meet their counterparts, of course, and things are going to get very dark and troublesome for the Siskos.

By bringing Jake into the story it allows for some fun moments in the Mirror-Universe which tends to be fairly dark, so that makes for a nice touch, but there is a darkness underlying everything as we see familiar faces behaving in ways that seem contrary to what we know, and we see that terrible things are happening to all of them.

Mirror Universe episodes are always interesting, and it’s a way of telling a darker version of Star Trek, and sometimes that can be very troubling… and yet each one is fascinating nonetheless. The characters we know and love behave in different ways, and we see how politics, alliances, and mistakes have shaped and changed lives since we last checked in with them.

The Human Adventure continues Thursday when I travel homeward with Voyager, and then next week as I continue to explore The Complete Series of Deep Space Nine, available now on DVD from Paramount Pictures.



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