Reviews: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – “Past Prologue” and “A Man Alone”

“Space, the final…” Wait a minute! DS9 doesn’t have a narrated introduction! Welcome back to my watching of the entirety of Star Trek’s second live-action spinoff.

I am watching these episodes in broadcast order. Netflix has them in production order. So, if you want to watch them the way I am, you watch “Past Prologue” and then “A Man Alone.” I watched them back to back on Thursday night. So, I’m going to put my reactions in the same blog entry.

I barely remember anything about “Past Prologue,” which opens with Bashir meeting a new character – Garak, a clothier and the last Cardassian aboard Deep Space Nine. I’m sure I caught on to the interaction having been uneasy back in 1993. But now it seems like Garak is hitting on Bashir and it’s funny. Also, 90s fashion for the loss! All of that said, I do remember thoroughly enjoying Garak as a character.

If you asked me if the Duras sisters – Lursa and B’Etor – showed up on DS9, I would have said “I think so.” But I would not have remembered them showing up so early in the series. Perhaps they were the reason the episode was aired first. I like Odo’s line when he meets them, tells them to give up their weapons or get off the station, and they ask who he is: “I’m the one giving you the choice.”

The episode is about a Bajoran terrorist named Tahna Los, a member of the group called the Kohn-Ma. I have no memory of them. Anyway, Major Kira fought alongside him back in the day and immediately wants to side with him, so much that she goes over Sisko’s head to call a Starfleet admiral and say the commander doesn’t understand the situation. Bad move. I do love when Sisko confronts her about it. They’re obviously still figuring out the relationship between Kira and Sisko.

I had forgotten that Odo followed Lursa, B’Etor, and Tahna Los in the form of a rat. When I saw that this time around, I thought “A rat on a space station? Really?” I don’t think I was so wise the first time around. Pretty sure the rat turning into Odo was a complete surprise.

Worth noting is that this episode shows us two runabouts at once. I don’t know if it is ever said on screen, but the runabouts posted to Deep Space Nine are Danube class. In “Emissary,” we saw the Yangtzee Kiang. This time, we also see the Ganges, which has a rollbar containing a torpedo launcher.

It’s also worth noting that both “Past Prologue” and “A Man Alone” were scored by Jay Chattaway. His first Trek episode was TNG’s “Tin Man.”

Moving on to “A Man Alone,” in which Odo is framed for murder by a man who got away (well, almost gets away) by killing his own clone (I was wondering what the growing thing was because I had forgotten about this episode) in a holosuite (that’s the short version). There is an angry mob threatening Odo, which is actually very Roddenberian (I’m taking the term out for a spin). It uses aliens (the Bajorans are not yet full members of the United Federation of Planets) to show the problems we have today.

Also part of the Odo/murder plot in the Quark-Odo relationship. Quark is always trying to get away with something without Odo knowing about it, but he knows Odo very well. He knows Odo would not commit murder and says so. It’s touching.

Speaking of Odo and Quark, Odo says to Quark of the likelihood of a Sisko-Dax romance, “You might as well try to find a drink of water on the Yadozi Desert.” Does it really matter which desert you’re in? Just saying.

This episode does a really nice job of further setting up relationships. In addition to the Odo-Quark dynamic, we see Sisko and Dax, Bashir trying yet again to get with Dax, and we see, for the first time in the series, Keiko O’Brien. She is not happy about the prospect of raising Molly on the space station. Plus, as a botanist, she wants to feel useful.

In the end, Keiko starts a school, which helps to keep Jake Sisko and Nog out of trouble. All of the students in her class seem to be of different ages, but America still has one-room schoolhouses.

I think that’s all for this entry. I’ll leave you with this video I found. It’s the DS9 main title with lyrics! I don’t know if it is geektastically awesome or just truly bad. You be the judge:

If you’re interested, here is the video of the man himself singing it.

– Evan Bindelglass

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1 Response to Reviews: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – “Past Prologue” and “A Man Alone”

  1. grimdon01 says:

    Liking your posts – I’m going through the DS9 box set at about the same pace (just started season 2) so it’s good to see someone else’s contemporary reflections on each episode. Keep up the good work. I have to say I found “Move Along Home” a lot more corny than you did but liked your analysis of the morals behind it.

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