The Rewatch 210: Emissary

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode:  1.01/02 Emissary (01/04/1994)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 1/1

Notable Guest Stars:
 Patrick Stewart (Picard) – Odd seeing him as a Guest star, but technically he is. 
Camille Saviola (Kai Opaka)-
Saviola plays the part of Kai Opaka for four episodes, and is referenced in several more.  She had a long Broadway career.  She recently passed away in October 2021.
Felcia M. Bell (Jennifer Sisko) –
Bell is known for her soap opera credits on Days of Our Lives and General Hospital.  She has since focused her career on holistic health.
Aron Eisenberg (Nog)- E
isenberg will play Quark’s nephew for all seven seasons of the series. The actor was 25 when the pilot was aired, making him slightly older than the character he plays.  Unfortunately he died in 2019 due to lifelong medical issues.
Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat)-
Alaimo played several characters over the past few years, but Gul Dukat is his most notable role.  He’ll appear on this series at least 34 more times.
Max Grodenchik (Rom/Pit Boss)-
Grodenchik has played various Ferengi over the years, but Rom will be his most known role.  He is actually credited as “Ferengi Pitt Boss” in this episode, though he would eventually be Rom.
J.G. Hertzler (Vulcan Captain) –
He is more known as Martok, Worf’s mentor later in the series.

Review:

 Hello, Distinguished readers, we are finally into another show in the franchise.  On January 4, 1994  Deep Space Nine premiered.  So not only do we have a storyline to review, but also a whole group of characters that all have character development in this episode – because they have to. This episode is primarily to set the scene for the tale and the characters therein.  There is a plot, but its mostly getting the characters where they need to be.

Recently in TNG, we were told that Cardassia was removing its people from the Bajoran sector after nearly 60 years.  The Federation decides to help Bajor heal from its occupation by stepping in and running the space station located near the planet.

Its really important to this episode to understand who the Bajorans are.  So the episodes where Ro Laren told her backstory – they are important for DS9.  In fact, I would hazard a guess that Kira Nerys is a lot like Ro in general.  In fact, the role was initially Ro to begin with, but Michelle Forbes declined the role. So instead, we have Kira, who is pretty awesome herself.

Benjamin Sisko is our “lead”.  I feel like Star Trek is often seen as an ensemble show, and I agree that it is.  However, there is always the lead person of the ensemble.  Usually it’s a Captain, but Sisko is only a commander in this point in the series.  He’s a man slightly imbittered by the death of his wife.  He certainly seems to see no line between Locutus and Picard, actively showing disrespect to the captain.  Which…. isn’t normal for Starfleet.  But He’ll marginally deal with that during this episode.

We also have Jadzia Dax. For the purposes of this episode, the Trill were redesigned as the make-up team decided that the previous form was not helpful for continuous use, and it did not look well on Terry Ferrell. So they made the patterns that would continue to be the Trill look for the rest of the franchise. I do think there is a book that gives a reason why Oden looked the way he had.

This episode doesn’t really establish Jadzia as much as one would think.  She does her science stuff, but the general love of life and joyfulness she expresses isn’t quite in full force in this episode.

Colm Meaney finally is given a proper rank as Chief Petty Officer and Operations Chief.  I sense a bit more Scotty is in O’Brien then there was in Geordi.  We don’t get much on Miles, but then we have had several seasons ofTNG to develop what we know of him.  He helps branch the two shows much more then Picard’s appearance does.

Odo is shown to be the security officer, although his official role in the series isn’t quite made clear till later episodes. It is established that Odo does not know what species he is, or where he has come from.  This is actually a very strong ongoing plot arc in the series.

Quark is my favorite Ferengi. I knew Quark first I think, before I ever saw the TNG Ferengi, and I think that is why I’m always a bit surprised when the Ferengi seem less intelligent and goofy then what I expected. Quark is equally up to shenanigans, but he doesn’t come across as the goofy easily deceived Ferengi of the past.

Then we have Julian Bashir.  I should admit ahead of time that Julian is one of my favorite characters. He’s a little goofy in this episode, and nearly gets stabbed by Kira when he refers to Bajor as the wilderness. I will say, having already seen DS9, season 1 is not Julian’s best season on this show.  But he’s still my favorite.  One element of his character arc is that in season 6 we find out that Julian is genetically enhanced with a high IQ and superior motor skills.  He generally likes to help people though. I’ll be trying to look at the earlier episodes with that in mind because that plot line always seemed a little bit late in the game to really be built on. So I’m going to try to find bits and pieces to help me meld that story in.

This is a great episode, and definitely a must see for DS9 as it sets up the entire arc of the show.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Rick Berman and Michael Piller
  • Directed by David Carson
  •  Terry Ferrell had trouble adjusting to her role, being hired late in the production process.  She had enough issues she had hoped she be fired.
  • This episode provides a missing scene of sorts – the battle of Wolf 359- from The Best of Both Worlds.
  • This episode won an Emmy For Special Visual effects and was nominated for three more technical skill Emmys.
  • Please go to Memory Alpha and read the production notes.  There are some hilarious bits of trivia for you there.
  • The Trill make-up for Terry Ferrell was vastly different then the make-up previously used.

Pros

  •  It begins!
  • The plot is pretty well written out.  So far no plot holes but it sets up a lot of possibilities for the future

Cons:

  •  Oh, Julian our sweet summer child.  Kira is going to smack you .
  • Jennifer Sisko being “fridged”.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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