Rewatch · Star Trek · Television shows · tv reviews

The Rewatch 211: Passenger

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode:  1.09 Passenger (02/22/1993)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1 (There are some dubious stunning’s but I like to think everyone lived)

Notable Guest Stars:
Caitlin Brown (Ty Kajada)- She appeared in Babylon Five, which is often compared to DS9. She also appeared in TNG, starred the horror film All about Evil.

James Lashly (Lt. George Primmin)- Lashly appears in so many of the shows I watched growing up yet I really never noticed him which I now need to fix.  He appeared on Gilmore Girls, Bones, Charmed, Judging Amy, Wild Wild West, ER, Pretender, and also TNG (3 years prior).

Christopher Colins (Durg) – Colins has a long voice acting filmography, including being the Cobra Commander on GI Joe, and the original Mr. Burns (exxxxelllant).  Unfortunately, he died from a hemorrhage in 1994, a little over a year after this episode aired.

James Harper (The Original Rao Vantika)- He was in the 1998 hit film Armageddon and has been known for being the voice of Arcturus Mengsk on StarCraft video games.  He also did a spin on General Hospital in the late 2000s.

Review:

Alternative title for this episode could be “Julian Bashir on how to alienate people”. I’ve been trying to watch DS9 this time with the intent on finding ways of believing that Julian’s big reveal in season 6 was a long term plan and not an off the cuff drama enducer.  For those of you watching for the first time, Julian admits to being augmented/genetically enhanced and that supposedly a lot of his behavior in the early seasons was his attempt to hide this fact.

I’m still not sure I believe that was the plan all along, but I’m trying.

The episode begins with Julian and Kira returning home to DS9 after treating a patient that had appeared to be dead but Julian figured out it was a parasite and was able to bring them back.  Kira is impressed, but Julian basically ruins it by tooting his own horn and acting obnoxious about his brilliance.  Kira refrains from throwing him out an airlock.  Considering his fauxpas when he arrived, Its not hard to believe that Kira is finding it hard to like Julian.

However, despite being the most annoying man in the world at the moment, he also is the type of guy who runs into a prisoner’s cell to help him even if he’s told its too dangerous.  We have to give him some credit.

I probably should mention that Julian is my favorite character on this series.  I love him even when he’s at his most annoying – which to be fair is basically season 1.  As time goes by he gets better, I swear.

Back to the episode, as I was saying Julian rushes in to save a prisoner, only he doesn’t succeed this time and the prisoner dies – sorta.

Vantika – that would be the bad guy – has taken over Julian’s brain.  He can only surface when Julian is asleep, although it is suggested that he has some ability to enforce the sleep on Julian so he can do what he needs to do.  He used glial cells, which are a real thing, to transfer his electrical signals to Julian’s brain and reestablish himself there.

Sometimes the science in Star Trek can be hit or miss.  Sometimes its just ahead of its time, sometimes drama is the name of the game.  In this case it seems a bit of truth and a bit of drama.  Glial cells are connective tissue that runs between our neurons helping them work and providing support.  I’m not exactly how the electrical signal could carry through connective tissue and not be interacting with the neurons, but hey, its science fiction and at least I learned something today. (Note:  called my mom whose a nurse and she says everything is basically electrical pulses so it makes sense…that far anyway.  She wanted me to know that there is no way to transfer consciousness).

 So I’m going to give this episode a 4/5.  It has some interesting character pieces (mostly Julian and Odo really) and also a somewhat realistic science plot.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Morgan Gendel, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, and Michael Piller
  •  Directed by Paul Lynch
  • This episode was originally meant to have Kajada get processed by Vantika but was revised later to be Bashir.  It was also written as a way to give Alexander Siddig meatier to work with then what they had been writing for Bashir.  He was less then impressed when they handed him the script the day before filming and never really cared for his performance in this episode.  He also had to redub his words as Vantika because the voice he choose at first didn’t feel like it fitted to the crew.
  • This episode references Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

Pros

  •  Some Julian screen time.  I do think that the redub did an excellent job.  Vantika!Julian had more sharp consonants then Julian when he’s himself. 
  • Odo characterization
  • Some actual science ties

Cons:

  •   I feel that perhaps the Julian as Vantika wasn’t used quite as well as it could have been.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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