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DS9 1-14

DS9 1x14
"The Storyteller"

Original airdate: 5/2/1993
Rewatch date: 6/12/2013

Bashir and O'Brien visit a Bajoran village that is under an annual siege by a mysterious force, while Sisko is tasked with mediating a Bajoran border dispute.

Spoiler-free notes:

On one hand, TNG pretty much mined the "mediating a dispute" trope as much as it possibly could, so I find it hard to get excited by that particular plotline. On the other hand, it might be interesting to see how the more complex and conflicted characters of DS9 handle it.

The actor who plays The Sirah, Kay Kuter, also plays the Cytherian in TNG's "The Nth Degree."

The Dal'rok effects are pretty bad.

There are some good ideas here, like the pairing of Bashir and O'Brien in order to make both characters more interesting and the idea of a puzzle show with a time limit, but the story never quite follows through on any of them. O'Brien and Bashir never really find common ground to build upon; O'Brien never actually solves the puzzle (Hovarth just explains it all in a long bit of exposition); and the B story with the border dispute never gets a chance to reflect upon the murkier morality and more muddled politics of DS9, instead choosing to deflect the whole problem upon Jake and Nog. There could have been some neat juxtapositions between these stories--with Bashir and O'Brien learning how to deal with one another, Jake and Nog learning how to be better influences on one another, and the two sides of the border dispute learning how to solve a sticky political issue--but the story wastes a lot of time with the main "storyteller" puzzle, which is pretty bland and undercooked. This was a script that needed a lot more time to evolve.

Spoiler section:

The actor who plays Hovath, Lawrence Monoson, also plays First Officer Matthew Ryan in ENT's "Fortunate Son."

Jake mentions Buck Bokai, a great 21st Century baseball player, who will appear in "If Wishes Were Horses."

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