Tue
Jan 7 2014 4:00pm
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Explorers”

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers, Sisko, Jake“Explorers”
Written by Hilary J. Bader and Rene Echevarria
Directed by Cliff Bole
Season 3, Episode 22
Production episode 40512-468
Original air date: May 8, 1995
Stardate: unknown

Station log: Leeta, one of the dabo girls, goes over to Bashir and hits on him under the guise of being worried about a cough she doesn’t really have. Dax interrupts to let him know that the Lexington is due to put in at the station in three weeks. The ship’s chief medical officer is Dr. Elizabeth Lense, who was the valedictorian in Bashir’s class at Starfleet Medical, for which Bashir was salutatorian. Bashir tries and fails to play it cool regarding that, while Dax twists the knife on the subject quite nastily.

Sisko returns from a trip to Bajor where he checked out an ancient archive. He’s back with a goatee and the image of a solar sailing ship that, legend has it, explored the solar system and possibly went to Cardassia. Sisko intends to build a ship just like it, using the same tools the Bajorans used then (or as close as he can get). Kira thinks it’s cool that he’s doing it, but O’Brien is skeptical that the ship will be spaceworthy. He’s even more skeptical that such a ship would’ve made it to Cardassia. Kira tartly points out that the Cardassians have always said the same thing—that Bajor could never have achieved interstellar travel before they did.

But Sisko wants to build it and see if it’s spaceworthy—he doesn’t expect to get to Cardassia, he just wants to take it out for a spin. Over the next several weeks, he does just that, using an old cargo bay that Kira has emptied for him.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers, Sisko, Jake

Making it through the Denorios Belt is the hard part. Sisko thinks that if he can just get the ship through there, it’ll go a long way toward proving the ancient Bajorans could’ve done it. Sisko wants to bring Jake along, but Leanna is supposed to be back from Bajor in a week when the ship’s done, and he really wants to see her. Sisko is obviously disappointed, but says he understands.

At one point, Dax comes by to bring him lunch. She’s enjoying seeing this side of him—the last time he geeked out over a project this much was for Jake’s nursery—and also is impressed with the level of detail. The only real difference between Sisko’s ship and the original specs is the gravity net under the deckplates (“Weightlessness makes me queasy”).

Dax also can see how disappointed Sisko is that Jake isn’t coming along. Meanwhile, Jake receives a communiqué from New Zealand that makes him at once happy and sad. He then goes to the cargo bay and asks if the invite to go along is still open. Father gives son a huge-ass hug in reply.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers, Sisko, Dukat

Dukat calls Sisko out of the blue, urging him to reconsider the trip, because it’s incredibly dangerous, and all he’ll be doing is wasting time trying and failing to prove a Bajoran fairy tale.

The Siskos set sail into the wild black yonder. They clear the station then unfurl the sails. Sisko keeps an eye on their course, asking Jake to make the occasional correction. They take a break and eat some zero-G rations, to Jake’s dismay. Sisko gets caught up in the romanticism (and the extreme quiet).

However, Jake needs to have a conversation with his Dad. He starts by handing him a padd containing a short story. Sisko reads the story and likes it—says it shows a lot of promise. Jake reveals that the communiqué was from the Pennington School in New Zealand, who’ve offered him a fellowship. Before they can discuss it further, one of the sails goes wonky...

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers, Lense

Bashir has been studying up on the latest medical stuff. He tells Dax how competitive he and Lense were in med school and he wants to be able to keep up with her. When the Lexington arrives, Lense (and several of her crewmates) go to Quark’s. Bashir sits with O’Brien across the bar, the latter urging the former to go talk to her. When he finally gets up to do so, she walks right past him without recognizing him at all.

A support strut broke, forcing Sisko to jettison a sail. With only three, he doesn’t think he can make it to the Denorios Belt—but Jake doesn’t think they should give up, so they don’t.

With help from O’Brien, Bashir drowns his sorrows. The pair of them sing “Jerusalem” while spectacularly drunk in O’Brien’s quarters. The chief figures that either Lense is secretly in love with Bashir or really hates him. Bashir decides to confront Lense and find out why she just walked past him—but O’Brien convinces him to wait until morning when he’s sober. Bashir agrees, he collapses on the couch, and they break into “Jerusalem” again.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers, O'Brien, Bashir

Jake tells Sisko that he’s not taking the fellowship—he can defer for a year—because he’s worried about Sisko. He hasn’t been on a date in a year. Jake even knows someone who wants to meet Sisko—but before he can tell him about this mystery woman he wants to set his father up with, something hits the ship, the main power goes off, and the ship, somehow, goes to warp.

Sisko realizes that the tachyon eddies near the Denorios belt were able to make the sails move—a normal ship would have too much mass to be affected by something as insubstantial as a tachyon, but the solar sails are designed to be affected by such—and they now have no clue where they are. Reluctantly, Sisko activates the portable com unit in order to contact the station, but there’s no response right away.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers, Sisko, Jake

Bashir finds Lense sitting alone at Quark’s and he, basically, introduces himself. Turns out she thought he was Andorian—he was pointed out to her at a party, which Bashir did attend with his friend Erib, an Andorian, and Lense got the two mixed up. She didn’t see him give his salutatorian speech because she was too busy being nervous about her valedictory address, so she never realized who he was. She also has read up on his work on immunotherapy with Bajorans, and they go off to the infirmary to see his latest results, which probably isn’t a euphemism.

While the Siskos wait for someone to respond to their communication, Jake tells his father about the freighter captain he wants to set him up with. Then three Cardassian ships show up—turns out they’re in the Cardassian system. Dukat contacts them to congratulate them on re-creating the journey of the ancient Bajorans. Turns out, by a startling coincidence, they just now found wreckage of an old Bajoran solar sail ship on Cardassia Prime. Isn’t that amazing?

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers

But they make up for it with a pretty nifty little fireworks display...

 

Can’t we just reverse the polarity?: In truth, a real solar sail ship would need to have sails that are waaaaaaaaaaaay bigger than this. But the ship does look cool...

The Sisko is of Bajor: We get to see Sisko’s passion for engineering up close and personal as he builds an entire sailing ship from scratch, insisting on re-creating it precisely. (The production team also went for a very Jules Verne-ish sailing ship look.) He was hoping to share it with Jake, and he does eventually, but it’s mainly so son can talk frankly to father without danger of interruption. Which doesn’t entirely work, what with sails breaking and tachyon eddies messing with stuff, but it’s the thought that counts.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers, Sisko

Don’t ask my opinion next time: Kira is thrilled that Sisko is doing this, hoping he’ll prove that eight centuries earlier, Bajorans did go to Cardassia. She’s the one who provides him with the raw material to build the ship and clears a cargo bay for him.

The slug in your belly: Dax reminds Sisko that she’s been a father more than once and reassures him that he’ll have plenty of adventures with Jake. “I could tell you stories,” she says, and Sisko smiles and says, “You already have.”

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers, Bashir, Quark

Rules of Acquisition: Quark has a bet with Morn as to how Lense and Bashir’s meeting will go. Quark wins.

No sex, please, we’re Starfleet: Leeta, a new dabo girl, totally hits all over Bashir before Dax cockblocks him. Meanwhile, Jake wants to set Sisko up with someone, since he hasn’t been on a date in over a year, and Jake himself is still apparently seeing Leanne, despite the disaster that was their double date with Nog and Riska in “Life Support.”

For Cardassia!: Cardassia’s official position is that Bajorans couldn’t possibly have visited Cardassia before the latter achieved faster-than-light travel. When Sisko proves that it could’ve happened thanks to the tachyon eddies near the Denorios Belt, the Cardassian government all of a sudden reveals an archeological find of a Bajoran solar sailboat from eight hundred years earlier. It’s a Christmas miracle!

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers, Bashir

Keep your ears open:

“You’re not an in-between kind of guy. People either love you or hate you.”

“Really?”

“I mean, I hated you when we first met.”

“I remember.”

“And now...”

“And now?”

“Well, now, I don’t.”

“That means a lot to me, Chief, it really does.”

“And that is from the heart! I really do... not hate you anymore.”

O’Brien and Bashir, both really really drunk.

Welcome aboard: Chase Masterson makes her first appearance as Leeta. Intended to be a one-off (and a make-good on rescinding casting her as Mardah in “The Abandoned”), the producers liked her enough to make her a recurring character. She’ll next appear in “Facets.” Meanwhile, Bari Hochwald plays Lense (she’ll also appear in Voyager’s “Friendship One” and Enterprise’s “Marauders”) and Marc Alaimo returns as Dukat.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers, Bashir, Leeta

Trivial matters: Sisko sports a goatée for the first time, a tonsorial choice he will retain for the rest of the series, the first step in Avery Brooks’s returning to the look he sported as Hawk on Spenser: For Hire and its spinoff A Man Called Hawk. The second step will be taken between the third and fourth seasons when he shaves his head.

This is Lense’s only onscreen appearance, but she’ll become a regular in the Starfleet Corps of Engineers series as the chief medical officer of the da Vinci for most of the series’ run. The forthcoming revelation (in “Doctor Bashir, I Presume?”) that Bashir is genetically enhanced will lead to trouble for her during the Dominion War, as Starfleet Command questions her for the better part of a month to make sure she’s not genetically enhanced or a changeling infiltrator, as seen in the stories Oaths by Glenn Hauman and your humble rewatcher’s War Stories. She will become pregnant in Wounds (a story that also features Bashir), and give birth after transferring off the da Vinci in Ghost, both stories by Ilsa J. Bick. She transfers to the Starfleet Medical Forensics Division in the latter story, and she’s still there eight years later in A Ceremony of Losses, David Mack’s contribution to The Fall miniseries. (Ilsa and I had been planning to do a six-part eBook miniseries focusing on the SMFD with Lense as the featured character—Ghost was kind of the pilot for that—but the monthly eBook line was cancelled before we could develop it.) Other stories that feature Lense heavily include Hard Crash by Christie Golden, Bitter Medicine by Dave Galanter, and Out of the Cocoon by William Leisner.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers, Bashir, Lense

Originally, Bashir and O’Brien’s drunken singing was supposed to be of “Louie Louie,” calling back to “Heart of Stone,” but the rights to use the song were too expensive; ditto their second choice of “Rocket Man.” Siddig el-Fadil and Colm Meaney suggested “Jerusalem,” which is public domain, and which both felt was the perfect song for two drunk Brits to warble.

The Siskos’ journey in the lightship was inspired by Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 journey from Peru to Tahiti to see if a pre-Columbian civilization in South America could have sailed to Polynesia.

We’ll see another Bajoran solar sailing ship in “Accession.”

The freighter captain Jake wants to set Sisko up with is Kasidy Yates, whom we’ll meet in “Family Business,” the very next episode. Jake mentions Sisko not having gone on a date in over a year, presumably referring to “Fenna” in “Second Sight.” (Jake may never have been told that she was a telepathic figment.)

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers, Sisko, Dax

The Vanguard series of novels will establish a 23rd-century journalist named Tim Pennington, after whom the school Jake is considering is named.

Walk with the Prophets: “It’s almost like being on the deck of an old sailing ship.” I absolutely adore this episode’s low-tech take on seeking out new life and new civilizations. Sisko’s enthusiasm for the light ship is infectious and delightful, and a side of him we’ve never really seen before—but one that fits, given that we know he has a background in engineering (serving at Utopia Planitia prior to “Emissary”) and ship design (“Defiant” having established that he helped design the titular vessel). I particularly love O’Brien—for whom engineering is work, dammit—going on at great length about how dangerous and risky the whole thing is, and Sisko countering his question as to why he’d do such a crazy-ass thing with, “It’ll be fun!”

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers, Sisko, O'Brien, Kira

And you can see how much fun he’s having putting it together. It’s just a pure delight to watch Sisko in action—which makes his disappointment when Jake evinces absolutely no enthusiasm for going along that much more heartbreaking.

But eventually, we learn that there’s more to it than that. Jake isn’t enthusiastic about the shipbuilding project because he’s more concerned with the fact that his father’s love life is stalling out—and then there’s the Pennington acceptance to think about. As a result, we get several excellent father-son moments. Indeed, this episode really gets to let Avery Brooks shine as Sisko through three of the character’s best facets: his enthusiasm for a fun project, his love for his son, and his friendship with Dax (the scene where she brings him lunch is a masterpiece).

Plus, of course, we have the lovely culture wars between Cardassia and Bajor. It’s something comparatively harmless compared to the other issues between the two nations, but it’s exactly the sort of thing that people argue about, so hearing Kira defend the notion that the ancient Bajorans did sail to Cardassia against all of O’Brien’s skepticism, and Dukat’s dismissal of the very idea all sound very true and real. (I do like that Dukat does seem to be genuinely concerned with Sisko’s safety. Seems their bonding in “The Maquistwo-parter and “Defiant” had an effect...) And I especially like the very science fictional solution, to wit, that the skeptics and the believers were both right. All things being equal, the sailing ship could never have made it to Cardassia—but the tachyon eddies changed the playing field.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Explorers, Sisko, Jake

The B-plot doesn’t hold together as well, though the whole thing’s worth it for the drunken bonding between O’Brien and Bashir. Honestly, even if the rest of the episode was dreadful, it would be elevated tremendously by watching Colm Meaney and Siddig el-Fadil croon “Jerusalem.” And the initial notion of Bashir being nervous about seeing Lense again works okay, but the payoff is totally unconvincing. I just find it impossible to credit that Lense never saw Bashir except at one party. Leaving aside any other consideration, there would’ve been a rehearsal for the graduation ceremony, so her claim that she was too busy stressing about her speech to see his doesn’t track.

Still, a fun little episode. It’s nice to get something a bit lighter after the heaviness of the previous two-parter.

 

Warp factor rating: 7


Keith R.A. DeCandido’s latest novel, Gryphon Precinct, is now available in Kindle and Nook format, as well as trade paperback and in audio. This is the fifth book in the acclaimed “Precinct” series of fantasy police procedurals, following Dragon Precinct, Unicorn Precinct, Goblin Precinct, and Tales from Dragon Precinct.

40 comments
Jonellin Stonebreaker
1. Jonellin Stonebreaker
An Irishman, not a Brit.

For O'Brien to sing what is effectively the informal national anthem of England (unless the O'Briens are of Protestant Ulsterman descent) , is almost like an Austrian Jew fondly singing Deutschland Uber Alles.
Beccy Higman
2. Jazzlet
I don't find it so unlikely that Lense never knew who Bashir was. One of my year at school now holds a position that means she crops up in news reports from time to time, I have absolutely no memory of her at all. There were about 170 in our year, reducing to about 70 for sixth form, so not huge groups of people. We didn't have a graduation ceremony, but I do know that there have been times I was so focused on a presentation that I did not notice those around me, except to keep an eye on when I was up.

I think that drunk Britishers singing Jerusalem is certainly plausible, but O'Brien is Irish. I suppose he could be of Northern Irish protestant stock, but he isn't played that way.
David Levinson
3. DemetriosX
It's a nice little episode, most especially because it offers a pleasant bit of downtime after the intensity of the previous two episodes.

After giving it some thought, I think it was a good idea to have Sisko initially be clean-shaven and then to phase in the Hawk look slowly. When Brooks was announced as the new captain, my friends and I made a lot of Hawk-as-captain jokes. The slow transition let viewers who knew him from Spenser see him in a different light.

As others have noted, "Jerusalem" is a bit of an odd choice for O'Brien, but if Colm Meaney was involved in picking it, he must have felt it was reasonable. Of course, this leaves us with a (presumably) Catholic and a (presumably) Muslim singing an Anglican church song (which is actually somewhat disputed within the CoE). At least it makes more sense than a Frenchman belting out "Heart of Oak". And it's a great scene.

As for Lense not recognizing Bashir, just how many Andorrians are named Julian? She was totally blowing him off.

BTW, krad, there's some weird pronoun stuff going on in the paragraph just above the Cardassian fireworks. You seem to be referring to Sisko as "her" twice.
Mike Kelmachter
4. MikeKelm
I have a feeling that this episode is probably one of Avery Brooks' favorites based upon the genuine enthusiasm he throws into this. The father-son bond is the strongest family bond that we see in Star Trek and rounds out Sisko in a way that any other male character has never had- as a family man. Avery Brooks has spoken about the importance of his character being an active parent, and this episode really lets that shine through.

It's also a very interesting choice of an episode in that the previous episodes were about Garak and his father- a relationship that was far more complex and far less emotionally satisfying than that of the Sisko's. You wonder what Garak's fate might have been had he not been the son of the director of the Obsidian Order. As he pointed out, he is a very good tailor, yet he was obviously thrust into and brainwashed into being an Obsidian Order member. Sisko on the other hand is thrilled that his son is NOT following in his footsteps, and is more focused on his child's happiness.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
5. TheFrog
It was a great episode, but I find it hard to believe that Sisko could build the entire ship alone, using only tools of the time-period within such a short timeframe- 6 weeks I think. The detail work was over the top as far as believability in my opinion.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
6. TheFrog
It was a great episode, but I find it hard to believe that Sisko could build the entire ship alone, using only tools of the time-period within such a short timeframe- 6 weeks if I remember correctly. The detail work in the ships design was over the top as far as believability in my opinion
John C. Bunnell
7. JohnCBunnell
On an Irishman singing "Jerusalem":

Remember that this is a 24th-century Irishman, not one from the present day. It seems likely that by O'Brien's time, conflicts that are still raw to us will have mellowed and settled, and that the song will have simply become an old song.

To draw a parallel: I don't have specific titles off the top of my head, but I strongly suspect that there are folk songs dating from the US Civil War era that can be sung today without carrying the political baggage they might have had two or three generations in the past. Also, even if singing such songs might still raise eyebrows if it happened in the Deep South, it might go unremarked in a region far removed from that of the original conflict (say, Oregon or Hawaii).
Allana Schneidmuller
8. blutnocheinmal
I could totally see Lense completely missing Bashir for most of their schooling. That's university.
Personally, I had 10th grade Chemistry with an ex and completely failed to recognise or remember him at all 2 years later when we were introduced.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
9. bookworm1398
@4 Interesting comparision.

It would have been more fun for her to have told Bashir, "I thought you looked familiar, but you weren't with a girl, so I figured I must be mistaken." Or something like that, which would call attention to some of how Bashir has changed since graduation.
Christopher Bennett
10. ChristopherLBennett
For the most part, I love this one. I love the builder/experimentalist side of Sisko, and the episode captures the love of exploration and pioneer spirit that's one of my favorite things about Star Trek but that all too often gets downplayed, particularly on DS9 (once the Gamma Quadrant went from being "new realm to explore" to "place where our enemies come from"). It's great to see a story where undertaking a challenging quest in the name of science is the focus of the story rather than just something going on in the background.

But the actual details strain my suspension of disbelief. As you pointed out, Keith, a solar sail craft would need immense sails, dozens or hundreds of kilometers across -- especially if it's operating as far from the primary star as the Denorios Belt must be, with commensurately dimmer sunlight. The design department really dropped the ball on this one. Granted, it might've been hard for audiences to grasp the vastness of realistic solar sails, but they could've made them at least somewhat bigger. And then there's the idea of tachyons pushing a solar sail and somehow creating a warp field -- that's pretty much complete nonsense. What kind of material could possibly be opaque to something that travels faster than light?

Although, being me, I have come up with a handwave that almost kinda sorta makes sense of it if you're in a generous mood. If we accept the conceit of a material made of bradyons (slower-than-light particles, i.e. normal matter) which is opaque, even reflective, to tachyons, then it creates a paradox. Tachyons cannot travel slower than light; but in order to be absorbed or reflected by a bradyonic material, they would have to be slowed to relative zero velocity at least momentarily. Yet the normal matter could not be accelerated to a velocity faster than light, so there's no way the tachyons could "push" it up to their speed. The only way to resolve the paradox, then, is if spacetime itself distorts, allowing the sail to remain slower than light relative to the space it occupies while also moving effectively faster than light as measured by the outside universe. And that kind of spacetime distortion is exactly what a warp field is. Still, it's a cumbersome explanation for a fanciful conceit.

The treatment of Bajoran history also doesn't sit right with me. It was implied in "Ensign Ro" that the height of ancient Bajoran civilization was deep in human prehistory. Picard said they were civilized before humans even walked upright, but that must have been a misstatement, since hominids walked upright for several million years before humans evolved. At the very least, it implies their civilization was advanced hundreds of thousands of years ago. But now this episode claims that they didn't get into space until a measly 800 years before the episode, or only 400 years before humans landed on the Moon? That's a failure of scale tantamount to the teeny-tiny solar sails.

Another failure of scale is the decision to establish Bajor and Cardassia as pretty much adjacent star systems. If they're so close that a crude solar sailship can accidentally be carried between them by a technobabble eddy, why did it take so long for Cardassia to occupy Bajor? All indications are that they'd been starfaring for some time and already built a significant empire by the time the occupation began.

The Lense subplot did nothing for me, aside from introducing Leeta, who was utterly gorgeous. Looking back, it's surprising on how cursory and tacked-on her scene here was. But I guess she impressed the producers enough that they gave her more to do.


@3: There is no reason to presume Bashir is a Muslim just because he's of Arab ancestry. One is ethnicity, the other is religion. There are a significant number of Arabs in the Mideast who are Christian or Jewish, and probably quite a few Arab Christians living in the UK. Siddig himself was raised in the Anglican Church. Whatever his ancestry, Bashir is entirely English in culture and evidently as secular in belief as most every other human in the 24th century.
Keith DeCandido
11. krad
As I said in the rewatch itself, my issue with Lense not recognizing Bashir is the graduation ceremony. These things are blocked and rehearsed before the big day itself -- it strains credulity that two participants in the same event (one that has a fairly limited number of actual onstage participants) would never see each other. If it was just them attending med school together, then it would be fine, but the valedictorian and saluditorian not meeting each other during the lead-up to the graduation ceremony? Not buying it.

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Jonellin Stonebreaker
12. Alright Then
In the TNG episode "The High Ground," Data mentions Irish unification occuring in 2024. One of the provisions of the agreement was to allow future Irishmen to be able to sing any damn song they want.
Christopher Bennett
13. ChristopherLBennett
I never had any idea there was any political or nationalistic controversy about the song "Jerusalem." To me it's just that song from Monty Python's Flying Circus.
Matt Stoumbaugh
14. LazerWulf
How did Lense go from being the CMO of the Lexington to the CMO of the da Vinci?
David Levinson
15. DemetriosX
@10/13 CLB
Certainly there are non-Muslim Arabs (I went to university with a Palestinian girl who was Catholic), which is why I said presumably. I wasn't aware that Siddig is CoE. I also based that assumption on the way his parents dress later on. His father at least seems to be wearing traditional Pakistani clothing.

I must admit that I also always hear Jerusalem in Eric Idle's voice. That was my first exposure to it. I don't know that there is a political or nationalistic controversy associated with it (unless you're in Northern Ireland, in which case EVERYTHING up to and including breakfast has political and nationalistic overtones), but there seems to be a bit of religious controversy. I was checking Wikipedia to see if the Catholics might also use it, and learned that there is a lot of debate within the CoE as to whether or not it constitutes a hymn (because it doesn't directly praise God). There are conservative elements within the church who believe that it's not a hymn and thus should not be sung during services.

@11 krad
It's not just that they would have rehearsed for the same event. A class at medical school, even Starfleet Medical, is rather smaller than most. They would undoubtedly have had several classes together in which both, being at the top of their class, would have participated vocally and been acknowledged by their professors by name. Bashir certainly knew her by sight. Either she had issues with him and came up with a flimsy excuse to avoid him, or she was utterly self-absorbed.
Keith DeCandido
16. krad
DemetriosX: Well, we actually went with the "self-absorbed" theory in S.C.E. :)

LazerWulf: Lense remained on the Lexington until the end of the Dominion War and then -- after the horrors she saw there -- specifically requested a transfer to a smaller ship with a crew of only 42 that would be more focused on research and forensic stuff, and a lot less stitching together of broken bodies.

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
alastair chadwin
17. a-j
DemetriosX@15

There's no particular controversy associated with Jerusalem, but it is thought of as England's unofficial national anthem which is why it seems odd to hear an Irishman sing it. Having said that, as an Anglo-Scot who lived in Ireland for a time I will happily sing Irish songs with equal gusto. My rendition of Four Green Fields after a good dose of whiskey has been known to reduce steady men to tears.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
18. Ashcom
Colm Meaney uses his natural Dublin accent to play O'Brien, so we can reasonably presume that is where he is supposed to be from. There is, however, no reason for him not to sing Jerusalem. It is a song closely associated with English rugby. Ireland is a fierce rugby playing nation, and Bashir is a public school type who would therefore have likely been immersed in rugby culture from an early age. Hence, it would be one song both were likely to know well (assuming rugby still exists in the 24th century). Having said that, if you ever referred to O'Brien as a "Brit" you'd be likely to counting your teeth as you spit them out.
Christopher Bennett
19. ChristopherLBennett
@18: I doubt such nationalist sentiments still hold any weight in the 24th century. When you live and work among people from other planets and species, fighting over what part of the British Isles you come from seems rather pointless. O'Brien might take pride in being Irish, but I doubt it would be to the point of committing felony assault over a misattribution of his origin. As we'll see in "Hard Time," he cares deeply about living up to the high ideals of Federation-era humanity, or at least striving to. And those ideals have no room for violence in the name of ethnic or national differences.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
20. Ashcom
@19 - Well, that was a staggering overreaction! Of course I don't mean he was going to commit actual felony assault. It's a turn of phrase. I was just emphasising that you don't call an Irishman a Brit. And even 300 years from now, trust me, that's still going to be the case. Anyone who doesn't think so, really doesn't understand the Irish.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
21. Lisamarie
We have some customers in England and watched a rather humerous video on the difference between Britain, the UK, the British Isles, etc. To be honest, I still don't remember all of it! But...agreed that this may not be an issue in the 24th century, at any rate. Not so much due to the passage of time (after all, people are still fighting over divisions that are centures old) but the Federation is supposed to be above that.

Anyway - I thought it was a fun episode, and was willing to suspend my disbelief regarding Sisko being able to just build a spaceship by hand or the size of the sails. I wondered at Dukat's motivation for contacting him, at first I thought it was a veiled threat (in that there were some secret plans to shoot the ship down to make sure it didn't succeed). In light of that, the fact that they lit off a fireworks display for them was kind of cute. Ha!

As for Lense, I love how it doesn't even occur to them that maybe she just doesn't give a rip about Bashir or care who he is!
Jonellin Stonebreaker
22. DougL
Let me get this straight Colm J. Meaney is Irish right? So if he was fine singing the song why anyone else give a crap what if he wants to sing it? Especially if the people complaining in this thread are not Irish, then it's again liberal elites getting offended on behalf of other people. If you are Irish, well, complain away, I understand.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
23. RobinM
This is one of my favorite episodes because it's Jake and Sisko doing normal father /son bonding stuff and shows a more mellow side to Sisko while he puts the ship together. The subplot with Bashir I figured it was just her being oblivious and considering the size of my college graduation ceremony I wasn't really shocked by her excuse. The singing was funny but I had no idea about the song being a problem. It must be okay if Meany picked it.
Jordan DeLange
24. killtacular
I'm just gonna say I had forgotten about the fireworks scene the Cardassians put on at the very end until I watched this episode again a few weeks ago. For some reason, I found it surprisingly heartwarming.
Christopher Bennett
25. ChristopherLBennett
@21: We're at the stage of the series where Cardassia was officially at peace with Bajor and with the Federation, so it makes sense that they wouldn't have dared shooting Sisko's ship down. The political cost of that would've been greater than the cultural embarrassment of letting the truth come out. So instead they just found a way to save face.
David Levinson
26. DemetriosX
@22
Nobody's offended. Some of us just found it an odd choice. If the song has strong rugby associations as well, then maybe O'Brien has a close relative who plays rugby for an English team and he tosses a bit of support their way. After all, it's not like rugby is a real sport like hurling.

@25
Also, the Cardassians know that it's Sisko piloting the ship. It isn't all that long since they had a major diplomatic incident involving a Starfleet captain. Who wants another one? And if they've been following closely, they should have now realized that the Bajorans reaching Cardassia was largely an accident. Plenty of room for them to save face by denigrating the whole thing as not a real achievement.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
27. McKay B
@4: Well, O'Brien is a family man too, and sometimes even does a good job with his family relationships. :) But yeah, the Sisko/Jake relationship is amazingly well-done almost every time, and REALLY rounds out Sisko's character well. It's one of the main things that eventually elevated Sisko to the point where I have a hard time choosing a favorite between him and Picard (and Chakotay).
Jonellin Stonebreaker
28. Alright Then
Off-topic

Not long ago Krad reviewed the Gabriel Bell two-parter, Past Tense. You know, the one with the "sanctuary districts." Well, today President Obama announced "promise zones" to combat poverty. Uh... hopefully these zones are more successful than what we saw on DS9, but I gotta say...

Star Trek, you scare me sometimes.
Christopher Bennett
29. ChristopherLBennett
@28: I don't see the comparison. The "Promise Zones" are, as USA Today puts it, "troubled neighborhoods... eligible for tax breaks and other forms of assistance designed to create jobs and improve education, housing and public safety." That's nothing like walled-in concentration camps for homeless people. I don't know why you think there's any similarity here.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
30. Alright Then
@29

I didn't say it was the exact same thing, only the gum drops and lollipops branding of these things as "promise zones" reminded me of "sanctuary districts." And the fact both dealt with poverty. Clear now?

And by the way, my comment was societal, not politcal, so don't get your feathers too ruffled. I know how comment boards can go off the rails with these sort of things.
Christopher Bennett
31. ChristopherLBennett
My feathers aren't ruffled; I was just confused as to why you'd think the two resembled each other in any way.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
32. Alright Then
@31

Okay, cool. Sorry for jumping the gun there. Didn't want to turn this into one of those political rant boards or anything. Just something I noticed in the news today.

Back to "Explorers." I remember this episode fondly, particularly the fireworks display by the Cardassians. It made me think for a moment, in a very Trek way: "Hey, maybe these guys aren't so bad after all---"

Then the war started....
Jonellin Stonebreaker
33. Randy McDonald
"[W]hy did it take so long for Cardassia to occupy Bajor? All indications
are that they'd been starfaring for some time and already built a
significant empire by the time the occupation began."

Perhaps it was _because_ Bajor was a significant and technologically advanced species it took so long for Cardassia to occupy it. It might be that it was only after Cardassia established a larger empire elsewhere that it was strong enough to take on its neighbour.
Dante Hopkins
35. DanteHopkins
It never dawned on me O'Brien singing "Jerusalem" would be seen as an "odd choice" for a series set in the 24th century. We're all aware of this, right? That our squabbles over national origin would be COMPLETELY irrelevant in this 24th century?

Anyhow, I love this episode, some nice quiet after the previous two-parter, and some great father-son moments, ones I never had as someone Jake's age. Watching again 19 years later, I experience the father side of the trip. I could careless about whether they got to Cardassia or how, the trip for me was about the bonding between father and son.

I really thank the writing and casting departments of DS9 for these excellent moments.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
36. Lisamarie
@32 *plugs ears* la la la la la I can't hear you! I am going to happily continue in my delusion that Gul Dukat is on his way to be coming awesomesauce and will stay that way ;)
Jonellin Stonebreaker
37. hestiashearthfire
So love this episode. Great sense of wonder.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
38. Eoin8472
It never dawned on me O'Brien singing "Jerusalem" would be seen as an"odd choice" for a series set in the 24th century. We're all aware of
this, right? That our squabbles over national origin would be COMPLETELY irrelevant in this 24th century?

Not completedly true to me. In"Lower Decks", a waiter thinks Riker is Canadian rather then from Alaska. We know that Picard occassionally used French words despite protestations that French was an archaic language on the show, (in Code of Honour). Its not squabbling over national origin buts its not exactly saying that all of Earth is now one big same culture. No wars, but people are from certain places. Despite his accent, Picard isn't English, Riker isn't Canadian, O'Brian isn't British.
Christopher Bennett
39. ChristopherLBennett
@38: Of course different cultures still exist in the 24th century. The point is that they've outgrown the notion that difference is a reason for conflict. They understand that our differences from one another are a source of strength, beauty, and fascination, something to be celebrated rather than ashamed of, condemned, or fought over.
Jonellin Stonebreaker
40. Eoin8472
Sure, and I agree that I doubt O'Brian would punch someone. He would probably just calmly correct the misassumption that he is British. But its still incorrect in the epsiode summary to label O'Brian as a "Brit", even if he was singing a "British" song. I have no problem with the episode singing the song. But the episode summary is wrong, O'Brian isn't a Brit. Or maybe we should just refer to Picard as English and Riker as Canadian from now on to be equally inconsistant.

(There could have been a semi-legit case of labelling him a Brit, if O'Brian was from Northern Ireland. We know that "The High Ground" states that Ireland was reunified at some stage. So if he was from Belfast, we could label him as a "Brit" to satisfy our current political real-life sensibilities even if in universe he was a reunified "Irish" person. But he wasn't from Belfast, we know he has family in Dublin.)
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
41. Lisamarie
I haaaaaate to be this person, but it's O'Brien. Not O'Brian. I'm very sensitive to my last name being mispelled, and given that we're talking about the importance of cultural identity...just thought I'd throw that out there ;)

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment