A sinking ship, an endangered crew. Originally aired on November 6th, 1995, this is Starship Down.
Station Log Stardate 49263.5 Starship Down
Sisko and crew must defend a Karemma ship when they find themselves under attack by the Jem’Hadar.
After discovering that the Ferengi have been inflating costs while acting as a intermediary between the Karemma and the Federation, Sisko is surprised by an attack by the Jem’Hadar. As the Karemma ship flees into the dangerous atmosphere of a nearby Gas Giant, Sisko takes the Defiant in to follow and protect them. The Defiant is soon attacked by the Jem’Hadar only to find themselves in greater danger as the ship begins to sink into the atmosphere of the gas giant.
O’Brien beings working on the damage caused by the attack when the ship begins having more issues as it sinks deeper into the gas giant. Jadzia heads down to repair some of the damage to allow the ship to regain power in order to continue their defense of the Karemma ship. However, as soon as she completes the repairs the bulkheads begin to buckle and Doctor Bashir mounts a rescue of the crew who have become trapped in the lower decks. Determined to save Jadzia he soon finds them both trapped in a turbo-lift and in danger.
With the ship functioning again, Sisko goes on the hunt for the Jem’Hadar ship only to have the ship struck by an enemy torpedo. After striking his head, Sisko finds himself with a dangerous conclusion and all communications are knocked out preventing all crew-members aboard the ship to assume the worst. Knowing they need to get the ship operational, Worf heads out to engineering while Kira stays behind to keep Sisko from slipping into a coma.
Arriving in Engineering, Worf begins to take command being gruff and demanding, much to the chagrin of O’Brien. Things begin looking up when the ship is attacked again, this time resulting in a torpedo being lodged in the side of the ship, where Quark and Hanock happen to be. Now, with an unexploded torpedo in the hull, Worf and team must find a way to disable it before it destroys the ship. Soon Worf begins devising a plan to help save the ship and, after discovering that he may be being too gruff with the crew, he begins to work with them to find a way to get weapons back online.
Back on the bridge, Kira finds herself desperate to save Sisko’s life, fearing for the future of Bajor and for her friend as the Captain begins slipping closer and closer to a coma. Meanwhile, Quark finds himself in a tense situation as he tries to disarm the torpedo that could ultimately kill them all. Taking a risk, Quark manages to hit a winner by disarming the torpedo much to his own surprise. With this save, Quark manages to not only save the ship, but also his trade agreement.
Things finally come to a head when the Jem’Hadar return to finish the job. Worf, now commanding a fully armed ship, manages to destroy the enemy and rescue the Karemma ship. With Sisko recovering, Julian and Jadzia rescued and Quark back in business, they all return to DS9 a little bit wiser.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is somewhat of a sequel to the first time the Ferengi visited the Gamma Quadrant in the season two episode Rules of Acquisition. Following up with the trade negotiations with Hanok of the Karemma (played by James Cromwell), we see that, even though the Dominion have made their hatred for the Federation clear, they don’t seem to mind the Ferengi all that much. This changes, of course, when the Dominion spot the Defiant nearby and decide enough is enough.
The core of the story is based on the classic nautical adventure stories like The Poseidon adventure, Hunt for Red October or Das Boot. With the Defiant in place of the sub, we get a chance to see how this, normally station bound crew, react in a genuine ship emergency. While Worf and O’Brien had plenty of experience with ship disasters aboard the USS Enterprise, the rest of the crew (outside of Sisko), really haven’t seen this kind of action as a group, or at least it hasn’t really be depicted on the show so far.
While this episode has little ramifications for the series it does set up some great character development for various members of the crew. We get to see Worf as he learns the burden of command the hard way with a group of Engineers who really are not used to Bridge Style orders. It is a step in the right direction for Worf helping to develop him into a more well rounded character.
Although they have worked together for the past three years, the dynamic between Sisko and Kira has been more of a business relationship than anything else, Due to her actions, we start to see the glimmer of true friendship between the two, a friendship that will be most valuable for them both in the coming seasons.
Finally, Julian finally gets a chance to rescue Jadzia and realizes that, while he has fantasized about her, he really just wants to be her friend. While it may seem like they will be getting together after this…well…you know what a red herring is right?
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We learn that the Bajoran’s have an annual celebration around The Emissary’s arrival, something Sisko tends to avoid attending.
- This is James Cromwell’s first and last appearance on DS9, we will see him again on First Contact as Zefram Cochrane.
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Late To The Game 8/1/2021 (Originally published 8/21/2019)
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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