What do Ferengi and Martians have in common? Find out on the episode that originally aired on November 13,1995. This is Little Green Men.
Station Log Stardate: 1947? Little Green Men
On their way to send Rom off to Star Fleet Academy, Quark, Rom and Nog find themselves crash-landed in Roswell New Mexico in the year 1947.
Rom announces to the bar that his son Nog has been accepted to Star Fleet Academy and, as is tradition, they are auctioning off Nog’s childhood possessions to raise capitol. Worf soon finds that he has an affinity for the Ferengi’s tooth sharpener.
Quark surprises Rom with the news that he has received his new ship that was owed him by their cousin Gaila. Wanting to test drive his new shuttle, Quark agrees to take Nog to Earth but it seems that Quark isn’t being nice just for the sake of a test drive.
After saying his goodbyes, Nog heads off to Earth aboard the shuttle Quark’s Treasure. As they head to their destination, Rom informs Quark that he knows about his little smuggling plan and both Rom and Nog swindle the bartender out of 20% of the profit. Just as they near the planet, they discover that their cousin Gaila has sabotaged the shuttle preventing them from coming out of Warp. Just as things look bad, Rom jettisons their payload and the ship begins to vanish. Quark awakens to find himself in a a strange room with a 20th century army officer alerting his commanders that the aliens have awakened.
Being secretly observed by soldiers, Quark, Rom and Nog begin investigate their surroundings. It is clear that they are not at Star Fleet academy and they are soon approached by the 20th century humans. Immediately, the three Ferengi discover that they can’t use their universal translators and so can not understand the humans, and , in turn the humans can’t understand them. Quark suddenly realizes that these are primitive humans and he might be able to make a profit.
Giving Quark a physical, Faith Garland and her fiance Jeff Carlson find themselves amazed at the ‘martians’ actions. Soon Rom gets a bobby-pin from Faith and attempts to reset the universal translator in Nog’s head. Successful, Quark soon introduces himself as the Chief Financial Officer of the Ferengi Alliance and informs them that he is there to make them a deal. The General, not trusting this martian, informs Quark that he isn’t sure about him.
After getting into their good graces, Quark is surprised when he discovers that someone else has stowed away on their ship. Odo, knowing that Quark was smuggling kemocite. Odo informs them that the ship is still functional and that they need to plan their escape. Rom is sure that they can go back to their own time using the same method they got there but Quark has other plans, he hopes to take over Earth and sell their ship to their own Ferengi ancestors. Odo disagrees and informs the trio that he will have the ship ready in six hours and, despite Quarks insistence to the contrary, they will all be going back together.
Just as things are looking up, the trio are swept away and interrogated by the human soldiers. Unfortunately it seems that Sodium Pentathol doesn’t work on them and the soldiers can not find a way to make them ‘tell the truth’. With this setback, the interrogating captain decides threaten the Ferengi with dissection. Nog informs them that the Ferengi are plotting an invasion and they plan to send Klingon shock troopers to take over the planet. Showing the Captain where they plan to invade, Rom attempts an escape allowing Faith and Jeff to free them and escape to their ship.
Needing a significant source of power to jump the ship into time travel, they fly the shuttle into a nuclear test, transporting them all safely back to the 24th century. Nog is dropped of on Earth and Odo arrests Quark for smuggling. Rom finds himself in charge for the first time in a while.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
I love this episode. While it is a filler ep, it is done in such a clever way that only Deep Space Nine could have pulled it off. Sure, Time Travel has been done tons of times in the Star Trek franchise, from Kirk’s visit to the 1930’s to Picard’s romp in the 1800’s in Time’s Arrow, this trope has been explored time and again but never with such a light hearted tone.
This time there is no threat to the galaxy, no ship about to explode and certainly no mysterious artifact to investigate, this time it is simply a road trip that took a severely wrong turn. That being the case, we finally get to see how ‘normal people’ would react in a situation like this as most of the time we only see time travel through the eyes of proper Star Fleet officers. Well, normal is a relative term when it comes to Ferengi but you know what I mean. Gone is the parlance of worrying about the timeline (although Nog tries to mention it), gone is the paradox of knowing too much about your future, in it’s place is the opportunity to make a profit. I mean, in all honesty, if you were stuck in the past wouldn’t you try to make a little money off of your knowledge of the future? That being said, I wonder how long it would have taken Quark to realize he would never know how to build any of the things he wanted to sell and if he thought he would recreate the shuttles tech using 20th century hardware, he was sadly diluted.
Overall, this was a nice fun moment in the season giving us an enjoyable glimpse into Quark’s dynamic with his brother and Nephew, plus it got Nog to Star Fleet Academy which will be a major subject in the future.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Apparently Quark really trusts Morn as the Ferengi leaves the loudmouth Lurian in charge of his bar while he is away.
- We learn that the Ferengi never developed Warp technology on their own, in fact they purchased it from someone else.
- There is a cool reference to Gabriel Bell and the two part episode Past Tense in which Nog finds Sisko’s photo under the famed resistance fighter’s profile.
- Apparently this episode was done as an homage to the classic scifi movies of the 40’s and 50’s.
- You might recognize some of the human actors in this one as they are all people who have been in a ton of scifi. Megan Gallagher, Charles Napier and Conner O’Farrell have all appeared on several episodes of Star Trek in addition to numerous other television series and movies.
- New Rules of Acquisition!
- Rule #203: this one was mentioned but not spelled out.
- Rule #62: The riskier the road, the greater the profit.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: The Sword of Kahless
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Late To The Game 8/7/2021 (Originally published 8/23/2019)
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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