Time travel is a hard thing to pull off and Star Trek has always been good at managing to work around the temporal anomalies and paradoxes. While Trek does sometimes play fast and loose with the concept of Time travel, switching back and forth between altering the future to creating alternate timelines when the story demands it, the episodes involving time travel have usually been pretty solid. Today, we are faced with the outcome of something, before that event actually occurred. Asking the question, do you have a right to change that outcome if you know it has already happened? Originally airing on May 5, 1997, this is Children of Time.
Station Log Stardate 50814.2 Children of Time
Investigating a planet, the crew are shocked to learn that in just a few days they will crash two hundred years in the past when they meet their own descendants. They now must decide whether to allow their descendants a chance at life or to save the crew, erasing this possible future forever.
Returning to DS9 after a week long correspondence mission in Dominion Space, the Crew of the Defiant discover a planet with an odd barrier. Entering the barrier, Kira is shocked with a strange energy which also causes the ship to receive damage that will take a few days to repair. Soon they are contacted by the surface by a group of humans who were not previously detected with scans. Beaming down, they find a settlement composed of 8000 people who claim they are the descendants of the Defiant’s crew.
Jadzia scans a man who claims to be Yedrin Dax, who turns out to, in fact, have the symbiote in him. Their descendants take the crew through the town introducing them to their future generations. Yedrin Dax and Miranda O’Brien inform the crew that only 48 members survived but those 48 managed to survive long enough to build quite the settlement. They soon learn that, in their attempt to escape, the Defiant crashed and, among the casualties, Kira did not survive due to the shock she received.
Yedrin informs them that he believes they can leave and keep the colony intact using what happened to Kira as an anchor point. It seems that the discharge created a duplicate that could allow them to duplicate the entire ship allowing them to both escape and crash at the same time.
Back on the ship, Kira learns that Odo is stuck in his gelatinous form due to the planetary interference, but is shocked with future Odo arrives in the Infirmary to meet with her. Odo tells her that he has longed to see her again and tells her that he has waited for 200 years to tell her that he loves her and has since before their crash. While flattered, she is also saddened that they never found each other before her death in the upcoming crash.
While the Dax’s begin working on the plan to duplicate the Defiant, Worf comes in contact with The Son’s of Mogh who are Klingon both by birth and by choice. They ask Worf to feast with them that night in a ceremony honoring the Klingon Warriors presence on the planet. Julian also finds his descendants to be fascinating but Miles finds this fate to be a troubling matter.
Visiting her own grave, Kira finds it odd to be praying over her own grave. Odo explains to her that he has changed greatly in his time with the colony and, the Odo she knows will change as well should she give him time to. He hopes that they will be able to have a life together in the alternate future.
Despite all of the excitement, Jadzia discovers that Yedrin has faked his data and there will be no duplicate ship. In order to protect his own time line, Yedrin faked the data so that everything would happen as it did originally. Sisko is furious at his old friends deception but learns that he has felt guilt ever since the crash. He blames himself for insisting the Defiant explore the planet not paying attention to the possibility of the energy barrier being dangerous. He explains that he has taken responsibility for the past two centuries making amends for his actions and does not want to allow them all to be erased. Sisko refuses to allow Yedrin to strand them there despite the possibility of the colony vanishing once they leave.
That night, everyone begins to come to terms with the fact that they may no longer exist in the the next 24 hours. Worf bonds with his Klingon ancestors who are concerned that, should they cease to exist, they will not make it into Stovokor. Meanwhile, Kira has second thoughts and tells Odo that she has chosen to allow history to take it’s course, even if it means she is to die there.
Kira makes her wishes known to the crew but Sisko informs the crew that they are not considering allowing the Defiant to crash. Although the crew is split on the decision, they all decide to leave together, knowing that the multiple generations will no longer exists in a matter of hours. Despite the knowledge of their impending nullification, Sisko is shocked to see the community still act as if things are not going to change, even participating in their annual Planting Day. As the crew help the colony with their planting, the crew come to the decision that they have to allow history to repeat itself.
Back on the Defiant, Odo pleads with Kira to not go through with their plan but she informs him they have no other option. Launching a probe to tell their families about their fate, the Defiant begins their historic escape attempt and are shocked when the ship avoids the anomaly and clears the barrier unscathed. It seems that someone changed their flight plan erasing the settlement, saving the ship. Sisko believes that it was Yedrin who changed the ships flight plan but it is soon revealed that the future Odo was in fact responsible. Odo informs Kira that the old Odo linked with him before leaving and informed younger Odo about the fact that Kira knows of his love for her. Old Odo could not allow a future without Kira to exist and Kira is devastated at the news that he traded the lives of 8000 people for hers.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This one is an interesting take on time travel asking the question, what happens when you discover that your decisions resulted in something bigger than yourself and, do you have the right to alter a future that you inadvertently created? It is some deep thought and, while this episode has little ramification to the show as a whole (outside of the Kira/Odo thing), it is played off in a pretty solid fashion.
The thing I love most about this episode is that it gives a very cool idea of how things could end up in the next 200 years for Star Trek as a whole. With Discovery about to launch some 950 years into the future I have to wonder if the writers of the new series took notes from how this small colony wound up in the intermingling of the different alien races. It really makes me wonder if there will even be a Star Fleet in that far flung future and, if there is, what changes to the different alien races will be made.
Now for the Elephant in the Room, Kira and Odo. This is the classic ‘Will they/ Won’t they’ situation so many series put themselves through and, frankly, I had hoped that Star Trek could avoid that sort of thing with DS9 but, of course, they couldn’t. Personally, I always thought the Odo/Kira relationship came off a little forced. They had a wonderful friendship and keeping it at this deep and strong familial relationship really gave the two of them something seldom seen in a series. This was a relationship with no physical or sexual undertones, one that worked purely on respect and admiration, sadly, now we are going to have to deal with them being a couple while we already have that covered by Worf and Dax. That being said, their relationship doesn’t totally suck, but I do wish they had gone a different route with it.
Overall, Solid episode with a cool take on time travel with the cast nailing it every step of the way. This is quality Trek warts and all.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We learn that Shakaar and Kira have broken up because the prophets indicated that they shouldn’t be together. Yeesh, those prophets get in the way of everything!
- This is one of the few episodes we get to see Odo without his makeup. I imagine Rene Auberjonois was pleased to have a reprieve for once.
- I do love the Klingons descendants in this one. They look like a pretty fierce and rather egotistical bunch of warrior hippies.
- I wonder if Sisko was visited by the Temporal Agents again. Man I bet they hated this one for the predestination paradox.
- I won’t get into the paradoxes this particular episode presented but if you are interested, you should check out the page for this episode on Memory Alpha.
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: Blaze of Glory
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Late To The Game 1/1/2022 (Originally published 11/25/2019)
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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