The crack of the bat, the smell of roasted peanuts, It’s Ben Sisko’s favorite game and the subject of the episode that originally aired on October 21,1998. This is Take me Out To The Holosuite.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined: Take Me Out To The Holosuite
It’s Baseball fever on the station and Ben Sisko is determined to prove to a rival captain that the crew of Deep Space Nine can beat the crew of the USS T’Kumbra.
Ben Sisko greets visiting Captain Solok of the USS T’Kumbra as his ship is docked for repairs. It is immediately clear that the two have a rivalry when Solok comments on the inefficiency of the station. Things get even more heated when Solok requests a holosuite for his senior staff to play an ancient Earth game. Intrigued, Captain Sisko assembles his own senior staff to form a team to play Baseball.
The rest of the episode plays out like a combination of A League of Their Own, Major League and Bad News Bears. I could go through the beats but honestly, I can sum it up pretty quickly. Several of the crew-members take the game too seriously while others look at it as nothing but a silly mandatory event. They go through a rough training period, clearly showing they have no talent, and, eventually, pull together as a team. Ben even convinces Odo to act as the Umpire and talks his girlfriend, Kasidy, into playing as well.
While you would expect the main characters to win, in the end it is actually Solok’s team that wins the game. Sisko blindsides the Vulcan Captain with a huge celebration when they finally score their first point in the final inning.
The final lesson, it is not winning that matters, but how you play the game. In the end Sisko is presented with a baseball signed by the his team, The Niners.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Before I begin this part I have to make something clear, I am not a baseball fan. In fact, I find the entire sport to be boring and the games to be far too long. I have been to live games, seen them on television and even played a few myself and never once felt a kinship with the bat and ball.
Sisko’s love for the ‘ancient sport’ never made sense to me but, seeing that it was part of his character, I set my dislike of Baseball aside and accepted this fact. Then, this episode came along. Even though I am not a fan of the sport, I found a certain joy in this episode. This is one of the rare ‘fun’ episodes that makes sure to include the entire crew and not just a select few.
For the first time in the series we see every character get involved with ‘fun’ episode and, much like the films I mentioned above, this episode is genuinely a blast to watch. While it doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the series, it does give us a moment of reprieve from the dark story of the war with the Dominion. It is episodes like this that remind us of one of the fundamental themes of Star Trek, a simple concept called Hope. It is in these optimistic moments that we are reminded just what the Federation is fighting for.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We see Rom without his Ferengi headgear for the first time in the series.
- The station gets an ‘official’ baseball team now known as ‘The Niners’
- Much like the recent popularity of Baseball in Japan and Korea, it seems the game made it’s way as far as Vulcan in the 24th century. I guess the ‘Great American Past time’ knows no borders, interplanetary or otherwise.
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: Chrysalis
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Late To The Game 4/24/2022 (Originally published 2/12/2020)
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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