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Star Trek DS9 - Season 1 - Episode 09

Star Trek DS9 - 1x09 - The Passenger

Originally Aired: 1993-2-22

Synopsis:
The crew's efforts to thwart a hijack scheme are complicated when a sinister alien criminal hides his consciousness within the brain of someone aboard the station. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.73

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 3 7 7 7 13 17 14 8 3 6 1

Filler Quotient: 2, filler, but an enjoyable episode nevertheless. You can skip this one, but you'd miss out on some fun.
- There's no essential plot or exposition in this episode that renders it unskippable, but it's a decent episode, even though it could have been better.

Problems
- Bashir mentions that people only use small fractions of their brains and claims that there's "plenty of room" to store an additional consciousness. This is a common error in science fiction. In reality all parts of your brain are used for various things. Whatever mechanism Vantika used to transfer his consciousness to Bashir must have operated on some other principle.

Factoids
- Bashir: "The closest thing I've encountered is synaptic pattern displacement. But I've never seen it done by a non Vulcan." This is probably a reference to when Spock transferred his soul into McCoy in Star Trek II.

Remarkable Scenes
- Kira complimenting Bashir and Bashir being completely immodest about it.
- Odo and Quark talking about Dax. Quark: "It's good to want things." Odo: "Even things you can't have?" Quark: "Especially things I can't have."
- Odo being grilled by a Starfleet security officer about how he does his job.
- Sisko: "Odo was probably making sure Quark knows we know he knows."
- Odo's objections to being called "constable."
- Odo regarding Quark: "I always keep an eye on him."
- Bashir, disoriented when he woke up aboard the freighter.
- Kajada murdering her prisoner.
- Morn appearances; 1. At the bar in the background as Odo and Quark talk about Dax.

My Review
A pleasing mystery episode about a man obsessed with preserving his own life even at the expense of other people's. Some highlights are the contention between Odo and the starfleet security officer and the crazed Kajada character hunting her metaphorical whale all episode. I'm not fond of Star Trek's affinity for alien of the week episodes though and the Vantika-inside-Bashir's-body scenes are painfully poorly acted. However, while this isn't the most spectacular episode of Star Trek, it's most certainly decent ride.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Bernard on 2009-11-23 at 10:44am:
    This is another solid outing. A couple of red herrings thrown in for good measure to keep you guessing.

    Worth watching back to see how Vantika is acted by his 'host' as you don't really watch for it first time around. Speaking of which, isn't this another review where you give away what has happened to Vantika? After all, we don't find out until very near to the end of the episode who is carrying Vantika's mind.
  • From Paul on 2010-08-31 at 7:04pm:
    'Vantika did the exact same thing on Rigel VII' - isn't that where kang and kodos from The Simpsons are from?

    Also Bashir states that humanoids use very little of their brains - this is untrue. All of the brain is used by humans, but not all of it at any one time. Different parts are used at different times. He has been reading too many urban legends and not enough Starfleet Medical textbooks
  • From Bryan on 2011-03-28 at 8:10pm:
    I have to confess that this episode is painful for me to watch. I find Siddig's performance as the posessed Bashir to be extremely wooden, forced, and silly. It ruined a good episode.
  • From greeh on 2011-08-11 at 7:30pm:
    This was a painful one, the first painful one in the series. I'm not sure if I can really explain why. Pretty much everything seemed unbelievable, not well-explained, and too convenient for the sake of moving along the plot...

    Somehow it had a weird kind of fairy tale quality to it (maybe some of the usual production staff were sick?)

    The red herrings and Bashir being the host was a good twist, but then the possessed acting - and here I agree with another commentator, and disagree with the reviewer - was unexceptional... at best.

    I give it a 3.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-16 at 2:12am:
    Pretty obvious problem: If Bashir is possessed by Vantika, why does he continue to talk in the phones British accent? Wouldn't he talk like Vantika did at the beginning of the episode. I also agree Bashir's acting was pretty bad.
  • From Shani on 2014-01-09 at 8:01am:
    I'm not really a fan of Siddig at all at this point. He's performance here was terrible. TNG had much better actors. DS9 characterisation is better (the characters actually have flaws) but that doesn't make up for the difference in acting ability.
  • From Axel on 2015-05-10 at 2:39pm:
    When Vantika/Bashir first makes contact with Quark on the upper level of his bar, there is a part where he hurls Quark forward. You can just barely catch a glimpse of Bashir's face as the camera pans up. It's so fast and the angle makes it hard to tell it's Bashir unless you freeze frame at just the right second.

    I agree the Vantika-possessed Bashir isn't well acted, though. Siddig's improvement as an actor seems to have happened throughout this series :)

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