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Star Trek DS9 - Season 1 - Episode 18

Star Trek DS9 - 1x18 - Dramatis Personae

Originally Aired: 1993-5-30

Synopsis:
Odo is caught in the middle when an alien influence pits Kira against Sisko in a deadly struggle for control of the station. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.99

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 8 5 5 6 15 21 9 12 4 9 4

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- Unless you're dying to see where the hell that clock on Sisko's desk came from, there's nothing terribly notable in this one.

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Odo: "How am I?" Bashir: "How do you feel?" Odo: "Fine." Bashir: "Good. Because I have no way to know. Your body chemestry defies analysis."
- The crew starting to act... weird.
- Kira attacking Quark.
- Odo manipulating Bashir.
- Morn appearances; 1. Behind Quark when he serves Jadzia her drink.

My Review
This episode is largely pointless. It may have been more interesting if it had aired earlier in the season; Kira's loyalties are hardly in question anymore. What's more, the whole episode is an excuse to get the characters acting completely out of character without much of a reason. The only redeeming quality of this episode is how Odo saves the day, by manipulating both sides. He was the perfect man for that job and he did the job well. It was certainly entertaining to watch Odo bring the station back to order, but unfortunately the episode comes off as being little more than another hour of filler.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From djb on 2008-12-04 at 1:44am:
    I wouldn't call this episode filler, at least not as much as "Move Along Home" or "If Wishes Were Horses." It definitely had some redeeming qualities.

    First, I liked how people started to just act slightly out of character at first, gradually growing into their alternate characters. I also liked how these characters they were playing out weren't complete departures from the original people; you could still sense some of their original personalities present. I liked how I couldn't really tell where in the episode the characters became not-themselves. For example, Kira's increasing frustration with Sisko about the Dolamide on the Valerian ship seems in character, until before you know it she's openly plotting against him. Well done.

    Odo saving the day is definitely fun to watch.

    The whole "telepathic sphere" thing was slightly farfetched, granted, but that's par for the course in Star Trek. I kind of like the loose end of what the Klingons had been talking about before they entered the wormhole -- what was that all about?

    One nice touch worth mentioning is the title: Dramatis Personae. It's a Latin term meaning "cast of characters," and the main place I've seen the term is at the beginning of Shakespeare plays, where the list of characters is given at the very beginning. The crew, over the course of the episode, begins to act out characters as if they are in a play. Very clever.

    I'd give the episode a 5.
  • From Bernard on 2010-01-03 at 6:56am:
    How strange that you seem to have adopted the term 'filler' when describing episodes that are not particularly good. DS9 never was an ongoing story, even later on in the series when they adopt longer story arcs most episodes can stand on their own. Certainly at this point in the series we have barely any ongoing arcs, so what exactly are these episodes supposed to be filling? Food for thought there.

    Anyway, This episode is no worse than some of the earlier outings of the season. I agree that it is out of place and so I docked it a point for that. But no more than that since it is still not a bad effort in it's own right. Just because it would have been more appropriate earlier in the season doesn't mean that it can't happen later in the season. There are characters that are fascinating whilst under the influence of the telepathic sphere such as Kira, Bashir, O'Brien. Unfortunately and ultimately what spoils the episode for me is Sisko and Dax. The latter stages of this episode could have been a real power struggle between Kira and Sisko and some real tension should have been built. Instead we see him making a clock... gripping stuff.

    Another average 5 for me, good elements, good idea and good moments but lacking overall.

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