(written from a Production point of view)
|DS9, Episode 2x19|
Production number: 40512-439
First aired: 27 March 1994
|←||38th of 173 produced in DS9||→|
|←||38th of 173 released in DS9||→|
|←||316th of 728 released in all||→|
| Written By|
Peter Allan Fields
Three old Klingon warriors reunite on Deep Space 9, seeking Curzon Dax, with whom they entered into a blood oath to one day exact revenge on an enemy for killing the warriors' firstborn sons. Finding Jadzia as worthy a warrior as they felt Curzon to be, she joins the Klingons in completing their vendetta.
Quark complains to Odo that an elderly, drunken Klingon is monopolizing one of the holosuites, endlessly re-fighting the Battle of Klach D'Kel Brakt. With Odo standing by, Quark shuts off the power, and the Klingon, Kor, storms out with a bottle in his hand. He lunges drunkenly at Quark, but Odo pacifies him by telling him a "victory celebration" is awaiting him, and leads him to a holding cell to sleep it off.
Koloth, Kor's friend, comes to bail him out; however, when he sees Kor is still quite drunk, he furiously tells Odo to keep him. Shrugging, Kor passes out again, while Odo rolls his eyes.
In Ops, Odo brings a report to Major Kira and apologizes for being late, as it's been a "Klingon afternoon." Dax overhears the name and has Kor released. She reveals to him and to Koloth that she is their old friend and comrade, "Dax" - Curzon Dax having been the last host of the symbiont now inside her. Kor is delighted that their old friend now inhabits a beautiful woman's body, but Koloth protests that some mistake has been made. Dax realizes that their meeting has been arranged by another old friend, Kang, who arrives and tells them that he has finally found "the Albino."
Eighty-one years ago, the three Klingons and Curzon swore a blood oath to hunt down and kill the Albino, no matter what. Kang has finally tracked him down to a hideout in the Secarus system - and, to ensure that no warning causes the Albino to flee before they can reach him, Kang killed the traders who disclosed the location to him.
Walking alone with Dax on the Promenade, Kang muses that times have changed, and nothing is quite the same as it was in the Klingon Empire, not even a blood oath. With that in mind, he tells Jadzia that she has no obligation to honor her past host's commitments, and formally releases her from Curzon's oath.
But Dax confides in Kira that she nonetheless feels obligated to fulfill it. The Albino is a heinous criminal who led pirate raids on several Klingon and Federation colonies, until a task force commanded by Kang, Kor, and Koloth destroyed his power base. The Albino retaliated by infecting each of the three Klingons' firstborn sons with a deadly virus; Curzon was godfather to Kang's son, and swore the oath along with the other three. Remembering Kira about her years with the Bajoran Resistance, Jadzia asks what it is like to have to kill someone. Kira responds, "when you take someone's life, you lose a part of your own as well."
Dax talks to Kor, who is as joyful as ever: "Oh, of course you should come! The splendor of fighting and killing, a bloodbath in the cause of vengeance; who wouldn't want to come!" But when she asks him to speak with Koloth and Kang on her behalf, he hesitates, calling himself an old man whose influence and power are long past.
Dax confronts Koloth in a holosuite while he is practicing his bat'leth techniques. He believes she is too young and fragile to accompany them, so she challenges him to a duel to show him that she still retains Curzon's skill with the weapon. After a few rounds, Koloth concedes that her presence will do honor to their cause, but Kang remains adamant.
Dax presses the matter: ultimately, Kang does not have the right to deny her vengeance against the Albino, who killed Dax's godson. Angrily, Kang agrees to allow her along, storming, "come and be damned!"
Before Dax can request a leave of absence, Benjamin Sisko beats her to the punch and confronts her in her quarters. He cannot condone murder in the name of vengeance, nor can he understand why Jadzia feels the need to do so to honor a commitment Curzon made. Dax tells him that Curzon is a part of her, and Curzon understood and embraced Klingon concepts of honor and vengeance. When Dax begs him not to make her disobey a direct order, he does not directly give her permission to go but does not stop her either.
Aboard Kang's ship, on the way to the Albino's hideaway, the Klingons and Jadzia discuss their strategy. Kang advocates a surprise frontal assault on the compound's main gate. His intelligence indicates that the Albino only has forty guards, and the shock and awe of their appearance will give them a decisive advantage. Koloth and Kor endorse the plan and march out of the room triumphantly, but Dax stays to confront Kang. Unlike them, she can see that the plan is suicide, and demands to know what Kang is really up to. In fact, she says, if she didn't know better, she'd think Kang had been paid to lure them into a trap.
Kang admits that when he first learned the Albino's location, he visited the system to see if it was true, and was contacted by the Albino. The Albino offered Kang a "glorious" battle against forty of the Albino's best warriors and Kang accepted, believing that if he could not kill the Albino, he could die trying.
Believing that Klingons embrace death too easily, Dax urges him to consider an alternative strategy. Kang insists that the Albino's defenses cannot be penetrated by the four of them, and victory is impossible. But Dax has the idea of disabling the guards' phasers, by reconfiguring the ship's disruptors to bombard the compound from orbit with tetryon particles. The resulting dampening field will disable any energy weapons inside, giving the Klingons a significant advantage over the guards in hand-to-hand combat. Kang agrees, saying, "perhaps it is a good day to live."
After beaming down to Secarus IV, Dax scans the area with her tricorder and detects a gravitic mine buried inside the main entrance: the Albino obviously never intended to keep his bargain with Kang. On the other hand, the booby-trap gives them the advantage, since the Albino will be focusing his defenses on the main gate. The four of them quickly work out an alternate plan of attack: Dax will create a diversion by sabotaging the compound's armory, drawing a fair amount of the guards away from the main house, while the Klingons disable the power station, knocking out the Albino's communications and scanners.
When the armory explodes, the Albino realizes that his trap has been outmaneuvered. Before he can order his guards to draw back into the house, the power station is sabotaged, leaving him trapped inside his main hall with only a few guards. The Klingons and Dax storm into the hall and fight his guards hand-to-hand. Koloth is mortally wounded when a guard stabs him in the back, while Kang fights his way through to the Albino.
The Albino manages to mortally wound Kang, but turns to find Dax's bat'leth at his throat. She introduces herself as the former Curzon Dax, and he smirks that she doesn't have it in her to murder him, alluding to the traditional consuming of the enemy's heart once they have been slain. She hesitates, and meanwhile Kang stabs his knife into the Albino's back. On the surface, he thanks Dax for the act of friendship in "letting" him have the death blow, but the knowing eyes between long friends hints at the deeper reality: that Kang has saved Jadzia from being forced to make the decision to kill the Albino. Kang utters, "It is a good day to die," before dying. Dax murmurs sadly, "It's never a good day to lose a friend." The only Klingon left standing, Kor, sings in honor of his fallen comrades, as he stands over the body of the dead Albino.
Dax returns to the station and resumes her post while casting a nervous glance at both Kira and Sisko, who return it pensively.
"Shut off the power."
"He'll kill you!"
"No, he said he'll kill you - shut it off."
- - Odo and Quark, evicting a drunken Kor from the holosuite
"How did you get in here?"
"I am Koloth."
"That doesn't answer my question."
"Yes, it does."
- - Odo and Koloth, in Odo's office
"I do not go into battle with one whose honor is washed away in Breshtanti ale... Keep him!"
- - Koloth, seeing the drunken Kor
"Security reassignments, major. Sorry it took so long; it's been a Klingon afternoon... Every time Klingons visit the station I wind up with a Klingon afternoon - but this is definitely one I'll cherish forever."
- - Odo
"How about just a great big hug?"
- - A still drunk Kor, realizing that the beautiful woman who bailed him out truly is Dax
"This is a mistake! Kang must not have known..."
"Ah, but what a beautiful mistake!"
- - Koloth and Kor, referring to Dax's new identity as Jadzia
"Is Kang coming?"
"Of course he's coming; he's brought the four of us together after 81 years!"
"Could it possibly mean that he's..."
"Yes...that is exactly what it means: I have found The Albino."
- - Dax, Kor, and Kang
"This time, we will reach the Albino! And when we do, I will cut his heart out and eat it, while he watches me with his dying breath!"
- - Kang
"The Korvat colony. First day of negotiations, I walked out on you, right in the middle of that long-winded speech of yours. You should have seen the look on your face. Nobody had ever had the kajunpak't to show their back to the great Kang before Curzon did."
"I almost killed Curzon that day."
- - Dax and Kang
"You've said to yourself, 'Every new life for a Trill has to be a new life'! If not, you'd wind up paying off old debts forever. These Klingons can't possibly expect you to keep this oath!"
"No, they don't... That's just it! They say I have no obligation to them... but I do! I know it - I feel it!... If not to them, then to Curzon."
- - Kira and Dax, regarding the blood oath
"There is tension on your face, Koloth! You ought to drink more."
- - Kor
"Of course you should come! The splendor of fighting and killing; a bloodbath in the cause of vengeance; who wouldn't want to come!"
- - Kor to Dax
"Where are you going?"
"I'm going to find out if he's inside."
"And how do you intend to do that?"
"I'll ask somebody!"
- - Koloth offering a simple solution, and Kor wondering if he's gone mad
"May Kahless guide us on this day of vengeance!"
- - Kang, before the Klingons storm the Albino's compound
"Look upon your executioners, killer of children!"
- - Kang
Story and script
- Peter Allan Fields' original story, entitled "The Beast", did not feature Kang, Kor, and Koloth. They were to be new characters, but Robert Hewitt Wolfe, a big fan of The Original Series, suggested using the three most popular Klingons from that series. Fields based "The Beast" on Akira Kurosawa's 1954 film Seven Samurai and John Sturges' 1960 remake of that film, The Magnificent Seven. He modeled Koloth after James Coburn's character of Britt and Kang after Yul Brynner. Kor was based on William Shakespeare's character of Falstaff, who appeared in Henry IV, Part II. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The writers staff toyed with the idea of having the three Klingons appear as they did in the original Star Trek, but decided against it. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- When Michael Ansara asked why the Klingons now looked different, he was told "Klingons live to be very, very old and that's a natural physical metamorphosis". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) The Star Trek: Enterprise episodes "Affliction" and "Divergence" ultimately explained why Kang, Koloth, and Kor have ridges here.
- Before the episode entered production, Junie Lowry-Johnson and Ron Surma checked to see if Michael Ansara, John Colicos, and William Campbell were still acting. They found the first two easily, but had difficulty finding Campbell. He was actually doing Star Trek cruise conventions at the time. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The interior of the Albino's fortress was built on Paramount Stage 18. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) The fortress set was actually built on Stage 18 for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Masks" as Masaka's temple. TNG's Stage 16 was taken up by the Barkonian village set constructed for "Thine Own Self". (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- The Albino's fortress was a house in Pasadena designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Mr. and Mrs. George M. Millard. A model of it, which was blown up to show the destruction of the Compound, was built on Paramount's Van Ness parking lot. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- To set the mood for the fight sequence, director Winrich Kolbe had Richard Wagner's Götterdämmerung played on-set. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The music of this episode is very memorable for Dennis McCarthy; "We just went for it, and what I remember about the episode is the force of the music." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- When Kor pulls open the holosuite door at the beginning of the episode, the "whoosh" sound of The Original Series doors is heard.
- Terry Farrell is a big fan of this episode because she feels that it reveals a great deal of depth to Dax. Farrell feels that each of the three Klingons require a different approach from her, and that the character is capable of switching gears like that is something she is quite proud of; "With Kor, I had to convince him that he was a hero, and that in my eyes he would always be a hero, so that was philosophical. With Koloth, I had to prove that I was strong enough to go to battle with him, so that was physical. And with Kang, I had to prove to him that my desire and need to be a part of this blood oath was strong enough that I could not imagine staying behind, that I was mentally strong and capable enough. So I had to exhibit the honor, the physical strength, and the mental perseverance to go with them." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Winrich Kolbe commented "It was the closest thing to Beowulf that I ever saw. There was a mythological quality to it and these guys were real heroes. I played Wagner in my mind the whole day and it had a feel that was beyond episodic television. It was really The Three Musketeers on a smaller scale and I loved it". (The Deep Space Log Book: A Second Season Companion)
- On the return of the TOS actors, Michael Okuda commented "At first, you almost didn't recognize them because they were in heavy Klingon makeup. But as soon as Michael Ansara opened his mouth, there was a powerful sense of déjà vu. Having the three original Klingons on the show was magical for everyone". (Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before)
- William Campbell said this episode was his most difficult acting job, and one he would have liked to do again. (Deep Space Nine Chronicles)
- This episode "reunites" three Klingons from The Original Series: Kor (TOS: "Errand of Mercy"), Koloth (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles"), and Kang (TOS: "Day of the Dove").
- This episode marks the deaths of Koloth (William Campbell) and Kang (Michael Ansara), although, Kang later appeared in VOY: "Flashback". Incidentally, Kor (John Colicos) is the only one of the three Klingons to survive the events of this episode. However, Colicos was the first of the three actors to pass away, on March 6, 2000. Campbell died on April 28, 2011.
- John Colicos reprises his role as Kor in season four's "The Sword of Kahless" and season seven's "Once More Unto the Breach".
- Colm Meaney (Miles O'Brien), Siddig El Fadil (Julian Bashir), and Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) do not appear in this episode.
- The late Christopher Collins previously played another Markalian, Durg in "The Passenger".
- Michael Ansara appears in DS9 again, as Jeyal in "The Muse".
- Klach D'Kel Brakt, referred to in this episode, is later revealed in ENT: "The Augments" to be the Klingon name for the "Briar Patch" seen in Star Trek: Insurrection.
- Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin's novel Forged in Fire is a prequel of sorts to this episode, giving more insight as to the background of the Albino (whose name, we learn, is Qagh) and Curzon's relationship with the Klingons.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 20, 22 August 1994
- As part of the UK VHS collection Star Trek - Crossovers Set: 6 November 1995
- As part of the DS9 Season 2 DVD collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Constable Odo
- Siddig El Fadil as Doctor Julian Bashir
- Terry Farrell as Lieutenant Jadzia Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira Nerys
- John Colicos as Kor
- Michael Ansara as Kang
- William Campbell as Koloth
- Bill Bolender as the Albino
- Christopher Collins as the Albino's assistant
- Sam Alejan as a medical officer
- Ivor Bartels as a security officer
- Bob Bralver as Albino guard #3
- Christopher Doyle as Albino guard #5
- Sue Henley as a command division officer
- Hubie Kerns, Jr. as an Albino guard
- Ken Lesco as an Albino guard
- Irving E. Lewis as an Albino guard
- Dennis Madalone as an Albino guard #1
- Robin Morselli as a Bajoran officer
- Joe Murphy as Albino guard #2
- Denney Pierce as an Albino guard
- Chuck Borden as stunt double for Christopher Collins
- George Colucci as stunt double for John Colicos
- Caron Colvett as stunt double for Terry Farrell
- Yannick Derrien as stunt double for Bill Bolender
- Tom Morga as stunt double for William Campbell
baakonite; Bahgol; Bajoran Resistance; Bajoran wormhole; bat'leth; blood oath; Breshtanti ale; Cardassians; d'k tahg; d'akturak; Dahar master; Dax, son of Kang; Dax, Curzon; dabo girl; Dayos IV; Federation;Ferengi; Galdonterre; genetic virus; gravitic mine; holosuite; Klach D'Kel Brakt; Klach D'Kel Brakt, Battle of; Klingon Empire; Korvat colony; kuttar; Markalian; meter; Milky Way Galaxy; N'yengoren strategy; orrery; plasma leak; Promenade; Quark's; QiVon; racht; Replimat; rib; riddinite; Romulans; Secarus IV; Secarus system; Starfleet oath; tetryon; tetryon radiation; tricorder
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