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Move Along Home (episode)

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"Move Along Home"
DS9, Episode 1x10
Production number: 40511-410
First aired: 14 March 1993
9th of 173 produced in DS9
9th of 173 released in DS9
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 173 released in DS9 Remastered  
259th of 728 released in all
Wadi
Teleplay By
Frederick Rappaport and Lisa Rich & Jeanne Carrigan-Fauci

Story By
Michael Piller

Directed By
David Carson
Unknown (2369)
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A visiting delegation from the Gamma Quadrant turns four crew members into "pieces" for a bizarre game.

Summary

Teaser

The Wadi, the first official delegation from the Gamma Quadrant, arrive on their ship. They are greeted by the senior staff, but seem only interested in visiting Quark's to play games.

Act One

In Quark's Bar, the Wadi delegates are eager to play a new game. However, Quark has to make sure they have something to gamble with for dabo. Falow, the leader of the delegation, offers klon peags or alpha-currant nectar as items of value, but Quark refuses them. Then, he proffers a bag of gems, which Quark accepts greedily.

After about six hours, the delegates are winning almost every spin. Commander Sisko leaves the bar, to go to bed. Quark heads over to the table, and pleads that the Dabo girl's hands are tired from all of those spins. Falow orders Quark to replace her. Quark gets Broik to replace her, and instructs him to begin fixing the table so that the Wadi do not win.

Act Two

In Sisko's quarters, he finds Jake still awake late into the evening. Jake admits to his father that he has been spending time with Nog. Sisko tells him to go to bed, and promises to have a chat with him about Nog and girls in the morning.

Back in Quark's, Falow discovers Quark's deception, and transforms the dabo table into a new game, which he announces is called Chula. He explains that the game involves four players, and that their objective is to "move along home". Quark decides to play the game, in hope that the Wadi will be lenient with his cheating.

Commander Sisko wakes up to find himself lying on the floor of an odd room. He has his tricorder with him, so he searches around, trying all the doors until he finds an unlocked one. Hearing faint cries for help, he finds Doctor Bashir, Major Kira and Lieutenant Dax.

Behind one door, Sisko encounters an image of Falow, who, laughing mockingly, instructs him to "Move along home!" Sisko realizes, and tells the others, that they are "guests of the Wadi".

Act Three

Early next morning, Jake Sisko informs Odo that his father is missing. Odo discovers that Sisko and three other senior staff members are not on board the station, and launches an investigation. After conferring with Lieutenant Primmin, Odo decides to visit the Wadi ship, to determine if they had had anything to do with the disappearance. He beams over, and finds a room with an unusual energy signature. Stepping through the doors, he ends up in Quark's Bar, to find Quark playing the game. Quark rolls the dice, and the result is reported as "allamaraine" by the Wadi, much to the bemusement and ignorance of both Quark and Odo.

The four players reach a door, which opens to reveal a girl playing a hopscotch-like game, and singing a rhyme:

"Allamaraine, count to four,
Allamaraine, then three more,
Allamaraine, if you can see,
Allamaraine, you'll come with me..."

The players move into the room, and are sealed in. Moving across the room, Kira stumbles into a force field. The girl, however, moves through it. Bashir deduces that the pattern of the girl's movements allows her to pass though, but is also knocked backwards. Jadzia follows the girl precisely, both singing the rhyme and mimicking the hand actions, and successfully passes the force field. The others follow. The girl proclaims:

"Allamaraine! Third shap."

Back on the station, the Wadi cheer "allamaraine!", as Falow moves the four pieces down one level on the board.

Act Four

Moving through the corridors of the maze, the players find a room with Wadi in it, all drinking and laughing. Suddenly the doors close, and a toxic gas fills the room, causing the players to start coughing. Bashir notices that the Wadi remain unaffected, and decides to try some of the drink that is being offered around. The drink relieves the effects of the gas. Sisko and the others also drink, and are also relieved. The Wadi all cheer. An image of Falow states that the players have progressed to shap four.

Odo and Quark are still puzzled by the game, but Falow then approaches Quark and asks him to decide whether he wants the difficult short route, with a chance of winning more prizes, or the long, easy route. "Double their peril, double your winnings!" teases Falow. Just before Quark decides, Odo stops him, and tells him that he believes that the players are actually the missing crewmembers. With Odo watching him, Quark decides to follow the easy route, and rolls the dice. However, the result is not favorable, and Falow removes one of the pieces from the board.

In the game, the players' tricorders detect an energy buildup, and a bright light source appears and moves towards them. It scans them all, and then focuses on Bashir, who vanishes.

Back in the bar, Falow then tells Quark to choose which route to take. Odo cautions Quark, but Quark realizes that the players were only one level away from "home", and the short route would take them there in only one move. Quark reassures Odo that he has spent his life assessing chance in games of all kinds, and that he has a good understanding of this one. With Odo's agreement, Quark decides to take the short route, but rolls a thialo.

Act Five

Falow explains that this means Quark has to sacrifice one player to save the other two. Odo is dismayed, and so is Quark, who is unable to decide which player to sacrifice. He grovels dramatically and pleads to be allowed not to decide, and Falow accepts. He programs the computer to randomly select a player to be sacrificed.

In the game, a door opens, and Dax heads into it. The others follow. They find themselves in a rocky cavern. In the distance, they can hear Bashir's voice calling to them, which entices them forward. Dax stumbles on loose rocks, and a large boulder lands on her leg. Fortunately, the leg is not broken, and they continue onwards. Dax exhorts Kira and Sisko to leave her and reach safety, but they refuse, and insist on attempting to help Dax. Moving round a narrow outcropping on a steep cliff, they all fall off, appearing suddenly back in the bar, together with Bashir.

The Wadi finish their game and change the table back to a dabo table, and are about to leave, when Commander Sisko demands to know what was going on. At that point, Fallow's normally stern deameanor changes. He states, with a comical intonation, "It's only a game!" There never was any actual risk, and that Quark had cheated them in Dabo. Having just feared for their lives, Commander Sisko is miffed at the Wadi; the Wadi have committed a faux pas on the group by offering them a game that deceived them into thinking that they were playing for their lives, which understandably would annoy the players especially after finding out that their lives were not in danger all this time.

Memorable Quotes

"First contact is not what it used to be."

- Sisko


"This is not what I signed up for!"

- Kira


"Well, I'm not in Starfleet."

- Odo when Primmin protests it's against Starfleet regulations to board a vessel without permission


"Do they have money?"

- Quark, when the Wadi arrive at Quark's


"Is it against Starfleet regulations to press a few buttons?"

- Odo when ordering to be beamed over to the Wadi ship


"Constable Odo, good morning to you!"

- George Primmin


"I just had a strange run-in with Falow. He said something about moving along home."

- Sisko


"Use your tricorders for proximity checks every two minutes... and if all else fails, just yell again, Doctor. We'll find you."

- Sisko, to Bashir


"Please don't make me do this! I'm begging you. (gets down on his knees) Please, please! Please PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! (crumples under the table) Please, please."

- Quark groveling when he has to lose a piece


"Do you have sex on your world?"

- Quark


"Move along home!"

- Wadi Listenfile info


"Choose their path! Double their peril, double your winnings!"

- Falow


"Move along, move along home!"
"You brought us here, you bring us home!"

- Falow and Sisko


"That's not what you said when you were groveling on the floor."
"Oh, that's right... you were here for the groveling."

- Odo and Quark


"Major, I gave you a direct order!"
"Court-martial me."
"I can't, you're not in Starfleet."
"If I were a superior officer, I'd court-martial both of you."

- Sisko, Kira and Dax


"It's only a game!"

- Falow in response to the crew's indignation at being the objects of the game.


"You know, this game could work here. It really could..."

- Quark

Background information

Story and script

  • The working title of this episode was "Sore Losers". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library".
  • Frederick Rappaport commented he had different conception of the game environment: "Mine was an exterior setting, almost neo-Martian Chronicles, with a touch of Gaudi-type architecture. There were houses in a little village but they were distorted, as in a nightmare; everything was angular and weird. The setting for the game was much better inside than on a clearly delineated 'outside' set. They made the rooms and hallways almost Arthurian. It was much more of phantasmagorical image". (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine Vol. 8)
  • Rappaport's original ending was different from the ending that appears in the finished episode. Rappaport commented "Michael was dissatisfied with my ending, in which Sisko and the others had to cross over a chasm. The chasm fell away, leaving Sisko essentially hanging by a thread. He was telling Kira and Dax to go on, because the passageway to freedom was on the opposite side, where they were. They had to save him, and it was Indiana Jones style". (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine Vol. 8)
  • According to one of the writers, Jeanne Carrigan-Fauci, the name of the game, "Chula", comes from "Chutes and Ladders", as the maze game is a "three-dimensional form" of the game. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • First versions of the episode were more complex, but history and scenographies were eventually simplified due to budget issues. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • According to writer Rappaport "in an earlier version of the teleplay, our people win the game, but they discover that Bashir has not been returned to the station. So Falow strikes a deal - Quark must return all his winnings if they want Bashir back." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • Michael Piller said that this episode was inspired by the episode "Checkmate" of The Prisoner. In some early versions of the script, our characters were placed in a surreal village, similar to the village featured in that series. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • In a deleted or unfilmed scene, Bashir whispers to Dax that he is considering having Garak make him a new dress uniform, although Jadzia isn't sure it would be appropriate to have a Cardassian tailor make a Starfleet uniform. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)

Production

Continuity

  • Chief Miles O'Brien does not appear in this episode and is stated to be on Earth. As mentioned in the episode "Dax", he and Keiko O'Brien went to visit Keiko's mother for her 100th birthday there.
  • This episode is not given a stardate, but the above reference suggests that it happened even later than Dax (which, according to its own stardate, occurred later than most other episodes of the season).

Reception

  • Frederick Rappaport commented "The audience never really understood the game, and that was the idea. All the audience needed to know was that our guys were in jeopardy. They needed to know as much as the characters needed to know: How the hell do they get out of there? In the end, Rappaport was disappointed that much of the threat present is his original script was removed by the reveal at the end: "The ending, where we learn it was just a game, undercut everything that went down for the previous four acts. It all seems pointless if there wasn't any jeopardy after all. I've heard from some fans who felt cheated that the characters were never in any kind of threat. I agree with those fans". However, Rappaport was pleased with the episode up to the final moments, commenting "On the other hand, I know others who were satisfied with it, too. Up to that point at the end, I was as spellbound as any viewer. I was hooked. The show was imaginative and well-realized, and it has gotten a great deal of attention". (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine Vol. 8)
  • Armin Shimerman enjoyed aspects of the episode; "In its own cracked way, it's an okay show. It was the first time the writers allowed Quark to get somewhat serious. As Quark, I was once again screwing up, but they had given me a wonderful, almost heroic speech. They allowed Quark to, if not be a hero, at least have aspirations of doing something heroic. It's one of my favorite episodes." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • Rick Berman commented "It was a big show that had a tremendous amount of problems. It turned out much better than I though it would. There were a lot of Lewis Carroll elements to the whole thing which were always a little bit on the verge of being hokey for me, but when all was said and done, I was pleasantly surprised". (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 48)
  • Director David Carson has described this episode as "disappointing." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • Ronald D. Moore stated that when he watched this episode prior to joining the DS9 writing staff, he was "wondering if everyone had lost their minds" (AOL chat, 1998).
  • This episode was ranked last in Entertainment Weekly's evaluation of the first two seasons of the show. (citation needededit)
  • Colm Meaney (Miles O'Brien) does not appear in this episode.
  • This episode marks the second and final appearance of George Primmin (James Lashly) after "The Passenger" on the series.
  • The Wadi ship was the first appearance of this type of vessel. It was later seen as a Bajoran transport vessel seen frequently during the series, and a Trill transport.
  • This episode shares several thematic elements with VOY: "The Thaw". In both episodes, crew members are transported to a surreal environment, where causality and logic are deranged, and where they are mocked for their efforts to escape.

Awards

  • This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Hairstyling for a Series.

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also Starring

Guest Stars

Co-Star

Uncredited Co-Stars

Stunt doubles

References

administrator; airlock; allamaraine; alpha-currant nectar; ambassador; Andolian brandy; antidote; Bajor; Bajorans; Bajoran fashion; Bajoran transport; Bajoran wormhole; bed; bet; captain; chief of security; Chula; cocktail party; combadge; court martial; dabo; dabo girl; dabo wheel; damage control; dice; docking bay; dress uniform; drug; Earth; echo; energy flux; explorer; father; Ferengi; figurines; first contact; game; Gamma Quadrant; gemstones; holosuite; hour; Human; ion impeller; ionic field; juice; klon peag; laboratory; labyrinth; leg; lemonade; license; logic; lokar bean; magnetic field; Master Surchid; maze; McCoullough; meter; minute; mirror; model; money; morning; night; nightmare; Nog; O'Brien, Keiko; Old Man; ops; painting; poison; proximity check; pyramidic; Quark's; red carpet; replicator; rhyme; riddle; rodent; scan; school; security officer; senior staff; sex; shap; Starfleet; Starfleet policy; starship; stick; sweep; tectonic shift; thialo; three-dimensional chess; transporter; tricorder; Trill; United Federation of Planets; Vulcan ship; Wadi; Wadi starship; wager; waiter

Deleted scene references

Cardassian; clothier; Garak; tailor

External links


Previous episode:
"The Passenger"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 1
Next episode:
"The Nagus"

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