(written from a Production point of view)
|"Our Man Bashir"|
|DS9, Episode 4x10|
Production number: 40510-482
First aired: 27 November 1995
|←||80th of 173 produced in DS9||→|
|←||80th of 173 released in DS9||→|
|←||392nd of 728 released in all||→|
| Teleplay By|
Ronald D. Moore
A transporter accident replaces the characters in Bashir's secret agent holosuite program with the physical forms of the station's senior staff.
A glass screen shatters as a man with a patch over one eye is hurled backwards through it. On the other side of the screen, Doctor Bashir stands casually, dressed in a tuxedo, and walks back toward his female companion, Caprice. She smiles as she hands him a bottle of champagne, but she has a troubled look on her face.
Bashir looks at the bottle and sees the reflection of the other man, who is attempting to sneak up on him. With nothing else to use for a weapon, Bashir turns around quickly and uncorks the bottle, using the cork as a projectile to render the other man unconscious. He turns to Caprice and the two embrace, but they are interrupted by clapping from elsewhere in the room.
It is Elim Garak, who has broken into the holosuite because he is curious to know what Bashir is doing. He notes that Bashir has been visiting the holosuite repeatedly ever since Bashir received his new holo-program and yet the doctor has not told anyone what the program is. Despite Bashir's protests, Garak uses his usual charm and tactfulness to convince the doctor to allow him to stay and observe. However, he notes that Bashir's companion has just left. The doctor is obviously not amused, but Garak assures him they will have a wonderful time together.
As Garak and Bashir enter the doctor's fictional apartment in Hong Kong, Garak takes in the decor of 1964 Earth before they are joined by Bashir's valet, Mona Luvsitt. She reveals that behind one of Bashir's walls is an assortment of firearms; between this and the lavish surroundings, Garak surmises that Bashir is playing some kind of rich playboy. On the contrary, Bashir says, he is a spy: a top-class secret agent whose clothing, equipment, lodgings, and adoring female companions are all provided to him by a grateful government. Garak remarks wryly that he (who really has been a spy) must have joined the wrong intelligence service.
Meanwhile, Sisko, Kira, Worf, Dax, and Miles O'Brien return from a conference only to discover their runabout has been sabotaged. The runabout is about to explode, so Eddington beams them out. Unfortunately, the explosion comes during the transport, and the crew members' patterns are stuck in the transporter buffer. Given the immense amount of space required to store neural information and the fact that the buffer will soon lose coherence and the signatures with it, Eddington orders the computer to wipe all memory necessary in order to save the patterns; consequently, the crew members are somewhere on the station, but he and Odo have no idea where they are.
In the holosuite, Mona dresses Garak in appropriate attire for the 1960s. But shortly thereafter, the bar in Bashir's apartment turns itself 180 degrees to reveal a bed with a scantily-clad Major Kira on it. Bashir thinks Kira and Garak have conspired to ridicule him, but Garak is just as surprised as he is. Speaking with a thick Russian accent, Kira identifies herself as Colonel Anastasia Komananov, and soon Bashir and Garak realize the image of Komananov, a character from Bashir's holonovel, has been replaced with one of Kira. However, the computer claims the parameters for the character are normal and refuses to pause the program. Bashir contacts Ops to find out what has happened, but as Eddington explains about the transporter accident, Odo recognizes Kira's voice and realizes the images of the missing crew members must have been stored in the holosuite's memory. Odo and Eddington warn him not to stop the holo-program, as it might result in the loss of the images - and thus the crew.
Komananov explains the mission she and Bashir are supposed to be working on; a number of unusual earthquakes have occurred of late, and the government has concluded that the quakes are artificial. When Garak begins to explain that it is not difficult to manufacture such a quake, Bashir silences him, given the period they are supposed to be in. The assignment is to find out who is causing the quakes, and the only clue is the recent kidnapping of someone named Professor Honey Bare. When Komananov shows Bashir a picture of the professor, it is in fact Dax. Komananov is about to explain further when the door opens to reveal Mona, who collapses with a knife in her back. She is followed by O'Brien – who is now Falcon, the man with the patch whom Bashir knocked out previously – and two other armed men.
Komananov asks Falcon for one last kiss with Bashir, and Falcon accepts. As they kiss, she tells Bashir to remove her earring; it's a bomb. He does so, and the bomb knocks out Falcon. Garak, Bashir and Komananov proceed to knock out Falcon's henchmen. Komananov nearly kills O'Brien, but Bashir stops her. This makes Komananov question his motives, as Falcon has been trying to kill Bashir for nine years. Bashir notices that Garak's mouth is bleeding after the fight, and they realize that the safety mechanisms on the holosuite have been disabled, and that in addition to keeping the five crewmembers' patterns alive in the story, Garak and Bashir must take care to protect their own lives as well. Komananov then proceeds with the mission. She reveals that Hippocrates Noah has been kidnapping the world's best minds for the past six months, and that he had met each one at a club in Paris. Komananov, Bashir and Garak set out to visit the club.
In the Club, the trio find Duchamps, who has a striking similarity to Worf. Bashir claims that he is one of the world's leading geologists, and inquires about Dr. Noah and the scientists. Duchamps says that he can arrange a meeting, but only for 5,000,000 francs. Bashir requests a game of cards to win the money from him. Meanwhile, Odo reveals that a Cardassian separatist group is responsible for the destruction of the Orinoco. Eddington announces that the neural patterns of all five officers were stored in the rest of the computer memory. They decide to use the Defiant to reassemble the neural and physical patterns of the five victims. Meanwhile, Bashir has won the money in a game of baccarat, and asks to meet with Dr. Noah. Duchamps knocks the trio out with a puff of toxic cigar smoke. When they awaken, a man is ready for them. He introduces himself as Hippocrates Noah, but looks exactly like Benjamin Sisko.
Bashir then notices that the room they are in is atop Mt. Everest. Dr. Noah then announces his plan. He reveals he has placed massive underground lasers in strategic positions, and that he plans to activate them all at once, shrinking the earth, killing all of its inhabitants, and forcing the oceans to cover the entire globe, except the highest point on earth, his complex on Mt. Everest. He then announces that Bashir won't be joining him, and calls for Falcon. On the Defiant, Rom has successfully managed to complete the modifications to allow the holosuite to interface with the Defiant transporters, but it will take another hour.
Falcon straps Bashir and Garak to one of the giant lasers, but says that Komananov will be used as breeding stock for the second human race. Dr. Noah activates the countdown sequence and leaves. Once he is gone, Garak almost ends the program, but Bashir stops him. Finally, Honey Bare shows up, and Bashir charms her into coming close enough to steal the key to their restraints, freeing himself and Garak.
Bashir says they have to get back to the control room: according to the program's storyline, one of the two female leads - Anastasia/Kira or Honey/Jadzia - is supposed to end up with the hero, while the other one dies. They have to prevent that from happening to either of them. Garak objects, saying that the odds are against them and it is time to quit. Bashir is appalled, and a heated argument ensues: Garak says that if Bashir was a real spy, and not an overgrown child play-acting at one, he'd understand that there are times when it's better to save oneself than risk one's life against impossible odds. Garak starts to address the computer, but Bashir aims his backup gun at him, telling him that if he calls for the exit, he may stop the program and kill Sisko and the others. Garak tells Bashir to face reality: he is not a hero, he only likes to pretend to be one, which is why he doesn't have the guts to pull the trigger. Garak starts to call for the exit again - and Bashir pulls the trigger.
Garak goes down with a flesh wound in his neck. Taken aback, he says that Bashir came awfully close to killing him. Bashir coolly asks him, "what makes you think I wasn't trying?" Impressed, Garak voices no further objections as Bashir leads him back to the control room.
Bashir and Garak hold Noah and his henchmen at gunpoint, until Duchamps arrives and disarms them. However, Julian receives a com signal from Eddington: he is going to try rematerializing the patterns in about two minutes. After hearing the signal, Noah decides to kill Bashir. However, Bashir pretends to surrender, believing that Noah has the right idea after all. Noah does not believe a word of it, but Bashir gives a lengthy speech, imitating the conversation that he and Garak had earlier. Noah is still not convinced, so Bashir then does the unthinkable – he activates Noah's machine, destroying all life on the (holographic) Earth. Noah is stunned and unsure what to do next - the program obviously didn't have a script that allowed his plan to actually succeed. Deciding, just to relieve his uncertainty, that he will kill Bashir anyway, he starts to aim his gun... when Rom activates the transporter and rematerializes Sisko, Kira, O'Brien, Worf and Dax. O'Brien appalled at the modifications to the holosuite not knowing that they saved his life
Back in the holosuite, Garak congratulates Bashir on his ingenious "solution" - saving the day by destroying the world. The Cardassian has gained a new respect for his human friend, and proposes that they meet again inside the program for their next lunch meeting.
- - Bashir, after he shoots Falcon with the champagne bottle
"If I were you, I'd grab the nearest bottle of champagne and shoot me!"
- - Garak
"I work for one of the nation-states of this era, Great Britain, which is battling various other nations in what is called the Cold War. This apartment, my clothes, weapons, even my valet were provided to me by my government"
"I think I joined the wrong intelligence service"
- -Bashir and Garak
"Where's the core memory interface?"
"Oh. It's right behind the spatula."
"It's made of a copper-ytterbium composite...the perfect plasma conductor!"
- - Michael Eddington and Rom, while inspecting Quark's jury-rigged holosuite computers
"We are building a new future here, a new beginning for mankind. A new chapter in Human history will open... right here, on my island."
"Forgive me. Sometimes I do get ahead of myself. Allow me to explain."
- - Hippocrates Noah and Julian Bashir, on a slope of Mount Everest
"Kiss the girl, get the key. They never taught me that in the Obsidian Order."
- - Garak
"I am afraid I don't believe you'll pull that trigger."
"I wouldn't be so sure about that."
"It's time to face reality, Doctor. You're a man who dreams of being a hero because you know, deep down, that you're not. I'm no hero either, but I do know how to make a choice, and I'm choosing to save myself."
- - Garak and Bashir as Bashir threatens to shoot Garak if he tries to exit the holosuite
"You'll be fine. It's just a flesh wound."
"That was awfully close. What if you'd killed me?"
"What makes you think I wasn't trying?"
"Doctor, I do believe there's hope for you yet."
- - Bashir and Garak, after Bashir shoots Garak
"It's working just as you planned! You've done it, doctor."
"Yes. But somehow, I didn't expect to win."
- - Falcon, Hippocrates Noah; after Bashir destroys the world
"Interesting, you saved the day by destroying the world."
"I bet they didn't teach you that in the Obsidian Order."
- - Garak and Bashir
"There comes a time when a house has been so damaged by termites that you must not only kill the termites, but demolish the house and build again!"
- - Hippocrates Noah, explaining his reasons for destroying the world
Bond and beyond
- This episode is a homage to spy movies, particularly Ian Fleming's James Bond series. It aired ten days after the release of GoldenEye, the first Bond film in six years. The title is a homage to the 1966 Daniel Mann film Our Man Flint, which itself is a parody of James Bond. It was Ronald D. Moore who decided to set the episode in a '60s spy thriller style setting, Other influences were the TV shows The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Wild Wild West, and the Matt Helm novels by Donald Hamilton.
- The line "Bashir. Julian Bashir." is a parody of "Bond. James Bond."
- The characters and situations of Bashir's holonovel are reminiscent of several Bond movies. In the holonovel, Hippocrates Noah plans to use lasers concentrated around Earth to cause a chain reaction that will flood the planet and allow him to start a new Human race on Mount Everest. Similarly, Moonraker features a billionaire who plans to poison Earth and start over in outer space, while The Spy Who Loved Me revolves around a plan to cause nuclear war and begin a new civilization under the sea. Dr. Noah himself evokes the theatrical version of Dr. Julius No, especially in terms of wardrobe (the Nehru jacket) and name – although the name is also a play on the Biblical Noah.
- The character of Duchamps is a homage/parody of "Le Chiffre", the villain of the first Bond novel, Casino Royale. Both sport the same style of clothing, a French name and a lust for playing cards.
- Colonel Anastasia Komananov is a homage to the cliché of agents from opposing countries (most often Britain and the Soviet Union) falling in love with each other, usually found in spy films and parodies. Bond did this at least twice, with Tatiana Romanova in From Russia with Love and with Major Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me.
- Honey Bare & Mona Luvsitt are an obvious reference to Bond girls having names indicating sexual innuendo. This tradition dates back to Dr. No, which featured the name "Honey Ryder", played by Ursula Andress.
- The opening champagne-gun scene is a homage to a scene in Goldfinger just before the opening credits. In the movie, Bond enters the quarters of a beautiful woman who has just gotten out of a bath. Spotting an assassin in the iris of the woman, Bond throws the man into the tub and electrocutes him by knocking a heat lamp into it. Much like Bashir's witticism ("A lot of kick for a '45 Dom"), Bond says, "Shocking. Positively shocking." Besides this, Dom Pérignon is Bond's preferred champagne in many of the films.
- Worf, as Duchamps, uses stun gas concealed in a cigar, a direct Bond homage to Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me who disables Bond in the exact same fashion, albeit with a cigarette, not a cigar.
- When Bashir describes his fall from the dirigible – "I had a parachute... and there was a submarine waiting for me" – this is more than likely a reference to The Spy Who Loved Me (in which Bond escapes to safety via parachute) and A View to a Kill (in which Bond finds a submarine waiting for him after a ski chase).
- This episode premiered near the release of GoldenEye, the first of the James Bond pictures to feature Pierce Brosnan and generally considered the picture that revived the then-ailing Bond franchise. In addition to being an interesting Bond homage in its own right, it was intended to capitalize on some of the Bond pre-release excitement.
- Bashir's game of baccarat, in which he wins the fee for a visit with Hippocrates Noah by assuming he can win Duchamps' money, is yet another Bond homage, for Bond frequently took similar risks and was fond of card games such as baccarat.
- At one point, Bashir warns Garak that the program is supposed to end with either Honey Bare or Anastasia Komananov dying and the other ending up with him. Yet another classic element of James Bond is that, although Bond usually has sex with several women over the course of a film, he often ends up with one of them in bed for the final scene (with the others either going back to their respective lives or dying).
- Another obvious homage to Bond is that Noah explains his plan in great detail shortly before he plans to kill Bashir - Bond villains have the tendency to do this. After Bashir floods the Earth intentionally ("You've destroyed ze vorld!" Anastasia exclaims), Noah observes that somehow he didn't expect to win.
- Noah tries to kill Bashir by tying Bashir and Garak to one of his lasers, which is set to flood the room with molten lava. This may have been a reference to Moonraker, for in that movie, the villain confines Bond and his "Bond babe" to an area below his rocket, intending to incinerate them when it launches. In any case, it is typical Bond style for the villain to pass up the chance for an "easy kill" and allow Bond a method of escape.
- At the end of the episode, Bashir tells Garak, "I think it's safe to say that Julian Bashir, secret agent, will return.," which is a reference to the end credits of many Bond films which conclude with "James Bond will return..."
- Although Ronald D. Moore attempted to avoid directly referencing any of his primary influences, it seems that some names and situations skated a little too close for comfort. According to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, after this episode aired, the producers got an angry letter from MGM, the studio which holds the rights to the James Bond property. The Companion doesn't reveal the content of the letter other than to say, "apparently MGM did not find imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery." As such, in the fifth season episode "A Simple Investigation", which returns to Bashir's holonovel, the references to Bond are far more subtle.
- Andrew Robinson commented "the James Bond spoof that we did, that was a lot of fun. It was hellacious to film, because I probably spent more hours in that makeup on that show than any other show. The show was a bear. They really were trying to make a James Bond movie, but it was an enormous amount of fun. And I thought that Winrich Kolbe, the director, did a wonderful job on it. Unfortunately, we ran afoul of the James Bond people, and we were going to do a lot of those, but that was the one and only". wbm
Behind the scenes
- The producers were very wary of doing a "holodeck malfunction" story due to the number of times it had been done on The Next Generation, but writer Bob Gillan's pitch was so unique (using the transporter to 'store' the patterns of the crew in the holodeck matrix) that the producers decided it could make a good episode. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Most Deep Space Nine episodes shoot in seven days, with the occasional episode here and there taking eight. "Our Man Bashir" took nine (with 23 October 1995 being the seventh day of shooting), and according to producer Steve Oster, it had the longest production of any single episode. The main reasons for this were elaborate stunts that took time to set up and reshoot after a take and a large number of complex sets, many of which presented their own unique problems. For example, when the crew arrived to begin shooting in Dr. Noah's lair, they immediately saw that the backdrop of the Himalayan Mountains had mountains with no snow on them, and as such, it had to be taken down and sent to the scenic crew to add snow, all of which, Oster points out, costs time and money. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Alexander Siddig and Nana Visitor had become romantically involved by the time this episode was filming.
- Robert Hewitt Wolfe came up with the name of Anastasia Komananov, while Ira Steven Behr came up with Mona Luvsitt and Hippocrates Noah. The idea to use the champagne cork to knock out Falcon was Hans Beimler's. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- This is one of Nana Visitor's favorite Deep Space Nine episodes; "it was so much fun, that show was a joy to do. How many times, you know, is it a necessity to do a bad Russian accent? I was in heaven. It was ideal for me. And to come out of a wall in a round bed? It just doesn't get better than that." (Hidden File 03, DS9 Season 4 DVD special features)
- The fifth season episode "A Simple Investigation" indicated that Bashir continued to enjoy the Julian Bashir, Secret Agent series of holonovels. By the time of "Investigation", however, Bashir had involved other members of the senior staff in his fandom. In that episode, various members of the senior staff are shown to be volunteering to play various roles in one of Felix's follow-ups to the adventure seen in "Our Man Bashir". However, O'Brien is less than enthusiastic at having to play Falcon "again".
- Komananov's confusion over Kira's name ("Who is this... Nerys Kira?") is one of the few instances in which the issue of Bajoran name order is addressed. Early on in the series, many fans were just as oblivious as Komananov to the fact that Bajoran surnames come first (it was first clarified in "Progress"), although it had been established in The Next Generation prior to DS9's origin. The name order is similar to Chinese and Hungarian names rendered in English, and thus although Kira's name is "Kira Nerys," "Kira" is the Major's surname (see also TNG: "Ensign Ro")
- Amidst Rom's modifications to the holosuite systems he mentions a spatula, and one of the pieces that can be clearly seen is a pot strainer, another kitchen utensil.
- The True Way is mentioned for the first time in this episode.
- 47 appears (reversed) as Dr. Noah mentions he has 74 lasers deployed around the world.
- The episode's stardate is 49300.7 (007, the code number of James Bond).
- Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) does not appear in this episode.
- This episode aired on the same day as VOY: "Resistance", which was also directed by Winrich Kolbe.
- The episode features several period-correct (1964) firearms, including Bashir's blue-steel Walther PPK, which he brandishes but never fires, the henchmen's Walther P-38s, which was a popular handgun in TV shows and movies of the period, and Falcon's actually quite historically accurate Hi-Standard HDM, a .22 caliber automatic which was frequently equipped with an integral suppressor (though Falcon's is not) and used in assassinations. The least historically accurate is Dr. Noah's PPK, which is made from stainless steel, something not done before the 1980s.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series (along with VOY: "Persistence of Vision") and Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Jay Chattaway).
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4.5, 13 May 1996.
- As part of the DS9 Season 4 DVD collection.
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Commander Worf and Duchamps
- Terry Farrell as Lt. Commander Dax and Honey Bare
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien and Falcon
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Alexander Siddig as Doctor Bashir and Patrick Merriweather
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira and Anastasia Komananov
Special guest star
- B.J. Davis as Falcon's henchman
- Suzanne Ircha as a Go-Go dancer
- Pam DeMarche as a Go-Go dancer
- Steve Rizzo as Falcon's henchman
- Peter Singh as a majordomo
- Chester E. Tripp III (stunt actor)
- Mark Yerkes as Falcon
- Steve Yudson as a casino waiter
baccarat; biology; brandy; Cardassia; Cardassians; champagne; chemistry; Christmas; cigar; Club Ingenue; colonel; command control systems; computer; computer memory; copper; copper-ytterbium composite; core memory interface; Defiant, USS; deflectors; dirigible; Dom Pérignon; Earth; Earth Cold War; Federation; francs; geology; Great Britain; handcuffs; helicopter; holo-imaging array; holosuite; holosuite memory core; Hong Kong; Iceland; impulse engine; jetsetter; Julian Bashir, Secret Agent; KGB; Kowloon; laser; magnetic interlock; martini; Merriweather, Patrick; money; Mount Everest; neural energy; New York City; Obsidian Order; Orinoco, USS; parachute; Paris; pattern buffer; physics; plasma; plasma coil; primary energizing coils; replicator; ruby (gemstone); runabout; Russians; sapphire; secret agent; seismology; South America; spatula; submarine; Tibetan plateau; topaz; tourmaline; transporter; transporter beam; tricorder; True Way; Vladivostok; warp core; warp core breach; ytterbium
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