(written from a Production point of view)
|DS9, Episode 1x03|
Production number: 40511-404
First aired: 10 January 1993
|←||3rd of 173 produced in DS9||→|
|←||2nd of 173 released in DS9||→|
|←||246th of 728 released in all||→|
| Written By|
A Bajoran terrorist tests Kira's loyalties to the Federation when he attempts to rid Bajor of the Federation for good.
Garak, a Cardassian tailor on Deep Space 9, unexpectedly stops by Doctor Julian Bashir's lunch table to introduce himself. With little tact, Julian suggests that Garak is a Cardassian spy. Julian rushes to Ops to report the encounter, but Commander Benjamin Sisko is busy trying to head off a Cardassian attack on a Bajoran scout ship. With the ship breaking apart, the sole occupant is beamed to DS9. Recognizing Major Kira Nerys, he identifies himself as Tahna Los and requests political asylum; he is taken to the infirmary.
The Cardassians demand he be released to them immediately as a Kohn-Ma criminal terrorist; Sisko pledges to investigate the matter before proceeding. Kira and Tahna worked together in the Bajoran Resistance, and she sympathizes with his cause. When Sisko questions Tahna, he admits to carrying out brutal acts against Cardassians, even after the end of the occupation of Bajor but hints that his days of violence are a thing of the past.
Kira goes over Sisko's head, asking Starfleet Admiral Rollman to intervene but the Admiral immediately reports Kira's actions back to Sisko, noting that he has a problem with her insubordination. Aboard DS9, Gul Danar demands the fugitive; Sisko politely denies him, though, granting asylum to Tahna Los.
Kira and Tahna debate Bajoran politics; Tahna wants a completely free and independent Bajor, whereas Kira sees the need for the Federation's involvement, at least for the time being, until they can fully exploit the wormhole commercially. Kira promises her help and support, as long as he is no longer with the Kohn-Ma.
The Klingon sisters Lursa and B'Etor of the House of Duras arrive on DS9. Unwilling at first to relinquish their weapons on the Promenade, they are tacitly convinced by Odo, who promptly notifies Sisko of their presence. The sisters meet with Tahna soon thereafter, demanding payment for a deal they had made. Odo, disguised as a rat, observes the entire exchange.
Kira has arranged an amnesty hearing in the Ministers' Court on Bajor for Tahna. She informs Sisko, and also tells him of two other former Kohn-Ma agents who are also seeking asylum. Sisko thanks her for the information, then bluntly warns her to never go over his head again to the admiralty. When Sisko hears from Odo, however, about the dealings between Tahna and the scheming Klingon sisters, he reserves judgment.
Garak tells Doctor Bashir to come to his shop that evening at exactly 20:55 hours. Unsure of what to do, Bashir asks Sisko for advice. Sisko recommends that he keep his appointment.
Kira informs Tahna that she has the necessary votes in the Ministry for his amnesty; Tahna is not interested, though. He announces his pride at still being a Kohn-Ma, and asks Kira for a small ship with warp speed.
Kira, unsure of whom to support, asks for Odo's advice. Odo, sensing that she is torn between loyalties, convinces her to divulge everything to Sisko.
Bashir, arriving two minutes late, is herded into a back stall, where he is allowed to overhear the Klingon sisters agreeing to sell bilitrium to Tahna. once they have departed, Garak informs Bashir that Tahna now has the ingredients for a bomb of "significant destructive capability."
Kira, under orders from Sisko, provides Tahna with the runabout USS Yangtzee Kiang and accompanies them to the rendezvous; Sisko and O'Brien are nearby in the USS Ganges, lurking behind a moon, reconnoitering the rendezvous area for the illegal weapons deal. After the bilitrium is exchanged for 13 kilograms of gold-pressed latinum, Sisko gives chase to Tahna and Kira.
Tahna finally sees through Kira's act; he strikes her to the floor, and then combines the bilitrium he just purchased with an antimatter converter, activating the biogenic weapon. They go to warp and head toward DS9. With the Ganges and the Cardassian warship Aldara closing fast, Kira learns that DS9 is not the target of the weapon; the target is the wormhole. By collapsing the entrance to the wormhole, and shutting it forever, Tahna seeks to remove Bajor from prominence in the Alpha Quadrant, so that Bajor will be left alone by both the Federation and the Cardassians.
At the last second, however, Kira steers the Yangtzee Kiang straight into the wormhole, just as they drop to impulse power and release the weapon. But the weapon is deployed in the Gamma Quadrant, on the other side of the wormhole. Following them through the wormhole, Sisko gives Tahna a choice: surrender, or be captured by the Cardassians; he chooses the former.
Tahna is taken back aboard DS9 and incarcerated by Odo. Although Kira has lost Tahna's friendship, she has begun a new one with Commander Sisko.
"You're very kind, Mister Garak."
"Oh, it's just Garak. Plain, simple Garak."
- - Bashir and Garak
"Go over my head again, and I'll have yours on a platter."
- - Sisko to Kira, regarding her conversation with Admiral Rollman
"That damned Cardassian's firing on a Bajoran scoutship in Bajoran space!"
- - Kira
"You won't believe who sat down next to me in the replimat!"
- - Bashir, regarding meeting Garak for the first time
"Welcome to DS9."
- - Odo, to Lursa and B'Etor
"Commander, the Cardassians are hailing us."
"Now they want to talk!"
"They're hopping mad."
- - O'Brien and Kira
"Why don't I... lock them up and call the Klingons to come get them?"
- - Odo and Sisko, discussing the Duras sisters
"You've never fought Cardassians, have you?"
"Well, you wouldn't wanna turn a man... any man... over to their tender care, sir."
- - O'Brien and Sisko
"They went straight to Quark's, but not for the gambling... and certainly not for the food."
- - Odo, on Lursa and B'Etor's whereabouts
"You know, Cardassian rule may have been oppressive but at least it was... simple."
- - Odo
"We have specific regulations. You can leave the weapons, or leave the station. Your choice. Please make it now."
"Who are you?"
"I'm the one giving you the choice."
- - Odo to the Duras sisters
"Well, what do you want me to do?"
"I think, doctor... you could definitely use a new suit."
- - Bashir and Sisko
"Ah, an open mind. The essence of intellect."
- - Garak, to Bashir
Story and script
- In Katharyn Powers' original script, Kira and Tahna were to be lovers, but Michael Piller decided that this was a television cliché. Powers also had Tahna turning his back on terrorism and attempt to forge peace with the Cardassians, before being killed by his own people. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 41)
- This was the first appearance of Andrew Robinson as Elim Garak in the series. Garak would eventually become an important recurring character, making his final appearance in the series finale "What You Leave Behind". Getting his characterization right was important to both the crew and the actor himself. Of the origins of the character, producer Peter Allan Fields says that "we needed a Cardassian who didn't act like one, so I finally put him in a tailor shop, and nobody hit me, so we kept him there." Director Winrich Kolbe says of the performance that "we agreed that Andy could push the envelope, but he couldn't leave the Cardassian platform. We had long talks about wardrobe and makeup, but we also talked about attitude, so that he would retain that stiffness that you see in all Cardassians." Finally, Andrew Robinson himself says of the character, "he's all subtext. If a smart guy like Garak says that he's 'plain and simple', you realize that he's not plain and not simple. And that there is a lot going on. Regardless of how innocuous or simple each line is, there's always something going on underneath that belies the line. And his eyes and the tone of his voice say something different than the words he's speaking. It's not an easy thing to work with subtext, but when you do it well, you really get people's attention." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The change which takes place in Kira's hairstyle from the pilot episode, "Emissary", was at the request of Nana Visitor herself; "I just didn't feel that Major Kira would style her hair every day. She wouldn't care! I wanted a hairstyle that looked like she just woke up in the morning looking like that." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The sentiments Tahna Los expresses toward the Federation, as well as his phrase "Bajor for Bajorans," come back in the beginning of season two with a three-part story arc involving an extremist faction known as Alliance for Global Unity. (DS9: "The Homecoming", "The Circle", "The Siege")
- The Cardassian method of torture, via a pain-inducing implant under the skin that leaves an unpleasant scar as seen in TNG: "Chain of Command, Part II" is referred to in this episode, as Julian Bashir notes scarring on Tahna Los during a medical exam.
- This is the first time that the Klingons appear on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- This episode marks the only appearances of Lursa (Barbara March) and B'Etor (Gwynyth Walsh), the Duras sisters, on the series. However, their mirror universe counterparts, Lursa and B'Etor, would later be mentioned in "Crossover" and their nephew Toral appears in "The Sword of Kahless".
- Admiral Rollman, as played by Leonard Nimoy's wife Susan Bay, later appeared in "Whispers".
- The friendship between Kira and Odo is first established in this episode, and we see for the first time the great level of trust she has in him. The idea for establishing this friendship was Peter Allan Fields', who would go on to explore its origins in the second season episode "Necessary Evil".
- Among the clothes seen in Garak's shop is the costume worn by Steven Miller in TNG: "Haven", the Risa outfit worn by Sovak in "Captain's Holiday" and one of Kamala's dresses from "The Perfect Mate".
- Sisko mentions the Klingon Civil War, which took place in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes "Redemption" and "Redemption II". This episode reveals the House of Duras are attempting to rebuild their forces by making profit.
- Armin Shimerman (Quark) and Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) do not appear in this episode.
- This is the first episode of Star Trek in which no ship named Enterprise appears.
- This was Vaughn Armstrong's first appearance on DS9. His next appearance on the show, in the episode "When It Rains...", would again have him playing a Cardassian, but not the same character, namely Seskal. He later played an unequaled twelve other roles in various Star Trek series.
- The episode name alludes to the quote "what's past is prologue" from The Tempest, act 2, scene 1, by William Shakespeare.
- This episode suggests that the value of gold press latinum is measured in weight, but future episodes firmly establish that it is measured in units of slips, strips, and bars.
- This is the first episode of the series to be directed by Winrich Kolbe.
- This episode features five characters who also appeared or will appear in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Chief O'Brien, Dr. Bashir, Lursa, B'Etor and Morn.
- In "The Ascent", Jake writes a story called "Past Prologue".
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 2, 2 August 1993.
- As part of the DS9 Season 1 DVD collection.
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Constable Odo
- Siddig El Fadil as Doctor Julian Bashir
- Terry Farrell as Lieutenant Jadzia Dax
- Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira Nerys
- Jeffrey Nordling as Tahna Los
- Andrew Robinson as Elim Garak
- Gwynyth Walsh as B'Etor
- Barbara March as Lursa
- Susan Bay as Admiral Rollman
- Vaughn Armstrong as Gul Danar
- Scott Barry as a Bajoran officer
- Robert Coffee as a Bajoran civilian
- Brian Demonbreun as a Starfleet science officer
- Jeannie Dreams as an operations division ensign
- Holiday Freeman as a Human DS9 resident
- Kevin Grevioux as a security officer
- Mark Lentry as a command division lieutenant
- David B. Levinson as Broik
- Robin Morselli as a Bajoran officer
- Tyana Parr as a Human DS9 resident
- Mark Allen Shepherd as Morn
- Michael Zurich as a Bajoran security deputy
- Unknown performers as
Aldara; Alpha Quadrant; amnesty; antimatter converter; assassination; Bajor VIII; Bajoran Intelligence; Bajoran Intelligence net; Bajoran Provisional Government; Bajoran scout ship; Bajoran system; Bajoran wormhole; Barkano; bilitrium; bomb; burn; Cardassian war vessel; clothier; conspiracy; crime; Duras sisters; Federation; Galor class; Gamma Quadrant; Ganges, USS; glinn; Haru outpost; isolinear rod; Joranian ostrich; Klingons Klingon Bird-of-Prey; Klingon High Council; Kohn-Ma; Kraus IV; latinum; Ministers' Court; Occupation of Bajor; political asylum; Promenade; Quark's; rat; replimat; runabout; spy; structural integrity field; suit; Tarkalean tea, terrorist; tractor beam; warp engines; Yangtzee Kiang, USS.
- Past Prologue (episode) at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Past Prologue at Wikipedia
| Previous episode:|
| Star Trek: Deep Space Nine|
| Next episode:|
"A Man Alone"