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The Alternate (episode)

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(written from a Production point of view)
"The Alternate"
DS9, Episode 2x12
Production number: 40512-432
First aired: 9 January 1994
31st of 173 produced in DS9
31st of 173 released in DS9
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 173 released in DS9 Remastered  
301st of 728 released in all
Odo attacks Mora
Teleplay By
Bill Dial

Story By
Jim Trombetta and Bill Dial

Directed By
David Carson
47391.7 (2370)
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The Bajoran scientist who used to be Odo's teacher arrives with evidence of others of Odo's kind.

Summary

Teaser

In his bar, Quark is trying to sell pieces of Plegg to another Ferengi when Odo walks in and comes up to Quark. The other Ferengi leaves upon hearing Quark's asking price, and Odo takes out latinum as if to buy some of the remains, before informing Quark that he wants to buy parts of Plegg, but that is impossible because Plegg is still alive. As they are discussing this, Dr. Mora enters the bar and calls out to Odo. As Quark starts to talk to Dr. Mora, Odo leaves in disgust, with Dr. Mora walking with him. They head to the Replimat, where Dr. Mora hints that he may have a clue as to Odo's origins.

Act One

Benjamin Sisko is reading a PADD in his quarters when Jake tries to leave to meet Nog. Sisko asks Jake about his homework, and upon hearing that it is done, tells Jake he can't leave because he should be listening to Klingon opera to appreciate their culture. In frustration, Jake asks his father when the last time he listened to Klingon opera. Sisko informs Jake that it was when he was his son's age, and then suggests that Jake invite Nog over and they can listen to the Klingon opera together. Jake walks off in frustration as Odo enters. Odo requests the use of a runabout for investigation of a planet in the Gamma Quadrant, where DNA similar to Odo's had been found.

Mora, Odo and Dax on runabout

Odo, Dax, and Mora on their way to L-S VI

Jadzia joins Odo, Dr. Mora, and a Bajoran scientist, Dr. Weld on the runabout, and Dr. Mora encourages Odo to tell Jadzia the story of when he was in the lab, but Dr. Mora then repeatedly interrupts Odo to correct him. The four people beam down to the planet, L-S VI, and begin to scan the surrounding area. They come upon an artifact with unrecognizable letters on it. Jadzia suggests taking the artifact back to the station to let the computers there decipher it. As they are engaged in looking at the artifact, Dr. Weld comes across a lifeform which has similar DNA to Odo. The silicate-based creature is placed in a container, and the artifact is transported up to the runabout. As soon as it leaves the surface of the planet the ground begins to shake. Dr. Mora starts to cough, and then falls to the ground. Soon after, Jadzia and Weld do the same, and only Odo is left standing, when the computer locks onto their combadges and transports them back to the runabout.

Act Two

In the infirmary on the station Dr. Bashir is caring for the two Bajorans and Jadzia. Odo wasn't affected by the gas that paralyzed the others, so he joins Miles O'Brien in studying the silicate-based creature that was found on the planet, and O'Brien states that the creature keeps changing, and that he's put a level 5 security field on it.

Sisko is sleeping when Major Kira wakes him up and asks him to come down to the science lab. He enters the lab, and sees that the lab has been trashed. The case that the lifeform was in is broken apart.

Act Three

The crew looks for signs of what has happened, while Odo sets up a scan for the missing lifeform, and the station goes to yellow alert. O'Brien notes that the lifeform might have gone through the ventilation. Jadzia enters the science lab and Odo leaves to talk to Dr. Mora. Mora attempts to leave sickbay to help find the creature, but Odo convinces him to stay. As O'Brien crawls through the ventilation duct in search of the lifeform, he hears something, and follows the sound.

He comes across a structural breach, and when putting his hand up to touch the structure it breaks, pouring down some kind of liquid. He identifies it as the missing lifeform, and states that it is now dead. Dr. Bashir studies the lifeform, and determines that it needed more carbon dioxide to survive. As he is in the infirmary, he hears a noise coming from the ceiling. He is unable to find anything, but as he resumes his work a tentacle comes up from behind and grabs him. He struggles, it lets go, then he uses a laser scalpel to cut the creature. The lifeform retreats back through the ceiling vent, and Bashir calls security down to the infirmary.

Act Four

After a team arrives, Bashir explains to them what he has seen, and accordingly Sisko puts the station on red alert. Jadzia runs a cross-tabulation analysis, and finds that the lifeform found on the planet and the one that attacked Dr. Bashir in the infirmary don't have enough similarities to be the same lifeform. Dr. Mora recognizes the organic sample as being the same as Odo.

Act Five

Dr. Mora confronts Odo with the likelihood that it was probably Odo himself who committed the trashing of the science lab and the attack on Dr. Bashir. Dr. Mora attempts to convince Odo to return to the scientific center with him, but Odo refuses. As they are arguing Odo hits a security panel and he starts to change into something else. Dr. Mora flees from security.

Dr. Mora arrives at Ops as the station crew attempt to find out why the power in security has just failed. He explains that Odo is the creature, and that this metamorphosis is probably a reaction to the gas that was encountered on the planet. Dr. Mora volunteers to be bait to attract the creature that was Odo into a trap. Mora waits on the Promenade, along with Sisko, Kira, Bashir, and station security personnel. The creature comes out and into the force field waiting for it. Dr. Mora watches in distress as the creature slams itself into the force field again and again, realizing then how Odo must have felt during his time at the center-a prisoner. The force field drops and the creature morphs into Odo and falls to the ground. Mora rushes over to him.

In the infirmary, Odo is back to normal again, and Bashir informs him that the gas has been purged from his system. Odo apologizes to Dr. Mora for attacking him, and Mora apologizes for not seeing sooner how Odo felt.

Memorable Quotes

"I am merely a businessman. It would take an orator with the skills of the late, great Plegg himself to sing the praises of the late, great Plegg."

- Quark


"Humanoid death rituals are an interest of mine."
"Death rituals?"
"Everybody needs a hobby."

- Odo and Quark


"Doctor Bashir gave you permission to be up and about?"
"Doctor Bashir wouldn't listen to me and hid my clothes so I wouldn't leave. I had to sneak out to my quarters in a hospital gown that wouldn't close in the back."

- Sisko and Jadzia


"Feel like getting a raktajino before we call it a night?"
"My replicator or yours?"

- Jadzia and Bashir


"Constable?"
"It's a nickname that I barely tolerate."
"It's an expression of affection that you find difficult to accept."

- Mora and Odo


"I prescribe rest, because it's hard for a doctor to go wrong with that one."

- Bashir

"It's from you, Odo. ... The destruction in the science lab occurred at 0300 hours, five minutes. The attack in the infirmary occurred at 19:35, roughly 16 hours apart. Is your rejuvenation period still 16 hours?"
"I was in my pail during both attacks."
"But were you? I don't think so. I think you've been placed in the ironic position of having to track down yourself."
"How could this be?"
"Has anything like this occurred before?"
"No!"
"Are you certain?"
"Yes, I'm certain. There would have been incidents."
"Any unsolved crimes on the book?"
"There are always unsolved crimes."
"Then the possibility exists."
"I do not commit criminal acts! It is not in my nature!"
"Isn't it?"
"Maybe it was the gas on the planet. It affected you. It must have affected me. That's it."
"Worth an investigation."
(trying to leave) "Dr Bashir..."
(stopping him) "Dr Bashir will not understand this. Except that you have turned into a thing that tried to kill him. What do you think they'll do with you? They won't know what to do! They'll put you in a prison or quarantine you on an asteroid in the Gamma Quadrant. Odo, they'll put you in a zoo!"
"I don't... believe that. You don't know them."
"What humanoid have you been able to trust except me?"
"What makes you think I trust you?"
"I resent that. I really do. After all the time I invested in you, after the education and attention I gave you... You would not be here if it weren't for me. I gave you more than anyone in my life! You were my life! And then you walked away... And now you don't trust me. Fine. Put yourself in their hands. You always had to learn the hard way."
"I... am not going back to the centre with you."
"Why? We'll work through this together. We'll solve it together like we used to."
"NO!!!!!"

- Mora and Odo

Background Information

Story and script

Odo monster

Jim Martin sketch of Odo monster

  • The idea for this episode came to Jim Trombetta when he realized that if a shape shifter was suffering from multiple personality disorder, "not only would he go around exhibiting different personalities, but different bodies." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • Mora Pol was originally to be played by Rene Auberjonois himself, much as Data's creator Noonian Soong was played by Brent Spiner, but this plan was scrapped when it was realized how much time it would take each day to get Auberjonois out of one make-up and into another. Most DS9 episodes were shot in 7 days, but it was estimated that with Auberjonois playing both parts it would take at least 14 to complete the shoot. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • When telling Odo the story about his father, Sisko seems to imply (without actually saying it) that his father had passed away after becoming ill. Joseph Sisko ultimately made six appearances in the series, his first one taking place almost exactly two years after this episode. Possibly because of the information disclosed in this episode, it is mentioned in the script of "Homefront" that "several years earlier Joseph fought a debilitating battle against a severe illness, barely surviving. He's never gotten back to full strength, but he's determined to live out the rest of his years with gusto". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)

Production

  • Special effects supervisor Glenn Neufeld wasn't especially pleased with how this episode turned out, primarily due to the fact that he feels the audience sees too much of the 'monster'; "I figured out the way the script was written, by my timing, we'd be looking at the creature for a minute and a half of screen time. Thirty cuts between three and fifteen seconds each, at various times in the show. I was forced to point out that in the movie Alien up to the moment where we really see it, there are only a hundred frames of creature. And do we really want to see our creature all that time? And, of course, the answer was 'Yes'." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)

Reception

Trivia

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also Starring

Guest star

Co-star

Uncredited co-stars

References

Alpha Quadrant; Bajor; Bajorans; Bajoran Institute of Science; Bajoran sector; Bajoran wormhole; Board of Ministers; carbon-based lifeform; cellular structure; Changeling; Deka tea; Federation; Ferengi; Ferengi death ritual; Gamma Quadrant; holosuite; homework; intruder alert; Khosla II; Klingon opera; Krokan petri beaker; L-S VI; latinum; Nog; nucleotide; O'Brien, Keiko; Plegg; Promenade; Quark's; RF energy; raktajino; red alert; replicator; Replimat; runabout;silicate; Sisko, Joseph; tentacle; tornado; tricorder; yellow alert

External link


Previous episode:
"Rivals"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 2
Next episode:
"Armageddon Game"

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