Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 1 Episode 18

Dramatis Personae

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM May 30, 1993 on Syndicado
out of 10
User Rating
181 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Stardate: 46922.3

Sisko and Kira are possessed by alien forces and fight for control of the station.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • In this week's exciting episode, Sisko builds a clock! There's more, too.

    With a title that's latin for "the masks of drama" (used to refer to the characters represented in a dramatic work,) Dramatis Personea is a fun, little exploration of obsessive compulsion and a nice look at what a mutiny on Deep Space Nine might be like. To keep the episode from becoming tedious, the writers wisely give everyone something to do, allowing the drama to move from character to character and not get stuck on one issue like a broken record. Things do get a bit slow in the middle of the episode, as Odo begins to put together what's going on, and the climax is strictly paint-by-the-numbers Star Trek. But it's clear the actors are having fun doing something different, and the episode has its moments as a result.

  • Topic: Mutiny - An alien telepathic matrix hijacks senior officers minds and forces a command power struggle. Warning Label: Fighting, minor peril. Family Rating: PG

    Emotional response was disturbed by the lack of understanding and teamwork, due to the alien influence. Needed some redshirts.

    Series Impact: Didn't notice any, except a possible undertone of a Bajoran mutiny.

    # of Nine: Drama 9 (only because of the title), Suspense 5, Action 4, Comedy 1

    Acting - good

    Scenery - Commanders office, OPs, Security HQ, Shuttlecraft, Quark's, Infirmary, Siskos' quarters, corridors, Cargo Bay 4

    Sound - good

    Lighting - good

    Effects - typical

    Costumes - typical

    Props - alien clock, neck brace, Medela Apertif (drink)moreless
  • Power Play rehashed for Deep Space Nine.

    Dramatis Personae means actor's mask. This is an appropriate title for an episode where the crew is alien possessed. Unfortunately this plot line is unoriginal. It bears a striking resemblance to TNG episode Power Play. In that episode, chief O'Brien is also one of the crew members to become affected. Like Power Play, at the end of the show the alien intelligence is forced out of the host bodies and blown out the airlock!

    The episode also resembles TNG Conspiracy. Kira's line "You don't have to stand on ceremony for me, Odo" could be a tribute to this Trek classic.

    One of the most disappointing elements of Dramatis Personae is the fact that the characters never get around to a satisfactory explanation all the aspects of the plot: For instance how exactly did the Klingon infect the officers in Ops? We know that the Klingons became infected themselves by opening some kind of orbs but how did the telepathic "virus" spread after this? We don't see the virus continue to spread to others aboard the station. Is it because the Klingon died that the virus was passed along?

    Also no explanation is given for Sisko's clock, or for Dax's memory loss.

    One of the interesting things about the episode is that this is another example of using a transporter beam to intercept another transporter beam as seen in TOS Assignment: Earth. In this case the station's Cardassian transporter is able to retrieve a Klingon that is unable to materialize after beaming off of his destroyed ship. Its the only time when we see two distinct transporter beam effects used in tandem. First we see the Klingon beam fail, then the Cardassian beam. Unfortunately it doesn't explain how O'Brien was able to intercept the beam after Klingon First Officers ship exploded and after his re-materialization failed. One would expect him to be lost for good. In any event whatever O'Brien did saved the Klingon's life, for about 10 seconds, thus facilitated the spread of the telepathic matrix.

    The shows poor writing is offset by excellent acting by all performers and did a surprising job of redeeming the show. Its worth a watch on a rainy afternoon.moreless
  • Among the best episodes of season 1.

    As other reviewers pointed out, this episode is similar to the TNG episode "Power Play", in which alien forces take over members of the senior crew. That said, the direction the plot takes is quite different. "Power Play" was a typical hostage/terrorist drama; "Dramatis Personae" begins with the Sisko/Kira, Federation/Bajor tensions and evolves into a mutiny plot.

    The personae adopted by the different characters are only poorly explained, they're intriguing: Sisko's bored monarch, constructing his clock as his kingdom crumbles; Bashir as the court gossip; Kira as the coup-plotter; etc. Odo's manipulation of Bashir is fun to watch. The plot itself is quite exciting.

    Ultimately, not a classic episode - but far superior to some of its season 1 predecessors.moreless
  • More alien possession. Already?!

    'Dramatis Personae', in which an alien device from the Gamma Quadrant seems to possess the crew of DS9, forcing them to re-create an ancient power play, is a cliched but mildly entertaining romp.

    But despite some enjoyable performances, this is another episode that's let down by its lacklustre execution. The directing and pacing are rather weak and there's never any real sense of danger or urgency - and that works to the show's detriment. Overall, 'Dramatis Personae' is a middle-of-the-road episode that works on some levels but ultimately falls flat. A sharp injection of adrenalin and imagination would have helped this rather tepid tale.moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman


Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

Lt./Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax (Season 1-6)

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Constable Odo

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Major/Colonel/Commander Kira Nerys

Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko

Alexander Siddig

Alexander Siddig

Dr. Julian Bashir

Tom Towles

Tom Towles


Guest Star

Stephen Parr

Stephen Parr


Guest Star

Randy Pflug

Randy Pflug


Guest Star

Mark Allen Shepherd

Mark Allen Shepherd

Morn (uncredited)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • While Sisko is under the influence of the alien energy matrix, he builds an alien clock. That clock became a permanent fixture in his office and is has been seen in many episodes afterwards.

    • Goof: When Kira discusses getting rid of Sisko with Jadzia in Quark's bar, she is wearing her Bajoran earring in her right ear throughout the entire conversation. When she notices Quark eavesdropping and grabs him by the collar and threatens him, the earring is gone in her close-up shot.

    • Goof: When Odo opens the cargo bay airlock, air is blowing in his and everyone else's face, even though they were facing the airlock. The air should have been rushing out, not in.

    • Nitpick: When he regained consciousness after collapsing in Quark's, Odo asks Bashir, "But I back to normal?" However, he obviously should have said "But I'm back to normal?"

    • Goof: During the "open airlock" scene, Commander Sisko's combadge (which he had removed earlier) suddenly reappears for a moment and then vanishes again.

  • QUOTES (2)

  • NOTES (1)


    • The title is theatre jargon for a list of the characters in a play, usually accompanied by a brief description of each. It implies the 'acting out' of characters by the main staff that occurs in the episode. Literally, the title translates as: persons of the drama.