Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 1 Episode 1

Emissary (1)

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Jan 03, 1993 on Syndicado
out of 10
User Rating
258 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Stardate: 46379.1

Commander Benjamin Sisko takes command of the Bajoran space station Deep Space Nine, formerly Terok Nor, recently abandoned by the Cardassian Empire. The discovery of the first stable wormhole, controlled by time-independent aliens, worshipped by the Bajorans as gods (called Prophets), gives Sisko religious significance as the aliens' Emissary.


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  • DS9 comes roaring out of the gate!!

    Literate. Philosophical. Contemporary. Action-oriented and thought-provoking. Profound. The initiation of a 7 year odyssey.
  • I've always loved this one. Not sure if it's a guilty pleasure or it's simply that good and others just can't recognize it. Feel free to decide yourself.

    DS9's pilot plays out like a Star Trek TV movie that simultaneously satisfies while leaving the viewer ready for more. Even if "Emissary" wasn't jump starting a new series, it would be a cool little Star Trek sidebar with a fun story that uses familiar characters and established parts of the Star Trek universe in supporting roles while putting forth a new story featuring original characters, with Commander Sisko at the forefront.

    In a way, it shows us another path the Star Trek franchise could have chosen. Instead of multiple Star Trek shows airing at the same time, they could have had one Starship crew doing feature films, one Star Trek film doing television episodes, and one space station, such as Deep Space Nine, doing a tv movie two or three times a year. Of course, considering the success of the Deep Space Nine series, most fans are probably happy this scenario didn't happen. Fortunately, "Emissary" also works perfectly well as a television pilot, establishing characters (though the writers at this point haven't yet gotten a handle on Dr. Bashir or Dax) and fleshing out the backstories, which lay the groundwork for more great stories to come. In particular, the pilot focuses on Sisko, who is mentally wounded and beginning a healing process.

    At the same time, the episode's idea of the nonlinear part of our existence, with past moments still in play as we move forward, is a great message for Trekkers, implying that the great moments of Star Trek's past and present will always be with us something that's even more relevant in today's age where we can easily rewatch favorite episodes and movies at a moment's notice.

    "Emissary" is noteworthy for its original airing scoring a whopping 18.8% of the syndicated audience, which puts it among the most watched episodes in syndication history. It also won the 1993 Emmy for Special Effects.

  • Best Star Trek Pilot

    This episode introduces the caracters and themes that would be played out for the next seven years. It introduces the series with style and is certainly the most involving Star Trek pilot episode ever. Commander Sisko is revealed to be a family man holding on to what is left of his family after the death of his wife in a horrific space battle. Assigned to watch over the planet Bajor from a run-down space station, he becomes the reluctant emissary of the prophets.

    Avery Brooks attempts some mannerisms in this episode which he would tone down or drop over the next few seasons, but here he convincingly plays a wounded man with a deep love for his young son. Cirroc Lofton should be recognized for playing one of the least annoying child characters in television history. Just as impressive is Nana Visitor who plays her second-in-command role with breathtaking, but appropriate, fierceness. Siddig El Bashir and Terry Farrell are awkward here compared to the full-bodied characterizations they would inhabit later in the series. The rest of the cast is solid, but they would get even better as the series went on.moreless
  • A good start.

    The pilot episode was well done. The writing was good as well as the acting. I thought that this show was very good at detail. The only problem I had was that Emissary dragged on a bit too long. It took so much time to explain things and was really slow paced. Maybe it was because it had to get everyone associated with the new characters of a new series, but I thought it dragged at times. My favorite aspect of this episode had to be the crossover of two Star Trek series. I thought that was really cool to see Picard and Sisko together. Thank you.moreless
  • A nice introduction.

    I hesitate to rate this episode that highly given that what comes in later seasons is so superior. That said, this is a nice set-up. Out of the three main arcs of the show (Cardassia vs. Bajor, the Emissary, and the Dominion War), two get their start here.

    Given that this show emphasized "character development", it's interesting to notice that the characters are already starting to take shake. There isn't much depth yet, but the mold is set.

    In addition, a few of the recurring characters already show up here - Dukat, Morn (surprisingly chatty!), Nog, and Rom (one scene).

    This half of the opening episode is somewhat stronger, simply because the overly lengthy "prophet scenes" are saved for part 2. We get our first look at Bajor, and it's interesting how the directors go for a "yellowish" tint to distinguish it from the more "green" look of the space station.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

Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard/Locutus Of The Borg

Guest Star

Stephen Davies

Stephen Davies

Saratoga Tactical Officer

Guest Star

Lily Mariye

Lily Mariye

Saratoga Ops Officer

Guest Star

Camille Saviola

Camille Saviola

Kai Opaka

Recurring Role

Marc Alaimo

Marc Alaimo

Gul Dukat

Recurring Role

Aron Eisenberg

Aron Eisenberg


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Although the scene was cut when shown in syndication, Captain Picard personally beams Chief O'Brien from The Enterprise to DS9. In that scene, the background music transitions from The Next Generation theme to that of Deep Space Nine.

    • In the opening credits of every episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the dust trail following the comet can briefly be seen to form an image of Leonard Nimoy (Spock) taken from Star Trek III.

    • In this initial episode, Armin Shimerman's "Quark" makeup is slightly different in tone and coloration than the following episodes.

    • The wormhole did not appear in the opening sequence in this episode to preserve one of the main story points of the debut episode.

    • A scene filmed, but later cut was Sisko being offered a job on Earth. The scene featured John Carter as the Chancellor.

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Kira: If you don't take your hand off my hip, you'll never raise another glass with it again.
      Quark: (sighing as she storms away) I love a woman in uniform.

    • Jennifer: Are you going to tell me your name?
      Young Sisko: Ben Sisko. I... I just graduated from Starfleet Academy. I'm waiting for my first posting.
      Jennifer: A junior officer? My mother warned me to watch out for junior officers.
      Young Sisko: Your mother's going to adore me.
      Jennifer: You're awfully sure of yourself.
      Young Sisko: It's not every day you meet the girl you're going to marry.

    • Sisko: I was just talking to our good neighbor, Quark. He's laying odds the provisional government's going to fall.
      Kira: Quark knows a sure bet when he sees it. This government will be gone in a week. And so will you.

    • Sisko: My officers, the Bajoran engineers, and all their families depend on the shops and services of this Promenade. But if people like you abandon it, this is going to become a ghost town. We need someone to step forward and say, 'I'm staying. I'm rebuilding.' We need a community leader. And it's going to be... you, Quark.
      Quark: (laughing) Me?!
      Odo: You seem to have all the character references of a politician.

    • O'Brien: Sir, have you ever served with any Bajoran women?
      : No. Why?
      O'Brien: I was just wondering, sir.

    • Bashir: This is where the adventure is. This is where heroes are made. Right here... in the wilderness.
      Kira: This wilderness happens to be my home!
      Bashir: I didn't mean...
      Kira: The Cardassians left behind a lot of injured people, Doctor. You can make yourself useful by bringing some of your Federation medicine to the 'natives'. (sarcastically) You'll find them a friendly, simple folk.

    • Kai Opaka: (about Sisko) How ironic... one who does not wish to be among us is to be the Emissary.

    • Kira: You are throwing it all away... all of you!
      Bajoran Bureaucrat: You're being a fool!
      Kira: Well, then, don't ask my opinion next time!

    • Sisko: (discussing Bajor's possible membership in the Federation) Sounds like they're not ready.
      Picard: Your job, short of violating the Prime Directive, is to make sure that they are.

    • Quark: Commander, I've made a career out of knowing when to leave. And this Bajoran provisional government is far too provisional for my taste. And when governments fall, people like me are lined up and shot.
      Sisko: There is that risk, but then you are a gambler, Quark.
      : And a thief.
      Sisko: You know, Quark, that poor boy is about to spend the best years of his life in a Bajoran prison. I'm a father myself. I know what your brother must be going through. The boy should be with his family, not in some cold jail cell. Think about it. It's up to you. (Sisko exits.)
      Odo: (about Sisko) You know, at first... I didn't think I was going to like him.

    • Sisko: What makes you think I can find your... temple?
      Kai Opaka: (Kai Opaka gives Sisko the orb ark) This will help you.
      Sisko: Kai Opaka...
      Kai Opaka: I can't unite my people until I know the Prophets have been warned. You will find the temple. Not for Bajor, not for the Federation, but for your own pagh. It is quite simply, Commander, the journey you have always been destined to take.

    • Kira: The provisional government and I don't agree on a lot of things, which is probably why they've sent me to this God-forsaken place. I have been fighting for Bajoran independence since I was old enough to pick up a phaser. Finally, we drive out the Cardassians, and what do our new leaders do? They call up the Federation and invite them right in!

    • Sisko: It's really quite simple, Quark, you're not going to leave.
      : Not going to leave? But we're packed and ready to go.
      : Unpack.
      Quark: I don't understand, Commander. Why would you want me to stay?
      Odo: I'm curious myself. The man is a gambler and a thief.
      Quark: I'm not a thief.
      Odo: You are a thief!
      Quark: If I am, you haven't been able to prove it for four years.

    • Kai Opaka: Look for solutions from within, Commander...

    • Sisko: I have a son that I'm raising alone. This is not the ideal environment.
      Picard: Unfortunately, as Starfleet officers, we do not always have the luxury to serve in an ideal environment.

    • Picard: Have we met before?
      Sisko: Yes, sir. We met in battle. I was on the Saratoga at Wolf 359.

    • Kira: I suppose you want the office.
      Sisko: Well, I was hoping we could say 'hello' and then I'd take the office. But we can do it in any order you like.
      Kira: (sarcastic) Hello!

  • NOTES (20)

    • The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects.

    • The pilot episode was originally titled "The Ninth Orb", which referred to Sisko's experiences in the Wormhole.

    • Several of Benjamin Sisko's early scenes, including his first meeting with Major Kira and Jake were reshot, because they felt that Sisko was too coming across as too harsh. Other scenes, such as more footage of the U.S.S. Saratoga were cut for lack of time.

    • They originally planned to have a male Kai, and they intended to have all visitors to the Kai disrobe completely before speaking with him. They also wanted the Kai to sense the pagh through foot massage, but they decided that was too unwieldy, and changed it the pagh's sensor point to the earlobes.

    • This episode originally aired together with "Emissary (Part 2)" as a two-hour pilot episode.

    • Alexander Siddig was originally Rick Berman's first choice to play Benjamin Sisko.

    • In an April 2003 interview, Avery Brooks stated that he was contractually required to appear with hair to prevent confusion with his character Hawk, from Spenser: For Hire. Once the character of Sisko became established, Brooks was allowed to shave his head and grow his beard again.

    • Jadzia Dax was originally planned to be shown as someone from a weightless environment. However, the costs of the special effects and the restrictions of her wearing wires caused this idea to be axed. The idea itself was later reused for the episode "Melora".

    • Originally, Famke Janssen was cast for this series after her work on the The Next Generation episode, "The Perfect Mate", and was to reprise her role as Kamala. However, she wanted to leave herself open for feature film work and turned the role down. Jadzia Dax's role was created to take the place of this character.

    • Morn appears not only in this pilot episode, but also in the pilot episode "Caretaker" of Voyager as well.

    • Introduces the popular background character of Morn, whose name is an anagram of "Norm", the name of one of the regular characters on the popular NBC series Cheers.

    • Dr. Julian Bashir (Siddig El Fadil) and Quark (Armin Shimerman) are two of only four characters to appear on this series before appearing on The Next Generation. The other two are Gul Evek (Richard Poe) and Admiral Chekote (Bruce Gray).

    • Despite appearing in the opening credits, Cirroc Lofton would only appear as Jake in less than half of the episodes each season.

    • Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat), Aron Eisenberg (Nog), J.G. Hertzler (the Vulcan captain), Mark Allen Shepherd (Morn) are the only actors, besides the regulars, to appear in both the pilot and the finale of the series. J.G. Hertzler would later play the recurring character of General/Chancellor Martok on the series.

    • Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard) and Colm Meaney (Chief O'Brien) are the only actors to appear in both the pilots of The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

    • The role of the Bajoran second-in-command was originally designed for Michelle Forbes' The Next Generation character, Ro Laren. However when Michelle turned it down, not wanting to commit to a six-year contract, Nana Visitor was approached to play the reworked character of Kira Nerys.

    • There are two different opening sequences for this episode. An opening sequence without the wormhole is used when the episode is aired in its original two-hour format. When aired in two parts, the episode is aired with the regular opening sequence used during the show's first three seasons.

    • Armin Shimerman (Quark) is the only actor to appear in the pilots of both Deep Space Nine and Voyager.

    • Babylon Five fans and people close to J. Michael Straczynski, series creator claim Deep Space Nine is really Babylon Five. He offered the show to Paramount and they declined it. Later on Deep Space Nine was created. Both share similar items with the main exception of Jake Sisko, Quark, Rom and Nog. Interesting enough when UPN started, local stations that aired Babylon Five stopped and thus the series finished its run on TNN.

    • Among those trying to get the role of Ben Sisko included James Earl Jones, Eriq La Salle, Tony Todd and Gary Graham.