Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 3 Episode 22


Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM May 08, 1995 on Syndicado
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Stardate: 48699.9 Sisko and Jake build a solar sailing ship in an attempt to recreate a journey taken by the ancient Bajorans. Meanwhile, Bashir encounters a former school rival.

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  • Nice, calm episode

    "It's almost like being on the deck of an old sailing ship, except the stars are not just up in the sky; they're all around us" Commander Sisko

    Like "Heart of Stone", this episode features a sci fi stand-in for an older, more earth-bound concept. (In fact, the idea is so on the nose, it's is more of a metaphor than an allegory). In 1947, Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl, in a primitive raft, sailed 4000 miles across the Pacific to prove that South Americans could have reached the Polynesian islands. Beyond this specific trip, the idea of early man using his ingenuity to cross the oceans fascinates many people, and is a natural parallel to space exploration (which is why it translates so well into an idea for a Star Trek episode).

    The episode itself is a bottle show that uses its premise to deliver a calm, lighthearted character-driven episode that features the two Siskos bonding on a father-son trip. It features two striking visuals: the solar ship, one of Star Trek's most memorable and gorgeous designs (both inside and out) and Commander Sisko's new beard which is obviously fake, but cool nonetheless. (And hey, if you're willing to accept that Sisko has enough off-duty time to build a spaceship in three weeks, you'll probably accept the instant facial hair, too). The faults themselves can be overlooked, because the true joy of the episode lies not in the concept but its execution: Avery Brooks and Cirroc Lofton have chemistry together and always give convincing and interesting performances as father and son, developing their characters and moving their relationship forward each time they're together. The writers wisely put the episode's emphasis on the two actors and avoid (for the most part) trying to create a false sense of peril for the sake of drama.

    Balancing out the man versus nature A story is a more internal struggle in the B story: the arrival of the one person who outdid Bashir at Starfleet Medical Academy causes the Doctor to question whether he's second best. The presentation itself transcends the material, and the story is appropriately short and sweet, although it does find time to work in a discussion about the advantages of sitting still over always having to be on the move. Take that, TNG and Voyager!

  • No fireworks (at least until the end), but two nice character-driven stories.

    This is one of those episodes that doesn't go over the top with action, doesn't try to cram in lots of story - it just kind of flows along nicely.

    The plot with Sisko and Jake is the kind of nice parent-son story that TNG never had, to a large degree because DS9 developed Jake was developed in a much more interesting direction than Wesley. Though Cirroc Lofton was featured in only a fraction of episodes, his presence here is highly welcome. This story flows along effortlessly. And the solar sail ship - what a beautiful, beautiful thing!

    The other story is much lighter. This is the third self-critiquing-Julian-Bashir episode in a pretty short stretch (the others are "Prophet Motive" and "Distant Voices"), and is actually the most interesting and engaging. Nicely done.

    Of course, two parts of this episode had me laughing out loud. The first is O'Brien and Kira's bickering (particularly O'Brien's comeback to Kira's jibe). The second is the wonderful drinking scene between O'Brien and Bashir. They've come a long way since "The Storyteller"!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

Bari Hochwald

Bari Hochwald

Dr. Elizabeth Lense

Guest Star

Marc Alaimo

Marc Alaimo

Gul Dukat

Recurring Role

Chase Masterson

Chase Masterson


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • First mention of Kassidy Yates.

    • This episode marks the first appearance of Leeta, Rom's future wife.

    • Goof: In the interior shots, Jake and his father are cranking the sails open at different rates, but in the exterior shots, the sails unfold at a uniform rate.

    • Nitpicks: Sisko and Jake reached faster-than-light travel, because tachyons bombarded the solar sails and propelled them into warp. Unless inertial dampners are contained within the artificial gravity plates that Sisko installed, the acceleration to such high speeds should have killed them. Another thing that isn't explained, is how the ancient ships would have made it out of Bajor's gravity well in the first place, without rocket technology.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Sisko: (after Jake refuses to come on his trip in the replica ship) It's funny, a year or two ago, nothing would have stopped him from coming with me on an adventure like this. I guess I waited too long.
      Jadzia: You'll have other adventures, Benjamin. They'll just be different.

    • O'Brien: (both are very drunk on real alcohol) Do you know what I think? I think she's in love with you.
      Bashir: I don't think so.
      O'Brien: It's the only explanation! Unless... unless she really ignored you, because she can't stand you.
      Bashir: Isn't there some explanation in between?
      O'Brien: Well... you're not an in-between kind of guy.

    • O'Brien: (to Bashir) And it's from the heart; I really do... not hate you anymore!

    • Dukat: Commander, I contacted you out of concern for your safety, but you seem to be intimating that I've made some sort of threat.
      Sisko: I'm glad I was wrong. For a moment there I'd thought you'd been put in charge of the Cardassian Ministry for the Refutation of Bajoran Fairy Tales...

  • NOTES (4)

    • Bari Hochwald (Dr. Lense) played the role of E'lis on the Enterprise episode "Marauders" and Brin in the Voyager episode "Friendship One".

    • This episode won an award from the Space Frontier Foundation. Every year this organization awards the creative venues that explore the theme of space travel, and the Bajoran sailing vessel won for it's creative vessel design.

    • Chase Masterson, who plays Leeta, originally auditioned for the role of Marta, Jake Sisko's Bajoran girlfriend. She was one of two actresses up for the part, but lost out because she was considered a bit too attractive. The role of Leeta, a dabo girl, was written with her in mind, even though she still had to audition for the role.

      Chase Masterson is good friends with Lolita Fatjo. In fact, Fatjo's first name was the inspiration for her character Leeta.

    • This is the first episode where Sisko has his beard, which he keeps until the end of the series. In an April 2003 interview, Avery Brooks stated that he was contractually required to appear with hair but no beard during the early years of the show to prevent confusion with his character Hawk, from Spenser: For Hire. Now that the character of Sisko had became firmly established, he was allowed to grow his beard again, and later shave his head.


    • Sisko: Hammock time!
      This line plays off the music lyric of the 1990 MC Hammer song "U Can't Touch This", in which Hammer segues from the song's verses into an instrumental dance sequence with the words "Hammer time!"