Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 3 Episode 22

Explorers

2
Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM May 08, 1995 on Syndicado
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

7.9
out of 10
Average
141 votes
  • Nice, calm episode

    8.0
    "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.

    8.0
    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"!
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