Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 1 Episode 16

If Wishes Were Horses

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM May 16, 1993 on Syndicado
out of 10
User Rating
192 votes

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Episode Summary

Stardate: 46853.2 The inhabitants of Deep Space Nine are mystified when their fantasies turn into reality, however, these occurrences foreshadow a disaster.

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  • You'll be wishing for a better episode

    A special anomaly threatening the station, an apparent holodeck malfunction, an alien species playing with the show's regulars, and one of the regulars playing a double role. these are all Star Trek staples that any Trekker worth his or her pointy ears is familiar with. And, almost like an homage to Trek's most banal ideas, they're all woven together into this snoozer.

    It plays out predictably with some danger, some laughs, and everything turning out okay in the end (oops, spoiler!) allowing us to move on and completely forget about everything that happened by the next episode.moreless
  • Odo telling an emu to "get a move on?" AWESOME. Fun episode.

    This is the classic "starship or starbase is in serious trouble because of an anomaly" but it's a lot of fun. I mean c'mon, Rumpelstiltskin, snow, Quark's whores...

    Only thing I didn't really like was the wrap-up for it. The cool idea of the wishes gets watered down by your typical star trek disaster. It's a shame, because this was totally a cool thing to happen. (Kind of reminded me of "The Naked Now" really.)

    That's the thing about Star Trek shows. When they get too science-y, it gets less interesting. An episode like "The Best of Both Worlds" was awesome because it was Picard forced to attack the institution he's sworn to. It's such a great character-driven story, and that's really how all the good Star Trek episodes are.

    And holy mother of...Jadzia is HOT in this episode!moreless
  • Strictly by-the-numbers Trek.

    This a stereotypical filler Trek episode, the kind that was common on TNG - some "weird" phenomenon threatens the existence of the station/ship, some laughs are generated since it's clear that nobody is threatened in any way, and next week we forget that ever happened. Unfortunately, there are quite a few of these on the first season of DS9; fortunately, there are much fewer in later seasons as the show needed much less filler.

    Yeah, there are a few laughs. Sisko's lengthy conversation with Buck Bokai about the fate of baseball is well-written; fantasy Jadzia - no more needs to be said. But aside from that, easily skippable by the casual fan.moreless
  • Deja vu

    Although there are some amusing moments, mainly involving Odo's attempts to rally order on the Promenade, this is a distinctly by-the-numbers affair based on a very familiar premise that's been done to death on Trek - and better than this.

    This episode is hampered by a boring and unconvincing sub-plot involving a space anomaly (yaaaaawn) that threatens to destroy the station. The technobabble-o-meter just about goes off the scale as the crew tries to solve the mystery and save the station.

    Basically this is very much middle-of-the-road fare and given that the theme of the episode is a celebration of imagination it's a bizarre irony that it should be so....well, unimaginative.moreless
  • Topic: Be careful what you wish for - Traveling aliens bring thoughts and fantasies to life on DS9. Warning Label: simulated peril, minor adult situations, burning man. Family Rating: PG+

    Emotional responses were intrigued and concerned. Everyone seemed to have their own brand of 'fun.'

    Series Impact: Character insight by delving into the minds of the senior staff.

    # of Nine: Action 8, Suspense 7, Drama 6, Comedy 4

    Acting - good

    Scenery - Quark's, OPs, O'Briens' quarters, Infirmary, Siskos' quarters, Promenade, Turbolift, Security HQ

    Sound - good

    Lighting - good

    Effects - Very good

    Costumes - Outstanding

    Props - baseball bat and mitt

    Note: Dual Jadzia (yeah baby!) snow in the Promenade and alien emus!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

Keone Young

Keone Young

Buck Bokai

Guest Star

Michael J. Anderson

Michael J. Anderson


Guest Star

Rosalind Chao

Rosalind Chao

Keiko O'Brien

Recurring Role

Hana Hatae

Hana Hatae

Molly O'Brien

Recurring Role

Mark Allen Shepherd

Mark Allen Shepherd

Morn (uncredited)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • This is the first appearance of the baseball Benjamin Sisko keeps in his office throughout the series.

    • Nitpick: Dax first says that the only record of a spatial anomaly similar to what they were observing was in the mid-23rd century. However, when O'Brien later describes what the Vulcan ship attempted in that case, he then says that their attempt is more likely to succeed because the technology has vastly improved over the last 200 years. Deep Space Nine takes place in the 24th century and so it had only been roughly 100 years.

    • The "gunji lackdaws" that Odo has to deal with in this episode are actually emus.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Quark: Family entertainment. That's the future, Odo. There's a fortune to be made. Little holocreatures running around. Rides and games for the kiddies, Ferengi standing in every doorway selling... useless souvenirs.

    • Odo: Ladies and gentlemen... and all androgynous creatures: please stop using your imaginations!
      Quark: (entering with two fantasy women) Just because you don't have an imagination, don't ruin it for the rest of us.

    • Jadzia: She really is submissive, isn't she? Is that what you want me to be, Julian? So... submissive?
      Fantasy Jadzia: I am not submissive! (turns to Bashir) Am I?

    • Odo: Too many people dream of places they'll never go, wish for things they'll never have... instead of paying adequate attention to their real lives.
      Quark: I could create a shapeshifter playmate for you. The two of you could... intermingle.
      Odo: You're disgusting!
      Quark: (laughing and shrugging) It's a living.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Originally Rumpelstiltskin written as a leprechaun, but was asked to be changed when Colm Meaney objected, claiming that this was an offensive stereotype against Irish people.

    • In Molly's room there are several abstract paintings. They are the work of Mark Allen Shepherd, who plays Morn.


    • Yogi Berra When discussing whether or not to abandon their study of the station and its inhabitants' imaginations, the alien portraying Buck Bokai tells the others, "It ain't over 'till it's over". This is a reference to another famous baseball player, New York Yankees catcher, Yogi Berra. Berra was famous for this, as well as many other quotes.

    • If Wishes Were Horses

      The title of this episode is from the first line of a nursery rhyme. The full line is "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride", meaning that if wishing could make things happen then even the most destitute people would have everything they wanted.