Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 7 Episode 10

It's Only a Paper Moon

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Dec 30, 1998 on Syndicado



  • Trivia

    • This episode is unusual, since it includes flashbacks; in this case, Nog flashing back to his injury during "The Siege at AR-558".

    • When Nog entered the holosuite, he was wearing Ferengi civilian clothing. All of the 1962 period clothing he was wearing while in the holosuite had to be holo-clothing. When Vic shut the program off, the tux Nog was wearing should not have remained, but rather changed back to his original clothing.

    • After being given the Errol Flynn replica cane, Nog exits the scene using the cane in his right hand and favoring his right leg.

    • While in the wardroom, Ezri's rank pips were incorrect (black pip on the right and gold on the left). On the next shot of her and after, the pips came back to the correct position.

  • Quotes

    • Vic: You stay here, you're gonna die. Not all at once, but little by little. Eventually you'll become as hollow as I am.
      Nog: You don't seem hollow to me.
      Vic: Compared to you I'm hollow as a snare drum.

    • Quark: And who's gonna be paying for all this holo-suite time? (Sisko just stares at him) I guess I am.
      Sisko: And it's very generous of you.

    • Nog: But now you're running all the time. Isn't it great?
      Vic: It's incredible. Since you've been here, I've slept in a bed every night... gone to work every day... had time to read the paper, play cards with the boys. I've had a life. And I have to tell you, it's a precious thing. I had no idea how much it means to just... live. Now, I'm going to return the favor and give you your life back.

    • Nog: I'm scared. Okay? I'm scared. When the war started, I wasn't... happy or anything, but I was... eager. I wanted to test myself... I wanted to see if I had what it takes to be a soldier. And I saw a lot of combat. I saw a lot of people get hurt... I saw a lot of people die. But I never thought anything was going to happen to me. Then suddenly Doctor Bashir is telling me he has to cut my leg off. I couldn't believe it. I still can't believe it. If I can get shot... if I can lose a leg... anything could happen to me, Vic. I could die tomorrow. I don't know if I can face that. If I stay here, at least I know what the future's going to be like.

    • Quark: How can hiding in one of Julian's adolescent programs be a good sign?
      Bashir: Hey...
      Jake: It could be worse. He could be hiding in the Alamo program.
      Leeta: Or that ridiculous secret agent program.
      Bashir: Hey...
      Rom: Or that stupid Viking program.
      Bashir: Hey!

    • Rom: My son is insane!
      Ezri: Rom..
      Rom: He's a one-legged crazy man!

    • (talking about one of Vic's songs)
      Vic: So, let me guess - Julian played it for you, right?
      Nog: Right.
      Vic: If I had him as a publicist, I'd be bigger then Elvis.
      Nog: Who?

    • (regarding Nog)
      Sisko: Medical leave? How can that be?
      O'Brien: Sounds like an excuse to loaf around while the rest of us are hard at work.
      Bashir: Work, and lots of it, that's my prescription.
      Odo: Captain, he could've forged those orders.
      Sisko: I'm afraid they're genuine.

    • Vic: All I can tell you is, you've got to play the cards life deals you. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But at least you're in the game.

  • Notes

  • Allusions

    • Chief O'Brien: "I'm an engineer, not a philosopher."

      This line references the Original Series catch phrase recited by the Dr. McCoy character, "I'm a doctor, not a-"

    • Shane
      In Vic's hotel, Nog is seen watching the 1953 Western classic Shane. Nog doesn't understand the ending of the film that when Shane wins the shootout and saves the town, he is dying, which is why he cannot stay. You can see the last scene where he is slumped over on his horse, presumably from the loss of blood. This is often referred to in film studies circles at "the Myth of the Garden", in which cowboys make a town safe for civilization, but then find that they are too wild for it themselves and cannot stay to earn the fruits of their labor. It is ironic that Nog doesn't understand this since, like Shane, he has sacrificed (his leg) and feels he no longer belongs either.

    • Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?
      Nog asks Vic what holograms dream of. This is a wink to Philip K. Dick's book Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?.

    • Yogi Bear

      Vic's "smarter than the average bear" comment is the favorite saying of the Hanna-Barbara cartoon character Yogi Bear.

    • Paper Moon

      The title is a direct quote from the famous Depression era song Paper Moon (words and music by Billy Rose, E.Y. Harbug and Harold Arlen).

      It is a song all about how the power of belief can transform something artificial and shoddy into something real and magical, an especially appropriate sentiment for an episode about a character adjusting not only to a prosthetic limb, but also regaining a sense of his own value.