Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 2 Episode 15


Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Feb 13, 1994 on Syndicado
out of 10
User Rating
166 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Stardate: 47573.1 Sisko and O'Brien are stranded on a planet where a colony of humans has made their home. Because no technology can function on the planet, they have ruled it out of their lives. Only, things may not be what they seem.

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  • An extremely insightful indictment of communism.

    A powerful indictment 0f communism. Astounding, considering how preachy and liberal I found TNG to be. It's all there: The anti-intellectualism, coercion, and thought police of the Cultural Revolution, the you're-with-us-or-you're-in-a-gulag mentality, the re-education camps, the equal spreading of miseries as chief virtue that Churchill observed, and of course, like the hypocrisy of rich fat cat party leaders, as we see the community leader actually using the evils of technology herself. Brilliant! If you were wondering how the poor souls felt during China's Cultural Revolution, look at Sisko in this episode. I've always said to my leftist profs, the only way you can establish communism is by force, and therefore it inherently restrains freedom. Do you send the little girl with the lemonade stand on the sidewalk to a re-education camp?moreless
  • Cool Hand Sisko

    This cult story features a strong performance from Avery Brooks as "Cool Hand Sisko" and a nice effort by guest star Gail Strickland (Alixus), who gives her character plenty of smarm and smugness. Unfortunately, the part really needs a charisma and gravitas that only a special actor such as David Warner and Ricardo Montalban can give. Devoid of an antagonist with such, the battle of wills between Sisko and Alixus lacks drama, and the climax lacks punch. Within its limitations, however, the episode is fine, moving at a nice clip and giving Kira and Dax a "find the missing crewmembers" B story. It's short, but the actresses are good together, and it's a nice diversion. Meanwhile, Strickland delivers one of my favorite lines of the season. Mixing up her prepositional objects, she says, "We can plow the crops and harvest the fields!" All this said, the greatest problem with the episode might be the ambiguous conclusion which seems to vindicate the wrong character. Kind of makes you wonder what the point of the episode is; but then, I don't think the writers ever decided upon that when they were writing it.moreless
  • An interesting - if ultimately unrewarding - exploration of cultism

    'Paradise' is an interesting exploration of cultism, featuring a well-drawn but infuriatingly smug cult leader in the form of the vile Alixus. The writers do a decent job of building up the character and the anti-technology stance is an interesting one.

    Unfortunately, Gail Strickland's performance is just too unlikable, too smug and too conceited. Cult leaders are meant to have a streak of irresistable charisma that makes people want to follow them and adhere to their every word, completed bypassing reason. Unfortunately, there isn't an ounce of charisma with wouldn't want to follow her, you'd just want to SLAP her!

    Anyway, this is for the most part an engaging and thought-provoking episode, although it is let down by a massive damp squib of an ending. After such build up, and all the vile things Alixus has done (not least torturing people, including Sisko) she deserved far more of a comeuppance.moreless
  • A good old battle of wills.

    This episode does offer some sort of "social commentary", but it really rides on the conflict between Sisko and Alixus - and that inevitably delivers. This is a great Sisko episode, and in many ways presages his conflicts with Dukat, Wynn and the Dominion. (It would have been interesting to see Picard in the same role.) Unlike the other reviewers, I have no issues with Alixus or the actress playing her - she was completely convincing to me.

    We also get some great backup from O'Brien. On a blog, someone mentioned that he's a regular Macgyver here - right on. That sequence of him running through the forest will keep you on the edge of your seat.

    Ultimately this episode is and not quite a series classic. Nevertheless, it does showcase the high quality semi-filler the show was able to crank out on a fairly frequent basis by this point.moreless
  • A filler episode that nonetheless has a very important criticsm on the rampant evironmentalism that is plaguing the contemporary political debate.

    Sisko and O'Brien teleport down onto a planet that has a field that stops most technology from working. They discover a colony run by an environmentalist extremist who proclaims humanity weak and technology bad. She uses draconian measures to inform a sort of collective in which the individual is but a tool to be used in the service of the many. It's a blend of environmentalism and communism.

    I'd rate the episode higher but as another reviewer wrote, it is all fairly predictable, from who ends up being the good guys to how it ends. Sadly, the ending is even more disappointing than one expects. The fanatic responsible for the anti-technology field and the painful deaths of many, including children, is taken away by Starfleet, but she isn't questioned by her abused followers despite her murders. Instead, they ponder continuing the brutal lifestyle she forced upon them, since at least it gave them a "community".moreless
Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

Lt./Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax (Season 1-6)

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Major/Colonel/Commander Kira Nerys

Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko

Colm Meaney

Colm Meaney

Chief Miles O'Brien

Gail Strickland

Gail Strickland


Guest Star

Julia Nickson

Julia Nickson


Guest Star

Steve Vinovich

Steve Vinovich


Guest Star

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Computer Voice

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Goof: There was no hole in the back of O'Brien's uniform when he was explaining about the phaser after Vinod had shot it with an arrow.

    • Nitpick: O'Brien says he "got the gold suit" by saving his men during the Cardassian War by fixing their equipment. However during the first season of The Next Generation, (set after the Cardassian War) O'Brien as still in a red command uniform, and didn't change to gold until he became Transporter Chief later.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Alixus: But perhaps a lie can lead to a more important truth. Would any of you have learned who you truly are, at the core, if you hadn't come here? Joseph, you would have been a repairman all your life. Cassandra, you would have been a technical clerk in some closed-in room. And Stephen... my friend, you probably would have been in prison by now. Look at yourselves! Look at what you've become! What you've achieved here has redefined your potential — the potential of man. Just as I knew it would. You are the living proof.

    • Joseph: Miles, this is our home. Whatever Alixus may be guilty of, she did give us our community. I'm not sure if we'll leave the device on or off now that we know it's there. And we'll have to decide if we want to establish contact with the outside world. But Alixus is right: We have found something here that none of us is willing to give up.

    • Alixus: We all work for our supper. You'll be surprised how much sweeter it tastes when you do.

    • Sisko: It's just that you never had much use for technology, did you? It's interesting you happened to crash on a planet that fits your... philosophy of life so well.
      Alixus: I agree. In fact, I've started writing a book about our experiences. I've been wondering if in the ancient religions of man, there aren't some new truths to be found... something to explain how fate sometimes delivers us exactly where we need to be.
      Sisko: Perhaps one day, you'll even feel the hand of God on your shoulder.

    • (after Sisko slams Alixus' journal shut)
      Alixus: Now that's the first core behavior I've seen from you since you arrived.
      Sisko: Core behavior. Does that chapter come before or after sexual procurement?

    • Alixus: Look at you. Still wearing your uniform. Wanting so badly to get back to your station with its artificial gravity and its sterilized air. You are so disconnected from your core identity, Ben. There is a better way. How can we make you see?

    • (talking about rescue attempts)
      Kira: Got a better idea?
      Jadzia: I'm the science officer. It's my job to have a better idea.

  • NOTES (2)

    • During this episode, Ira Behr asked Hans Beimler and Richard Manning to join the Deep Space Nine writing staff, but they both declined. A year later, Beimler came on board as producer.

    • Siddig El Fadil (Dr. Bashir), Rene Auberjonois (Odo), Armin Shimerman (Quark) and Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) do not appear in this episode.