Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 5 Episode 2

The Ship

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Oct 07, 1996 on Syndicado
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Stardate:50049.3 While searching for minerals on a planet, Sisko, Dax, O'Brien, Worf, and Muniz discover the wreckage of a crashed Jem'Hadar ship. However, they are not the only ones interested, because the Dominion is anxious to retrieve the vessel.

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  • A fan favorite. Too bad it's not a good episode.

    A good example of a premise gone wrong, "The Ship" is nonetheless a fan favorite.

    It's easy to see what the writers are going for here: Sisko and company are trapped in an enemy ship, and the Captain is forced to make tough decisions, ultimately wondering if he's made the right ones. Two probems: first, Sisko really isn't really trapped on the ship, regularly leaving it to negotiate with a Vorta, and the worst consequences of the mission happen before he makes any of his decisions. It's not like the guy should be all sunshine and rainbows at the end, but it's as if the writer's graft the point of the episode ("They'd all be alive if we had just trusted each onto the wrong story.

    The Vorta race itself suffers another setback: with Weyoun killed the season before, the show goes in a different direction, giving us a sexy Vorta female (complete with lip gloss and cleavage) played by Kaitlin Hopkins. She has all the charisma and leadership abilities of a Wal-mart checkout clerk, basically letting Sisko walk all over her as she acts unsure of herself. Fortunately, the character is never seen again, though the actress reappears as a fake Kathryn Janeway in Voyager's sixth season.

    The titular character itself includes a surprise, although this story point is really just there to serve as a MacGuffin. With some work, this "twist" could have made the episode better. For example, if the ship is hiding a Changeling defector, this would explain the crash, add layers to the plot, and create an interesting relationship between the Changeling, the Jem'Hadar, and the Vorta. As is, the surprise is underwhelming and anticlimactic, leading to nowhere.

    Despite all this, "The Ship" includes some great location work, a very unusual set (an upside down ship) and enough emotional scenes to resonate with viewers. Now we just need one of them to explain the logic of leaving the Doctor behind on a mission to recover a downed crew!moreless
  • Among the stronger episodes of the 5th season - DS9's first look at "war as hell".

    One of the themes in DS9's final seasons was a move away from a view of "sanitized" war. Both TNG and DS9 were no strangers to combat, but it was usually portrayed in an easy way - combat deaths were mostly offscreen, and when they did occur onscreen they were quick and generally involved characters we did not feel particularly invested in.

    "The Ship" refuses to make things easy for us - or the crew of DS9. A likeable engineer - albeit not one of the main cast - dies a slow, ugly death from injuries sustained in a firefight. The members of crew - O'Brien, Dax, and Worf - slowly crack under pressure. And the commander of the team, Sisko, is forced to give up the crewman's life for the sake of the mission; he never betrays second thoughts during the mission, but in the end confesses that the decision weighs on him heavily. It's an episode that extracts strong performances out of every individual involved, including the dying crewman and the guest Vorta.

  • A personal favorite of mine. This episode is touching and explores the inner depths of several of DS9's main characters.

    This is a great episode. For most of the episode a select group of DS9 characters are trapped inside a downed Dominion ship. Sisko wants to hold the ship and claim it for the Federation. The episode deals heavily with the cost of victory at the time of war. Sisko loses 4 members of his crew but ultimatly captures the ship. He struggles with the moral cost of loses four of his crew while potentially saving thousands of lives with what the Federation can learn from the ship. I loved this episode becuase it has great watchability for both a first time view and more views thereafter. A personal favorite.moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman


Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

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

Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Lt. Commander Worf (Season 4-7)

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Constable Odo

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Major/Colonel/Commander Kira Nerys

Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko

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