Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 1 Episode 14

The Storyteller

3
Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM May 02, 1993 on Syndicado
6.8
out of 10
User Rating
180 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Stardate: 46729.1 O'Brien is appointed as the spiritual leader of a Bajoran village when he and Bashir are unable to save the dying predecessor. O'Brien must now defend the village from a mysterious and destructive force.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Village is strong! Too bad this episode isn't.

    6.0
    Another discarded TNG plot (about a storyteller on a planet) makes up the A story here. It's a silly but inoffensive little tale that begins the O'Brien and Bashir relationship and has a whimsical charm. (It's almost as if they were shuffling through pairings in the first season and accidently struck



    The B story, featuring Padme er ah, Varis, the troubled young girl weighed down by the responsibility of leading her people, is reminiscent of TNG's "The Dauphin" and is just a filler concept for a filler episode. It does, however, make a nice statement about negotiations: that they're not dilemmas but opportunities. This seems to be forgotten in today's world where compromise is perceived as "caving in".moreless
  • Apprentice storyteller.

    7.0
    That is one criticism that could be levelled at the writer of this episode, as the main story itself comes off as extremely irrelevant, and if not for the exchanges between O'Brien and Bashir, would even not even peak above the mark of boring.



    The main story of a village elder (played by the Kavorka priest from Seinfeld...where Kramer needs to bathe in garlic to eradicate his "magnetic sexual attraction") who focuses the thoughts of the village population to drive off the threat of an energy being, comes off from the start as a childish and even plain dumb idea. It is not just the fact that the idea of a being who is created and defeated by the thoughts of a group has been done ad naseum on the Trek shows that drags it down, it is that and the fact that this particular telling of that familiar tale seems below average in it's presentation. The character of the village people come off as a single village idiot in their reactions and helplessness, and the visualization of the entity itself is far from menacing and dangerous looking. Ever seen milk mixed with water....then you have seen the energy being here.



    As mentioned above and in other reviews, it is only the interaction between O'Brien and Bashir, which so clearly distinguishes their differences in character, that ends up saving this episode from being relegated to the pure stinker category. At this point in the show, Bashir still comes off as an annoying, supplicating, bragging character. Many a viewers' dislike of him is clearly mirrored back at him through O'Brien's stoic and disinterested communication and manner with him, so we as viewers get a laugh and some satisfaction out of that.



    The second story back on the station of a land dispute between tribes, is likewise not that interesting, but is again saved by the interaction between characters. Nog's clumsy and embarrassing attempts to woo the young girl leader of one of the tribes is entertaining. A hi-light is definetly when Nog throws out a stream of oatmel from Odo's regeneration bucket, and Jake's subsequent reaction.moreless
  • Not a great or even good episode, but the interplay between characters makes it worthwhile.

    7.0
    Out of all the inter-character relationships on DS9 - and there were many - the richest was that between Bashir and O'Brien. This episode is the seed for that relationship, and I get the feeling that it happened almost by accident. The writers were just throwing combinations of characters together from episode to episode and this one happened to click - though, judging by the ending, they probably didn't realize they'd struck gold.



    The plot on the planet is pretty silly, but it is the chemistry between these two - O'Brien, who was already fully-formed, and Bashir, who at this point was something of an annoying twit - that makes it worthwhile.



    Back on the station, we get a 2nd budding relationship - that between Nog and Jake. Again, the story itself is not that interesting and has elements of tier-2 TNG, but it's fun to watch two actors clicking so well. We've come a long way, Wesley Crusher.moreless
  • Could anything more meaningless have happened in this episode? A 45-minute extended version of the station fly-by credits might have been more interesting.

    5.5
    I am a big fan of Colm Meaney and his Chief O'Brien character. Therefore it's only natural that I like Chief O'Brien episodes. That said, it's painful to say that I don't think much of "The Storyteller." The story was not that interesting. The danger to the village never seemed that real or threatening. The villagers themselves come off as weak, pathetic and needy. How is it that someone in this village can be attempting to murder Chief O'Brien one minute, only to become the glorified Sirah just a short while later? Good people there in that town.



    Back at the station it seems that the only reason we know there is a land dispute going on is due to it being mentioned by some of the characters. It didn't appear that the dispute mattered all that much. If that was the case, why have it in the episode? Varis Sul's only contribution while on the station was that I think she started to change Commander Sisko's opinion of Nog.moreless
  • Is it just me or is this a remake of 'The Nagus' with O'Brien in place of Quark??

    6.0
    'The Storyteller' sees O'Brien and Bashir visit a village on Bajor that claims to be threatened by a 'monster' that lives in the woods nearby. The only person that can save them is the 'Sirah', an old wizard-like man who has just died...and who has named O'Brien as his successor!



    This episode had the potential to be pretty awful, but in spite of its clear flaws (mainly the fact it's rather daft!), it's actually surprisingly entertaining. The main plot bears some similarity to 'The Nagus' and the notion of the village being attacked by the repressed negative emotions of its inhabitants verges on the hokey side. Nevertheless, it's executed with a pinch of salt and some irresistible humour, mainly pertaining to the wonderful comic spark of the O'Brien and Bashir interaction.



    The sub-plots, featuring a young girl who must lead her tribe and Jake and Nog's attempts to woo her, are mildly amusing but forgettable.moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman

Quark

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

Kay E. Kuter

Kay E. Kuter

The Sirah

Guest Star

Lawrence Monoson

Lawrence Monoson

Hovath

Guest Star

Gina Philips

Gina Philips

Varis Sul

Guest Star

Aron Eisenberg

Aron Eisenberg

Nog

Recurring Role

Mark Allen Shepherd

Mark Allen Shepherd

Morn (uncredited)

Recurring Role

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