(written from a Production point of view)
On the eve of Bajor's entry into the Federation, Sisko locates the ruins of the ancient lost city of B'hala on Bajor. As the visions that are guiding him prove potentially fatal, Sisko must choose between faith and his life.
In the wardroom on Deep Space 9, Captain Sisko, Major Kira and Commander Jadzia Dax admire a twenty-thousand-year-old painting of the lost Bajoran city of B'hala – the only known proof that the city ever existed. While Dax is surprised that the painting isn't a lot bigger, both Kira and Sisko are in awe of the ancient artifact, which has been recently been returned to the Bajorans by the Cardassian Government (Sisko having used his influence as Emissary to arrange for the painting to pass through the station to get a first-hand look). Sisko points out a Bantaca spire in the painting, explaining that markings upon the spire describe the co-ordinates of the lost city; however, since two of the spire's sides cannot be seen, the city's exact position is difficult to decipher. He has the picture scanned into the computer by Bajoran deputies so that he can study it, prompting Kira to recall a prophecy that only one who had been touched by the Prophets could find the ruins of B'hala. "No pressure," Dax jokingly says to Sisko.
In his office, Sisko looks at the computer scan of the painting and the markings on the spire. He notices that the symbols on the two hidden sides of the spire can be faintly seen in a nearby waterfall. Adjourning to a holosuite, he produces a recreation of the spire, and has the computer overlay images of the markings from the painting, as he begins a quest to decode the co-ordinates. Later, he is interrupted by Quark, who comes into the holosuite to inform him that it is after 3 am. After dismissing Quark's offer of a visit to a pleasure maze, Sisko tries to save the program to a isolinear rod. As he works a console, however, there is an explosion and the Captain is thrown to the floor, plasma energy crackling over his body. Shocked, Quark calls the infirmary.
Odo hauls Quark into his office, under arrest for negligence. While Quark attempts to blame Chief O'Brien for not assigning Rom to fix the holosuites, Odo is having none of it, suggesting Quark tell it to the magistrate.
In the infirmary, Julian Bashir concludes that the captain shows no sign of permanent neural damage, but has some odd synaptic potentials. Diagnosing Sisko with post-neural shock syndrome, he advises him that external stimuli will seem more pronounced for a while and discharges him to restricted duty for three days.
Later in his quarters, Sisko finishes a meal of lingta roast cooked by his son, Jake. Sisko tells Jake that his grandfather would be proud of him. As Jake mentions the imminent return of Kasidy Yates following her six month jail sentence, Sisko is distracted by shapes on his plate, forming them into symbols resembling the markings on the spire. Back in the holosuite, he continues tirelessly working on the puzzle, but is interrupted by a call from Admiral Charlie Whatley from Starfleet Headquarters. The admiral has big news; Bajor's petition for Federation membership has been successful, and the Bajorans have requested the signing ceremony take place aboard Deep Space 9. Sisko is delighted, and Whatley congratulates him on the successful completion of his mission, telling him to "spruce up that floating bicycle wheel of yours," in preparation for the ceremony.
In Quark's, a busy crowd watches as several of Quark's dabo girls unveil a banner from the upper level. Realizing that the banner reads "Welcome Klingons", Quark jumps onto the bar and unfurls a second banner bearing the seal of the Federation, to appreciative applause. Chatting with Dax and Worf, Quark gleefully explains how good Bajor's entry into the Federation will be for business, and that he expects the place to be "busier than an Alvanian beehive", with sales of root beer alone to increase fivefold.
Seated at a table, Kira explains to Worf and Dax that five years ago she wouldn't have been celebrating Bajor's admittance into the Federation but now her time on the station and her work with Captain Sisko have changed her mind. Seeking to congratulate Sisko, Kira enters the holosuite and finds him sitting motionless on the floor in front of the holographic Bantaca spire.
When he doesn't respond to her, Kira shakes Sisko out of his trance. He explains that he had been experiencing a vision of B'hala, as if he was really there, and had for one moment understood it all: B'hala, the Orbs, the Occupation of Bajor, the discovery of the wormhole, and the coming war with the Dominion. Kira, in awe, explains that he was having a pagh'tem'far, a sacred vision, and with guilt, realized that she had interrupted it. Just then, O'Brien calls over the comm and announces that Kai Winn is on her way to the station. Sisko asks Kira to greet her at the airlock while he continues to work on the puzzle of the spire.
At the airlock, the Kai explains to Kira that she has reservations about Bajor's entry into the Federation, but is willing to await the will of the Prophets. Back in the holosuite, Sisko frets over maps and charts of Bajor in search of the location of B'hala. As he works, the doors of the holosuite open and Kasidy Yates enters, nervous but happy to be back. After kissing her passionately, Sisko tells her that her quarters are just as she left them. He wants her to accompany him to Bajor to find B'hala, as he has worked out what the markings on the spire mean and is ready to find the lost city. Swept away by his sheer enthusiasm, she agrees.
Beaming down from a runabout into a series of underground passages, Sisko and Yates make their way by palm beacon to a wall of stone. Using his phaser to melt the rock, Sisko exposes a cavern behind, containing the ruins of B'hala and its Bantaca spire.
Back on Deep Space 9, Kira, Odo and Worf argue in the security office about accommodation arrangements for several admirals and captains due to attend the upcoming signing ceremony. Kira is distracted, and explains that she thinks it is a sign from the Prophets that Sisko has found B'hala. Interrupting, Kai Winn appears and asks if she can talk with the Major.
On the upper level of the Promenade, the Kai asks Kira if she thinks Sisko will forgive her for doubting that he was truly the Emissary of the Prophets. She admits that she was wrong, that only one touched by the Prophets could have found B'hala, and that she is now willing to follow the path the Emissary has laid out for Bajor. Kira is surprised and impressed, saying that it takes a lot of courage to admit when you're wrong. Winn is insulted, admonishing Kira and those who were in the Resistance for thinking that they were the only ones with true courage, the only ones who fought the Cardassians during the Occupation. Winn reveals that she spent five years in a Cardassian prison during the Occupation and that while the Resistance had their weapons to protect them from the Cardassians, all she had was her faith – and her courage. "Walk with the Prophets, child. I know I will," Winn tells Kira before walking away.
Sitting in the ruins of B'hala surrounded by teams carrying excavation equipment, Sisko is visited by Admiral Whatley. Skeptical, Whatley asks the captain how he found the city, and Sisko insists it really was a vision. Whatley expresses disappointment that Sisko has been neglecting his duties on the station in the run up to Bajor's entry into the Federation and orders him to submit to a full medical examination on the station the next morning. As the admiral leaves, Sisko suffers a painful headache.
In the infirmary, Admiral Whatley awaits the arrival of Sisko, who is late for his medical examination. Hearing a commotion on the Promenade, Bashir and Whatley make their way to the entrance and see Sisko walking through crowds of admiring Bajorans. Sisko stops by a woman and tells her not to worry about her katterpod harvest, and then by a Bajoran Militia officer and tells him to head for home; he doesn't belong on the station. Suddenly crippled by another headache, Sisko is caught by Whatley and Bashir. Looking at the admiral, Sisko tells him that his son forgives him. Whatley is left astounded, having told no one that he and his son Kevin were having problems. "He's the Emissary," Bashir responds.
On a biobed in the infirmary, Sisko describes a dream he had about a swarm of locusts hovering above B'hala. The swarm flew off, he says, heading towards Cardassia. Sisko does not know what this means and needs time to figure it out. Bashir explains that Sisko could die if the visions are allowed to continue, and needs surgery (a neuropolaric induction) to correct his aberrant brain activity. The procedure will save his life, but will also most likely remove the visions. Not wanting to lose the visions, Sisko refuses treatment.
In Sisko's quarters, Sisko explains to Jake and Kasidy Yates why he has refused surgery, much to their anger and surprise. Both are upset, and beg him to reconsider. Just then, Kai Winn enters and asks the Emissary if he is ready – he has asked her to guide him in his journey. He tells Jake and Kasidy that he loves them, and then leaves with Winn to consult the Orb of Prophecy.
In Ops, Kira, Dax, Worf and O'Brien discuss the captain's deteriorating health. Worf and Kira assert to the skeptical Dax and O'Brien that faith and the Prophets will guide him safely through.
Sisko kneels in front of the Orb of Prophecy, plagued by severe headaches. Winn is very concerned that Sisko is too unwell to handle an Orb experience, since it is a strain even on healthy people, and asks him if he'd rather wait until after the signing ceremony. Sisko insists that he wants to proceed, telling her he needs help to understand what the visions are trying to tell him. As she leaves him, he opens the Orb box.
As Federation and Bajoran dignitaries gather in the wardroom for the signing ceremony, it is now an hour since it was due to start with no sign of Captain Sisko. Although Kai Winn knows that Sisko would want to be there for such an important moment, she agrees that Admiral Whatley can begin the proceedings without him. Just as Whatley begins to give a speech, Sisko bursts in and warns that Bajor must not join the Federation – not yet. He claims that the locusts he saw in his visions will destroy Bajor if it doesn't stand alone, before collapsing into a seizure on the floor.
Back in the infirmary, Admiral Whatley orders Bashir to operate, but the doctor cannot proceed without the permission of Sisko's next of kin. Over Sisko's unconscious body, Jake breaks down and tells his father that he needs him. He gives Bashir permission to operate, and Bashir begins to prepare for surgery.
At the entrance to the Bajoran temple, Kai Winn expresses concerns to Kira, saying that she hopes the Prophets will forgive them for interfering with the Emissary's visions. Kira defends Jake's right to make the decision to save his father, but Winn is disappointed that he did not trust the Prophets. Kira counters that perhaps this is all part of the Prophets' plan. Winn states that the Bajoran Council of Ministers has voted to delay acceptance of Federation membership. She says now that Sisko has found B'hala, her path is unclear and nothing is certain.
Awaking in the infirmary, Sisko reacts in anguish when he realizes that the visions are gone. Bashir informs him that they had no choice but to operate – he was dying. Sisko laments that he "almost understood it all."
Back on his feet and in his office, Sisko again ponders the computer image of the painting of B'hala. Admiral Whatley arrives, and asks Sisko to contact the Council of Ministers and tell them that he was wrong, and to convince them to accept Federation membership. Sisko says that he can't do that, because everything he said and did while he had the visions still feels right. Whatley is disappointed, and informs Sisko that he could remove his Starfleet commission for this. Sisko reassures the admiral that he is certain Bajor will join the Federation one day. Whatley asks if he's speaking as a Starfleet captain or as the Emissary of the Prophets; Sisko answers, "Both." The admiral replies that in that case, he will keep the champagne on ice.
Returning to his quarters, Sisko is greeted by Jake and Kasidy Yates, who are cooking jambalaya as a welcome back dinner, both for Kasidy and for him. Kasidy explains that while he may feel he's lost something important, he has held onto something important as well. She takes his hand and puts it onto Jake's. He in turn takes her hand, and adds it to his and his son's.
"That's it. The city of B'hala, painted nearly twenty thousand years ago."
"Jadzia – you're looking at the most important Bajoran icon ever painted. The only known proof that B'hala actually existed, and all you have to say is "hmm"?"
"No, it's just that you both gave it such a build up that I thought it would be a lot… bigger."
- - Dax, Sisko, and Kira
"Perhaps so. But there is one problem."
"There is an ancient Klingon proverb that says… you cannot loosen a man's tongue with root beer."
- - Worf and Quark
"I was there."
"B'hala. It was the eve of the Peldor Festival. I could hear them ringing the temple chimes."
"You were dreaming."
"No, I was there. I could smell the burning bateret leaves, taste the incense on the wind. I was standing in front of the Obelisk. And as I looked up, for one moment, I understood it all. B'hala… the Orbs… the occupation… the discovery of the wormhole… the coming war with the Dominion."
"You could see the future as well as the past?"
"And for one moment, I could see the pattern that held it all together."
"You had a pagh'tem'far – a sacred vision."
"I don't know what I had. But it felt… wonderful."
"The Prophets chose well when they made you their Emissary. So how does it all fit together?"
"I wish I knew. (playfully) Someone woke me up."
- - Sisko, and Kira
"It is naval tradition"
"So is keelhauling…"
- - Worf and Odo
"I wonder if the Prophets can help us find quarters for Captain Rifkin?"
- - Odo to Worf and Kira
"Those of you who were in the Resistance, you're all the same. You think you're the only ones who fought the Cardassians, that you saved Bajor single-handedly. Perhaps you forget, Major, the Cardassians arrested any Bajoran found to be teaching the word of the Prophets. I was in a Cardassian prison camp for five years, and I can remember each and every beating I suffered. And while you had your weapons to protect you, all I had was my faith… and my courage. Walk with the Prophets, child. I know I will."
- - Kai Winn, to Kira
"Do not attempt to convince them, Major. They can not understand."
"Since when did you believe in the Prophets?"
"What I believe in… is faith. Without it, there can be no victory. If the captain's faith is strong, he will prevail."
"That's not much to bet his life on."
"You're wrong. It's everything."
- - Worf, Dax, and Kira
"Charlie, I just need a little more time."
"To find answers. There's clarity here. I wish I could explain it better, but I can't."
"You're scaring me with this, Ben."
"I'm a little scared, too, Admiral."
- - Sisko and Whatley
"But then a shadow covered the sun. We looked up and saw a cloud filling the sky. It was a swarm of locusts. Billions of them. They hovered above the city, the noise was deafening… but just as quickly as they came, they moved on. Now I know where they were going. Cardassia."
- - Sisko, foreshadowing the events of "In Purgatory's Shadow"
"Dad, please think about what you're doing. These visions, they're not worth dying for."
"I remember the first time I held you in my hands. You were only a few minutes old, and I looked down at your face, and it was almost as if I could see your whole life stretched out in front of you. All the joys it would bring, and the bruises. It was all there, hidden in that scrunched up, little face. The baby that I'm holding in my hands now is the universe itself. And I need time to study its face."
- - Jake and Sisko
"I have to tell them!"
"What is it, Emissary? Have the Prophets revealed something to you?"
"Locusts! They'll destroy Bajor unless it stands alone!"
"Ben, what the hell are you talking about?"
"It's too soon! Bajor must not join the Federation! If it does, it will be destroyed!!"
- - Sisko, Winn and Whatley
"Before Captain Sisko found B'hala, my path was clear. I knew who my enemies were. But now...now nothing is certain."
"Makes life interesting, doesn't it?"
- - Kai Winn and Kira
"No. No! You took them away!!"
"We had no choice. You were dying."
"I almost had it. Almost understood it all. Now it's gone."
- - Sisko and Bashir, after the operation which prevents Sisko from having any more visions
"Are you speaking as a Starfleet captain, or as an Emissary of the Prophets?"
"In that case, I'll keep the champagne on ice."
- - Whatley and Sisko, on Sisko's prediction that Bajor will someday join the Federation after all
Bajor and the Emissary
- In this episode, Kira makes it explicitly clear for the first time that she is happy for Bajor to join the Federation, acknowledging the contrast to her opinion of five years ago (as seen in such early episodes as "Emissary", "Past Prologue" and "In the Hands of the Prophets") and crediting the change in her feelings to her time on the station and the influence of Captain Sisko, whom, of course, Kira sees as the Emissary of the Prophets.
- Had the signing ceremony not been interrupted, this episode would have marked the admission of Bajor into the Federation and, thus, the completion of Sisko's Starfleet mission to "do everything short of violating the Prime Directive" (as it was described by Jean-Luc Picard in the show's pilot episode, "Emissary") to ensure Bajor's entry into the Federation. Ironically, it is Sisko himself who prevents this outcome by interrupting the signing ceremony and warning Bajor to "stand alone", an action brought about by what could be considered a gross violation of the Prime Directive: Sisko's acceptance of his role as Emissary of the Prophets. Following on from "Destiny" and "Accession", as Part III of the 'Emissary Trilogy' this episode is a milestone in Sisko's growing acceptance of his role as Emissary, and it also illustrates Starfleet's continuing unease with the position he has allowed himself to occupy in Bajoran religion. As Ronald D. Moore comments, "It's a classic example of what not to do: the Starfleet captain who encounters the primitive culture and declares himself a god. That has to be something they teach Starfleet Academy students in their first year. So certainly, when they start hearing that somewhere out on the frontier Ben Sisko is now being revered as a spokesperson for the Prophets, it probably would raise a lot of eyebrows back at Headquarters." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) Sisko's next interaction with the Prophets is in the sixth season episode "Sacrifice of Angels", where he compels them to prevent the Dominion fleet from passing through the wormhole, and essentially save the Alpha Quadrant from a Dominion takeover.
- As the episodes "Destiny" and "Accession" had implied, Sisko seems to have two missions: one, his Starfleet mission to bring Bajor into the Federation, and; two, the path laid out for him by the Prophets as the Emissary. This particular episode is a landmark example of the latter mission interfering with the former. However, keeping Bajor temporarily out of the Federation most likely facilitated its safe passage through the coming Dominion War by allowing it to independently sign a non-aggression pact with the Dominion in "Call to Arms", thereby ensuring its survival and viability as a Federation member in the longer term. If Bajor had joined the Federation in this episode, no such pact would have been possible, and Bajor would most likely have been the first Federation world to fall and given that the Dominion now included a Dukat-led Cardassia, this likely would've been a disaster of epic proportions. Interestingly, after he has ensured Bajor will not enter the Federation at this time, and apparently speaking as both a Starfleet captain and the Emissary, Sisko does assure Admiral Whatley that Bajor will join the Federation "one day".
- Although Bajoran religion is a recurrent background theme in many episodes of Deep Space Nine, this is one of only a small number of episodes to have a story focused almost exclusively on it. An earlier example was the fourth season episode "Accession", and later examples would include Season 6's "The Reckoning" and Season 7's "Covenant". Bajoran religion would also play an important part in both the opening and the closing episodes of season 7: "Image in the Sand" and "What You Leave Behind".
- The strongest proponent for episodes dealing with Bajoran religion was René Echevarria. He was responsible for the continuity between episodes like "Destiny", "Accession" and "Rapture". Of this "Emissary trilogy", Echevarria comments, ""Destiny" was the first story where we really started to investigate what being the Emissary meant. It was the first crack in Sisko's resistance to holding that title. Then in "Accession", Sisko finds himself fighting for this thing he claims he never wanted." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Winn admits in this episode that she had been wrong to doubt that Sisko was truly the Emissary (which she did in "In the Hands of the Prophets") and vows to follow the path that he lays out for Bajor, marking a major shift in her attitude towards him. However, the doubt she had felt regarding his role was in due course replaced by jealousy and resentment of it, as seen in Season 7.
Story and script
- The scene with Sisko carving shapes into the melon was intended as a homage to the famous mashed-potato scene in the 1977 Steven Spielberg film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Generally speaking, episodes dealing with Bajoran religion hadn't been particularly popular among either the fans nor the studio (see Background information for the episode "Accession" for more information). As such, the writers and producers were shocked when this episode proved to be exceptionally popular amongst the fans. Executive producer Ira Steven Behr commented on the popularity of this episode, "I was surprised at the response it generated. [The fans] really seemed to take to this, to the spirituality, the faith. This is the episode that made me realize just what we had created in terms of the Bajoran faith and the Emissary. I knew that it was going to become a more and more important part of the show, and that a part of the audience was going to love it." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Ronald D. Moore commented ""Rapture" was an interesting show for television you know, you're not going to find many shows where the lead character is having visions from an alien god and believing them. I just thought that was a remarkable piece of television". ("Writing Across the Universe", Star Trek Monthly, issue 29)
- This episode takes place roughtly six months after "For the Cause".
- It is stated that the icon painting of B'hala is to be placed in the State Museum in Ilvia. Later in the episode, Sisko tells a Bajoran woman on the Promenade that the katterpod harvest will be much better this year. Both of these Bajor-related references were first heard in the Season 1 episode "Progress", in which it was stated that large crops of katterpods were grown in Ilvia.
- When describing his pagh'tem'far to Kira, Sisko references the discovery of the wormhole (which occurred in "Emissary"), and the coming war with the Dominion (foreshadowing the events of "Call to Arms" and the major story arc of seasons 6 and 7).
- While talking to Jake and Kasidy Yates, Sisko describes holding the newborn Jake in his arms. This was also one of the moments he experienced in his first encounter with the Prophets, in "Emissary".
- Sisko's vision of locusts heading for Cardassia correctly predicts the revelation in the episode "By Inferno's Light" later in Season 5 that Cardassia has joined the Dominion.
- Another part of the B'hala excavation site was visited by Sisko in the sixth season episode "The Reckoning".
- Sisko again suffered "odd synaptic potentials" at the same time as a vision in the sixth season episode "Far Beyond the Stars"; he had previously suffered "an excess of neuropeptides" at the same time as an orb shadow (in this case, a vision of Kai Opaka) in the fourth season episode "Accession".
- Given the change of uniform in this episode (see below) and the appearance of Bashir wearing an old-style jumpsuit in the Dominion internment camp in "In Purgatory's Shadow", it is surmised that this is around the same time, or perhaps just after, he was replaced by a Changeling. If the replacement occurred prior to this episode, then it was the Changeling that performed the complex brain surgery that saved Sisko's life. Of course, this would also mean that a Changeling – a race described by Dominion loyalists as gods themselves – both advocated removing and then ultimately did remove Sisko's capacity to receive visions from Bajor's chosen gods.
- Kasidy Yates (Penny Johnson) returns to the station following the end of the six-month jail term she was given in "For the Cause" for aiding the Maquis, and is warmly welcomed back by Sisko. However, it would seem that more than six months have passed since the aforementioned episode, as Elim Garak was also sentenced to six months in prison in "Broken Link" and had been released by the time of "Things Past".
- Kasidy Yates (Penny Johnson) returns to the station following the end of the six-month jail term she was given in "For the Cause" for aiding the Maquis, and is warmly welcomed back by Sisko. The touching final scene of the episode suggests that she, Benjamin and Jake are becoming a family. However, due to Johnson's shooting schedule on The Larry Sanders Show, Kasidy was not actually seen again until Season 6's "Far Beyond the Stars".
- According to Ronald D. Moore, First Minister Shakaar actually was supposed to appear in the signing ceremony, but the writers ultimately decided it would have cost too much to hire Shakaar's actor, Duncan Regehr for what would have been a very minor appearance in the episode. (AOL chat, 1997)
- Admiral Whatley is one of a number of admirals who appeared in Deep Space Nine; other examples include Admirals Rollman, Chekote, Toddman, Nechayev, and Leyton. However, a recurring admiral character was not established until Admiral William Ross was introduced in "A Time to Stand" in Season 6.
- As had already happened with the character of Dukat, and as would subsequently happen with the character of Damar, in this episode the character of Winn is rendered far more complex than we have seen her up to this point. A layer of ambiguity is added to her villainous role, as her usually unsympathetic character exhibits some admirable qualities when she lectures Kira on courage and faith. As with both Dukat and Damar, this was done purposely by the writers to challenge audience expectations. As Ira Steven Behr explains, "We like to allow the audience to hate people like Winn and then give her a speech that is basically just for Kira and the audience that contradicts their expectations. It's a perverse thing to do!" Similarly, Hans Beimler points out that "The Kai is a really important character on the show, and she's not just one-note. She's complicated, multifaceted. That's because one of the things that Ira always emphasized with us is to make the characters three-dimensional." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) This development would continue in the episode "In the Cards", but Winn's next appearance after that, in the sixth season episode "The Reckoning", would return to her familiar role as antagonist, a position she would occupy for the duration of the seventh season.
Behind the scenes
- This was the first episode of Deep Space Nine to feature the grey-on-black Starfleet uniforms with the division color undershirts created for Star Trek: First Contact, which would also be used for the remainder of the series. Sisko also wears a captain's vest/waistcoat, as worn by Jean-Luc Picard in that movie. The uniforms had been held back in production so that they would not be seen until an episode that aired after the official release of the movie. Noticeably, Avery Brooks' tunic does not appear to fit him correctly, making correct positioning of his combadge difficult. For the duration of this episode and part of the following one (DS9: "The Darkness and the Light") he wears the combadge on the grey portion of the tunic instead of the black; the combadge was positioned correctly in all subsequent episodes. Furthermore, Sisko does not have the red stripe around his cuffs that all the other uniforms do. Bashir's "Does my uniform look brighter?" line was a not-so-subtle way of drawing the audience's attention to the new costumes. Besides all the admirals' (and Whatley's aide's) uniform which had not been changed yet, some officers of the lower ranking staff are still wearing the previous uniforms. Unlike the DS9 crew, the crew on Star Trek: Voyager continued to use the old DS9 Starfleet uniforms, due to being stranded in the Delta Quadrant. The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 407) notes that all of Deep Space Nine's stock of the older uniforms were sent to Voyager to use.
- An outfit worn by one of the Bajorans working in B'hala is a reuse of a costume created for Cliff DeYoung as Croden in "Vortex", a first season episode of Deep Space Nine.
- According to René Echevarria, the image of the locusts that Sisko refers to when telling the Bajorans not to join the Federation doesn't just refer to the Bible; the image is also something of an in-joke. Echevarria explains that the locusts are actually from an original idea for an episode that never made it past the script stage – a massive swarm of space locusts is detected heading towards Bajor, but the Bajoran people refuse to do anything about it because a prophecy has foretold that the locusts must destroy everything if Bajor is to survive. The episode revolves around Sisko being forced to use his status as Emissary of the Prophets to convince the people to defend themselves. The reference to locusts in "Rapture" is a nod towards this idea. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Although some fans find it unusual that there is no acknowledgment of Star Trek: First Contact in this episode, such as a reference to the USS Defiant needing repair work, this was not an oversight on the part of the writers, but was in fact a conscious decision. Ira Steven Behr was not happy with how the Defiant had been used in the film ("I didn't see the point in bringing it on just to kick the crap out of it"), and he didn't see any reason to draw attention to it in this episode. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) There would eventually be a brief reference to the film in "In Purgatory's Shadow". Also, while this episode aired shortly after First Contact, the next episode, "The Darkness and the Light", had a stardate of 50416.2, while First Contact had a stardate of 50893.5, which would in fact place it approximately 6 months after this. This creates a discrepancy given that "By Inferno's Light" has a stardate of 50564.2, which would seemingly mean in the previous episode that Sisko was mentioning a battle with the borg that hadn't yet happened.
- Remastered scenes from the episode are featured in the documentary What We Left Behind.
- The Bajoran Militia officer that Sisko encounters on the Promenade was never identified in the episode, but was eventually expanded into the character of Vedek Yevir Linjarin in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Avatar and subsequent DS9 novels.
- The issue of Bajor's entry into the Federation was later addressed in the DS9 relaunch novel Unity, as well as the lead-up in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Mission Gamma novels.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 5.5, 7 April 1997
- As part of the DS9 Season 5 DVD collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Commander Worf
- Terry Farrell as Lt. Commander Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Alexander Siddig as Doctor Bashir
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira
Special guest star
- Robert Coffee as Bajoran officer
- Randy James as Jones
- Dan Magee as operations lieutenant
- Brenda Jean Shephard as sciences officer
- Mark Allen Shepherd as Morn
- James Lee Stanley as Bajoran deputy
- Unknown performers as
Alvanian beehive; archaeology; B'hala; Bajor; Bajoran; Bajoran Militia; Bajoran prophecy; Bajoran resistance; Bajoran State Museum; Bajoran wormhole; bantaca spire; basal ganglia; bateret; bicycle; Bolian; Cardassia; Cardassian; central nervous system; Chamber of Ministers; champagne; com signal; Colti; cooking; Council of Ministers; Dominion War; Dominion cold war; dizziness; Emissary of the Prophets; faith; Federation; Federation Council; foot traffic; headache; holosuite; icon; icon painting; Ilvia; incense; isolinear rod; jambalaya; katterpod; keelhauling; Klingon; Klingon proverb; latinum; lingta; locust; magistrate; Maquis; meter; mortar; Naval tradition; negligence; neural pathway; neural sheath; neuropolaric induction; obelisk; Occupation of Bajor; Orb; Orb of Prophecy; pagh'tem'far; path; Peldor Festival; physical; pleasure maze; post-neural shock syndrome; prison camp; Promenade; Prophets; Quark's; restricted duty; Rom; root beer; runabout; sensor array; signing ceremony; Sisko image file 376; Starfleet; Starfleet Command; Starfleet Headquarters; Starfleet uniform; superimposing; swarm; toast; tricorder; union; Veta; volume; Vulcan; Whatley, Kevin; Yridian; Zocal; Zocal's Third Prophecy
- "Rapture" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Rapture" at Wikipedia
- "Rapture" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
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"The Darkness and the Light"
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