(written from a Production point of view)
An old enemy of Odo's is murdered behind locked doors, and all the evidence points to Odo as the killer.
Doctor Bashir finds Dax playing with an Altonian brain teaser, a puzzle responding to neural theta waves in a holosuite. Eager to get closer to her, he says he loves puzzles and volunteers to play. Before she transfers control to him, she casually mentions that she's been trying to solve it for 140 years. As soon as she transfers control to him, the puzzle bursts in a matter of seconds. Dax tries to warn him about Trill relationships, but is saved by the appearance of Benjamin Sisko, picking her up for dinner. Unwilling to give up, Bashir gloomily tells the computer to re-start the puzzle after Sisko and Dax leave.
In Quark's, Odo is sitting at the bar, keeping an eye on Quark's business. Both of them notice Chief O'Brien arguing with his wife Keiko at a table on the upper level. Keiko is miserable aboard Deep Space 9; with no need for a botanist, she has nothing to do, and also has doubts about the station as a fit place to raise their daughter. Odo denies being able to understand why humanoids place so much emphasis on mating with other members of their species; he himself has never "coupled," as he had decided that the aggravation of a relationship, worst of all the need to compromise, which idea he already hates, far outweighed its benefits.
Having dinner in the bar, Sisko and Dax are still adjusting to their new relationship. Sisko has trouble seeing the young woman in front of him as his old mentor and father-figure, Curzon, which was how he had always seen Dax. Dax reminds Sisko that sometimes, relationships between Trills and other species do not survive the change of a host. Sisko assures her it will not be that way with the two of them – it is just a little uncomfortable now.
Glancing around the bar, Odo tenses up when he notices a Bajoran man playing at the dabo table. Odo goes over to the table and informs the man that he is unwelcome on the station. A fight breaks out between the two and, after Commander Sisko forcibly separates them, Odo tells the man he has 26 hours to leave DS9.
Elsewhere on the Promenade, a bored Jake Sisko approaches Quark's nephew, the only boy on the station of any species close to Jake's age, and tries to make friends. The Ferengi is standoffish at first, but grudgingly shares his name, Nog. Jake smiles, seeing the beginnings of a friendship.
In Sisko's office, Odo explains his actions: the man, whose name is Ibudan, had lived aboard the station during the Occupation, smuggling medical supplies and other black market goods to the planet. Some Bajorans considered him a hero, but Odo saw him as nothing but a ruthless profiteer – he had once allowed a young Bajoran girl to die, when her parents were unable to afford his asking price for the drug that would have saved her life. A few years before, Odo had arrested Ibudan for killing a Cardassian officer who wanted a bribe to look the other way, and he went to prison for murder. Now, the Provisional Government has granted him amnesty, since "killing a Cardassian isn't considered much of a crime nowadays." Sisko agrees Ibudan is undesirable, but does not see what they can do when he has not recently broken any laws. Odo vows to get him off the station, one way or another, and goes on the record saying, "Commander, laws change depending on who's making them. Cardassians one day, Federation the next. But justice is justice, and as long as I'm in charge of security…" Thereupon Sisko interrupts, "If you can't work within the rules, I'll find someone who can." Sisko dismisses Odo with a curt nod of his head.
Jake and Nog play a practical joke on the Promenade, releasing some Garanian bolites that infect a dining couple that harmlessly turn alternately blue, green, and yellow for a short time. A security officer catches the boys before they can run and marches them to the security office, while Keiko looks on disapprovingly. She doesn't believe that children should have the same freedom as they did on Starfleet ships like the USS Enterprise-D. She later mentioned to Miles that the station should have a school.
Sisko, Bashir, Odo, and Kira are in the deactivated holosuite, looking at Ibudan's dead body on the floor. Odo reports that, according to the security logs, the holosuite's door was locked, and only opened twice – the first to admit Ibudan, and the second time, presumably, to let his killer exit. There is also no evidence of a transporter being used within the suite. Sisko orders Bashir to sweep the suite for DNA evidence to identify all persons who have been inside the suite. Sisko orders Kira to inform all docked ships that their departures will be delayed as the crime is investigated.
In Ops, Sisko and Kira receive Zayra, a Bajoran businessman from the Promenade, who confides that Ibudan talked to him shortly before his death, and confided fears that Odo was going to murder him. Kira quickly discounts the accusation, but Zayra remains suspicious.
Odo investigates Ibudan's berth on the Bajoran freighter he arrived on. According to the ship's manifest, he was alone, but booked a room with two bunk beds. The ship's officer had assumed he simply wanted the extra room. Examining Ibudan's computer terminal, Odo finds an appointment book, stating that Ibudan had a meeting with Odo scheduled for the time he was murdered.
Keiko talks to Sisko in his quarters, with Jake present. She lobbies to open a school aboard the station, as there are no fewer than twelve children of school-age there. Sisko is more than happy to provide her with an empty room and some computer equipment; the only question is how many other parents aboard the station will accept her as a teacher. After Keiko departs, Sisko starts to read Jake the riot act, warning him to stay away from Nog, but Jake ducks into his room.
Bashir reports that only five persons's DNA traces can be found in the holosuite: Ibudan's, and those of the four officers who were in there after he was murdered. Kira is baffled: Ibudan entered the room alone, and the door stayed locked until his killer exited – which is impossible. Odo grimly says that the only explanation is that the killer was a shapeshifter like himself, who could enter the room through the cracks in the door.
Odo says in Ops that if he is being framed, it is a very "neat package"; only a shapeshifter could have entered the holosuite in order to murder Ibudan, Ibudan's calendar said he was going to meet with Odo at the time he was murdered, and since Odo would be expected to investigate the murder, traces of his DNA would be left at the crime scene, regardless of whether he entered it earlier (during the murder) or later. Kira asks him if he has an alibi, and Odo confesses that he has to regenerate every 18 hours, and was shapeless in a pail in the back of his office when the murder occurred, so the answer is no. He asks Kira to instruct Bashir to do a sweep of Ibudan's quarters aboard the freighter.
Quark's brother, Rom, is initially hostile towards the idea of enrolling Nog in a Federation-run school, saying that a traditional Ferengi education is designed to teach young Ferengi the cutthroat skills needed to thrive in commerce. Keiko does a clever sell job, convincing Rom that she can teach his son those virtues, and more: learning commerce from the perspective of other cultures, his son's future customers, will be a huge advantage. Rom appears thoughtful, and Keiko leaves him to mull it over.
In another corner of the bar, Zayra and several other Bajorans are questioning Odo's innocence; after all, he is the purest form of alien, and all they really know of him is that he worked on the station when the Cardassians occupied Bajor. Quark, overhearing, cuts in and defends Odo: no one knows (and loathes) Odo better than Quark does, and whatever else he is, Odo was not a collaborator and is no murderer.
Nevertheless, Zayra returns to Ops with a group of Bajorans for support, to confront Sisko with their suspicions. To avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, Sisko reluctantly relieves Odo of his duties on a temporary basis.
In the infirmary, Bashir reports to Odo that he has found the destroyed remains of a biological sample container in Ibudan's quarters. It appears that Ibudan was conducting some kind of medical experiment, but Odo says that Ibudan was neither a scientist nor a doctor. Bashir finds a small biological sample in the remains of the container. When he puts it into a solution to culture it, its cells begin dividing rapidly.
Odo is summoned to Ops, where Sisko reluctantly informs him that he is relieving him of duty. He assures Odo that he does not believe the Bajorans' suspicions of him, but Odo sardonically replies that, with all the evidence mounted against Odo, Sisko would be inhuman if a small part of him did not believe Odo might be guilty.
Odo returns to his office and finds it vandalized: his datapads are littered all over the floor, his monitors have been smashed, and the word "SHIFTER" spray-painted across the wall. As he starts to clear up, Quark happens by and offers to find out who did it. Chafing at the idea of asking the Ferengi for help, Odo declines. Then he asks Quark if he would be interested in Odo working for him, since it looks like Odo will be out of a job soon. Quark is briefly enthralled by the idea of having a shapeshifter to use in his various dealings, before he realizes Odo is joking with him. As he leaves the office, Quark mentions that he has been making some inquiries about Ibudan; but he seems not to have made any enemies in prison (who might be suspects in his murder) as he had spent most of his time hanging around the Bajoran dissidents jailed by the Cardassians for various non-criminal acts.
In the Infirmary, Bashir and Dax show Sisko the sample from Ibudan's container, which has been growing exponentially and is now a large, flesh-colored blob. Both Bashir and Dax are sure it is a vital clue, but cannot yet say what it is. Sisko invites Dax to lunch, and Bashir, mistakenly thinking he is being invited as well, accepts. To diffuse the awkward moment, Dax begs off, leaving Sisko and Bashir to go by themselves.
Over lunch, Bashir admits that he is attracted to Dax, but does not want to step on Sisko's toes, since Sisko has known "her" far longer. Sisko explains to the doctor that in all the previous years he knew Dax, the Trill was his male mentor and friend, Curzon. Therefore, Sisko assures Bashir, he is not interested in Dax romantically and the young doctor is free to choose to pursue Dax in that manner. Sisko and Bashir then witness Odo rejected by the customers at Quark's who refuse to drink with, or even be near, the former chief of security.
Miles is helping Keiko to set up her new schoolhouse, and has replicated an old-fashioned schoolhouse bell. Molly, from her father's arms, says that she wishes she could attend her mother's school, and Keiko wryly responds that she does too, at least that way she would know someone would show up. They are interrupted by the sound of an angry mob on their way to Odo's office screaming that he is a murderer and a freak. O'Brien signals Ops to have them send security to assist Odo and requests Commander Sisko's presence to handle the mob.
From afar, Bashir observes the mob outside Odo's office, trapping him inside and yelling for his head. Turning back to the infirmary, Ibudan's "blob" amazingly has grown much larger.
Sisko and security arrive to see the mob growing larger and more violent. While Kira secures the turbolifts, more armed security arrives. Sisko plants himself in front of the door and defends the Constable, telling the Bajorans not to condemn a man just because he happens to be different from them. Zayra and others begin yelling about the evidence against Odo. Meanwhile, Bashir and Dax are frantically analyzing the blob, which has grown larger still like a man-sized humanoid. Bashir makes a realization and they appear to the mob, announcing that they have a breakthrough in the case: the murder victim was not Ibudan. Bashir's pronouncement stuns everyone there, including Odo, and they lead Sisko and Odo to the infirmary, while Kira and O'Brien tell the crowd to disperse.
The man who was murdered was Ibudan's clone, whom Ibudan created himself, specifically to kill, then to frame Odo for the crime. (As Odo later finds out, one of the dissidents with whom Ibudan had associated in prison was a Bajoran geneticist who had been jailed for conducting cloning experiments.) Bashir and Dax have already checked the victim's DNA and found the signature gene sequence degradation that identifies him as a clone. The second clone will gain consciousness in a few hours and be a more-or-less exact copy of Ibudan, though hopefully not psychologically.
Now Odo concentrates on finding Ibudan, who turns out to be masquerading as an elderly Bajoran man who arrived a short time ago on a ship. Odo captures him as he boards the ship for departure from the station, pulling off his mask and informing him that killing his own clone still makes him guilty of murder.
- "Commander's log, stardate 46421.5. Ibudan has been turned over to the Bajoran authorities just hours after his clone gained consciousness and began a new life. The perpetrators of the mob violence have retreated into their own business. To my knowledge, Odo has received no apologies. Meanwhile, life on the station has begun to return to normal."
In her empty schoolroom, Keiko glumly checks the time. Sisko enters with Jake, and, to her surprise, Rom enters a few minutes later with Nog. Nog starts to take the desk next to Jake's, but Rom tells him to sit on the other side of the room, not wanting him to have anything to do with "that Human boy"; apparently he and Sisko are of one mind on this subject. A short time later, two other Bajoran children are escorted in by their parents, and Keiko happily introduces herself, and begins her lesson plan, with a basic introduction to Bajoran history.
"I can't believe you're defending him, Quark. You're his worst enemy."
"I guess that's the closest thing he has in this world to a friend."
- - Zayra and Quark, about Odo
"Business is good, Quark. You're almost making an honest living."
- - Odo
"She doesn't like it here."
"Mmm. Who does?"
- - Quark and Odo on why Miles and Keiko O'Brien are arguing
"Killing a Cardassian isn't considered much of a crime nowadays."
- - Odo
"How do you get a rope around the neck of a shapeshifter?"
- - Zayra
"Little lady, little lady. What would you know about Ferengi education?"
- - Rom, to Keiko O'Brien
"I know for a fact, that when she was a he… you know? Before she had this new body, they were old friends."
- - Quark and Odo, on Benjamin Sisko's and Jadzia Dax's relationship
"The man we have in charge of a murder investigation is the prime suspect, Major. Those people have a right to complain."
- - Sisko, on the Bajoran hostility towards Odo
"Do not condemn this man because he is different from you!"
- - Benjamin Sisko, about Odo, to the Bajoran mob
"Steamed azna would put years on your life."
"Dax, I don't want years on my life if I can only eat steamed azna. Sautéed… rolloped, fricasseed, fine! But not steamed!"
- - Jadzia Dax and Benjamin Sisko
"I don't want you on this station."
"Well, that's too bad because I have every right to be here!"
"I decide who has the rights and who doesn't on this station!"
- - Odo and Ibudan
"You've… never coupled?"
"Choose not to. Too many compromises. You want to watch the karo-net tournament, she wants to listen to music – so you compromise: you listen to music. You like Earth Jazz, she prefers Klingon opera – so you compromise: you listen to Klingon opera. So here you were, ready to have a nice night watching the karo-net match and you wind up spending an agonizing evening listening to Klingon opera."
- - Quark and Odo
"Killing your own clone is still murder."
- - Odo, to Ibudan
"Commander, laws change depending on who's making them. Cardassian one day, Federation the next. But justice is justice."
- - Odo
"Freak! Shapeshifting freak!"
- - Zayra, along with a Bajoran mob at Odo
Story and script
- Michael Piller wanted this installment to have a multilayered narrative structure. "I […] wanted to explore the idea of looking at Deep Space Nine as [Steve] Bochco looked at Hill Street Blues and that station – although I wasn't interested in doing continuing stories. I wanted to show that within the building structure of DS9, there were lots of different stories that are crossing paths," Piller explained. "I wanted to do an A-B-C story and see if we could keep them all going at one time, interacting and intersecting. That was the goal." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 32) He further commented, "This is one of those shakedown cruise kind of shows. We thought we could do the show like Hill Street Blues. Think of the space station as Hill Street. We said, 'Why can't you do three stories at the same time, intercutting between them, with people passing in the hallways?' So, we tried that." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 3, p. 11)
- This episode had its roots in an early story pitch session in which Gerald Sanford presented about seven or eight story ideas, of which the writing staff liked only three or four. "Then they said, 'Gee, maybe we ought to do a sort of Grand Hotel-style episode and do a lot of vignettes all taking place around the station. I did one treatment the old way, using about two basic stories, and then Michael Piller said, 'Let's pick up three more of those stories and make it really like Grand Hotel, a lot of things going on at once.' So I wrote the story up with about five of the vignettes and really never heard from them again." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 42)
- Explaining what the chosen subplots were, Michael Piller stated, "Odo and the murder investigation was one story. The Keiko O'Brien story was another, and the triangular relationship between Sisko, Dax and Bashir was the third." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 3, p. 11)
- Regarding the first of those three storylines, Gerald Sanford commented, "I thought it might be an interesting show to have someone accuse Odo of being a Nazi of the Cardassians who had murdered people. He's accused of this, although we find out later it's not true. So what I wanted to do was a story about what one's false accusations could lead to [….] In my original version, the only one who believed Odo was innocent was Sisko, but even he starts to doubt him. He has to really go out on a limb, and finally there's so much evidence that goes against Odo that he too has to believe it. Even his own crew began to say, 'Hey, when you're caught up in the regime, you begin acting like the regime.' I really did want to say something [in that aspect of the installment]." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 42)
- Approving of Gerald Sanford's idea of having Odo be falsely accused, Michael Piller proceeded to develop the story with him. "The more we talked about it, the more we came to a point where someone did accuse him of [a recent] murder," Sanford continued. "Then we came up with the notion of using the holosuite where a client is killed and Odo is the only one who could have gotten in and gotten out." This plot point made it even harder for Odo to prove his innocence. The collaboration between Sanford and Piller also resulted in changes to the specifics of exactly who accused him. "It was totally changed around," Sanford noted. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 42)
- Michael Piller and Ira Steven Behr asked themselves if it was too early in the first season for one of the three storylines to be a murder mystery. "We talked about that because we are aware of these things," stated Behr. "We felt that what was nice about being the third Star Trek series is that there is no such thing as early in the season, to a certain extent [….] It makes sense to do a murder mystery with a character that happens to be a figure of justice and law. You want to get him involved with a murder, and what better way to show his feelings about his job?" (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 32) Indeed, the same storyline was key to Piller's interest in developing the episode. He commented, "I wrote it to have the opportunity to really develop Odo, because he didn't have all that much to do in the pilot." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 3, p. 11)
- In writing the episode's script, Michael Piller knew he wanted the trio of storylines to be connected intrinsically as well as thematically. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 32)
- Despite wanting this installment's narrative to have a complex structure, Michael Piller tried to make this an easy episode to produce. "I wrote it to be as simple and straightforward as we could do," he stated. "I was thinking we had used all the effects and gags at our command in the pilot and now let's do a very simple character show and see how it plays [….] We were just right out of the pilot and were still freshmanlike people in that episode." Piller described this installment as "the simplest bottle show I could create." As such, he expected it would be US$100,000 under pattern (or average) budget. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 32) Piller clarified that, in the writing of the episode, the first goal was "establishing on the characters" and the second goal was "to save money we had spent on the pilot." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 3, p. 11)
- The scene with the Garanian bolites was originally to have been part of "Emissary" but was removed during Michael Piller's rewrites. (The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
- The character of Zayra was named after Zayra Cabot, Jeri Taylor's assistant. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) In the writing of the character, the show's staff of in-house writers attempted to, in Ira Steven Behr's words, "show a character that would be a problem for us to face on a semirecurring basis." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 42)
Cast and characters
- Odo actor Rene Auberjonois was delighted by how this episode explores the theme of prejudice and how multi-layered he perceived the episode to be. "On one level, it's just a murder mystery, but on another level it goes beyond that," he observed. "Star Trek consistently does that and I'm really happy about that." (Trek: Deepspace Nine, p. 17) Auberjonois was also pleased by how this installment developed his character of Odo. (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 332)
- Though Colm Meaney had worked with Director Paul Lynch on TNG before (for the episode "Unnatural Selection"), this was the first time that DS9's principal cast worked with Lynch. "The only problem, if any, was having these actors say so much technical stuff early on," the director commented. "There was so much they had to learn. It would drive anyone to distraction." Lynch also cited Terry Farrell as having had to perform huge passages of hard-to-memorize technobabble. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 3)
- For this episode, multiple clone-growing tanks had to be designed and built. Rick Sternbach was involved in the design work. Regarding one of the larger tanks that was constructed, he stated, "The design was such that the shop could build it out of Plexiglass, and add various bits of tubing, and 'blinky boxes' and that sort of thing, and make it look like everything had a purpose." ("Deep Space Nine Sketchbook", DS9 Season 1 DVD special features)
- This was the first regular episode of the series to be produced, but "Past Prologue" was chosen to be broadcast first. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion; Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 32) According to Cinefantastique (Vol. 24, No. 3/4, p. 96) and Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages (p. 32), work on this installment began a week after filming on "Emissary" ended on 29 September 1992. Paul Lynch remarked, "It was the first show we shot, so they were a little more relaxed about schedule and as the show went on, they tightened up." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 43)
- The costs from the production of "Emissary" got accrued to this episode, because the rebuilding of the sets from the pilot that had been destroyed by the Cardassians needed to be paid for. Partly because of this situation, this installment was US$200,000 under pattern budget, surprising Michael Piller. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 32) He observed that the plan to produce this installment as a money-saver "didn't succeed" and went on to say, "It ended up as being one of our most expensive shows, strictly in terms of extras, costumes, hair and other things." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 3, p. 11)
- Paul Lynch greatly enjoyed directing "A Man Alone", his first for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He could recall no other production problems encountered during this episode's making, aside from the actors struggling with their technobabble. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 3) "It gave me a chance to explore what the Deep Space Nine series was about," he related. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 43)
- Paul Lynch was proud of this episode. He commented, "I thought it was a damn good story, a murder mystery in space. It was a kicker, because only in space could you have a man murdering his own clone. It made for a very interesting and very different kind of murder mystery. I thought Piller's script was exceptional and really worked on that level." Lynch also enjoyed working with the actors for the first time. "I found that they were all wonderful performers. I also found I had a great comedy duo in Odo and Quark." The director was likewise impressed by Avery Brooks as well as the other cast members. "Siddig, Nana, Terry and Colm were all real pros," Lynch stated. He specifically thought it was "to her credit" that Terry Farrell managed the difficult task of performing all the "incredible passages of technical jargon" she had in this episode. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 3) Lynch also commented, "It was the first chance to see Armin and Rene work together as a wonderful team and it was quite a compelling story." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 43)
- Ira Steven Behr commented, "I always thought the ending of 'A Man Alone' was weak, with the Mission: Impossible-like taking off of the mask." Behr implied that his frustration with the episode wasn't due to the writing of it but because he found it "lacked pacing." Although he admitted that the idea of trying to establish Zayra as a potentially antagonistic character if encountered semiregularly "never really worked out" (as the character never returned), Behr stated that he "liked" that they had made this attempt. He also retained the opinion that it hadn't been too early in DS9's first season for a murder mystery. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp. 32 & 42)
- Michael Piller wasn't entirely satisfied with this episode. He commented, "'A Man Alone' is a very soft episode and a soft character show with some serious conflicts in it, and it's a wonderful show that defines our characters in ways that weren't in the pilot." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp. 42-43) Piller also commented, "From a script point of view, I thought it worked quite well. On film, it flattened out a little bit." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 32) He elaborated, "It was interesting [….] As a script, I thought it was wonderful. When I saw it filmed and cut together, I thought it was flat. That might just be the result of it being the first show we shot. I felt it got better in post-production and with the music added. The performances were good, but I thought it was soft. It did what it had to do in elaborating on the characters." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 3, p. 11) As Piller expressed it, the reasons this episode wasn't aired as the first regular episode were that it was regarded as "too soft" for that and due to Piller thinking it didn't have as good an "action quotient" as "Past Prologue", explaining why that episode was preferred to be the next aired after the pilot "Emissary", but concluded, "Oddly enough, I thought that in post the addition of music and effects lifted 'Man Alone', where they didn't really help 'Past Prokogue' much." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 43)
- Mark A. Altman commented that "probably the strongest thing" in this episode was the relationship between Quark and Odo. He also regarded the murder mystery in this episode as one of a few "hokey clichés" in the early run of DS9, which he would have personally avoided, opting instead for more interesting character-driven stories. (Trek: Deepspace Nine, pp. 69 & 72)
- "A Man Alone" provides some expository information, being the first episode filmed after "Emissary". Information on the Trill, Sisko's relationship with Curzon Dax, and the fact that Rom is Nog's father are all revealed. Jake and Nog meet for the first time, and Keiko and Molly O'Brien make their first appearances in the series, with Keiko establishing the school on the station. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 19)
- Following its opening in this episode, Keiko's school aboard Deep Space 9 remains open until third season episode "The House of Quark", when it closes due to a lack of students.
- Nog's friendship with Jake Sisko is also established in this episode. However, during this show (and in several subsequent shows), Sisko openly opposes their friendship and actively tries to end it. It is not until third season episode "Life Support" that Sisko comes to truly accept the bond Jake and Nog have.
- While investigating Ibudan's death, Odo views his schedule, which contains several in-jokes. For example, it shows that he traveled to Deep Space 9 from Alderaan Spaceport; Alderaan is the planet destroyed by the Death Star in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. He also had several dealings with individuals named Ahern, Della Santina, Gocke, and Moudakis, all named after DS9 production staffers.
- In the same scene, it is established that the murder occurred on stardate 46384, a stardate which is earlier than the last log entry of the pilot "Emissary", which was stardate 46393.1.
- A future Deep Space Nine sub-plot, involving conflicts over jurisdiction in regards to security personnel on the station, is first hinted at in this episode. This conflict is seen most clearly in later first season episode "The Passenger", where Odo clashes with Lieutenant Primmin, and in third season episode "The Search, Part I", where he clashes with Lieutenant Commander Eddington. On both occasions, Odo offers his resignation to Sisko, and on both occasions, Sisko refuses to accept it.
- Though Rom first appears in the pilot episode "Emissary", this is the first episode in which he is given a name, as well as being established as Nog's father. (In "Emissary", he is credited as "Ferengi Pit Boss", and Quark refers to Nog as "my brother's boy.") In this episode, Max Grodénchik has not yet adopted Rom's trademark voice or mannerisms.
- Max Grodénchik, as Rom, says "Human" rather than the typical Ferengi pronunciation "hew-mon" twice in this episode. Grodénchik did the same thing as Sovak in TNG: "Captain's Holiday".
- In this, his second appearance on the series, Aron Eisenberg (Nog) is credited as "Aron Eisenerg".
- This is the first episode to suggest, though not explicitly state, that the station operates on a twenty-six-hour day. As Deep Space 9 is a Bajoran station, it can be inferred from this that Bajor itself has a twenty-six-hour day.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 2, 2 August 1993
- As part of the DS9 Season 1 DVD collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Constable Odo
- Siddig El Fadil as Doctor Julian Bashir
- Terry Farrell as Lieutenant Jadzia Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira Nerys
- Rosalind Chao as Keiko O'Brien
- Edward Laurence Albert as Zayra
- Max Grodénchik as Rom
- Peter Vogt as Bajoran man
- Aron Eisenerg [sic] as Nog
- Stephen James Carver as
- Tom Klunis as Lamonay S.
- Scott Trost as a Bajoran Officer
- Patrick Cupo as a Bajoran Man
- Kathryn Graf as a Bajoran Woman
- Hana Hatae as Molly O'Brien
- Diana Cignoni as a Dabo Girl
- Judi Durand as Computer voice
- Scott Barry as a Bajoran officer
- Ivor Bartels as a Human security officer
- Robert Coffee as a Bajoran officer
- Jeannie Dreams as a Human operations division ensign
- Robert Ford as operations officer
- Grace Harrell as holographic alien masseuse
- David B. Levinson as Broik
- Vincent Mazzella, Jr. as a Bajoran
- Kim Meredith (unconfirmed)
- Tom Morga as a Bajoran
- Robin Morselli as Bajoran officer
- Tyana Parr as a Human DS9 resident
- Mic Rodgers as a Bajoran security deputy
- Mark Allen Shepherd as
- Michael Zurich as a Bajoran security deputy
- Unknown performers as
2229; alibi; Altonian brain teaser; anatomy; apprenticeship; arboretum; azna; Bajor; Bajoran (aka Bajora); Bajoran Provisional Government; Bajoran sector; Antares-class (Bajoran transport); Bajoran wormhole; bed; biological sample container; bioregenerative field; black market; botanist; business; Cardassian; cell; champagne; chopstick; chromatin; chromosome analysis; clone; collaborator; commander; "Comparative Xenobiology"; computer; confidence man; conflict of interest; court; crime; crook; culture; curriculum; dabo; daughter; Dax, Curzon; dinner; dissident; DNA; DNA sequence analysis; docking pylon; doctor; donor; drug; Earth; economics; education; electrophoretic analysis; Enterprise-D, USS; evidence; Federation; Federation survey ship; female; Ferengi; flower; forensics; freak; fricassee; friendship; Gamma Quadrant; Garanian bolite; gene-sequence degradation; genetic drift; grapevine; hair follicle; hand; hanging; heart; hero; holodeck; holosuite; host; Human; humanoid; Ibudan (second clone); jar; jazz; jumja; Juro Counterpunch; justice; Karo-Net; killer; Klingon opera; knife; Korris I; Kran-Tobol prison; law; Lauriento massage holoprogram 101A; law; massage facility; masseuse; matter reclamation unit; medical supplies; mentor; metabolic field energy; microscope; module; murder; music; neck; neural theta wave; nuisance; Occupation of Bajor; officer; ops; pail; passenger; payoff; perfume; personal calendar file; petri dish; philosophy; plant; power transfer grid; prison; Promenade; promotion; protein; puzzle; Quark's; quarters; recipe; regenerative cycle; relationship; replimat; report; rhythm; rollope; romance; rope; Ruji; Ruji twin sisters; Rujian Steeplechase; runabout; sauté; scene of the crime; school; school bell; schoolroom; scientist; scum; security chief; security office; semi-circle; seofurane; shapeshifter; shifter; ship's manifest; Sisko, Joseph; skin; space station; spectrograph; sphere; Starfleet; starship; steam; step; supper; sweep; teacher; test taster; thoracic vertebrae; tournament; transfer; Transit Aid Center; transporter; tree; tri-phasic cloning; Trill; turbolift; unnamed medical tool; ventricle; Vulcan science vessel; wager; water; Yadozi desert
- Personal calendar files: Ahern; Alderaan Spaceport; Gocke; lifeboat drill; lunch; Moudakis; Santina, Della; subspace teleconference; tennis; Zarro
- Comparative Xenobiology: Deneb IV; Denebian slime devil; flying parasite; Excalbian; Horta; Iota Geminorum IV; Large Magellanic Cloud; Ornithoid life form; Regulan bloodworm; tribble
- "A Man Alone" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "A Man Alone" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "A Man Alone" at Wikipedia
- "A Man Alone" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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