Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
For the TNG episode with a similar title, please see "The Emissary".

Three years after his wife died at the hands of the Borg and following the Cardassian withdrawal from the planet Bajor, Commander Benjamin Sisko and a new crew of Starfleet and Bajoran officers take command of an abandoned Cardassian space station and make an incredible discovery that will change the galaxy and Sisko's future. (Series premiere)

Summary Edit

Teaser Edit

USS Saratoga viewscreen

Locutus of Borg

Borg cube destroys the Melbourne

Starfleet engages the Borg

Benjamin Sisko, 2367

Benjamin Sisko on board the USS Saratoga

On stardate 43997, Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation starship Enterprise was kidnapped for six days by an invading force known as the Borg. Surgically altered, he was forced to lead an assault on Starfleet at Wolf 359.

In 2366 (around stardate 44002.3) Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Sisko is the executive officer of the USS Saratoga as it battles the Borg, led by Locutus (the former Captain Jean-Luc Picard), at Wolf 359. Its shields drained by the Borg cube, the ship sustains a direct hit, which kills most of the bridge crew save Sisko and the Bolian tactical officer and causes the beginnings of a warp core breach: they have five minutes to evacuate the crippled vessel. Sisko orders the lieutenant to help the surviving civilians to the escape pods and goes in search of his own family. In his quarters, he finds his young son Jake and wife Jennifer buried under a pile of rubble. Although he is able to rescue Jake, Jennifer remains trapped. As Sisko digs through the rubble, the Bolian lieutenant scans Jennifer with a tricorder and finds she is already dead. Sisko ignores the lieutenant's desperate pleas to escape and continues trying to rescue his wife; he is ultimately dragged away screaming to an escape pod. Together with Jake and the other survivors, he watches from the escape pod as the Saratoga is destroyed.

Stardate 46379.1: Three Years Later

Commander Benjamin Sisko approaches Jake, now a teenager, who is fishing from a lake in an Earth-like setting. Jake seems dismayed they will be soon living on a space station rather than Bajor, the planet the station orbits. Sisko assures Jake that he will have fun and meet lots of new friends, but they are interrupted by a voice from the bridge, informing Sisko that they are approaching Deep Space 9 and will be docking in seven minutes. Sisko ends the program and they leave the holodeck. Walking past a window, Sisko and Jake get their first look at Deep Space 9, the former Cardassian mining station which will now be their new home.

Act One Edit

"Commence Station Log, Deep Space 9. Commander Benjamin Sisko, Stardate 46388.2. At the request of the Bajoran Provisional Government, Starfleet has agreed to establish a Federation presence in this system following the withdrawal of the Cardassian occupational forces. The first contingent of officers, including my Chief of Operations, Miles O'Brien, arrived two days ago on the Enterprise."

Sisko and Jake arrive at Deep Space 9 and are dismayed to find the station in a state of disarray, ransacked by the Cardassians following the Occupation of Bajor; the planet itself is in a similar state. Neither Benjamin nor his son find the place, or their quarters, accommodating but they decide to "rough it" for the time being. Chief O'Brien reports that most systems are offline and a lot of vital equipment is missing or severely damaged. O'Brien also notes that Captain Picard wishes to meet with Sisko, a prospect the latter does not seem to relish.

Ascending to Ops, Sisko enters the prefect's office and finds his Bajoran liaison officer, Major Kira Nerys, in heated argument with one of the Provisional Government's ministers, whom she hangs up on. Kira, a former member of the Bajoran Resistance, is openly hostile to the idea of another foreign power occupying Bajor. When Sisko says the Federation is only there to assist the Bajorans, she retorts that the Cardassians said the same thing when they arrived sixty years earlier.

Their conversation is interrupted by an alarm from the Promenade, where Kira and Sisko capture a thief and his accomplice, a young Ferengi named Nog. Here, Sisko also meets Odo, the station's security chief, who aids in the apprehension of the two criminals. Quark, Nog's uncle and the proprietor of the local bar, urges Sisko to release Nog into his custody so the Ferengi may evacuate, but Sisko refuses, appearing to have something else in mind. Before he can elaborate to Kira, he is reminded that Captain Picard is waiting to meet with him. As he cannot put it off any longer, he heads for the Enterprise. Sisko assures Kira that the meeting will not take long.

Act Two Edit

USS Enterprise-D docked at DS9 while orbiting Bajor

The Enterprise arrives

When Sisko meets with Picard in the observation lounge, it is now Sisko's turn to be brusque and distrusting. He begins by "re-introducing" himself, mentioning that he has already "met" Picard (or rather Locutus) at the Battle of Wolf 359. Picard is obviously troubled by his memories of the event, so he begins discussing the havoc wreaked upon Bajor by the Cardassians. Bajor has applied for Federation membership, however their entrance will not be simple; with the Cardassians gone, several factions are now fighting for control of the planet. He tells Sisko that his mission aboard the station is to do everything short of violating the Prime Directive to secure Bajor's entrance into the Federation. Picard then notes that Sisko had objections to taking the assignment, and Sisko tells Picard with barely-restrained anger that he's raising his son alone and that a damaged space station is not the ideal environment. Sisko also says that he is thinking of resigning his Starfleet commission to return to Earth for civilian service, but until he makes the decision he will do his job to the best of his ability. The conversation is dominated by thinly-veiled hostility on Sisko's part, as he faces the man he holds responsible for the death of his wife. Picard dismisses Sisko.

In Odo's security office, Sisko and Odo interview Quark, encouraging him to stay on the station and reopen his establishment. The Promenade is the vital heart of life on the station, and someone has to step forward and lead the other vendors in rebuilding. As Quark is less than eager to stay – citing that "when governments fall, people like me are lined up and shot" – Sisko uses the incarcerated Nog as a bargaining chip, offering to free Nog if Quark agrees to his terms. Odo starts to warm up to the new Starfleet commander.

Benjamin Sisko and Kira Nerys, 2369

Sisko with Kira on the damaged Promenade

While discussing Bajoran politics, Kira expresses her belief that Kai Opaka, the spiritual leader of Bajor, is their only hope to unite the people and keep the Provisional Government intact. When Sisko meets the kai on Bajor, she urges him to explore his pagh, or life-force, and declares Sisko to be the Emissary of the Prophets, though she doesn't tell him everything at first. She leads Sisko to the Orb of Prophecy and Change, which grants him his first orb experience: he is mentally transported to Gilgo Beach, years earlier (circa 2354), at the time and place he met Jennifer, his wife. He re-lives the moment of their first encounter in vivid detail, promising to prepare his father's famous Aubergine stew for dinner, and is distraught when the vision ends.

As Kai Opaka shuts away the Orb safely in its container, she explains that this Orb is one of nine known Orbs that have appeared in the skies over Bajor in the last ten thousand years; the Cardassians took the other eight. She also informs Sisko that his destiny, whether he believes it or not, consists entirely of finding the Celestial Temple of the Prophets, from where the orbs originated. To help him in his task, she gives him the Orb for further study.

Act Three Edit

Back on DS9, Sisko finds his son sleeping on the floor, still thinking of the image of his wife. Kira soon calls him to the Promenade, where he finds Quark has indeed unpacked and is entertaining the very diverse array of people on the station. He gets a drink and Quark implies he agrees to Sisko's terms.

"Station log, stardate 46390.1. The Enterprise has been ordered to the Lapolis system. They're scheduled to depart at zero-five hundred hours after offloading three runabout class vessels. Meanwhile, our medical and science officers are arriving… and I'm looking forward to a reunion with a… very old… friend."
Kira, Bashir, Dax, and Sisko, 2369

"You and Dr. Bashir go ahead. I'm afraid I have to put Lieutenant Dax to work right away."

Sisko then greets his new chief medical officer, Doctor Julian Bashir, who is obviously smitten with Jadzia Dax, the station's new chief science officer. Sisko's meeting with Dax is really a reunion, because Dax is a Trill symbiont whom Sisko knew as Curzon Dax years earlier. Bashir offends Kira by referring to his new assignment as "frontier medicine"; to Kira, Bajor is home, not some frontier in the wilderness. Sisko quickly puts his old friend Dax to use, asking her to conduct research on the Orb and leaving her alone in the science lab. When she touches the Orb, it grows extremely bright and gives her a vision of her own.

Curzon Dax, Emissary

The Dax symbiont is transferred from Curzon to Jadzia

From high above, she sees herself (as the un-joined Jadzia) lying on an operating table, receiving the Dax symbiont from a dying Curzon, realizing the first moment of her new self-awareness. The vision has a noticeably powerful effect on her emotionally, as strong as Sisko's vision of Jennifer.

On the Enterprise, Miles O'Brien stands outside the captain's ready room on the bridge, deciding whether to go inside or not. He decides not to, and after a final look at the bridge heads to transporter room 3. Upon entering, he asks Ensign Maggie Hubbell to beam him to the transporter pad in Ops. Just before he transports to the station, Captain Picard walks in, and dismisses the ensign. Picard notes that transporter room 3 is the chief's favorite one to use, and says that just the other day he called down and asked for him without thinking, and how it won't be the same without him. O'Brien smiles, and tells Picard that "it's just a transporter room", and requests permission to disembark. Picard operates the transporter console and beams O'Brien to the station. For a moment, Picard quietly laments the loss of his long time transporter chief and leaves the room. The Enterprise then sets off for the Lapolis system.

Act Four Edit

Barely has the Enterprise left orbit than a Cardassian warship enters the system, transmitting fulsome good wishes from its commander, Gul Dukat – the former Cardassian Prefect of Bajor. Sisko hosts Dukat in his office (which used to be Dukat's office just two weeks prior, when the station was still under Cardassian control). With great diplomacy, Dukat "welcomes" the Federation to the region and pledges his "support" to their efforts to rehabilitate Bajor (especially in light of the fact that the Enterprise has departed the region). In his unctuous manner, Dukat fishes for information about the Orb Sisko brought to the station, as he had believed that the eight "acquired" by the Cardassians were the only ones in existence. He offers to share what the Cardassians have learned from those eight, but Sisko coolly says he knows nothing about any Orb. Smiling politely, Dukat says his ship will remain in system for a few days, in case Sisko changes his mind, and asks Sisko's permission for his men to enjoy the services on the Promenade.

In her lab, Dax has plotted a central location common to the pathways of all the known Orbs, the Denorios belt, a charged plasma field. Sisko is intrigued and wants to take a closer look, but is wary of being followed by the Cardassians. So he concocts a ruse…

In Quark's, the Cardassians are winning heavily at the dabo tables, when Kira strides in and announces the bar is being closed until further notice. Quark assures his customers that it is only temporary, and one of his waiters hands them a tote bag to carry their winnings back to their ship. The "bag" is actually Odo; once aboard the ship, he sabotages their computers, disabling their sensors and engines, allowing Sisko and Dax to depart in the runabout USS Rio Grande. Kira tells O'Brien to beam Odo back to the station, but O'Brien is having trouble operating the Cardassian transporter. When the machine refuses to respond to his commands, he kicks it in frustration – which works, energizing Odo back.

Act Five Edit

Bajoran wormhole interior

The discovery of the first stable wormhole

The coast is now clear for Sisko and Dax to embark toward the Denorios belt, the coordinates of the focal point of the Bajoran Orbs. As Dax steers the vessel toward high proton counts and the external wave intensifies, while internal wave intensifies remains unaffected, a wormhole suddenly opens directly in front of them. They are pulled into it, as DS9 loses contact with them, picking up only major subspace disruptions. The Rio Grande emerges in the Gamma Quadrant, some 70,000 light years from its previous location. Sisko suspects that the wormhole is the source of the Bajoran Orbs, and realizes that they have discovered the first stable wormhole known to exist, so they turn around and attempt to return to the Alpha Quadrant.

However, the Rio Grande loses power and velocity while in the wormhole; they land on a "planet" with breathable atmosphere. To Sisko, it appears to be a barren wasteland, raging with electrical storms; to Dax, however, the planet appears beautiful, like an idyllic garden setting. A hovering Orb appears and scans their bodies; it engulfs Dax and takes her through the wormhole safely, and she materializes in Ops on DS9. Sisko is transported from the imaginary planet to the Celestial Temple, where he begins another vision, this one being his first communication with the Prophets of the Celestial Temple.

The Prophets are non-corporeal entities, appearing to Sisko as people in his life: his late wife Jennifer, Picard, the kai, and Jake. They seek contact with other lifeforms, but do not consider him worthy, since he is corporeal, and relies on crude linguistics for communication. As he tries to defend himself and his species, Sisko seeks to develop some form of communication protocols with them.

"First officer's log, stardate 46392.7. We're preparing to launch a rescue mission to find Commander Sisko, but first, our navigational sensors must be recalibrated to work under the conditions reported by Lieutenant Dax."

Once Kira realizes what Sisko and Dax discovered, she recognizes its tremendous importance and orders the entire DS9 space station to be moved to the mouth of the newly-found wormhole. With only six functional maneuvering thrusters, O'Brien states that it would take a month to cross the 116 million kilometers to the wormhole. Kira replies that it has to be done by the next day, stating that the Bajorans have to stake a claim to the wormhole, then in an apparent change of attitude, notes that the Federation's presence would strengthen the claim. Dax suggests they lower the inertial mass of the station with the deflector array; O'Brien begins work on this endeavor. Dax contacts Starfleet for assistance; the nearest starship is the Enterprise, which is two days away. Kira, Dax, and Doctor Bashir decide to set out toward the wormhole in another runabout, the USS Yangtzee Kiang, to rescue Sisko. Odo insists on joining their expedition, citing his own discovery in the Denorios belt and how his origins may be related to the wormhole phenomenon.

Act Six Edit

Sisko explains linear time

Sisko watches his memories unfold as he tries to explain linear time

Back inside the wormhole, Sisko communicates with some non-corporeal aliens who take the form of several people he knows; Jake, Picard, Locutus of Borg, Kai Opaka, Jennifer, and the Saratoga crew, among others. The aliens discuss destroying the intruder, while Sisko insists he was sent by the Bajorans. In order to prove he means no harm he offers to allow the aliens to share in his experiences and his past. However, it turns out the wormhole aliens have no concept of linear time. They refuse the idea that the past, present, and future are in any way different from one another.

As Sisko and the wormhole aliens try to understand one another, O'Brien and the crew attempt to find a way to safely move DS9 to the mouth of the wormhole, but the Cardassian computer is less than cooperative to the point where it refuses to cooperate with some of his requests. With great difficulty, O'Brien manages to move DS9; however, Dukat has become aware of the wormhole's presence.

Suspecting Sisko of already striking a deal with "whomever" in the wormhole, Gul Dukat races toward the wormhole himself; his Cardassian vessel, easily out-pacing Kira and the runabout, proceeds through the wormhole.

Meanwhile, Sisko is showing the aliens a moment in his past when he and Jennifer were sharing a picnic. The aliens mention that Jennifer is a part of Sisko's existence, but Sisko tells them that while she was a very important part she is not anymore as she is no longer alive… he lost her. The aliens are now very confused, unable to understand what "lost" means. Sisko tells them that when in linear time, people are unable to go back to the past, when something is lost it is gone forever. The aliens cannot understand how any species could possibly survive in this manner.

Sisko goes on to explain that this day is important as it affected every one that followed; it is the day he and Jennifer decided to have a child. As the two echoes kiss, Sisko starts to explain about touch and pleasure when suddenly…

…he finds himself back on the Saratoga, standing over his wife's body. The aliens explain this is his existence. Sisko tells them that this memory is more difficult than any of the others because this is the day he lost Jennifer. The aliens don't accept this, and they ask Sisko why he exists here. Sisko doesn't understand what they're asking, but they insist that he exists here.

Suddenly, everything stops. Gul Dukat's ship is traveling through the wormhole and emerges in the Gamma Quadrant. In anger, the aliens seal the wormhole, preventing the Yangtzee Kiang from following.

Act Seven Edit

The aliens explain to Sisko that whenever someone travels through the wormhole their existence is disrupted, therefore they have closed it. The aliens tell Sisko that his linear nature makes him naturally destructive and he doesn't understand the consequences of his actions, a charge Sisko denies. He tells them he is aware that every choice he makes will have a consequence, even if he doesn't know what it is. To help, he uses past experiences to guide him. For example, he cites the day he met Jennifer on the beach and how their past experiences helped them realize they had a future together and when they got married they accepted any of the consequences that would come from that act… including the birth of their son.

The aliens are starting to understand but still need help, so Sisko decides to use the game of baseball as an example. He tells the aliens that when he throws the baseball anything could happen, the batter could swing and miss or he might hit the ball perfectly. A person prepares for every consequence as they happen, and as a result the game will start to take shape even though no one knows what the outcome will be. Now the aliens start to get it, but now can't understand why Sisko values his ignorance of the future. Sisko tells the aliens that the unknown is what drives his species, that they are always exploring and looking to the future to expand the boundaries of their knowledge. He explains that he isn't there to conquer them, but to co-exist and share their knowledge.

"If all of this is true, why do you exist here?!"

Sisko is once again on the Saratoga looking at his wife's body under the debris, confused why the aliens keep returning him to this point.

"First officer's log, supplemental. We've rendezvoused with the space station at the former coordinates of the wormhole. Unfortunately, our scans have revealed no trace of either the wormhole or Dukat's ship. A few minutes ago three Cardassian warships crossed the border, no doubt on their way to search for Dukat."

In light of Dukat's disappearance, the station is soon approached by three Cardassian warships, which take a threatening posture. Gul Jasad demands to know the location of Dukat's vessel; he refuses to believe Kira's "wormhole" explanation, since there is no sensory evidence of such. Jasad allows Kira one hour to prepare for surrender, but with the Enterprise still twenty hours away, Kira knows that surrender is not a viable option.

Act Eight Edit

Sisko and Locutus in Prophet Vision

The Prophets in the form of Locutus

Inside the wormhole, Sisko demands to know why the aliens keep bringing him back here to the Saratoga but the aliens tell him they are not bringing him here, he is taking them there. Sisko asks for the power to take them somewhere else, but the aliens tell him that he already has the power but is denying himself it and should look inside himself for the answer. Sisko then looks back, and sees himself from three years earlier, desperate to free his wife despite the knowledge she was dead. Sisko notes that he was ready to die with her.

Sisko is clearly in pain at recalling the most horrific of his memories, and the aliens sense this and try to comfort him. As he sees his past self dragged away he realizes inside that he never completely left the Saratoga. As he looks down at his wife, and through his tears, he tells the aliens that the moment he looked down at Jennifer's dead body has always been in his mind, he sees the same image when he is in the darkness or when he closes his eyes. The aliens realize that none of Sisko's past experiences helped prepare him for this consequence and Sisko confesses he's never been able to get over losing her and that inside he does still exist here. But finally Sisko realizes that Jennifer is really gone and he has to let her go forever. He grieves properly this time, letting go of his emotions, but finally starts to leave the trauma of his wife's death behind him.

Kira launches six photon torpedoes – the station's entire complement – as a bluff, to make Gul Jasad believe that Starfleet has replenished DS9's weaponry after taking over the station. The bluff fails, however, as the Cardassians begin assaulting the station, easily penetrating its weak shields and causing an explosion on the Promenade which leaves many people injured. Odo calls for medical assistance from Doctor Bashir who immediately leaves Ops to tend to the wounded. Dax reports that their shields are down to eighteen percent and rapidly falling, then suddenly reports a huge neutrino disturbance 15 kilometers off the docking ring; the wormhole is back.

Prakesh under tow

Gul Dukat's ship being towed

The wormhole opens in an explosion of brilliant, neon-like light; the Cardassians, shocked to see it for the first time, immediately cease firing on DS9. To everyone's surprise, Commander Sisko emerges in the Rio Grande, towing Gul Dukat's disabled vessel from the wormhole to safety. Once securely back in the Alpha Quadrant, Dukat orders the Cardassian vessels to stand down.

Luckily there were no fatalities on DS9, just various injuries being treated by Doctor Bashir and Odo, who has been pressed into medical duties, for the time being. Sisko, back aboard DS9, joyously greets Jake. The aliens living in the wormhole, whom the Bajorans believe to be the Prophets, have granted Sisko and all other corporeal beings free passage through the wormhole. And with the return of the Enterprise, the Cardassian vessels retreat back to Cardassian space.

"Station Log, Commander Benjamin Sisko, Stardate 46393.1. The lifeforms who created the wormhole have agreed to allow safe passage for all ships traveling to the Gamma Quadrant. With the arrival of the Enterprise the Cardassians have left the area."

Meeting once again with Captain Picard, this time in Commander Sisko's office, he is congratulated on finding the wormhole; Bajor will now undoubtedly become a commercial and scientific hub, as well as a strategic military focal point for the Federation. Sisko retracts his earlier conversation with Picard, about possibly resigning his commission. Picard, who had not forwarded the information up the chain of command, nevertheless asks Sisko if he is sure about staying at the helm of DS9. Sisko assures him that he is; Picard shakes his hand, and leaves for the Enterprise, wishing Sisko good luck.

Kira warns Quark to not cheat his customers anymore, but allows him to keep his bar open. As the repairs continue, Dax and O'Brien inform Sisko about the impending arrival of three Frunalian science vessels and a related problem with the airlocks, as the station and its crew begin their new roles in galactic affairs.

Memorable quotes Edit

"Resistance is futile. You will disarm your weapons and escort us to Sector 001. If you attempt to intervene, we will destroy you. file info"

- Locutus of Borg, at the Battle of Wolf 359 (first spoken line of the series)

"I suppose you want the office."
"I thought I'd say hello first, and then take the office, but we can do this in any order you'd like."
"… Hello."

- Kira and Sisko

"It's been a long time, Captain."
"Have we met before?"
"Yes, sir. We met in battle. I was on the Saratoga at Wolf 359."

- Commander Sisko and Captain Picard

"You know, at first, I didn't think I was going to like him!"

- Odo, after seeing what Sisko thinks of Quark

"Nine Orbs, like this one, have appeared in the skies over the past ten thousand years. The Cardassians took the others. You must find the Celestial Temple before they do."
"The Celestial Temple?"
"Tradition says the Orbs were sent by the Prophets to teach us. What we have learned has shaped our technology. The Cardassians will do anything to decipher their powers. If they discover the Celestial Temple, they could destroy it."

- Kai Opaka and Benjamin Sisko

"I can't unite my people until I know the Prophets have been warned. You will find the Temple. Not for Bajor, not for the Federation, but for your own pagh. It is, quite simply, Commander, the journey you have always been destined to take."

- Kai Opaka, to Benjamin Sisko

"How's the local synthale?"
"You won't like it. I love the Bajorans. Such a deeply spiritual culture, but they make a dreadful ale. Never trust ale from a god-fearing people, or a Starfleet Commander that has one of your relatives in jail."

- Benjamin Sisko and Quark

"This is going to take some getting used to."
"Don't be ridiculous. I'm still the same old Dax. More or less."

- Benjamin Sisko and Jadzia Dax

"I'll be honest with you, Commander. I miss this office. I was not happy to leave it."
"Drop by any time you're feeling homesick."

- Gul Dukat and Commander Sisko

"Red alert! Shields up!"
"What shields?

- Kira and O'Brien

"I see her like this, every time I close my eyes. In the darkness, in the blink of an eye, I see her like this."

- Commander Sisko

"You don't think Starfleet took command of this space station without the ability to defend it, do you?"

- Major Kira

"Major? Remind me never to get into a game of Roladan Wild Draw with you."

- O'Brien, to Major Kira after she bluffs belligerent Cardassians

"Bloody Cardassians! I just got the damned thing fixed!"

- O'Brien

"We're not done with the Cardassians yet. Not with the strategic importance of that wormhole."

- Sisko, to Picard

"Good luck, Mr. Sisko."

- Jean-Luc Picard's departing words to Sisko

Background information Edit

Distinguishing DS9 Edit

  • When Brandon Tartikoff first approached Rick Berman in 1991 about doing a new Star Trek show, he stated that he wanted it to have a classic western format; specifically, a man and his son arrive at a frontier town on the edge of known civilization. Berman brought this concept to Michael Piller, and together they set about creating a western in space. As Robert Hewitt Wolfe explains, "We had the country doctor, and we had the barkeeper, and we had the sheriff and we had the mayor, we had it all, it was all there. We had the common man, Miles O'Brien, the Native American, Kira." Indeed, the producers initially discussed setting the show at a colony on an alien planet rather than a space station. This idea was ultimately rejected because it was felt that it would involve too much location shooting, and because they felt that fans of Star Trek wanted to see story lines set primarily in space, not on a planet. (New Frontiers: The Story of Deep Space Nine, DS9 Season 2 DVD special features)
  • Being set in a specific place, as opposed to a show on the move, "Emissary" and its subsequent series presents the first (and so far only) Trek premise in which the main setting is not a starship, being set instead aboard space station Deep Space 9. This change of venue was largely intended to differentiate DS9 from The Next Generation, because the producers felt that having two shows about a starship airing simultaneously would be unacceptable. As co-creator and executive producer Rick Berman explains, "Because there were two years of overlap with The Next Generation, we could not create a show that took place on a spaceship. It just seemed ridiculous to have two shows and two casts of characters that were off going where no man has gone before. It was a land-based show, it was a show that in a sense was taking place on a space station. So it had to be an entirely different concept." (Deep Space Nine: A Bold Beginning, DS9 Season 1 DVD special features)
  • The decision to set the show on a fixed station rather than a traveling starship was also based upon a desire to look deeper into the actual workings of the Federation and to see how it dealt with the type of problems one wouldn't find in a show set upon a starship. Michael Piller felt that by having the characters standing still, they would be forced to confront issues not usually applicable to people on a starship. Whereas on The Next Generation, issues raised each week could simply be forgotten about the following week as the ship visited somewhere else, on a space station, events couldn't be forgotten or left behind, but had to have implications for the future. As Piller explains, "We didn't want to have another series of shows about space travel. We felt that there was an opportunity to really look deeper, more closely at the working of the Federation and the Star Trek universe by standing still. And by putting people on a space station where they would be forced to confront the kind of issues that people in space ships are not forced to confront. In a series that focuses on a starship, like the Enterprise, you live week by week. You never have to stay and deal with the issues that you've raised. But by focusing on a space station, you create a show about commitment. It's like the difference between a one-night stand and a marriage. On Deep Space Nine, whatever you decide has consequences the following week. So it's about taking responsibility for your decisions, the consequences of your acts." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) Similarly, in 2002, Piller stated, "If you look at The Next Generation, it's really about movement. You don't ever stay in one place long enough to get to know anybody. Well Deep Space Nine is a show where everybody is forced to stay week after week, so each episode, each show, is fundamentally dealing with the people who have to learn that actions have consequences, and they have to live with the consequences of their actions on a weekly basis." (New Frontiers: The Story of Deep Space Nine, DS9 Season 2 DVD special features)
  • In relation to the decision to set the show in a fixed location, Ira Steven Behr, speaking in 1996, commented; "We have certain advantages that I think no other Star Trek series has had, because we do have a base of operations that doesn't travel through space, which is the space station. Every story we do, the repercussions, the consequences don't disappear. It's not like the other shows where you have an adventure and then you zoom off into the great unknown. We are here, we have made a home, what we do has consequences. And I think we're able to do this mosaic, this fabric of life in the future, which I like." Similarly, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, speaking in 2002 stated; "I think if Next Generation and The Original Series were about going out there and discovering new things about other races, Deep Space Nine is about staying in one place and discovering new things about ourselves. Not that we didn't go out there and discover things, but we had the same characters, we didn't change location every week. Sisko couldn't just solve a problem and sail off into the sunset, and never have to go back to that place again. That place was always there, and that problem could always come back to haunt him. So, in a lot of ways, it was a more complex show." (New Frontiers: The Story of Deep Space Nine, DS9 Season 2 DVD special features)
  • Setting the show in a fixed location also meant that a large cast of recurring characters could be built up with relative ease; much more so than in The Original Series or The Next Generation before it, or Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise or Star Trek: Discovery since. As Rick Berman, speaking in 2002, stated; "The show was land-based, but the benefit we got from that was that by staying in one place, it enabled us to create twenty or thirty secondary and recurring characters, which really enriched the show because of all the multi-layers of relationships that have existed over the years. It's a very character driven show as a result, and I think that makes it quite unique." (Deep Space Nine: A Bold Beginning, DS9 Season 1 DVD special features)
  • The main cast was intentionally assembled to create conflict (Quark and Odo, Kira and Sisko, etc) so as to contrast the relatively tranquil atmosphere aboard Federation starships. This was another very specific decision taken by the producers. Gene Roddenberry's golden rule was that there was to be no conflict among Starfleet characters, so the producers decided to introduce non-Starfleet characters so conflict could come from within the show rather than always coming from outside (as it did on TNG). As writer Joe Menosky explains, "You can see right away they're not the perfectly engineered Humans of TNG. They seem more real. I don't know if that makes them as attractive to viewers or not. But they are really different, and they represent a different way to tell a story. And it was definitely a conscious choice to create that potential for conflict." Similarly, Rick Berman states, "Viewers didn't see that group of loving family members that existed on the first two Star Trek shows." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) Michael Piller also comments on this, somewhat controversial, aspect of the show; "One of the primary goals of the development process was to come up with a show that had more inherent conflict than The Next Generation. In order to do that, you have to understand that Gene Roddenberry had a very specific vision for humanity in the 24th century. What that meant for The Next Generation was that everybody gets along remarkably well on the Enterprise. There's very little room for interpersonal conflict between those people. In this series, we set out to create a situation that would provide natural conflict. We've populated the show with several aliens, primarily Bajorans, as we are stationed on the edge of the Bajoran star system. And the Bajorans are very different people than we are. They are people who are very spiritual and mystical and have a whole different way of looking at life than the 24th century humanist views which many of our Starfleet people will have. So immediately, there are conflicts. And then there's additional aliens from elsewhere who are thrown into the mix. So, as regular characters, not all the people are Starfleet, not all the people are human, and as a result, you have this continuing conflict, because people who come from different places, honorable, noble people, will naturally have conflicts." (Deep Space Nine: A Bold Beginning, DS9 Season 1 DVD special features)
  • From the very beginning, DS9's darker aesthetic (see below), more antagonistic characters and less utopian setting was somewhat controversial amongst die-hard fans of Gene Roddenberry's universe. As Ira Steven Behr, speaking in 1996 (about half way through the show's seven year run) states, "At the beginning of Deep Space Nine's life, there was feelings that this was not a show that Gene would approve of by some of the fans, feeling that, you know, we had gone away from the image of the future as a paradise, that we had much more conflicts between our people, life isn't always great. But I think Gene, just by his very nature as a creative individual, as a writer, as a forward-thinking person, knows that any franchise has to move forward like a shark, or it dies. And I think he would understand what we're doing, and I think he would like what we're doing, and I think we're in the pocket of the Star Trek universe, and we try to push the envelope. And I see nothing wrong with that, and I have a hard time believing that Gene would see anything wrong with that." (New Frontiers: The Story of Deep Space Nine, DS9 Season 2 DVD special features) Interestingly, the sense that DS9 was too 'dark' to be a Star Trek show would only increase over the years, with episodes such as "Nor the Battle to the Strong", "In the Pale Moonlight" and "The Siege of AR-558", and topics such as Section 31 charting territory never before seen on a Trek show, and creating a great deal of controversy amongst fans of both The Original Series and The Next Generation.
  • The noticeable change in Starfleet uniform to a black design with the division color on the shoulders and a grayish-indigo undershirt underneath the uniform was mostly implemented as a continuation of Trek's pattern of changing uniforms over time, although factors such as the discomfort of wearing TNG-style uniforms played a role as well. What would come to be known as the "DS9-style" uniforms were more of a variant than a switch, however, due to the cost of producing all-new uniforms. This is why, for example, the DS9 crew themselves wear "TNG-style" uniforms in the beginning of this episode and, even after TNG had gone off the air, the dress uniforms and flag officer uniforms on DS9 up till the sixth season (as well as uniforms on Earth, as seen in the fourth season episodes "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost") were "TNG-style", while the "DS9-style" uniforms were also later used in Star Trek Generations and throughout Voyager and would continue to be used in the series up to "The Ascent". These discrepancies were corrected with the later switch to a unified, "gray-on-black" format with the division color undershirts, which was used through Star Trek Nemesis and were also used in the series, starting with "Rapture".
Jadzia Dax, 2369

Jadzia Dax sports the "new" Trill look

  • Jadzia Dax and Trills seen after this episode are distinctly different from the Trills in the TNG episode "The Host". The relationship between host and symbiont is described more as a true symbiotic relationship rather than the symbiont dominating the host. Trills now having spots, rather than prosthetic make-up, was due to studio executives feeling Terry Farrell was too attractive to cover her face up. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 23, No. 6, p. 21)
  • Another significant change is the relationship Ferengi have with Humans. The Ferengi on TNG were originally intended to be a new adversary comparable to the Klingons in TOS, although the writers quickly realized how ridiculous the Ferengi were as villains. As of "Emissary," the Ferengi are mainly entrepreneurs and the Ferengi Alliance is a politically neutral economic power.
  • Miles O'Brien was brought aboard DS9 in this episode and made a part of the senior staff because the producers felt that Colm Meaney was too talented an actor to confine his character to a transporter room. Additionally, they hoped the TNG crossover would help boost the new series' ratings.
  • The first officer aboard DS9 would have been Ro Laren, but she was replaced by Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) because Michelle Forbes did not want to commit to a six-year contract working on DS9. Indeed, the reason the producers had decided to set the show on Bajor in the first place was because of Ro.
  • The Prophets and Sisko's new status as their Emissary constitute Trek's first venture into the area of religion from a dramatic, rather than scientific, perspective.
  • Runabouts made their first appearance in this episode. They were specifically designed for the new series to make it unique, although a runabout made a sole appearance on The Next Generation in "Timescape", as well as Voyager in "Non Sequitur".

The script Edit

  • An early story treatment of what would become "Emissary" was titled "The Ninth Orb". In it, Ro Laren met Benjamin Sisko for the first time just before his meeting with Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Another plotline this treatment featured was a black market on the station controlled by an individual named Rulod. Sisko promised Opaka he would stamp out the black market and later confronted Rulod. Said Rulod owned a base in the Denorios Belt and was the person who informed Gul Dukat about the Bajoran wormhole, information which later reached Odo via Quark. This entire plotline was removed in later revisions.
  • On 2 June 1992, Mike Okuda and Rick Sternbach sent Rick Berman, Michael Piller and Herman Zimmerman a memo regarding the script. Their suggestions included Bashir (at this point named Amaros) commenting that he mistook a preganglionic fiber for a postganglionic nerve, that Jaros II had been misspelled as Javos II and in response to Kai Opaka's line that the Orbs first appeared on Bajor over a thousand years ago: "In "Ensign Ro", we have established that Bajoran civilzation flourished before humans were walking erect. Since Homo Erectus dates back about 450,000 years, this might mean that the Bajora go back at least that far. If this is so, then a 1000 year old sphere seems like a rather recent event for such an ancient culture. Suggest the first orb might have been discovered 'Over 100,000 of your years ago". (The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, p. 124)
  • The revised final draft script was submitted on 10 August 1992.
  • Michael Piller commented that a particular scene in the "The Cage" was one inspiration for "Emissary". Piller commented: "I haven't seen "The Cage" in years, but what brings to mind the memory of it is the imagination that takes you out of that locked cage – Gene's imagination. It takes you into green fields and the picnic and Susan Oliver and those wonderful moments. I would be lying if I did not say that image was with me when I wrote ["Emissary"]. I don't remember much about it. I don't remember the story, but I remember that friendly green pasture. I think ["Emissary"] is definitely inspired by Roddenberry, and if people who have missed something in the new Star Trek feel that some funny bone or some nerve ending is being addressed, I know Rick and I will be delighted ". (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 19)
  • "Encounter at Farpoint" was also another inspiration for Piller. He commented: "There's a a great deal about the structure that's similar to "Encounter at Farpoint". One of the tricks I learned from watching "Encounter at Farpoint" again was that they didn't introduce Riker and Geordi and Crusher until two or three acts in. I said to Rick when we were structuring this, 'Let's hold off the arrival of two of our regulars late enough that I can do something with the other characters'. My first suggestion was everyone was there and they're already at work, but it wasn't as effective". (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 19)
  • "Encounter at Farpoint"'s philosophical content also inspired Sisko's storyline with the Prophets. Piller commented: "The first day we sat down to meet about this, Rick said that somehow this story must have the philosophical ambition that the "Encounter at Farpoint" script had and that Star Trek represents. Ultimately, what we created was this interaction and confrontation between alien and Human that is not so different from "Encounter at Farpoint", but, of course, on a weekly basis we are exploring issues and philosophies through encounters with aliens. What we have in the pilot is aliens who have no understanding of a linear existence. What does that mean for Sisko, who is trying to deal with the context of his own personal crisis as it comes out through this philosophical explanation of here's why you don't have to fear me? 'We are not a threat to you, and we're different, and differences can be good', he says, echoing the same theme – the humanity has overcome and we can coexist in the universe". (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp 19-20)
  • A scene was cut in the teaser that had Sisko notifying the Saratoga's captain that the USS Gage, USS Kyushu, and USS Melbourne were deployed by Admiral J.P. Hanson. The latter two vessels were mentioned in "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II"; however, the Gage was a new reference and would be included in the Star Trek Encyclopedia. The script also mentions that Jake Sisko's birth occurs in 2360. However, this is contradicted in future episodes where his birth is said to occur in 2355. (A 2360 birth would make him only about nine years old in the first season).
  • In the script, Sisko has some trouble getting onto the station, since the Cardassians stripped the airlocks of essential parts and stray radiation prevents transporter activity. O'Brien finally manages to open an airlock manually and introduces himself to Sisko. The finished episode has both of them touring the damaged Promenade as the very first scene set aboard the station. The transporter is used later in the episode without problems, though the last scene of the episode still mentions difficulties involving the airlocks.
  • Another line cut involved Sisko talking to a university official on Earth, who had offered him an assignment, which Sisko seriously considered.
  • The script stated that a "knife-like" weapon was to be thrown at Odo during the looting scene on the Promenade. This was replaced with a weapon similar to a flail, thrown like a bolo. Additionally, Odo was to shift his upper mid-body out of shape. However, this was replaced with him only shifting his head.
  • During Sisko's first meeting with the Prophets, the script states that any extras within fifty feet of the camera's position were to stop whatever activity they were doing and pay curious attention to Sisko. Any extras beyond the fifty foot range were to act like "atmosphere" and continue "human activity". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)

Deleted scenesEdit

  • Twenty-four minutes of footage was cut out of "Emissary", scenes which David Carson hopes might be restored at some point. Carson commented: "When you shoot a lot of stuff and commit yourself to doing it, you do miss the bits and pieces that are inevitably lost when you have to get it down to time. I think there are sections of the episode I would like to see back. When you try and bring it down to time, everybody loses something they like. In the end, you have to separate yourself from your own wishes and go with what's good for the project. There are details of storytelling I liked having in there. I always liked the balance of the teaser at a slightly longer length with some more details of exactly how Sisko finds everybody during the Borg attack and where they all are. As far as television is concerned, the special effects people did such a wonderful job that its excitement was sustainable for longer". (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp 40-41)
  • One of these deleted scenes featured Sisko meeting with Opaka again, to return the Orb. He tells her that fourteen planets have contacted the Federation to open trade links through Bajoran space. He tries to tell her he believes the Prophets to be wormhole aliens, but she tells him she does not wish to hear. She tells him "that is why a disbeliever was destined to seek them – one should never look into the eyes of his own gods…". She also tells Sisko that his journey is only beginning. Rick Berman considers this to be "a wonderful scene" and one he regretted had to be removed for time: "I miss it all. There's a wonderful scene where Sisko goes back down to Bajor to return the Orb to Kai Opaka that we took out. Cutting is horrible, especially when it's something so close to you as the pilot was". (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 40)
  • However, the writers were able to include the line in a different context in the first season finale "In the Hands of the Prophets". In that episode, Vedek Winn tells Sisko that, when she once asked Kai Opaka why an outsider was chosen to seek the Prophets, the Kai said to her that "one should never look into the eyes of one's own gods." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)

Cast and characters Edit

  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, Michael Piller explains the rationale behind each of the principal cast members, why each character was chosen, and what each one was to bring to the mix;
  • Jadzia Dax: "The Trill is a great race. They had some interesting ramifications on TNG. A Trill character would provide great potential for dichotomy and paradox."
  • Odo: "We knew that we needed some kind of Data/Spock character who looks at the world from the outside in. And the idea that an alien entity would have to find some way to pass as Human was fascinating, and seemed to give us an avenue into the kind of 'complexion of humanity' stories that we wanted to tell."
  • Quark: "A Ferengi would provide the show with instant humor and built-in conflict. I saw Quark as the bartender who is a constant thorn in the side of law and order, but who has a sense of humor about it. He'd be someone who could obviously throw lots of story dynamics into play."
  • Julian Bashir: "We decided to create a flawed character. He'd have to be brought down to size in order to grow. And we wrote him as kind of a jerk for much of the first season."
  • Miles O'Brien: "After we decided we were bringing him over to the new show, we thought, 'How do we use him?' We'd already decided to focus on Bajor, with this long backstory, establishing his bitterness towards the Cardassians, so it worked very nicely together."
  • Kira Nerys: "We liked the idea of having somebody working with the commander of the station who would be a thorn in his side, who would represent a different point of view. We knew we'd get conflict and interesting dynamics between the two characters."
  • Benjamin Sisko: "Every hero needs a journey. You want to take your leading man on a quest where he has to overcome personal issues as well as whatever space stuff happens to be out there. The idea of a man who is broken and who begins to repair himself is always a great beginning for drama."
  • Furthermore, Piller explained of Sisko, "He is sent on a quest and in this whole pilot episode it is a personal quest for a man who has lost his way and must conquer the dragon, but in this case he must conquer his personal dragons in order to move on with his life and to grow as a man and to be a good father and to be a good officer. And so what we will find in this show is a man who is coming to Deep Space Nine, but is coming to find himself." (Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Unauthorized Story, pp. 9-10)
  • Max Grodénchik, credited as the Ferengi pit boss, later became the recurring character Rom, Nog's father and Quark's brother.
Vulcan Saratoga captain

J.G. Hertzler

  • J.G. Hertzler, credited as "Vulcan Captain" under the name "John Noah Hertzler", is well-known for his later portrayal of Klingon General/Chancellor Martok. He also played Laas in the seventh season episode "Chimera", under the name "Garman Hertzler".
  • Majel Barrett, as the Saratoga and Rio Grande computer voice, was participating in her third (out of three, at the time) live action Star Trek series, having played Nurse Chapel in The Original Series and Lwaxana Troi (and, of course, the Enterprise computer) on The Next Generation.
  • Marc Alaimo reprised his role as Gul Dukat throughout DS9's seven-year run, although he was not the original choice for the role.
  • Aron Eisenberg's Nog character was eventually transformed from petty thief to Starfleet's first-ever Ferengi officer.
  • Alaimo, Eisenberg, Grodénchik, Hertzler and Mark Allen Shepherd (as Morn) are the only actors, apart from the regulars, to appear in both this series-opening episode and the series finale, "What You Leave Behind".

Production Information Edit

Filming Emissary

Filming "Emissary" - Avery Brooks and Cirroc Lofton look out on what will become a shot of Deep Space 9.

  • Herman Zimmerman commented: "We spent more money on Deep Space Nine's pilot than we were allowed to spend on Star Trek VI". (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 10)
  • During the pre-production of this episode, the producers were especially keen to ensure that the aesthetic of the show was very different from anything yet seen in the Star Trek universe. For example, director of photography Marvin Rush said the producers told him that they wanted "a darker, more sinister place" than the Enterprise-D. Rush himself describes the final look as "dark and shadowy." Similarly, production designer Herman Zimmerman has said, "The marching orders for the station were to make it bizarre." Finally, supervising producer David Livingston has summed up the differences between DS9 and TNG by comparing the Enterprise's bridge with Deep Space 9's Ops; "The bridge is a very easy set to shoot. It's a three-wall open set with a lot of room, big and cavernous. Ops, on the other hand, is a multilevel set with a lot of cramped areas and very contrasty lighting. It's more interesting visually." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion). As Colm Meaney elaborates, "Because it was an alien space station, it gives the whole thing a very different feel I think to Next Generation or the original show, where you have the Enterprise, which is this very perfect environment. This is much more kind of dark and eerie, and also nothing works, the whole thing is a terrible mess." (Deep Space Nine Scrapbook: Year One, DS9 Season 1 DVD special features)
  • Preproduction on "Emissary" began the week of 11 August 1992, with principal photography running from 18 August 1992 to 25 September 1992. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • One of the first sequences to be filmed was the Battle of Wolf 359, specifically the visual effects passes, including the destruction of the Saratoga, which was shot on a Paramount sound stage, rather than at Image G due to the use of explosives. (Movie Magic - "Space Effects: The Space Race")
  • The scenes of the Siskos' holodeck fishing program were filmed at the Golden Oak Ranch. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • The first shot of principal photography was filmed on the Ops set – the scene where Sisko enters the command center for the first time. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • Terry Farrell didn't begin to shoot her scenes until the 11th day of principal photography, by which time most of the cast and crew had gotten to know each other. Initially, she found the whole experience overwhelming, taking up to fifteen takes to get some of the dialogue scenes correct, and at one stage she actually hoped she was going to be fired. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • The sequence of Dax and Sisko within the wormhole was one of the last sequences filmed, on 24 October 1992. (Movie Magic - "Space Effects: The Space Race")
  • For the scene depicting Sisko inside the wormhole with the Prophets, director David Carson and director of photography Marvin Rush used diffusion filters and overexposed the image so as to achieve the effect of the white light 'bleeding' onto Sisko's face. As Sisko's conversation with the Prophets progresses and tension mounts, Sisko is seen several times staring forward intently and engulfed by extremely bright white light. With each shot, the camera zooms progressively closer on Avery Brooks' face until immediately after the Bajoran wormhole closes, when it shows only his eyes.
  • Two hundred and fifty special effects shots were created for this episode. (Deep Space Nine Chronicles)
  • Mark Allen Shepherd was told that Morn was telling "the funniest joke in the universe" when the character is seen in Quark's bar. (The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
  • "Emissary" required a considerable amount of dialogue looping, mainly due to how many scenes were shot on location. David Carson commented: "We had to do a tremendous amount of looping in the pilot. Even the scenes we did on the beach. I wanted a high sea in the background, but the pounding waves drowned out the dialogue, so you get all these conflicts between sound and picture which on normal television cannot exist. One these things you make sure that the picture has all the qualities in it that you need, even though those qualities – like fire and water – make a lot of noise which interferes with the dialogue". (The Deep Space Log Book: A First Season Companion, p. 27)
  • The set of the Saratoga's escape pod is a redress of the front section of the runabout. Jake's birth scene was shot on the Enterprise-D sickbay set.(citation needededit)
  • Many of the sets are missing some elements that would be present in later episodes. This includes Quark's replicators (some bottles, pitchers and glasses are in their place), as well as most of the glassware on the shelves around his counter; the wanted lists in Odo's security office wall, where there are only lamps; and the monitors in the station walls were circular and undecorated, matching the Cardassian tendency for ovoid screens. Later on all of these monitors were square with some white detailing around the outside.
  • In this episode only, prior to its discovery, the wormhole does not appear at the end of the opening credits. However, it is shown in syndication as well as in some foreign language versions.

Reception Edit

  • Michael Piller commented: "I thought we had a very ambitious pilot. I think the script that I wrote attempted to do things you don't ever see on television; that's really what you have to do if you want to be doing interesting, creative things. We took a lot of risks, and it was very ambitious, and when it was all done on film and cut together, I thought it was going to be a disaster. Rick [Berman] spent week after week in the editing room re-cutting, trimming, patching and fixing and, ultimately, at my insistence, reshooting major sequences. The post-production people worked twenty-four hours a day for weeks to make those things look good. When I saw it on film for the first time, I was blown away and realized it finally worked." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 40)
  • David Carson was pleased with "Emissary". Carson commented: "It was an extremely enjoyable experience. We all had a great time doing it. I always thought that the film was rare, even in Star Trek terms, because of its philosophical content and the way it went about solving the emotional problems it had in it. The show was very unique and very intelligent. Such a complicated and complex piece of work that was challenging on so many levels made for an extremely complex pattern for the audience to follow. You would think from time to time that it was like something out of European television in its content. Is America ready for this? As is often the case, television underestimates its audience – particularly the networks. I think the success of DS9 goes another step to prove the audience is challenged and titillated by exciting and interesting and penetrating work." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 39)
  • Carson felt that the late casting of some actors was a hindrance for filming the episode. He commented: "One of the great weaknesses we had because our casting was left till so late was we did not have enough time to rehearse. Normally that doesn't matter in television because you're not dealing with things that are rehearsable, but this project was so complicated in some of its philosophical content and so difficult, it would have benefited all of us greatly and helped in the graduation of the characters through the scenes." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 39)
  • Rick Berman commented, "I think we were all happily surprised at the response. I knew that we had created a show that had wonderful potential and, slowly but surely, I knew that it was coming together and was going to be wonderful. We were in Time and Newsweek and the ratings have been really good." (The Deep Space Log Book: A First Season Companion, p. 53)
  • Herman Zimmerman commented: "The two-hour pilot was stunning and it's every bit as good in its way as the original pilot for the original series was back in 1966. "The Cage" was a brilliant piece of science fiction work – especially for when it was done. 'The Emissary' is equally as good." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp. 40-41)
  • David Livingston commented "We were just flabbergasted! When I went to the screening here on the lot, I hadn't seen it with all the music and effects and opticals, and I was blown away by it. To know the audience responded the way they did was very gratifying. Rick's and Michael's vision, and then David Carson's execution and the wonderful cast we picked, all clicked. It's great to know you can strike gold twice now." (The Deep Space Log Book: A First Season Companion, p. 54)
  • Ronald D. Moore once expressed that something he wished had been established in this episode was DS9's own monologue at the beginning of the show, like TOS and TNG did. (AOL chat, 1998)
  • In his review of "Emissary" in 13 February 1993's TV Guide, Jeff Jarvis commented, "Brooks is a mighty presence; this could be his breakout role… Terry Farrell is cool and alluring as a wise old beast wearing a beautiful woman's body. Armin Shimerman has a wonderfully rodenty quality as Quark the casino owner, the Donald Trump of space. This cast is at least as strong as The Next Generation. But this series is far stronger, for it is more than just a spin-off – it's a wholly new show with its own vision and its own message for our new world". (The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
  • Variety's review of the pilot episode (by Tom Bierbaum) included: "But so what if Deep Space Nine is not, like the first two Trek shows, a Wagon Train to the Stars? The latest Trek need not be limited by its space station than, say Gunsmoke was by its Dodge City setting." (Variety, 4 January 1993)
  • In Star Trek 101, Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block list "Emissary" as being one of the "Ten Essential Episodes" from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Ratings Edit

  • "Emissary" scored an 18.8 percentage of the syndicated television market making it one of the most watched television episodes in syndicated television history. It was number one in the New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, and Boston markets. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)

Trivia Edit

  • Jennifer and Jake Sisko's presence aboard the Saratoga makes this the first occasion a Miranda-class starship is known to carry families aboard. This was previously known only to occur on Galaxy-class starships.
  • This episode features flashbacks to the Battle of Wolf 359; the aftermath of which was seen in TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II". The battle itself occurred mainly off-screen aside from viewscreen communication with Admiral Hanson during the battle.
  • The Battle of Wolf 359 flashback after the opening crawl in the teaser lasts about 4 minutes 12 seconds.
  • This is the Enterprise-D's first of two known visits to Deep Space 9. The second was in TNG: "Birthright, Part I".
  • This episode has a very similar title to that of TNG: "The Emissary", in which Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard) and Colm Meaney (Chief Miles O'Brien) also appear.
  • The Next Generation-style command uniform Avery Brooks wore in this episode was auctioned off in the It's A Wrap! sale and auction (item #2778). [1]
  • This episode marks the only appearance of the Borg on Deep Space Nine.
  • Quark's prosthetic nose wasn't ready in time for the filming of this episode, so actor Armin Shimerman had to wear the nose made for Max Grodénchik. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • This episode marks the debut of the new Cardassian military uniform, seen in the species' all subsequent appearances in the franchise. Audiences first saw the uniform in TNG: "Chain of Command, Part I", which was filmed after "Emissary", but aired first.
  • O'Brien mentions the Federation-Cardassian War and the Setlik III massacre, both of which he was involved with, first mentioned in TNG: "The Wounded". He also notes that Kira, having lived under the Occupation, knows how Cardassians treat their prisoners.
  • The scene where Odo assists Doctor Bashir in treating the wounded on the Promenade is a tip of the hat to a scene from the movie M*A*S*H (1970). Rene Auberjonois' character, Father John Mulcahy, is asked to assist a military surgeon in the operating room and awkwardly complies.
  • Patrick Stewart delivers the first spoken lines in two Star Trek premieres. He previously delivered the opening captain's log in TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint" as Jean-Luc Picard (as well as the first spoken line on the bridge during that episode), and then spoke the opening lines of this episode as Locutus. "Emissary" is Stewart's only Star Trek appearance without Jonathan Frakes (William T. Riker).
  • Gilgo Beach, where Sisko met his wife Jennifer, is located on Long Island in New York.
  • An ultimately unused line of dialogue from the second draft script of "Accession" would have established that the ship which Benjamin and Jake Sisko arrive at DS9 on, in the teaser of this episode, was Excelsior-class.
  • During his orb experience, Sisko refers to his father in the past tense when speaking to Jennifer, saying he "was a gourmet chef." The elder Sisko's later appearance in "Homefront" shows that he was neither deceased nor retired at this point.

Foreign markets air datesEdit

  • "Emissary" first aired in the United Kingdom (on Sky One) as a two-parter on 15 August 1993 and 22 August 1993. (The New Trek Programme Guide)
  • Some British fans were so eager to see "Emissary" that tapes of the episode were recorded in America and sent to the UK before the official VHS release. [2]
  • On 2 October 2007, "Emissary" was the first Star Trek episode to be shown on the UK's then-new Virgin 1 channel. Part one of the episode was watched by two hundred and twenty six thousand people, around 1.2% of the total television audience at the time.

Awards Edit

  • This episode was nominated for four Emmy Awards, a distinction it shares with only three other episodes of Trek. It won for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Special Visual Effects and was nominated for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Art Direction for a Series, Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Editing for a Series, and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Drama Series. The series also earned composer Dennis McCarthy the award for the theme music.

Remastered versionEdit

Video and DVD releases Edit

Merchandise gallery Edit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Also starring Edit

Special guest star Edit

Guest stars Edit

Co-stars Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

Stunt doubles Edit

Stand-ins Edit

References Edit

10,000 years ago; 22nd century; 2309; 2354; airlock; ale; Alpha Quadrant; Ambassador-class; antileptons; atmosphere; attaché; attack formation; aubergine stew; automobile; auxiliary power; Bajor; Bajorans; Bajoran Provisional Government; Bajoran religion; Bajoran Resistance; Bajor sector; Bajoran system; Bajoran wormhole; baseball; baseball; baseball bat; Battle of Wolf 359; battle stations; bearing; Bellerophon, USS; "bloody"; Bolian; Bonestell, USS; Border Wars; Borg; Borg cube; break-in; bridge; brig; bunk; bus; Captain's ready room; Cardassian; Cardassian Union; Cardassian Guard; Cardassian warship; casualty; Celestial Temple; Celsius; character reference; cheating; chef; Chicago Cubs; Chief of operations; children; civilian; civil war; class M; Cochrane, USS; commanding officer; community leader; computer; constable; containment failure; control thruster; corporeal lifeform; cushion; customer; dabo; Dahkur citizens; damage report; database; death; deflector generator; deflector shield; Denorios belt; designer; desk; dinner; docking ring; dog; duranium; duranium shadow; Earth; egg; emergency rations; Emissary of the Prophets; energy distribution net; engineer; Enterprise-D, USS; environmental control; escape pod; Escape pod 10; Escape pod 17; explorer; FGC; Federation; first officer; first officer's log; fishing; Fourth Order; frontier medicine; Frunalian science vessel; fuel conduit; Galaxy-class; Gamma Quadrant; gambler; gambling; game; Ganges, USS; George; ghost town; Gilgo Beach; glass; gourmet; government; handshake; heart; hero; hip; holosuite; homesickness; Human; Idran; Idran system; ignorance; impulse power; inertial damper; infirmary; ionic pattern; Ishikawa; Jasad's warship; Jasad's sister ships; junior officer; kai; kilometer; kiss; kph; Kumamoto; laboratory; Lapolis system; lawn; league; lemonade; lifeform; light year; linguistic communication; looter; madame; map; marriage; mass; medical officer; Melbourne, USS; metaphor; military history; Milky Way Galaxy; Miranda-class; Miranda-class escape pod; monastery; monk; musical instrument at Quark's; navigational report; navigational scan; navigational sensor; Nebula-class; neutrino; O-type star; O'Brien, Keiko; Oberth-class; ODN; Occupation of Bajor; office; officer; "Old Man"; Ops; Orb; orbit; ore; outpost; pagh; park; party; phaser; phaser bank; photon torpedo; pit boss; planet; plasma field; plea bargain; politician; pond; Prakesh; prefect; primary system; Prime Directive; prison; procreation; Promenade; Prophets; proton count; pulse compression wave; Quadros-1 probe; Quark's Bar; quarters; red alert; refugee camp; replicator; research grant; resonance wave; retrofit; Rio Grande, USS; robbing; rock; Roladan Wild Draw; Runabout-class; safety protocol; sand; Saratoga, USS; science officer; Sector 001; security array; security field; sensor; Setlik III; Seventh Order; shop; shore duty; Sisko, Joseph; Sisko's transport; slug; space station; star; Starfleet; Starfleet Academy; Starfleet Command; star system; station log; storage bay; storm; summer; subspace; subspace disruption; subspace field; supergiant; swimming; synthale; Taluno; Taluno's ship; theology; thief; thoron field; time; torpedo bay; towel; tractor beam; transporter; transporter room; tricorder; trinary star system; Trill; unconditional surrender; uniform; Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards; velocity; war; warp core; wave intensity; Wolf 359; Wolf 359 cube; wormhole; Yamaguchi, USS; Yangtzee Kiang, USS; yellow alert

Unreferenced materialEdit

Admiral; chancellor; currency; evasive maneuvers; Gage, USS; gold; Hadas IV; Hanson, J.P.; interlock servo; junkyard; Kyushu, USS; mine pit; Moravian Lane; nucleonic emission; onion soup; sulfur; travelers voucher; university

External links Edit

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 1
Next episode:
"Past Prologue"
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