Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Jadzia falls in love with a scientist on a planet whose inhabitants shift between this universe and a plane of pure energy, re-emerging every sixty years. Back on DS9, Quark tries to obtain a holo-image of Major Kira for an erotic holosuite program for a wealthy patron.

Summary

Teaser

Tiron

In the station's Replimat, Major Kira is sipping a hot cup of replicated coffee when Odo walks up to her. They sit together at a table and discuss the sensuality of food and drink, and the difficulty that Odo has in appreciating that sensuality by virtue of the limitations imposed by his Changeling physiology.

Just then Tiron approaches Kira and explains that he regretted her early departure from Quark's the night before. However, Kira's unimpressed and clearly anxious to make Tiron go away… so she tells Tiron that Odo is her lover. Hands are held, eloquent platitudes are exchanged all around, Tiron bids Kira farewell before leaving the Replimat crestfallen, Kira thanks Odo enthusiastically for playing along, and Odo is left staring at the hand Kira held after she leaves for Ops.

The USS Defiant is in the Gamma Quadrant on an exploration mission cadged from Starfleet notwithstanding the threat of Dominion attack. Gravimetric distortions are detected in the nearby Trialus system, so Commander Sisko orders Jadzia in to take the Defiant into the system for a closer look.

When the Defiant enters the system Dax discerns that the distortions aren't coming from the system's star. A few moments later, a planet comes into view and the distortions cease.

Act One

When Lieutenant Dax scans the planet in order to determine where it came from, they discover a settlement on the southern hemisphere of approximately thirty people, which shortly hails the Defiant. Sisko responds and describes his confusion; the woman at the other end of the connection introduces herself as Seltin Rakal, explains that her planet exists largely in a separate dimension that intersects with that of the Defiant and its crew, and invites the senior staff of the Defiant to the surface for first meal.

Jadzia is especially welcome on Meridian

Once on the surface Sisko, Dax, Bashir and O'Brien sit down to eat with the inhabitants of the settlement. After some pleasantries, Sisko and Dax discuss with Seltin and Deral the nature of the planet's dimensional shifts. It is explained that the cause of the dimensional shifts is unknown but thought to be related somehow to the behavior of the system's sun. Seltin and Deral go on to explain that after each dimensional shift the planet, named Meridian, ceases to exist in normal space and its inhabitants become beings of "pure consciousness" until things shift back after 60 years, at which point everything is "just as [they] left it" since the planet is not subject to the normal passage of time while it is dimensionally shifted. Bashir says that he can see the appeal in this dimensional shift.

Back on the station, Tiron melodramatically explains to Quark that he couldn't stand his time in the holosuites, as he found it extremely boring and isn't likely to find it any more interesting, but describes what he really wants: a holosuite program built around Kira. Quark suggests that such a thing will be very expensive, and in response Tiron offers a bar of latinum and one of the rings from his left hand as payment. Deeply impressed by the suggested price, Quark remarks on the difficulty of the task, to which Tiron responds by baiting Quark over his reputation for getting things. Quark hesitates briefly, but promises to deliver the holosuite program Tiron's asked for. However, Tiron refuses to pay until the program is completed and deemed acceptable.

On Meridian, Deral explains to Dax that the inhabitants of the planet are descendants of an expedition that was stranded there a millennium earlier, and that their numbers have dwindled since they can only reproduce when they're not shifted out of the "normal" dimension, and those spells are growing progressively shorter, with the current phase lasting only 12 days. Deral goes on to explain that eventually the planet will be too unstable to shift back, at which point the planet and all of its inhabitants will cease to exist.

Act Two

Later, Sisko promises Seltin that he will do everything he can to help. Dax and Deral announce that they are beaming up to the Defiant to scan the system's sun.

Kira walks into Quark's only to discover that she's been declared the millionth customer. Quark tells her that she's won a number of gifts, including a beverage, a free spin at the dabo table and a free hour in the holosuite with a program of her choice. Kira's quite pleased with herself since she's never won anything. However, she points out that she doesn't like holosuites and tells Quark that she's going to give her free holosuite time to Ensign Quintana since it is his birthday. Kira excitedly takes her turn at dabo, however.

On the bridge of the Defiant, a probe with shield modifications is being sent into Meridian's sun. Once the launch goes off Deral, who's been steadily romancing Dax since she first came to Meridian, gives her an invitation back down to the planet for some quality time… which she accepts with mock bashfulness, as Sisko and O'Brien observe them from the other side of the bridge. Once on the surface of Meridian, Deral explains to Dax that he's a widower who's been "waiting for the right woman to fall out of the sky" – and that Dax is that right woman. Deral leads Dax into a tree and moments later they lean in to kiss, but Dax loses her balance and they climb down, instead. However, after a little more time they finally do share a passionate kiss.

Act Three

Later, Sisko contacts Dax to announce that they've obtained more telemetry from the probe, and throws in a few good-hearted jibes about her acceptance of Deral's affections. With the telemetry data downloaded onto a PADD, Dax is able to work out a way to keep Meridian in normal space for more than thirty years, once it has shifted out and back again.

Kira catches Quark trying to record her holo-image

Meanwhile, at the station Odo is with Kira on the upper level of the Promenade, and spies Quark attempting to take a holo-image of Kira from the mezzanine of his bar. Once he's been caught, Quark tries to weasel his way out of the situation, but Kira simply throws Quark's holo-imager over her shoulder and down onto the main level of the bar. She warns Quark that if she catches him again taking a holo image of her, she will make him eat the imager.

Back on Meridian, Dax explains that her idea will work, and will in fact equalize the time between dimensional shifts – but that the needed changes won't be completed until Meridian has already shifted back. This is at odds with Deral's desire to start a relationship with Dax, which she's entirely willing to reciprocate, so he offers to leave Meridian with her and return with the Defiant to the Alpha Quadrant.

Act Four

In Quark's, Tiron is waiting impatiently for Quark to finish the new holoprogram. Quark has obtained the encryption key for Kira's personnel file, and with this development he assures Tiron that he'll be able to finish the new program before Tiron leaves the station in two days.

However, Quark's efforts have not gone undetected by Odo. In his security office, Odo informs Kira of the security breach and that he traced it back to the Ferengi bartender. He offers to arrest Quark or have Kira do it herself, but the major has a better idea…

Back on Meridian, Dax and Deral are cuddling, but a distracted Deral concedes that he'd stay on Meridian if he could have Dax there with him. She offers to use the transporter buffer to make her physiology compatible with the demands of the dimensional shift, which greatly pleases a shocked Deral.

Act Five

"I've been waiting for you."

Later Dax goes back to her quarters on the Defiant to put in a request to Starfleet for a 60 year leave of absence, which Sisko supports in spite of the fact that the prospect tugs on his heartstrings. The commander tearfully tells Dax how much he will miss her, and she emotionally tells him the same.

"Another satisfied customer, Quark?"

Again in Quark's, the Kira holoprogram is complete. Tiron goes into the holosuite to inspect his purchase. However, the Kira character has been altered… the body is Kira's, but the head and voice are Quark's! Tiron storms out of the holosuite and thence out of the bar, promising to do his best at ruining Quark's reputation. As soon as Tiron stomps out Odo and Kira step in, asking Quark if he's gotten "another satisfied customer."

Something's wrong…

Finally, after many emotional goodbyes, Dax is ready to beam down to Meridian and undergo the dimensional shift. Once it begins, however, something goes wrong – the others are shifting, but Dax isn't, and the bridge crew of the Defiant determines that the anomaly is threatening to tear Meridian apart. O'Brien goes to transport a dying Dax back to the Defiant… which allows the planet to complete its dimensional shift.

Later, Dax is alone in her quarters, beside herself with grief. Sisko comes in offering remorse, but Dax says that she'll "just need some time." After Sisko leaves, she sits down in a corner and says, "just sixty years or so."

Log entries

Memorable quotes

"Odo, I know you don't need to eat, but did you ever try it anyway?"
"Once. Not long after I was first able to assume the humanoid form."
"And…?"
"… And since I don't have taste buds it was very unsatisfying. Not to mention messy."
"Messy?!"
"I'd rather not talk about it."

- Kira Nerys and Odo


"… We were having such a pleasant conversation."
"As I recall, you were the one doing all the talking."

- Tiron and Kira


"I wish we'd had time to beam down to the surface and take a closer look."
"Yeah, but I'd hate to have run into a Jem'Hadar patrol while we were down there picking flowers."

- Jadzia Dax and O'Brien


"The gravimetric distortions are intensifying, but they don't seem to be coming from the star itself."
"But where else could they be coming from? There aren't any planets in this system."
"There are now."

- Jadzia and O'Brien


"I was admiring… your markings. Are they decorative?"
"No. Are yours?"
"No. …If you don't mind me asking… how far down do they go?"
"All the way."

- Deral and Jadzia


"It's delicious."
"Especially if you've been looking forward to it for sixty years."
"That's a long time between meals."

- Jadzia, Deral, and O'Brien


"Oh, for that kind of money, you can move into a holosuite. Now, what is it you want?"
"I want… Major Kira."
"Kir- What are you going to do with Kira in a holosuite? …No. Don't tell me. I don't want to know."

- Quark and Tiron


"After eight lifetimes as a humanoid, existing as pure consciousness… might be interesting."
"Next time we see each other, I'll probably be a great-grandfather!"
"Good, then I can call you Old Man."

- Jadzia and Sisko, finding it impossible to hold back their giggles


"Do you think you'll be done overhauling the station by the next time I see you [sixty years hence]?"
"I doubt it."

- Jadzia and O'Brien

Background information

Production history

Story and script

  • Mark Gehred-O'Connell's original title for the episode was "Prophet in the Wind". (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 10, p. 25)
  • "Meridian" is based on Brigadoon, a musical about a magical Scottish village that appears only once every one hundred years. Co-Executive Producer Ira Steven Behr, an admirer of Brigadoon, confessed to originating the idea about making an episode based on the musical. Of his idea to do a Star Trek show based on Brigadoon, Behr says "I am a moron." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 186))
  • Mark Gehred-O'Connell commented: "["Meridian"] is an outer space version of Brigadoon, with Dax as Gene Kelly. It's really a fun story. We know that Dax has had many romantic entanglements over the course of three hundred years, but this is the first time that Jadzia Dax has fallen in love. That's the angle on which I'm building this script. There isn't a whole lot of jeopardy or danger and there are no bad guys. In that sense, it's a lot like "Second Sight". It's a light story in many ways, but it has emotional weight for Dax, and it's very appealing. All of her friends have to realize that this is her first romance. Sisko is used to thinking of Dax as old Curzon, and it comes as a shock to him". (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 10, p. 25)

Rewritten/Omitted scenes

  • According to the script and the call sheets there were several scenes in this episode which had to be rewritten or were omitted including:
    • Scene 8 – This omitted scene would've been part of the Meridian first meal.
    • Scene 15 – This scene was omitted. According to the description on the call sheet, Benjamin Sisko would go on and play vajhaq with Lito and his friend. It was scheduled to be filmed on Thursday 29 September 1994 on Paramount Stage 18.
    • Scenes 25 pt.-28 – These scenes were omitted. They were scheduled to be filmed on Thursday 29 September 1994 on Paramount Stage 18. According to the descriptions on the call sheet, these scenes would've featured more dialog between Siddig El Fadil and Christine Healy. The headlines of these scenes include "Meridians are in perfect health", "comment on amiable work relationship", and "work together".
    • Scenes 33-34 – As noted on the call sheet for Thursday 22 September 1994, these scenes were different in the first draft of the script. Scene 34 would've featured Quark runs away from Tiron on the Promenade after Tiron expressed his displeasure. Nana Visitor would've also been featured.
    • Scene 39 – This scene was set to be on the bridge of the Defiant but was omitted. It was scheduled to be filmed on Tuesday 27 September 1994 on Paramount Stage 18 and included Terry Farrell, Brett Cullen, and Siddig El Fadil. The headline for this scenes was "Try to enable Deral to stay".
    • Scenes 44-45 – These scenes were omitted.
    • Scene 53 – This scene was omitted.
    • Scenes 62-63 – These scenes were omitted.

Production

Cast and characters

Sets, props, and costumes

Carraya IV airial view.jpg Meridian.jpg
Original Carraya IV aerial overview
The modified Meridian aerial overview
  • The aerial view of the settlement on Meridian was a reuse of a shot previously used in Star Trek: The Next Generation's sixth season episode "Birthright, Part II". That shot was a composite of a Thai jungle picture, taken by Dan Curry, and a maquette of the Carraya IV Romulan prison camp. For "Meridian", the shot was slightly modified to match the full-scale set of Meridian. To dispel the notion of it being a walled prison, a large hall was added to the depiction of the model, matching the full-scale set, a small building was put outside the walls with other walls and watch towers either being removed or modified. [1]

Catherine Wong's costume

Music

Continuity

Reception

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also starring

Guest stars

Co-star

Uncredited co-stars

Stand-ins

References

14th century; 2311; 2368; 2371; 2431; advantage; air; Alpha Quadrant; ambassador; anchor; Andorian ale; appetite; applause; arrest; attack; bag; Bajoran; Bajoran earring; Bajoran Military Academy; Bajoran Militia uniform; Bajoran rank insignia; balance; baldness; ball; bar; bar (latinum); basket; beam; bed; bench; berry; bill; birthday; biting; body; Bolian; bottle; bowl; box; bridge; bridge (structure); building; business; business associate; cadet; calculation; card; Cardassian; cascade reaction; catalog; celebration; century; chair; champagne; Changeling; channel; charge; cheek; chief of operations; chief of security; class 4 probe; climbing; cloaked; coffee; coffee mug; coin; combadge; command chair; command console; command division; commander; commander's log; communicator; compensation; concentration; concern; consciousness; console; contract; conversation; coordinates; core; corona; corporeal form; couple; crust; curiosity; customer; custom program; dabo; dabo girl; dabo table; dabo wheel; data-path; Dax, Curzon; Dax symbiont; day; deal; death; decision; deck 3; decryption protocol; dedication plaque; Deep Space 9; Defiant, USS; Defiant-class; delivery; deposit; Deral's wife; descendant; designer; desk; dessert; dice; dimension; dimensional shift; discussion; dizziness; doctor; Dominion; door; door chime; download; dress; eating; engineering station; ensign; exception; existence; expedition; experience; explanation; exploration; family; fear; Federation; fee; female; Ferengi; Ferengi headdress; Ferenginar; Ferengi script; first contacts; first meal; fleet; flower; food; forest; fork; frame; friend; fruit; fusion cycle; fusion reactant; future; gambling table; game; gamma activity; gamma burst; Gamma Quadrant; garden; glass; goodbye; gossamer curtain; grass; gravimetric distortion; Gravimetrics; great-grandfather; ground cushion; hailing; hand; handrail; harp; hate; headgear; height; helio-seismic scan; helm station; hologram; holographic duplicate; holo-imager; holographic template; holophotography; holopicture; holo-scan; holosuite; holosuite program; home; hour; house; hug; Human; humanoid form; idea; idiom; image; imbalance; interest; ionization disturbance; ionization traces; Ishka; isolinear rod; Jem'Hadar; Jem'Hadar ships; job; Kandora champagne; Keshara; kilometer; Kira Nerys (program); kiss; Kylata system; Kylata II; "ladies and gentlemen"; last meal; latinum; launch; layer; leave of absence; lieutenant; lieutenant junior grade; life; lifetime; lip; love; lover; luck; major; male; man; M-class; meal; medical tricorder; meeting; merchandise; Meridian; Meridian musical instrument; Meridian village; message; millennia; million; mind; minute; mister; molecular structure; molecule; money; monitor; Morn; mug; naked; name; news; night; nightgown; non-corporeal; non-corporeal state; nose; nuclear fusion; Old Man; operations center; operations division; Ops; orbit; PADD; panel; parallel universe; patrol; payment; Pelian; personnel file; petty thief; phenomenon; picnic; picnic basket; Picnic with the Pleasure Goddess of Rixx, A; pillow; pitcher; planet; plants; plate; pleasure; Pleasure Goddess of Rixx; polishing; polishing cloth; pond; population; preliminary analysis; present; price; prize; probe; Promenade; Promenade directory; prostitution; psychiatric profile; psychiatry; public; pulp; quantum fluctuation; quantum level; quantum matrix; quantum reality; Quark's; quarters; Quintana; range; rank pip; record; reflection; refund; Renar; replicator; Replimat; reproduction; reputation; retinal scan; rind; ring; room; satisfaction; scan; scarf; schematic; sciences division; science station; screen; sculpture; second planet; sector; security camera; security office; security protocol; seismic activity; Seltin Rakal's species; sensor readings; sensor sweep; Serilian; settlement; shield configuration; shields; ship; shop; singularity; sky; smile; southern hemisphere; space station; spectral scan; spin; spoon; Spots; stable orbit; stairwell; star; starbase; Starfleet; Starfleet uniform; stardate; star system; stone; strip; sun; sunshine; surface; sweetheart; system; table; taste; taste bud; telemetry; temperature; theory; time; Tiron's species; tongo; tongo player; transporter; transporter buffer; transporter platform; transporter room; tray; tree; Trialan sun; Trialus system; trick; Trill; trip; truth; tube grub; Tuesday; turbolift; uniform; unnamed Gamma Quadrant sector; vajhaq; vest; viewscreen; vintage; visit; visitor; visual range; voiceprint; waiter; wanted poster; water; waterfall; weapons locker; week; wife; window; woman; word; year

Script references

barkeep; cork; dear; holo-camera; R'epal; Sola; stirrer; Verdion; viewfinder; Yoneb

External links


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"Civil Defense"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 3
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