(written from a Production point of view)
After receiving a minor dose of radiation poisoning, O'Brien inexplicably begins experiencing a series of jumps into the near future. Meanwhile, a Romulan delegation arrives on the station, expecting an intelligence report on the Dominion.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Memorable quotes
- 3 Background information
- 4 Links and references
Dr. Bashir is tending to Chief O'Brien in the Ops pit. When O'Brien asks what happened, Commander Sisko tells him that one of the plasma conduits blew out while he was attempting to re-route a phase inducer. Bashir tells him that he has a mild case of radiation poisoning, before injecting him with a dose of hyronalin to counter the effects. The doctor recommends O'Brien be placed on light duty for the next few days and Sisko agrees. Before they can discuss the matter further, Major Kira interrupts with news that a Romulan delegation has arrived and is requesting permission to dock. Sisko allows them to dock at bay 12; he and Kira will meet them there. Before heading out, the Commander gives O'Brien one word of advice. "Light means light," he says. Sisko doesn't want O'Brien spending the night crawling through Jefferies tubes looking for power surges. The chief jokingly replies, "You won't get any arguments today, Commander."
On the Promenade, Kira and Sisko are on their way to meet the Romulan delegation when a drunken Klingon staggers out of Quark's, assisted by two Bajoran security guards. Constable Odo explains that a Klingon freighter had to dock with the station and, due to a computer error, will not be able to depart until it is repaired, which will take at least two more days. Sisko takes Odo aside and asks him to keep a close eye on the Klingons, as the commander doesn't want them to get in the way of the Romulans. Odo acknowledges Sisko's request and the drunken Klingon is taken to a holding cell.
Kira and Sisko continue to the docking port, where two Starfleet security guards are waiting. The circular doors are wheeled back and a Romulan named Ruwon steps out, followed closely by his aide, Karina, and two guards. Sisko offers them accommodation after their long trip but all Ruwon is interested in are intelligence reports on the Dominion. The commander exchanges a brief glance with Kira, before escorting their guests to the wardroom.
In his bar, Quark is hanging up a dartboard for O'Brien, but he is skeptical it will bring him any profit. The chief, in his confidence, notes that "darts and bars go together like bacon and eggs" to which Quark reminds him that people actually order bacon and eggs, and no-one has of yet asked to see a dartboard. In an attempt to convince, O'Brien hands Quark some darts and challenges him to hit the bulls-eye. Quark, unaware of how to play the game, throws them all at once, hitting Morn in the process. The Ferengi points out how dangerous the game is; after all, if one of his customers was injured, he could be held liable. But the chief doesn't give in and picks up a dart, intent on showing Quark how the game is properly played. As he aims for the board, there is a bright flash of light and he is transported to the upper level of the Promenade. But something isn't quite right. O'Brien looks across the way and sees himself, arguing with Quark about the damage the Klingons are doing to two of his holosuites. Quark asks O'Brien that a maintenance crew be dispatched immediately. A confused look comes across his face as the other O'Brien tells Quark to keep the Klingons out of the holosuites from now on. Finishing his conversation, he turns away, and the two lock eyes, both incredibly confused by what is happening. But before they can say anything, the original O'Brien is back in Quark's. His dart hits the bulls-eye and he falls to the floor, disoriented.
In the infirmary, Doctor Bashir explains that the chief's earlier collapse was due to a sudden decrease in his serum calcium levels, a common side effect of the radiation poisoning, and gives him a dose of asinolyathin for the pain. The doctor continues to explain that his "vision" was also likely a mild side-effect, though the Chief isn't fully convinced. He explains it to Bashir, who jokingly mocks him, saying he has a "sadly deficient fantasy life". On that note, O'Brien sarcastically "thanks" the doctor for his help and leaves.
In the wardroom, Ruwon proclaims that the Dominion is the greatest threat the Alpha Quadrant has seen in the last century and wants to know exactly what Sisko and his crew have obtained through use of their cloaking device on the USS Defiant. When the commander admits they know very little of the Dominion, Karina responds, asking about Odo, incorrectly referring to him as a Founder. She believes he can tell them all they need to know about the Dominion, though Major Kira soon corrects her, informing her that Odo may be a Changeling but he is not a Founder and wants nothing to do with them. The commander backs her up by telling them it is the truth, "whether they chose to believe it or not". Ruwon reminds Sisko that they agreed to install the cloaking device in exchange for information on the Dominion, but they have received very little so far. He goes on to demand every piece of information Starfleet has on them no matter how insignificant, including any classified reports made to Starfleet Command. Sisko says he will have to clear it with his superiors first.
On the upper level of the Promenade, Quark is complaining to O'Brien about the damage the Klingons have caused to the holosuites. In the middle of his sentence, O'Brien stops and, remembering his previous vision, looks across the way to where he was standing before. Another O'Brien is standing there, watching them. This time, Quark sees him too and observes that O'Brien currently has bigger problems than his holosuites. A few seconds later, the other O'Brien disappears.
In Sisko's office, Jadzia Dax reports that she did detect a minor temporal disturbance in Quark's, and another later on the Promenade, around about the same time O'Brien had his visions. It soon becomes apparent that O'Brien did travel to the future and then back again, to the same moment he left. Dax theorizes that the ionizing radiation he was exposed to earlier may have something to do with it and wants to examine Doctor Bashir's medical scans. Before she can explain further, the chief flashes back to Quark's in the middle of a bar fight and sees himself fighting with a Klingon. The future O'Brien is knocked to the ground, at which point another Klingon takes out his d'k tahg and heads towards him. O'Brien quickly grabs the Klingon's arm, knocking the dagger away and throwing him to the floor. Just as he avoids a bar stool being thrown at him, he flashes back to the commander's office, where he again collapses to the floor. Dax and Sisko quickly rush to his aid, but he doesn't respond; he is unconscious.
Back in the infirmary, Bashir has run a micro-cellular scan and has detected damage to O'Brien's cerebrospinal nerve cells, which he thinks has been caused by the timeshifting. The doctor explains that while he can repair the current damage, the effect is cumulative and that there may come a time, if the timeshifting continues, when he can no longer repair the damage, and O'Brien could die. Sisko comforts him, saying Dax is using every scanner on the station to hunt for any temporal abnormalities, which is of some relief to O'Brien. "If anyone can find the cause of the timeshifts, it's Dax," he says with a relaxed smile. The commander goes on to ask him if he was aware how far ahead the timeshifts are taking him, in case it affects the meeting with the Romulans, but he doesn't know. Sisko decides to ask Odo to increase security around Quark's Bar just in case.
At that moment, Major Kira walks in and, after asking how O'Brien is, she walks Commander Sisko onto the Promenade. As they pass a Bajoran stall, she explains that the Romulans want to debrief everyone who was on the Defiant when it was captured by the Founders and unrestricted access to the ship and all personal logs. Sisko immediately rejects access to personal logs, but decides to permit them limited access to the ship and allow debriefings of crew. He explains to Kira how the Romulans are completely dependent on them for information to which a frustrated Kira suggests they send one of their own ships through the wormhole. He continues to explain how the Romulans generally prefer to sit back and pull the strings from a distance if they can, and though Kira replies she is one puppet who doesn't like her strings pulled, she accepts his orders. As they part ways, Sisko reminds her to be diplomatic, to which she replies "I'm always diplomatic!".
In the wardroom, Kira yells at the Romulans for insinuating she abandoned the Defiant prematurely during the battle with the Jem'Hadar but they only see her emotional outburst as evidence that they are correct in their assessment. Relaxing a little, she continues to explain how she was trapped in a hand-to-hand fight below decks and was knocked unconscious, before Odo put her on the shuttle. She says she only came to after they had left the ship and there was nothing they could have done. Ruwon begins to question why Odo didn't help any of the other crew but Kira defends him, insisting they were blocked in. Karina then asks her why she was in Odo's quarters before the attack and rather keenly suspects the Odo might be harboring feelings for Kira, which pushes Kira further over the edge. She puts an abrupt end to their questioning saying they can rip the cloaking device from the Defiant and advises them not to ask Odo the same questions or they may just find themselves on the other side of the bulkhead, floating home. Ruwom and Karina share a nervous glance as Kira storms out of the room, pushing the guards to one side.
In Quark's, Bashir has just beaten O'Brien in the tenth game of darts in a row. He tells the chief that because he has told them what happened he has changed the future, and with the increased security and Quark's promise not to let the Klingons in, the fight won't happen, though O'Brien isn't entirely convinced. Just then, three Klingons make their way down from the holosuites. The chief grabs Quark by his arm and demands an explanation as to why they are in the bar. Pulling out a bar of latinum, he replies that the Klingons weren't in the bar, they were in the holosuites, and besides, they are paying him triple to use them. The three Klingons walk over to the two Romulans seated at a table and call them "filthy petaQ". Another suggests they "show them the way out." Not ones to take insults, the two Romulans stand and begin confront their aggressors.
In the security office, Kira is telling Odo what Ruwon said about them, which makes Odo feel slightly uncomfortable given that he does indeed have feelings for her. They are suddenly interrupted by a call from Quark; a fight has broken out in the bar. O'Brien gets into a fist fight with a Klingon, but using his knowledge manages to get the upper hand this time and knocks him to the floor. He then sees his younger self, who attacks another Klingon wieldying a d'k'tagh thereby fulfilling his second vision. As he warns his past self about the flying bar stool, Odo rushes in and breaks up the fight. But before O'Brien has a chance to recover, he is again flung into another future. This time, he appears in a corridor in the habitat ring where he sees his future self opening a panel. He calls out to him but before he can do anything a sharp bolt of energy is fired out from the panel, knocking his future self to the ground. The chief rushes to see if he's alright, but after feeling his pulse, he realizes he himself is dead.
O'Brien awakens in the infirmary where he was taken after the fight. Bashir tells him everything is OK and he's going to be alright, but O'Brien knows otherwise. "No, I'm not" he says, "In a few hours I'm going to be dead!".
Sisko, O'Brien, and Odo are in the corridor where the accident happened. The chief believes it was some sort of phaser or high-energy laser that killed his future self but a scan of the bulkhead reveals nothing. Odo carefully opens the panel but again there is nothing by the computer display inside. They theorize that the perpetrator has yet to plant the device but he will do so in the next few hours. Odo suggests placing a surveillance device in the corridor so they can observe if anyone does indeed try and tamper with the panel, at which point they are interrupted by Dax over the comm system. She wants Sisko and O'Brien to head up to Ops; she says she has found a clue as to the chief's timeshifting.
Up in Ops, Dax explained she tried several scans of the surrounding space but got nothing until she ran a scan on the lower subspace bandwidths with turned up some curious tetryon emissions. O'Brien remarks he hasn't seen emissions like that outside of a neutron star. Dax, however, suggests the presence of a quantum singularity, the only strange thing is that it isn't affecting the gravimetric field signature of the station as it should. Sisko, assuming that a quantum singularity is responsible, turns to Bashir and asks how its effects can be combated. Bashir theorizes that the singularity is attracted to the delta-series radioisotopes in O'Brien's body, effectively pulling him along like a magnet. And if that's the case, he may have a cure for it, but it's going to take time. He warns the Chief that he could experience one or two more time jumps before the process has been completed. O'Brien wants to get started right away, and so heads down to the infirmary with Bashir. Meanwhile, Sisko orders Dax to continue to pinpoint the singularity in an effort to get rid of it. Just then, Major Kira enters Ops and informs the commander she had to move the Romulans to alternative quarters as the replicators were malfunctioning. It just so happens that the quarters she has moved them to are on level 2, section 47, directly adjacent to the area where the future O'Brien was killed. Kira suggests moving them to a different room, but Sisko objects so as not to alert those responsible. Instead, he tells her to inform Odo and let the scenario play out before they make any further moves.
A short while later, Sisko is summoned to Odo's office where he informs him that someone has planted a class 3 surveillance device in the bulkhead, though he doesn't know who as they used a low energy transporter to put it there. Sisko calls it a delicate piece of transporter work. Odo goes on to say that although they cannot trace the transporter signal, he believes it originated from the station as there were no ships in range at the time. The Klingons are the prime suspects but Odo also intends to investigate the Bajorans, Quark, and the visiting Terellians just to make sure. Sisko asks if Odo actually considers Quark a suspect, and Odo explains that he always investigates Quark as a matter of procedure.
In Quark's, Bashir and O'Brien are waiting out the time he has until his death in the other future when Quark arrives with the drinks they ordered. Being his usual self, he also asks O'Brien to keep an eye out for the numbers on the dabo wheel next time he jumps into the future. O'Brien doesn't pay any attention to him and suggests he and Bashir leave. As they exit the upper level, O'Brien is again flung into the future, this time he is in the infirmary. He notices a body on one of the biobeds, covered in a white sheet. He slowly walks towards it and lifts the top to reveal his own corpse.
O'Brien covers up his dead body lying on the biobed when Bashir walks round the corner. He had been expecting him and has some important news for the chief to pass onto Bashir's past self. The radiation had damaged the basilar arteries in O'Brien's brain stem which hadn't shown up on any scans and was only picked up in the autopsy. Bashir instructs him to tell his former self to run a basilar arterial scan so he can detect and repair the damage in time. O'Brien begins to argue with Bashir about his inability to save him, but he flashes back to the upper level of the Promenade. O'Brien falls to the floor and Bashir summons a nurse and an emergency medkit there immediately.
In the habitat ring, Odo explains to Sisko that he was finally able to trace back the source of the transporter beam to some empty quarters. Sisko speculates that they brought in a portable transporter but Odo quickly discounts it as the technology is too bulky to be dragging around the halls. Sisko nods in agreement as Odo continues to explain how they modified the replicator, turning it into a mini-transporter by realigning the matter energy conversion matrix; a very sophisticated and professional job. Reaching into the replicator circuitry, Odo pulls out a device which he says is manufactured on Davlos III, a planet on the Klingon border and which does ninety percent of its trade with the Klingon Empire. Sisko doesn't think it is enough to hold the Klingons and Odo agrees but there's more. A friend at Starfleet Intelligence that used to be assigned to the Federation embassy on Qo'noS put him in contact with an old Klingon operative who provided him with information showing the three Klingons currently on the station are part of a covert strike force, reporting directly to the High Council. They now have enough to hold the Klingons for questioning, questioning that Odo feels can continue until after the Romulans have left the station. Sisko agrees though tells Odo to be careful, to which he replies, "There is no careful way to question a Klingon."
O'Brien is back in the infirmary where Bashir is scanning him. He wakes up and tells Bashir he needs to run the basilar arterial scan or he'll die within a few hours. "Well, who am I to argue with me?", Bashir jokes.
Meanwhile, Odo has arrested the three Klingon operatives: Bo'rak, Atul and Morka and has placed them in a holding cell for the time being. He accuses them of being spies and saboteurs, to which they simply reply with threats of vengeance. Odo tries a threat of his own by telling them if they help him he will forgo telling the Klingon Intelligence service that they have been captured. He says from what he hears they frown on operatives who fail their missions. The Klingons look at each other thinking about his offer.
Back in Ops, Bashir informs Sisko that he has eliminated almost all of the radioisotopes from O'Brien's system and the last treatment is in a couple more hours, after which there should be no more timeshifting. Dax also reports that the quantum singularity is orbiting the station in a roughly elliptical pattern. O'Brien continues by saying the anomaly radiates temporal energy at certain points in its orbit which seems to be causing his timeshifts. At that very moment, he shifts again. There are lots of people scrambling into a runabout. His future self is at the helm and initiates an emergency escape protocol, disengaging the docking clamps and immediately engaging full impulse. All three of the station's runabouts hastily escape the vicinity as explosions cascade across the habitat ring. The future O'Brien explains he was sleeping when an explosion rocked the station and was on his way to Ops when the evacuation alarm sounded, so got as many people as he could to the runabout before leaving. He tells O'Brien that doesn't know what happened or if the other senior staff made it off the station, and urges him to find out what happened and prevent it. As the runabout flies away, the explosions engulf the station, destroying it. At that point, the wormhole opens only to suddenly collapse an instant later. O'Brien watches the events in horror before he shifts. Back in Ops, Sisko asks the chief what's wrong. "We've got a new problem, sir." he replies.
Sisko questions O'Brien on his latest timeshift, asking for any clue of how the station may be destroyed. O'Brien says he noticed some explosions along the habitat ring but it all happened so fast that he couldn't get a clear sense of exactly what was going on. The commander orders a silent preparation for evacuation should it need to come to that, but he doesn't want to do anything that would alarm their enemy into attacking sooner. He also orders Dax to do a complete systems check on anything that could potentially cause this type of disaster. The chief also has an idea. If they could cause him to travel into the future on purpose, this time only by two or three hours, he may be able to find out what the threat is and stop it happening in their timeline. Bashir notes the problem with the plan; in order to do this, O'Brien's body would need to be flooded with Delta-series radioisotope s and prolonged exposure would kill him. But the chief knows the risks and is willing to do it if it means saving everyone on DS9. After thinking on it for a few seconds, Sisko approves his plan and they get to work.
In the infirmary, Bashir instructs O'Brien on a rectangular device designed to inject him with a two rad dose of delta isotopes. He explains to him that the device is already calibrated for the return trip so all he has to do it press it again to return to the present. Bashir warns him that he cannot wait too long or his body will fail due to severe radiation poisoning. On another note, O'Brien mentions a message to Keiko that he has left in his quarters. He wants Bashir to deliver it should the plan fail. Bashir understands.
Upon activating the device, O'Brien is transported to his quarters where the future O'Brien is asleep. He manages to wake him and explains the situation. The two of them quickly head for Ops and on arrival a Romulan warbird decloaks and opens fire on the station, taking out the shield generators in the first shots. Kira orders return fire but it is no use, the Romulans have hit the power core. The future O'Brien realizes the orbiting quantum singularity was the power source of the Romulan ship and tells O'Brien to go back and stop it. But he can't. The radiation poisoning has taken its toll on his body and he would die if he did, and would then be unable to warn the crew. Instead he takes off the device and hands it to future O'Brien, convincing him to go back in his place.
The new O'Brien wakes up in the infirmary next to Doctor Bashir, who asks how it went. After confirming it worked, O'Brien immediately contacts Sisko in Ops, who raises the station's shields and readies weapons. Bashir quickly realizes that this O'Brien is different; he doesn't have nearly as many delta isotopes in his body and his metabolic readings are completely different.
In the wardroom, the Romulans are interviewing Quark, when Sisko, Kira and Odo barge in. The commander tells him to leave before revealing what he knows to Ruwon and Karina. He tells Ruwon how he remembered what he said about the Dominion being the greatest threat to the Alpha Quadrant for a century and that if he truly believed that he would want to close the wormhole for good. Kira finishes by saying that the Federation and Bajor wouldn't just stand by and watch them do it so they would have to destroy the station as well and make it look like an accident. The two Romulans deny the allegations calling it a mere "theory". But Sisko responds by informing them he has about fifty photon torpedoes locked onto their ship. He then asks Odo to escort their "guests" to the nearest transporter room.
In Quark's, over darts, O'Brien tells Bashir how weird it is to be living in the past, that it is like living the other O'Brien's life. Bashir says that he's the same O'Brien, just with a few extra memories. As he leaves, he whispers in Quark's lobe, "dabo." Quark doesn't understand what O'Brien means until a small crowd at the wheel yells, "Dabo!" Quark then yells for O'Brien to come back, who simply walks away, laughing.
"Well, you do have one problem... if all you can hallucinate about is Quark's maintenance problems, you do have a sadly deficient fantasy life."
- - Bashir, to O'Brien
"Trust me, Quark. Darts and bars go together like bacon and eggs."
"At least people order bacon and eggs. In all the years I've been here, no one has ever come in and asked to see the dart board."
"Trust me. They will."
- - Miles O'Brien and Quark, referring to the dart board
"Major, when you're with the Romulans, try to be diplomatic."
"I'm always diplomatic!" [screen cut] "That is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard and I resent the implication!"
- - Sisko and Kira (the latter speaking to Sisko and to the Romulans, respectively)
"But don't worry – I plan to investigate the Klingons, the Bajorans, Quark, the visiting Terrelians..."
"You think Quark had something to do with this?"
"I always investigate Quark."
- - Odo and Sisko
"Who let these filthy petaQ in here?!"
"Maybe we should show them the way out."
- - Morka and Bo'rak, referring to the Romulan security force in Quark's bar
"I think we have enough evidence to at least hold the Klingons for questioning, don't you?"
"Absolutely. And I think I can question them until the Romulan delegation leaves the station."
"Just be careful."
"Commander, there is no careful way to question a Klingon."
- - Sisko and Odo
"I think you're lying, Quark."
"About which part?"
"All of it."
"Well, at least I am consistent."
- - Ruwon and Quark
"Who told you that?"
"You did. In the future."
"Oh. Well, who am I to argue with me?"
- - Bashir and O'Brien
"I hate temporal mechanics."
- - O'Briens, past and future
Story and script
- Freelancer Ethan H. Calk sold this story on his very first pitch session to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He pitched numerous other ideas before finally landing his second sale – contributing to the story for the episode "Children of Time".
- The pitch for this episode was taken by René Echevarria, who saw it as "a very different, clever science fiction premise with a twist. A story that had a nice built-in clock element." He further commented that the episode was "a nice twist on the time-travel show that could be a bottle show to save money." In the original story for this episode, Odo jumped forward in time to witness DS9 destroyed. According to Echevarria, this was changed because the writers felt that they had done too many Odo stories that season. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 217); Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 93)
- In his pitch, Calk had used Nausicaans as the villains, but these were rejected as not familiar enough. In response, he created the Romulan-Klingon intrigue plot. ("New Voyagers", Star Trek Magazine, issue 127)
- Ira Steven Behr asked a friend of his, John Shirley, who was well versed in complicated science fiction concepts, to write the teleplay. "He hadn't written for television and he wanted to take a shot at it," said Behr. He later said of Shirley's experience, "I won't say it was the most pleasant experience he ever had in his career." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 217))
- The script of this episode received an uncredited rewrite by Ronald D. Moore. (AOL chat, 1997) It was Moore's idea to kill the present O'Brien and replace him with a duplicate from the future. Moore was also part of the writing staff for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Second Chances", where the team temporarily considered killing off William T. Riker and replacing him with his own transporter duplicate. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 218))
- Bashir's use of hyronalin as a treatment for radiation poisoning is a reference to the TOS episode "The Deadly Years". This reference was added by Ron Moore, a noted fan of the original Star Trek series. He commented, "There's a lot of references from the original series rattling around in my head, because I watched it fanatically as a kid. Somehow it's easier to remember those references than the stuff I worked on a few years ago on TNG." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 218))
- Science advisor André Bormanis had two major tasks: to find a technical explanation for why O'Brien was jumping through time, and to determine how the Klingons could transport surveillance equipment into a bulkhead. Figuring out the first wasn't too difficult, according to Bormanis, as he merely had to create "a description of what mechanism might allow O'Brien to do what he's doing". He did admit, however, that the use of radiation as a trigger was "a little on the campy side." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 218))
- As for the surveillance equipment, Bormanis thought it quite plausible that "somebody had gone to the trouble of hollowing out a space inside the wall for the object and then used a very carefully tuned transporter beam to get it there." However, he was concerned about modifying a replicator to work as a transporter, as it had been established previously that replicators only operate on a molecular level, whereas transporters require quantum-level resolution. Bormanis' belief that such a modification would have required a great deal of skill was briefly addressed through Odo's line that the culprit had performed a "very sophisticated, very professional job". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 218))
- Robert Hewitt Wolfe noted that the darts game was useful when plotting the episode: "It gave us a way to establish that O'Brien's time jumps weren't taking any time [in the present]. He could throw the dart, go through a five-minute experience in the future, and then return to see the dart hit the wall." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 218))
- Ira Steven Behr felt that O'Brien's predicament in this installment was well-suited to the character, feeling that O'Brien was the "most fun" character to do such episodes with as Behr considered him to be "so human." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 111)
- When the two security guards walk Bo'rak out of Quark's, he says "Du'cha Kovah! Estah!" which, according to the script, translates as, "Leave me alone! Let me go!" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
- Director Reza Badiyi recalled some of the unique problems the show presented. He stated, "The challenge was creating two people. Colm [Meaney] played two parts, which is kind of tough. He is such a wonderful actor, and I really like him, but you cannot keep him on the set. He has to go outside and get a little fresh air. So when he's in every scene twice, and we have to shoot it three times and lock the camera, and then he's coming to do this part and then he has to do the other part, it's very difficult. They didn't want to do it all in blue screen because it's so time consuming, because it would take nine days. They gave us seven, and we shot it in seven and a half days." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 93)
- Though the final scenes may look convincing in the finished episode, they weren't easy to produce, as Visual Effects Supervisor Gary Hutzel explained: "It was always confusing for the actor, because although the director and I have extensive discussions, until we arrive on set, we don't know ourselves exactly what's going to happen." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 218))
- Destroying the station proved to be the biggest special effect of the episode. Hutzel commented, "Blowing up the station was a very very big deal. We'd decided that the station had to blow up, and it had to be particularly spectacular. So it was a very elaborate deal." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 219)) Hutzel connected this commitment to a larger change occurring behind the scenes. The producers of Deep Space Nine were now much more interested in showing feature-quality special effects than they had been during the run of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Consequently, Deep Space Nine was granted a much larger budget for visual effects than its predecessor. (Hidden File 07, DS9 Season 3 DVD special features)
- For the actual destruction, Special Effects Master Gary Monak had Model Maker Tony Meininger pull two new castings from the station's original six-foot mold. The duplicates were very similar to the original but lacked any lighting elements. Monak said of the whole process, "We rigged it so that it would go off in about ten stages: ten separate explosions that had to go off within half a second." The explosions were shot with a high-speed camera at ten to fifteen times normal speed; the half-second multi-blast took up five to seven seconds of film. Monak and his partner, R.J. Hohman, rigged the two models somewhat differently, so that they could decide after filming which explosion looked better. On what goes into making an explosion, Monak explained, "There's a little bit of everything: glitter, black powder, rubber cement, sparkle flash, sometimes a little high explosive primer-cord-stuff." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 219))
- With the increasing use of CGI in television, VFX Coordinator Judy Elkins defended the decision to use a live model, saying, "You can't get the same effect with a computer. You don't get the fireballs, the fire effects, the shards, the pieces flying away. When you're working on a big scale like this, there's nothing like blowing up a big model. It's just beautiful." Though several shots of the station's destruction were filmed, only a small portion made it into the final episode. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 219))
- Bashir uses a familiar-looking tool to adjust the armband that O'Brien uses to shift forward in time. It's a warp nacelle from a Romulan warbird model. The tool is slightly modified; it's colored gray instead of green, and blinking lights are added on the inside.
- The footage of the Romulan Warbird firing on Deep Space 9 is footage previously used to depict a warbird firing on Admiral Jarok's shuttle from "The Defector".
- Overall, O'Brien experiences six temporal jumps:
- He sees himself talking to Quark.
- He sees the brawl in Quark's.
- He sees himself mortally wounded by a phaser shot.
- He sees himself dead due to medical complications.
- He sees Deep Space 9 evacuated and subsequently destroyed, along with the wormhole.
- He is sent three and a half hours into the future to investigate the disaster, where he dies and is replaced by the other O'Brien.
- The Chief O'Brien that appears from this point on in the series is the one from a few hours in the future.
- This is the first and only time we see Deep Space 9 destroyed.
- This is the episode in which Miles O'Brien introduces darts to Quark's, a game which will be featured throughout the rest of the series. The board itself was first shown in the previous episode, "Prophet Motive".
- This episode features the first appearance of the D'deridex-class Romulan warbird in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- This episode features numerous references to the battle between the USS Defiant and the Jem'Hadar in "The Search, Part I".
- When Kira tells Odo that the Romulans suspect he may have feelings for her, he responds by saying, "Ridiculous!" in an incredulous manner. However, the audience already knows it to be true after he confessed to it in "Heart of Stone".
- Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) does not appear in this episode.
- The writing staff were pleased at Jon Shirley's ability to keep the potentially confusing plot comprehensible for viewers. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 217))
- Director Badiyi opined, "I felt it worked, and the effect and the relationships worked fine. I liked the show." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 93)
- Moore saw this episode as a good departure from standard time travel plots. He commented, "A very cool story because it was a different way to do time travel that we hadn't really played yet, which was going a short distance into the future and returning with that knowledge. Seeing yourself die and the station explode – it just became fun to try and play those scenes out, to enjoy the plot and not get bogged down in 'Oh my God, we're changing history.' You can play the gag of seeing yourself dead and bitching to the doctor because he didn't save your life." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 93)
- After the show aired, Moore heard comparisons made between this episode and TNG: "Time Squared". Disagreeing with this assessment, he remarked about "Time Squared" that "I watched the episode again, and it's so ponderous. They agonize about what to do the whole show. All right, already! We just quickly decided we weren't going to be that concerned and just went forward." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 93)
- Although Ira Steven Behr doesn't dislike this episode, it isn't one of his favorites: "it was good but it seems like a show we could have done on TNG. I prefer our shows to be Deep Space Nine-specific. 'Visionary' is kind of a tech mystery, and it's more TNG's kind of show." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 218))
- Similarly, René Echevarria remarked, "It turned out pretty well, although it may have been a little confusing. Overall, it was a straight-on Star Trek that could have been done on any of the series." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 93)
- Authors Mark Jones and Lance Parkin wrote of this episode, "A peculiar episode, if we are being charitable. The fact that O'Brien from now on is not technically the same as the one before is at first an astonishing revelation but in practice means nothing. Unfortunately, the same can be said for the rest of the episode, which descends to The Next Generation-levels of technobabble at the expense of the emotional story." (Beyond the Final Frontier, p. 213)
- Star Trek author Keith R.A. DeCandido described the episode as, "yet another TNG story that wandered into the wrong studio on the Paramount lot by accident", citing the high use of technobabble and "made-up science that sounds clever but isn’t because it only works at all because the script says it does." However, DeCandido did praise the inclusion of the Romulans and enjoyed some of the episode's character moments. Overall he awarded this installment a "warp factor rating" of 6/10. 
Home video releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 3.9, 10 July 1995
- Released on 2 October 1998 as part of the Japanese LaserDisc set Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Third Season Vol. 2
- As part of the DS9 Season 3 DVD collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Siddig El Fadil as Doctor Bashir
- Terry Farrell as Lieutenant Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira
- Sam Alejan as Human medical officer
- Scott Barry as Bajoran officer
- Ivor Bartels as Human security officer
- Jeff Cadiente as Romulan guard
- Brian Demonbreun as Human command officer
- Kathleen Demor as Human security lieutenant
- Randy James as Jones
- Mark Lentry as Human command lieutenant
- David B. Levinson as Broik
- Mary Mascari as Bajoran woman
- Mary Meinel-Newport as Bolian woman
- Tom Morga as Romulan guard
- Robin Morselli as Bajoran officer
- Mark Riccardi as Human security officer
- Mark Allen Shepherd as Morn
- Steph Silvestri as operations officer
- James Lee Stanley as Bajoran security deputy
- Michael Wajacs as Bajoran civilian
- Unknown performers as
- Unknown stunt performers as
Alpha Quadrant; artificial quantum singularity; asinolyathin; autopsy; bacon; Bajorans; Bajoran wormhole; basilar artery; basilar arterial scan; brain stem; burp; career; cerebrospinal nerve cell; cloaking device; constable; dabo table; damage; dartboard; darts; Davlos III; deal; debriefing; Deep Space 9 levels; delta isotope; delta-series radiation; delta-series radioisotope; Dominion; Dominion cold war; dose; eggs; embassy; emergency medkit; emergency power; Federation; figure of speech; fortune teller; Founders; freighter; fusion reactor; Gamma Quadrant; Gowron; gravimetric field; habitat ring; high-energy laser; holosuite; hour; hyronalin; internal sensor log; Jefferies tube; Jem'Hadar; kilometer; Klingon; Klingon border; Klingon Empire; Klingon High Council; Klingon Intelligence; Klingonese; laser; liability; lie; main computer; Markalians; matter-energy conversion matrix; medical scan; microcellular scan; muscle spasm; nagging; nervous system; neutron star; O'Brien, Keiko; operative; overhaul; personal log; phase inducer; phaser; portable transporter; power coupling; Promenade; Qo'noS; quantum singularity; Quark's; rad; radiation; radiation poisoning; replicator; Romulans; Romulus; runabout; shield generator; slander; Starfleet; Starfleet Command; Starfleet Intelligence; strike force; subspace bandwidth; surveillance device; suspect; temporal energy; temporal frequency; temporal mechanics; Terrelians; tetryon; tricorder
- "Visionary" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Visionary" at Wikipedia
- "Visionary" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Visionary" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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