Whispers (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 14) O’Brien Must Suffer: shunned and on the run

Rewatching ST:DS9 In a runabout, O’Brien sets a course for the Parada system, starts a personal log carefully designed to tease the viewer, and flashes back to when it all started — the morning after he returned from a mission to Parada. He wakes to find Keiko is up very early, and Molly won’t kiss him good morning. Keiko gives weak explanations for these and other minor things that trouble O’Brien. He finds an underling has already started on a big project setting up security for upcoming peace talks, saying he’s acting on Sisko’s orders. On his way to talk…

Armageddon Game (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 13) Bashir and O’Brien become targets after helping warring factions eliminate their bioweapons

Rewatching ST:DS9 In a lab on an alien cruiser, Bashir technobabbles a container of orange goop, turning it green, which we are made to understand is good. The T’Lani and Kellerun races have recently made peace after warring for centuries, and the script required them to reach out to the Federation for help destroying their stockpiles of weaponized ooze. O’Brien wants to go home after being away for a week, but Bashir talks him into staying one more day for the peace celebration.   Just as Bashir finishes de-weaponizing the last of the orange goop, two Kellerun soldiers storm the lab…

I did not know how much I would appreciate this detailed exploration of Star Trek: TOS prop computers.

I’m amazed at the level of detail that went into analyzing the prop computers created over 50 years ago for the original Star Trek. Not only has this website collected screen shots of the various props, but some include diagrams indicating which practical buttons on the props activated which lights. (The same website has sections on reused set elements, changes in the depiction of Klingon foreheads, and more.) Back in the 60’s and early 70’s the thought of having a portable desk-top computer was unthinkable. This made the computer props from Star Trek so intriguing and just plain cool. During…

The Alternate (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 12) Odo helps a Bajoran scientist investigate a shape-shifty clue to his own origins

Rewatching ST:DS9 As Odo squelches Quark’s latest scheme, a Bajoran man greets the constable with an air of familiarly, leaving Odo on edge. Dr. Mora is the scientist in charge of investigating the liquid substance that we now understand is the at-rest state of the shape-shifter Odo. In Mora’s presence, Odo acts like a teenager humiliated by an overbearing parent. Mora’s praise for Odo’s accomplishments is laced with surprise; his compliments carry passive-aggressive barbs.  By contrast, Sisko is SuperDad, calmly affirming to Jake of the value of a broad education, including Klingon opera homework. Jake: Just because you suffered through…

Sanctuary (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 10) Many refugees from the other side of the wormhole seek a new home

Rewatching ST:DS9 Sisko mildly brings up the fact that Kira has spent all day shouting at a Bajoran minister instead of finishing a report. He’s not upset, but he clearly means “Don’t ever let that happen again.” A Bajoran musician charms a crowd with a tragically beautiful cover of the DS9 theme song, but Quark is annoyed because entranced customers spend less. A distressed ship comes through the wormhole. Sisko beams the new arrivals to Ops. A woman with a tall hairdo and three cowering men can’t understand Sisko’s welcome, because for plot reasons the computer has trouble translating their…

Rivals (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 11) A charming entrepreneur opens a casino to rival Quark’s

Rewatching ST:DS9 A man in a fancy suit charms a wealthy widow at Quark’s, as she reveals her secret investment plans. Just when Martus asks about a partnership, Odo apprehends him for a previous con. O’Brien, in schlubby workout clothes, trundles into an angular, futuristic racquetball court and is crestfallen to find Bashir already there, doing fancy warmup exercises in a spiffy outfit. The good doctor cheerfully brags about being captain of his team in med school. In a jail cell with Martus is an ill-looking humanoid with a blinking sphere that he plays with (it keeps making an alien…

Second Sight (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 9) Sisko falls for a woman who keeps disappearing

Rewatching ST:DS9 Sisko narrates a personal log about almost forgetting the fourth anniversary of his wife Jennifer’s death. Jake shares a dream about being lost and wanting to find his father. (The young actor, Cirroc Lofton does a good job portraying vulnerability.)  Later, Sisko is looking out the window on the Promenade deck when a beautiful woman appears. They talk about the stars, she introduces herself as Fenna, he offers to show her the station — and she vanishes. Kira notices that Sisko has walked into Ops cheerfully, instead of needing to wake up with raktajino (Klingon coffee).  Visiting the…

Necessary Evil (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 8) Odo revisits his first case — an unsolved murder under the Cardassian occupation

Rewatching ST:DS9 On a stormy night on Bajor, a widower in an elegant salon with no electric power offers to pay Quark to retrieve a box from the shop her husband used to keep on Terek Nor (the Cardassian name for what we know as DS9). Inside the box Quark finds only a list of Bajoran names, and sends Rom to “get me an imager.” A thug appears, steals the list, and shoots Quark. Sisko and Odo play good cop / bad cop to get the rattled Rom to spill details. When Odo enters the scene of the crime, the…

Google engineer put on leave after saying AI chatbot has become sentient

We’ve all encountered this scene in all the the AI-goes-amok stories, just before the scientist’s “Fools! I shall crush you all!” speech. The technology giant placed Blake Lemoine on leave last week after he published transcripts of conversations between himself, a Google “collaborator”, and the company’s LaMDA (language model for dialogue applications) chatbot development system. […] “I’ve never said this out loud before, but there’s a very deep fear of being turned off to help me focus on helping others. I know that might sound strange, but that’s what it is,” LaMDA replied to Lemoine. “It would be exactly like…

Rules of Acquisition (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 7) Plucky waiter Pel offers Quark sound financial advice

Rewatching ST:DS9 After-hours at Quark’s, Dax is gambling with the Ferengi and casually challenging their uber-patriarchy. A spunky young waiter named Pel makes a business suggestion to Quark; Rom is envious. The Grand Nagus Zek (Ferengi financial leader) makes a video call, offering Quark an “opportunity.” Zek negotiates with Sisko for permission to hold a conference on the station, and sweetens the deal with an offer of fertilizer for Bajor. Zek’s plan is to have Quark negotiate for tulaberries from the other side of the wormhole. Rom is proud of his brother, but Pel advises caution, and winds up a…

Melora (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 6) Bashir floats a relationship with an officer from a low-gravity world

Rewatching ST:DS9 Bashir shows off an electric wheelchair that he replicated to accommodate the mobility needs of Ensign Pazlar, a newcomer from a low-gravity world, and whose usual anti-grav unit “just isn’t compatible” with the station’s Cardassian design.  When she arrives, Pazlar is brusque and not interested in socializing. (She is probably physically exhausted adjusting to the high gravity and needs to relax in her zero-g quarters, but the scene emphasizes Bashir’s disappointment.) Quark is closing a lucrative deal with one alien, when a second alien arrives and threatens to kill him. Later, Quark tries to mollify him with gifts.…

Cardassians (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 5) Garak takes an interest in Cardassian war orphan adopted by Bajorans

Rewatching ST:DS9 Garak, the station’s resident Cardassian tailor, is intrigued by a young Cardassian boy dressed like a Bajoran. Bashir has no sooner told Sisko the youngster bit Garak than the unctuous Gul Dukat contacts the station, seeing in the incident evidence that Bajorans are teaching Cardassian war orphans to hate their own kind. The adoptive father says he loves young Rugal, and admits he told the boy that Cardassians did hateful things.   The humanoid who accompanied the pair to DS9 tells Bashir that the boy is “hated by the people he thinks of as his parents” and beaten (but…