Blogger's Note: this post originally appeared at Will's Secure Immaturity blog as part of his most excellent DS9 Week, a tribute to the greatness that is Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. If you haven't gotten a chance to check out the series, please do so. Whether you are into Sci-Fi or Star Trek (or not), it is well worth the time.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Episode Title: The Visitor
Episode #: 74
Star Date: 49011.4
Original Airdate: October 9, 1995
Written by: Michael Taylor
Directed by: David Livingston
It may sound cryptic, but this one will be hard. Please bear with me. Having been someone who started watching Star Trek (the original series) as a kid, a lot of my memories got tied up with what I've seen on TV. Especially those that intrigued my imagination. When they disturb upon other memories, though, they begin to make an impression on my psyche. Moving from one series to another (whether it's sci-fi related or not) caused not so much disconnects, but cross circuits in my remembrances. When Star Trek: The Next Generation came to an end in May 1994, Paramount had its replacement already in play. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was introduced on January 3, 1993, and was one of the last things conceived before (ST originator) Gene Roddenberry's death.
A spin-off of ST:TNG, DS9 was centered around a space station (a leftover of the former Cardassian Occupation) rather than another Federation starship galavanting its way around the galaxy. Having a wormhole nearby, through which a new and unknown section of the galaxy (the Gamma Quadrant) came within reach, there were plenty of story opportunities for science fiction exploration. Both the personal and the political varieties (including opportunities for commenting on current conflicts) opened up right along with the new series (byway of its new blank slate).
What I found fascinating with this new series (back then in the 90's), besides the ensemble nature of how it used its cast, was that the command chair was now manned by a father. This was a first for the head in a Star Trek series. In this case, he was someone who not only had to lead and attempt to solve the issues of close-quarter politics, religion, and the clashing of multiple cultures (along with their hatreds and schisms) on a frontier outpost, but serve as a guide and lone parent to his son on his journey to adulthood. The backstory was both the father and the son lost the wife/mother unit to The Borg at The Battle of Wolf 359. This dynamic made Benjamin Sisko (and his son, Jake) quite memorable. And one episode in particular really brought that home. When I wrote my earlier, personal blogpost which reviewed the Remember Me episode on Star Trek: TNG, my sub-conscious knew that I'd have to approach the flip-side of that parental memory in exploring another episode in the Star Trek anthology. Secure Immaturity's DS9 Week made me face up to this latency. This was a good thing. In some ways, though, it is just as painful.
This post has been moved and updated to my current blog, which can be found here.