(readers' note from SABR Matt: I originally intended to leave this post in our editing bin until my sister had time to add her own two cents, but I hit the wrong button on my keyboard and posted it...now I've decided that the best course of action since my sister is at CPAC for the weekend and exhausted would be to post it in a finalized form and if she wants to add comments when she has time, she is welcome to do so. She gathered the highlights and set up the frame...the editorial comments are mine)
This episode was made in celebration of Star Trek's 30th anniversary. It stands as a tremendous technical achievement, a well-crafted episode poking lighthearted fun of some of the original show's most dated memes, and a love letter to the franchise's most dedicated long time fans and the show's original creators. Love him or hate him, Roddenbury created a universe that captured our imaginations enough that four subsequent spin-off shows carried us through good times and bad and marked the tides of history with indelible ink.
Memory Alpha has a summary here.
My sister is overwhelmed with a convention right now or she'd have commented on some of the classic memes from TOS since she's more of an expert on that earliest Trek installment. I'll just say that when you go back in time and insert yourself into the history of your franchise, the story out to be about that time. When Voyager did something similar for the same 30th anniversary tribute, we got a good episode that was, unfortunately, completely out of context. It involved some characters from the time of James T. Kirk, but it was a technobabble story centered on a pair of modern characters, and it therefore lacked the golden nostalgia of the DS9 version.
So we do appreciate the effort the DS9 time made to show us that they too were fans...but I think what you have to like most here is that DS9's nostalgia piece carried the same theme as the show on which it was based. It was a comedy...not meant to be taken seriously...full of witty references to the original characters and settings and told from the perspective of starry eyed youths returning to the time of their greatest heroes from history. Voyager's 'Meld' carried none of the suspense it could have from the time of Praxis and Star Trek VI. It just shows the difference in skill and respect for the audience that existed at this time between DS9 and Voyager's writing staff.
In the end, however, I think this episode gets sold by the cast. The script is charming and hilarious, but every member of the cast seems to pour an unusual amount of enthusiasm into their scenes...especially the ones playing humans (who therefore have more of a tie to the setting). I do appreciate that the show is filled from start to finish with "in this time..." throw-away lines that reveal in a loving way how much we've changed as a culture and how Star Trek has adapted to those changes. Good stuff all around!
Hilarious, heartwarming and technologically impressive in execution!
All of DS9's cast carried the appropriate enthusiasm for this episode. Terry Ferrell is actually a long time fan of the franchise and her giddy excitement bleeds into all of her scenes, for example.
The plot was meaningless fun, but there was a message in this one for the fans of the show. We care about you and appreciate your years of dedication and enthusiasm. Tip o' the kelly, boys and girls!
SISKO: Are you sure you don't want anything?
DULMUR: Just the truth, Captain.
SISKO: You'll get it. Where do you want to start?
DULMUR: The beginning.
LUCSLY: If there is such a thing.
DULMUR: Captain, why did you take the Defiant back in time?
SISKO: It was an accident.
LUCSLY: So you're not contending it was a predestination paradox?
DULMUR: A time loop. That you were meant to go back into the past?
SISKO: Erm, no.
LUCSLY: We hate those. (Snerk!)
WADDLE: After six months, I was hoping the Klingons would invade. At least they know how to make coffee, even if they are foul-smelling barbarians. (He looks at Worf.) Sorry.
O'BRIEN: I wouldn't take it personally, Worf.
BASHIR: I rather like the way you smell.
O'BRIEN: Yeah, sort of earthy, peaty aroma.
BASHIR: With a touch of lilac.
O'BRIEN: Trust me. Next time you see him, just sniff the air and go, 'Is that lilac?'
DAX: (amused) Find somebody else. I have my own ways of torturing Worf. (LOL!)
DULMUR: Be specific, Captain. Which Enterprise? There've been five.
SISKO: This was the first Enterprise. Constitution class.
DULMUR: His ship.
LUCSLY: James T Kirk.
SISKO: The one and only.
LUCSLY: Seventeen separate temporal violations. The biggest file on record.
DULMUR: The man was a menace. (Indeed he was.)
BASHIR: Wait a minute, aren't you two wearing the wrong color?
O'BRIEN: Don't you know anything about this period in time?
BASHIR: I'm a doctor, not an historian. (Ha!)
SISKO: In the old days, operations officers wore red, command officers wore gold...
DAX: And women wore less.
(Dax steps out and shows off her mini-skirt.)
BASHIR: I think I'm going to like history. (Heh.)
WORF: Where did you get that thing?
ODO: From a man named Cyrano Jones. He told me tribbles like everyone, but this one doesn't seem to like you.
WORF: The feeling's... (Then he forces himself to calm down.) The feeling's mutual. They are detestable creatures.
ODO: Interesting. It's been my observation that most humanoids love soft, furry animals, especially if they make pleasing sounds.
WORF: They do nothing but consume food and breed. If you feed that thing more than the smallest morsel, in a few hours you'll have ten tribbles, then a hundred, then a thousand --!
ODO: Calm down.
WORF: They were once considered mortal enemies of the Klingon Empire.
ODO: This? A mortal enemy of the Empire?
WORF: They were an ecological menace, a plague to be wiped out.
ODO: Wiped out? What are you saying?
WORF: Hundreds of warriors were sent to track them down throughout the galaxy. An armada obliterated the Tribbles' homeworld. By the end of the twenty third century they had been eradicated.
ODO: Another glorious chapter of Klingon history. Tell me, do they still sing songs of the great tribble hunt? (ROTFL!)
O'BRIEN: You realize, of course, she's just using you to get to me.
BASHIR: Watley? That was my great grandmother's name.
BASHIR: And I think she was in Starfleet.
O'BRIEN: It's a common enough name.
BASHIR: But what if that was her?
O'BRIEN: Do you realise the odds?
BASHIR: No one ever met my great-grandfather. (His excitement grows.) This could be a predestination paradox! Come on, Chief, surely you took elementary temporal mechanics at the Academy? I could be destined to fall in love with that woman and become my own great-grandfather.
O'BRIEN: You're being ridiculous.
BASHIR: Ridiculous? If I don't meet with her tomorrow, I may never be born!
KIRA [OC]: Chief, are you ready for transport?
O'BRIEN: Are we ever.
KIRA [OC]: Stand by.
BASHIR: You saw the way she looked at me. You can't just dismiss this!
O'BRIEN: I can try.
BASHIR: All right, fine. But I can't wait to get back to Deep Space Nine and see your face when you find out that I never existed! (ROTFLOL! Classic.)
ODO: Who ordered raktajino?
WAITRESS: The Klingons.
WAITRESS: Over there, and over there.
BASHIR: Those are Klingons?
WAITRESS: All right. You boys have had enough.
ODO: Mister Worf?
WORF: They are Klingons, and it is a long story.
O'BRIEN: What happened? Some kind genetic engineering?
BASHIR: A viral mutation?
WORF: We do not discuss it with outsiders. (LOL! And that is what is known in business as "hanging a lampshade on it.")
(Kira opens the Orb case.)
SISKO [OC]: By the time we returned to the Defiant, Major Kira had discovered how to use the Orb to bring us back to our own time.
DULMUR: And that's when you returned the present?
SISKO: Well, not exactly. Before we left, I realised there was one last thing I had to do. Something I'd been thinking about ever since I saw that ship on the viewscreen.
SISKO: Excuse me, Captain. Here's tomorrow's duty roster for your approval.
KIRK: Lieutenant, er, Lieutenant?
SISKO: Benjamin Sisko, sir. I've been on temporary assignment here. Before I leave, I just want to say it's been an honor serving with you, sir.
KIRK: All right, Lieutenant. Carry on.
SISKO: Thank you, sir.
SISKO: Now, if you want to put a letter of reprimand in my file for that, then go ahead. (Hee!)