Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993): S01E14 – The Storyteller


“The Storyteller” is the 14th episode of the first season of the American syndicated science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

In this episode, two simultaneous plotlines unfold. Chief of Operations O’Brien is recruited to save a Bajoran village from destruction. Back on the station, Commander Sisko arbitrates a land dispute between two factions of Bajorans, the Paqu and the Navot, while the adolescent leader of the Paqu (for whom Nog develops a crush) learns the art of compromise.

The matte painting of the Bajoran village is the same matte painting from the Star Trek: The Next Generation “Birthright” episodes (Season 6, Episode 16 & 17) in which it depicted the colony of Romulan and Klingon survivors from the Khitomer massacre.


O’Brien and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bashir are sent on a relief mission to Bajor in response to a medical emergency. Meanwhile on the station, Sisko plays mediator in a conflict between two rival Bajoran factions negotiating a border dispute.

On the Station

The leader of one of the factions, Tetrarch Varis Sul, is a fifteen-year-old girl. She proves unwilling to negotiate, and Sisko is frustrated with her intransigence.

Nog is captivated by the girl. He and Sisko’s son, Jake, introduce themselves to her, and she agrees to spend time with them. She is stressed by the negotiations, but Nog suggests that problems can become opportunities.

To cheer her up, the three embark on a prank to steal Security Chief Odo’s regeneration bucket. Nog fills the bucket with oatmeal and pretends to trip, covering Jake with the contents.

Varis apologises to Sisko for her involvement in the escapade. They discuss the challenges of leadership, and she eventually agrees to propose a compromise resolution to the border dispute.

On Bajor

Responding to the distress call, Bashir and O’Brien find that a man called the Sirah is dying, and the village leader, Faren, claims that a force called the “Dal’Rok” will destroy the village if the Sirah is not able to fend it off.

That night, the Sirah speaks to the entire village as a threatening cloudlike apparition appears in the sky. The Sirah tells a narrative about the village defeating the Dal’Rok. He collapses during his speech, but he whispers the rest of the story to O’Brien, who repeats it; and as the villagers cheer, a beam of light seems to make the apparition disappear. By the time the Dal’Rok is gone the Sirah has died, and Faren declares O’Brien to be his successor.

The next day, the villagers treat O’Brien like a king. The old Sirah’s apprentice, Hovath, attempts to kill O’Brien, declaring himself to be the true Sirah. He reveals that the Dal’Rok was created to solve the internal strife tearing apart the village, and the villagers must unite in their thoughts to stop it. Hovath had had his chance to lead the village against the Dal’Rok earlier that week, and failed.

That night, O’Brien stands before the village and attempts to tell the story, but the villagers are unmoved by his clumsy narrative, and the Dal’Rok returns in full force. Hovath takes the stage, and eloquently tells of a new voice challenging the Dal’Rok. The villagers follow his lead and defeat the Dal’Rok, embracing him as their new Sirah and relieving O’Brien of the post.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): David Livingston.
  • Writer(s): Kurt Michael Bensmiller.
  • Release Date: 02 May 1993.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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