Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1995): S04E10 – Our Man Bashir


Introduction

“Our Man Bashir” is the 82nd episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the tenth of the fourth season.

Directed by Winrich Kolbe, the story originated from a pitch by Assistant Script Coordinator Robert Gillan and was turned into a script by producer Ronald D. Moore. Both hairdressing in the episode and the score by Jay Chattaway were later nominated for Emmy Awards. The show’s plot involves the combination of a transporter and holodeck malfunction.

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures on Deep Space Nine, a space station located near a stable wormhole between the Alpha and Gamma quadrants of the Milky Way Galaxy. In this episode, Dr. Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) plays a 1960’s secret agent alongside Garak (Andrew Robinson) in a holosuite. After a transporter accident, the patterns for several crew members are temporarily stored as characters in the holosuite memory; the duo must prevent any of them from dying in the game or else they will be lost to the real world.

The production team deliberately avoided holodeck malfunction related episodes as they felt they had been overused on Star Trek: The Next Generation. However, Gillan pitched the circumstances that caused the issue seen in the episode and Moore came up with the 1960’s setting. One of the influences for the episode was the James Bond films, while taking its title from Our Man Flint, which was also raised by several reviewers. This obvious influence resulted in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contacting the studio and the later references to it in the episode “A Simple Investigation” were toned down.

“Our Man Bashir” received Nielsen ratings of 6.8 percent, and while the episode was mostly praised by reviewers with particular attention paid to the performance of Avery Brooks, there was some criticism levelled at the depiction of women.

Outline

Dr. Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) is in the holosuite playing a secret agent programme in the 1960’s. Elim Garak (Andrew Robinson) intrudes and convinces Bashir to let him tag along. Meanwhile, Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), Lt Cmdr. Worf (Michael Dorn), Lt. Cmdr. Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell), Major Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor), and Chief Petty Officer Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney) are on a runabout, returning to Deep Space Nine. As they arrive they find that their vessel has been sabotaged and that a warp core breach is imminent. Lt. Cmdr. Michael Eddington beams them out, but during transport the ship is destroyed and the transporter damaged. Eddington is forced to store their patterns until it is repaired, but this uses almost all of the station’s memory, putting many station systems off-line. Their physical patterns end up in the computer controlling the holosuite, where they appear as characters in Bashir’s programme.

Bashir is startled to see Kira appear as a Russian spy, who introduces herself as Colonel Anastasia Komananov, KGB. She has no idea who Major Kira is. Eddington informs Bashir and Garak that they can not shut down the programme or let the characters die or else they will lose the patterns of the other crew members. Komananov explains that a scientist called Dr. Noah is planning to take over the world using lasers to cut into the Earth’s crust resulting in the shrinking of the tectonic plates sinking and causing global flooding. Bashir’s orders are to rescue Professor Honey Bare (Dax) from Noah. Falcon (O’Brien) attempts to assassinate Bashir, who must stop Komananov from killing him or else O’Brien’s pattern will be lost. Bashir, Garak and Komananov go to a casino in Paris to speak to Duchamps (Worf), an associate of Noah. Bashir manages to buy his way into a meeting with Noah after winning the money at cards but the trio are knocked out by Duchamps using a powdered drug.

They awake in Dr. Noah’s lair on the upper slopes of Mount Everest. Noah (Sisko) enters and gives a monologue about how he will destroy the world, and shows a big red button he will push to do it. He has Bashir and Garak taken below ground, where they are handcuffed to a laser. As the time ticks down before the laser is activated, Bare performs a final check of the laser. Bashir flirts with her, and she slips him a key and hurries out. Bashir unlocks himself and Garak, who protests that it is too dangerous to continue as the safeties are turned off in the program, which could result in their deaths. Garak is about to close the programme and kill the other crew members when Bashir shoots him, grazing him with a bullet. Garak is shocked, but impressed, and agrees to continue the programme. Bashir is concerned as he expects the program will end with either the death of Professor Bare or Colonel Komananov following the defeat of Noah.

The duo burst into Noah’s study and Eddington tells them he will attempt to rescue Sisko and the others in two minutes. To gain time, Bashir hits the button to activate the lasers around the world. The room’s occupants gasp as they realise he just annihilated the entire population of Earth except for the top of Mount Everest. Dr. Noah is still not prepared to spare Bashir, but just as he is about to shoot, Eddington is able to transfer the crew’s patterns into the computers aboard the USS Defiant. They are then simply beamed aboard, returning to their normal selves. In the holosuite, Bashir and Garak end the programme with relief: Bashir “saved the day” by “destroying the world”, Garak notes; Bashir jibes Garak that they never taught him that in the Obsidian Order.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Winrich Kolbe.
  • Writer(s): Robert Gillan.
  • Release Date: 27 November 1995.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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