Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1996): S05E01 – Apocalypse Rising


“Apocalypse Rising” is the 99th episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the first episode of the fifth season.

With Klingon leader Gowron having declared hostilities against the Federation, Worf, Sisko, Odo, and O’Brien go on a mission deep into Klingon territory.

“Apocalypse Rising” was seen by about 5.5 million viewers when it debuted.


Having learned from Odo that a Changeling has taken Gowron’s form and is now in control of the Klingon empire, Sisko is ordered by Starfleet Command to expose the impostor. He, Odo, O’Brien, and Worf must get close enough to the false Gowron to expose him as a Changeling, and must pose as Klingons to do so. Julian Bashir is called upon to surgically alter them to that end (even Worf is altered so that his cranial ridges are different, to keep him from being recognised). Sisko is also given four metal spheres which, when activated, will emit radiation which will force any nearby Changeling to revert to its natural gelatinous state.

Sisko calls upon Gul Dukat, whose captured Klingon Bird of Prey can get them to Ty’Gokor (the heavily guarded headquarters of the Klingon military) undetected. On board the Bird of Prey, Worf trains the humans to behave like Klingons, while Dukat creates Klingon identities for each of the four, adding them to a list of candidates that will receive the Order of the Bat’leth, which is awarded by Gowron himself. Arriving at Ty’Gokor, Dukat transports them to the surface and leaves them to fend for themselves, as they will be able to leave Klingon space freely if they succeed and the war ends, or will be executed as spies if they fail.

The four arrive at the Hall of Warriors, where the ceremony has already begun, and try to blend in as best as they can – they take anti-intoxicants in advance to survive a night of drinking Klingon bloodwine. Soon General Martok, second in command to Gowron, arrives, indicating that Gowron will arrive soon. The four scramble to set up their emitters, not without some difficulty. O’Brien then encounters a problem: Martok seems to recognise him, though he is able to convince Martok that they fought in a battle together. The four finally set up the emitters, and Sisko is called to receive his award. He attempts to activate the emitters, but is knocked to the floor by Martok, who has finally recognised them and has them thrown in a security cell.

Once they are alone, Martok confides to Sisko that he too believes that Gowron is an impostor. He says that Gowron ordered that the emitters be destroyed, but still agrees to help, saying that the only way to expose Gowron is to kill him. Martok then releases Sisko and his group and leads them back to the Hall of Warriors, but keeps Odo outside, saying he does not trust him. Worf proceeds to attack Gowron who insists on fighting him one on one, just as a real Klingon would. Martok wonders why Sisko does not shoot Gowron outright. Odo then points out something: Gowron called off his body guards and chose to stand to fight Worf in singular combat, thus showing Klingon honor. Changelings on the other hand, do not care for honour. Martok insisted that there would be no honorable combat, which is very uncharacteristic for a Klingon. Odo concludes that the Changeling is not Gowron, but Martok. Just when Worf is about to kill Gowron, Odo reveals the false Martok to the crowd, and the Klingons open fire, quickly destroying the Changeling.

Gowron then realises that Odo had been falsely led to believe that Gowron was the Changeling, which would have led to Gowron’s assassination by the Federation, thus allowing the fake Martok and the Founders to gain control of the Empire. Gowron also expresses his doubt that the war will end because Klingons do not simply turn from battle, but he does agree to a cease fire, and Sisko and his men are returned safely back to DS9.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): James L. Conway.
  • Writer(s): Robert Hewitt Wolfe and Ira Steven Behr.
  • Release Date: 30 September 1996.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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