“The Ship” is the 100th episode overall of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and the second episode of the fifth season. Much of the episode is set inside a mysterious spacecraft in the Gamma Quadrant.
Set in the 24th century, the show is primarily set on the Deep Space Nine space station, however, many episodes feature away missions on a variety of spacecraft or planets. They often visit another area of the Galaxy, which in the show’s fictional nomenclature, they call the Gamma Quadrant. The show was famous for a long-running story arc involving an alien force called “The Dominion”.
In summary, Sisko (played by actor-professor Avery Brooks) leads a mission to the Gamma Quadrant, and they land on a planet there. Much of the episode involves what they find on this planet.
An away-team of Deep Space Nine crew, including Sisko, Dax, Worf, and O’Brien are conducting a mineral survey for cormaline ore on the uninhabited Gamma Quadrant planet Torga IV via a runabout when a Dominion warship crashes near their location. Investigating, they find the crew dead; O’Brien speculates that the ship’s inertial dampeners might have failed which caused the crew to be crushed when the ship increased its speed. Sisko contacts DS9 to have the Defiant come tow the ship back to the station so that it can be studied.
Aboard DS9, Odo has arrested Dr. Bashir and Quark for failure to fill out the proper paperwork for the importation of a shipment of Rigelian fleaspiders, and Quark, additionally, for the inclusion in the shipment of a number of prohibited Rigelian Liquid Crystals. Odo takes them to Sisko’s office, where Major Kira is waiting for them, and learns that the fleaspiders were for Bashir, so he can extract their venom to help relieve Kira’s pregnancy woes. She leaves the three to sort it out themselves and takes the Defiant to retrieve Sisko and the others.
As the away-team waits for the Defiant, a Jem’Hadar ship appears in orbit, destroys the runabout and its three crew, and transports a number of Jem’Hadar soldiers to the surface. The soldiers fire on the away-team, killing one and wounding Muñiz, O’Brien’s assistant. Sisko orders his crew into the Dominion ship for protection, and to their surprise, the Jem’Hadar do not follow en masse, but maintain watch. Muñiz is tended to, and although his wound isn’t serious, a side-effect of the weapon is that the blood will not clot. As a result, Muñiz begins slowly bleeding to death. The group is next contacted by Kilana, a female Vorta in command of the Jem’Hadar, who requests a meeting with Sisko.
At the meeting, Kilana refuses Sisko’s claim of salvage rights for the ship, but offers to return Sisko and his crew safely to DS9. As they talk, a Jem’Hadar transports onto the crashed ship and attacks the team; yet Muñiz, even in his weak state, is able to shoot the Jem’Hadar. Kilana and Sisko immediately return to their ships, and Kilana orders her ship to fire near the crashed vessel. Sisko comes to believe that they do not intend to fire on the ship directly, as there is something valuable aboard, and are trying to intimidate them into abandoning the ship. O’Brien tries to assure a now delirious Muñiz that he will live, but Worf asserts that Muñiz should be prepared for death. Tempers flare between the two and a fight almost breaks out, not helped by Dax’s misguided attempts to lighten the situation with jokes. Sisko sternly orders the crew to pull themselves together.
Sisko and the others devise a plan to bring the ship’s engines online, but it fails. They then discover that Muñiz has died. A liquid begins to drip from the inverted floor, and a bulkhead turns out to really be an injured Changeling, unable to hold its form anymore (apparently having been injured in the accident that killed the ship’s crew). It falls to the ground and dies, turning into powder. The bombardment suddenly stops, and Kilana transports to the vessel. She explains that the Jem’Hadar from her ship have all committed suicide for allowing the death of one of their “gods,” and there is no further reason to prevent Starfleet from salvaging the ship. Sisko allows her to collect some of the dust from the former Changeling before she departs to her ship and leaves orbit.
The Defiant eventually arrives and starts towing the ship back to DS9. O’Brien and Worf hold a vigil over Muñiz’s casket. Sisko tries to write a report for Starfleet, but keeps lingering on the five crewmen who died on the mission. Despite knowing the ship’s recovery could save thousands of lives and that they all knew the risks that came with being a Starfleet officer, Sisko still feels they deserved more than to die on an isolated planet so far from home.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Kim Friedman.
- Writer(s): Pam Wiggington and Rick Carson.
- Release Date: 07 October 1996.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.