“Children of Time” is the 120th episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the 22nd episode of the fifth season.
The USS Defiant is taken on an away mission with the usual Deep Space Nine command staff, a brief segue to an interesting planet goes awry. Due to a time loop, they encounter their own descendants but difficult choices may lie ahead.
The starship Defiant passes through a type of “quantum-bubble” in order to investigate a planet within it. They find the planet is inhabited by 8,000 descendants of the Defiant’s crew. The descendants’ history began when the Defiant tried to escape from the bubble. Instead of passing through its energy barrier, the ship was thrown back in time 200 years and crashed with no hope of contacting the Federation or repairing the ship. Faced with that reality, the stranded 48-person crew of the Defiant (including Dax, Sisko, O’Brien, Dr. Bashir, etc.) decided to remain and establish a society.
Unfortunately, the stranded Major Kira died a few weeks after the crash due to neural damage she incurred on the bridge when the ship was passing through the energy barrier while approaching the planet. Bashir did not have the medical equipment on the Defiant required to treat her.
In addition to their descendants, two members of the original crew of the Defiant still exist on the colony. The Changeling physiology of Odo has given him greater longevity than the rest, while the Trill symbiont Dax continues to live on in a new host, Yedrin Dax, descendant of Worf and Jadzia Dax. The “original” Odo is inadvertently trapped in his gelatinous form, during which time the older Odo confesses that he has been in love with Kira since very early in their friendship.
The officers now realise they face a dilemma. If they use the Defiant to safely leave the planet, they will never have travelled back in time and their descendants will be cancelled from existence. But if they allow history to repeat itself by crashing in the past, they will never see their homes and loved ones, and Kira will die in a few weeks. Yedrin shows them a way out by using the quantum bubble to duplicate the ship and crew so that they can make both choices at once. But it turns out to be a trick, as he wants to survive; if they try it, they will just repeat the crash.
After much discussion, they choose to repeat the crash. But the older Odo loves Kira so much he would rather prevent her death than allow the 8,000 colonists to survive. He secretly changes their programmed flight plan so that they escape from the bubble – causing the colony to vanish from existence.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Allan Kroeker.
- Writer(s): Gary Holland and Ethan H. Calk.
- Release Date: 05 May 1997.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.