Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1998): S06E22 – Valiant


Introduction

“Valiant” is the 146th episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the 22nd episode of the sixth season.

At this time in the show, the character’s are caught up in a large Galactic war between various factions in the universe, and this episode utilises elements from the show and the wider Star Trek narrative.

Jake and Nog, on a visit to Ferenginar, find themselves on board a rogue starship that is piloted by members of the Red Squad, a crew of elite Starfleet cadets. Ferenginar is the homeworld of Ferengi aliens, but is not actually featured in this episode, rather is a plot element.

This episode marks the introduction of fictional spaceship, the Jem’Hadar battle-starship.

Outline

While en route to Ferenginar in a runabout, Jake Sisko and Ensign Nog are attacked by a Jem’Hadar vessel, but are rescued by the USS Valiant, a Defiant-class starship. Jake and Nog find that the crew are all members of the Red Squad, an elite squadron of Starfleet cadets. They were originally part of a training mission to circumnavigate the Federation. However, the Valiant was attacked by a Cardassian battle cruiser, which resulted in the loss of the entire commissioned staff. Before dying, the late captain transferred command to now-acting Captain Tim Watters. Watters has continued to follow their last directive without any further orders from Starfleet. The previous captain was ordered to seek information about a new Dominion battle cruiser, which they know is in this part of space, but their damaged warp drive has kept them from getting close enough. Nog is quickly integrated into Red Squad and the ship’s engineering staff thanks to his knowledge of the Defiant warp system, but Jake is seen as an outsider. When Jake attempts to talk to Chief Collins about her personal life, she breaks down emotionally, and Watters orders Jake not to talk to her further.

With Nog’s help, the Valiant is able to get within range to send a Class 4 probe to scan the battleship without being detected, gaining valuable intel. Watters informs the crew that their mission has been carried out, and they could go home now, but he wants them to go beyond their orders, and attempt to destroy the Dominion vessel, using a weak point in the enemy ship’s design they believe the scan has revealed. Jake tries to tell them that his father, one of the finest battle commanders in Starfleet, would never engage in such a foolhardy attack, but the cadets are won over by Watters’ enthusiasm, and the lure of doing the impossible, becoming heroes.

When Jake attempts to warn Nog and Collins that Watters is actually on a suicide mission, Watters has Jake thrown in the brig. The Valiant attacks the vessel, successfully hits the targeted area with modified torpedoes, but the Jem’Hadar ship remains undamaged. The Valiant is assaulted by the battle cruiser, which critically damages the ship and kills much of the remaining crew. Nog, Collins and Jake leave the ship in an escape pod before the Valiant explodes. The three are rescued by the Defiant, and learn they are the sole survivors. Nog states that the Valiant was a good ship with a good crew, whose only mistake was blindly following Watters’ disastrous orders. To Collins’ pleas that Watters was a great man, Nog replies, “He may have been a hero, he may even have been a great man, but in the end, he was a bad captain.”

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Michale Vejar.
  • Writer(s): Ronald D. Moore.
  • Release Date: 06 May 1998.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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