Past Prologue

Star Trek: Deep Space NineStardate not given: Shortly after Dr. Bashir excitedly reports to Sisko a meeting with a merchant who happens to be the only remaining Cardassian on the station, a Bajoran ship is detected with hostile Cardassians hot in pursuit. The single occupant of the damaged Bajoran vessel is beamed aboard and is discovered to be a member of a group of violent Bajoran extremists who have not yet ceased their terrorism against the Cardassians. Requesting asylum, all Tahna does is invite Sisko’s suspicion. Sisko is further put in a tenuous situation when the Cardassian ship’s commander demands that Tahna be turned over for his crimes against the Cardassians. Kira, herself a former member of Tahna’s underground, tries to convince Tahna to give up his violent tactics, but he refuses, and it turns out that his visit to Deep Space 9 is all part of another of his inevitably bloody gambits for revenge. This time, however, Tahna plans action not only against the Cardassians, but the Federation as well – and he expects Kira to help him.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazonwritten by Kathryn Powers
directed by Winrich Kolbe
music by Jay Chattaway

Guest Cast: Jeffrey Nordling (Tahna), Andrew Robinson (Garak), Barbara March (Lursa), Gwynyth Walsh (B’etor), Vaughn Armstrong (Gul Dunar), Susan Bay (Admiral)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Replacements

Space RangersBoon’s crew is assigned to track down a hijacked ore transport, but shortly after they catch up with the ship and board it, an armed man blasts Doc while someone else escapes in a lifepod. Boon brings Doc back to Fort Hope, where Mimmer starts trying to save his life while Boon interrogates his unhelpful prisoner. Boon complains bitterly about having to take on missions with an exhausted crew and equipment that’s fallen apart in the face of constant budget cuts, taking his anger out on Weiss, an Earth bureaucrat who’s been “exiled” to Fort Hope. Weiss responds to this outburst by assigning an android crewmember to Boon’s ship. After their sole prisoner is mysteriously murdered in his cell with no security record of how he died, the Space Rangers are left with a seized transport which appears to carry nothing but ordinary ore, and a lot of unanswered questions. Little do they know that the hijackers are working against them from inside Fort Hope.

Space Rangerswritten by Gregory Widen
directed by Ben Bolt
music by Hans Zimmer & Mark Mancina

Cast: Jeff Kaake (Captain John Boon), Marjorie Monaghan (Jojo), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Zylyn), Jack McGee (Doc), Clint Howard (Mimmer), Danny Quinn (Daniel), Gottfried John (Weiss), Linda Hunt (Chennault), Richard Grove (Isogul), Keith Berger (Ringer), Richard Marcus (Bashad), Tony Amendola (Smuggler), Mark Venturini (Lieutenant), Gregory Phelan (Technician No. 1), Wendy Way (Technician No. 2)

Space RangersNotes: Although aired first, this was not the series pilot, creating some inconsistencies in the flow of the storyline (i.e. Boon’s wife has already left him and gone to Earth, even later episodes contradict this). Tony Amendola would later become a fixture on Stargate SG-1 as Master Bra’tac. Writer Gregory Widen was the creator of the Highlander franchise, and wrote the screenplay to Backdraft, which was produced by Space Rangers creator Pen Densham.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

A Man Alone

Star Trek: Deep Space NineStardate 46421.5: During routine banter with Quark on the Promenade, Odo spots Ibundan, a Bajoran man he jailed months ago for murder, and the old enemies get into a fight almost immediately. Not long afterward, Ibundan is found dead in one of the Promenade’s holosuites, and evidence has been carefully placed to lead a trail to Odo, a suspicion which spreads among the station’s populace along with rumors of Odo being a Cardassian agent and a growing paranoia. Bashir and Dax begin putting together pieces of a puzzle which include DNA traces from Ibundan’s ship, but in the meantime, the station’s residents grow restless and demand that Odo be handed over to be punished for a crime they believe he committed. While Sisko and his crew are working full-time on finding the solution to the crime, the denizens of Deep Space 9 seem to have no intention of allowing Odo to survive long enough to stand trial.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazonteleplay by Michael Piller
story by Gerald Sanford and Michael Piller
directed by Paul Lynch
music by Jay Chattaway

Guest Cast: Rosalind Chao (Keiko), Edward Laurence Albert (Zayra), Max Grodenchik (Rom), Peter Vogt (Bajoran Man #1), Aron Eisenberg (Nog), Steven James Carver (Ibundan), Tom Klunis (“Old Man” Ibundan), Scott Trost (Bajoran Officer), Patrick Cupo (Bajoran Man), Kahtryn Graf (Bajoran Woman), Hana Hatae (Molly O’Brien), Diana Cignoni (Dabo Girl), Judi Durand (Computer Voice)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Banshees

Space RangersA cargo ship is beset by Banshees, creatures capable of surviving in the void of space and capable of tearing ships apart with their bare hands. Chennault is furious when she discovers that the cargo in question was human beings, only a few of whom escaped alive, victims of a scam offering cheap passage to Fort Hope. A message is received from a teenage boy who is apparently still alive on the transport, but no one understands how he could have survived alone among the Banshees for this long. Colonel Weiss sees an opportunity for scientific study of the Banshees, but all Boon and his crew see is a rescue mission. With Mimmer along for the ride, packing a weapon that he hopes will freeze a Banshee alive to be brought back to Fort Hope for study, the crew watches as the transport fades out of sight and reappears moments later. The ship is crawling with Banshees, and somehow the boy has remained alive – but his salvation is also what’s keeping Boon from being able to send him a message that help has arrived.

Space Rangerswritten by Herbert J. Wright
directed by David Burton Morris
music by Hans Zimmer & Mark Mancina

Cast: Jeff Kaake (Captain John Boon), Marjorie Monaghan (Jojo), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Zylyn), Jack McGee (Doc), Clint Howard (Mimmer), Danny Quinn (Daniel), Gottfried John (Weiss), Linda Hunt (Chennault), Rick Latini III (Boy), Sharon Mahoney (Captain Suzy Watson), Dawn Jeffory (Irina), Gregg Daniel (Passenger), James Cooper (Zed), Mario Roberts (Helpful Man), Gary Byron (Pilot), Susan Fallender (Alien Tech)

Notes: At the beginning of the episode, Boon reveals that he and his wife are separated; due to the seemingly random re-ordering of the series for broadcast, the show’s pilot aired two weeks later, showing the Boon family still in one piece. Writer (and producer) Herbert J. Wright (1947-2005) was one of the original showrunners on Star Trek: The Next Generation during that show’s creatively uneven first two years, leaving after the show’s second season only to return as a “creative consultant” (and a controversial one at that, given his mantra of pursuing stories with “weird shit”) briefly during TNG’s fifth season. He also wrote and directed episodes of the TV version of War Of The Worlds.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Babel

Star Trek: Deep Space NineStardate 46425.8: Business as usual is keeping O’Brien the busiest man on DS9, as systems continuously break down almost at random, mainly food replicators. In the course of his repairs, O’Brien accidentally activates a concealed Bajoran device designed to release an adaptive virus into the food generated by that replicator. He is immediately stricken with the disease, which scrambles his brain’s ability to connect language, stimuli and responses. Quark, impatient to get service back on schedule at his bar, unwittingly spreads the virus to all of his patrons, and a stationwide epidemic ensues. Bashir, before falling victim to the virus himself, discovers that the plague was created by the Bajora in an attempt to prevent the construction of the station years ago, and it is eventually fatal. Most of the population is rendered useless, with a few exceptions, among them Odo, Major Kira and Quark. They must find an antidote to the virus and try to ensure the station’s safety until a cure can be found.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazonteleplay by Michael McGreevey and Naren Shankar
story by Sally Caves and Ira Steven Behr
directed by Paul Lynch
music by Dennis McCarthy

Guest Cast: Jack Kehler (Jaheel), Matthew Faison (Surmak Ren), Ann Gillespie (Nurse Jabara), Geraldine Farrell (Galis Blin), Bo Zenga (Asoth), Richard Ryder (Bajoran Deputy), Frank Novak (Businessman), Kathleen Wirt (Aphasia Victim), Lee Brooks (Aphasia Victim), Todd Feder (Federation Male)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Death Before Dishonor

Space RangersAmbassador Marla Baker is at Fort Hope to wind up delicate trade negotiations with a warlike species called the Vee’Lon, only to watch all of her hard work unravel when Boon punches the Vee’Lon ambassador in a bar after the ambassador insists on fondling Jojo’s hair. The Vee’Lon ambassador’s aide de camp escalates things to a war footing, demanding an official apology but still promising the spilling of human blood. A higher-ranking ambassador is summoned from Earth to smooth things over, but thanks to a bomb placed aboard his ship, he never makes it to Fort Hope. It’s up to Baker to salvage the situation herself, even if it means offering Boon up for a fight to the death with the Vee’Lon ambassador.

written by Ed Speilman & Howard Spielman
directed by David Burton Morris
music by Hans Zimmer & Mark Mancina

Space RangersCast: Jeff Kaake (Captain John Boon), Marjorie Monaghan (Jojo), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Zylyn), Jack McGee (Doc), Clint Howard (Mimmer), Danny Quinn (Daniel), Gottfried John (Weiss), Linda Hunt (Chennault), Claudia Christian (Ambassador Marla Baker), Sherman Howard (Prince Gor’Dah), Dana Gladstone (Lord Muk’Toh), John Mahon (Ambassador Hardcastle), Peter Looney (Max), Duane Whitaker (Roacher), Sheila Johnson (April), Larry Marks (Vee’lon Guard)

Notes: Mere weeks before Babylon 5 premiered, Claudia Christian was hanging out with the Space Rangers. (The Babylon 5 pilot movie did not feature her character, Commander Susan Ivanova, who wasn’t introduced until that series’ first hour-long episode in January 1994.)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

A Stranger In Time

Time TraxIn the year 2193, gifted and fiercely devoted Darien Lambert is one of the best law enforcement officers on Earth…until a string of suspects seem to disappear completely from view with no explanation, many of them on Lambert’s watch. Due to his outstanding service record, it is simply assumed that Lambert needs more of the latest crime fighting tools, and he is issued a portable artificial intelligence called Selma, who can appear visually to Lambert but can also communicate with him via audio only.

The theft of the firearm used by John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Lincoln raises the alarm that something big is on the horizon, and Lambert feels certain that the weapon’s symbolic importance points to a high profile target: the president of the United Nations. Lambert’s hunch is correct, but his timing is off: he can’t prevent the assassination, but he does capture the assassin. However, that same assassin vanishes into thin air from the confines of a state-of-the-art maximum security prison cell. Lambert suspects matter transmission, either into an alternate universe or backward or forward in time.

His suspicions lead him to a lab run by a beautiful scientist, whose work on an experimental time travel device called Trax is slowly being taken over by an obsessive Nobel Prize winning scientist, Dr. Mordecai Sahmbi. The use of Trax involves the injection of a drug that allows the human body to endure the rigors of time travel, but only twice; a way has not been found to make the third trip non-fatal. Lambert methodically gathers his evidence until he’s ready to launch a sting operation on the Trax lab to arrest Sahmbi for sending heinous criminals back in time, unleashing them on the primitive, unsuspecting world of 1990s Earth. Sahmbi himself escapes, and Lambert, with Selma, must subject himself to time travel via Trax in an attempt to stop history from being rewritten by an insane criminal.

written by Harve Bennett
directed by Lewis Teague
music by Garry McDonald and Laurie Stone

Time TraxCast: Dale Midkiff (Darien Lambert), Elizabeth Alexander (Selma), Mia Sara (Elyssa / Annie), Michael Warren (Frank), Henry Darrow (The Chief), Peter Donat (Sahmbi), Henk Johannes (Dietrich), Martin Maddell (Sergeant), Monroe Reimers (Duke), Peter Whittle (Wahlgren), David Franklin (Fredric), Rob Steele (Wilson), Lewis Fitz-Gerald (C.L. Burke), Michael Edward-Stevens (Art), Stephen Bergin (Grille Bar Waiter), Billy Sandy (U.N. President), Jimmy White (Reporter), Pamela Norman (Archive Clerk), Dave Robinson (Businessman), Ben Lawson (12 year old Darien)

Time TraxNotes: Add a dash of Quantum Leap to The Fugitive, and you have Time Trax. Created by Harve Bennett with Jeffrey Hayes (T.J. Hooker) and Grant Rosenberg (Lois & Clark), Time Trax was teased as a sci-fi cop show, though after the pilot strands Lambert in the past, the show happens almost entirely in the present day (of the 1990s, when the show was made). Time Trax was part of the short-lived, ill-fated Prime Time Entertainment Network (PTEN), an attempt by Warner Bros. and Chris-Craft Television to launch a fifth network in the same mold as the then-recent launch of the Fox network; other PTEN shows included Kung Fu: The Legend Continues and Babylon 5, the latter being the only PTEN series which actually outlasted PTEN.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Ship In A Bottle

Star Trek: The Next GenerationStardate 46424.1: As the Enterprise is en route to witness the collision of two gaseous planets, Data and Geordi visit the London of Sherlock Holmes, noticing small program anomalies. Barclay checks the holodeck’s programming and unwittingly reactivates a program which had been created and put into storage four years before when Moriarty, in another Holmes program, evolved into Data’s ideal adversary. Moriarty demands to talk to Picard. Unknown to the crew, he has been alive and aware in the computer’s memory the whole time, and he defies the laws of physics by stepping out of the holodeck and roaming the Enterprise. Moriarty asks that a Countess with whom he fell in love in the course of another holodeck program be brought to life to accompany him, but Picard is reluctant, preferring instead to research just how Moriarty has achieved corporeal existence, and to determine whether or not the professor intends to continue his legendary criminal activities. As it turns out, Moriarty is indeed planning on attempting a swindle of an immense scale – but Picard means to see that Moriarty’s scheme is limited to the scale of the holodeck.

Order the DVDswritten by Renè Echavarria
directed by Alexander Singer
music by Dennis McCarthy

Guest Cast: Dwight Schultz (Lt. Barclay), Daniel Davis (Professor Moriarty), Clement Von Franckenstein (Gentleman), Stephanie Beacham (Countess), Majel Barrett (Computer Voice)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Captive Pursuit

Star Trek: Deep Space NineStardate not given: The first ship from the Gamma Quadrant emerges through the wormhole and arrives at DS9. Its single occupant is convinced to dock at the station to allow the crew to repair his battle-damaged vessel. O’Brien tries to get acquainted with the alien, who identifies itself only as Tosk. As soon as no one is watching, however, Tosk begins trying to determine how to fight and hide on the station. Odo discovers Tosk tampering with a security junction and Tosk winds up in the brig. A second ship arrives from the wormhole. Sisko gives the new visitors every chance to make friendly contact, but they instead disrupt the station’s shields and beam into the Promenade without permission. Armed, they begin searching for Tosk and hold the crew at bay. It turns out that they are game hunters searching for Tosk, and advise the crew of DS9 to stay out of their way. O’Brien decides to take the rules of the hunt into his own hands to prevent Tosk from having to be bagged in captivity and disgrace.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazonteleplay by Jill Sherman Donner and Michael Piller
story by Jill Sherman Donner
directed by Corey Allen
music by Dennis McCarthy

Guest Cast: Scott MacDonald (Tosk), Gerrit Graham (The Hunter), Kelly Curtis (Miss Sarda)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Fort Hope

Space RangersIn the year 2104, Fort Hope is the most distant human outpost in deep space. A peacekeeping force called the Space Rangers struggles to maintain law and order on the frontier, all while tiptoing around treaties and delicate political situations. The job isn’t easy, and it is dangerous. Only the best need apply. Space Ranger John Boon is about to begin two months’ leave when Commander Chennault calls him back into action. A human ship has been forced down on the contested planet Scarab, and launching a rescue mission will violate numerous treaties; Chennault can’t offer any backup because she has to maintain deniability. Worse yet, one of the downed ship’s crew is Boon’s mentor.

Boon rounds up his crew, including a wet-behind-the-ears hotshot, Daniel Kincaid, whose bravado melts away when he sees the state of Boon’s transport. Ship’s engineer “Doc” delights in rattling Kincaid prior to launch; pilot Jojo’s rough flying and the presence of a Graaka warrior named Zylyn rattle him even more. Upon arrival at Scarab, Boon’s crew has to fight off an attack by space-borne marauders called Banshees. Once on the surface of Scarab, Boon realizes that the “rescue” was a trap all along.

Space Rangersteleplay by Pen Densham & M. Jay Roach
story by Pen Densham
directed by Mikael Salomon
music by Hans Zimmer & Mark Mancina

Cast: Jeff Kaake (Captain John Boon), Marjorie Monaghan (Jojo), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Zylyn), Jack McGee (Doc), Clint Howard (Mimmer), Danny Quinn (Daniel), Gottfried John (Weiss), Linda Hunt (Chennault), Wings Hauser (Decker), Amy Steel (Sarah Boon), Sally Elise Richardson (Survivor), Art La Fleur (Henchman), Pat Morita (Nazzer), Danielle Zuckerman (Roxie Boon), Gary Lee Davis (Thick Neck), Thomas Rosales (Gambler), Dan Zukovick (Arran)

Notes: Co-writer Jay Roach (sometimes credited with an M. in front of his name) has previously worked with series creator Pen Densham on a Fox sci-fi TV movie, Lifepod, early in 1993, and was at one time attached to direct a movie version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, working closely with Douglas Adams through most of the 1990s until he got involved with his next big project, directing Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery and its sequels. Roach went on to even greater success directing Meet The Parents and its sequel, Meet The Fockers.

Though this was the series pilot, it was the last episode to air in the U.S.; CBS cancelled Space Rangers after four weeks due to low ratings. Two episodes were left unaired, premiering abroad and only appearing on home video in the U.S. Although he appears in the opening credits, Weiss does not appear in this episode.

LogBook entry by Earl Green