Stardate 46379.1: Commander Ben Sisko and his son Jake, both survivors of the Wolf 359 Borg massacre, arrive at the planet Bajor as part of a Starfleet team taking over the abandoned Cardassian space station Deep Space 9. The station, which was intentionally damaged by the Cardassians before they left it behind, is being pieced together by newly-transferred Operations Chief O’Brien from the Enterprise. Sisko also meets Major Kira, his Bajoran first officer who doubts the ability of the provisional government of Bajor to avert a civil war and trusts the Federation even less; Odo, a mysterious shapeshifter in charge of station security; and Quark, the suspicious Ferengi kingpin who’s eager to get out of town before the regulatory hand of the Federation clamps down on his shady “business” affairs.
Sisko is summoned to the Enterprise for a briefing with Captain Picard, whom he still remembers as the man responsible for the death of thousands, including Sisko’s wife, in the Borg invasion attempt. Picard gives Sisko the Federation’s orders regarding management of Deep Space 9 – to do everything, short of violating the prime directive, to get the struggling Bajora back on their feet so they can join the Federation. Sisko, however, is considering resigning from Starfleet to raise his son in a better environment. Soon afterward, the Enterprise departs to undertake other duties as the station’s new doctor, the brilliant but inexperienced Julian Bashir, and science officer Jadzia Dax arrive. Dax, a Trill who has lived in a number of bodies, is an old friend of Sisko’s. Sisko, at the suggestion of Kira, travels to Bajor and visits Bajoran spiritual leader Kai Opaka, who tells Sisko that he is to be the emissary of the people to the temple of their gods. Opaka reveals an Orb, a mystic object of a type which has appeared throughout Bajoran history. The Orb envelops Sisko in a brief recollection of his first meeting with his wife, and then releases him. Opaka gives him the Orb, and the news that Sisko – whether he likes it or not, whether he even knows it or not – will find the temple. He returns to Deep Space 9 and hands the Orb over to Dax for further study.
The Cardassians return, ostensibly to make use of the station’s amenities. Dax discovers that reports of the Orbs’ appearances correspond to a certain area of space near Bajor. She and Sisko set out in a Federation Runabout to investigate, and stumble across a wormhole that shoots them 70,000 light years across the galaxy. Trying to return to the station, their ship is halted. Dax is taken back to the station by an Orb, while Sisko is kept and studied by noncorporeal beings who built the wormhole. These beings have no conception of linear time, existing simultaneously in the past, present and future, and they ask Sisko questions about the ephemeral nature of humans, which they do not comprehend. Dax, back on Deep Space 9, fills the crew in on details of the wormhole. Major Kira orders O’Brien to shift the station’s position so that it stands in front of the wormhole. A Cardassian ship, however, enters the wormhole, but is damaged by the wormhole life forms. When another Cardassian flotilla arrives and finds no sign of the missing ship, they threaten to open fire on Deep Space 9 unless Kira agrees to surrender the station. In the wormhole, the aliens’ study of Sisko reaches an end when they discover the human drive for knowledge, and they are puzzled by Sisko’s inability to get over the death of his wife.
At the station, Kira’s brinksmanship abilities and her feisty confrontations with the Cardassians result in a firefight, damaging the station heavily. The solution to the confrontation lies with Sisko, if he can overcome the wormhole beings’ manifestations of his inner barriers and escape from the wormhole.
Season 1 Regular Cast: Avery Brooks (Commander Benjamin Sisko), Rene Auberjonois (Odo), Siddig El Fadil (Dr. Julian Bashir), Terry Farrell (Lt. Jadzia Dax), Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko), Colm Meaney (Chief O’Brien), Armin Shimerman (Quark), Nana Visitor (Major Kira Nerys)
teleplay by Michael Piller
story by Rick Berman & Michael Piller
directed by David Carson
music by Dennis McCarthy
Guest Cast: Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard/Locutus of Borg), Camille Saviola (Kai Opaka), Felecia M. Bell (Jennifer Sisko), Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat), Joel Swetow (Gul Jasad), Aron Eisenberg (Nog), Stephen Davies (Tactical Officer), Max Grodenchik (Ferengi Pit Boss), Steve Rankin (Cardassian Officer), Lily Mariye (Ops Officer), Cassandra Bryam (Conn Officer), John Noah Hertzler (Vulcan Captain), April Grace (Transporter Chief), Kevin McDermott (Alien Batter), Parker Whitman (Cardassian Officer), William Powell-Blair (Cardassian Officer), Frank Owen Smith (Curzon Dax), Lynnda Ferguson (Doran), Megan Butler (Lieutenant), Stephen Rowe (Chanting Monk), Thomas Hobson (young Jake), Donald Hotton (Monk #1), Gene Armor (Bajoran Bureaucrat), Diana Cignoni (Dabo Girl), Judi Durand (Computer Voice), Majel Barrett (Computer Voice)
Notes: John Noah Hertzler is also known as J.G. Hertzler, who would return later in the series in the role of General Martok.
LogBook entry by Earl Green