Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

“Little Green Men”

2.5 stars.

Air date: 11/6/1995
Teleplay by Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Story by Toni Marberry & Jack Trevino
Directed by James L. Conway

"The speed of technological advancement isn't nearly as important as short-term quarterly gains." — Quark

Review Text

Nutshell: Not bad, but the one-joke high-concept premise doesn't have enough momentum to remain fresh and wears thin by the end.

When Quark obtains a new ship as a gift from his cousin Gala, he takes the opportunity for a test cruise by transporting his nephew Nog to Earth for his entrance into Starfleet Academy. Rom tags along to see his son off. However, a freak accident sends their ship back in time to the year 1947 where they crash land on earth and are captured by the U.S. military. It happens, no less, in a place called Roswell.

"Little Green Men" has all the indications of a story bought on a single-sentence pitch. I can almost hear two anxious writers coming into Berman's office and saying "I got it! How about we send the three Ferengi back into Earth's past and write them into history. It will be hilarious!" Indeed, this story is a brilliant 20-word concept for an episode. Unfortunately, that's about all it is. There just isn't enough material here to contribute a truly solid hour of DS9. The plot is unavoidably paper-thin and the outcome is pre-defined from square one. There just isn't anywhere to go.

While Behr and Wolfe deliver the comic one-liners with reasonable pace and effectiveness, there's only so much they can do, and there's just not enough momentum here to make up for the obvious lack of relevance the episode has to the series. On the other hand, even if the episode isn't really exciting, it is entertaining enough to chew through an hour. Armin Shimerman, Max Grodenchik and Aron Eisenberg all deliver adequate portrayals of Quark, Rom, and Nog respectively. Though their actions are a tad on the predictable side, they do provide a far more amiable presence than in last season's annoying Ferengi outings, "Family Business" and "Prophet Motive."

There are a number of shining moments, such as the parody on technobabble early in the episode when Rom explains a convoluted way to save the ship from accelerating out of control. I also like the way Nog tells the military officers exactly what they want to hear—that the Ferengi are aliens preparing a massive invasion of Earth. (It's funny how back in the '40s the only possible explanation for why aliens would visit Earth was because they wanted to conquer us. In the '90s, now they just want to con us out of a quick buck). Best of all is Nog's line to Quark, "Have you heard of the Bell Riots?" and his amazement to how much Gabriel Bell looks like Captain Sisko. That goes down as one of the best inside jokes of the series.

The plot is pretty much by-the-numbers. Odo turns up to keep Quark in check (which makes me wonder which is more important: Quark's mischievous plans or the security of DS9). There are also, of course, a couple of sympathetic scientists that help the Ferengi escape the military's clutches. However, the extraneous dialogue between these two scientists—who are engaged to be married, no less—is completely irrelevant and unnecessary.

Other than that, there isn't much to say about "Little Green Men." There's nothing inherently bad about it. It will hold your attention and keep you amused, but that's about all. Just an hour of fluff.

Footnote: Why is the episode order for "Starship Down" and "Little Green Men" reversed? Because the air date order was not the same as how they are now ordered for mass consumption. Read this explanation.

Previous episode: Rejoined
Next episode: Starship Down

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Comment Section

98 comments on this post

    I am watching these DS9 episodes for the first time and I enjoy coming here to read Jammer's review after each one. It's always interesting seeing where we agree and disagree.

    I thought this was a fun episode which is unusual for me because I don't really care for the Ferengi (except for Quark since he actually has some depth.) My biggest problem with the episode however is with Rom. I sort of like the idea that he's smarter than everyone thinks and that he just "lacks self confidence." However in this episode he's doing Spock caliber temporal/warp calculations and it just isn't convincing at all.

    But hey kudos to the producers for getting Charles "space hippy" Napier in this episode. Also I liked the Bell Riots nod to continuity. Those kinds of things are especially fun when you are watching the shows in a short span of time like I am and they are still fresh in your memory.

    @gatton - I don't think the math involved was unrealistic to have Rom doing it. In previous episodes he's been described as a mechanical genius so it's not too hard to believe.

    I enjoyed the episode a lot, mostly because I'm watching every star trek episode across all series, and DS9 is the last series. In TNG, ENT and VOY, the ferengi are portrayed as bumbling idiots and I really hated them. But DS9 gives them a lot more credit and I just find it a relief to watch a Ferengi episode and not be completely aggravated by them.

    It's one of the better Ferengi episodes. Linking the time accident with the Roswell incident was particularly nice touch. It somehow made the Ferengi feel more substantive to me.

    Apart from one of the scenes between the scientists running too long and without relevant substance, I did find this episode surprisingly enjoyable. Remembering it back from its original airing, when I was but a wee lad, I had fond memories. Still, I expected them to be at least a little shattered by the harsh reality of watching something as an adult.

    It was a pleasant experience, finding out it was actually pretty good. The in-joke about Gabriel Bell was ridiculously funny. I had to pause for a moment to regain my composure so as not to miss a line, then Quark piped in about how 'all hew-mons look the same' and I nearly had to pause again.

    I'm still reviewing the earlier episodes of the third season, but I think I'll be giving "Little Green Men" a rather respectable score, personally.

    Jammer, while the importance of short term quarterly gains quote is a great one my favorite from this episode is Quarks reference to cigarettes: "If they'll buy poison, they'll buy anything". How true, and of course I was smoking a cigarette at the time. I figure I'd be an easy mark for Quark!

    This was a fun episode but could have been much better. I felt like it was thrown together at the last minute.

    The excessive smoking bothered me. I'm glad the Ferengi pointed out how stupid people are for doing it.

    An ok episode with some good jokes, but "by-the-numbers" is right on target. The earth people were so predictable, with the paranoid military guys who just want to kill everything. I would have groaned at the smoking stuff, but I was too busy ducking the huge anvil. There were several lines I felt I could say before the actors.

    Whenever Trek comes back to our times or thereabouts, it seems to get way more preachy. Maybe that's just me, or maybe they hide it better in the futuristic setting, or maybe they can't resist preaching more in a familiar setting. Whatever the reason, I don't think I've ever really enjoyed a Trek episode set in the "past," -- no, not even the very popular fourth movie. So this one did pretty well to get even a single rewatch out of me.

    The plan Quark hatches indicates that selling the Fengi warp technology in "1947" would give them warp "centuries before" humans, which suggests that they otherwise got it much later than "1947", and must have been fairly new to them when Picard and Co. first encountered them in TNG (I won't even indulge the Ferengi appearnace in "Enterprise".

    I agree Jack. The thought that came to mind when I heard that line was: would the Star Trek producers have us believe that all the Alpha Quadrant races developed warp technology at the same time?

    There was a line in Season 3's 'Explorers' which suggested that the Bajorans were using the solar sails "when humans were first exploring Earth's oceans" - as though a few hundred years was a *really* long time ago! They also suggested that this was before the Cardassians developed warp drive. So Humans, Feregni, Cardassians and Bajorans all developed warp drive independently of each other, light years apart, within a few hundred years? That seems like a pretty cosmic coincidence to me.

    The way I always try to rationalise this sort of thing in Star Trek, is to invoke the ancient humanoids from TNG's 'The Chase'. But even if all humanoid life was seeded, the idea that the lifeforms and cultures on each planet developed at the same rate, to within a few hundred years, still doesn't add up.

    It's especially weird that Quark would think Ferengi would get warp drive "centuries" before humans because, uh, no, it'd be 116 years since First Contact is 2063, which is slightly over one century. Granted, Quark might just have no idea when humans got warp drive, but Nog could probably have corrected him.

    OTOH, I suppose it would be centuries before humans got a craft capable of warp 8 or whatever that craft was capable of.

    I loved this ep. I'm thrilled to know that Quark, Rom and Nog were the aliens of the 'Roswell incident', just as I thought it was a hoot when we found out that the Vulcans invented Velcro, and T'Pol first introduced it to America.

    I'm easy to please, chuckle.

    I really laughed at "really? Because it really looks like finger to me" - the delivery was just perfect.

    Other than that, it was a fun episode, even if a bit predictable. I enjoyed Family Business and I rnjoyed that episode, so I guess im starting to appreciate the Ferengi... I think DS9 is turning them into a real people with a "real culture" (even if most of it is kinda for fun) and that makes them interesting.

    I just have a complaint: i find it so annoying how SOMEHOW anytime anybody time-travels near Earth in Star Trek they end up in 20th century America by accident... Why not 12th century China or 60 000 BC? Statistically, humans have been around for about 0.0000000001% of Earth time, and yet not only aliens ALWAYS arrive when humans are alive, but in precisely the century the show was made in! Curious coincidence which is never explained....

    This is just a fun episode all the way around. Charles Napier was perfect in his role and it was great to have Odo along for the ride. Again, Rom's naive nature belies his skill as an engineering savant. Definitely one of my favorite Ferengi shows.

    Quite liked this episode for what it was and it had me grinning quite a bit.

    3 stars.

    This is a very funny episode and I had a very good laugh. The way humans trying to understand the aliens and the Ferengi talking seemingly gibberish, the kind of questions Quark asking etc. Overall a fantastic episode imo.

    A very fun episode. I just wish the producers had let them do the final twist in that was in the original presentation.

    All along we see one officer in the background who is just observing everything. In the last shot one of the main characters looks to him and says, "Lt Roddenberry, you have seen nothing that has gone on today. Do you understand?" "Yes, Sir!" Then a tracking close up on him as we see him start to get the idea to create a Sci Fi series...

    > "Little Green Men" has all the indications of a story bought on a single-sentence pitch.

    In the season 4 DVD special features, Robert Hewitt Wolfe says exactly that: "Two free-lance writers came in ... and said 'Quark, Nog, Rom, and Odo are the Roswell aliens.'" And that was all it took.

    Very fun episode.

    Enjoyable hour of TV.

    One of the few "Ferengi episodes" I don't skip during a rewatch of the series.

    3 stars for me.

    Am I the only one that finds this episode really, really boring?


    No. LGM is one of the worst episodes of the series and easily the worst of S4. At least "The Muse" has a semblance of something going on. "LGM" is just a 35-minute gag that goes on far longer than it should (I dig Nog's farewell ceremony, so the first ten minutes are tolerable).

    Watching all star trek and enjoying it immensely. I watched up to season 3 when it first aired, so glad to pick up not having to wait for the next episode.

    I liked this episode overall especially the historical connections.

    I did feel that the time travel method was unbelievable taking into account Roms skill and a ship they flew for the first time. I found it even more unlikely they could return to the exact day they desired with absolutely no side effects. Surely if time travel could be controlled so easily, they could simply decide to time travel again to the past and give advanced tech to the Ferengi (or even check gambling numbers like he suggested in a previous episode).

    Quark could go back in time and leave himself a sports almanac lol.

    I really like these characters, Rom, Quark and Nog are 3 of my favorites,but I don't like the Farengi stories. Little Green Men was enjoyable and not real silly like the other stories.

    I am disgusted by the part where Work picks up the Ferengi Tooth Sharpener and uses it on himself. It would be like going to a garage sale, seeing an old used toothbrush, and trying it on the spot.

    @ Scotty from Detroit:

    Yeah, but these are the same guys who drink blood and eat worms we're talking about here haha.

    So I think the humans' behaviour in 1947 is really supposed to be a straight-faced parody of 40's, 50's, 60's invasion sci-fi B-movies, with clunky explosition, a completely irrelevant romantic subplot, cigar-chomping paranoid maniacs, scientist vs. military arguments sketched in with no real depth, etc. For Quark et al. to land in this cardboard environment and interact is pretty funny. This is an odd case, in that the genre parody takes place on an alternate Earth (ala "A Piece of the Action") nor on the holodeck ("Fistful of Datas," "Our Man Bashir," "Bride of Chaotica!") but actually genuinely *on Earth*, which if we take this seriously means that in 1947 people really did behave the way they are portrayed in stiffly acted flying saucer pictures. So, you know, best not to take that too seriously.

    There are maybe some elements of "serious social commentary" done in comic way, and certainly some jokes at the expense of humans really do seem to be at the expense of humans -- the cigarette crack being a prime example. However, whether or not Quark's claims that humans are violent savages have merit or not, it's a bit hard to take his description of superior Ferengi society seriously when the episode's plot comes about because Quark's cousin Gaila gave him a defective shuttle seemingly *designed* to kill him, because Gaila doesn't like him. The episode is also packed with jokes at the Ferengi's expense too, particularly against Quark himself for coming to believe his own press about his plan to take over the world and live like a king, profit-wise.

    Anyway, a lot of my favourite jokes are Quark et al. trying to figure out ways to communicate and fit in; Quark listing all the things he knows about Earth from what's taken place on screen ("baseball...root beer...darts..."). Nog as the human history enthusiast provides most of the information, much of it is wrong ("Australia"). Given how central communication is to the story, it does seem like the fundamental barrier they have to traverse over is bridging the gap of cultural understanding. And, okay, I don't want to try too hard to force a theme here, but I do think that this episode does make sense in the whole way that Quark and Nog (with Rom in between) react to Earth and to the Federation influence. Thrown onto Earth, their difficulty communicating or even understanding the core cultural assumptions of the people around them makes the humans seem weird, irrational and two-dimensional to them -- like characters in a bad movie. Nog tries to understand them, Quark tries to exploit them, and it all mostly fails until they get some help getting out, where Nog promptly goes to Earth that is a little closer to his speed. The movie-parody then is not just for laughs, though it is for that, but also *maybe* gives just the briefest taste of what it will mean for Nog to be a stranger in a strange land at Starfleet Academy, the first of his kind on the planet, and for Quark as his DS9 position drags him unwillingly into greater and greater contact with hew-mons. He does not understand them and they regard him strangely. The people at the academy in the 24th century will surely treat him better, but it's a bit of a fear that makes sense, and it's a reasonable time to explore this through a comic sidebar, which then weirdly fits into Nog and Quark's arcs (Nog accepting, Quark rejecting, the human world they come closer and closer to).

    Or not! But I laughed a fair amount. It's not a classic but I like it. The rest of what I would say would just be listing bits I liked. Well, okay, I like the plotting of having Odo show up at the last moment -- fully consistent with what we know of Odo, a genuine surprise, and a good way to break up just the three Ferengi show (which was getting a bit stale by that point in the episode). I could have done without Rom screaming "Moogie." Still, 3 stars, I think.

    Oh yeah.

    So I guess I should talk about Quark being willing to change the whole timeline for mostly selfish reasons. I think this is something best just accepted. Unlike Starfleet officers, who apparently take classes in temporal mechanics or whatever, Quark has probably not given any actual thought to what changing the timeline would mean, about how that would mean that his mother would never be born probably, or whatever. "We'll build a better future!" is an argument that sounds good at the moment and not enough time passes for any negative consequences to appear to his plan to change the future...because his plan falls apart way before then.

    I do agree with Jammer that Odo probably should have stayed on DS9 rather than follow Quark on this weird trip, so maybe I should take back my "in character" remark. I am also not sure how exactly the kemacite no longer being in the hold is sufficient for Odo to not be able to arrest Quark, if we take this plot seriously. I mean, the fact that they went back in time by igniting it surely proves it was there. Whatever, this is an ep where I think it's best to go with the comic flow.

    I guess I am willing to let a lot slide because this is a comedy -- but I think I maybe should roll it back a bit. Probably 2.5 stars is more appropriate. In addition to Quark's willingness to trash the future for short-term gains without thinking twice about it, there is Nog tricking the nurse into giving him oo-max without letting her know she's basically giving him a handjob. It's not that these are wholly inconceivable character turns (I know, I should only use that word in Zek episodes, but regardless...) (inside joke, if you don't get it move on) but they are kind of damaging to the characters' integrity, such as it is, and not in a way that gets dealt with. So it's an episode kind of like TNG's "The Game" where I enjoy it but somewhat have to recast it as an AU story to make it work (or a story with a very warped perspective -- in "The Game" I imagine Wesley and Robin as in character and all the adults not so much). I'm pretty okay with doing that now and again, but the episode is not strong enough to fully justify the warped perspective.

    Sometimes you just have to enjoy an episode for what it is without questioning too deeply, and that's what we have here. A very atmospherically done homage to sci-fi B-movies and, what's more, a very funny self-referential episode as well.

    There are so many good lines - eg Rom's "I've always been smart. I've just lacked self-confidence". The late reveal of Odo comes as a nice surprise too. The Earth based characters are all well drawn. What's not to like? 3.5 stars.

    This episode is to DS9 as Spock's Brain is to TOS. It's bad on so many levels but if you accept it for what it is then it's great.

    One thing that did really bug me was the idea that Nog needs to be given a special iPad travel guide. Wouldn't all this information be available to him anywhere?

    Also, I thought that Quark pulling Rom away from Nog's sale tool Quark too deep into a level of meanness.

    "One thing that did really bug me was the idea that Nog needs to be given a special iPad travel guide. Wouldn't all this information be available to him anywhere? "

    The same can be said of my smart phone AND the internet today... but there are still billions of guides. As to why they didn't just "beam" they one they "bought" (can we say bought since sometimes Star Trek has no money) onto his favorite Kindle or whatnot... I dunno :P

    Well, I will be. Another Ferengi comedy episode that is not only good but very enjoyable. I thought I would have to wait until "The Magnificent Ferengi" in Season Six for this to happen. I remembered "Little Green Men" as being a fairly average outing but I was really impressed with it this go-around.

    Having Quark, Rom and Nog end up being the Roswell aliens is, in all honesty, quite possibly the silliest idea Trek ever came up with (and that's saying a lot!). But, dammit, it works so well and has a delightful charm to it! It's a wonderful little nod to quite possibly the most famous UFO case in history and a nice meta-crossover for sci-fi/UFO fans.

    Probably the biggest asset the episode has is that it's a Ferengi episode which only focuses on the three main Ferengi characters, the only ones the writers allow to have any dignity - Quark, Rom and Nog. Zek doesn't appear. Ishka doesn't appear. Brunt isn't here. Gaila is only mentioned. No other Ferengi makes an appearance. As a result, we're spared the unbearable "goofiness" and downright unfunny "comedy" these episodes are well-known for. In fact, the comedy is legitimately funny - no joke! The episode is engaging, well-paced and thoroughly entertaining. And there's the fact that - and I honestly never thought I would EVER say this in my entire life, but - Rom screaming MOOGIE! is actually funny! Holy shit, how in the hell did they pull that off?!! Did I just slip into a version of the Mirror Universe without realizing it? The only humor that doesn't work is the very end of the episode when Odo takes Quark into custody. So, he has no evidence of Quark's guilt but is arresting him and sending him off to trial anyway? Huh? I imagine the trial will be very quick and end with the judge telling Odo something like "you ever waste my court's time with a case without evidence again and it will be your shape-shifting ass that ends up in a holding cell."

    If there is one thing, however, that really feels off about the episode it's the depiction of the U.S. military. Now, just to be clear, while I do consider myself a conservative, I'm not a military worshiper (like many conservatives are). So, don't take what I say hear to mean that I consider the military to be infallible or anything, but they really make them look bad. With the only exception of the nurse character (a peripheral military character to say the least) every one of them is a gung-ho, mouth-breathing Neanderthal who only wants to kick some alien ass and give into their fears. Even the general acts this way - who, given his high rank would presumably be more level headed than his subordinates. But the worst is the Captain character. Need to get some information out of the aliens? Better go straight to THE TORTURE! *groan* The only way I can justify this is to think the writers were attempting a joke at how old alien invasion movies were unbelievably corny. Otherwise it looks like the the writers think "military equals bad, now shut up and watch this show about a space military." But, hey, at least Charles Napier didn't call anybody Herbert, so that's a plus.

    One final thing - since the Roswell aliens were actually Ferengi, does that mean that First Contact with them actually happened in 1947, thereby retconing away the events of TNG: "The Last Outpost"? I'm giving "Little Green Men" a +1 bonus just for giving me that wonderfully satisfying thought. :-)



    As a conservative, didn't you find the dialogue of the humans to a bit insufferable? For example, the unprovoked "You don't have to thank us. I only hope that one day mankind will travel to the stars, and take its place in a vast alliance of planets."

    Of course this a fourth-wall breaking wink to the audience, but in context it just sounds weird. In the 1950s, did humans really think about creating alliances of planets? That sounds crazy even for 2016.

    Meh, that didn't bother me. Like you said, it's just a fourth-wall joke.

    @William B

    " It's not that these are wholly inconceivable character turns (I know, I should only use that word in Zek episodes, but regardless...) (inside joke, if you don't get it move on)"

    LOL! Nice Princess Bride reference!

    @Luke, totally in agreement. A funny episode I always liked. Being in the military, Hollywood's depiction of it can get pretty terrible. Actually what bothered me most were the soldiers in uniform who wore hats inside a building, but no hats outside a building. That drives me nuts! haha.

    " "One thing that did really bug me was the idea that Nog needs to be given a special iPad travel guide. Wouldn't all this information be available to him anywhere? "

    The same can be said of my smart phone AND the internet today... but there are still billions of guides. As to why they didn't just "beam" they one they "bought" (can we say bought since sometimes Star Trek has no money) onto his favorite Kindle or whatnot... I dunno :P "

    This is a very interesting point that is obvious to us today but wasn't in the '90s. I love the modern world, filled with iPads and smart phones and laptop computers, all of which look better than their futuristic imaginings in TNG-DS9-VOY! The concept back then lacked the intuition of a truly cloud-computing world, so PADDs are utilized in the various series like replacements for paper documents or books.

    My in-universe explanation for this is that PADDs are probably as cheap and disposable in the 24th century as a basic pen is today. They have useful value, but you don't really mind giving it up because you'll find another later on. Our iPads etc. are extremely valuable to us, both in economic and utilitarian terms; losing it means a huge blow to our wallets -- though thanks to cloud computing, not to our treasured information. So in a cloud-computing 24th century with super-cheap mobile devices, I think exchanges of both would be pretty fluid.

    Hello Everyone

    Once, a long time ago, I watched an American propaganda war movie that was shot during '42 or so. Every time a serviceman entered a room, they asked "Smoke?". Then they would hand out cigarettes to everyone there, everyone would light up, take a few puffs, then start the dialogue. EVERY... SCENE... (might have been sponsored by a tobacco company).

    Anyway, I thought of that movie while watching this. As has been commented, they seemed to be lampooning the old war movies, right down to the detail of someone seeming to light up, all the time.

    Yeah, it was shot with a comedic take on, well, everything, but I wonder if that was they only way they felt they could shoot the episode. I liked it okay, and laughed at some of the jokes, but it just felt out of place to me. Like they couldn't shoot it straight, because, you know, Ferengi. It's hard to put into words, but I think it was just a bit too fluffy...

    Your mileage may vary, and have a great day... RT

    Why did the Ferengi universal translator have trouble understanding 20th century English? Isn't the language that most, if not all, of the hew-mons are speaking in the 24th century English? I can't see it changing that much... in Past Tense, Sisko and Bashir sure seemed to be speaking the same language as the "natives". Same with Janeway and Co. in "Future's End".

    In addition to wearing their cover indoors, the man wearing captain bars on his his collar has the bars sideways for some reason. Other than those two wardrobe malfunctions, it's an okay episode

    To me the episode wasn't boring at all, but then again every one has his own different personal opinion I suppose... It's interesting to see how Odo can shapeshift into a pretty convincing dog (yeah, they probably didn't want to put make up or prosthetics on a real dog) but not a human. It's interesting to see how I watched Star Trek and read your reviews in contrast to these days while rewatching ds9 again.

    Everyone seems to love this episode. Am i the only who thinks it is outright moronic and would rather burn it than go through it one more time?

    Hello Everyone


    Well, the first time around (and another after 15 years or so) it was kind of cute. Now, ask me to pull it out of the stack and watch it again? Nope. Not for a while. :)

    Not the best, and not the worst...

    Regards... RT

    Knowing this episode was a Ferengi comedy I expected worse - turned out to be a watchable hour of Trek although nothing special.

    Every now and then DS9 needs a Ferengi episode and they usually turn out to be the season's turkey -- but this turkey isn't as bad as others, just as DS9 S4 is shaping up to be quite strong.

    Won't even comment on the technobabble to send the Ferengi back and forth through time -- just have to waive your hands and accept it and try to enjoy the episode.

    Some amount of predictability here - the scientists wind up helping the Ferengi escape from the military folks. Neat that they tied "Little Green Men" to an actual historical event, and good that history's timeline didn't get messed up.

    Couple of humorous lines I liked was when the military guys called the Ferengi martians and Quark emphasized they were Ferengi. And then Quark calls the Americans Australians who correct him, and Quark goes "whatever." Also I liked Odo turning into a German shepherd!

    "Little Green Men" deserves a rating of 2 stars. Some fluff in this episode could be cut out to make it tighter, but the personalities of the 3 Ferengi come out well. Some good guest actors who smoke a lot did give a sense of being back in 1947.

    2 stars. Uhhhh..No.
    DS9 is at it's best when doing more expansive storytelling. Leave the standalones to TNG--they were better at them

    Fun episode-some people in the comment section need to lighten up.

    Fun episode. But if I could wave a magic wand and remove the Ferengi completely from Trek, losing this episode would be an acceptable cost.

    Odo can't do a realistic human but is able to perfectly mimic a German Shepherd. Typical. I don't like these slapstick episodes and even worse with ferengi. Over the top, inconsequential and I'm starting to think this is the first Star trek series I won't finish rewatching. It's just getting worse, there is no progress and it's becoming downright annoying.

    "Odo can't do a realistic human but is able to perfectly mimic a German Shepherd"

    Only another German Sheppard would know if Odo's approximation was "realistic". From the point of view of human beings, it was apparently good enough. Your German Sheppard probably can't tell the difference between Danny Devito and Ryan Gosling - he just sees humans. Human beings aren't any better - in fact they're probably worse.

    A silly but thoroughly amusing episode. Quark's bemusement at our stupidity is brilliantly done.

    I like it when the too-often-ignored, taken-for-granted, and so-called "Universal Translator" breaks down. I like the scrambled English to represent the Ferengi's POV. It sounds like it was chopped into little split-second chunks and the chunks were flipped backwards, but the overall flow of it is forwards.

    Okay, I hate to ask this, but did Odo bring a bucket with him for the days-long journey to Earth?

    DS9 is pretty hit-or-miss when it comes to Ferengi comedies. For every hit such as "The Magnificent Ferengi", there's a colossal miss like "Ferengi Love Songs". Luckily, "Little Green Men" is a resounding hit. It's thoroughly delightful and amusing from start to finish. The best jokes in the episode imo are when Quark's laughing at the stupidity and savagery of humans ("Us three and millions of primitive savages. I like those odds"). I disagree with @QuarkisSnyder-I think this episode is a brilliant comedy, and far superior to the pile of garbage that is "Spock's Brain". 3.5 stars.

    This is quite a funny and different episode. Some of the ferenghi storylines can be grating and a bit too goofily silly. But the late 1940's earth setting and lack of ds9 placed environments is a fresh change for 45 minutes. it's better than some of the other comedy tinted episodes. Quark is often a great character and well acted by admin shimmerman.

    Actually, after thinking about it more, I'm upping "Little Green Men"'s rating to 4 stars. I truly think it's a brilliantly funny and consistently wonderful piece of television.

    @Jason R. Nice try, but no, it's not like that. In his human form Odo has obvious problems imitating realistic hair, but as a sheperd he can imitate a perfect furry coat. As a human his nose is clearly way off, but his dog nose is nice and black. Even a german sheperd could see that :-)

    This scene really cracked me up, especially Rom’s line. I know I’m in the minority here, but Rom is one of my favorite characters from DS9.

    NOG: Nurse Garland, I'm having trouble with my ear again. Could you massage it some more?
    GARLAND: Are you sure you don't want a doctor to look at that?
    NOG: No. I feel more comfortable with you.
    (So he gets some oo-mox.)
    NOG: Ah! Much better.
    ROM: You know, come to think of it, my ear's bothering me too.

    Teaser : **.5, 5%

    We begin with another silly Ferengi ceremony, the auctioning of “boyhood treasures” (I'm not in love with this turn of phrase). Nog is about to head out to the Academy (I guess we're subscribing to the affirmative-action theory of how the hell he got in), and is raising capital for his venture into manhood. would have been a nice gesture for Nog, self-consciously embracing more human values to *give* some of his possessions away (there are always starving Bajoran orphans around, right?). What is he going to do with “capital” on Earth? Worf gets in a little racist remark because, since Quark is the star of this episode, Worf is the runner-up conservative jerk. Jadzia buys Julian some Betezoid porn, Kira gets her stolen racquet back, Worf buys a tooth-sharpener with glee...

    Eventually, Quark makes an appearance, and announces to Rom that his ship has finally come in! Literally. Gaila bought him a vessel, citing a ten-year-old debt. You know, it's a wonder that any Ferengi technology works, the way they're depicted. You'd think all their shit would be breaking down all the time given the Ferengi propensity for cheating their customers.

    Quark orders Rom to inspect the ship for likely malfunctions, but Rom declares the vessel “perfect.” Quark decides to be uncharacteristically magnanimous and treat his overly progressive nephew to a trip to Earth “in style.” Ah, but Quark decides to tell the empty room that his store is actually full of contraband. Wah wah wahhhhh

    Act 1 : ***, 17%

    Quark leaves Morn in charge of the bar. Odo is immediately suspicious of Quark's generosity in giving Nog his lift to the Academy—which casts a spotlight on how unnecessary that moustache-twirling in the teaser was.

    Meanwhile, Nog and reminisce about their friendship.

    JAKE: You know, aside from playing dom-jot and watching the Bajoran transports dock, it seems like we spent most of our time doing nothing.
    NOG: Maybe so, but I can't think of anyone I'd rather do nothing with than you.

    Well, I hope that puts to rest any discussions about the alleged allegorical significance of their relationship. As far as I'm concerned, Aron Eisenberg should get his name in the credits and Lofton can be the guest star. Bashir and O'Brien gift Nog a guidebook to Earth, and Nog says his goodbye to the Promenade.

    On the SS Quark's Treasure, Nog reads from the guidebook, which explains about human evolution,economics, etc.

    NOG: But think about it, uncle. That means they went from being savages with a simple barter system to leaders of a vast interstellar Federation in only five thousand years It took us twice as long to establish the Ferengi Alliance, and we had to buy warp technology from the—
    QUARK: Five thousand, ten thousand, what's the difference? The speed of technological advancement isn't nearly as important as short-term quarterly gains.

    Quark grumpily pushes Rom to hurry them along on their journey, but Rom counters that he already knows about Quark's contraband, Kemacite, having snuck around the cargo hold while Quark was in the toilet. Despite the unspecified dangers of the cargo, father and son bribe Quark out of 30% of the profits, and he doesn't even haggle. Losing his touch, I think.

    As the Treasure approaches Earth, Nog points to a picture of Gabriel Bell, as played by Avery Brooks. Awe Nog, no foreshadowing during Quark's nap! Then, there's a crisis. Gaila sabotaged the ship, locking the warp drive and disabling the ejection systems and emergency overrides. Somehow, Rom the genius failed to note these issues in his inspection. But, I kind of like this idea. Rom is exactly the miss the forest for the trees kind of intellect. Speaking of which, he hits on the technobabbliest of asspull solutions to their problem, very much in the Scotty/Geordi/Torres vein of nonsense (Quark even comments on the gobbledygook). Rom dumps the kemocite into the warp core or something and there's a flash.

    Next thing you know, Quark is waking up in the hospital ward of a B-movie, complete with ominous cigarette dude. The dialogue, set pieces, and other hints like the calendar which reads 1947 in big red letters *very subtly* inform us that indeed, the trio have been time-travelled.

    Act 2 : ***.5, 17%

    From behind a two-way mirror, perpetual scary motherfucker and chanter of “Herbert,” Charles Napier name-drops Roswell while the smoke billows around they other movie archetypes. The Americans here think that the Ferengi are Martians (duh) and patching in the audio reveals that their words are not being translated to English. Short-term gains Quark is concerned about their predicament, but mostly about the fate of his ship and cargo. Armin Shimmerman is especially good this week—not many actors can pull off being hysterical while spouting alien gibberish and banging on a door. Napier has brought in Professor Lefty McOpenmind and his fiancée, Nurse Sympathetic Tits, to try and communicate with the Martians...after their smoke break, of course. Meanwhile, Quark and Rom debate the afterlife:

    ROM: Maybe this is the Divine Treasury.
    QUARK: Oh, don't be ridiculous. The Divine Treasury is made of pure latinum. Besides, where's the Blessed Exchequer? Where are the Celestial Auctioneers? And why aren't we bidding for our new lives?
    ROM: You don't think we're in the other place?
    NOG: The Vault of Eternal Destitution?
    QUARK: Don't be ridiculous. The bar was showing a profit.

    Although it's being played for laughs, I actually like this little commentary. People who take their religions literally often have a transactional view of god and the afterlife, and the Ferengi just happen to take this view to its logical extreme.

    The Professor, the Nurse, Cigarette Man and some guards enter the room and try to communicate. One production snafu that kind of hurts the scene is that, rather than having the humans speak in “made up” English, their words are filtered or rendered backwards or something, making it feel very artificial. There is an episode of the comedy “Coupling” where one of the characters has to render his English to sound like a foreign language, and ends up combining some Welsh, Italian and German to hysterical effect. Oh yeah, there's also “Twisted” when Janeway stood up and shouted something about eating Gandhi's dog to unintentionally hysterical effect. I wish they'd tried that here. Anyway, the Ferengi realise their UTs are malfunctioning, leading to some head banging antics. Finally, Nog realises that they've travelled back through time, and suddenly dollar signs or latinum sings or whatever appear in Quark's eyes.

    Act 3 : ***.5, 17%

    GARLAND: I've given them every medical test I can think of, but the only thing I can tell you for sure is they're not human.
    CARLSON: Well, that's a start.

    Yes. Thank you, nurse. While the humOns study the trio like zoo animals, Nog and Rom piece together that the radiation from nearby nuclear weapons is what's disrupting their UTs. Rom manages to borrow a hairpin from Sympathetic Tits and uses it to work on their translators. One thing I admire about the dialogue the humans have is that it manages to be playfully corny and sincere at the same time. Unlike similar sentiments expressed by strawman Federation characters sometimes, the 1947 humans are simultaneously prodded for their dated, silly behaviour and uplifted for their potential. In this way, despite the very different tone, LGM hearkens back to “City on the Edge of Forever” in a way no Trek time travel story has at this point.

    Slightly less successful is the anti-tobacco PSA snuck in. I mean, Quark's “if they'll buy poison, they'll buy anything” is apt, but the Ferengi use beetle snuff and Quark sells alcohol for a living. This seems too dense and forced a comment. Finally, with the translators repaired, Quark offers General Napier “a business proposition.”

    Act 4 : **.5, 17%

    Quark has decided to sell 24th-century Trek tech to the Americans, in exchange for gold. Napier takes about 3 minutes to determine that he's being taken for a ride. Ah, but Quark it's not every car-salesman that threatens to sell quantum torpedoes to the Soviets. So Napier's allegiance to free-market capitalism takes a bit of a hit and he says he'll take Quark's offer to Truman.

    We cut to probably the worst bit in the episode, when Nog tricks Sympathetic Tits to give him an earjob in front of her fiancé, his own father and a damned dog. I wonder how long it will take for Nog to end up in a sexual harassment seminar at the Academy. The humans leave and Odo makes himself known, having disguised himself as the dog in question. I admit, I did not see that coming the first time I saw this episode. We will just have to hand-wave away the idea that Odo just kind of waited around on Quark's ship for an entire day at least when he already knew Quark was guilty of smuggling. Adding Auberjonois to the story is worth greasing the plot wheels a bit. Rom reasons that if they can blah blah blah the tech tech tech, they can recreate the accident and return to the 24th century, but that will require finding a very large energy source. Hmmm....what could that mean?

    But Quark has other plans. He's going to pull a Mirror Hoshi and become Emperor of the Earth. Neat.

    QUARK: I mean the whole planet. Harumph all you want. But these humans, they're nothing like the ones from the Federation. They're crude, gullible and greedy.
    ODO: You mean like you.
    QUARK: Yeah. These are humans I can understand and manipulate.

    The commentary is good, but Quark's characterisation is a bit off the rails. He may be ambitious, but he's not insane. This plan to introduce warp to the 20th century Ferengi is totally bonkers.

    DENNING: That little piano-playing Democrat's not as dumb as he looks. He's not about to make a deal with these aliens until we learn more about them.

    That line is so apropos, I can't help but admire it. Napier assigns Cigarette Man to get serious with the Martians, so the trio are brought into an interrogation chamber and threatened with a ominous needle.

    Act 5 : **.5, 17%

    After six hysterical (thanks Armin) injections of sodium pentathol, Quark starts to have second thoughts about his business scheme. Rom, for his part, spills the beans and tells Cigarette Man everything...but Nog tells him what he actually wants to hear:

    NOG: You want the truth, I'll tell you the truth. We're advance scouts for the Ferengi invasion fleet....We've been studying you puny Earthlings for centuries and you're ripe for conquest.

    Nog must really be a quick study. That or that guide book is more NYPost than NYTimes. He successfully convinces Cigarette Dude that the Ferengi are about to Mars Attacks America...well, Cleveland anyway. The professor and the nurse decide to help their alien friends and knock out the guards, freeing the trio for their escape.

    After Odo helps take out Napier, the sextet make their way to Quark's shitty ship. There will be an A-bomb test in the dessert soon, and that will provide the Deus to their Machina escape to the future. So they fly into some stock footage, Sympathetic Tits and McOpenmind steal a kiss, and Napier files the whole event under “conspiracy theories.”

    QUARK: Just remember. Under that placid Federation veneer, humans are still a bunch of violent savages.
    NOG: Maybe. But I like 'em.

    God damn it, Ira. Why did you have to ruin it? The correct answer was: “You wish, unlce. But not anymore.”

    In the epilogue, Odo completes his arrest, having waited until Quark sold his ship for passage home. Spiteful, thy name is Odo. Nog goes to the Academy and Rom looks forward to a few weeks of running the bar on his own.

    Episode as Functionary : ***, 10%

    Question: when did the Ferengi go from hostile (if pathetic) foreign power (c.f. “Rascals”) to friendly neighbour that can appear over Earth without incident?

    As comedy outings go, this one is up there. It has some inspired ideas, and I really like the opening act of their time on Earth, but the story loses some gas after a while. Basically, while the high-concept conceit works surprisingly well, allowing for a deft blend of humour and Trek commentary, there's a bit missing from the characterisation of our mains. Quark, Odo, Rom and Nog are all kind of one-note for characters with so much history to them. The human archetypes work quite well for me, as they're supposed to be one-note, and many of the gags are hysterical. The story could have certainly fallen flat on its face and didn't, but it also could have been a bit better.

    Final Score : ***


    It really is a funny episode, and despite the one-note characterization of the mains, their respective actors all give great performances to sell the story.

    I’m struggling to come up with some sort of allegory for this episode, like the suspicious and violent military characters represent the bad humanity that Quark sees, and the super-friendly and accepting scientists are the loving and open-minded humans that Nog sees. I’m not quite sure the episode ever gets there on a critical thinking level. Maybe it’s all just a fun ride through the human history of “alien contact”.

    I think some of the meat of this episode (which is mostly meant to be -- and is -- funny) is to have a fun look at what c. late 1940's/mostly 1950's SF was doing -- the '47 date is specifically because of Roswell, but the influences are mostly from the SF a little ways after Roswell -- and to identify two strands, how SF of the time was sometimes flying saucer invasion paranoia works and sometimes hopeful optimistic starry-eyed. Both strands often look one-note and silly today, just as both the sets of '47 characters get in for some ribbing, but ultimately the optimistic SF sort of "wins out" in the episode, which I think is also a way of saying that the optimistic SF is more directly the precursor to Star Trek, which maybe also says something positive about the human race.

    Quark himself is more morally grey than either the paranoid general or the starry-eyed dreamers make him out to be -- he's neither a malicious conqueror nor an injured saint -- and the existence of Quark as an alien in 1990's SF sort of shows how our ability to think about "the Other" -- as neither demon nor angel, but someone like us -- has evolved. Since there's all the paranoia about the Soviets here, it's worth remembering that the paranoia/optimism were also elements of how people viewed the human enemy, when they were thinking about aliens, and so Quark's being a kind of ethically neutral, flawed but sort of okay guy is a sort of 1990's view of "our enemies," or at least of what the average person of some faraway land is probably like.

    Or maybe, Odo, Quark, Rom and Nog are all people who are maybe equally "intrinsically" good-but-flawed, but Quark/Odo and Rom/Nog ideologically align more closely with the paranoid general and starry-eyed humans (to a degree), which leads to their behaviour being more or less helpful or spiteful, foolish or wary, depending. Odo and Quark basically have cynical view of human(oid) nature (Odo is judgmental of it and Quark basically thinks it's a good thing) and Rom and Nog have a bit of a sunnier view of it, and this view of theirs, more so than any "intrinsic" differences, accounts for how they behave differently. It's mostly the dreamers and optimists who save the day in this episode, but it's also sort remembering that Odo's suspicion of Quark was also helpful (and Quark letting his guard down enough to trust his cousin is part of what got them into this mess).


    Despite the fact that I praised this episode to the high heavens a few months ago, I have to admit your take on it is more than fair. It does slightly run out of steam, and the episode doesn't entirely hold up to scrutiny. You know what does though? That Cleveland line. Gets me every time. Still, "The House of Quark" was tighter and more re-watchable.

    @William B-I agree w/r/t this episode exploring 40s/50s sci-fi. I think "Far Beyond the Stars" continues to explore the environment in which the original Star Trek was created.

    "Odo and Quark basically have cynical view of human(oid) nature (Odo is judgmental of it and Quark basically thinks it's a good thing) and Rom and Nog have a bit of a sunnier view of it"

    True, but it's also worth noting that both Odo and Quark may not be the best judges. Their outsider status may seem to make them more able to critique the Federation, but each has serious character flaws of their own. Odo cares more about order than justice (as is keeping with his Founder nature) and Quark, despite being considerably more moral than the average Ferengi, still defends Ferengi society vigorously, sometimes hypocritically. That makes me think (in this episode at least) that we're not meant to take Quark's criticisms entirely seriously-they're more played for laughs.

    @Iceman, I agree on your last point. I think though that in the series in general, Odo and Quark are both meant to have good points on their cynical view of human(oid) nature -- just that they both have very blinkered views. Odo seems to sort of grow out of his angry biases, and Quark...maybe is on his way to it, but resists it every step of the way.

    Also, between this episode and Buffy, there are lots of funny genre TV lines about Cleveland.

    @William B-

    Yep. According to Giles, there was another Hellmouth in Cleveland.

    "Odo seems to sort of grow out of his angry biases"

    Also yep. That's another great part of "Chimera"-Odo seems to have come around to a reasonable view of 'solids' at that point, and I think it made sense for his character.

    As usual, there is so much jarring canon fail here, one has to wonder what the script editors were doing. As mentioned above the hundreds of years line makes no sense after watching First Contact.

    Also don't understand why they would keep accelerating and be torn to pieces.


    It's technobabble. They needed to contrive a reason to send the trio back to 1947. I'm not sure what you mean by "as usual". DS9 indulged in less technobabble than the other Treks, generally speaking.

    I don’t really understand the complaint. Quark said giving the humans technology would advance them 400 years (when DS9 takes place). How is that not canonical? It’s not like Zephram Cochrane discovered warp 1 and suddenly humans had replicators and quantum torpedoes.

    And if we want to get really nerdy with canon, the warp system changed since Kirk’s era, so Quark’s ship can run circles even around the first NCC-1701.

    This is a fan favorite. Jammer's dislike for ferrengi episodes is known throughout the quadrant. Ignore his Ferrengi reviews or always add at least 1/2 star or more. Little Green Men is a definite 3 1/2 star. Solid funny charming and shows how comfortable the actors and writers are with these characters and this world. Love it!

    ... And Quark met C.G.B. Spender (of course, Ketracel is 24th century Morley) :-DDD

    I enjoyed a lot this episode, anyway.

    Watching and commenting:

    --Happy New Year, all. 2019. So futuristic sounding. Feels like the Vulcans will be here any minute.

    --Nog is going to the Academy. Quark has a ship! He's going to give Nog a ride too Earth. Ok. My thumb's out. I'll take a ride.

    --Oh, no. C'mon. They went back to 1947 Earth. Roswell. Really?

    --The Divine Treasury. The Vault of Eternal Destitution. Sounds like quite the afterlife.

    --Wow. Nog is an awfully quick study. Must have spent all his time reading that Earth book.

    --Too much talk, and not enough action 
    Do you know anybody gettin' satisfaction . . .

    --Ah, Los Alamos, Trinity? Nice use of history.

    --Passable example of this type Twilight Zone type story. Some fun details.

    Ok this episode was awesome. 2.5??? No I can’t agree. This was so much better than those political bajoran snoozefest episodes that get higher scores. I guess this episode wasn’t “serious” enough. Who cares, it’s all about entertainment. That’s what television shows are for. Hearing about Ferengi heaven and hell was great. Celestial auctioneers and the hall of destitution. And Quark trying to act like a expert on humans by naming things he’s heard about at the bar on prior episodes. “Darts. Baseball. Root Beer. Atomic bombs.” I’ll take this any day over boring bajor babble

    “They irradiated their own planet?” One of the greatest Quark lines, an awesome episode, absolutely love it!!

    Been watching this with jet lag and I keep falling asleep, and have now seen the first two acts like 30 times. And I still love it!

    I loved the episode. Clever on bunch of levels.
    The MPs really took it on the chin in this one! They are outsmarted, tricked, punched and knocked out without a smidge of resistance!
    Next, the General and his 2 MP escort are all polished off by one guy in 10 seconds while all 3 are armed and 2 had batons! No one even gets off a shot and all of them are out cold within 10 seconds and their mission a failure. Does anyone ever get in trouble...?
    When I was in ROTC I worked with the MPs. Whenever I see them in shows like this, one always asks....would that have happened to us? How would we feel if it did?


    @Dave I don't know if you'll see this but it's explained that the Universal Translators malfunction due to beta radiation, from the nuclear fission in atom bombs.

    Thank goodness for the reset button and hairpins ;) interesting that such a basic, relatively low-tech solution is still incorporated in 24th Century commodities.

    Oh look. A Star Trek episode where someone time travels back to a point in American history. That's never happened before!

    Snarking aside, and to be fair, this is a lightweight (and presumably low-budget) comedy episode, and it works well enough on that front, even if the story is definitely on the thin side.

    On the other hand, you do have to wonder about how the Star Trek timeline remains intact, given how trivially easy it is to accidentally slip into the past...

    Did have fun watching this one, though I think I'd agree with assessments that it kinda ran out of steam. Chemistry between our three Ferengi is top-notch, as it always does seem to be (I've heard tales of Armin Shimmerman's pre-filming dinners -- must've been a great guy to work with!)

    Nog's role as "kid who has read one handbook and now acts as if he's an expert on hu-man culture of the 20th Century" is hilarious. As is his proclamation that the Ferengi have an attack fleet poised to strike. Sneakily getting the woman to give him an earjob, though? Yeah, too far.

    I'll happily forgive any amount of technonsense for an interesting and/or fun concept, and this ticks my box on "fun" for sure. Interesting? I s'pose it has its moments, and I like watching Quark trying to make a deal with a less-"enlightened" hu-man race. Other Trek time travel episodes have their characters desperately trying to keep the timeline intact, so it's refreshing in an amusing way to see exactly how few fucks Quark gives about that. Time travel for fun and profit. Emphasis on the "profit".

    Also, while I acknowledge its usefulness in not having us spend excessive story time on linguistic issues, I'm always interested to see Trek without the universal translator. It's a great moment when we switch to the human perspective of the Ferengi for the first time, and Quark's speaking alien gibberish -- it's a break from a convention we've grown so used to. I was wondering how they'd do likewise for the Ferengi perspective, and the distorted English was a pretty effective way of going about that. Ultimately, though, the language barrier doesn't take up much time in the episode. I kinda wish we could've seen the whole thing untranslated, see how they muddled through that. (Bonus twist: Odo makes his appearance... and is just as incomprehensible, speaking Bajoran and/or Cardassian.)

    (Additional note re: universal translator that I forgot to add: honestly, the translation issues take up too *much* time in the episode for the payoff they get here, which -- apart from the initial surprise -- is pretty much just the lowbrow humour of everyone making wild gestures at each other. IMO, if you're gonna do language issues, either make it the whole point of the episode -- Darmok-style -- or do a gag and then move on. As it stands here, the problem with the universal translator is in a not-quite-right middle stage between these, trying to sustain itself longer than is funny but also not long enough to be interesting.)

    Chris said:

    "The way I always try to rationalise this sort of thing in Star Trek, is to invoke the ancient humanoids from TNG's 'The Chase'. But even if all humanoid life was seeded, the idea that the lifeforms and cultures on each planet developed at the same rate, to within a few hundred years, still doesn't add up. "

    It's not impossible that, if not for the Dark Ages, humans might have been at the current technology level of 2020 by, say, 1500.

    Elliot said:

    "Question: when did the Ferengi go from hostile (if pathetic) foreign power (c.f. “Rascals”) to friendly neighbour that can appear over Earth without incident?"

    By this point we've had "The Nagus" and "Prophet Motive".

    Sisko's cordial dealings with the Nagus in that interim have likely thawed things at least to a point where questions are asked first.

    Also, Starfleet *is* expecting the arrival of their first Ferengi cadet ever.

    And this is a small private craft rather than a heavily armed warship such as TNG initially feautred.

    Great pulp SF, nothing more, nor does it try to be. I love how DS9 never forgets their roots.

    “They irradiated their own planet?”

    Always reminds me of an old Asimov story where first contact with Earth is about to happen, and then the aliens realize humans have tested nukes on Earth. They decide we are fools, and pass us by.

    I've always felt this episode wastes a great comedic premise.

    It takes exactly 15 minutes to get Quark, Nog and Rom to Earth, a third of the episode's running time wasted on dull set-up. Better to cut all of this and have Quark and the gang waking up already on Earth, with a few brief lines of dialogue filling us in on their journey and backstory.

    The episode's second act, however, is pure gold. Quark finds himself trapped in the past, and so a parody of 1950s Science Fiction B movies. In one of Trek's funniest scenes, he gets the humans who have captured him to mimic him as he bashes the Universal Translator in his head.

    The episode then introduces an interesting idea. Quark contemplates kindling the Ferengi Empire centuries before it achieved warp flight. He will trade technology with the humans, and get rich doing so.

    But these themes and subplots go nowhere. Instead Odo is needlessly introduced (a bad idea), Quark is tortured, and the episode stalls badly, spinning its wheels and going nowhere until a silly "action climax".

    A little technobabble would have fixed all of this. Open with the Ferrengi already on Earth, they hustle the humans and try to reinvent themselves as merchants, but then start to realize, at the 30 minute mark or so, that they're "fading back" into their original time line due to technobabble magic. No need to waste time on escapes and action, just devote your running time to jokes and Quark hastily attempting to set up an Empire (so he can collect the interest on his assets) before he "snaps back" to the future.

    Because this episode has a premise ripe with comedic possibility. But it squanders a third of its running time on setting up the premise, and then another third on running away from it.

    Nitpicks aside, I found this hilarious. I LOL at the "moogie" scene. Nice homage to 50s SF movies!

    This was my favorite DS9 episode. I loved the premise and the fact that it gave an explanation for the Roswell incident. One reason I probably liked it so much was I was living near Roswell New Mexico when the episode aired.

    It used not to bother me, but over time I've gradually become squicked by scenes where a Ferengi gets a woman to mastur.. I mean manipulate his ears - especially in front of other family members.

    I found myself chuckling quite a lot during this one. Ferengi episodes are usually atrocious, and Trek humor seldom works. Here, it does. Quark's shock that humans were nuking their own planet is golden, and in no small part because he's absolutely right.

    Good characterizations here. Nog's complete infatuation with humans and human history rings very true.

    It's fine. There's enough good humor in this episode to redeem it. Not the worst, nor the best, but decent entertainment. And Shimerman, as is so often the case, is the star of the episode.

    I agree with the rating, though probably for different reasons.

    The ep. is enjoyable enough although the preachy proto-wokism really grated on me. The cartoonishly villainous depiction of the U.S. military personnel was particularly idiotic.

    Quark's behavior was appalling and out of character; he had shown himself many times to have a conscience and far more moral scruple than he's portrayed here. Nog and his dad were quite good.

    Otherwise, a decent premiss and not a bad way to spend a 45-minute watch.

    I think I know why they reversed the air order. This episode *really* falls flat watching it straight after the tension and high stakes of Starship Down. I was astonished when I saw you'd given this one half a star less than Starship Down - I'd have given Starship Down 3.5 and this one 1.5 or 2. I'd imagine it comes off more successfully following a love story.

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