Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"One Little Ship"

3 stars

Air date: 2/16/1998
Written by David Weddle & Bradley Thompson
Directed by Allan Kroeker

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"I don't feel any smaller." — O'Brien

Nutshell: Totally absurd, but very amusing ... and surprisingly engaging.

"One Little Ship"—also known as "Honey, I Shrunk the Runabout"—is probably the most absurd episode of DS9 you'll see this season, maybe ever. This lightweight, zippy outing feels like a show that belongs in Voyager's fourth season. It's fairly inconsequential but well made. Just when you think it seems likely to spin out of control into an utterly laughable disaster (that is, from the point of seeing the trailers the week before), this show becomes strangely infectious and entertaining.

This is what they call "high concept." Or a better term might be "low concept." How an episode sold on the unfathomably ridiculous idea of "a Runabout is shrunk to about five inches long" can survive a writers staff meeting at DS9 is beyond me, but somehow it did. And how it is this idea actually works also eludes me—but somehow it does.

The question wasn't whether this plot would prove ludicrous, the question was whether it would be workable in a 1990s sci-fi realm. It strikes me as one of the goofiest things in recent memory. The premise seems more like it belongs in the 1950s, and the presentation seems more akin to the cinematic attitudes of Xena: Warrior Princess. But the funny thing is it works for most of the same reasons Xena does: it takes itself just seriously enough to be engaging, yet constantly keeps its tongue lodged firmly in cheek where it belongs.

Do you even want to know more about the plot? What more needs to be said? Well, I'll try anyway. You see, the Defiant and the Runabout Rubicon—with Dax, O'Brien, and Bashir on board—are trying this new scientific experiment involving some bizarre gravitational whatcha-ma-whozit. As the Runabout goes near the anomaly, it shrinks smaller and smaller. The plan is that the Defiant will tractor it back away from the anomaly after the experiment is over, returning the Runabout to its normal size. Well, things of course don't go as planned. The Defiant is attacked by the Jem'Hadar, who board the Defiant and take the crew prisoner before the episode's teaser is even over. The tractor beam connection is lost and the Runabout flies out of control through the anomaly. Since it doesn't exit the anomaly the same way it entered, it doesn't return to its normal size.

The rest of the episode is about how the Rubicon gets inside the Defiant and becomes instrumental in retaking the ship, unbeknownst to everybody on the Defiant for a very long stretch of the plot. With the Defiant's warp drive damaged, Sisko has time to devise a plan to retake the ship or, if all else fails, rig an auto-destruct so that it doesn't fall into Dominion hands. But since the Jem'Hadar have barred all the key officers from the bridge—forcing them instead to repair the engines—the problem is that Sisko has no command access. So he, Worf, Kira, and Nog must try to gain access to the computer while pretending to repair the battle damage, all unbeknownst to the Jem'Hadar soldiers watching over them.

This is where the mini-Runabout comes into play. Since Sisko & Co. are locked down, this leaves it to Dax & Co. in the Runabout to get to the bridge and disable the security lockout to the computer system.

A lot of "One Little Ship" is sold on its special effects. This episode is a visual delight. Watching the Rubicon fly around like a toy ship is great fun. I don't know exactly why, but it is. It's neat. And funny. And strangely infectious. The dash through the plasma conduit was an engaging mix of convincing visuals and understated suspense. The Runabout spying on the engine room was amusing as it peeked mischievously from behind objects. And the Runabout's dash to the bridge was droll, especially when the ship pushes a button on a control panel to open a door to the bridge.

One set piece involves Bashir and O'Brien beaming onto a circuit relay to manually override the commands Sisko needs disabled. Seeing the two officers standing in the middle of a huge mass of cables and computer chips was a fresh spin on the established idea of O'Brien Fixing Something™. Meanwhile, Bashir and O'Brien's subtle banter was amiable as always.

Despite the fluffy aspects of the episode, not everything in "One Little Ship" is inconsequential. For example, I did find the uneasy cracks in loyalty between the "Alpha" and "Gamma" Jem'Hadar soldiers quite interesting, if maybe a little forced and overstated. The new "Alpha" Jem'Hadar (referred to as such because they were engineered and born in the Alpha Quadrant to replace the mass numbers wiped out in "Sacrifice of Angels") seem a little less hard-core in their loyalties to the Dominion, and seemingly less controllable. Their loyalty seems to be to other "Alphas" first and to the Dominion second. And they don't really have much respect for the "Gammas."

This is an idea that could have some possibilities down the road. As evidenced here, the friction between Second Ixtana'Rax (Fritz Sperberg), a Gamma, and First Kudak'Etan (Scott Thompson Baker), an Alpha who was recently promoted over Ixtana'Rax as the squadron commander, ultimately serves to undermine the Jem'Hadar effort to seize the Defiant. This seems indicative of a larger problem that the Dominion may have on their hands, and I get a strong feeling that we'll be seeing this again. (But then again, I also had a strong feeling that the cracks in Dukat and Weyoun's alliance would play out in some manner, which it ultimately didn't.)

The pivotal action turning point rides on the fact that the Jem'Hadar soldiers are worse shots than the average storm trooper—and hopelessly unobservant as well. I must admit that these Jem'Hadar are a major step down after the riveting performances in "Rocks and Shoals," but that's okay, because they serve their purpose. This episode is a comic book outing, after all, and even though the villains came off as rather bungling in the action finale, I did think that Our Heroes still came off looking surprisingly good. I'd also say the stunt coordination in the final fight was above average for Trek, and introducing a five-inch Runabout with tiny photon torpedoes into the fight was a good move, though hammy as hell. Allan Kroeker's direction made some good camera choices in this final showdown, as well as throughout the episode.

But ultimately, this show lives on its own carefully chosen tone. Through all the convincing special effects, bright ideas, and goal-oriented action, the truth of the matter is inescapable: This is absurd, even for Trek. Weddle & Thompson's screenplay knows that, and knows just when to insert a joke and when to avert seriousness. Such moments as the Bashir/O'Brien discussion on being "this tall" and Sisko announcing to Worf "Your wife is here" make all the difference, and the performances shine through the silliness to make it work better than one might have dreamed possible. Add this to a closing that features Worf reciting part of a poem (?) and then smiling (!) and Odo playing a cruel joke, and you've got a show that inspires to be an amiable and slight action comedy—and succeeds.

I was laughing quite a bit through this show. But I wasn't laughing because the show was laughable (although I admit that the premise certainly was). I was laughing because I was having fun. That's what this episode is: good fun. With "Far Beyond the Stars" last week, DS9 showed the serious, important side of Trek that makes us question ourselves. "One Little Ship" is the type of goofy entertainment that exemplifies Trek's other side.

Next week: O'Brien becomes a thief.

Previous episode: Far Beyond the Stars
Next episode: Honor Among Thieves

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82 comments on this post

Jim S
Sun, Oct 21, 2007, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
Cant agree more with Jammer. This episode was pure fun. In fact all the last episodes are really enjoyable, each for a different reason. Quality after six seasons is not something everybody can manage. DS 9 stands up to its fame as the best Trek series
Tue, Nov 4, 2008, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Sorry, but this episode didnt`t work for me at all - seeing the tiny Runabout flying through all these rooms made me cringe.
Jakob M. Mokoru
Sun, Feb 8, 2009, 1:50am (UTC -5)
I really enjoyed this episode! It was pure fun and showed also very, very good visual effects!
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
Trek is not serious sci-fi and never has been. It should recognize that and stop shoving technobabble down our throats to compensate for its complete lack of plausibility. This episode does just that, focusing on entertainment through an absurd premise, and just like the Magnificent Ferengi, it succeeds. You need real emotional drama and depth of characters to sustain a series, but episodes like this are a really good way to break up the tension.
Fri, Aug 28, 2009, 9:31am (UTC -5)
Man, this one rubbed me wrong. I just couldn't get behind this particular level of absurdity - it's like the DS9 version of Threshold.
Sun, Sep 6, 2009, 3:38pm (UTC -5)
So the surviving Jem'Hadar were taken prisoner at a Federation POW camp. Do they stock ketracel white there?
Aldo Johnson
Tue, Nov 24, 2009, 8:40am (UTC -5)
What would've made it better is if none of the Jem'Hadar dies. Also, when they are shot, or phasered, or proton torpedoed, they would fall while clutching their shoulders.
Mon, Jun 21, 2010, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
This is one of the few episodes I saw when it originally aired (in fact at that point it may have been the only episode I had seen from beginning to end), and to be honest I was not at all impressed. It's certainly not a bad episode, but it's not a good episode to be 'introduced' to Trek because it was really goofy and a little behind its time. There's nothing wrong with that, once or twice a season, but I'm glad my first impressions of the series turned out to be wrong.
Wed, Mar 2, 2011, 11:54pm (UTC -5)
Let me get this straight. You give this episode(a very entertaining one) 3 stars, but you wouldn't give the Magnificent Ferengi ep the same.(???)

"I was laughing quite a bit through this show. But I wasn't laughing because the show was laughable (although I admit that the premise certainly was). I was laughing because I was having fun. That's what this episode is: good fun."

"One Little Ship" is the type of goofy entertainment that exemplifies Trek's other side."

These statements can be used to describe both this episode and the past 2 Quark focused episodes yet you rate them differently. I always thought you showed bias against the Ferengi focused eps. And now I see I was right.
Thu, Apr 19, 2012, 1:57am (UTC -5)
By this point in the series I think DS9 had already done one too many goofball episodes. I mean we've already had "Who Mourns For Morn," and "The Magnificent Ferengi," representing the Silly Party; "You Are Cordially Invited," "Statistical Probabilities," and "Resurrection" weighing in from the Slightly Silly Party; and now we get "One Little Ship," which in my mind represents the Very Silly Party. Need I remind my fellow rewatchers that "Profit And Lace" isn't far behind this one?

OK, so "One Little Ship" was mildly entertaining, I'll admit, but I just think that DS9 fell too much in love with its silly side in season six especially. And this episode was shamelessly contrived. "Honey, I Shrunk The Runabout" indeed. Why? So we could see tiny torpedoes and actual model sized model ships flying about?

"Yes," you say?

OK, fine, but to quote the mustachioed Federation President from ST:VI - "Just because we can do a thing does not mean that we must do that thing."
Sat, May 19, 2012, 9:07am (UTC -5)
A fun and light-hearted episode I can watch over and over again. It's not as brilliant as Trials and Tribble-ations or as funny as Looking for Par'Mach ... but it's worth of 3.5 stars in my opinion.
Thu, Jun 21, 2012, 10:22am (UTC -5)
People who are angry at reviewers for being biased against Ferengi are hilarious. I can live with that kind of bias; it's like being biased against bad jokes and slapstick comedy. It's the kind of discrimination otherwise known as 'having good taste'.
Thu, Jul 12, 2012, 11:21pm (UTC -5)
Absurd, and silly...but...
...they should have explored the "Alpha vs Gamma," Jem'Hadar conflict again...but...
...Alpha vs Gamma? Why do ALL the aliens in the show use Hewmon terms?
Specifically Greek Hewmon terms?
Jeffrey Jakucyk
Sat, Jul 21, 2012, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Am I the only one who noticed some striking similarities in the music score to TNG's episode "Booby Trap"? There's something about it that actually seems quite appropriate too.
Mon, Aug 6, 2012, 11:35am (UTC -5)
I found this episode really unappealing. The tiny ship storyline was essentially stolen from Innerspace, a late-80s movie. (Which, incidentally, features music from Jerry Goldsmith and shows Robert Picardo in a supporting role.) That was a cute and silly little movie, where one could suspend their disbelief. This is Star Trek. There are just WAY too many physics and biology issues here for a hardcore sci-fi audience to ignore. It's insulting.

And the Alpha vs. Gamma conflict just pops up suddenly, seems to be based on absolutely nothing (unless the Alphas were bred to specifically be superior assholes) and is just unnecessary. I mean, are the Vortas and Founders really just trying to sabotage their own fighting force? Are they that stupid?

This episode just pisses me off. Jammer's suggestion that it belongs in Voyager's 4th season is right on the money. And that's no compliment.
Sat, Sep 8, 2012, 9:38am (UTC -5)
I watched this with my 10 year old daughter and we laughed and joked the entire time. It was all in fun and should not have been taken so seriously by some. I suggest watching it again with a lighter heart and laugh away!

Things my daughter and I said:
"Where is the remote control?"
"Tiny ship!"
"I want one!"
"Look at it go!"
"Swat it!"

Even the end was hilarious where Odo showed his sense of humor with Bashir and O'Brien.
Sun, Nov 18, 2012, 7:05pm (UTC -5)
Well, another episode where one of the potential dilemmas, this time the crew having to stay shrunken, can just as easily be solved by using their most recent pattern from the transporter to restore them, had the technobabble solution not worked.
Wed, Nov 28, 2012, 4:10am (UTC -5)
I agree with Phil, at least the Magnificent Ferengi tapped into comedy without looking back and, the "clins d'oeil" to old westerns were really good. Now this one is halfway between serious issues that should have had bigger depth and some goofy moments.

Some say DS9 pay attention to details. When the Defiant is attacked, Sisko sits cross-legged. There's an explosion, 2 crewmen go down and the captain is still sitting casually cross-legged on his chair. Second explosion, Kira goes down and hop, it gets Sisko's attention, he runs to Kira without a glance to the others... What does that say about Sisko ? ;-)
Mon, Dec 31, 2012, 1:47pm (UTC -5)
This was just good ol' sci-fi fun. The tag team of Odo and Quark on the joke at the end was worth the whole thing.

And it was perfect fun coming on the heels of "Far Beyond the Stars."

And I also liked the Gamma vs. Alpha soldiers.
Thu, Jan 17, 2013, 3:08am (UTC -5)
This episode sounds terrible on paper, but I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. I never noticed until now that Bashir, O'Brien and Dax have a nice comedic synergy between them, I wish they'd made them a trio more often. And technically, the effects are impressive. You do have to let yourself go along with the ride a little, but the way it's all put together makes that not so difficult.

I'm surprised the whole Alphas v Gammas things never came back (despite Jammer's prediction!), would have been good to see that play out.
Fri, Mar 8, 2013, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
Enjoyed the episode, and I like the idea of a Gamma vs. Alpha conflict, but there was absolutely no subtlety to the execution. They really bashed us over the head with it.
Sun, Aug 4, 2013, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
I'm glad Jammer lightened up on these fluff episodes. I guess once DS9 proved it had some teeth, the occasional silly episode didn't seem so threatening. I always have to remind myself that Jammer wrote these reviews as the series aired in first run whereas many of the people reading and commenting on them now a decade and a half later have seen the series in its entirety before, some of us multiple times.
Wed, Aug 28, 2013, 1:40pm (UTC -5)

Action-adventure comedy - I love it!

I don't think the premise of a shrunken ship and crew is any more far-fetched than much of the other stuff we usually just igbnore to enjoy our 45 minutes of Trek - it certainly didn't bother me!

This episode gave me the same "vibe" that I got from watching old adventure movies from the 60'ies or 70'ies. A thrill and a half, just a good romp.

I do feel, however, that we didn't see the "bigguns" through the windows of the runabout enough. We got a shot of Giant Worf at the very end, and that was more or less it - kind of disappointing.

The only thing that annoyed me as I watched the episode was that the ship was clearly large enough for a normal person to definately notice - yet, it flew around a room full of Jem'Hadar and no one saw it. What where they, drunk?

But nevermind - a fun adventure starring our beloved heroes! This is what sci-fi can ALSO do very well if only we let it.
Sun, Oct 20, 2013, 9:54pm (UTC -5)
In that massive firefight in the last act, it's hard to believe that no one hit the warp core...
Wed, Oct 30, 2013, 10:22pm (UTC -5)
A silly ep with a premise that doesn't quite work.

Thu, Dec 12, 2013, 11:45pm (UTC -5)
I don't know why some people find this episode's premise either absurd or silly, while they love time-trevel or parallel-universe plots.

And I don't mean it only because those other plots are just precisely as fictional for nowadays science as "One little ship"'s plot. I mean it because if time-space distortion, time-space stretch, time-space manipulation, are the basis of many of the fictional stuff we see (and frequently love) in Trek universe, messing with the "space"dimension seems to me as an only natural extension of playing around so often with the "time" dimension.

And the funnier is that this was never on my mind before this episode started. Once I realized what it was going to be about, I was just blown up.
Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 12:22am (UTC -5)
Oh yes, not that the episode didn't have, in fact, its share of awkwardness, its dose of silliness and absurdity. The tiny ship crew realizing so fast the meaning of each movement of the "big" crew, the tiny ship hitting the panel to open a door, the small oxygen bubble, and some other, were in fact embarrassing.

But as Jammer and other people have said, most were just the comedy part (it has to be, it is not possible that anyone in the DS9 production team though of those ideas as serious ones)
Sun, Mar 30, 2014, 7:41am (UTC -5)
Pretty poor effort that misses the mark for its intended fun and novelty factor entirely, predictable and risable script and a very derivative concept.
Wed, May 7, 2014, 11:25pm (UTC -5)
Intriguing premise that made for an entertainingly unique spin on what otherwise would have been a fairly derivative plot. Nothing about it seemed any more far-fetched to me than, say, transporters. Also, the idea of Alpha quadrant bred Jem'Hadar versus Gamma quadrant ones made a lot of sense with what we know of the Dominion. It is unfortunate nothing more was done with it but that is not the fault of this episode.

All in all, good job. Very entertaining episode that is only held back by the 'been-there done-that' nature of the ship takeover scenario itself.

3 stars.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 1:08am (UTC -5)
I can't "meh" enough. There's nothing interesting about this. The premise is both cartoonish and overdone, the Jem'Hadar were about as convincing as high schoolers on stage, and nothing about this episode means anything.

Sure, this is a fluff episode, but nothing remotely funny happens. It's sort of like a leftover TNG script that someone tried and failed to make into comedy.
Tue, Aug 19, 2014, 7:13am (UTC -5)
All good fun. Although I'm starting to get concerned about the sheer amount of episodes that aren't forwarding the "story". It seems to me that maybe there isn't enough "story" left?

Why are the 'Alpha's' different from the 'Gamma's'? What possible reason would the Founders alter the appearance of the Jem'Hadar?

I enjoyed the 'butting of heads' between the two though.

2.5 stars for me.
Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 12:41am (UTC -5)
This is a surprisingly *not* terrible episode, even for a wet blanket for me. There's just enough charm to it to keep it amusing and the pacing is pretty well done. None of the situations, wacky though they may be, ever really outstay their welcome. There's a nice sense that the crew is working together and that the runabout squad really is being ingenious (opening doors, sneaking around, beaming people INSIDE computers). I could have done without the poor marksmanship of the Jem'Hadar at the end, buuuuuut it's probably for the benefit of the episode that it doesn't go full-on AR-558.

2-1/2 stars for me. Not essential, but enjoyable for what it is.

Just a comment on season 6 thus far: Someone above stated that the comedy episodes seem to be bunched up a bit. While it's not quite like season 5 having "par'Mach," "Tribbles," and "Let He..." within a four episode stretch, the last eight episodes have alternated between heavy and light. It makes it a little difficult to just hit play and enjoy the flow when the show's tone is jumping from "The Magnificent Ferengi" to "Waltz" to "Who Mourns for Morn?" to "Far Beyond the Stars" to "One Little Ship".
Thu, Nov 13, 2014, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Oxygen is at an absolute premium in the circuit housing, so let's send two guys in there instead of one!
Thu, Apr 2, 2015, 5:45am (UTC -5)
A gorgeous, cheeky and fun episode.Brooks shows he can act when he wants to, and Siddig is glorious as usual, but how under-utilized he is overall! Microscopic Jadzia grinning and waving before Worf's giant face is an irresistible touch. The Alpha and Gamma Jem'Hadar are reminiscent of Aldous Huxley's genetically engineered social order in his classic novel Brave New World. The "shrinking" premise pays homage to the classic Oscar winning 1966 sci-fi movie Fantastic Voyage. Classic ST here, referencing canon of western English-speaking culture, something ST excels at. A low key, unassuming but brilliant episode with an impeccable sci-fi and cinematic pedigree. 7 stars out of 4.
Tue, Jun 9, 2015, 4:23pm (UTC -5)
I don't know why some people find this episode's premise either absurd or silly, while they love time-trevel or parallel-universe plots.


Because time travel and parallel universes have not been completely shunned by the scientific community and you can suspend your disbelief to them. Micro people, on the other hand is scientifically impossible and absolutely absurd. It's even more absurd watching the crew you have been following in a supposedly serious sci-fi navigating computer systems in a Honey I Shrunk The Crew episode. It fails because it completely removes people from the fiction.
John G
Mon, Jul 20, 2015, 8:18pm (UTC -5)
This was a fun episode. I don't really see how shrinking people down to a centimeter is that much more far fetched than beaming their molecules through space and reassembling them.

As for some of the other complaints.

a) Two tiny men use up twice the tiny oxygen molecules, but they can also work twice as fast. I don't see why Dax couldn't just beam more air to them though.

b) The Jem'Haddar used the Hewman conventions of Alpha and Gamma because of the universal translator convention that exists in all Star Trek and most other sci fi and even in movies that take place in foreign countries.

While Star Trek occasionally mentions the universal translators that allow different species to understand each other, it is also an age old dramatic device that allows us to understand two Klingons, Mexicans or Germans who would really be talking in their native languages. It might not be realistic but it beats constantly reading subtitles.

c) As for episodes that "don't move the story", I think we forget that DS9 had more story than TOS and TNG combined and a more than STV ( aka Gilligan's Island in Space) as well.

I think we can get a little spoiled with the continuous story line of DS9. When I watched it when it originally aired, I enjoyed the way the lighter episodes allowed us to slow down and enjoy the great characters.

Finally, I loved the joke that Odo played on Miles and Julian and how Quark joined in. I also loved how the woman who was so impressed with their story looked at them funny when she realized they might be suffering from "shrinkage".
Tue, Jul 21, 2015, 7:03am (UTC -5)
@John G - Television is in the middle of a large evolution right now, and it's still working out the growing pains. Your comment about how some episodes perhaps should not further the story is a good one.

I'm starting to think that, especially when you look at shows like Heroes that try to have an entire full season of continuous plot, that it's a bad idea. It works for HBO shows because they put out 10 a year. I think it's really questionable as to if a full 20+ season of American TV should try to put out 20+ continuous stories per year without standalone episodes that "allow us to slow down and enjoy the great characters."

I think perhaps by now there are more cautionary tales than not (I'm looking at you Lost).
Sat, Sep 5, 2015, 12:17pm (UTC -5)
This is a totally unique episode of Trek. The scene with O'Brien and Bashir in the "optronic forest" was pure 1960s sci fi brilliance, highly memorable. And with Dax in command of the Runabout, this is one of the rare instances of a female Trek character saving everyone's arses, deftly done with Dax's customary understated, sarcastic and determined flair. I think she might actually be my favourite character, after Bashir of course. Loved this episode, expected it to be crap and there were numerous moments where a Runabout managed to fly around a cramped and crowded engine room without being spotted somehow, but nothing could take the smile off my face for the entire 40+ minutes.
Sat, Nov 28, 2015, 5:46pm (UTC -5)
I didn't have high hopes after seeing the title and the premise, but this one really surprised me. It's a very solid episode of action/comedy with some convincing visual effects and good production values; the giant circuit relay O'Brien and Bashir beamed onto was a great set. It's funny, but the stakes are serious, and fans who watch purely for the ongoing storyline will enjoy the growing tension between Alpha and Gamma Jem'Hadar.

The finale was far more thrilling than I expected, with a very well done fight scene. I enjoyed every minute. I'm with Jammer: 3 stars.
Tom Dietrich
Sun, Jan 24, 2016, 9:58am (UTC -5)
DS9 baffles me sometimes. I'm sitting down for start of the episode and Sisko's captain's log tells me the crew is taking a much welcome break from months of battle duty.

What? The last 5 episodes have been about 1. Kira's love affair with Bareil's mirror double; 2. A group of Ferengis going to rescue Quark's mother; 3. Morn's faked death and Quark trying to profit from it; 4. Worf and Jadzia's wedding and 5. Sisko's adventures in 20th century earth.

If there's been a war going on, then I certainly haven't seen it.
William B
Mon, Jan 25, 2016, 11:26pm (UTC -5)
This episode is okay, but I find myself wishing it went further. Most of the Runabout material is actually just the tiny Runabout flying around parts of the ship interacting with made-up space equipment that we don't know much about, and so we get a long scene of Bashir coaching O'Brien on how to remember where the [tech] is located compared to the [tech] while they struggle with made-up circuit elements while being tiny. I thought entering the plasma vent was cute and the chase away from plasma worked okay, too. Also cute: the Runabout hitting the panel beside the door to the bridge! But mostly, it felt to me like the miniaturized Runabout was a little underutilized, mostly just zipping around, up until the battle with the Jem'Hadar at the end, which has the pretty funny image of the Jem'Hadar being hit with photon torpedoes which, um, I guess don't pack much momentum when small? The crew can't leave the Runabout because, ahem, the oxygen molecules are too big for them! is an amusing notion, but is pretty obviously a rationalization for not trying to have any scenes of the little crew members interacting in some way with the ordinary-sized. (I refuse to believe that "but air would be too big for them to breathe!" is the exact point where Thompson & Weddle et al. decided to worry about plausibility.) And I get, I do, the reluctance to do something so crazy as (say) to have a tiny Dax running along a panel pressing buttons while Bashir fires a tiny phaser rifle from the ground, knocking the Jem'Hadar whenever they try to stand up, and while O'Brien flies the Runabout around their heads to dizzy and confuse them, because it could so easily look as silly as it sounds, but I feel like if one is going to make this as an actual episode one might as well go for broke. I will have to rewatch The Animated Series' "The Terratin Incident," but there's this part in that episode where the crew use grappling hooks to pull down the sliders on the transporter in order to beam themselves down to the planet, and just describing that makes me feel giddier than "One Little Ship" did. But okay, okay, I get it -- they wanted to do the "tiny Runabout" material but in a "restrained" way, and to some extent I think that they managed that delicate balance. Still, and this is a personal preference, but I wished they had just gone all in, if they were going to do this at all.

(This is mostly "Fantastic Voyage," I know, but I also would really, REALLY have loved to see an "Incredible Shrinking Man"-style confrontation between tiny O'Brien and, say, a Cardassian vole who had somehow escaped detection and got onto the Defiant, and was out for revenge....)

Having this mostly dropped into a fairly dry takeover/take-back-the-ship plot made the episode feel a bit wonky. The Alpha/Gamma conflict is a bit of a neat idea but in practice very dull, especially the "" death scene for the Gamma, as well as having the Jem'Hadar appear pretty consistently incompetent (in failing to monitor Sisko et al.'s constant planning, in failing to notice the Runabout whooshing around, etc.). Maybe it's best to interpret the Alpha/Gamma conflict as a joke -- after all, there is something very funny about the Gamma/Alpha conflict being a generational conflict, with an annoyed grandfather grumbling about "kids today" when the new generation is eight episodes old. And, I guess, the point we are meant to gather, in the end, is that the Alpha Jem'Hadar have a tendency to overlook, ahem, the little things.

Definite points for the wave between Jadzia and Worf, and then Worf's poem and Odo and Quark's joke at the end. The episode is sometimes enjoyable but very thin. 2-2.5 stars...probably 2.
Diamond Dave
Thu, Feb 4, 2016, 1:48pm (UTC -5)
DS9 does Fantastic Voyage. And it does have a bit of 60s retro charm and the technical achievement is noteworthy. But really when you boil this down you mostly have a tiny runabout flying around, the crew not fixing the warp drive, and Jem'Hadar arguing with each other and not a whole heck of a lot else.

The Alpha/Gamma Jem'Hadar conflict is actually quite an interesting theme - it's just a shame that the Alphas appear to be the least competent Dominion warriors we've yet seen. 2 stars.
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 11:49am (UTC -5)
Too bad the Alpha vs. Gamma friction fizzled out completely, never to be mentioned again, in true DS9 style.

I read on memory alpha that they had planned on expanding on this but shelved it. The writers seem to have a consistent pattern of running away from interesting challenging storylines.
William B
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 12:18pm (UTC -5)
*Is it* too bad that the Alpha vs. Gamma Jem'Hadar storyline was dropped? Don't get me wrong -- there are plenty of dropped plots in DS9, some of them dire, and it makes "One Little Ship" less interesting that it spends time on a subject never to be followed up on, but I'm also not so sure that it is a story that obviously has legs.

I do think it would have been a good idea to have some sort of Jem'Hadar storyline that had some real impact on the show -- maybe having "Hippocratic Oath" come up again and have the possibility of Jem'Hadar freed from the White, who then have the possibility (eventually) of making their own choices.
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
@William Perhaps. There are all sorts of places our imagination could go. Personally I would have liked to have seen e.g. Gamma Jem'Hadar and Klingons reach a mutual respect, honorable warrior style (a la By Infernos Light), while the Alpha Jem'Hadar become more and more ruthless, with both loyally serving the Founders for the most part but with some critical conflict during the heat of the war between the Gammas values and morals and the Alphas loose cannon ways. If that makes sense. That was a lot to pack in one sentence.
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 5:38pm (UTC -5)
(Even conflicts like the Alphas being extraordinarily sadistic but risking victory, with the Gammas questioning their motives and placing victory above all else. Sort of like the Klingons view on cowardice vs honor. There's a zillion possible directions to take it.)
William B
Sun, Mar 13, 2016, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
@JC, good points. There are definitely lots of places the story could go, I just wasn't sure this was that obviously a missed opportunity.

What does strike me is that this is the last time (I think) that Jem'Hadar are actually dealt with. Are there any other major Jem'Hadar characters/moments any later times in the series than this? Which (spoiler) unfortunately is a disappointment with the Vorta too -- we get to know Weyoun, and "Treachery, Faith and the Great River" gives us an alternate Weyoun where we could see how things might have gone, but then Weyoun is mostly a patsy for the rest of the series, only to be killed off by Garak ignominiously. The set-up of the Jem'Hadar & Vorta -- peoples genetically engineered to be loyal to the Founders, but with enough "errors" in the code that they can at times rebel, or to have internal dissent and friction -- was a cool idea that never really came to fruition. I don't know that the Alpha vs. Gamma is the best instance of that, but it could have been interesting, just as the idea of a defector Weyoun could have been interesting, or Jem'Hadar who get off the white, or rogue Jem'Hadar, etc.
Sat, May 28, 2016, 11:40pm (UTC -5)
"One Little Ship" is an episode that should not work. The basic premise - shrinking three of the main cast members and a runabout down to the size of Lilliputians - would be the most absurd idea in the franchise if it wasn't for the fact that VOY once transformed two characters into sex-crazed salamanders. The Jem'Hadar First is a complete blithering idiot who can't see the blindingly obvious even when his own second-in-command is screaming it in his face. The animosity between Alpha and Gamma Jem'Hadar is unnecessary, only offering a potential distraction from the mistrust between Dominion and Cardassian forces (thankfully this was immediately dropped, aside from a new make-up design for the Jem'Hadar). And the idea of the tiny runabout flying through the ship seems like an idea that a ten-year-old would come up with. But, surprisingly, despite all these shortcomings, it manages to be fairly engaging and genuinely entertaining.

The tone of the episode is kept exactly where it needs to be kept - whimsical silliness with tongue planted firmly in cheek. The jokes work, for the most part. There is a legitimate sense of suspense in scenes where it is needed. And the special effects really hold up well after all of these years. The scenes of the Rubicon flying through the Defiant are worth the price of admission alone - they are remarkably well done F/X shots.

A lot of people like to say that the difference between "Deep Space Nine" and VOY is either one of serialization or moral ambiguity. I disagree, to a point. It's episodes like this that clearly show the differences. On VOY, they tried many forms of "high concept" science fiction. Most of them didn't work? Because VOY often made its episodes entirely about the high concept being played with - the problem had everything to do with the concept itself so the solution had to be at least as silly as the problem. On "Deep Space Nine", however, the high concept episodes are about people facing strange problems, not the problems themselves. In this episode, the problem isn't the fact that Dax, O'Brien and Bashir are small. The problem is the Jem'hadar seizing control of the Defiant. All of the things done with their size limitations aren't ultimately the point. And returning them to normal size isn't the resolution of the crisis. We don't even see the process of making them tall again, because it doesn't matter. We care about the Jem'hadar on the Defiant. TNG also understood this; it's why "Rascals" works so well - we have the ridiculous idea of people turning into twelve-year-olds but the problem is ultimately the fact that the Ferengi have seized control of the ship. On VOY, however, the ultimate problem that needed to be solved was fixing the malfunctioning holodeck or escaping the random anomaly of the week. See the difference?

A fluff piece, to be sure, but a very well executed fluff piece.

Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 3:37am (UTC -5)
Funny episode. It's fluff, but it's good fluff with a darn imaginative premise. I loved it when miniaturized-Rubicon was firing photon torpedoes, as well as when O'Brien and Bashir were at the micro level while going into the computer system. That said, there's a major nagging plot hole which I want to address HISHE-style:

Vorta Commander: "Good job, Jem'Hadar, you captured the Defiant! A very valuable prize. Now stay on the ship and get it ready for transport while I take my ship on a raid to a no-name planet and leave you guys alone."
Jem'Hadar 1: "Sir, this is probably the most valuable prize the Dominion has ever captured. I mean, we captured the Federation's premier warship mostly intact, and one of their top crews! Can't you cancel the raid and stay here on guard given a victory of that magnitude? I really don't think anyone would mind."
Jem'Hadar 2: "Or at least call the Dominion and ask them to send, like, a hundred ships or so here to escort us back to our space."
Vorta Commander: "Oh my gosh, you're totally right. I'll put the Defiant in a tractor beam, call reinforcements to meet us, and head to Dominion space at maximum warp. Have the crew confined to the cargo bay where they can't try to take back the ship under our noses. Good call, Alpha, here, have a cookie."
Jem'Hadar 1: "I am a Gamma!"
Vorta Commander: "Whatever, it's not like we're ever going to address this Alpha/Gamma thing ever again."
Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 3:49am (UTC -5)
Also read that at one point, Ron Moore wrote a scene for this ep having the Jem'Hadar hold a redshirt at gunpoint while ordering Sisko to repair the warp drive. Sisko reassures the redshirt that it will be all right, and the Jem'Hadar says "No it won't" and kills the redshirt. However, it was cut out by the higher-ups to RDM's disappointment as it was considered inappropriate for the episode's comic tone.

Given that Ron Moore went on to create the BSG reboot, it's strangely fitting for him. It's interesting to get a glimpse into RDM's mind back then; he was all about taking things in a dark direction and pushing the envelope in that regard, long before the BSG days when that sort of thing became the norm.

It was already stretching it to feature the Jem'Hadar as adversaries in a comic episode (at one point the Pakleds from TNG were considered instead), so I'm glad they cut that scene out. It would be more appropriate in a show like Breaking Bad.
Fri, Dec 30, 2016, 9:01am (UTC -5)
"a) Two tiny men use up twice the tiny oxygen molecules, but they can also work twice as fast. "

In theory, but not here. Bashir and O'Brien are never both busy. First O'Brien is working while Julian is sitting on his butt, and then O'Brien is resting while Julian does stuff.
Thu, Feb 2, 2017, 9:40pm (UTC -5)
Charming, entertaining fluff. Lots of fun. Three stars.
Fri, Feb 10, 2017, 2:55pm (UTC -5)
Thanks Jammer for another great review. I loked the episode overall.

My pet peeve: Avery Brooks sitting in the captain's chair with his legs casually crossed while his com officer gets blown away 3 meters in front of him and Kira moves quickly to replace him during the opening battle scene when the Jem Hadar attack the Defiant, and then again, in the climax scene when the Jem Hadar soldier misses him (since, as Jammer pointed out, the Jem Hadar "are worse shots than the average storm trooper"), he slowly walks over to the console to do other things, no hurrying, no quick movements, no agitation signs, despite being in the middle of a shootout.. I have somewhat come to expect some degree of mediocre acting from Brooks, but did Allan Kroeker not notice this during the filming or editing?
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 11:26am (UTC -5)
The show should have explained the reason for modifying the alpha Jem Hadar. Was it because there are so few Vorta and Founders in the alpha quadrant that the Jem Hadar will need to take more initiative? If so, that makes sense.

But since the show did not address it, I have to assume that it was because somehow the species to be conquered in the Alpha Quadrant are more quick-witted than those in the Gamma quadrant and therefore need to be conquered by more quick-witted Jem Hadar. LIke so much of Star Trek's assessment of alien humanoids, that's offensive.
Sat, Jun 10, 2017, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
I still can't believe this is not a TAS episode. Or even one of the wackier ones from Voyager.
Fri, Aug 18, 2017, 12:29am (UTC -5)
2 stars

DS9 should leave TNG type stories alone. TheY are simply not a good fit with the cast and series. In many ways this episode reminded me of Starship Down which I also wasn't crazy about. This was not that interesting or entertaining too.

When the writers try to give the Jem'Hadar personalities it doesn't ever really work. Keep them bloodthirsty soldiers. Also didn't really care about added revelation the Founders are breeding new Jem'Hadar and the fact there is rivalry between the Alphas and Gammas

The one thing I did like was introducing another Vorta and the mention of Coridan--everything else pretty underwhelming
Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 8:20pm (UTC -5)
This is classic SF. Didn't anyone read Cold War in a Country Garden or watch Fantastic Voyage?
Thu, Nov 2, 2017, 4:24pm (UTC -5)
Interesting concept for a lighthearted DS9 episode although the joke got old pretty quick. This is, for me, an example of the type of concept in sci-fi that shouldn't be applied to Trek as it belongs in Disney movies etc.

What I did like is the budding "rivalry" between Alpha and Gamma quadrant Jem'Hadar and within their command structure. It is a decent part of the episode to see Sisko and his team try and thwart the Jem'Hadar as they work to get warp power back online. Again the Jem'Hadar, despite raising the right issues, come across as being (fairly) easily duped.

I liked the ending with Quark/Odo joking that O'Brien and Bashir seemed a couple of inches shorter -- this is something the later Trek series didn't do enough of as compared to TOS, i.e.) having a little joke to wrap up the episode. Some good classic humor between Kirk, Spock, McCoy is one thing that sets apart TOS -- so good for DS9 to do that here.

Also the episode wrapped up pretty quick with getting the 3 back to normal height as if it was nothing -- guess the theory of getting back to normal size worked in practice pretty well.

2 stars for "One Little Ship" -- fun concept to watch, the Jem'Hadar were pretty engaging but the episode dragged along with its subplots. The part with O'Brien and Bashir outside the Runabout dragged as well. Interesting to see where the internal "conflicts" among Jem'Hadar go but it seems this episode is just a standalone and basically a throw-away one.
Fri, Dec 15, 2017, 6:00am (UTC -5)
Everything in the episode was sloppy writing.
First, there's an apparent "break" from the war, but previous episodes were irrelevant to the war arc (and yes, there's always a sub-space anomaly, somewhat...)
The Jem'Hadar apparently know everything about the Defiant, but they can't notice what Sisko is really doing in engineering (at the end, the first order the rest to make the repairs, so they should know what to do and what the Feds were really doing).
In the middle of a shoot-out, Sisko goes casually from one console to the other, slowly, and the blood-thirsty, ultimate-soldier Jem'Hadar can't fire at him... yeah... Then, of course, the ship & co. return to normal without so much to explain, "magically" they could go inside the sub-space anomaly again without shrinking further (they never stated it had a shrinking limit, how could they know if it was going to result?)
The alpha vs gamma rivalry was utterly stupid. You are having shortage of reinforcements, the last thing you want is to create that rivalry among your ranks. The reason why they make the difference should've been the scarcity of the White (the only reason to make them different), or by making them stronger, as they now face the Klingons.
If by introducing a different breed of Jem'Hadar the writers intended to do something interesting, why they wouldn't forget about a "tiny ship" and introduced the "elder" Jem'Hadar as someone who offered to defect from the Dominion in exchange of free passage to the Gamma Quadrant (because his "gamma" brothers are suffering from withdrawal from the White? Remember? The Federation destroyed a White depot, big one, some episodes before.) Sisko would demand them to attack their forces to show the truthfulness of his request.
But no, the show's Achilles Heel was always bad planning, and the writers showed always how to make plotholes and inconsistencies throughout the 7 seasons. Maybe they should had paid Straczynski to know what he was planning with his space station story...
Sat, Mar 31, 2018, 12:50pm (UTC -5)
Pretty cute and, aside from the repetitive Alpha/Gamma Jem'Hadar conflict, well-paced but the climax and especially epilogue didn't have enough energy.
Tue, Jun 5, 2018, 12:12am (UTC -5)
"We All Live in a Little Run-A-Bout... Little Run-A-Bout... Little-Run-A-Bout... "

I didn't like seeing the Jem Hadar reduced to Hogan's Heroes levels of obvious, petty and stupid villains, but it was a good episode regardless.

The idea of Jem Hadar POWs makes no sense, because they'd run out of the ketracel white pretty fast, right?
Michael F Patterson
Mon, Jun 18, 2018, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
This is an interesting take on the Donnie Brasco film, which I also enjoyed.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 8:09am (UTC -5)
@Michael F Patterson-You're thinking of "Honor Among Thieves".
Cody B
Tue, Jan 29, 2019, 5:41pm (UTC -5)
Good little (pun intended) episode. I had to smile at the cut towards the end. They go from Worf snapping a jem hadar’s neck to immediately cutting to Nog jumping on to a jem hadar’s arm. Brave little Starfleet Ferengi, he tried. Anyone who liked this episode should check out the movies Fantastic Voyage and Innerspace.
Fri, Feb 1, 2019, 10:21pm (UTC -5)
Watching and commenting:

--They're going to shrink a runabout with Dax, Bashir, and O'Brien inside? I'm with Kira. That's hilarious.

--Holy Shrinkus Interruptus!! The Jem Hadar!!

--Snarky, cranky, Jem Hadar. Did someone forget to take his ketracel white this morning?

--Funny ending. I give everyone a lot credit for keeping this crazy story line out of the crapper. It's cute and entertaining.

--This story should have been on Voyager. Tom Paris piloting the tiny ship with B'Ellana and Doc on board. They save the ship from a Hirogen takeover. Neelix writes a poem. Seven tells big-again-Paris that he looks a couple of centimeters smaller. Tuvok agrees. EP TITLE: Fantastic Voyager
Bobbington Mc Bob
Tue, Jul 30, 2019, 3:21am (UTC -5)
The bit when the rubicon booped the door release. Cute! and the waving from the tiny ship to massively headed klingon. Cute! Ship borne phasers at 100th size = hand phasers. D'aww :3 DS9 invents the tactical drone a decade before it saw widespread use in actual theaters of war. Cool!

I want a toy runabout now.
Sun, Aug 18, 2019, 4:59am (UTC -5)
Nog probably jinxed things. He did make a remark in "A Time to Stand" about putting a Jem'Hadar on the Defiant.
Tue, Nov 19, 2019, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
I love the runabout shooting Jem'Hadar with tiny photon torpedoes. You're right, this is just a fun episode. Silly, absurd, but loads of fun to watch and I enjoyed it tremendously.
Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 12:25pm (UTC -5)
What is this, The Magic Schoolbus? "Shrink down and go for an adventure inside someone's body", except replace "someone" with "The Defiant"? Complete with Miles Frizzle telling us what all the bits and bobs are.

I was giggling the whole time. The Rubicon booping the door panel is the cutest. No doubt this helped toy sales...!
Jamie Mann
Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 11:24am (UTC -5)
A silly, lightweight and entirely throwaway episode, which mainly highlighted just how far TV-show CGI technology had come.

The bit where O'Brien and Bashir are rummaging around inside a circuit board is entertaining, but in the end, this is just the DS9 equivalent of fast food...
Tue, May 19, 2020, 8:48pm (UTC -5)
It's great fun, especially Odo and Quark teaming up to get the last word. But miniaturization is a theme as old and true as sci-fi itself, so there's no problem on my end with the writers taking their turn at it.
Wed, Jun 3, 2020, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
This was a fun outing, but the Founders must think very little of our quadrant if these are the dummies they’ve specifically bred to fight in the Alpha quadrant. This wasn’t exactly a comedy episode, so I don’t give the alphas quite the pass I gave to the Iggy Pop Vorta in “The Magnificent Ferengi”.

I do love when they take absurd concepts and then add actual science though, such as shrinking down would leave them unable to process oxygen molecules in the regular atmosphere. It reminded me of that episode of Futurama where they have to go microscopically into Fry to battle his worms and use tiny avatars. When someone asks why they just don’t shrink down, the Professor says “that would require tiny atoms, do you know how much they cost? I’m not made of money!” So points to the writing team for addressing this issue, even tho the premise is so crazy, I doubt they’d be called out on it.

All in all, it was a decent outing, but meant very little in the big scheme of the show.
Thu, Jul 30, 2020, 1:20am (UTC -5)
Great episode!
Loved tiny Miles and Bashir in the computer chip, what an awesome set. So cool!
Sun, May 2, 2021, 8:25pm (UTC -5)
What helps sell this episode is Kira not being able to keep a straight face at the beginning. It cues the audience to just roll with it and have fun
Thu, Jul 29, 2021, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
What would a TOS version of this episode be like? A shuttlecraft on a piece of string?
Mon, Dec 13, 2021, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
I thought this episode didn't do enough with its premise. It's not funny enough - especially when stacked up against "InnerSpace" - clever enough, and the episode is bogged down with lots of bad Jem-Hadar dialogue and acting.

I'd have removed more scenes from the "normal sized" character's point of view, and given Bashir/Miles some more "micro predicaments" to overcome.
Mon, Jan 31, 2022, 3:56am (UTC -5)
Worf casually snapping necks in DS9 was hilarious. Don't let dude get behind you. Your neck is NOT safe. Worf was so much deadlier on DS9 than on TNG. People ask why was he on DS9. He was obviously there to kill people.

This makes his statement to Sisko about Garack in the episode, "In Purgatory's Shadow," an actual credible threat. "At the first sign of betrayal I will kill him, but... I promise to return the body intact."
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
This episode is hilarious. Such a silly idea, apparently the writers had this one in reserve since TNG days and chose to use it here on DS9 and I'm so glad they did. I don't know that it could've worked anywhere else. The part in review about the unobservant Jen Hadar is so comically true. I'm sure everyone has noticed that due to the costume designs they can't really turn their heads, so kinda makes sense that actual Jem Hadar would not be able to see and react in certain ways and overlooking a tiny ship makes some hilariously good sense
Fri, Aug 19, 2022, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
This episode owes a lot to the movie "Fantastic Voyage" (1966). The runabout doesn't get shrunk to the size of human cells but the idea of taking an adventure in a ship inside a much larger system to fix problems is the same.

This episode seems like a "We need to try that sometime" episode on the part of the creators. The main event here is the visual impact of seeing things from the perspective of a miniature. O'Brien's and Bashir's excursion among the chips and processors is the highlight of the trip.
Fri, Sep 23, 2022, 1:30pm (UTC -5)
This was a really, really cool eppy. Greatly enjoyed it!

Very near the start, when Worf, regarding writing some cockamamie poem, said "According to ancient Klingon tradition...," I was like "You lost me right there, champ!," but luckily the story took a very different turn.

The shuttle sneaking around toolboxes, etc. was silly. Surely you'd want to be at a high altitude, near the ceiling, so as to both have a clear overview of the room and not risk someone accidentally kicking you with his foot.

The internecine Jemmy friction was very convenient; the contrasting attitudes of The First and The Second even more so.

Still, as I said, very cute. Smiley's and Bashir's scenes, trying to figure out what all the circuitry was about, were especially neat.

Three indeed.
Gilligan’s Starship
Mon, Nov 14, 2022, 4:59pm (UTC -5)
A fun episode that could’ve been even better had they changed a few things.
First, I felt the shrunken ship was too big. How anyone could not have noticed a Hot Wheels-sized spaceship zipping around is beyond me, but no character in films or tv ever seems to have peripheral vision. 😉

And you’d think the oxygen problem would have been no issue if O’Brien & Bashir had donned EVA suits with their own Oxygen supply. That being said, I wish they hadn’t beamed them into the circuit board because they just didn’t have the budget to make it believable. It reminded me of the episode from Lost in Space titled “A Trip Through The Robot” that had Will Robinson & Dr Smith crawling around inside their beloved B9 Robot which had grown to enormous proportions. Overall tho, the VFX were well done.
Mon, May 15, 2023, 9:47am (UTC -5)
It's nice to find entertainment well worth my time, and I was pleased to put this one in my rewatch. It says a lot about DS9 that a script with so many problems still manages to be massively entertaining and downright fun. (Does anybody remember fun?)

I don't think anything in the opening bridge scene works, in spite of a well-crafted setup. I love Nog as a character, but why is he one of the only Starfleet officers on the bridge? (Is he even an officer?) It just seems strange that there's no one more qualified. It looks like Nog has his hands full with a LOT of important duties and that's awesome, except that he's a minor and shouldn't these things be trusted to more experienced officers? (Really, most of his bridge dialogue sounds like he's at least Wesley Crusher level of understanding, but the writers - as far as I know - didn't provide an explanation.)

Also, Kira laughing so much felt way out of character. A whole lot of the bridge scene felt like they were breaking character and goofing off before they started filming.

The problem throughout the episode is that the Jem Hadar are not interesting. The writing is clunky and overdone for them. That's a problem when you don't have dynamic characters to begin with. They try far too hard to write a conflict within the Jem Hadar, but who cares?

Everything else is pure fun, and I just enjoyed the hell out of it. O'Brien / Meaney makes this episode for me. I much prefer him tackling scientific problems, than being tortured by the writers.

Also, Worf's poem was awesome!

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