When a transport vessel entering through the wormhole breaks apart, its passengers are beamed to Deep Space 9. After the universal translator initially fails to provide a proper translation, it later becomes clear that the people from the Gamma Quadrant are Skrreeans who lost their home to a race called T-Rogorans and ultimately to the Dominion. There are three million more Skrreeans waiting on the far side of the "Eye", the wormhole, as their leader, a woman called Haneek explains. While Sisko has found an empty planet for the Skrreeans to settle down, Haneek is convinced that their lost home is Bajor. But the Bajorans refuse to let the refugees immigrate. Haneek's son Tumak takes a shuttle to Bajor that explodes due to a radiation leak when Bajoran fighters attempt to stop him. Shattered about the loss, Haneek gives in, but not without accusing the Bajorans of being apprehensive and mistrustful. Disappointed, Haneek tells Kira that they are farmers and could have made Bajor bloom before she acquiesces and departs for her new home on Draylon ll.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpickers Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. At the end of the program, Haneek speaks of a "famine" on Bajor. I assume that this is a Universal Translator glitch. A famine would mean “an extreme general scarcity oi food. Surely the Federation-knowing the devastation caused by the Cardassians to the farmlands when they left would move in and assist with food replicators until the farm ecology could be reestablished. And if there really is a famine on Bajor, shouldn't we see more people sneaking onto the station in search of food’? Haneek must mean instead that Bajor cannot produce enough food for its own inhabitants. (In other words, Bajor has a crop shortage. I know. Picky, picky, picky.) Maybe Haneek is exagerating.
  2. There's more to these Skneeans than meets the “eye.” They are supposedly just farmers, but they have a fleet of ships that can transport 3 million refugees. Evidently the ships are warp-capable and can defend themselves. (Does this sound like an invasion fleet to anyone else?) These might have been the only ships available to transport the refugees.
  3. Shortly alter coming on the station, Haneek tells Kira and Sisko that the Dominion recently conquered their oppressors, the T'Rogorans. This little titbit promptly falls to the floor and goes unnoticed tor the rest of the episode. Too bad Sisko didn't bother to question the Skrreeans a bit more about the Dominion. The Gamma Quadrant is new, isn't it? Don’t you want to find out as much as you can about it? Especially with regard to an evident aggressor? Maybe Sisko didn’t feel it necessary to press the Skneeans on the matter.

Changed Premises

  1. In Home Soil (TNG) we witnessed a group of terraformers who would spend their lives on a hot, dusty rock, turning it into an Earth-like planet. Yet in this episode, Sisko locates an M-class planet with apparent ease. This raises the following question: lf there are available M-class planets, why are there still terraformors? Are they all just loners and love a good challenge? (Yes, l do remember Gideon Seyetik from the previous episode and do remember that he was a terraformer as well. Somehow his work struck me as different - more like the Magrathaans from Douglas Adams's trilogy The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy.) Perhaps the Federation wanted their skills to be maintained for some reason.
  2. Haneek tells Kira that there were fifty years of Cardassian rule. Actually, according to Kira in Emissary, it was sixty. Haneek may have been misinformed.

Equipment Oddities

  1. At the end of the episode, Haneek's son steals a ship and attempts to go to Bajor. Two interceptors meet him and accidently destroy his ship. During the tension-filled moments before this occurs, Sisko, Kira, and Haneek stand over a monitor, watching the drama untold. For some reason, however, the monitor doesn't keep the three ships in the center but instead allows them almost to drift off the end when the fatal accident occurs. I guess Kira forgot to lock the sensors onto the targets because of the stress of the situation. There could have been a minor fault in the tracking system.

Continuity And Production Problems

  1. This episode features a Bajoran musician named Varani. Prior to the episode, Kira arranged for Quark to allow Varani to play in his bar for a month. The first time we see Varani he turns to the camera while playing his wind instmment. He appears to take a breath, but the instrument just keeps sounding. (Obviously this instrument is some Baioran derivative of the beehive.) It could be designed to make a noise when the player breathes in.

Nit Central

  1. Hannah on Saturday, January 02, 1999 - 7:56 pm: How did the Skreeans learn English after a few hours with them? Ed Jefferson (Ejefferson) on Tuesday, February 23, 1999 - 4:02 pm: I thought the translator adapted after a while. Mike Konczewski on Wednesday, February 24, 1999 - 5:34 pm:Yes it did. The explanation was that their language was so strange, the translator needed the time to develop a working vocabulary. Lea Frost on Monday, March 01, 1999 - 7:23 pm: This despite the fact that the UT has worked perfectly in every other case where they've encountered a completely unknown language! It can learn an entire language instantly...and it somehow makes people's lips appear to move in English, as Statistical Probabilities conclusively shows… Oh well, the UT is just one of those handy Trek devices that works perfectly all the time because its failure usually doesn't make a good plot device! Mike Konczewski on Wednesday, March 03, 1999 - 8:19 am:Lea, I think the writers threw a little twist that the Skreean language was so different it didn't relate to anything in the databanks. It works well other times because the language is related to another. Chris George (Cgeorge) on Thursday, January 28, 1999 - 11:21 am: Well, the going theory is that the UT bases their language translation ability on the fact that all the languages have similar root structures, and if you go far enough back, a similar origin. This is, in fact, the same technology being attempted here on earth - here on earth, linguists have been able to trace all languages back to a single one. Some (like myself) can point to the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel as the explanation for this, but others discount this theory. In any case, a Terran UT is already being worked on.
    In the Star Trek universe, they trace it back to the fact that all life has a central genetic origin, seeded by a super race called the Preservers(?). And as such, I'm guessing, the UT can trace through the language roots to instantly translate most languages. For the Skreeans, it may be that they were an ancient race, one not seeded by the Preservers. Keith Alan Morgan on Thursday, May 06, 1999 - 6:25 am: In the classic episode Metamorphosis, it is explained that the Universal Translator analyzes thoughts and looks for common references (I would assume things like male & female; love & hate; birth & death; etc.).
  2. D.K. Henderson on Saturday, April 09, 2005 - 6:01 am: I would like to know where they got ships to evacuate 3 million people after having been enslaved for some 80 years. They probably stole them from their oppressors, after the latter were dealt with by the Dominion.
  3. I liked Kira's honesty in this episode. She could have simply told Haneek that she didn't have the authority to override the government's decision. Instead, she admitted that she agreed with their reasons. Perhaps the Provisional government were worried about the Skreeans attempting to take control of Bajor - especially so soon after the business with the Circle.

Deep Space Nine Season 2
The Homecoming I The Circle I The Siege I Invasive Procedures I Cardassians I Melora I Rules of Acquisition I Necessary Evil I Second Sight I Sanctuary I Rivals I The Alternate I Armageddon Game I Whispers I Paradise I Shadowplay I Playing God I Profit and Loss I Blood Oath I The Maquis Part 1 I The Maquis Part 2 I The Wire I Crossover I The Collaborator I Tribunal I The Jem’Hadar
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