Force of Nature : Second Sight : Sanctuary.
On the fourth anniversary of the Battle of Wolf 359 in which his wife Jennifer died, Benjamin Sisko falls in love a woman named Fenna he encounters on the promenade deck. But Fenna suddenly runs away when the commander meets her a second time. The same night, he and his senior staff attend a dinner with Dr. Seyetik on the USS Prometheus. The famous scientist has developed a method to re-ignite dying stars in order to revive orbiting planets. Much to Sisko's surprise, Seyetik's wife Nidell looks exactly like Fenna, but she doesn't recognize the commander. He is even more taken aback to find Fenna, who says she knows nothing about Nidell, in his quarters, only to see her disappear after a passionate kiss. On their mission to a dead star Dax reveals that Fenna is composed of energy. She is just a projection created by Nidell, who is a psychoprojective telepath and obviously bored by her marriage with Seyetik. Stricken with guilt, the scientist takes a shuttle and commits suicide when he heads for the star, which he recuperates through his sacrifice. Nidell is now free; but Fenna, the part of her that loved Sisko, is gone.
Errors and Explanations
The Nitpickers Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers
- Ain't love grand? Sisko goes to Odo’s office to solicit the constable’s help in finding Fenna. Odo asks for a description and - in fits and starts - Sisko eventually ends up with the following: female. humanoid, 1.6 meters tall, brown skin, dark hair. Oh.-..and let's not forget, “She was wearing ...red!” However, there's one particularly helpful detail missing in this description. Sisko evidently has forgotten that she also has double-tipped, pointed ears! Obviously he hasn’t been spending much time looking at Fenna‘s ears. (No doubt his gaze has been distracted elsewhere. But seriously, just how many races are there with this type of ear? One would think this little detail would greatly assist Odo in his quest. I guess Sisko was just too love-numbed to notice.) The tips of the ears could have been difficult to spot.
- Something very, very weird is going on. Does none of the crew of the Prometheus wish to sample the pleasure of the promenade? When the Lexington docks during Explorers, Startleet officers are all over Quarks. The Prometheus crew are making final preparations for the experiment, and were probably confined to the ship as a security measure.
- The most unusual aspect of the Prometheus comes, however, when Lieutenant (J.G.) Piersall takes the center chair! This starship is commanded by a lieutenant?! What is going on here? The ship probably has a reduced compliment for safety reasons.
- Travelling to Epsilon 119, Seyetik quotes from G'Trok's “The Fall of Kang." Sisko finishes the quotation after stating that it was required reading at the Starlleet Academy; Near the end of the episode, as he is about to crash into the dead star, Seyetik explains his motivation to Sisko. "Remember ‘The Fall of Kang"?" he says. “Well, this is one warrior who refuses to be pitied.“ At this point, Lieutenant (J.G.) Piersall - who captains the Prometheus for some unknown reason - spouts off with, ‘What's he talking about?’ If "The Fall of Kang" was required reading at the academy, shouldn’t Piersall know what Seyetik is talking about? (Or did Piersall sleep through Klingon Poetry Appreciation 101?) He probably doesn’t remember that part!
- When Seyetik’s shuttle hits Epsilon 119,we see the dead star igniting almost instantly. It makes for good television, but not good science. Stars are ancient things. You don't turn them on and off at will. They live for age upon age - burning with the fury of fusion - oblivious to little dustballs like us. According to our current understanding of stellar evolution, once the core temperature of a star reaches 15 million degrees Kelvin, the fusing of hydrogen atoms into helium atoms commences. The individual photons (packets of energy) produced by this fusion then begin a dance to the surface of the star that will take one milIion years to complete! One million years! So even if Seyetik could turn on the star, it would be quite a while before Sisko and company would see any result. Unless the protomatter insertion triggered a subspace effect inside the star, allowing the photons to travel through the star at many times the speed of light. (This would also explain the need to leave the system at high warp if the star went supernova!)
- Protomatter has somehow refurbished its soiled reputation. in Star Trek III The Search for Spock, we learn that Dr. David Marcus used protomatter in the Genesis device. We also learn that protomatter is unstable and unethical and no self-respecting physicist would even go out and have a drink with the stuff! Yet, in this episode, Seyetik uses protomatter in his device to revitalize the star. Advances in technology may have produced a way to increase the safety and usefulness of protomatter.
- After eating a meal with Sisko, Dax says that she needs to meet with O’Brien. They are going to boost the maximum speed of the Prometheus to warp 9.5 just in case Seyetik‘s experience fails and the star goes supernova. Obviously both Dax and O’Brien have forgotten that a starship can outrun a supenova even at warp1. A supemova is a natural phenomenon, and, as such, it must travel slower than the speed of light (in addition, I hate to bring this up, but the Federation has a new warp 5 speed limit that became effective at the end of the NextGen episode Force of Nature, star date 47314.5. l sure hope somebody is going to contact Starfleet command and ask permission if they are planning on violating the new directive.) The experiment could potentially trigger a subspace supernova, thus requiring a departure at speeds in excess of warp 5.
Continuity And Production Problems
- As Nidell walks out of Sisko’s life forever, we see that one of her sleeves is a good six longer than the other one. She probably bought that dress from Garak’s shop on the promenade! No wonder Bashir refuses to believe the guy is a simple merchant. Maybe the sleeves are supposed to be different lengths!
- Keith Alan Morgan (Kmorgan) on Wednesday, July 26, 2000 - 12:07 am: Odo says that, except for Gideon Seyetik, no one has left the Prometheus. However, this statement comes after Sisko, Kira, Dax, O'Brien & Bashir have had dinner on the Prometheus. He is explicitly referring to members of the starship’s assigned crew.
- Duke of Earl Grey on Saturday, March 24, 2001 - 10:38 pm: If all it takes to reignite a star is a dab of protomatter, why didn't someone think of this before? And isn't protomatter illegal? At least it was in David Marcus's time. How did Seyetik get approval for this? Darth Sarcasm on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 3:53 pm: Protomatter was not illegal. It was "denounced as dangerously unpredictable" in the 23rd century, but there was no mention of it being illegal. In any case, there may have been advances in technology that overcame that limitation.
|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|