The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: The Passenger

When Kira and Bashir rescue Kobliad security officer Ty Kajada from her damaged ship, it seems as if they are too late to save the life of her prisoner. But Kajada is certain that her prisoner has survived somehow, and that he has come to DS9 to steal a vital shipment of duranium.

Like the previous episode, this is a solid Star Trek story, which adds a sci-fi twist to a police officer’s relentless pursuit of a criminal, in that said criminal appears to have evaded death itself. Although the science behind it all is beyond dubious – indeed, DS9’s technobabble makes TNG and TOS look tame – and the twist entirely obvious, it’s still a good effort at a story.

The Good

  • Strong female guest character.
  • Good doses of paranoia, Ferengi intrigue, Odo/Starfleet conflict and other DS9 elements that we will come to know and love.

The Bad

  • Alexander Siddig’s dreadful acting as Vantika-Bashir, which seems to consist of enunciating each word slowly and clearly, to emphasise evil.
  • Stupid science all round.
  • Quark perving on Dax. Okay, we get that every man on the station wants to get in her pants. I wouldn’t mind doing that either, but I don’t sexually harass her at every occasion. And actually, on this rewatch I’m growing to appreciate Kira more.

Science? What science?

  • Sisko and Dax decide that Vantika can easily lodge in someone’s brain because a humanoid typically only uses about ten percent of their brain. This is false reasoning, of course – we may only use around ten percent at any given time, but each part of the brain gets used at some point. Vantika would likely have indiscriminately overwritten part of Bashir’s brain, permanently damaging the good doctor. And that’s before we get to the stupid resolution of beaming the overwritten braincells out of Bashir’s brain.
  • Vantika gets the information he needs by avoiding going after a single locked down file, and instead downloading all of ‘active memory’, which is presumably RAM. Did no one think to not store important files unencrypted in memory, or to have some mitigations? Not letting people access the main computer from ports in the corridors might be a start.

Summary – The Passenger: I prefer evil Bashir. He’s less likely to sexually harass Jadzia.

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