The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: The Storyteller

When a Bajoran village requests immediate aid, Chief O’Brien and Dr Bashir are sent down to treat what sounds like an epidemic – only to discover that it’s the village storyteller who is sick. Apparently, the storyteller is the only one who can save the village from a rampaging monster, and on his deathbed, he appoints O’Brien as his successor. Meanwhile, Sisko and Kira must negotiate a settlement between two intractable Bajoran leaders.

Given that the A-plot of this episode is at the sillier end of Star Trek stories, I wasn’t especially looking forward to this episode – and indeed, the magical cloud monster that is secretly based on the villagers’ emotions is less than enthralling. Nonetheless, this episode is otherwise quite inoffensive. We get to see O’Brien and Bashir at the awkward start of what is going to become a great friendship, and we also have an entire B-plot to occupy our attention. Although this secondary thread was at times in danger of becoming “teenaged female leader is too stubborn for her own good and needs to learn the wisdom of men”, actually it’s not that bad. Varis, Jake and Nog have a decent friendship that improves all three characters, and the plot has more of a coming of age than “stupid teenage girls, eh?” feel.

Character moments

  • O’Brien still dislikes Bashir at the start of the episode, and given Bashir’s behaviour thus far, I don’t blame him. Nonetheless, this episode goes some way to making Bashir more bearable, and easing tensions between the two men.
  • When Nog claims that Rom is clever in his own way, this will actually grow to be true, as we learn Rom has an aptitude for engineering.

Other points

  • The Sirrah is in possession of an Orb fragment. We never learn whether it’s a piece taken from a still-functioning Orb, or a shattered one – nor do Orb fragments make any further appearances.
  • Odo’s legendary bucket is seen for the first time. This is where he rests in his liquid state every night.
  • Why is Quark allowed into sensitive negotiations to serve drinks? Just use the replicator!
  • If all Varis is doing for the first few days is saying no to any demands, what’s going on in the negotiations? Were people coming up with suggestions that she was refusing? Neither leader had brought any advisors with them to plan strategy – were Kira and Sisko coming up with all the suggestions whilst the two leaders glared at each other?

Summary – The Storyteller: Not as bad as I was expecting. Has season one worn me down?

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