The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: Apocalypse Rising

The Klingon Empire is getting ever more aggressive towards the Federation, and after his time with the Founders, Odo believes that it is because Chancellor Gowron is a Changeling. Determined to unmask him, Sisko leads a covert mission deep into Klingon space.

At the very end of season four, we saw Gowron on screen talking about annexing Federation worlds, and Odo claiming that the Klingon leader was a Changeling. Naturally, there’s a twist to the tale, but what this means is that Sisko, O’Brien and Odo all get a crash course in being Klingon from Worf, as all four of them head deep into Klingon space to expose Gowron.

This was another of those episodes I loved as a teen for being action-packed and exciting, and it still holds up well. Whilst it might seem a bit of a shame that the writers were able to wrap up the Klingon storyline so quickly and neatly, on the other hand it’s good to have them as allies again, especially with the Dominion War just around the corner.

A new season

  • I feel like season five is where the DS9 episode titles start to get a more elaborate and whimsical – more like Babylon 5 episode titles, some might say.
  • When Worf and Kurn wanted to sneak aboard a Klingon ship in Sons of Mogh, they went to all the trouble of being surgically altered so they wouldn’t be recognised. Here, on a much more dangerous mission, the infamous traitor Worf remains easily recognisable.
  • Why doesn’t Dax get to go along on the Klingon mission? She loves all things Klingon, already knows the culture and combat, and would be much more comfortable than O’Brien. You might argue that O’Brien was needed for any engineering aspects of the mission, but given that it was merely “place some devices and switch them on”, I’m sure DS9’s science officer could have coped with that. Also, whilst we’re used to Klingon events often being a boys’ club, we do see a female Klingon being awarded the Order of the Bat’leth, so it’s not like women weren’t eligible to attend. (Note: on further reading, apparently Terry Farrell would not have been able to wear Klingon make-up due to skin allergies.)
  • Sisko makes an excellent Klingon, although perhaps surprisingly, he seems to have the physical strength to beat up a real Klingon. Perhaps it was just the adrenaline and rage of hearing that his friend was dead, combined with catching his opponent off guard.
  • The scene in which Kira blames Bashir for her pregnancy is clearly a massive in-joke, as Alexander Siddig is the father of Nana Visitor’s child.
  • Going back to the previous episode, just how exactly did the Founders make Odo human anyway? Obviously they can change their own physiology, and we know they can merge together to some extent. Could two Changelings make a single object if they wanted to (other than a large pool of goo, obviously)? Does it take the combined power of the entire Great Link to permanently alter one of their own? Can they alter other objects?
  • Also from the previous episode, we learnt that shapeshifter Odo can alter both his mass and density.

Summary – Apocalypse Rising: Unless you want to battle to the death, don’t strike a Klingon with the back of your hand. Just punch them in the face if you want to make your point.

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