Friday, August 12, 2022

Star Trek: The Passenger

Episode: "The Passenger"
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 1, Episode 9
Original Air Date: February 20, 1993

Kira and Bashir rescue Ty Kajada, a Kobliad security officer, from her burning transport.  They were not able to rescue her prisoner, Rao Vantika, who dies despite the doctor's best efforts.  Except it's not that simple.  Kajada repeatedly insists that Vantika isn't actually dead, that he is somehow still a threat to carry out the hijacking of a shipment headed to Deep Space 9.  How is that possible?  Well, apparently he's learned to inject his consciousness into the brains of others, including that of one of our heroes.

"The Passenger" is a popular choice for Worst of Series lists.  The possession of Bashir is a bit clumsy - Alexander Siddig owns his shortcomings in this particular episode.  But once again, I have to say that even the weakest DS9 efforts aren't so bad.  They're pretty good compared with the worst TNG offerings or the nearly unwatchable worst TOS submissions.  Even here, there is meaningful development for the long term.  One of the strongest narrative drivers through the DS9 run is the complicated dynamic between Sisko, Odo and Quark and that trio get a good workout in "The Passenger."  We get an important reminder that Quark isn't just there for comic relief.  He's a genuine scoundrel in his own right.  There's some fun Bashir-as-arrogant-prick material early in the story, too.

Acting Notes

Julie Caitlin Brown (née Andrich) played the role of Ty Kajada.  Brown was born January 27, 1961 in San Francisco.  Most of her work was on stage - including a Broadway production of Grand Hotel - until she moved to Los Angeles in 1992.

Most of Brown's screen work has been television guest spots, most prominently on Babylon 5 on which she made seven appearances.  Other credits include Becker, JAG and Beverly Hills, 90210.  "The Passenger" was her first of three Trek appearances.  Her biggest film job was the lead in All About Evil.  

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