Friday, October 21, 2022

Star Trek: The Storyteller

Episode: "The Storyteller"
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 1, Episode 14
Original Air Date: May 2, 1993

via Memory Alpha

Dr. Bashir is summoned for a medical emergency in a Bajoran village.  Commander Sisko sends Chief O'Brien with him.  It quickly becomes obvious that O'Brien doesn't like Bashir much but the latter does his best to make pals anyway.  It's a good thing Miles was along for the ride, though.  The village's spiritual leader, the Sirah, is dying and picks O'Brien as his successor.  As might be expected, that doesn't work out too well.

I've been waiting for an eye-roller and I believe this one is it.  The role of the Sirah is to fend off an energy cloud from attacking the city by telling stories which inspire the villagers to resist.  It's pretty hokey - original series-level hokey.  

And yet, once again, even a DS9 clunker has merit.  The episode marks the beginning of one of the more endearing series threads: the close friendship between Julian and Miles.  "A bromance is born," our progeny said in our recent rewatch.  And the B-plot is surprisingly sweet.  Tetrarch Varis Sul, the 15-year-old leader of another village, represents the interest of her people in tense negotiations with a neighboring community.  The young woman draws the interest of Jake and especially Nog.  The story provides a nice glimpse of the elder Sisko's leadership.  From the beginning, he takes Varis seriously, even as she frustrates his efforts to make peace.  For her part, Varis warms to Ben as she comes to see him through Jake's eyes.

The O'Brien as Sirah story is based on Rudyard Kipling's "The Man Who Would Be King."

Acting Notes

via Memory Alpha

Lawrence Monoson played the role of Hovath, the more worthy successor as Sirah.  Monoson was born August 11, 1964 in Yonkers, New York.  Films include Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Mask and the HBO movie And the Band Played On, for which he received a CableACE Award nomination.  He had recurring roles on several television series, including Prince Street, ER and Resurrection Blvd.  "The Storyteller" is his first of two Star Trek appearances on two different series.