Dramatis Personae (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

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"Dramatis Personae"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 18
Directed by Cliff Bole
Written by Joe Menosky
Featured music Jay Chattaway
Cinematography by Marvin Rush
Production code 418
Original air date May 30, 1993 (1993-05-30)
Guest appearance(s)
  • Jeff Pruitt - Ensign
  • Tom Towles - Hon'Tihl
  • Stephen Parr - Valerian
  • Randy Pflug - Guard
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Forsaken"
Next →
List of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes

"Dramatis Personae" is the 18th episode of the first season of the American syndicated science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

In this episode, a "telepathic infection" sets the crew into two factions fighting against each other, with Major Kira leading the mutiny.


Major Kira believes a Valerian ship docked at the station is smuggling weapons to the Cardassians, but Commander Sisko refuses to detain the vessel without evidence. Before they can resolve their conflict, a damaged Klingon vessel arrives through the Wormhole and one of its crew transports aboard Deep Space Nine as the ship explodes. The bloodied man, later identified as the ship's first officer, whispers, "Victory!" and dies within seconds. As the vessel was only supposed to be conducting a biological survey, the crew investigates. While inquiring at Quark's, Constable Odo's head splits in two and he collapses. Quark rushes to find the doctor.

Odo awakens in the Infirmary. Being ignorant of Odo's physiology, Dr. Bashir is unable to find anything wrong with him, but hints at potential trouble between Kira and Sisko. When pressed for more information, he vaguely says it is "too early to commit oneself either way." By now, Kira has found evidence of foul play among the Valerians, and informs Sisko of her intention to confiscate their cargo; he forbids her from doing so. Meanwhile, Lt. Dax and Chief O'Brien take a runabout to find the Klingons' mission recorder.

During their trip, O'Brien mentions the mounting tension and makes his loyalty to Sisko clear to a complacent Dax. They find the mission recorder and bring it back to the station, where Kira attempts to win Dax's loyalty. While others quickly form alliances, however, Dax appears lethargic and only interested in reminiscing about the past. Kira sees Quark attempting to eavesdrop, and violently attacks him.

Quark enters Odo's office wearing a neck brace and states his intention to file charges. Although he mentions Kira's attack, Odo is more interested in the crew's strange behavior, and decides to talk with Sisko; after he leaves, it is clear that Quark did not need the neck brace.

In Sisko's office, Odo finds O'Brien reviewing the Klingon captain's log. Odo then visits Sisko in his quarters and warns of parallels between the apparent bloody mutiny on the Klingon ship and what is now happening on the station. Sisko, however, has begun meticulously constructing a clock and cannot be bothered. Odo returns to his own office to find Kira waiting for him; she solicits his help in a plan to eliminate Sisko and O'Brien. She offers to make Odo her first officer once she is in command. He pretends to go along with her.

Odo reviews the Klingon log further. Before the mutiny had begun, the Klingons had discovered a collection of energy spheres with telepathic imprints of an ancient power struggle that destroyed a race known as the Saltah'na. While Odo is reviewing the log, O'Brien informs Sisko that the Valerian captain has agreed to take them with him, once O'Brien helps him escape.

Odo realizes that the imprint is affecting everyone aboard the station, causing them to re-enact the power struggle that doomed the Saltah'na and the Klingon crew. Odo alone is unaffected due to his non-humanoid brain. He visits Bashir again and pretends collaboration to coopt him into finding a way to reverse the imprint, saying that this way they can then seize control for themselves.

Bashir finds a way to remove the telepathic influence from the crew and Odo plays on the trust of both Kira and Sisko to lure both sides into one of the cargo bays. There, Odo and Bashir surprise them as they are about to kill one another. Odo activates Bashir's cure. A purple gas-like cloud emerges from the crew, who regain their senses and demand to know what is happening. He orders everyone to grab hold of something stable and opens the cargo bay doors, venting the cloud into space and removing the telepathic imprint permanently.


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