Image in the Sand

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"Image in the Sand"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode
Episode no.Season 7
Episode 1
Directed byLes Landau
Written byIra Steven Behr
Hans Beimler
Featured musicDennis McCarthy
Production code551
Original air dateSeptember 30, 1998 (1998-09-30)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Tears of the Prophets"
Next →
"Shadows and Symbols"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (season 7)
List of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes

"Image in the Sand" is the 151st episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the opening episode for the series' seventh and final season. It was first aired on September 30, 1998. Sisko has gone on leave back to Earth to spend time with his Dad (played by Brock Peters) and Jake, meanwhile back on Deep Space Nine life—and war goes on.

There are several guest stars in this episode, including James Darren who returns as Vic Fontaine, Barry Jenner as Federation Admiral Ross, J. G. Hertzler as Klingon General Martok, and Megan Cole as the Romulan Cretak. Kira is in charge of the station and must work with the Federation and Romulans as part of the war effort, while Worf, O'Brien, Bashir, and Quark cope with the loss of their co-worker Jadzia Dax.


The episode continues the story that began in the finale of the sixth season, "Tears of the Prophets." Benjamin Sisko has taken extended leave on Earth; Kira Nerys, who has been promoted to the rank of Colonel, is in charge of Deep Space Nine; and Worf is still grieving for Jadzia.

While Sisko deals with his feelings of failure by visiting his father in New Orleans, Kira and Odo deal with life as normal on the station. The Defiant continues its assignment escorting cargo runs, but Nog, O'Brien, and Bashir all notice that something is bothering Worf, beyond Jadzia's untimely demise at the hand of Gul Dukat. Kira is later called to a meeting with Admiral Ross, who compliments her on the running of the station since Sisko's departure. "I'm just keeping his seat warm," she reminds the Admiral, even though he himself is not sure when the Captain will return. He then informs Kira that the Romulan Empire has been given permission to send a permanent delegation to the station, just as the Klingons have. The leader is one Senator Cretak, who is a staunch supporter of the Alliance between Romulus and the Federation, but Kira is not thrilled at this news. Ross ignores her dubious feelings, reminding her that he came as a courtesy, "this decision has already been made".

Back on Earth, a distant Sisko separates himself from his family, doing nothing but playing the piano in the restaurant his father Joseph owns. His son, Jake, is worried about his father's attitude, though Joseph realizes it will take time. As they talk, Sisko continues playing, until his baseball rolls off the top of the piano and hits the floor. Sisko, stopping his playing, reaches for the ball, and is suddenly pulled into one of the visions that he has been sent in the past by the Bajoran Prophets. In it, he sees himself in the desert on an alien world that he knows to be Tyree. He is digging frantically, before coming across a blanket buried in the sand. Slowly he pulls at it, only to reveal the hidden face of a woman whom he does not recognize. Joseph eventually reveals that the face belongs to Sisko's biological mother Sarah, who abandoned the family when Sisko was a year old and who later died. Joseph also gives Sisko a necklace of Sarah's, which has ancient Bajoran writing on it. Later, a Bajoran member of a Pah-Wraith cult led by Gul Dukat (see DS9 episode Covenant) attacks Sisko and attempts to kill him to prevent him from finding the Orb of the Emissary on Tyree but Jake knocks him out.

Back on the station, Senator Cretak asks Kira to petition the Bajoran Council of Ministers to allow the Romulans to set up a hospital on the uninhabited moon of Derna. Kira does so and they accept. Later, Odo tells Kira that a Starfleet transport filled with wounded, most of which were Vulcans, was denied permission to dock at the hospital. At first, Kira doesn't think it's suspicious because of the two species' mutual distrust, until Odo shows her sensor readings that indicate the presence of plasma torpedoes. Kira then furiously tells Cretak to have the weapons removed immediately, but the Senator refuses.

Meanwhile, Worf confides in O'Brien that he is worried Jadzia won't enter Klingon heaven, Sto'Vo'Kor, because she didn't die in battle and the only way to ensure her place in Sto'Vo'Kor is by winning a glorious battle in her name. General Martok tells Worf he needs a first officer for a very dangerous mission that will ensure Jadzia's place in Sto'Vo'Kor.

At the end of the episode, a young female Starfleet ensign, a Trill, enters and greets Sisko, who does not recognize her. She then introduces herself as "Dax".


It received Nielsen ratings of 4.4 points, equating to 4.4 million viewers when it was first broadcast on syndicated television in September 1998.[1]

The episode has been analyzed to have a theme of destiny, especially for Sisko.[2]


This episode briefly introduces the new host for the Dax played by Nicole de Boer. Also, Deborah Lacey is introduced as a mysterious face in the sand, which becomes a plot element in the show and part of the overall story.


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