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Past Prologue (episode)

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(written from a Production point of view)

A Bajoran terrorist tests Kira's loyalties to the Federation when he attempts to rid Bajor of the Federation for good.

SummaryEdit

Teaser Edit

Garak and Bashir, 2369

"It's Doctor... Bashir, isn't it?"

Garak, a Cardassian tailor on Deep Space 9, unexpectedly stops by Doctor Julian Bashir's lunch table at the Replimat to introduce himself. With little tact, Julian suggests that Garak is a Cardassian spy. Julian rushes to Ops to report the encounter, but Commander Benjamin Sisko is busy trying to head off a Cardassian attack on a Bajoran scout ship. With the ship breaking apart, the sole occupant is beamed to DS9. Recognizing Major Kira Nerys, he identifies himself as Tahna Los and requests political asylum; he is taken to the infirmary.

Act One Edit

Gul Danar, commanding the Aldara, demands he be released to them immediately as a Kohn-Ma criminal terrorist; Sisko pledges to investigate the matter before proceeding and invites him aboard the station, later having O'Brien stall him with docking regulations. Kira goes with him to the infirmary, along the way explaining she and Tahna worked together in the Bajoran Resistance, and she sympathizes with his cause. Sisko warns her he can't have a divided loyalty under him, and she indignantly declares a loyalty to Bajor. She also points out that splinter groups, like the Kohn-Ma, will need to be repatriated if the government is going to be rebuilt. When Sisko questions Tahna, it's clear Kira is on his side and Sisko dismisses her. Alone, Tahna admits to carrying out brutal acts against Cardassians, even after the end of the occupation of Bajor but hints that his days of violence are a thing of the past. He's obviously been subjected to Cardassian torture.

Danar

Gul Danar

Meanwhile, Kira goes over Sisko's head, asking Starfleet Admiral Rollman to intervene but the Admiral immediately reports Kira's actions back to Sisko, noting that he has a problem with her insubordination. Soon, Danar arrives in his office, angry at the docking delays, and demands the fugitive; Sisko politely denies him, saying he would have a problem with Bajor if he gave him up. He grants asylum to Tahna Los and Danar says nothing and leaves.

Act Two Edit

Kira shows Tahna to quarters, and they soon debate Bajoran politics; Tahna wants a completely free and independent Bajor, whereas Kira sees the need for the Federation's involvement, at least for the time being, until they can fully exploit the wormhole commercially. Tahna is skeptical, and Kira understands with all their people have been through. She wants Tahna to take a leadership position to bring more people together, but he doesn't see the government as valid and sees her as having adapted to her misguided role. Kira promises her help and support in getting amnesty for him and any who follow him on Bajor, as long as he is no longer with the Kohn-Ma, which he assures her is true.

Elsewhere, the Klingon sisters Lursa and B'Etor of the House of Duras arrive on DS9. Unwilling at first to relinquish their weapons on the Promenade, they are tacitly convinced by Odo to do so or leave. He promptly notifies Sisko of their presence, currently just sitting around at Quark's. However, unknown to him, Garak, and soon Bashir, are observing their "outfits" closely, for tailoring purposes, he tells Bashir. They observe Tahna arriving, and immediately the sisters leave with him to meet in a private location, demanding payment for a deal they had made. Odo, disguised as a rat, observes the entire exchange.

Act Three Edit

Kira has arranged an amnesty hearing in the Ministers' Court on Bajor for Tahna. She informs Sisko, and also tells him of two other former Kohn-Ma agents who are also seeking asylum. Sisko promises to protect them as well, and Kira, surprised and relieved, tells him his help is greatly appreciated. Sisko thanks her, then bluntly warns her to never go over his head again to the admiralty. When Sisko hears from Odo, however, about the dealings between Tahna and the scheming Klingon sisters, he reserves judgment and keeps this information from her for the moment.

Meanwhile, Garak receives the Duras sisters in his shop. After he gives a few lines about fashion, the sisters immediately get to the point of selling Tahna to the Cardassians, believing he still represents their interests. Garak eventually negotiates with them.

Kira happily informs Tahna that she has the necessary votes in the Ministry for his amnesty; Tahna is not interested, though. He reveals the fact that he knew Kira was on the station before he got there, and announces his pride at still being a Kohn-Ma. He promises her that he wasn't lying when he said he has renounced the use of violence, but needs for a small ship with warp speed to carry out his latest plan, which he can't tell her. Kira asks how he can know she won't go straight to Sisko. Tahna just smirks and says that will only confirm what she so adamantly denied before: that she has turned her back on her friends and her own people, and become a willing puppet of the Federation.

Act Four Edit

Garak finds Doctor Bashir on the Promenade, but dispenses with pleasantries. He notes the two recently arrived Kohn-Ma terrorists, which immediately worries Bashir. Garak, however, convinces him to come to his shop that evening at exactly 20:55 hours to "buy a suit." Bashir eventually understands and leaves. Unsure of what to do, Bashir asks Sisko for advice. Sisko recommends that he keep his appointment, as he understands it is a means for unofficial communication. They may be signaling a common enemy.

Sisko also asks Kira about the two terrorists, but Kira doesn't reveal what she's learned. Unsure of whom to support, she asks for Odo's advice. Odo senses that she is torn between loyalties, but also that she knows what she wants to do and is afraid to do it. He gets her cleverly to say it out loud, including that, even if she refuses to help Tahna, he will still find a way to complete his plan. He convinces her to divulge everything to Sisko by simply calling him down to security since "someone" wants to talk to him.

Bashir, arriving two minutes late to Garak's, is quickly herded into a back stall, where he is allowed to overhear the Klingon sisters agreeing to sell a small cylinder of bilitrium to Tahna in the Bajor system in four hours. Once they have departed, Bashir asks what bilitrium is, and Garak informs Bashir that it is a rare crystalline element, the atoms of which can release a tremendous amount of power. Garak also happens to know that Tahna was fleeing from the Cardassians for the theft of an Antimatter converter. Combined together, Tahna would have the ingredients for a bomb of "significant destructive capability."

Act Five Edit

Duras sisters b-o-p and Yangtzee Kiang, Past Prologue

The Yangtzee Kiang meets with the Duras sisters' Bird-of-Prey

Kira, under orders from Sisko, provides Tahna with the runabout USS Yangtzee Kiang and accompanies them to the rendezvous; Sisko and O'Brien are nearby in the USS Ganges, lurking behind Bajor VIII's moon, reconnoitering the rendezvous area for the illegal weapons deal. After the bilitrium is exchanged for 13 kilograms of gold-pressed latinum, Sisko gives chase to Tahna and Kira.

Tahna finally sees through Kira's act; he strikes her to the floor, and then combines the bilitrium he just purchased with an antimatter converter, activating the biogenic weapon. They go to warp and head toward DS9. With the Ganges and the Aldara closing fast, Kira learns that DS9 is not the target of the weapon; the target is the wormhole. By collapsing the entrance to the wormhole, and shutting it forever, Tahna seeks to remove Bajor from prominence in the Alpha Quadrant, so that Bajor will be left alone by both the Federation and the Cardassians.

At the last second, however, Kira steers the Yangtzee Kiang straight into the wormhole, just as they drop to impulse power and release the weapon. But the weapon is deployed in the Gamma Quadrant, on the other side of the wormhole. Following them through the wormhole, Sisko confronts Tahna via the communicator. Tahna angrily says he still has Kira as a hostage, but Sisko informs Tahna that his choices have been reduced to two: surrender now, or be captured by the Cardassians. Quaking visibly, Tahna chooses the former.

Tahna is taken back aboard DS9 and incarcerated by Odo. Although Kira has lost Tahna's friendship, she has begun a new one with Commander Sisko.

Memorable quotesEdit

"You're very kind, Mister Garak."
"Oh, it's just Garak. Plain, simple Garak."

- Bashir and Garak


"Go over my head again, and I'll have yours on a platter."

- Sisko to Kira, regarding her conversation with Admiral Rollman


"That damned Cardassian's firing on a Bajoran scoutship in Bajoran space!"

- Kira


"You won't believe who sat down next to me in the replimat!"

- Bashir, regarding meeting Garak for the first time


"Commander, the Cardassians are hailing us."
"Now they want to talk!"
"They're hopping mad."

- O'Brien and Kira


"Why don't I... lock them up and call the Klingons to come get them?"
"Odo..."

- Odo and Sisko, discussing the Duras sisters


"You've never fought Cardassians, have you?"
"No."
"Well, you wouldn't wanna turn a man... any man... over to their tender care, sir. You just wouldn't."

- O'Brien and Sisko


"They went straight to Quark's, but not for the gambling... and certainly not for the food."

- Odo, on Lursa and B'Etor's whereabouts


"You know, Cardassian rule may have been oppressive but at least it was... simple."

- Odo


"We have specific regulations. You can leave the weapons, or leave the station. Your choice. Please make it now."
"Who are you?"
"I'm the one giving you the choice."
(The Duras sisters surrender their weapons.)
"Welcome to DS9."

- Odo and B'Etor


"Well, what do you want me to do?"
"I think, doctor... you could definitely use a new suit."

- Bashir and Sisko


"Ah, an open mind. The essence of intellect."

- Garak, to Bashir

Background informationEdit

Story and scriptEdit

  • In Katharyn Powers' original script, Kira and Tahna were to be lovers, but Michael Piller decided that this was a television cliché. Powers' version also had Tahna turning his back on terrorism and attempt to forge peace with the Cardassians, before being killed by his own people. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 41)
  • This was the first appearance of Andrew Robinson as Elim Garak in the series. Garak would eventually become an important recurring character, making his final appearance in the series finale "What You Leave Behind". Getting his characterization right was important to both the crew and the actor himself. Of the origins of the character, producer Peter Allan Fields says that "we needed a Cardassian who didn't act like one, so I finally put him in a tailor shop, and nobody hit me, so we kept him there." Director Winrich Kolbe says of the performance that "we agreed that Andy could push the envelope, but he couldn't leave the Cardassian platform. We had long talks about wardrobe and makeup, but we also talked about attitude, so that he would retain that stiffness that you see in all Cardassians." Finally, Andrew Robinson himself says of the character, "he's all subtext. If a smart guy like Garak says that he's 'plain and simple', you realize that he's not plain and not simple. And that there is a lot going on. Regardless of how innocuous or simple each line is, there's always something going on underneath that belies the line. And his eyes and the tone of his voice say something different than the words he's speaking. It's not an easy thing to work with subtext, but when you do it well, you really get people's attention." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)

ProductionEdit

  • The change which takes place in Kira's hairstyle from the pilot episode, "Emissary", was at the request of Nana Visitor herself; "I just didn't feel that Major Kira would style her hair every day. She wouldn't care! I wanted a hairstyle that looked like she just woke up in the morning looking like that." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)

ReceptionEdit

  • Barbara March commented: "We were only in the episode briefly, and we didn't have much to do. I was hoping they'd give us an action-packed episode, where we could fight and use our weapons and kick a little more butt! Also, we didn't really get to work with the show's main cast – we were either alone or with one character. But Winrich Kolbe, the director, was really wonderful". Gwynyth Walsh commented: "I think they brought us back because it was time. It was fine. It was lovely to work with Rene [Auberjonois], but we mostly worked just by ourselves in that one. We didn't have that much interaction with anyone else. But it was largely the same crew – a lot of the crew had left ST:TNG for ST:DS9 – so it was nice to see some old buddies". ("Double Trouble", Star Trek Monthly, issue 36)

TriviaEdit

Video and DVD releasesEdit

Links and referencesEdit

Starring Edit

Also starring Edit

Guest stars Edit

Co-star Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

Stunt doubles Edit

Stand-ins Edit

ReferencesEdit

Aldara; Alpha Quadrant; amnesty; antimatter converter; assassination; Bajor VIII; Bajoran Intelligence; Bajoran Intelligence net; Bajoran Provisional Government; Bajoran scout ship; Bajoran system; Bajoran wormhole; bilitrium; bomb; Cardassian; Cardassian warship; clothier; concussion; conspiracy; crime; Duras sisters; Duras sisters' Bird-of-Prey; evasive maneuvers; Federation; First Minister; Galor-class; Gamma Quadrant; Ganges, USS; glinn; gul; Haru outposts; House of Duras; isolinear rod; Joranian ostrich; Klingons; Klingon Bird-of-Prey; Klingon Civil War; Klingon High Council; Kohn-Ma; Kraus IV; latinum; lingerie; Ministers' Court; Occupation of Bajor; political asylum; prefect; Promenade; Quark's; rat; replimat; runabout; second-degree burn; splinter group; spy; structural integrity field; suit; Tarkalean tea; terrorist; tractor beam; warp engines; Yangtzee Kiang, USS

Other references Edit

External linksEdit


Previous episode:
"Emissary"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 1
Next episode:
"A Man Alone"

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