Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Reason #27 Why I Love DS9 - Little Green Men

There are many reasons why I love Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and why it remains my favorite of the Star Trek franchise.

Reason #27: “Little Green Men”

Some of my favorite episodes of DS9 can be found in the show's Fourth Season. I've already discussed "Our Man Bashir" and in my discussion of the return of Kor. The tongue-in-cheek episode "Little Green Men" offers an amusing Ferengi episode in which Quark (Armin Shimerman), Rom (Max Grodénchik), Nog (Aron Eisenberg) and Odo (Rene Auberjonois), who stows away on the shuttle hoping to catch Quark's illegal smuggling, get accidentally shot back in time to become the aliens who land and are discovered in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.

At first Quark marvels at the greediness of 20th Century Earth and makes plans to change the timeline to his favor, not realizing the same culture killing itself on nicotine and atomic bombs (which knock out their Universal Translators temporarily) may also kill him. The momentary loss of the translators leads to some humorous moments between Quark and the humans including guest-star Megan Gallagher (best known to me for her recurring role in Nowhere Man) as a military nurse brought in to examine the aliens.

Gallagher and the other guest-stars (Charles Napier, Conor O'Farrell, and James MacDonald) all fit into the late-40s or earlier 50s B-movie archetypes and, in one of the many in-jokes, the characters were named off of B-movie stars of the time period. The time-period sets and costumes also help sell one of the few episodes to take place almost entirely off the station as well. Aside from another great episode to further flesh-out Quark and the Ferengi, the episode is a love-letter to cinema of the time period which fans of the genre will no doubt appreciate. We also get Cisco's (Avery Brooks) warning in jest about Earth not being ready for the Ferengi and a callback to Cisco rewriting a bit of history of his own in Nog noticing how the captain bears a striking resemblance to Gabriel Bell.

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