Star Trek Deep Space 9: Equilibrium – Some Casual Thoughts

My daughters and I are making our way through Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (having finished Voyager a little while ago) and are early in the third season now, having just watched the episode Equilibrium, an episode which focuses on Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell), a Trill officer on board the space station.

(Daily Doctor Who #152)

The Trill are a joined species–made up of a humanoid host and an inhuman symbiont (kind of like a non-malevolent version of the Gou’ald from Stargate). The idea is that the symbionts are long-lived, and can have multiple hosts, each of whom creating a new person whose memories are retained after the host’s death. Jadzia Dax is, as far as she knows, the seventh such host

The episode originally aired on October 17, 1994, and it was a pretty good one. As I watched it, though, I couldn’t help but to be reminded of lots of other examples of classic science fiction TV. One of those was Doctor Who, with a connection that one of my daughters pointed out.

Equilibrium was about Dax discovering that she had had a host that she didn’t remember or know anything about, a dark personality with whose existence she had to reconcile. This of course is reminiscent of several Doctor Who plotlines, like the War Doctor, an incarnation whose existence the Doctor is aware of but ashamed of (from 2013).

Also, the more recent stories of the Timeless Child and the so-called Fugitive Doctor (both from 2020).Battl

They may be part of the same story, or may not, it’s not clear yet, but either way they represents multiple incarnations the Doctor was previously unaware of.

However, in addition to Doctor Who, there is also elements of Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) in the episode.

Jadzia begins to become aware of her dark past when she recognizes an eerie melody that she cannot recall ever learning. Similarly, multiple characters in Battlestar Galactica hear an mysterious tune on numerous occasions that lead them to different key moments in their life journey. The two pieces of music are not the same of course (and actually, Galactica‘s is actually based on Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower), but each has a similar haunting quality.

And then there’s also The Prisoner (from 1967). In the Deep Space Nine episode, Jadzia has a series of nightmare visions of a figure in a mask.

When the mask is pulled off, there is another mask underneath–a bit like Number One in the last episode of the British paranoid espionage show (except in that case, the mask underneath was that of an ape).

Anyway, I’m not saying that any of these properties–The Prisoner, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica or Doctor Who–swiped from each other on purpose (although who knows, there may be some connections), but I thought it was interesting.

I guess if you are going to unknowingly steal from something, it may as well as be from the best.

One thought on “Star Trek Deep Space 9: Equilibrium – Some Casual Thoughts

  1. I agree. Star Trek TNG’s Transfigurations was a clear parallel to Doctor Who’s The Mutants, and I found that fairly interesting too.

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