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Star Trek DS9 - Season 3 - Episode 07

Star Trek DS9 - 3x07 - Civil Defense

Originally Aired: 1994-11-7

A trapped crew fights to save the station from self-destruction when an automated Cardassian security program is accidentally activated. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.2

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 22 2 5 2 5 4 6 22 24 25 16

Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- This episode further reinforces that Dukat and Garak are enemies and provides more evidence for Garak's formerly high status among Cardassian society.

- Why would destroying the computer terminals which send commands to the life support system destroy the life support system itself? Surely the life support system isn't actually centered in ops behind those controls?


Remarkable Scenes
- O'Brien accidentally triggering Gul Dukat's security program.
- Quark: "You mean I'm stuck here with you?" Odo: "No. I'm stuck here with you!"
- Garak appearing on ops, passing through forcefields freely.
- Odo telling Quark he's the most devious Ferengi he's ever met and Quark thanking him for the compliment.
- The computer replicating phasers set to kill and shooting at everyone in ops!
- Dukat showing up. I love how the phaser shoots around him.
- Dukat using the replicator. It gives him red leaf tea, then rereplicates the phaser! Hahaha!
- Dukat and Garak insulting each other.
- Dukat triggering another automated program featuring a recording from one of his superiors, condemning him for his cowardice.
- Jake saving O'Brien.
- The reactor overload being absorbed by the shields. Cool effect.
- Odo naming several Ferengi he knows to be more clever than Quark in the final scene, to get under his skin. Rom is among them!
- Rules of Acquisition; 75. Home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of latinum.

My Review
An automated security program with many, many surprises. This is a very memorable episode. Garak and Dukat's scenes are simply classic and the danger is very realistic. The curious circumstantial alliance between Dukat and the main cast was fun to watch. It may be considered a cliche to keep making Dukat an ally, but in my opinion every time they do it it's done right. The climax of the episode is very nice. I love how Jake saves O'Brien's life and Sisko saves the station. An action packed, fun episode to watch which makes excellent use of a broad set of characters.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Shernand on 2006-11-24 at 2:20pm:
    One of the best DS9 episodes, watched it 3 times and it's still fun to see dukat showing up and the computer replicating phasers and firing ;)
  • From szycag on 2008-07-28 at 2:40am:
    This feels like it should be a season one episode... I thought it was kind of predictable. I knew Dukat would find out what was going on, just like I knew they'd find some way to get him stuck on the station afterwards. I thought they'd redeem it with a subplot about Kira coming to grips with her prejudice of cardassians like with Duet or Second Skin, but it was just going through the motions really. I just can't believe they'd be having problems like this after three years on the ship. Feels like a TOS plot, even has red shirts getting fried.
  • From djb on 2009-04-27 at 4:10pm:
    Neat episode! A Cardassian easter egg, if you will. No doubt Dukat planned it from the beginning. "I just happened to be taking a stroll around the demilitarized zone, when, imagine my surprise..."

    Reminds me of TNG: Disaster. Controls and systems disabled, people stuck in different parts of the ship/station attempting to get a hold on their situation, and a collaborative effort eventually (and barely) saving everyone.

    I also like how when Dax's hands get burned, and she can't get them treated right away, she continues to be extremely useful, offering one idea after another.

    Dukat is a great character, and it's great to a) see him come aboard all cocky, and b) change his attitude once he realizes he's as hosed as everyone else! Apparently he didn't count on someone laying a trap for him.
  • From Popescu on 2010-08-22 at 9:19am:
    djb, I think you are wrong when saying that Dukat planned this. The program was triggered by accident when working in the ore processing section.
  • From peterwolf on 2013-11-09 at 9:30pm:
    Not a bad episode, but I vote for 6 points, mainly because the final sequence is incomplete. We see Garak, Kira and Dukat fighting against the self-destruct program while the clock is ticking and then the focus is only on Sisko preventing the fusion reactor to explode. The people in OPS are forgotten ... Dax is injured (she needs some bandages on her hands), Garak, Kira and Dukat are in the middle of a fight that is not resolved, aso. So the two story lines never really fit together, only the third one provides a nice, appropriate ending on the promenade, when Odo suggests to Quark, which Ferengis might be more devious than him ...
    I like how Garak criticized Gul Dukat for his attempts to get involved with Kira (although it is not too obvious). In later episodes Dukat´s speeches addressing Kira with the same intention get extremely annoying and are a horrible waste of time. If the writers had been wise, they would have taken Garak´s advice and never tried to let Dukat go on with that rubbish.
  • From dronkit on 2014-03-28 at 1:42pm:
    Oh, O'Brien, every engineer should know these rules:

    1- when you buy used electronics, first thing you do is full memory wipe

    2- if it ain't broke, don't fix it

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