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Star Trek DS9 - Season 5 - Episode 16

Star Trek DS9 - 5x16 - Doctor Bashir, I Presume?

Originally Aired: 1997-2-24

Bashir is chosen as the model for the new version of Starfleet's holographic doctor program. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.43

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 30 6 1 2 5 12 9 12 34 16 9

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.


- According to Bashir, he hasn't been home in three years.
- This is another rare episode to feature the use of a holo projector.
- Julian's parents are imprisoned in a minimum security penal colony in New Zealand for two years. Maybe the same one Tom Paris was in in Voy: Caretaker?

Remarkable Scenes
- Rom chickening out in front of Leeta.
- Zimmerman's appearance.
- Zimmerman activating the EMH. I like how it starts complaining the minute it's activated. :)
- The interviews. I especially like how O'Brien didn't want Zimmerman to tell Bashir how much respect he has for him. :)
- Bashir's parents showing up. I loved Bashir's reaction to seeing them.
- O'Brien walking holographic Julian into walls. :)
- Zimmerman: "You said you liked cerebral men. And at the risk of sounding immodest, I have a towering intellect!"
- Bashir's parents accidentally divulging their "little secret" to holographic Bashir.
- Bashir telling O'Brien the history of his genetic engineering.
- Quark: "Remember what happened with Nog's mother? Yeah. Don't want to think about her, do you? Let me refresh your memory. You signed a standard five year marriage contract with Prinadora's father because you wanted to have a child. A simple every day business deal. But then you fell in love with your wife and wanted to extend the contract. And you were so in love that you never bothered to read the extension before signing it. So in the end, her father swindled you out of all your money. Prinadora left you for a richer man. And you got stuck with Nog. Hooray for romance."
- Bashir: "No. You used to be my father. Now, you're my architect. A man who designed a better son. To replace the defective one he was given."
- The admiral: "200 years ago we tried to improve the species through DNA resequencing. And what did we get for our troubles? The Eugenics wars. For every Julian Bashir that can be created there's a Khan Singh waiting in the wings."
- Rom finally working up the courage to ask Leeta out.
- Zimmerman: "True love should always win."
- O'Brien discovering that Bashir has been letting him win at darts to keep it looking fair. When O'Brien tells him to "really play," Bashir scores 3 bulls-eyes with ease. :)
- Morn Appearances; 1. The first scene. 2. Kisses Leeta. She pushes him away. 3. Is interviewed by Zimmerman. Does not speak. He shrugs. :) 4. Playing Dabo toward the end just before O'Brien discovers Bashir was letting him win.

My Review
This is the first episode in which we get to meet the real Dr. Zimmerman. One of the funniest and quirkiest characters ever introduced on Star Trek. This episode also features some great story for the ever neglected Rom character. You can really get a sense in this episode of how quasi-autistic Rom can be. He's a mechanical genius with zero social skills. I love how Leeta was in love with Rom and Rom was in love with Leeta, but she was waiting for him to make the first move and he was too shy to do it. Almost torturous to watch! :) Additionally, this subplot features great continuity with DS9: Let He Who Is Without Sin... when Leeta first announced she was in love with Rom. I was wondering if they were going to pick up on this. The main plot, however, is the shining star. Not only do we get fascinating character development for Bashir, but we get to see the ever so rarely featured and fascinating Louis Zimmerman character. A very nicely constructed episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JR on 2012-06-12 at 2:25am:
    I've never considered myself a trekkie by any means, but I always liked TNG re-runs and the movies, and watched Enterprise when it aired. With netflix carrying all the shows, I have really caught up and just have the rest of DS9 and Voyager to finish.

    So, even though I never really thought of myself as a trekkie, I've seen a lot of it and the Eugenics war timeline given in this episode seems really screwy compared to the rest of Trek.
    "The admiral: "200 years ago we tried to improve the species through DNA resequencing. And what did we get for our troubles? The Eugenics wars. For every Julian Bashir that can be created there's a Khan Singh waiting in the wings."

    As soon as I heard that line my mind started crunching numbers. The admiral is saying that the Eugenics Wars happened in the mid 22nd century. However, I thought the Eugenics wars were time stamped by TOS to be in the near future of the 1960's, meaning around the 1990's. I took it to mean that genetic experiments during the then present day 1960's would lead to 20-30 year old superhumans that took over the world in the 90's before being deposed. That was before WWIII of the mid 21st century.

    Any ideas on this? Just an error and the admiral should have said 400 years? I figure the writers did not want to confuse the non-trekkie audience by keeping the Eugenics wars in the 1990's since that would have put it in the "present/past" when this was made in 1997.
  • From Hugo on 2012-09-08 at 5:35pm:
    JR - this was was a screw-up by the writers - there is a comment by Ron Moore quoted on Memory Alpha.
  • From Selador on 2013-06-11 at 7:01pm:
    I have a feeling a certain someone has a problem with this episode since the 16 zero fan ratings doesn't really make sense otherwise. Was there no way to implement a one vote per ISP voting system?

    A fantastic episode and classic trek - a great sci-fi moral conundrum, excellent characterisation and a nice sub-plot. Also wonderful moments of humour. Gets a 9 from me.
  • From Kethinov on 2013-06-12 at 12:56am:
    I do some filtering to prevent multiple voting. But there's nothing I can do about someone with access to 16 different computers on 16 different IPs.

    If you like, I can start taking credit card and passport info before accepting a vote. ;)
  • From Ant on 2013-09-12 at 6:03pm:
    This one is a filler if I ever seen one where DS9 go cheap soap opera. One of the few episodes where I strongly disagree with Kethinov.
  • From Gaius Gracchus on 2021-11-18 at 5:44pm:
    Great cameo from Robert Picardo as Dr. Zimmerman/EMH, great Rom B-plot. And Alexander Siddig absolutely knocks this one out of the park, such pathos in the scene where he breaks down in anger at his parents for giving up on him, and the response from Fadwa El Guindi tops it off.

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