‘Distant Voices’ (DS9) (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is an unusual ‘DS9’ episode for me. It takes place inside Bashir’s mind where he gets attacked by an alien intruder and we see him age to death. It’s a very fascinating insight into Bashir’s character here.

The episode begins with Bashir having lunch with Andrew J. Robinson as Garak. It’s soon to be Bashir’s birthday in two days’ time. It happens to be his 30th birthday. He’s not looking forward to it.

Bashir shares his anxiety with Garak as the age of 30 is considered to be ‘the end of youth and the beginning of the long, slow march into middle age’. I still feel young and I’m approaching 31 here. 😀

Their conversation gets interrupted by Quark who wants to ask Bashir something on behalf of his new business associate – Victor Rivers as Altovar, a Lethean. He’s ‘very’ handsome to look at here. 😀

Altovar wants to buy bio-mimetc gel, which is a highly-restricted substance, but he refuses to say why he wants it. Bashir in turn refuses to give what Altovar wants. At this, Altovar angrily storms off.

Later, when Bashir returns to the infirmary, he finds Altovar breaking in and stealing the bio-mimetic gel from his medical supplies. Bashir tries to stop Altovar, but gets attacked with an electrical field. 😮

This knocks him out unconscious. When he wakes up, he finds that he’s begun to age quickly. He also finds the station to be dark and deserted, as if a great major catastrophe had just occurred so lately.

Just to say, I really like how Alexander Siddig does his performance as Bashir in the episode. This is especially when he’s aging and he does well with the prosthetic make-up he’s given to look very old.

As Bashir explores the station, he soon finds Jadzia, O’Brien, Kira and Odo together and arguing with each other. Bashir finds their behaviour abnormal, wondering why they should be behaving like that.

He also seems to be hearing voices inside his head. Hence the episode’s title ‘Distant Voices’. As O’Brien begins to repair the communications systems, Bashir hears the voices of his crewmates here.

It turns out everything that’s happening to Bashir is inside his mind. He’s actually in a coma and that he’s dying. The crew and the station he encounters are all actually part of his mind in a dream state.

Each of the crew represents aspects of Bashir’s personality. Kira represents his aggression; Odo represents his suspicion; O’Brien represents his doubt and Dax represents his confidence. Intriguing!

I find it fascinating how Bashir’s mind gets explored and how certain members of the DS9 crew represent aspects of him. I should probably do something like with one of my ‘Doctor Who’ stories. 😀

Very soon, a version of Altovar who chases Bashir inside his mind which represents the station also captures and kills many of Bashir’s aspects. The first is Jadzia Dax before it’s soon Odo and Kira next.

Altovar also captures Sisko who represents his aspect of medical profession. It’s quite frightening this should happen in Bashir’s mind, especially when he’s in a coma. This seems a no-win situation. 😦

Bashir, soon in a weakened, elderly state, gets helped by Garak to go to ops. Garak doesn’t seem to be much help to Bashir, as he tries to convince him on giving up and dying. But Bashir won’t give up.

It’s soon revealed that Garak isn’t a part of Bashir’s personality. He’s actually Altovar in disguise. That was quite a surprise twist turn when Garak turned into Altovar right before an elderly Bashir. 😐

Altovar taunts Bashir about the possibility he may have given up on previous occasions. This includes Bashir’s desire to be a tennis player instead of a doctor; passing his exams; and desires for Jadzia Dax.

Bashir soon returns to the infirmary where he traps Altovar using a sterilisation field. Bashir’s very determined to overcome his sense of doubt and keep on fighting. Thankfully, Altovar gets destroyed.

Waking up out of his coma, Bashir is alive and well. He also gets to meet up with Garak and share his dream-like experience with him, including where Garak was revealed as a villain. Garak is flattered. 🙂

‘Distant Voices’ is quite an unusual ‘DS9’ episode in the series featuring Bashir’s character. It’s a fascinating insight into his mind and dream-like. I like how Bashir overcame death in that situation. 🙂

‘Distant Voices’ (DS9) rating – 8/10

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