‘Sanctuary’ (DS9) (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

My Dad found this ‘DS9’ episode ‘Sanctuary’ to be quite political. And I suppose it is, especially concerning the matter of relocating an alien species from the Gamma Quadrant that does go haywire.

In the episode, the DS9 team receive a visit from a damaged vessel coming in through the wormhole. The people aboard are beamed over to the station as they turn out to be an alien race called Skrreeans.

The Skrreeans have unusual skin that’s almost crisp or wart-like and their language is difficult for the universal translators to interpret. Despite the language barriers, the DS9 team welcome the Skrreeans.

They’re led by Deborah May as Haneek, who is a farmer where she comes from and her species are a female-dominated society. She has three young men with her. This includes Andrew Koenig as Tumak.

I checked and yes! Apparently, Andrew Koenig was the son of actor Walter Koenig who played Chekov in the original ‘Star Trek’ series. Sadly, Andrew Koenig died in February 2010 after starring this episode.

It takes a while for the universal translators to pick up what the Skrreeans are saying, but after escorting them about the station, they sound like they’re talking English. Kira also connects to these aliens.

It was nice to see Kira bonding with Haneek when she and her kind are on the station. It takes a while for the Skrreeans to adjust to the station with the language and cultural barriers getting in the way. 😐

I liked that scene where Kira visited Haneek in her quarters. She bought her a dress that she assumed she liked. But as the universal translators weren’t working properly, Kira was mistaken in that regard.

It turned out Haneek found the dress hideous. Kira agrees with her. The two laugh together about it and become friends instantly. It’s a shame their friendship gets strained later on in the episode as I saw it.

It turns out, according to Haneek, that her people’s world was conquered by another species and they’re now looking for a new home. Sisko promises to assist Haneek and her people find a new home.

An interesting thing to mention is that the Haneek mentions the Dominion. They conquered the Skrreean homeworld. This is the first time that the Federation and Bajor hear the word Dominion here.

Pretty soon, more Skrreean ships come through the wormhole and welcomed warmly. It turns out there are 3 million Skrreeans escaping from the Gamma Quadrant. They can’t all fit aboard the station. 😀

With the increasing number of Skrreeans coming aboard the station, the search to find Kentanna, their long-sought homeworld becomes imminent. Thankfully, Sisko and her team find a very suitable planet.

The planet happens to be Draylon II. But the Skrreean leaders have already found their planet. They decide that Bajor is the Kentanna they are looking for. This greatly shocks Major Kira and the Bajorans.

Sisko insists that Draylon II is a reasonable alternative but Haneek and the Skrreeans are adamant that Bajor is their homeworld. Representatives of the Bajoran government tell them this request is denied.

And to be honest, I agree with the Bajorans. Yeah, the Skrreeans seem to have a nerve imposing themselves on Bajor as their homeworld. Especially with Bajor seeming to be in a current fragile state.

Haneek, on behalf of the Skrreeans argue their case, saying that they can help with the famine. But the Bajorans still deny their request since they don’t believe they can support the Skrreean population.

Like I said, it does strain Haneek and Kira’s friendship in the episode, when Haneek feels Kira’s betrayed her. Very soon, Tumak, who has been a brat in the episode, takes a Skrreean ship off to Bajor.

The episode also features Aron Eisenberg as Nog, who played a practical joke on Tumak and his friends that gets serious. Once Tumak steals the Skrreean ship, it soon explodes in space during a gunfight in space.

It’s sad how the episode ended on a downer with Haneek still not forgiving Kira for her people refusing the Skreeans to settle on Bajor. My Dad jokingly said “And they all lived happily ever after” at the end. 😀

I don’t think ‘Sanctuary’ is a great ‘DS9’ episode. It was interesting to see how an alien species, trying to find a new home, consider Bajor as their home and get rejected. A shame it had a depressing ending.

‘Sanctuary’ rating – 7/10

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