'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Is Unleashing Tons Of 'Deep Space Nine' Connections
This article contains SPOILERS for the most recent episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
This week’s episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds serves as a reminder that a key part of Star Trek is, and always has been, having the crew dress up in wacky period costumes. In this case, the crew forcibly acts out the events of a fantasy novel thanks to the actions of a mysterious alien presence. But somewhat surprisingly, “The Elysian Kingdom,” inarguably one of the season’s enjoyably goofier episodes, also ends with an emotional gut-punch – or as it’s known in the industry, a “reverse-Up.”
Obviously, the show has featured a number of references to the original Star Trek series so far, from Spock’s forgotten half-brother to the leotard-wearing rubber lizard monster who once tried to murder Kirk. But this week’s show also featured a shout-out to a less obvious, equally beloved, franchise entry: Deep Space Nine. The titular fantasy novel Dr. M’Benga reads to his daughter, fans noticed, was penned by Benny Russell …
Who you may remember from one of the very best episodes of Deep Space Nine: “Far Beyond the Stars.” That’s the episode that flashes back to the 1950s, where sci-fi writer Benny Russell is prevented from publishing his stories about the Black commander of a space station called “Deep Space Nine” due to his publisher’s bigotry. Also, Russell is either possessed by Captain Sisko, thanks to the actions of the Bajoran Prophets, or the entirety of the series – and by extension the whole Trek franchise – merely exists in the fictional world of Russell’s pulp creation.
The reference to “Far Beyond the Stars” may just seem like a one-off Easter egg, except that the end of the episode is distinctly reminiscent of the series finale of Deep Space Nine, inverting the premise; so instead of Jake Sisko saying goodbye to his father who’s off to pal around with god-like entities in a mysterious reality, it’s Dr. M'Benga’s terminally-ill daughter who leaves him to go live with some kind of sentient cloud entity.
Not to mention that Captain Pike, like Sisko, is also a chef and not lazily reliant on replicators like some other Starfleet Captains who can’t even be bothered to make a goddamn cup of tea themselves.
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Top Image: Paramount