The crew and civilian population of Deep Space Nine begin to speak gibberish when a plague - an 'aphasia virus' - engineered by the Bajorans as a weapon against the Cardassians, accidentally gets released into the station's atmosphere.



(based upon "Star Trek" created by), (created by) | 5 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Doctor Bashir (as Siddig El Fadil)
Matthew Faison ...
Surmak Ren
Geraldine Farrell ...
Galis Blin
Kathleen Wirt ...
Aphasia Victim
Lee Brooks ...
Aphasia Victim


Cardassian technology isn't as good as it seems. Chief O'Brien is very very busy as systems all over the station are failing. While Trying to free people stuck in an airlock and promising a ship's captain a repair crew by the end of the day, Dax wants him to repair a malfunction in the lab. Then he must repair the navigational computer for Kira, only to be ordered by Sisko to make sure he gets good coffee by fixing the replicators. A while later all of the sudden O'Brien has become aphasic. Bashir has no clue what happened, there seems to be nothing wrong physically with him. Then out of the blue Dax also turns aphasic, right in front of his eyes. All over the ship people are displaying the symptoms, it seems an epidemic caused by a virus. Written by Arnoud Tiele (

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Release Date:

24 January 1993 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


47 Reference: when Kira and Dr. Surmak get to the station, the first file they look at is file 839472-39. See more »


[last lines]
Commander Sisko: [after burning his lips on a too hot coffee yet again] O'Brien!
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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Main Title
Written by Dennis McCarthy
Performed by Dennis McCarthy
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User Reviews

An unusual concept--an okay episode.
9 December 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Have you ever seen an episode of a show that you enjoyed but you also felt that if you hadn't seen it your life wouldn't have changed one bit? Well, that's how I felt about "Babel". It's not a bad show to watch but is very slight to say the least and does nothing to really advance the narrative.

When the show begins, O'Brien is frustrated with all the broken systems on the station. However, everyone's frustration soon is stretched to the limits when a weird virus breaks out on Deep Space 9. Suddenly, and without warning, people begin speaking gibberish-- long strings of random words with no meaning. And, oddly, they write the same way and no one can understand anyone who comes down with the virus. Not surprisingly this virus is NOT naturally occurring but was created by someone--but who and why and how to stop it is a HUGE concern.

This is a silly episode that is quite original but also pretty dumb at the same time. Not terrible but not exactly one of the series' finest moments.

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