Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Season 1, Episode 2

Past Prologue (10 Jan. 1993)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama
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Tahna Los, a former Bajoran terrorist during the Occupation, asks Sisko for asylum on DS9. Meanwhile, the station's last Cardassian inhabitant, Garak, possibly a former spy for the Cardassian government, proves an interesting mystery to Dr. Bashir.



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Episode cast overview:
Doctor Bashir (as Siddig El Fadil)
Jake Sisko (credit only)
Quark (credit only)
Susan Bay ...
Richard Ryder ...
Bajoran Deputy


While the last Cardassian on the station, tailor Garak tries to become friends with Dr. Bashir, a Bajoran vessel approaches the station at high speed, followed by a Cardassian ship. The Bajoran, Tahna Los, gets beamed onto DS9 just in time before his ship is blown up and asks for asylum. Benjamin Sisko seems reluctant, but major Kira Nerys knows him. He's a member of the Kon Ma, a terrorist organization fighting Cardassia, but also accused of crimes against Bajorans. Upon his promise that he no longer wants to be a Kon Ma, Sisko decides not to hand him over to the Cardassians, while Kira works on getting amnesty from the government for Kon Ma Members. Then two female Klingon outcasts, Lursa and B'Etor arrive at the station. Written by Arnoud Tiele (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

24th century | hostage | bomb | See All (3) »





Release Date:

10 January 1993 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is based on the line "What's past is prologue" spoken by Antonio in The Tempest, Act II, Scene 1, by William Shakespeare. See more »


Commander Sisko refers to the Cardassian ship's commander as Gul Danar. However, the Gul never introduces himself by name any time during the episode. See more »


Major Kira: Maybe there are still wars to be fought, and I'm just making a fool of myself doing what 'm doing here.
Odo: It sounds like you're trying to talk yourself into something - or out of something?
Major Kira: Either way I have to betray someone.
Odo: The only important thing is not to betray yourself.
See more »


References Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) See more »


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Main Title
Written by Dennis McCarthy
Performed by Dennis McCarthy
See more »

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User Reviews

Classic DS9 - Introducing Elim Garak
30 January 2008 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

Brilliantly, the franchise decided to jump from the very heavy, convoluted and intense Emissary which revolved around Ben Sisko and the precarious situation which would center on him for the next seven years directly into a no-less-serious but very different drama. More importantly, this is the episode which first unleashed the great Andy Robinson into his very beautifully developed recurring character Elim Garak - the most popular Cardassian in Star Trek history and perhaps the most sympathetic alien (besides Spock) in the canon. Garak is, of course, introduced by way of his relationship with Dr. Bashir (Alex Siddig, then credited as Siddig El Faddil) and throughout the series Siddig's best episodes will most often be those featuring Garak.

Garak is either a left-behind Cardassian tailor or a Cardassian spy or both, and he is particularly concerned about the arrival of a Bejoran "Terrorist" (or freedom fighter, depending on your perspective) who has been running from Cardassian authorities and is seeking asylum. Kira,of course, knows Tahna Los, the suspected terrorist, and pleads with Sisko to allow him to stay.

As the story develops, the powerful ethnic conflict between Bejorans and Cardassians becomes a central focus. This will be well-exploited throughout all seven of DS9's seasons. And Garak's contribution to the depth and range of what it is to be a Cardassian ensured that the Cardies could never become just another franchise stereotype disguised by a forehead prosthetic. Finally, Past Prologue allows some breathing room for Avery Brooks to settle into his role as Ben Sisko, and includes some important developments in his relationships to Kira, Odo, and the Cardassian military.

Acting highlights - Robinson, Visitor, Siddig, Brooks and Auberjonois are all terrific in Past Prologue.

As usual, the episode is economically directly and scripted, well-shot and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish.

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