Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Season 2, Episode 17

Playing God (27 Feb. 1994)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Drama
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 388 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

A Trill named Arjin comes to DS9 to learn what it is to be a Trill with a symbiont but finds his teacher, Dax, to be less than he expected.



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Title: Playing God (27 Feb 1994)

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Episode cast overview:
Doctor Bashir (as Siddig El Fadil)
Ron Taylor ...
Klingon Chef
Alien Man


Arjin, a Trill candidate to undergo the joining, comes to Deep Space Nine to be Dax's initiate. She has to mentor him and make recommendations if he's worthy to be joined. Arjin seems not happy to be assigned to Dax, knowing what mentor Curzon did to Jadzia. He's trying to do everything according to the normal expectations to please her, but is disappointed to find out she's not an ordinary Trill. On their first away mission in the Gamma Quadrant they accidentally hit a subspace pocket. A strange protoplasmic substance attaches itself to the nacelle. After investigating it on Deep Space Nine, Dax finds out it is a proto-universe. It's expanding and slowly, but surely replacing the present universe. Meanwhile O'Brien and Kira try to battle an infestation of Cardassian Voles. They bite through everything and become more and more a serious threat to the station. Written by Arnoud Tiele (

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24th century | See All (1) »





Release Date:

27 February 1994 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This takes place in 2370. See more »


Lieutenant Jadzia Dax: Who am I to confront him?
Commander Sisko: You're Dax.
See more »


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Main Title
Written by Dennis McCarthy
Performed by Dennis McCarthy
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User Reviews

More going on here, than just a Proto-Universe
23 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The "Proto-Universe" subplot is simply a plot device used to allow us to think-About the next time we smash an anthill or destroy a beehive. Granted there are times to do both of those things, but when I was a child, we did not destroy beehives: We called the "Bee Man" and he would come and GET the beehive and move it to a place where it could develop without harming anyone. This is primarily what is going on in this episode, Jadzia and her Trill Initiate "Arjin" (Geoffrey Blake) have rammed into a developing "Beehive" - A Proto-Universe, in the Gamma Quadrant with a Runabout and have moved it from its environment, bringing it to the Alpha Quadrant where it is not supposed to be.

We do not need to know all there is to know about this Proto-Universe: All we need to know, is that The Runabout piloted by Arjin moved that Proto- 'Verse from the spot where it was safely developing on its own, to a place where it would envelop our universe.

We really do not need to know the Dynamics of this, all we need to know is that the thing should not have been moved from where it was.

But what we DO need to know, is the interaction between Jadzia-Dax and Arjin. Apparently the Dax "Symbiont" (I'd rather spell it as "Symbiote" which is more correct, but all of my spell-checkers do not agree) has standards for Trill Initiates-Standards which Arjin is falling short of. Jadzia/Dax is simply trying to warn Arjin that he is in danger of not being able to meet those standards, but in doing so, offends Arjin and puts him on the defensive: Which was actually what Dax wanted.

In this episode, we learn more about how Jadzia was rejected by The Symbiosis Commission, and was the first Trill in History to challenge the findings of the Symbiosis commission, re-entering the Initiate program and gaining joining with "Dax" - Who, when joined with Curzon, had rejected her application. We find out that it was Jadzia herself who requested joining with Dax, in an ironic gesture. We find out in a later episode, it was more than just Jadzia's tenacity which influenced Curzon/Dax to renege on his earlier rejection of Jadzia as a host-But this episode does not have time to go into that, that is a discovery for a later date. Suffice it to say it was a choice that Curzon/Dax deliberately made, for a specific reason.

But this Proto'Verse is a problem: Kira compares it to an anthill, to be smashed. Odo on the other hand, "Does not step on Ants"-But if they do not act rapidly, the Station will be engulfed.

A further complication arises when Jadzia discovers there is energy being used up in the 'Verse that indicates there are life-forms living within it. Nothing is ever said about the level of intelligence of these life forms but we must infer that if they are using Energy in a non-random way, then they must be intelligent.

After Arjin tells off Jadzia/Dax he proceeds to engulf large volumes of a blue alcoholic beverage. But he is a level Six pilot, and Jadzia, with all 300 years of experience, is only a level three pilot. And so she must ask Arjin for his help in piloting the Runabout back to the Gamma quadrant with The 'Verse in tow, which is ready to grow by another geometric progression.

There are some very well done exterior shots, of the Station, where the Lab explodes and we see the 'Verse glowing inside. But my favorite shots are of the "Verteron" nodes inside of the "Wormhole/Celestial Temple"- Which Arjin must pilot skillfully through in order to get the "Verse back to where it needs to be,

Nobody needs to know, where they brought the 'Verse, I'm assuming that if they put it back in the exact spot where it was developing before, it would have developed in such a way as to not harm the Gamma Quadrant.

The reason why their runabout rammed into it in the first place? Is totally unimportant. If this were a two-hour movie, they could have gotten into some of the scientific jargon which explained it. But as this episode was not really about the Proto'Verse, but rather about Dax and Arjin, it was only important how the two interacted to bring the thing back to where it needed to be, and the end result: Which was to give Arjin confidence that he COULD be joined, when his time came, and that Jadzia/Dax would support this, should he decide to pursue Joining.

The Irony here, is that there is a "Cardassian Vole" infestation on the Station, which breed like Terran Coprophages/Roaches- And that is a recurring problem in the Station.

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