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 350 users  
Reviews: 4 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 (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

24th century





Release Date:

27 February 1994 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


47 Reference: Near the end, Jadzia tells Arjin to adjust the heading to 130 mark 47. See more »


Quark: As landlords you're responsible for this. I expect vermin control, or I'm gonna have...
Major Kira: Leave? Oh, please say leave. I'd take a Cardassian vole over you any day.
See more »


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

Picard's epic facepalm is not enough for this one

It's great that Deep Space Nine tackles such difficult issues that would be seen on a good "Next Generation" episode. This time around, it's a subplot involving a wad of "space seaweed" that gets stuck to a shuttle, and which they discover is a "proto-Universe" thing. Basically, it's a sticky ball of something that is literally becoming another universe.

Real life science aside, this makes almost no sense given the infinite number of other universes in Star Trek. They have no beginning and no end, except when sealed shut by something or other. Argue this all you want, but it's not important.

It turns out this proto-Universe is expanding rapidly, and is in danger of "replacing" our universe---as in, it will destroy our ENTIRE UNIVERSE and replace it with itself.

Consider the fact that there are HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS of sentient alien races in Star Trek, in just ONE galaxy---the Milky Way galaxy.

Consider the fact that there are a near INFINITE number of galaxies in our universe (or in Star Trek, just one universe).

Consider the fact that there are likely to be an infinite number of sentient species in the entire universe.

They CAN destroy this proto-universe. They won't.

There have been dozens of instances in every Star Trek where the Prime Directives and Gene Roddenberry's pseudo-communistic ideas on the Star Trek universe have produced face-palmingly idiotic decisions, such as doing NOTHING in response to an attempted Romulan invasion of Vulcan, or doing NOTHING to save civilizations from extinction where there is no risk of exposing them to the Federation, simply because it involves putting some effort into trying to save them.

But for the ENTIRE UNIVERSE AS WE KNOW IT to be threatened with PERMANENT AND TOTAL DESTRUCTION, by a proto-universe that is developing single-celled organisms, and having the Deep Space Nine crew REFUSE to outright destroy it while it's small...

That is a war crime. That is a crime against humanity. That is a crime against all living things.

Of course, this being Star Trek, there's always the Magic Reset Button that will alleviate this problem without any tough decisions or consequences to live with.

But the mere fact that an entire subplot of this episode was focused on the DS9 crew being adamantly AGAINST destroying a proto-Universe TO SAVE THEIR OWN UNIVERSE is just... beyond all possibly justification. It is idiocy on a level beyond stupid Star Trek episode, the sort of thing that would make "Spock's Brain" look good.

The worst part is that it's just a SUBPLOT in a forgettable Season 2 episode of Deep Space Nine.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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