As Dax, Odo and Taya investigate the valley, Taya tells the story of a shape shifter that is challenged to transform into a loaf of bread, does so, and is eaten by his challenger. This bears a striking resemblance to the Puss in Boots fairy tale recorded by Frenchman Charles Perrault. In the tale, the booted cat tricks an ogre who can change his shape into changing into a mouse and eats him.
O'Brien says his father introduces him as "Senior Chief Specialist Miles Edward O'Brien." In the U.S. Navy, senior chief petty officer is an enlisted rank. In Star Trek, it is the first reference to O'Brien's full rank. This changes, however, a year and a half later in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Hippocratic Oath (1995), when Goran'Agar identifies O'Brien as a chief petty officer, which is one step down from a senior chief. However, this can be attributed to O'Brien's father deliberately exaggerating, or the U.S. Navy practice of all grades of Chief Petty Officer being considered part of the "chief petty officer" community.
This episode was originally to be titled "Persistence of Vision", a title later used for Star Trek: Voyager: Persistence of Vision (1995). Writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe's original idea involved Dax and O'Brien trapped on an alien planet. They escape from the prison but as they attempt to leave the planet, they discover they are in fact still in the prison. They escape again, and this time make it back to Deep Space 9, but neither of them are entirely convinced that they are in fact free, and probably never will be.
In a scene cut from the aired episode, it was mentioned that there was an incident on Brinda V where half the population of a village disappeared and that it was later found that they had been abducted by Orions to work as slaves in their mining camps.