Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Season 4, Episode 23

The Quickening (20 May 1996)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Drama
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 383 users  
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Bashir tries to help a planet in the grips of a Dominion-engineered plague that guarantees a painful death.



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Title: The Quickening (20 May 1996)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jake Sisko (credit only)
Ellen Wheeler ...
Dylan Haggerty ...
Heide Margolis ...
Alan Echeverria ...


Bashir, Dax and Kira are on reconnaissance in the Gamma Quadrant when they receive a distress call from the Teplan system. The message tells their world has been attacked. The three land and find a pauperized world that doesn't look like it was attacked recently though. The people seem depressed. Bashir finds out all the people suffer from a disease called the blight. Once their world stood up to the Dominion and as punishment they introduced the disease. All people have lesions and when they get infected, they die. The doctor is shocked to find out the people turn to euthanasia when they have 'quickened'. A doctor, Trevean, provides a way out. Bashir offers to help find a cure, but finds only skepticism. Only one pregnant woman, Ekoria, listens with interest. Written by Arnoud Tiele (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

20 May 1996 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This takes place in 2372. See more »


In the beginning of the episode when Worf walks in holding the Quark mug from the Defiants mess hall he's holding it sideways. When he demonstrates it holding it sideways plays the music, but it didn't when he walked in. See more »


Doctor Bashir: I just want to do what I can to help, I'm not making any promises.
Trevean: Take care that you don't. Because we have dealt with people who give false hope before. Believe me, their deaths make the blight look like a blessing.
See more »


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Main Title
Written by Dennis McCarthy
Performed by Dennis McCarthy
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Good character led episode
11 June 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

While on a mission in the Gamma Quadrant Dr. Bashir, Dax and Kira receive a distress call from a planet just outside Dominion territory. When the doctor and Dax beam down to the surface they find what looks like a medieval civilisation in the grip of a plague. They learn that up until two hundred years before it was an advanced civilisation but all that changed when they defied the Dominion and the Jem'Hadar introduced a disease that effects everybody. When they will die is uncertain, some die as children others survive until adulthood but ultimately all are doomed to die in agony. When Bashir takes a woman to the hospital he is shocked to discover that instead of trying to treat the illness people are just offered a quick death. Determined to help he tries yo work on a cure with Dax and a pregnant local woman called Akoria. Things don't go well and most of his patients die screaming. Dax returns to DS9 with Kira but Dr. Bashir is determined to stay with Akoria, trying to keep her alive until her child is born; trying to find a cure all the time. When the child is born he happily announces to its mother that it doesn't have the illness, shortly after however she dies.

Even though there is little action in this episode I really enjoyed it. I was sure that bye the end we'd get a clichéd ending where the doctor would find the cure for all the sufferers. The fact that he found a vaccination which would stop babies being born with it meant that in the long term the society should recover but all the current sufferers were doomed just as they were before his arrival, this gave us a bitter-sweet conclusion. Alexander Siddig put in a fine performance as the doctor and guest star Ellen Wheeler was good as Akoria.

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