Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Season 1, Episode 11

Vortex (18 Apr. 1993)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Drama
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 429 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 3 critic

A man named Croden tells Odo he can take him to a place where aliens much like Odo himself exist, which would help Odo find out where he truly comes from.



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Title: Vortex (18 Apr 1993)

Vortex (18 Apr 1993) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Episode cast overview:
Doctor Bashir (as Siddig El Fadil)
Jake Sisko (credit only)
Croden (as Cliff DeYoung)
Vulcan Officer
Yareth (as Leslie Engelberg)


A Mindaran ship has arrived with the brothers Ah-Kel and Ro-Kel, known as smugglers, and a mysterious individual, Croden, has been spending quite a lot of time in Quark's bar. He is from the Gamma quadrant and there are reports of them having extensive conversations. Odo doesn't trust it and he;s right. He catches Quark negotiating with the Mindarans about an artifact that was probably stolen. He can't stop Croden however from killing Ro-Kel while trying to steal the artifact. While Ah-Kel vows revenge, Croden tells Odo something that really piques his interest. He mentions he has seen shape-shifters before and calls them Changelings. Croden tells they once lived on his planet, but were driven out, but he encountered them again on a secret planet. Odo is skeptical, but gets interested when Croden shows an artifact that contains a living shape-shifting fluid. Written by Arnoud Tiele (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

18 April 1993 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Odo is knocked unconscious by the cave-in while inside the Vortex, he remains in humanoid form. However, in an earlier episode, he mentions that it takes a large amount of energy to retain this shape. Is it likely that he would stay in this form when unconscious? See more »


[first lines]
Quark: The usual, Odo?
Odo: Nothing.
Quark: The usual.
See more »


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

Tense, well written & acted space drama...
7 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

An excellent first season installment that "delivers the goods" for Trekkers and others alike- solid acting, mysterious aliens, phaser battles, ship-to-ship battles, and a strong, well written story that comes complete with moral dilemma.

It's another "Odo centered" episode that gives us more insight into him, especially his efficiency and integrity as a law enforcement officer, while at the same time giving us a peek past his cold exterior to see his inner loneliness and vulnerability. Guest star Randy Oglesby as Ro-Kel/Ah-Kel is excellent as a ruthless smuggler (or pair of smugglers) who manages to be truly menacing without playing it too far over-the-top (quite an accomplishment in the Star Trek Universe!) Guest star Cliff De Young gives a solid performance as Croden, a roguish visitor to the Station who we initially distrust yet eventually feel compassion for. Mr. De Young's excellent acting (and a good script) make his character three-dimensional and totally believable, escaping the "cardboard cutout" quality of so many Star Trek characters. The character of Croden reminds us of the basic truth of people- that no one is all good or all bad, but a combination of both, and that both must be acknowledged hand-in-hand to truly know and understand a person's character.

Like the best episodes in the Star Trek Universe, this one makes you think and ponder your own moral standards- and wonder what you would do were you to be in the character's situations. That is the basis for any type of excellent drama and it is presented quite well here.

I give this one an 8 out of 10.

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