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If Wishes Were Horses 

While Dax investigates an unusual energy reading near DS9 to see if it's dangerous for the station, people's imaginations suddenly come alive, causing chaos.


Robert Legato


Gene Roddenberry (based upon "Star Trek" created by), Rick Berman (created by) | 6 more credits »

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Episode cast overview:
Avery Brooks ... Commander Sisko
Rene Auberjonois ... Odo
Alexander Siddig ... Doctor Bashir (as Siddig El Fadil)
Terry Farrell ... Lieutenant Dax
Cirroc Lofton ... Jake Sisko
Colm Meaney ... Chief O'Brien
Armin Shimerman ... Quark
Nana Visitor ... Major Kira
Rosalind Chao ... Keiko O'Brien
Keone Young ... Buck Bokai
Michael J. Anderson ... Rumpelstiltskin (as Michael John Anderson)
Hana Hatae ... Molly O'Brien


The crew detects an unusual energy reading; elevated thoron emissions near the Denorios belt. Sisko and Dax think it might have something to do with the increased traffic since the wormhole was found and Dax investigates to find out if it poses any danger to the station. Meanwhile chief O'Brien is telling the story of Rumpelstiltskin to his daughter Molly and after he leaves Molly tells him the fairy character appeared in her room. To his astonishment Molly tells the truth, he faces Rumpelstiltskin. All of the sudden all over the station people secret imaginations are appearing in the open, causing chaos. Quark is escorted by two beautiful ladies and seems very happy until he finds out everybody is winning with dabo. Bashir finds a Dax that is in love with him and baseball player Buck Bokai appears before Sisko. Odo must work in the snow to keep the promenade safe. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official Site





Release Date:

16 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


'Armin Shimerman' (q.v.) especially enjoyed the scene with Quark's imaginary women. See more »


O'Brian said that in the past 200 years since the Vulcans encountered a similar anomaly pulse-wave technology has improved a lot. However Jadzi said that this anomaly was encountered in the mid 23rd century, which was 100 years prior to the events of Deep Space Nine, not 200. See more »


[on a view screen, Odo sees Quark trapped in a holding cell]
Odo: How did you get in there?
Quark: How did I get in here? You put me in here!
Odo: Ah, hm - I guess I did, didn't I?
Quark: Yeah!
[vanishes from screen]
Odo: No imagination indeed. Ha!
See more »


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Main Title
Written by Dennis McCarthy
Performed by Dennis McCarthy
See more »

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User Reviews

Life as We Create It
27 September 2018 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

This was quite an entertaining episode. The premise was creative and well orchestrated. Each of the characters had some sort of fantastic illusion that came to life. These things threatened their very lives. The one thing that I have issue with and some might say it's petty. That baseball player. The greatest that ever lived. He was short, fat, not-athletic with a double chin. His muscle tone was non-existent. There's no way this guy would have broken all the records. It was terrible casting and to anyone who is the slightest fan, it is insulting. Unless, at some point, the game degenerated into a bunch of fat old men who probably couldn't run.

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