Episode #30: Sanctuary

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Episode #30: Sanctuary

Post  BoG on Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:17 pm

SANCTUARY (prod.#430; 2nd season) Directed by Les Landau
written by Gabe Essoe, Kelley Miles and Frederick Rappaport

Some more social commentary, 24th century style: the latest visitors through the wormhole are the Skrreea, refugees who regard the wormhole as "the Eye of the Universe" - the gateway to their destined home, which they soon determine to be Bajor. Only a small group show up at first; they had been enslaved by some other race for 800 years until some group named the Dominion attacked the slavers (alert: latest mention of the Dominion). The DS9 personnel are eager to help but the problem is that there are 3 million of these Skrreeans all together. As mentioned in the pilot episode, Bajorans are barely self-sufficient themselves and taking on so many new mouths to feed just isn't feasible; the top ministers make it an official decision quickly. Sisko and his crew find another potential planet for these people, but the Skrreea believe their talent for farming still makes an isolated region on Bajor the best bet.

This episode is not very exciting and has some clumsy moments. Kira & Haneek, the head Skrreean, bond over a dress they both dislike; all I could think was 'so?' There's a subplot with a Bajoran musician (old time sci-fi actor William Schallert) which didn't go anywhere. This does have some ideas: the Skrreea are presented as futuristic vagabonds or gypsies, or maybe even lepers; it's easy to say you will help but staying positive as a large number of strange aliens overrun the station is another thing. The Skrreea are strictly a matriarchal society; the males are deemed too emotional to be leaders. For whatever reason, the universal translator on the station has some trouble deciphering their language - it's more alien than previous unknown languages. Near the end, there's an out-of-left-field development when a Skrrean attempts to land on Bajor in a kind of suicide-run; I never 'got' this fixation these aliens had with Bajor - this was not developed well.

It all culminates with Haneek giving Kira a lecture about how the oppression which the Bajorans suffered has made them too suspicious & frightened and that this whole incident has been a missed opportunity, but I think the Skrreeans expected too much. Then again, maybe they are just a lot tougher than Bajorans; they did suffer oppression a dozen times longer than the Bajorans. BoG's Score: 6 out of 10
Extra Deep Space Trivia: actor Andrew Koenig, who plays a Skrreean teen with a bad attitude, is the son of Walter Koenig, the original Chekov. Andrew died very recently, of suicide.
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