Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Homefront   Rewatch 
February 7, 2016 7:29 PM - Season 4, Episode 10 - Subscribe

"I was hoping that this would never happen. But it finally has. The Changelings have reached Earth."

From Memory Alpha:

- The idea to have Starfleet personnel attempt a military coup was inspired by the 1964 John Frankenheimer film Seven Days in May. When this episode was still being developed as the third season finale, the storyline was slightly different. The Changelings come to Earth and infiltrate the Federation purposely to destabilize it. They bring it to the point of near Civil War, and at that moment, the Vulcans withdraw from the Federation. The episode was set to end as a Starfleet ship opens fire on a Vulcan transport in Earth orbit.

- Initially, this episode was to contain a reference to United Earth, and an explanation of how the Federation President could override the UE government and declare martial law, and why no UE government officials are ever seen in the episode. According to Ronald D. Moore all references to United Earth were cut to prevent the episode from being overly-complicated.

- Susan Gibney, who plays Erika Benteen, previously portrayed Dr. Leah Brahms in TNG: "Booby Trap" and TNG: "Galaxy's Child".

- This is the first time we see Sisko's in New Orleans, and the first time we see Brock Peters as Joseph Sisko. He previously played Admiral Cartwright in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

- Jaresh-Inyo says "with the exception of the Borg incident, there hasn't been a State of Emergency declared on Earth in a century". This could refer to the V'ger incident in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which is conjecturally set exactly a century before this episode. On the other hand, the Star Trek Chronology speculates this to be a reference to the Whale Probe's inadvertent attack on Earth seen in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, set some 86 years before this episode.

"Our gods are dead. Ancient Klingon warriors slew them a millennia ago. They were more trouble than they were worth."
"I don't think I'll ever understand Klingons."
"Don't worry about it, Major...nobody does. That's the way they like it."

- Worf, Kira and O'Brien

"Benjamin Lafayette Sisko, what the hell has gotten into your head? You actually thought I was one of them, didn't you?"
"I don't know, I wasn't sure."
"This business has got you so twisted around, you can't think straight! You're seeing shapeshifters everywhere! Maybe you want to think about something for a minute: if I was a smart shapeshifter, a really good one, the first thing I would do would be to grab some poor soul off the street, absorb every ounce of his blood and let it out on cue whenever someone like you tried to test me! Don't you see? There isn't a test that's been created that a smart man can't find his way around! You're not going to catch shapeshifters using some gadget!"

- Joseph Sisko and Benjamin Sisko
posted by Halloween Jack (7 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I feel like, apart from the fact that he's awesome, the casting of Brock Peters may have been partly intended to induce some vague and meta paranoia in those viewers who remembered the end of Star Trek VI.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:53 AM on February 8, 2016

Peters apparently wasn't that fond of his STVI role; according to Memory Alpha, "On the Special Edition release of Star Trek VI, it was revealed that Brock Peters' scene in the council chamber had to be shot in numerous takes, as he was very uncomfortable with the racial undertones in his lines that the Federation take the opportunity to 'bring them to their knees', which was itself, a reference to another film in which that line was said about African Americans." Contrast that to the above quote in which he is demanding that his own son respect his civil rights.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:13 AM on February 8, 2016

It was amusing to see O'Brien and Bashir in their RAF outfits, but I was having a bit of difficulty understanding their banter.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:56 PM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

This storyline plays very differently post 9/11, doesn't it? All the show's stuff about fears of terrorists lurking among us and torture and security theater and civil liberties makes it seem like a post 9/11 show that was somehow made pre-9/11. All of that stuff was pure sci-fi to most Americans, back then.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:29 PM on February 8, 2016 [9 favorites]

Bringing the Federation to the brink of Civil War would have been cool. This episode feels like a cop-out by comparison.

Jaresh-Inyo comes off as a doddering old man. If I were a high ranking Starfleet official, I'd want to overthrow him too.

This storyline plays very differently post 9/11, doesn't it?

This is one of many plot threads that makes DS9 seem ahead of its time in retrospect.
posted by dry white toast at 12:10 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

I think that sometimes people forget about the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which tried to accomplish what the attacks eight years later succeeded in doing. And even before that, the FBI was sending agents around to various public libraries in an attempt to get the circulation records of "people of interest" without a warrant or even any sort of probable cause. And, of course, there were all sorts of paranoid theories about the New World Order and black helicopters and whatnot.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:26 PM on February 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

That stuff really didn't penetrate the mass consciousness in a big way, though. Certainly not enough that many people watching the show in 1990-something would have expected that we'd soon be arguing about the loss of civil liberties in the wake of terrorist attacks by enemies who'd been living among us.

The X-Files certainly featured a lot of stuff about conspiracies, but even then it was it was mostly about little green (or gray) men and the government hiding monsters in secret labs. It was a very 1990s idea of government conspiracy, which isn't meant as a dis. But if DS9 had hit the air in 2002, people might have said it was a little too "on the nose". And part of what makes that so weird is that I don't think the writers of this show were really expecting that we would soon be arguing about terrorists in hiding or the surveillance state or any of that. I think America was relatively complacent in the 90s, and most of us couldn't have imagined where we ended up. (Sometimes I almost wonder if Ronald Moore was similarly ahead of the curve with the finale of Battlestar Galactica, and maybe in a couple of decades we'll have a robot uprising. It seemed a little silly that he was trying to make us worry about that with that montage of dancing AIBOs and stuff, but then again who would have guessed that all this stuff about changeling infiltrators would have such an eerie resonance a few years later?)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:21 PM on February 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

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