Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Apocalypse Rising   Rewatch 
April 3, 2016 9:55 AM - Season 5, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Awesome metal band name or daring undercover raid into the heart of the Klingon Empire? You decide!

From Memory Alpha:

- The writers' primary goal during season 5 in general, and "Apocalypse Rising" in particular, was to get the show back on the track they'd been on in season 3, i.e. moving towards war with the Dominion. Season 3 was originally supposed to conclude with the episode that ultimately became "Homefront", while season 4 was to open with "Paradise Lost". However, towards the end of season 3, Paramount had told the writers that they didn't want a cliffhanger ending, and they also wanted something done to shake up the show, which ultimately led to the introduction of Worf and the Klingons. The Klingon War arc took up most of season 4, so now that the writers were moving into the next season, they wanted to end the Klingon conflict and get back to the inevitable conflict with the Dominion. As executive producer and writer Ira Steven Behr states, "Season 4 threw us for a loop, with the whole Klingon thing, and bringing Worf into the show. So the seminal thing about our fifth season opener was that we wanted to get back on the track we'd anticipated being on a year earlier. We were moving back toward making the shape-shifters and the Dominion our enemies. Not the Klingons. I didn't want to have the Klingons as our enemies."

- However, it was important to the writers not to give the impression that season 4 had simply been a pointless interlude, and they didn't wish to simply leap back into the Dominion arc without somehow connecting it to the Klingon arc. According to Ira Steven Behr; "we wanted to let people know that we didn't switch horse in midstream. So "Apocalypse Rising" was an important episode. By having that shape-shifter in there, we were saying, 'Season 4 wasn't a mistake. It wasn't the Klingons turning against us. There was a shape-shifter behind it all along.' And that's why we had to do that episode." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) As such, this episode basically serves to link up the Klingon War arc of season 4 with the Dominion War arc of seasons 5, 6 and 7.

- According to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, it was writer Ronald D. Moore who suggested making Martok, rather than Gowron, turn out to be the Changeling, so as not to upset TNG fans. It was felt at this time that revealing Martok to be a Changeling would give the episode a nice unexpected twist. As it turned out, the producers were so pleased with J.G. Hertzler's performance in this episode, they made it a point to have the real Martok return in "In Purgatory's Shadow" and become a much more prominent character in the series. As René Echevarria explains, "This is the show where we fell in love with J.G. Hertzler as an actor. It was like, 'Hey, this guy is terrific. And here we are killing him.' But actually we were killing a Changeling, which started us thinking, 'If he's been replaced, where's the real guy. Maybe he's not dead. Maybe we can find him'." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) While the Changeling expresses a desire to kill Sisko in battle, he and the real Martok would fight side-by-side in numerous engagements during the Dominion War.

- Michael Dorn looked forward to seeing his co-stars being subjected to the same heavy Klingon make-up he was forced to endure for several years. However, Colm Meaney was so uncomfortable in the make-up and complained so much that Dorn asked the producers never to put Meaney in makeup again. Conversely, Rene Auberjonois said he found the Klingon make-up much easier than his typical Odo makeup, since it covered less of his face.

- Although they are never seen very clearly on screen, the various statues in the Klingon Hall of Warriors were designed to give an overview of Klingon history, with the statues representing the heroes of different eras; for example, both Kahless and Chang are included. John Eaves, who designed the statues, also created several new characters, and in his design he tried to concentrate on the garments worn so as to give a sense of evolution leading into the modern Klingon warrior uniform seen throughout TNG and DS9.

"What're they doing? Why doesn't Sisko just shoot him?!"
"I have a better question - why isn't Gowron letting his bodyguards kill Worf? I'll tell you why: Klingon honor, a concept you should be very familiar with. My people, on the other hand, don't care about honor. How did you put it - there will be no honorable combat, no challenges? Hardly the words of a Klingon. Tell me, 'general' - did Gowron destroy the polaron emitters... or did you?"

- "Martok" and Odo, finally aware of who the real Changeling is

(Referring to her pregnancy) "But don't forget, this... is still your fault."
"My fault?"
"You performed the transfer from Keiko to me."
"After you volunteered."
"After you put the idea in my head."
"After you flew the runabout into the asteroid field."
"After you insisted we check on those anomalous bio-scans."
"That was Keiko."
"That's right. It was, but I'd rather blame you."

- Kira Nerys and Julian Bashir
posted by Halloween Jack (10 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I didn't want to have the Klingons as our enemies."

I think I've been pretty bored by the Klingon War stuff, hopefully I'll like season 5 better.
posted by oh yeah! at 1:11 PM on April 3, 2016

This is another good episode, it is like they have found their stride now. The whole Klingon War distraction can be dispensed with (stupid Paramount) and we can get back to the war with the Founders, which seemed to be about to go full-scale with the Homefront/Paradise Lost two-parter. One of the problems with that two-parter was the issue with the changling saying that they were everywhere, and then nothing seemed to come of it, until now, when we find out they are actually behind the Klingon attack. It does stretch credibility that one changling was able to influence Klingon policy to such a degree that they went to war, and then there are no other reports of issues caused by changling activity anywhere else.

And Dukat is back!! Awesome, I love Dukat, he almost steals every scene he is in! The idea of having him help them get to the Klingon base is great. Also Damar is back, and still as gruff and petulant as ever.

Some great moments:

More comedy gold from Worf - when the 3 are in a line and he is insulting them and Sisko slaps him, after congratulating him, he asks if he meant to challenge him to a fight to the death, and if not to punch him next time.

There have been a couple of excellent Bashir/Kira moments in the last 2 episodes, almost meta-jokes. Last episode, they were sat in Sisko's office, and Kira sneezes and looks semi-accusingly at Bashir, and the conversation quoted in the FPP. It's almost as if they writers/producers are kidding with us!

The whole idea of Sisko, O'Brien and Odo dressing up as Klingons is both cool, daft, and funny.

And as for the Klingons in the Hall of Warriors, they are the usual stupid Klingons, the only one with a brain in the whole hall is Gowron, and he blows the rest of them away. How do these guys make and maintain warp drives? They really are dumb.

The scene with Worf fighting Gowron is excellent, though.
posted by marienbad at 1:15 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

There's still a bit of stuff with fighting the Klingons left in the season; "Nor the Battle to the Strong", although that could have just as easily been done with the Jem'Hadar, and "Trials and Tribble-ations", which actually works better with the Klingon War extant, although it might have worked otherwise.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:19 PM on April 3, 2016

The slip that allows Odo to see that Martok is a changeling, while not being as stupid as the old Data can't use contractions but Lore can thing, still seems a pretty baffling bit of ineptitude from the changeling after having been a klingon for a year and a half, especially considering how completely they mimic the mannerisms, knowledge, skills and culture of everyone else they cos-play as throughout the season.
posted by dng at 1:22 PM on April 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

I actually think the Klingon war was really good in terms of the enemies being the founders (probably because of this episode). You see the kind of wide ranging chaos they can create, so they are a genuine threat because whole empires can turn with just one infiltrator.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:42 AM on April 4, 2016

There is/was a museum in Hollywood that has/had a bunch of Trek props, including the TNG bridge and the Klingon statues from this episode. (I honestly don't remember the name of the place, this was like 15 years ago. So I can't look up if it's still around, but I have a feeling it closed.) The statues were really big and impressive, it was so weird to come around a corner and be confronted by these gigantic Klingons scowling at you.

It's kind of amazing they went to all that trouble for one episode, and never even gave us a clear look at the damn things!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:25 AM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

This might be the most FUN episode of DS9 until the tribble one. It makes me wish that Mirror Sisko had turned out to be a Klingon; he's awesome at it.

It also contains perhaps the second most quotable line of the series:
"Glory to yooooou... >8| AND YOUR HOOOOOUUUSSSE"
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:28 AM on April 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

The slip that allows Odo to see that Martok is a changeling, while not being as stupid as the old Data can't use contractions but Lore can thing, still seems a pretty baffling bit of ineptitude from the changeling after having been a klingon for a year and a half, especially considering how completely they mimic the mannerisms, knowledge, skills and culture of everyone else they cos-play as throughout the season.

In the moment, I was willing to cut it some slack because it seemed like this was the middle of a plan that was going wrong so Fake Martok was just winging it, making slip-ups much more likely, but then it turned out that this kind of was their plan all along? Considering that this particular Changeling, when dragged into the hall and accused of being a Changeling, instantly decided that the best course of action was to completely confirm the accusations, reveal itself, and start strangling Odo (instead of doing anything that would keep suspicion on Gowron or at least not instantly result in having 50 Klingons shoot it), maybe it's just an idiot who was bad at thinking on its feet.
posted by Copronymus at 10:35 PM on June 19, 2017

I think Dax was originally part of the Klingon team instead of O'Brien, but Farrell wad allergic to the make-up.

I generally liked this episode, but found myself constantly yelling at O'Brien and Odo. They were terrible Klingons. I get that they were afraid, but I think it would have been more fun if they had enabled the audience to forget that they weren't Klingons.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:33 PM on July 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Aw, it would have been great to see Jadzia really get to revel in Klingon-ness. I thought it was funny how O'Brien and Odo remained clearly O'Brien and Odo; if it hadn't been for all the blood wine there's no way they would have fooled a room full of Klingons.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:46 AM on February 12

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