|Written By:Bradley Thompson & David WeddleDirected By:Jesús Salvador Treviño|
|←||Arc: Dominion invasion (5 of 8)|
Reason #65: Kukalaka
Doctor Julian Bashir‘s first patient was Kukalaka. As a child Bashir restuffed and stitched his teddy bear back together performing his first surgery at the age of five. And he’s been mending his friend ever since.
Kukalaka is refered to in a handful of episodes including “In the Cards” when Bashir enlists the help of Jake Sisko and Nog to recover his childhood friend from Lita (who refused to give him back after the pair’s relationship ended) and, if you’re quick, you can catch a glimpses of him in Bashir’s quarters in “The Quickening” and “Inquisition.”
There are many reasons why I love Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and why it remains my favorite of the Star Trek franchise.
Reason #20: “Our Man Bashir”
Unlike Star Trek: The Next Generation who seemed to have a couple “something goes wrong on the Holodeck” episodes every season, for the most part DS9 characters stayed out of the Holodecks, at least while on-camera. “Our Man Bashir” is one of the only episodes of the series built around the Holodeck, and as a longtime James Bond fan it remains one of my favorites.
The episode begins with Garak (Andrew Robinson) interrupting Dr. Julian Bashir’s (Alexander Siddig) new Holoprogram where he plays a British spy during the height of the Cold War. Things get serious why a transporter accident stores the patterns of several crew members inside the Holodeck (transfomring them into characters in the program) forcing Bashir and Garak to play out the scenario.
Avery Brooks is terrific hamming it up as the typical Bond villain, Nana Visitor has all kinds of fun as Russian spy Col. Anastasia Komananov (complete with bad Russian accent), and Terry Farrell has a terrific moment as the mousy Dr. Honey Bare finding her sexuality thanks to our hero just in time to help him save the day – by destroying the world!
Great fun all around, especially for fans of Bond. And for fans of the show this is another episode further cementing one of my favorite relationships, that of Bashir and Garak.
Jordan Hoffman: So let’s talk about the new movie Cairo Time, which I think is the first time you’ve played a romantic lead, is that correct?
Alexander Siddig: It is indeed, it is. Since I was at school, that’s the first time I’ve played a romantic.
Jordan Hoffman: How much fun is it to woo the hearts of audiences like that? To lay on the charm thick for the sake of the audience?
Alexander Siddig: It’s pretty great. It wasn’t so much, I have to confess I wasn’t really thinking of the audience when I was in Cairo but I – to gaze into that lady’s eyes [Patricia Clarkson] is quite thrilling.
Jordan Hoffman: Your character sort of welcomes this woman into the Egyptian culture and the city of Cairo; how much familiarity did you have with Cairo prior to making the film?
Alexander Siddig: Well, you know it’s one of the places that’s sort of been in my reference library all my life in the sense that I was born in the Sudan which is the neighboring country and up until – I mean forever we’ve had a treaty with Egypt and immigrants come and go; my whole family lived in Cairo for years. And so it was a familiar place and I’d been there in the 80’s as a kid really, so I knew my way around and I felt very comfortable and relaxed there. So it was easy to make the little leap from a Sudanese man to and Egyptian man which I had no problem doing.
Jordan Hoffman: So you didn’t have to think it too much.
Alexander Siddig: No, I really didn’t. It’s a really honest city for all its evils. It can be quite filthy – that’s not exactly an evil is it by world standards. But it lays itself out to you as a tourist. London for example, is an impossible city. You need to know people in London to find out where things are and what’s going on and you can’t make friends here unless you were kind of born here. So, Cairo is much more friendly and available to people.
Jordan Hoffman: So when you were shooting this film, it was a Canadian production, but it’s still a large western production and there isn’t too much of that on the streets of Cairo. How were you treated by the general population?
Alexander Siddig: They were completely puzzled by us. They were like, ‘what the Hell is that?’ they just couldn’t quite make out what weirdness we were doing. This was bigger than an ordinary video camera, we weren’t just saying hi in front of a landmark we were doing scenes, so when they could they would sort of jostle into the frame to get involved. Which was fine on some levels, but as soon as they started looking into the camera and stuff it was a total nightmare.
Jordan Hoffman: So that shot of nearly getting hit by a motorcycle, was that actual?
Alexander Siddig: We really did – well it was a stunt, but the interesting thing was that the stunt guy had never done a stunt in his life – was not a stunt man. He literally tried to run her over. And I must have buried my nails deep into her arm to get her out of the way she was absolutely – she was shaking afterwards. She wasn’t used to that.
Jordan Hoffman: Was it all Egyptian crew? Or was it Canadian crew?
Alexander Siddig: It was a beautiful mix actually. It was a whole jumble of different people. The Egyptians were brilliant, I mean really brilliant; and kind of cool and cosmopolitan and wanted to take us all out to cool places to hang out in the evenings. Egyptians – thank God you know Cairo is not a dry city and is not massively fundamentalist. It’s got fundamentalist aspects, but you can still have a really swingin’ time.
Jordan Hoffman: Who from the old days that you don’t get to see do you like to hang out with the most at conventions?
Alexander Siddig: You know I love hanging out with Nicky deBoer.
Jordan Hoffman: I see.
Alexander Siddig: She is just hilarious; great, great girl. And um if I see Colm Meaney we’ll have a drink and bitch at each other. That’s all we do. I realize looking back at my history with him, I went out with him twice a week every week for seven years – drinking. Boy, he can pack em away.
Alexander Siddig: And all we did was fight. And I guess that’s what they did on the show too. But we fought in real life all the time. He would set me up, he’d take me to Irish bars where they hated English people. I would think they were being racist about the fact that I’m black and they weren’t. The just hated the English people, they would just hear my accent and they’d – and he just laughed his head off.
Jordan Hoffman: Did you ever actually play darts, though, is the real question.
Alexander Siddig: No. No. That would be very weird.
Jordan Hoffman: There needs to be a separation between art and life.
Alexander Siddig: Yes, because that was the only separation, the dart game.
by Christopher DeFilippis
DeFlip Side, Vol. 1, No. 6
(First Appeared: June/July, 1999; First Light E-zine, Issue #82)
This is going to be short and sweet, folks. My original plan for this month’s column was to bid a fond farewell to Deep Space Nine, until recently the best show on television. I was going to do an in-depth review of the final episode, exploring whether or not it brought the Dominion war arc to a satisfying conclusion, as well as if it proved a fitting send-off to the best Trek series ever; my swan song to the swan song, so to speak. But those ne’er do-wells at Paramount took the wind out of my sails. After watching the finale, I came to only one inescapable conclusion: It’s not over.
After all, Sisko left his baseball behind.
Of course, there’s also the question of his unborn child, his career in Starfleet, a new Defiant that needs to be broken in, an unfinished real estate transaction on Bajor and his promise that he would return “in a year from now or yesterday.” But the baseball is the cincher. He doesn’t leave home without it, much less take up permanent residence in Prophet limbo. We haven’t heard the last from him or the rest of these characters. I don’t know when or in what format, but we’ll see them again. Bet on it.
This fact colors my opinion of the two-hour series finale. As a final good-bye, it would have left too many loose ends. But as a “so long for now” it was perfect. It brought enough closure to satisfy, but egged us on just enough to keep our expectations for a return simmering on a low frame somewhere in the back of our brains. Like Kira and Jake, we’re all gazing out of a portal on the Promenade, waiting patiently to see what happens next.
I’ll spare you all a long-winded essay on what I liked and why. Different parts of the finale will have appealed to different people for different reasons. But there is no call for excess exposition. After all, we’re not talking about “Mirror Image” here (the legendarily confusing finale to the TV series Quantum Leap). Instead, I’ll be as succinct as possible:
The Good Stuff:
The Bad Stuff:
As you can see, the good clearly outweighed the bad. I think the very best thing about the episode, and the series over all, was that I could never tell exactly how things would turn out. And even when I did have a pretty good idea of where things were going, the characters would reach their destinations via completely unexpected routes.
This rule holds true for the future of Deep Space Nine. It’s a foregone conclusion that Sisko will come back. Just watch; he’ll soon get tired of playing pinochle with Wesley on the astral plain and shuffle back into his mortal coil for a return to his old life. But to what effect? Will he be considered a lord on Bajor? Will his new found Prophet wisdom cause a rift between him and his all-too-human friends and family? Will he have hair? I can’t even guess at the possibilities.
Of course, we’re most likely to be hearing from Worf the soonest. I just hope the powers that be use the opportunity they’ve created to full effect in the next movie. Worf’s position as Federation ambassador to Qo’noS lends itself to a sweeping story that could encompass the Federation and Klingon Empire and propel the franchise forward, something it sorely needs after the disaster that was Insurrection.
The one thing I do not want to see is a feature length film that combines the Next Gen and DS9 casts. The writers have a tough enough time as it is finding useful roles for the entire Enterprise-E ensemble with each outing. If they tried to add the DS9 crew as well, the screen would be packed tighter than Seven of Nine’s Wonder Bra, but with a far less marvelous result. I’ll pin my hopes on a small-screen reunion that will give the DS9 characters and plot lines free reign.
In the meantime, I guess I still have Voyager to give me my Star Trek fix, though it’ll be like going from heroin to methadone. Now that the DS9 writers are freed up, maybe they can help put Voyager on the right track and raise it to the standards we’ve come expect from Star Trek. But I’m not gonna hold my breath. I don’t have to anyway.
When DS9 premiered, I still had a maniacal hatred of new Trek. I wasn’t sucked over the Next Gen event horizon until Generations hit the theaters. And by the time I got into DS9, it was well into its run. So I ask you to pray with me now that channel 11 in NY soon starts rerunning the series from the beginning. There are three years worth of episodes I’ve never seen. It’s a little something extra to look forward to.
See Pop? Sometimes it works to your benefit to be a day late and a dollar short…