To Boldy Sew: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S01E06: “Q-Less”

To Boldly Sew is a recap of DS9 episodes, with a specific focus on the fashions of the many aliens and other characters that make up the series. Feel free to discuss matters of plot and general Star Trek things in the comments. 

I’m getting all these screenshots from, which is the same place as the original TNG fashion blog (

Bashir is sharing a dramatic story with a Bajoran woman while O’Brien listens with skepticism.


The woman is going for kind of classic Hollywood type outfit, with the dramatic updo, and what I’m reasonably certain is called a sweetheart neckline. I’m not sure how I feel about black gloves, or…armwarmers? I see her hand right there, so they’re not gloves.

Oh, there’s also another screenshot here which shows the back of her dress, which I did not even notice while watching the episode, and also that her hair is definitely an updo and not just a short haircut. It seems like she really dressed up for this date, while Julian is just wearing his normal uniform.


I’m also not sure why O’Brien is sitting so close to them. The place must not have a lot of seating.

It turns out that his story is just about passing a medical exam. The girl is appropriately astonished. O’Brien nearly chokes on his drink.

Sisko interrupts, paging them both to a landing pad. Bashir apologizes profusely to his date and they leave. He brags to O’Brien about how his medical finals stories work “every time.” O’Brien is trying hard not to roll his eyes.

At the landing pad, Kira and Sisko are trying to open a door. Dax & Ensign Pauley are stuck inside a runabout, and they can’t get the door open. Life support is down and the ship doesn’t have enough power to operate the servos to open the door. Kira suggests shooting through the door, but Sisko points out it is so thick that it would take an hour, and Bashir doesn’t think there’s enough time. He also says he’s detecting three people on board rather than the expected two.

Chief gets some stuff and some lights come on, and they finally manage to push the door open. They rush in and find that Dax is okay, (we don’t spend any time with or even see Ensign Pauley) but there’s also another woman on board. O’Brien knows her from the Enterprise – her name is Vash. Dax reports that she was in the Gamma Quadrant for two years.

(Quick backstory for those of you who may not have watched TNG – She appears in several episodes of that series as a romantic foil for Captain Picard. I only have a vague recollection of those episodes and understand this episode just fine, but if you want to know a little bit more, here’s a link to her Memory Alpha article.)

O’Brien asks how Vash got to the Gamma quadrant, and she says “a friend dropped me off.” As the group leaves, heading for the infirmary, the camera stays to linger on a single Starfleet Officer who is examining the runabout. Only…he’s not really a Starfleet Officer, is he?



I know some people don’t really like Q. I find him interesting.


Bashir is examining Vash with a little more attention than probably needed, trying to flirt.

I’m pretty sure her hands are fine, Doctor.

She’s wearing a sleeveless shirt with kind of a drape over the front, loose fitting. Sort of a classic upholstery pattern.

He says she’s in remarkable shape. He seems to be kind of taken aback and starts stammering, maybe realizing he shouldn’t flirt with a patient? Vash talks vaguely about some of the cultures she’s seen, and he encourages her to write a book about it.

There’s some more flirting, but she leaves.


Dax is reporting to Sisko, saying that Vash claims to know nothing about the wormhole, and seemed surprised when she was told about it. Sisko wants to know how she got so far away without the wormhole. Dax says that Vash didn’t want to talk about it, and said it was a personal matter. This doesn’t make sense to Sisko; he tells Dax to check her background. Vash claims to be an archaeologist.

Vash goes to the assay office to talk to a very serious man about keeping some items safe.


She’s put on a rather hideous jacket that looks like it might be tie-dyed or something. There are multiple lapels and lots of colors. I can’t even accurately describe it. I showed this photo to my husband and he said the jacket was “distinctly 80s” which I guess is fairly accurate.

Meanwhile the serious assay officer or whatever he’s called is wearing nothing but gray. My husband described it as a “Dr. Evil outfit,” which I think is also pretty accurate. (I’m going to elicit his options more). Grayish-purple pants and turtleneck sweater (with a really high neck) and then another long gray shirt with kind of three-quarter length sleeves over that, with the usual Bajoran kind of shoulder stitching but also a V-neck.

They talk about security – each chamber has force fields around it, and can’t be opened without a security code and retinal scan.

They create an inventory of her cubicle – a stone statue, a bag of assorted gems, a necklace of gold, a dagger made of bronze and gold, and finally, a box with a golden stone inside of it. The assayer thinks it’s quartz, but Vash says something sciency about how that’s wrong.

The assay officer also has an assistant, who is allowed to wear colors. He’s got on a green outfit that looks like it might be part velour or something similar? He is not wearing a turtleneck, though.


She enters an access code and has her eye scanned for the security, then says she’ll be back the next day to pick the items up as she has booked passage on a transport.

As she’s leaving, she runs into Sisko, who is surprised to learn she is leaving so soon. He carries her bag out on to the promenade and tells her that the Daystrom Institute is anxious to hear all about where she’s been in the Gamma Quadrant.

They walk past Quark’s and we see that assistant from the assayer’s office is already reporting to Quark about Vash’s items

Guessing his boss either doesn’t know about this, or knows everything about this and has completely sanctioned this idea. 

Quark is dressed in classic Quark. Orangey striped shirt, short jacket with a gold buckle on the waist, olive-green pants. I’m pretty sure the assistant assayer or whatever his title is is wearing a jumpsuit.

In the background it looks like a guy dressed in drab brown is drinking with a woman.

Vash tells Sisko she is surprised the Daystrom Institute wants to talk to her, as her membership to their Archaelogical Council was suspended on two occasions due to the sale of illegal artifacts. She says she will choose profit over science every time. This seems rather anti-Starfleet. She hasn’t been back to Earth in about 12 years.

Sisko says that he can arrange transport back to Earth for her, and she agrees. They then separate.

Meanwhile, Chief has been examining the runabout that Vash, Dax, and the unseen ensign arrived on. This involves looking at some glowing light panels.


He can’t see anything wrong with it. The power reserves are empty and a few other things are wrong, but once they put power into it, everything will be fine. It seems like something tapped into the ship’s systems and drained them dry.

Sisko asks how Chief knows Vash. He says he only met her one time on the Enterprise. She was a close friend of Picard’s and they met on Risa. Sisko says that Vash doesn’t seem to be Picard’s type. Chief says that Picard likes a good challenge.

Suddenly, as they are talking, the lights drain and then come back up. They put aside any further discussion of Picard’s love life (with or without Vash) and head to Ops, where Dax reports they’ve suffered a “broad-spectrum power drain). Kira adds that power transfer is inoperable as the power was drawn faster than the system could handle. Chief says he’ll have to replace the whole unit.

Dax asks him if he’s experiencing some technobabble (graviton disturbance, if you must know), and when he replies that he is, Dax says they experienced the same thing on the runabout.

Chief shows Vash to her quarters.


The 80s jacket is apparently tied closed with a ribbon of sorts, and is sort of like the Ferengi style in that it’s pretty short. Quark might approve.

I don’t know what she’s been doing since the assay office, but I guess she didn’t have quarters yet? He apologizes for the bed in advance as they were Cardassian living quarters, but Vash is unperturbed, as an archaeologist, because she’s been used to sleeping in tents. She asks how Picard is, and Chief says that he thinks he is fine. She says she will have to look him up.

She enters the quarters and Chief leaves.


There’s a funky sculpture – Cardassian art?


Vash is wearing some baggy pants that are cinched at the waist and have lots of room in the thighs. Kind of reminds me of some MC Hammer pants.

She puts her bag on the bed and takes out some clothes, which she then starts to put in a drawer. This seems unnecessary to me if she’s only going to be staying a short time. While she’s unpacking, Q appears on the bed. He mocks her for pining after Jean-Luc, and she says she should have listened to him when he warned her about Q.

Q says he has good news, he is back. He was cruel to leave her, but he has returned. Vash replies that he did not leave her, she left him. Q is not hung up on the details; now they are a team. Vash refuses. She has finished packing, and her bag is empty, but Q magics it back on to her shoulder, full of clothes. The unpacking was even more of a waste of time than I originally thought it was!

Q suggests a few places to go and things to view while Vash resumes unpacking. Q undoes her unpacking and she throws the full bag at him again. He tells her she can choose where they will go. She tells him she chooses not to go anywhere with him again. They continue to argue, but she tells him to leave.

He asks what she really wants; he says she wants the life she had before she met him. He scoffs, pointing out that she was barred from the Royal Museum of Epsilon Hydra VII, persona non grata on Betazed, wanted dead on Myrmidon for stealing the Crown of the First Mother.

Dead or alive, Vash points out, to which he replies, “Preferably dead.” Vash points out that Q has his own detractors on several planets, one of which called him “the god of lies”, which seems like an accurate title for Q, now that I think about it. Q thinks they meant it affectionately.

The doorbell chimes. Vash says “come in,” and Quark appears. Before he can say more than “I,” Q retorts, “Go away” and vanishes him. Vash demands he return. Quark asks what she could possibly want from him and calls Quark a “disgusting little troll,” which also seems like an accurate title. Vash doesn’t know; Q didn’t give Quark time to tell her. Reluctantly, Q returns Quark and vanishes himself.


Quark is confused. He is holding a bottle of booze (I assume), still wearing the usual outfit. He recovers quickly, and though he’s obviously confused and looking around the room as though expecting Q to appear again (did he even see him long enough to realize he was there?) he launches into a speech to lure Vash into partnering with him to make a profit from the rare items she brought back from the Gamma Quadrant.

Vash is interested. Quark suggests an auction. He also suggests a 50-50 split. Vash doesn’t buy it. She basically sexually assaults him as far as Ferengi are concerned, grabbing him and rubbing his ear lobes in a manner Quark refers to as “oo-mox” while he’s going to get the wine.


She’s not going to be be taken advantage of. But Quark is. A few more massages and even a compliment later, Vash agrees to give him 22% and then stops the massage, gets up, and opens the door, ushering him out in short order. Quark is impressed.

Q reappears to comment on the vileness of the situation. Vash tells him to leave. The doorbell chimes again and Bashir arrives as Q departs. Bashir, telling her to call him Julian, admits he is here to flirt and not for a medical purpose. He invites her to Quark’s, saying they have delicious couscous.

Of all the things to flirt with, you choose couscous? I do not find this romantic in the slightest, but maybe because I don’t like couscous. Vash, however, is amenable to couscous and agrees to the date. Q appears to make faces at her over Julian’s shoulder; she says she needs to freshen up and will meet him in 20 minutes.


He comments that “Those twenty minutes will seem like an eternity” because he’s been reading a bunch of pickup lines or romance novels, and leaves.

Q returns, commenting that human mating rituals are quite disgusting. She keeps trying to tell him to leave. He finally does, after commenting that she will not survive without him for long.

At Quark’s, Bashir is approached by a man he thinks is a waiter, and orders a cup of mint tea. The waiter, who is really Quark dressed in some odd outfit and pretending to be a Bajoran, tells him to stay away from Vash.


Purple and beige. It really doesn’t suit Q. I don’t know that it would suit anyone, to be honest. What is this outfit?

Bashir is insulted and doesn’t think it’s any business of the waiter’s, then Q tells Bashir he looks tired. Q yawns, and then Bashir yawns and suddenly realizes he really is very tired. He stumbles out of Quark’s.

O’Brien has overseen this interaction as well (does he have nothing to do but spy on Bashir’s dates?) and recognizes Q.

O’Brien immediately goes to tell Sisko that he’s seen Q. Sisko is concerned, as he went to a Starfleet briefing on Q a few years back. They begin to wonder what it is Q wants with them, and then O’Brien tells them that Q and Vash know each other, and they met in Sherwood Forest.

The lights go out again; the main power grid has dropped 80% and the technobabble Dax saw before has increased. A moment later the lights come back on and everything is normal. Frustrated, Kira comments that if such an outage happens during a docking procedure, they could lose an entire pylon. Chief says that nothing looks to be wrong, and assumes that it must be a joke by Q.

At Quark’s, Vash is showing the merchandise to Quark.


She’s changed out of the 80s tie-dye jacket into a sexy coral shirt that might be a dress? Very low cut. Is she actually interested in Bashir? Is she just interested in spending time with a man who isn’t Q?

Quark is skeptical of the last, mysterious glowing rock, though Vash thinks it’s the best part of the collection. They’re interrupted in their negotiations by Sisko. Vash wonders where Bashir is, but Sisko gets right to the point. “Tell me about Q.”

Q appears and says he will tell him anything he wants to know.


There’s a man in the background wearing a red turtleneck and an ugly brown jacket. I have nothing further to say about him.

Sisko says he wants Q to leave. Q tells him he’s here to brighten up the place, and compares DS9 to a gulag, calling it dismal and dreary. He does, however, like the new uniform, and switches from his previous red with black shoulders uniform to the black with red shoulders uniform that Sisko is wearing.


Sisko is not impressed; he tells Q to stop the power outages. Q claims he’s not responsible, and bemoans that he is blamed for all the failings in the universe. Sisko tells him he is not sympathetic. Q admits he was hoping for witty repartee, but will not get that either. At least Picard knows how to turn a phrase.

Vash tells him that clearly no one wants him around. Q then tells her that he’s tired of her playing hard to get and as he is the Q and she the lowly human, he’ll decide when the partnership is over. Sisko offers to continue the discussion in private, and so Q vanishes the rest of the station.

Sisko is not amused. He grabs Q by the collar and demands he return them. Q is not impressed by the threat of violence. You’ll thrash me? He asks.

He turns Quark’s into a boxing ring, putting himself and Sisko in weird clothes and giving himself a manly mustache.


We don’t really get a good look at Sisko’s boxing outfit in the actual episode, as the camera doesn’t focus on him for long, but thanks to the magic of screenshots, here is a decent study. Sleeveless green shirt, high pink belt, and either dark brown shorts over green tights or two-toned pants. I’m not sure which. Sisko’s reaction is literally “What?!” in a bemused tone.

Q is wearing what I think is a slightly more reasonable outfit, at least in terms of colors – its’ all solid grayish-blue except for a pinkish belt.


I really do love his mustache though. Very manly old British boxer.

He punches Sisko in the face (though not with any real seriousness, I think, he’s mocking the sport of boxing and the notion of “fisticuffs”) commenting on how this is all wonderfully barbaric. Neither of them is wearing gloves, I note.

A crowd has also appeared to cheer them on. Quark wagers 5 bars of latinum on Sisko. Vash takes him on.

Q punches Sisko in the face several times, without causing any injury. Sisko, undoubtedly having received some self-defense training, blocks his punch, punches Q in the stomach, and then again in the face, causing him to fall back into the spectators behind him.

Q makes this face:


and then Sisko makes this face:


Both of which I’m including because they’re hilarious.

Q is shocked. “You hit me! Picard never hit me.”

“I’m not Picard,” Sisko reminds him, in case we had not concluded that.

Q does think Sisko is easier to provoke, and calls himself fortunate, but departs.

An airlock opens and an alien with blueish green robes and gold necklace comes aboard. He’s accompanied by a Ferengi in normal olive-green clothes, but with gold trim around the collar and edge of his coat.


I really love the robes on this guy. Paisley and psychedelic. The Ferengi is dressed as a normal boring Ferengi, but with a little more gold; he’s practically bland next to the taller alien.

Behind them, three…aliens in green jumpsuits with purplish shawls, wearing blue masks over their faces walk through the promenade.


They’ve got almost a military style uniform of plain gray with (pointless) yellow mustard belts and fancy gold embroidery pattern on the arm. The purplish shawls remind me of military belts as well, while at the same time adding a bit of the exotic. The shawls added with the blue masks kind of also make me feel like they’re a bit Arabian.

Odo watches them pass with interest. The lights go off. After a moment or two they come on.

At Ops, suddenly some wind starts to blow wildly, and Dax reports they’re losing atmosphere. Sisko calls for decompression protocol and tells Chief to raise confinement shields. Chief struggles across the room and pushes a button and things go back to normal.

There’s a minor hull breach and a few hull fractures across the station; repair crews are already heading there.

Dax and Sisko examine a hole in an outer wall which is sealed with a force field. qless24

It’s a good thing they have these shields, because that looks like a big hole. The power drains and the damage is caused by graviton pulses (the same technobabble as earlier). Sisko realizes if it keeps happening, one of the reactor cores might be affected, and they’d lose half the station. Dax suggests negotiating with Q.

Sisko doesn’t think it’s Q’s style to play with lights and punch holes in the hull.

Odo has asked Quark to come to his office. He knows about the auction because he was eavesdropping on their conversations.

Quark says he has nothing to hide; he is selling quality merchandise to select clientele. Odo asks what makes them select. They’re all very wealthy and not very bright.

Odo doesn’t understand the obsession with acquiring more and more stuff, until the living areas are bursting with useless junk. Then you die, your relatives sell everything and start the cycle all over again.

Sigh. This reminds me of a few of my relatives. I look forward to selling off their useless junk.

Quark asks Odo if he doesn’t desire anything. Odo says he has his job and needs nothing else. Quark suggests a suit of silk, or a ring, or a set of pottery. Odo is not interested. Quark suggests a latinum-plated bucket to sleep in. Odo is mildly interested for a moment, then refuses that as well.

Vash has a new outfit and put her hair up. She leaves the assay office with her bag of stuff.

Dr. Evil doesn’t look pleased about this.

The updo and the stripes remind me a lot of late nineteenth century women’s fashions, although obviously the neckline is a little low. Her earrings seem to become a necklace which is an interesting idea, but those beads look heavy, and my ears hurt just looking at the picture.

Q meets up with her, still wearing the new-style uniform. He is glad she’s packed. She says she can take care of herself without him. He is skeptical.

He points out that she had a tiny insect bite; if he had not saved her…poof


Her hair is gray and falling out.

Sores then appear on her face, and then she is very weak and cannot stand.


We can see in this photo that the upper part of her outfit is clearly a jacket; the sleeves are more velour style and the lower part of her dress is a more solid view.

Q gloats over her, then tells her to reconsider his offer of friendship and departs, returning her to normal. A random passerby comes to help her to her feet, now that she doesn’t need help anymore as she is young and strong.

Sisko updates his log to tell us that the station’s power is being drained and converted to gravitons, and life-support will fail in 14 hours.

Chief complains that the Cardassian sensors aren’t sensitive enough to figure out the source of the power drain they’ve been experiencing. Dax suggests flooding the station with ionized gas so they can trace that to the drain more easily. O’Brien is skeptical as the gas she wants to use is toxic, but Dax says that’s only in high concentrations, and they’d use a small amount. Sisko approves. He says they’ll begin evacuating in 8 hours if they don’t figure things out.

Q appears to mock them and say that Picard would have figured this out by now. Sisko is pissed and gets to his feet. Kira calls for security; Q comments that she is feisty and must be after Sisko’s job.

O’Brien asks why Q doesn’t do something constructive and torment Cardassians. Q mocks him for being a little person on the Enterprise.

He tells Sisko (“Benji”) that he should just evacuate now. Sisko tells him to tell them what’s going on or get out of the way. Q tells them that Vash is engaging in base commerce and setting Federation ethics back 200 years, and she is more dangerous than he is.

He vanishes, leaving them confused.

The fancy dressed alien in the blue robes appears at Quark’s. Quark greets him, identifying him as Kolos and compliments him. Kolos says he hopes the merchandise is legitimate or he will toss Quark (who he describes as an obsequious toad) out the nearest airlock. Quark says that each piece has a statement of authenticity from Vash, the Federation’s foremost expert on the Gamma Quadrant. Kolos is pleased, and demands a synthale.

Quark hands over a drink without comment, and gives the rest of the tray to a gold alien waitress behind him (I assume she is female because the actress has boobs but I acknowledge that as I do not know how gender manifests in this species, I may be wrong. However, I also know that Quark likes female waitresses of many species, so I’m hedging my bets on female.)


Her dress is shiny gold with little beads and gems on the shoulders to make her look even shinier. She also either has yellow hands or is wearing yellow gloves (it looks like yellow hands to me, but I could be wrong) which means this is just a lot of yellow.

Vash asks if the buyers are all so pleasant. Quark says he doesn’t care about their manners, but that they are honest collectors of antiquities, “as honest as you or I”. He suggests a permanent partnership to Vash, but she says she is done sleeping in tents, and will go back to Earth. Quark is skeptical.

The station begins to shake.

Dax says the graviton levels have increased. They need to increase the level of gas to one part per million before they can do the sensor sweep. Seven or eight minutes. Kira reports they are being pulled away from their usual position; Sisko tells her to use thrusters to move them back. It’s not working. Chief suggests shutting down some reactors. Sisko says to put life support on emergency backup and take everything else off line. The lights go down.

They’re still moving out of position, and they’re heading for the wormhole. This is definitely bad.

Quark and Vash are going through with the auction in the dark.


This of course makes it look like completely legitimate business.

Vash takes the first item, a statue from the Verathan system. She starts to talk about it in an academic way, explaining the history of the Verathan people in great detail. Quark stops her and says only “It’s rare, it’s beautiful, and it’s a gamma quadrant original, and it can be yours for the right price.” Then starts the bidding. The auction begins.

O’Brien reports that the gas has increased to the proper levels, so they begin the sensor sweep. Not in the docking ring. It seems to be in the central core. But where? It’s not clear.

Kira estimates they’ll hit the wormhole in 18 minutes.

Quark and Vash have sold an item to Kolos for 36 bars of gold-pressed latinum. He begins the bidding on the dagger. Q is watching from the back.

There is also this alien in the crowd, who is not introduced, does not speak, and is not given a name, though he does raise his hand several times to bid on items.


He has kind of a bird-like beak, an orange robe, and a gold shiny pendant at his throat which seems to glow even in the darkness.

Q interrupts to tell them all that the station is hurtling toward its doom and it’s unlikely any of them will survive to enjoy their purchases. The buyers mumble amongst themselves. Please, Q says, carry on.

Quark assures them everything is under control and everyone can have free drinks and use of the holosuites at the end of the auction.

Vash goes to the back of the room and tells Q she is shocked he is so evil he would kill everyone to get even with her, but Q says that he had thought of this, but the station is in enough trouble without him, though he’ll willingly save her if she asks. She declines his offer. He shrugs, and says he’ll just watch; he’s never seen a space station torn into pieces by a wormhole before.

Quark has sold the dagger to his cousin for 105 bars of gold-pressed latinum.

Kira suggests pumping in more gas for a better reading. Chief says this might work, but they’d all be dead in four years from poisoning. Dax tells him to bring the reactors on line so they create a power drain big enough to trace. Kira is concerned this will push them into the wormhole faster; Sisko says they should try it anyway.

O’Brien brings the station to full power.

Quark has sold his next item to Rul the Obscure for 151 bars of gold-pressed latinum. Rul is one of the aliens with the blue mask on their heads.

And now, the final item, the big glowing rock.

The crowd is impressed. Quark starts the bidding at 200 bars of gold-pressed latinum. He’s basically about to have a heart attack based on how the price is raising.

Dax is watching the scanners – the power drain is coming from the promenade. She and Sisko take off for the promenade with Kira.

Someone has bid 2500 bars for the last item. Q bids 2500 and one.

Kira, Sisko, and Dax appear on the promenade, scanning with tricorders. Business seems to be going on as usual on the station. Shouldn’t they have evacuated by now?


The auction is up to 3000 bars. Q bids a million bars.

Sisko, Dax, and Kira run into the auction just as Q wins it, identifying the glowing box as the source of the power drain. Q says “it’s about time.” Sisko puts his comm badge on the box and tells Chief to transport it 500 meters off the docking ring.


Once it’s in space, they all run out to the window to watch as it morphs into a giant jellyfish thing, and then flies into the wormhole.


Sisko updates the log. He says that now that the embryonic life form is off the station, graviton levels have returned to normal. They’ve moved back to their original position.

Vash is heading to the Daystrom institute and back in her original outfit, much to Quark’s dismay. He tries to convince her to go to some ruins he just discovered but she’s not interested. Q appears to comment on how dull Earth is, although 1k years ago it was interesting, what with the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, Watergate. Q realizes he does owe her 1 million bars of gold-pressed latinum. She says he can keep it; she just wants her life back.

Q says he will miss her, as he liked seeing the universe through her eyes.

After he leaves, she grabs Quark by the ear and asks him what the quickest way is to the ruins he was just talking about. Dax, having watched this go down, gets up to leave Quark’s. As she does, Bashir comes in. “I feel as though I’ve been asleep for days,” he says. “Did I miss something?”

Dax does not explain, just smiles at him bemusedly.