To Boldy Sew: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S01E15: “If Wishes Were Horses”

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 (

Odo sits at a mostly empty Quark’s. Quark is wearing his paisley jacket. Odo is wearing his uniform, as always.


They’re discussing the holosuites. Odo has no time or interest in using his imagination. Quark suggests he create a shapeshifter playmate for him. Odo is disgusted.

Odo is concerned that Jake Sisko is using the holosuites, but Quark explains that he is only playing baseball on a program the Siskos brought with them. Quark talks about the possibility of more family-friendly entertainment in the holosuites. Odo is skeptical.

Bashir and Dax are having a drink together. This is the usual conversation where he tries to convince her to go out with him, and she’s not interested.  Bashir says she’s in his thoughts constantly and he can’t focus. Dax points out he’s been quite interested in several other beautiful women recently. She also says he is a good friend. He is not pleased with the news.

Dax leaves and goes to Ops. Sisko and Kira are studying some weird emissions. They discuss some technobabble about how the increase in ships might be affecting the systems around them and causing the weird stuff.

O’Brien is reading his daughter a bedtime story – Rumpelstiltskin. The little old man is going to steal a couple’s daughter unless they guess his name, which he presumes they won’t guess, but then they do. O’Brien does a good job of reading it with some funny voices, that make his daughter laugh.

They tuck in the kid and turn off the light. O’Brien and Keiko make some not really subtle innuendos at one another, but then Molly gets up.


She’s wearing this cute little blue and purple striped onesie. I’m not sure how old Molly is supposed to be here – 3 or 4? But she’s doing a good job at being cute.

Molly says that Rumpelstiltskin is in her bedroom, and the parents are like, uh what?

Miles clearly has the “oh man how are we ever going to make a second kid?” expression his face.

Keiko is wearing an outfit that actually looks like something that would be worn in the present day. Orangey turtleneck and a kind of greenish jacket that might be velvet? When I first saw this, I thought it was just a brown blazer, but now I’m seeing that it’s a dark green.

Miles and Keiko are skeptical, and tell her that he isn’t real, but he agrees to check. He wonders aloud why they tell her stories about evil dwarves that want to steal children, which is a valid question. (Also, if you are going to tell her that story, why do you do it right before bedtime?)

O’Brien opens the door and goes in and sees this guy.

Shiniest vest I ever did see. 

He’s wearing tight blue pants (interesting color choice), a floofy white silk(?) shirt, and a shiny sparkly vest that is held closed with some kind of lacing. His hat is sort of a redish-purplish color. He generally just looks like a short old man, aside from the pointed ears and probably augmented nose, and pretty similar to the classic storybook drawing of an elf or an imp or something like that.

He says he’s there to offer his services if O’Brien should need them.


Chief tells the ladies to leave because of course he’s a chivalrous dude, which leads Rumpelstiltskin to comment about how dull the room is without the ladies. He starts wandering through the living room and tossing things on the floor. Chief calls security and asks them to send a team immediately.

Rumpelstiltskin asks where the straw is that he wants spun into gold. He confirms that he is Rumpelstiltskin and that he doesn’t like his own name, but doesn’t disappear when O’Brien says it.

Security arrives and Rumpelstiltskin tells them not to lay a hand on him, and that he’s much too fast for them. He then evades security by disappearing just as they’re about to grab him, and reappearing elsewhere, again asks O’Brien what he needs. O’Brien calls Sisko.

Meanwhile, Sisko is chilling at home when he gets the call from the Chief. He drops what he’s doing and agrees to head over to see the Chief, without having received any other details. I guess in Starfleet you just do that kind of thing and assume that one doesn’t call over their commanding officer without a good reason.

As he’s leaving Jake comes in, saying he needs to talk. Sisko says he doesn’t have time at the moment, but they’re interrupted by a baseball player in the doorway who Jake says followed him home from the holosuite.

Does he need his dad’s help getting dressed every day, or is there some kind of tech for that?

Jake appears to be wearing his purple and orange jumpsuit, and from this close up of his back it looks like it fastens in the back. That’s gotta make it fun to get into and out of every day.

Of course the ballplayer is a fictional ballplayer, from a fictional team. He’s wearing a pretty classic uniform of blue with white and red border and a white t-shirt underneath. The shirt says KINGS and has a little red crown, but the hat, also blue, says L.

Bashir is sleeping, maybe having an erotic dream, and then suddenly we realize he’s got more hands on him than his own. He wakes up and finds Dax basically climbing all over him and shoving her tongue in his mouth.

Well, this is a change of heart, isn’t it? 

Even though he’s horny, Julian figures out something is all wrong here and starts trying to determine the medical cause, suggesting it’s a virus and taking out a tricorder. Or that he’s having an allergic reaction to something he ate and he’s hallucinating. Dax asks why he’s fighting it and he doesn’t have a good answer, so he kind of gives in.

They’re interrupted by an announcement from Kira saying that all senior officers should report to Ops at once. Now Bashir thinks this is a joke that maybe O’Brien is playing on him.

When they arrive at Ops, Sisko introduces them to the baseball player as Harmon Bokai, and explains he’s from the “London Kings;” which explains the L, and has been dead for 200 years. He also introduces everyone to Rumpelstiltskin, who is mad that everyone now knows his name.

Sisko asks Dax if this is related to the increased emissions they were discussing earlier. Dax just kind of giggles at him and looks confused.


But then the turbolift appears and another, real Jadzia Dax appears. “I think you’d better ask me,” she says, looking her duplicate up and down. The fake Jadzia cowers behind Bashir.

Bashir scans the holograms and says that they all seem to be real.

Sisko has to explain to Buck Bokai that he’s not the real Buck Bokai. Bokai is confused, as he remembers all of his past. Sisko says that he programmed it all into the computer.

So this is a classic holograms are real thing?

But Rumpelstiltskin wasn’t a hologram. Sisko says that Rumpelstiltskin did come out of O’Brien’s imagination. Rumpelstiltskin is skeptical. (fake) Dax says that she must have come out of Julian’s imagination, and kisses him. He admits that maybe this is true, and asks how it possibly could happen.

(real) Dax, clearly amused, says that maybe it was caused by a subspace disruption, a dimensional shift, or a small anomaly that the sensors missed because it was too small. (fake) Dax just wants to go off to Julian’s quarters, but Bashir brushes her aside and says he hasn’t got time for this. (fake) Dax vanishes.

Before they can investigate further, Odo calls and says it’s snowing and asks if the environmental controls are broken, as they have 5-6 centimeters.

I guess normally you don’t need to worry about weather when you live on a space station.

In the background, we see two people running out of the snow. The man is in a gray-on-gray jumpsuit that mimics the Bajoran uniform (might actually be a uniform, but the pants look to be a slightly different shade than the top).

The woman has a mustard yellow jumpsuit skirt thing, with similarly colored leggings and a red collar (possibly layers, possibly just a collar, hard to tell). Neither of them seem dressed for snow.

Sisko tells Odo to bring in all available security personnel, and they’re going to Yellow Alert. He says he’ll explain better to Odo when he knows what’s going on.

Dax and O’Brien are examining some science thing, something about wave point density. It’s some kind of subspace disruption. Sisko tells Chief to prepare a Class 4 Probe. Rumpelstiltskin offers to help and tries to push some buttons, but Chief slaps away his hand before he can do damage.

Odo calls again. The snow is gone, but there’s a Gunji jackdaw running about, which looks a lot like a furry kind of emu to me.

I like Odo’s pose and expression here.

In the background here is a man in Standard Bajoran red hanging out with someone in a neon yellow top and purplish pants. They seem confused and also interested, like they’re witnessing a car crash or public nudity.

Sisko says they’re working on it, and try to keep things under control. Odo urges the jackdaw to move along.

Odo heads to Quark’s where people are playing Dabo. The Dabo girl here is particularly shiny, with a rather big hairstyle, but none of the players are wearing anything interesting.


He bangs a cup on the table and calls for attention and asks them to refrain from using their imaginations. He addresses them as “Ladies and Gentlemen and all androgynous creatures.” No one pays attention to him.

Quark appears and mocks him for not having an imagination, and appears with two mostly-naked women on his arms.


Not much in the way of clothing to discuss here. Both women have pretty glorious updos, with the the one on the left’s hair flipped over on top and then braided (I think) with dark red ribbons that match her…top, shall we say? She’s also got an interesting tattoo on her upper arm, that I think is a heart with flowers in it, but it’s kind of faded. The woman on the right has a bigger updo, with some kind of greenish pink thing in it that matches her green and pink top. It reminds me of the seashore.

Quark thinks that the strangeness has to do with a crazy Federation experiment that’s gone awry and the whole station is a giant holosuite. Odo says the phenomenon is being investigated. Quark tells them to take their time. He seems pleased. The ladies rub his ears and Quark is very mellow.

Odo points out that everyone is winning and Quark will be out of money soon. Then Quark is upset, and runs over to the tables frantically. Odo notes that Quark is outnumbered.

Meanwhile, Dax and Bashir are working on some fancy computers in the lab. Lots of technobabble.


Bashir tries to awkwardly apologize for his fantasy, but Dax interrupts and tells him it’s not necessary, as she feels it’s really his privacy that’s been intruded on. They all have private thoughts and fantasies they keep to themselves. She also muses on how fake Dax is quite submissive.

Fake Dax reappears, alarmed by this statement. “I’m not submissive, am I?” she asks Bashir, who says she is not. She then says that (real) Dax is a cold fish and if she got down off her high horse she’d appreciate Julian. Bashir awkwardly says that (fake) Dax has a sense of humor, as he’s imagined (real) Dax does, and (real) Dax replies with “I could use one about now.” (fake) Dax says to stop denying the yearnings she feels.

The computer interrupts then, as it’s found a match. Dax then says this weird phenomenon was encountered once before, but the place it was encountered was destroyed.

Sisko says that more than half the people on DS9 have reported manifestations of their imagined thoughts.

O’Brien is monitoring the probe, and Dax is watching the screen while Bashir & Sisko look on in the lab. Rumpelstiltskin is watching and trying to “help” O’Brien, but O’Brien just tells him to go away.

Rumpelstiltskin tells him he finds it intriguing that O’Brien is afraid of him, which O’Brien disagrees with. He mostly seems irritated, which could be a manifestation of his fear, but he mostly seems pissed. Rumpelstiltskin points out that Molly is his first born, which pisses him off even more, and maybe does make him frightened, but when he goes to confront Rumpelstiltskin, he vanishes.

The probe approaches the anomaly and Dax talks some more technobabble about what they’re looking at. The conclusion from the probe is that the thing is getting big. It seems to be drawing in matter from the surrounding space.

Bokai offers to play some ball with Sisko, who explains again that they’re on a space station in the 24th century, and the holosuites are the only place they can play ball.

Bokai says he doesn’t understand, as when he pinches himself it hurts, and he’s there. Sisko says that soon he might not be, and admits he hopes that Bokai goes away. Bokai asks what he’s supposed to do – does Sisko have room for a switch hitting third basement with good power? Sisko counters that he has good power from the left side.

Bokai says he hit 20 homers right handed in his first few years, and Sisko points out that he didn’t hit a lot of right handed homers after that. Bokai laments the death of baseball, and says he appreciates Sisko’s love of the game, and he wants him to know that in case he does disappear.

Bokai, Rumpelstiltskin, and fake Dax are talking. They’re wondering why their people created something with their imaginations that they didn’t want.


(fake) Dax wonders why Julian created a woman only to reject her. Rumpelstiltskin wonders why O’Brien created a dwarf that could terrify him. He says they should abandon the whole thing.

Bokai says that he’s made a connection with his and he senses an affection for a ballplayer who died 200 years before (Sisko) was born.

How much longer should they devote to this, Rumpelstiltskin asks. Bokai says as long as it takes, and it ain’t over ‘till it’s over. Rumpelstiltskin is clearly skeptical.

Sisko’s log reports that the anomaly is expanding and they don’t know how to contain it, so they are diverting all incoming ships away from the station.

Sisko gathers Bashir, Kira, O’Brien, and (real) Dax to discuss things.


The last time this type of anomaly appeared, some Vulcans investigated. And they were destroyed along with the system. They didn’t experience any hallucinations, but Vulcans don’t have very active imaginations and they were only in range of the anomaly for a much shorter period of time.

They’re looking for a way to attack the problem, and O’Brien thinks pulse wave torpedoes are the best approach. Kira says that that didn’t work for the Vulcans, but O’Brien says that they’ve improved the technology and they should be able to control things. Kira points out that if they don’t, they’ll destroy the whole Bajoran system. Sisko points out the rupture is already expanding and (real) Dax says they have a better chance while the anomaly is small.

Chief says they will have the torpedoes created by 2200 hours. Sisko tells Kira to help Odo and evacuate the pylons.

Kira calls Odo to help her with the evacuations, but Odo is busy herding birds.

Kira goes to start looking at the pylons on her own and sees one is on fire.


She calls for help, and a man on fire runs screaming at her.


He heads right for the turbolift she’s still standing on.

She freaks and covers herself, and then the guy disappears. She looks up and sees everything is fine. Apparently another hallucination?

She takes out her tricorder and scans, then makes an announcement to all personnel, telling them to evacuate.

Odo is trying to herd the birds and keep people away from them. They go pass Quark’s and Quark runs out, screaming his name. He says he wants to report 2 missing people. Odo is dismissive, but then as they’re talking the birds disappear, leaving a lot of confused people.


The two Bajorans here are in ordinary uniforms, but the third guy might or might not be one of the guys in episode 8  (“The Passenger”) (in which case, yay that Bashir/Vantika didn’t actually kill him) and might or might not also be the guy in episode 4 (“Babel”) who didn’t like Quark’s stew. (Or maybe it’s just a guy of the same species as both of those guys.)

The 2 women Quark was looking for appear again. Quark asks Odo what he’s conjured up, and again mocks Odo for not having any imagination. Odo says he’s busy and heads back to his office.

He asks the computer to search for people in the pylons. Then he hears Quark yelling again, and realizes that his imagination put Quark into a cell.


Back and the Sisko quarters, Jake is wearing the green and green and teal jumpsuit that I maintain is the worst in his wardrobe. He takes a break from his homework to put on the baseball glove, and then Bokai appears and tosses him a ball.


Bokai tries to get him to ditch the homework and come play ball. Jake resists, saying that his dad will kill him if he doesn’t do his homework. Bokai is skeptical.

A (fake) Sisko appears then, and Jake tries out some terrible excuses about how the computer wasn’t working or something. (fake) Sisko doesn’t buy it.

Jake realizes he has to go back to work and both Sisko and Bokai vanish.

Back at Ops, Dax reports that the rate of expansion of the rupture is increasing. Sisko asks if they can move the station, but she says if the rupture implodes, it’ll overtake them almost immediately.

Chief says it’ll be 6-7 minutes before the torpedoes are ready. Dax says the rupture is large enough to pick up on visual scanners, so Sisko commands it be put on the screen. They have to magnify it.


It’s hard to tell in a still picture, but the darker part in the center is getting larger.  It’s kind of like a black hole, but oblong. They all look dramatically at the screen, while the imagination figments look at them and the screen.


Kira returns and reports that the Pylons are evacuated.

(fake) Dax observes that Bashir is worried. He says if this doesn’t work, nothing real or imagined will survive. She asks him to hold her, so he does.


(real) Dax tells Sisko that they’ve transferred all available power to the shields, and they’re now at 158% above normal.

They go to red alert and fire torpedos. Technobabble continues as they guide the torpedoes in and then detonate. Things seem to be doing well but then the collapse is not controlled. There is a lot of technobabble.

At one point Kira says “what the hell does that mean?” and I have no idea so I’m not going to try to interpret it for you. I’m sure the science of all of this is kind of shaky even if it’s based in theoretically real stuff. What this means for them all is that there’s a lot of shaking and then a bright flash of light and things explode. Odo, in his office, tries to call Ops but communications don’t seem to be working.

Back at Ops, Kira does some rerouting of power and then communications is working and Odo’s voice comes through. They confirm that life support is okay but shields are gone in one section. Sisko tells Odo to move people away from the section with shield damage. Sensors aren’t working so they can’t tell if the rift is getting worse or not.


Meanwhile, (fake) Dax is hurt. She says that she can’t feel her hands. Bashir tries to help. He directs Bokai to get a nearby medical kit. (fake) Dax says she’s sorry to have bothered him and that she can’t keep her eyes open. It looks like she has a concussion. She loses consciousness.


They get the sensors back online and the rift is fluctuating but continuing to widen. Sisko asks if it looks like it’s collapsing. (real) Dax reads off some technobabble and says she can’t make sense of the readings, so I’m not going to try. O’Brien says the pulse waves from the torpedoes have been neutralized and it’s just a matter of time before it expands – minutes.

Sisko asks for suggestions. No one has any.


Rumpelstiltskin makes a suggestion and offers to help. He tells O’Brien he was created with powers far beyond those of mortal men and he will be happy to assit them… for a price.

He then makes Keiko and Molly appear.


Keiko has a similar outfit on as before – red turtleneck and green sweater, but Molly has changed out of her pajamas and into a pinkish-purple dress over a dark red sweater thing that matches her mom’s shirt.

Rumpelstiltskin says he’s always wanted a daughter. O’Brien is skeptical that he can fix the rupture. Rumpelstiltskin demands if he’s willing to pay the price of giving up his daughter to save everyone else. O’Brien says this is ridiculous – Rumpelstiltskin is a storybook character!

Sisko interrupts. He says that O’Brien doesn’t have to.


He asks Dax when the sensors first picked up traces of the rupture. She says that it was when they were first trying to figure things out. He points out that she said her previous scans hadn’t picked up any anomalies. She admits that she thought it was because the anomaly was small enough that the scan missed it. Sisko says she imagined that she saw a subspace rupture, and that’s exactly what it turned out to be. Dax agrees.

He then says that when they learned about the rift that destroyed the other system, they all imagined they might have another just like it. He tells O’Brien to drop the shields. He think there’s no rupture and no threat to the system. He tells him to drop the shields and cancel red alert, and that he must believe it.

Sisko asks Kira if she’s still reading magnetic shock waves. She starts to say yes, but he says No. No shock waves at all. Kira looks at him like he’s crazy, but then repeats his statement, and the shaking stops.

Rumpelstiltskin and Bokai vanish. The rupture in space disappears. Bashir tells (fake) Dax she’s going to be fine and she says yes, because she has the best doctor in the galaxy. Then she also vanishes.

Kira is confused. None of this makes sense – why did the imaginary people appear in the first place? Dax thinks it still might have to do with those elevated emissions they saw back in the beginning. Those readings are still abnormal. Sisko tells her to continue to monitor those, but refrain from speculation.


Sisko then tells them to stay on Yellow Alert for the next 26 hours until they see things are back to normal, and tells O’Brien to take his family home. Then he goes into his office.

He sits on his couch which I forget if I talked about this before but that couch doesn’t look that comfortable. He also has a statue on a table beside it which looks like might have come from Earth, and might be inspired by some primitive culture.


Bokai reappears then, saying that he has a tough type understanding the concept of his imagination. Sisko realizes that he’s not just a figment of his imagination. Bokai says they’re on an extended mission exploring the galaxy.

He says that a while back they followed one of his ships through the wormhole and have been watching them. Sisko asks why they didn’t just talk to him, and Bokai says you can never tell how someone will treat the visiting team.

Sisko asks if it was necessary to put the station in danger, but Bokai says he did not put them in danger – it was their imaginations. He says it’s odd how imagination works – things seems so real to them even though they know it’s not. He also quotes Odo as saying it’s a waste of time. Sisko says he disagrees with Odo, and Bokai says he knew he would.

Bokai says he’s gotta go. Sisko notes that he hasn’t told them anything about his species. Bokai says he’d like to – maybe next year.

Stray Thoughts


* I’m going to just add some comments here at the end.

* There was a lot of technobabble in this episode that I skipped over, that had to do with proton levels being higher and lower and thoron emissions and none of it meant any sense to me. I try to strike a balance between “technobabble” and a detailed explanation of what’s going on, but it wasn’t happening here, and it ended up being irrelevant anyway.

* So, nothing was really solved? Why did the aliens manifest as imaginary beings? How do they read people’s minds to decide what to manifest as?

* While we’re at it, why doesn’t everyone have imaginary friends? Why didn’t Dax or Kira or even Odo, for example? And also, didn’t Jake and Molly really create Bokai and Rumpelstiltskin, not their fathers? Neither of them were present when they first appeared.

* How many aliens are there? Was it a small group, so when (fake) Dax was absent, that alien was manifesting as one of those large birds, or one of Quark’s women? And how does snow factor into this? Do they aliens just have holosuite-like powers?