To Boldy Sew: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S02E15: “Paradise”

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. 

All screenshots come from, which is the same place as the original TNG fashion blog (

Sisko tells us that he and Chief O’Brien are surveying some star systems nearby to search for good planets to colonize near the wormhole. They are on a runabout.

Sisko is apologizing to O’Brien and making sure it’s not an imposition. It seems that O’Brien has agreed to train Jake on some engineering stuff. Sisko says that Jake placed in the lower third of his age group in mechanical aptitude. O’Brien says he did also. Sisko is surprised.

O’Brien said he didn’t learn he had talent until he was on the Cardassian front and had to figure out how to get a field transporter operational in ten minutes or be a prisoner of war. Somehow, in 9 minutes and 53 seconds he got it working and got eleven men off the planet and to safety. Then he became a tactical officer.

Sisko says that Jake is growing a centimeter a week and struck him out with a curve ball the other day for the first time.

Something is beeping and O’Brien thinks he’s found something. Sisko notes it’s an M-Class planet and should be a great place to set up a colony. Only, O’Brien notes, someone else is already there. Humans.

They were not aware of a colony there, so O’Brien tries hailing on all frequencies while Sisko moves them into orbit. There’s no response. O’Brien sees some sort of field that might be blocking communications. Sisko says they should go down and introduce themselves.

They beam down to the surface and find themselves in the middle of a forest. The tricorders aren’t working and now they can’t talk to the ship to beam back either. There’s no EM activity. O’Brien thinks it’s related to the field they detected.

Sisko says that they might have a hard time getting off the planet unless O’Brien finds some more talents, and then they are interrupted by someone telling them to stop moving and put their hands up.


The locals tell O’Brien and Sisko to move around. One dude recognizes them as being from Starfleet. The other dude is carrying a bow and arrow, with a really huge bow.


Pink shirt guy is wearing loose-fitting shirt and pants that look like they might be a bit too big for him, but the guy with the bow and arrow is full-on Robin Hood, with high boots, green leggings, and a leather-looking shirt.

Sisko confirms and the pink shirt guy tells the bow and arrow guy to lower his weapon, confirming that Sisko and O’Brien can put their arms down. He says the uniforms have changed – or has he forgotten what they look like? He introduces himself as Joseph, and the other guy, “the one playing with sharp objects” is Vinod. Sisko introduces himself and O’Brien. They shake hands.


Vinod is really leaning into the Robin Hood aesthetic, and also clearly wants to show off his muscular arms and pectoral muscles. Joseph also has a kind of rustic look, with some lacing on his shirt.

Vinod asks how they got there and O’Brien says he wanted to ask the same thing. Sisko explains that they were surveying and came across the planet, but there was no record of a colony there.

Joseph explains that they were heading to settle on Gemulon V over ten years ago, but their ship had issues and they had to land. Then, all their systems failed and they couldn’t leave, so they’ve been stuck there ever since. And now, Sisko and O’Brien are stuck as well.

Sisko says they have a ship in orbit and it won’t take the others long to find them, and then they can all live. Joseph says thanks, but this is their home now. O’Brien is surprised – they said nothing works! Joseph says that they do, and he’ll show them.


They emerge from the forest into a village of sorts.


The dwelling seems to be made of an old ship. Hats seem to be in style in the village.

Sisko recognizes the ship as an Erewon-class personnel transport, and Joseph confirms it was commissioned the Santa Maria, but now it’s “the cabin.”

A woman named Alixus comes up, excited about visitors. Joseph introduces the guests as “Ben and Miles.”


Alixus is the lady in the middle. All three women in this screenshot are wearing dresses that I’d probably guess were made of linen or something similar – different colors and styles but appearing to be the same fabric. The lady on the right is modeling the popular hat style of the village.


This dude is also wearing a hat, and his shirt also seems to be tied closed at the top. Meanwhile, the woman’s dress is clearly handmade, as I can see the stitching around the collar. I like her hair net thing.

Joseph has never heard of a runabout, so Miles explains they commissioned the first ones two years ago. (I didn’t know they were so new.) He explains they’re short-range and a quarter the size of “the cabin.” Joseph explains he was the engineer on the ship they came on.

Alixus says that she’s sure Joseph and Miles will have a lot to talk about, and everyone will have lots of questions. Vinod asks about who won the soccer match and if a particular player is still playing. Everyone laughs, but Sisko says that the guy hurt his knee and replaced it with a bio-implant but it wasn’t the same.

Another one asks what women’s fashions are like. Sisko deflects to O’Brien, who says that his wife has been replicating longer dresses lately. (I don’t think I’ve seen Keiko wear any long dresses…or dresses at all, but okay.) The woman is sad and says she’ll have to alter her clothes, but O’Brien says that maybe she’s copying Bajoran styles on DS9.

This could easily lead to a longer conversation, as none of them have heard of DS9, but Alixus says that they can do that later. O’Brien says he wants to try to get some response from the EM systems. She says they gave up hope on that a long time ago.

Sisko mentions the field they saw. She says they saw it as well, and their engines failed as they hit the surface. Joseph says that without a functional tricorder, they couldn’t track the source of the field. They do know that the marshes around them are filled with astatine deposits, and that’s the only explanation they have. But they’ve done okay without their EM tools and technology. It’s been hard and they’ve lost people but they’re very proud.

The woman who asked about clothes asks if they’re all going to leave when the others come to rescue Sisko and O’Brien. Alixus says they’ll all have to think about it individually. The community is quiet for a bit. The woman asks if Alixus will leave, and she says no, and she doesn’t want the community to change, but while Sisko and O’Brien are there they are welcome to what the community has to offer – they just ask that she contribute, as they all work for their supper.


Here are some other villagers modeling the popular style of hats.

Sisko agrees. Joseph goes to find them some bunks.

Alixus goes to talk to Vinod and says that two strong, healthy men could mean a lot to the community.

On DS9, Kira asks Dax if she knows an Admiral Mitsuya. Dax says he’s the best poker player in the fleet, after her. Kira notes that he’s diverting a ship to stop at DS9 to talk about Cardassian foreign policy.

Dax says it’s an excuse to get Sisko into a game, as he cleaned him out last year. She says they should hail the Rio Grande and tell them to return. Dax says that Sisko doesn’t know how to bluff despite her trying to teach him.

Kira tries hailing the runabout, but doesn’t get a response.


Sisko is reading a book that Alixus has written – by hand of course – when O’Brien comes in. O’Brien says he got some in his room as well, but he hasn’t read them yet, and asks what she writes about. Sisko says just about everything.


Sisko’s bunk is covered with a linen-style blanket that looks like it’s made of the same material as the villager’s clothing. He’s sitting cross-legged on the bed in a style that looks kind of out of place for him, but right for the location.

Alixus says she’s spent her life examining the human condition and says that we’ve become fat, lazy, and dull. O’Brien says his wife said the same thing to him. Sisko quotes from the writings saying that the species has not evolved and the gains made have come at the cost of personal identity, and man has lost touch with his true power.

O’Brien says that it took a crash landing for her to find her paradise.

They go outside and walk around. Sisko asks if he’s found anything in the ship that can help restore contact with the runabout? He says there’s nothing to find. Everything is gone, and the ship looks like it’s been through a Ferengi junkyard. Sisko asks what happened to it all?

Joseph is on an upper layer, working on something. He says they threw everything away, since nothing worked and it was just taking up space. Sisko guesses that Alixus felt it would remind them of their old life, and he agrees that it did help the transition to a life without technology easier.

O’Brien asks if he had some issues with that, as an engineer? He says he was the last convert. But he realized Alixus was right and they found a new philosophy of life. They’re better for it and have a sense of community.

The woman in the red dress appears and says that Meg’s fever is getting worse.

Alixus is next to a woman’s arm which is wrapped in leaves. Joseph goes to look at her and says the new herb doesn’t seem to be helping. There’s an insect that transmits a disease they have no cure for. Three people have died.

Sisko asks to look at it. He asks if they’ve found anything like a sleeper fungi that draws out the infection but they have not. O’Brien notes that the medical kit in the runabout would cure her in an instant. Sisko says they have to restore the com link to the transporter.


This is the only shot we get of Meg. She looks pretty horrible. Her clothes seem to be made of the same material as everyone else’s, and she’s got kind of a shiny ribbon tying them closed. While I can accept that the villagers learned to weave their own fabric, I have to imagine the shiny ribbon was taken from something they brought in with them. Also, she’s the first woman I’ve seen wearing the laced-closed shirt – maybe it’s a nightgown of some sort?

Alixus says it’s a waste of energy also. O’Brien ignores her and says that maybe they can modify the communicators to work with the field. Joseph is intrigued. Alixus tells them it’s a waste of time and they should search the forest for more medicines.

Sisko says this is primitive medicine and they’re not likely to save her. Alixus asks to speak to him alone.


I just noticed Alixus’ jacket/sweater thing has pockets. I approve of this.

Outside, she says that he’s not being constructive. He says he’s trying to save the life of one of her followers. She says people don’t follow her, they follow their hearts. Sisko says his heart tells him to get back to the ship. She says that if they all had that attitude that they wouldn’t have been able to survive by finding plants, herbs, and molds that cure disease. They’ve conquered 17 illnesses.

Sisko says this is an interesting philosophy but while they’re debating, a woman is dying. Alixus says they’re doing everything they can. He’s aghast and says they’re not. She says she won’t have him disrupting what they’ve worked for. He says he doesn’t intend to stay. She says not to bring up the rescue party again until they show up, and she strongly advises he gets rid of the uniform as it gets hot in the fields.

She leaves.

Back on DS9, Dax tells Kira that the Rio Grande has been spotted. Starfleet says a Romulan vessel reported seeing it abandoned. It’s definitely their ship. It was traveling at warp with no one on board.

Dax and Kira head out to investigate.

Sisko is working with Vinod in the fields. He says that Ben has a talent for this, so Sisko explains that his father was a chef who grew his own vegetables and he and his brothers went out to the gardens every day. Vinod says many of the others had only ever eaten replicated food before and the flavors here were a surprise. His mom would never let him eat replicated food.

Meanwhile, O’Brien chuckles to himself about what his wife might say if she saw him doing this as he’s known as a black thumb and the only way he could get anything to grow was by marrying a botanist. He talks about the arboretum on the Enterprise.

They hear clanking metal and two guys are opening a box with a person inside. They help the person out.

Joseph goes over to help. They move the guy into the shade. O’Brien and Sisko are confused.

They give the guy, Stephan, some things to eat to regain his strength. O’Brien asks what he did to deserve the punishment, and Joseph says he stole a candle. One candle? Sisko asks how long he was there. Since yesterday.

Alixus comes over and Sisko asks if this is part of her philosophy of life. She says he’s a commander so he’s had to discipline crew members. He says this is torture and it’s different. She says they accepted rules of conduct and everyone, including Stephan, included this sort of punishment as necessary and fair.

She asks how Stephan is and he coughs and says he’ll be okay and apologizes for letting down the community. She says the matter is closed and tells him to go inside and get some rest. He thanks her and is helped away.

Alixus tells Sisko that he’ll never steal another candle and neither will anyone else who saw him. In time, he’ll understand that this is a simple and effective way to maintain law and order. Sisko and O’Brien are appalled but don’t say anything and she leaves.

O’Brien says he has the impression that she expects them to be there awhile. Sisko says that if there’s a way to get past the field, he wants O’Brien to find it. O’Brien agrees.


Sisko uses water from a bowl to wash his hands. He’s taken off his uniform jacket and is showing off his muscles.


A woman comes and asks if there’s anything she needs. She apologizes for coming in as Alixus doesn’t believe in doors. She says he’ll get used to it. He says he hopes to leave soon.


She’s the lady in the red dress who was asking about fashion when they first arrived. Although her hair is down, she seems to have kept the net that was holding it in place. I’m not sure why.

She says that he clearly doesn’t like it there and Alixus has reminded them that it wasn’t easy when they first arrived, and so they should be patient with the newcomers. She says his muscles are sore and gives him an extract for that. She asks if he’d like a massage. He declines.

She comes over to massage him anyway. He asks if she (Alixus) sent her there, and if she sent her there to make love to him.

Sisko goes to see Alixus, who is writing in her journal. He closes the book on her. She says this is the first Core Behavior she’s seen since he arrived.

He leans forward and asks if the chapter on core behavior comes before or after sexual procurement. She asks if he’s talking about Cassandra. Did she send her to his room? Yes. He thinks she’s contemptible.

Alixus mulls over the word. She defends herself and says that Cassandra was worried, sensing that he wasn’t happy, and wanted him to share some joy. She suggested Cassandra might make it easier for him to become a member of the community. She says that Cassandra likes him Ben.

He is clearly skeptical. He says that it’s fortunate that her books aren’t on pads. She used to print them herself. He also notes that she never ate replicated food before she came to the planet. She says she doesn’t see the connection.

Sisko says she never had much use for technology, so it’s interesting she happened to crash on a planet that fits her philosophy of life so well. She says yes and she’s been trying to write a book on the experience, and she also wonders if in the ancient religions of man there aren’t some truths to be found to explain how fate delivers them where they need to be.

He says maybe one day she’ll feel the hand of god on her shoulder. She says that he is in denial and disconnected and how can she help him see that there’s a better way? Maybe with hard work. She calls Vinod and tells him that Ben will stand watch tonight.

Sisko doesn’t protest, but leaves.

Half-asleep, Sisko meets up with O’Brien, who says the field is a mystery and he doesn’t think it’s generated by the marshes. Alixus appears and says good morning, offering them some fruit for breakfast.


She also asks if he can work his usual shift in the field.

O’Brien is appalled, as Sisko was awake all night standing watch. She says he needs only ask to be relieved. He declines. She says good, as they need the help, but he should consider changing clothes. Also she says Meg seems better and Joseph is optimistic.

In space, Kira and Dax are on the runabout moving toward the Rio Grande, which is travelling at warp 1.3. Kira wants to transport over once they’re close, but Dax disagrees, saying it’s not safe to beam over while at warp.

I’m including this screenshot in case you forgot who they were.

She tries a rope trick that she says she learned from an old Hopi on Earth. Kira translates – she’s going to try to rope the runabout while traveling at warp speeds. Isn’t there a risk that the strain will rip both hulls apart?

Dax says that if the ship assembly teams did their jobs, they’ll probably make it. If not, they might have a problem, but this is their best shop. Kira is not pleased but admits she doesn’t have a better idea, so they try it.

They lock on, then engage impulse engines. There’s the sound of metal straining and creaking, and the ride gets bumpy, but then they slow down and things get calm again. They come to a stop and prepare to beam over.


On the planet, someone rings some metal and Alixus comes out to announce that Meg has died. Everyone is sad. Alixus says that she was dedicated and an inspiration to the community.

Alixus says she is troubled by an act that defiles Meg’s memory. She calls over Vinod. They bring out O’Brien and she says the new arrivals have rejected their offers of welcome and O’Brien has committed the worst offense that can be community by wasting time that could have been put to productive use. She says he was trying to activate his technological devices.

Joseph says that he’s sure Miles was trying to get to the medical equipment which might have helped Meg. Alixus says that she’s glad he said that so everyone could see the danger represented by the newcomers, as Joseph is defending what he knows is wrong. If they’d spent their energy trying to escape, they’d be dead.

They’re preparing the little cage thing. Sisko says, “you’re not going to put him in there!” and she says no, as he is the commanding officer, she holds him responsible for his actions and so he is going in there. O’Brien protests, but they hold him back with a pointy arrow.

Sisko hands over the tool he was working with and walks toward the cage. He turns back to the crowd. Sisko bends over and gets into the box. They close the door and lock it.



In space, Kira and Dax see no sign of resistance nor weapons fired on the Rio Grande, but the logs were erased. Kira suggests that Sisko and O’Brien beamed off before the ship was boarded. But then why would the runabout be sent off – why not keep it or destroy it?

Dax says the hull was exposed to high temperatures and intense gamma radiation, and she thinks someone was trying to destroy it. She retraces the course of the runabout (which I guess is separate from the logs and therefore not erased) and it leads them back to an F-Type star called Orellius Minor. The only way it could be coming directly from that star would be if someone was trying to fly the ship directly into the star, but missed.

If the trajectory was slightly off, the star’s gravity would have just flung the ship away. They hope to find the warp signature from where the ship’s engines were started. Towing along the second runabout, they lay in a course for the Orellius system at warp.

Back on the planet, Sisko is brought to see Alixus after being let out of the cave. He stumbles into a room and sits. She says it’s painful and she wants to give him water and let him sleep but she can’t without his help.

She says she knows it’s difficult to speak and he should rest. She pours a glass of water and doesn’t give it to him. She talks about how he doesn’t want to change and he needs to accept it and he should take off the uniform.

Sisko says nothing, just stares at her. She takes out some clothes and says once he’s changed he can have the water. Then she leaves, after saying “Join us, Ben,” in a way that’s not at all creepy.

Alixus helps some women outside, loading blankets on to the pack. They all look back and see Sisko stumbling out of the “cabin”, still wearing his uniform.


A crowd gathers around them. He stops in the middle of them all and sinks to his knees. O’Brien starts to move forward but Sisko shakes his head. He half walks, half crawls back to the box and goes inside.

O’Brien is smashing rocks together to create sparks. I’m not sure if he’s trying to make tools or a fire. Joseph comes in and asks what he’s doing. He says he needs help.

With what? Joseph asks. Miles just looks at him. Joseph sighs and says there’s nothing he can do. O’Brien says he has to track down the field. He says the astatine deposits aren’t causing it. If it were, the transmitter were running and they’d be gone. But he thinks he knows where the source is and he has to leave to find.

Joseph hesitates. O’Brien offers to hit him over the head with a rock, saying it won’t hurt at all. Joseph sets down his tools and consents to be knocked unconscious. O’Brien grabs some things and leaves.

Out in the forest, O’Brien is using some sort of primitive tool with a rock floating in water acting as a compass. He finds a clearing between some trees, and the rock starts spinning faster. He begins to dig in the dirt.


They don’t ever explain what this tool does, but I expect it has something to do with the metal in the rock reacting to the stuff that’s creating the field.

There are some lights under the dirt and then he sees this is clearly some machinery. He bends to investigate it further and then an arrow narrowly misses him. It’s Vinod. O’Brien runs. The chase is on.

O’Brien leaves his jacket and pants as a decoy for Vinod, who shoots them, then jumps out of a tree knocking him unconscious and taking the bow. “You finally got one of us out of the uniform,” he quips.


So Sisko wears a sleeveless shirt under his jacket, but O’Brien wears three quarter length sleeves? But shorts? Or is there a sleeveless undershirt, then a longer sleeved shirt, then the jacket? I’m confused. Someone explain Starfleet uniforms to me?

Back at the village, everyone is astonished when O’Brien appears with Vinod, having tied the archer’s arms together. He demands Alixus come out. He uses a phaser to shoot the lock off of Sisko’s box, releasing the commander.

Sisko falls out. O’Brien demands water. Stephan is the guy who brings him some.


O’Brien asks if they know why the phaser is working. He explains that he shut down the field that was stopping it, and the field was artificially created.

Sisko tries to call the Rio Grande, not knowing that it’s not in orbit. It doesn’t respond.

Alixus appears and says she destroyed the ship. He says she controls the field. She says she invented it, and many scientists are sympathetic to her philosophies.

Joseph says it was no accident they developed life-support problems near the planet. She says no, they were always on their way there. She chose it months in advance because it was completely isolated and ideal for the community. She hoped they would never leave.

Cassandra says she lied and has been lying for ten years. Alixus says a lie can lead to a more important truth – would anyone have learned who they really are if they hadn’t come there. Joseph would have been a repairman. Cassandra would have been a technical clerk in a closed-in room and Stephan would have been in prison. She says they’ve redefined their potential and the potential of man.

Sisko says, hoarsely, “what of the dead? What of Meg and the others?”

She says that she suffered while she watched them die. He says she was willing to let them die for her theories. She’ll have to answer for what she did. She says she’s prepared to go. Casualties were inevitable and she had to accept that from the beginning.

He asks what if it was her son, would she let him die, also? She takes Vinod’s hand and says yes, for the sake of the community. She did it all for the community.

Kira calls at that moment and asks if things are okay. He says everything is under control and standby for multiple transports.

O’Brien tells them that they have room for everyone and if they have anything they want to bring with them, to get it now.

Joseph says that it’s their home and regardless of Alixus’ guilt, she gave them the community. He doesn’t know if they’ll leave the device on or off now that they know it’s there, and they’ll have to decide if they want to establish contact with the outside world, but Alixus is right that they’ve found something they don’t want to give up.

Alixus says it’s time for those who don’t belong to leave.

Sisko stands up and tells Kira to beam up four of them.

The community behind watches them go. Everyone walks off except two kids, who are staring at the box.



Stray Thoughts:

* Man, this was disturbing to watch. I had trouble making it through the whole episode.

* I don’t disagree with the philosophy of maybe not being reliant on technology (I say, as I type this on a laptop and prepare to post it on the internet for a community of strangers to read), but I don’t understand why that had to come with the price of being forced into a community with harsh punishments for minor crimes.

* I wish they’d explained more about Stephan and why he stole a candle. Does the community have a concept of ownership? Why would he steal a single candle? What did he do with it? And why, why, why, did he agree to stay behind at the end? I thought for sure he’d volunteer to leave with Sisko after he gave him some water, but then he stays? Why?

* On a similar note, why did all these people stay? After ten years, their individuality was beaten out of them and there were no dissenters (aside from one candle-stealer?) who wanted to leave? It’s common for insulated communities to remain insulated, but that’s when someone grows up in the community and has family ties and maybe doesn’t know much about the outside world. But these people were (mostly) adults who lived lives before they crashed on this planet. Don’t they want to go back to their lives? Find out what happened to their friends and families? Learn about the latest fashions? Find out who won the sports games? They seemed interested in leaving at the end but now, after learning that their horrible leader is horrible, they…want to stay?

* Am I alone in these thoughts since I’m something of a loner who doesn’t like community? Maybe, as this is certainly not the first community that’s been like this.