If Wishes Were Horses (*)
Here we have one of the most important episodes of the first season, it introduces the baseball. That's about it, everything else can be forgotten about.
You know, I once read that the story of Rumplestiltskin was originally a parable about the dangers of pre-marital rolls in the hay, with the name Rumplestiltskin being an allusion to a penis. I don't know if that's true, but I want it to be true, partly because that means that O'Brien's imagination conjured up a walking, talking willy. It certainly puts a new perspective on his relationship with Bashir over the years. And it's strange because I still find the notion of Star Trek doing an episode containing a short, warted penis to be preferable to one containing a leprechaun. Thank you Colm Meaney, it's because of you that DS9 is the only 24th century Trek that doesn't insult the Irish. Also, you shouted "bollocks" once, that was good.
I guess I have to address the episode, don't I? It's a high-concept sci-fi episode that doesn't quite work as a DS9 episode (especially coming off the back of Progress
) and it descends into technobabble hell at the end. Actually, the ending could be viewed as a comment on how Starfleet officers love to imagine technobabble problems for themselves, but there's still too much of the 'babble for my liking. The aliens at the centre of the story just don't fit into the series' overall arc, and you have to wonder why they choose such a roundabout way of making first contact rather than just saying hello.
The Bashir/fantasy-Jadzia bits were pretty fun, and indicates that his attraction to Jadzia is based on her physical appearance, which undercuts the claims later in the series that he had actually been in love with her. There's some good Odo/Quark moments too. But episodes like this are not the reason why I bought the ridiculously expensive DVDs (thankfully, at 48% off RRP).