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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode
ST DS9 S03 EP22.jpg
Sisko and Jake aboard their ship
Episode no. 68
Prod. code 468
Airdate May 8, 1995
Writer(s) René Echevarria
Hilary J. Bader
Director Cliff Bole
Guest star(s) Marc Alaimo as Dukat
Bari Hochwald as Dr. Lense
Chase Masterson as Leeta
Year 2371
Episode chronology
Previous "The Die is Cast"
Next "Family Business"

"Explorers" is an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the 22nd episode of the third season. It is rated 4.3/5 on the official Star Trek Website.



Benjamin Sisko has been studying the ancient Bajoran culture, and determines that those old legends hold a grain of truth: ancient Bajorans may have travelled outside their own solar system using solar wind to power small sublight craft.

Sisko has obtained diagrams of the construction of a lightship, and his son, Jake Sisko, agrees to accompany him as he retraces the original route of the ancient Bajorans, in hopes of validating an even older theory -- that the solar vessels not only made it out of the solar system, but somehow got as far as the Cardassian homeworld.

Meanwhile, Jake reveals that he's been accepted to the Pennington Institute, a prominent writing school in New Zealand. Jake struggles with the idea of leaving Deep Space Nine, his father and the friends he's made at the station, but his deliberations during the voyage are cut short when the ship flies into a 'tachyon eddy', which accelerates the ship to warp speeds, but damages the vessel in the process.

Upon falling out of the eddy, Sisko charts the ship's position, and is startled to find that the phenomenon has taken their sub-light vessel far off course, and he's not certain where, exactly, they are. As he and Jake consider their options -- abandon the voyage and call for help from Deep Space Nine, or continue on in a crippled vessel with little chance of ever finding anything -- the ship is hailed by none other than Gul Dukat, who announces that they have reached Cardassian space, and their arrival coincides with the discovery of a second solar vessel -- wrecked centuries ago on a Cardassian moon.

As the travellers soak this information in and celebrate, the Cardassians let off colorful photon charges, a form of fireworks to celebrate the achievement of Sisko and his son.

Background information

This episode marks several firsts for the series. Leeta, who goes on to become Rom's wife, makes her first appearance here, while Kasidy Yates is mentioned for the first time, although she does not appear until the following episode. Additionally, Benjamin Sisko sports a goatee for the first time.


Light ship

The "light ship" the Siskos build and use to make their voyage is similar in many ways to a wind-powered vessel, both in how it compares to starships normally seen on Star Trek and in its design. At one point Benjamin closes his eyes and says, "Listen," to which Jake responds, "I don't hear anything." "Exactly," says Ben. "Not even the hum of an engine. It's almost like being on the deck of an old sailing ship." Sisko does, however, equip the vessel with gravity plating to make it easier for him and Jake to pilot the craft.

Many of these similarities were intentional on the part of production designer Herman Zimmerman and illustrator Jim Martin. Both envisioned the Siskos on their voyage as, in Martin's words, "sailors in space". Zimmerman even brought in some real sailing equipment, which can be seen in the background at various points throughout the episode. He and Martin count this episode among their favorites to work on.

The interior of the ship was designed by Scott Herbertson. John Knoll created the CGI model at Industrial Light and Magic.

According to Zimmerman, after the episode's initial airing, the Space Frontier Foundation at its convention recognized it for exemplifying "the most imaginitive use of a vehicle to travel in space".

When the Star Trek Customizable Card Game released its "Energize" set in 2003, special pairs of starships and their matching commanders were released as a promotion to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the game's launch. One such pair was "Benjamin Sisko, Shipwright" (whose alignment was Bajoran, rather than Federation) and the ship seen in this episode, named Baraka for the purposes of the game.

External links


  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Complete Third Season
    • "Explorers" (episode)
    • "Sailing Through the Stars" (DVD extra)
  • Baraka card image at the official homepage of the Star Trek CCG.


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