The Good: Important plot, Good character, Some cool effects
The Bad: Predictable ethical dilemma
The Basics: Part of the essential DS9 story, "Captive Pursuit" is entertaining for action film fans and is not the most cerebral episode.
In the continuing storyline of Deep Space Nine, certain things were bound to happen following the pilot: the crew of the station was bound to explore the Gamma Quadrant - which has been occurring off-screen for the most part at this point - and inevitably, something was bound to come through from the other side. It's refreshing here that the characters make a sufficiently big deal of the historical event as they do.
The first visitor from the other side of the galaxy is an alien named Tosk and it's Chief O'Brien's (Colm Meany) first chance to do something other than complain about how the station is falling apart or speak in tongues. It's a good thing, too, as Meany is one of the acting strengths of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Station life is progressing fairly normally on Deep Space Nine when a damaged ship comes through the wormhole and docks with the station. When O'Brien arrives at the ship, he find the inhabitant, a lizard alien called Tosk, has the ability to cloak himself. While the ship cools down and O'Brien works on repairing the vessel, Tosk reveals himself to be a very simple creature, who claims to be living a great adventure.
That adventure soon finds the inhabitants of Deep Space Nine when hunters of Tosk arrive and begin a bloodthirsty hunt on the Promenade. Sisko must negotiate between the alien factions and determine if Tosk returns home as the prize of the hunters or is given asylum he has not exactly asked for.
Plotwise, outside of being a historically important event in the bigger picture of the fictional realm of Deep Space Nine, it's pretty much your typical chase story: hunters are going after the hunted. The more compelling aspect is the realm of character as O'Brien has befriended Tosk by the time he arrives. We might not care what happens to Tosk, but we care about O'Brien and when he is hunted along with Tosk, it adds an immediacy to the episode it might otherwise lack.
There are some campy scenes; near the end there is a lame attempt at humor involving scanner when Tosk and O'Brien are in some conduits. This is actually the first - and only, that comes to mind - O'Brien episode where he is not being psychologically scarred or manipulated in some way.
Basically, "Captive Pursuit" is a fast paced episode that takes care of a necessary plot event and it does it with style and some very cool effects.
[Knowing that VHS is essentially a dead medium, it's worth looking into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Complete First Season on DVD, which is also a better economical choice than buying the VHS. Read my review of the first season by clicking here!
For other Star Trek episode reviews, please check out my index page!
© 2011, 2007, 2001 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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