(written from a Production point of view)
|"The Way of the Warrior"|
|DS9, Episode 4x01|
Production number: 40514-473
First aired: 2 October 1995
|←||72nd of 173 produced in DS9||→|
|←||72nd of 173 released in DS9||→|
|←||378th of 728 released in all||→|
|A feature-length episode|
Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe
James L. Conway
|←||Arc: Changeling infiltration (3 of 8)||→|
|Arc: Klingon War (1 of 8)||→|
When a Klingon fleet under General Martok arrives at the station ostensibly to protect the Alpha Quadrant from the Dominion, Sisko recruits Lieutenant Commander Worf to discover the Klingons' true intentions. (Season Premiere)
The Deep Space 9 crew hunts a Changeling through the station. Using wide-angle phaser sweeps, Benjamin Sisko and Kira Nerys chase the Changeling to the Promenade, where it suddenly resumes humanoid shape and grabs hold of Doctor Julian Bashir after emerging from the Promenade directory. It is Odo, and the chase was really a surprise drill. Kira asks the computer how much time it took to catch Odo; three hours and twenty-seven minutes is the answer. "That's not good enough," Odo remarks, noting how any other Founder would have had a field day with the station in that length of time, culminating in Bashir's death. The staff is then dismissed with a warning to scan anything and everything next time, given the other Founders' increased proclivity for shapeshifting. Another random drill is scheduled, and an offer from Quark to take bets on how long the staff will take to catch Odo is rebuffed.
That night, when Kasidy Yates joins Sisko for a romantic dinner, she remarks that there have been some changes on Deep Space 9. Firstly, Sisko has shaved his head, of which Yates approves. Secondly, there has been a lot of "maintenance" done on the station lately. Sisko is secretive, but hints that the crew is preparing a few "surprises" in case the Dominion decides to attack the station. The recent revelation that Changelings have infiltrated the Alpha Quadrant has caused a large amount of unrest, and the Cardassians have responded by sealing their borders. The couple present each other with gifts – Sisko gives Kasidy a garment made from rare Tholian silk, while Kasidy returns the gesture by handing Sisko a Pike City Pioneers baseball cap.
Their dinner is interrupted when the new Klingon flagship, the IKS Negh'Var, decloaks at the station. Its commander, General Martok, requests shore leave at Deep Space 9. After Sisko agrees, the DS9 crew is amazed when an entire armada of Klingon ships decloak around the station.
In Quark's, the Ferengi bartender nervously opines with O'Brien and Bashir that the Klingons who have arrived are awfully quiet. When Martok meets with Captain Sisko and Major Kira, he immediately wants them to use his d'k tahg to cut their palms, proving that they bleed and therefore are not Changelings. When the Klingon is satisfied that Sisko and Kira are really who they appear to be, Martok proclaims that the Klingon fleet will remain in Bajoran space to counter the inevitable Dominion attack.
The crew resumes regular duties, despite the fact that DS9's complement now includes countless Klingons. Kira and Jadzia Dax visit the holosuite, which recreates the Hoobishan Baths on Trill. Kira is distracted away from the holograms and unimpressed with them, admitting that she has never had much of an imagination. Odo and Garak have a quiet breakfast at the Replimat, where a worried Garak reveals that, since the destruction of the Obsidian Order, he has heard rumors of civil uprisings on Cardassia. Their meal is interrupted when a group of Klingons accosts Morn on the Promenade. Odo breaks up the altercation, but the lead Klingon, Drex, levels threats at both Garak and Odo.
Drex and his thugs later ambush and beat Garak in his tailor shop.
As Bashir repairs the Cardassian's broken bones, Garak wonders why Klingons have become so hostile to Cardassians.
When Kasidy Yates' freighter (the Xhosa) sends out a distress call, Sisko and the crew of DS9 board the USS Defiant. After arriving at the Xhosa's coordinates, they discover that Commander Kaybok of the Klingon Bird-of-Prey IKS M'Char is searching all vessels exiting Bajoran space, including the Xhosa. When Sisko threatens Kaybok that the Defiant will open fire on the M'Char, the Klingon commander allows the Xhosa to break free of the M'Char's tractor beam.
Once the senior officers return to Deep Space 9, Martok meets with Sisko again, handing him Kaybok's dagger. Kaybok has been executed as punishment for disobeying his orders. Sisko realizes that something must be done before the situation escalates out of control.
Sisko notifies Starfleet Command of the situation and Starfleet consequently dispatches Lieutenant Commander Worf to the station. Upon his arrival, Chief O'Brien welcomes the Klingon, who is glad to see a familiar face from the Enterprise. Quark however upon seeing Worf remarks "Just what this station needs. Another Klingon."
When he meets the Captain, Sisko offers condolences for the loss of the USS Enterprise-D in battle, calling it a good ship. Worf thanks Sisko for his condolences, but is clearly not willing to talk about it. Sisko takes note of the fact that Worf had been on extended leave. Worf tells Sisko he had been at the Klingon Monastery on Boreth for a time. Sisko apologizes for interrupting Worf's leave, but Worf tells Sisko his leave was almost over. When Sisko asks where Worf will likely be assigned next, Worf tells Sisko that he plans to resign his Starfleet commission because in the aftermath of the destruction of the Enterprise, Worf isn't sure of his place in Starfleet anymore. Sisko cautions Worf that he too once considered resigning, and now knows that would have been the wrong choice. He tells Worf if he doesn't want the assignment then he'll understand but Worf tells Sisko that until he decides one way or the other about resigning he is going to do his duty. With that, Sisko gives Worf an assignment: find out what the Klingons are up to.
Worf ventures into Quark's, surprising the Ferengi by asking for prune juice over the traditional Klingon choice of blood wine. Chief O'Brien asks his old shipmate to join him and introduces him to Doctor Bashir and darts. Worf's first try at the sport ends up with him throwing the dart halfway through the board. Then Kira and Dax emerge from the holosuite, dressed in bright, colorful and extravagant medieval clothes arguing over the fact that Kira knocked out Sir Lancelot. Miles introduces Worf to the two, and while Kira is embarrassed and tries to explain the clothes, Dax is quite taken with him. Just then Drex starts to stir up trouble, so Worf decides it's the perfect time to make his first attempt at finding out what the Klingons are up to. He picks a fight with Drex and takes the warrior's d'k tahg. Drex's father, who happens to be General Martok, comes to Worf's quarters to demand the return of his son's "honor". There, Worf voices his disappointment in Martok for the general's dishonorable tactics of harassing personnel and ships, but Martok vows that it is all in the Alpha Quadrant's best interests.
Afterward, Worf vents his frustration on a tactical holosuite program. When Dax arrives, she challenges him to a battle with bat'leths. After a brief fight, Worf gains the upper hand and sweeps Dax off her feet. Dax rhetorically asks whether the simulation made Worf feel better. Worf is frustrated at the situation, noting that his contacts on the Klingon homeworld refuse to speak with him. Dax suggests that with so many Klingons on the station, surely one of them owes the House of Mogh a favor and might be willing to reveal the true reason they are there.
Worf invites an old family friend, Klingon officer Huraga, for a drink. When they consume a large quantity of bloodwine and become drunk, Worf presses Huraga for information. Owing Worf's father, Mogh, as Mogh had saved Huraga's House during their feud with the House of Duras, Huraga tells Worf all about the "glorious battle" that awaits them ahead.
What Worf learns disturbs him, so much that he hesitates to tell Sisko. Odo argues with Worf on the Promenade, and tells the Klingon that it is his duty to inform Sisko.
Worf decides to tell Sisko the ominous truth – the Klingons are about to attack Cardassia. The rumors are true; the Central Command has been overthrown by civilian resistance. The Klingons are convinced that changeling infiltrators are responsible. Sisko confronts Martok and demands that the Klingons call off their attack. Martok hints that Chancellor Gowron will be told of Worf's involvement in uncovering news of the planned attack. Worf himself feels guilty that he has essentially betrayed the Klingon Empire. When Sisko points out that the attack will place the Federation-Klingon alliance in jeopardy, Martok claims he will return to his ship and consult with Gowron.
However, once Martok beams aboard his ship, he sends a message to the Klingon fleet, ordering them to begin their attack. The fleet cloaks and warps away from the station, heading straight for Cardassia Prime.
The crew of DS9 meets in the wardroom. They are in a particularly nasty predicament: warning the Cardassians of the Klingon invasion is tantamount to betrayal. Besides, the Klingons may be correct that the Dominion was involved in the coup. Worf points out that this is irrelevant – if the Klingons have returned to "the old ways" of conquest, Bajor and the Federation are at risk.
Sisko tries an unorthodox tactic – he invites Garak into the wardroom to measure the Starfleet captain for a new suit. As Garak works, the crew "accidentally" reveals that one-third of the Klingon military is currently heading into Cardassian space. Garak excuses himself, and warns Gul Dukat. Busy fighting the civilian insurgency, the Cardassian Union is unprepared for a possible Klingon invasion.
When the Federation officially condemns the invasion, the Klingon Empire withdraws from the Khitomer Accords. The Federation-Klingon alliance is dissolved.
However, Gowron still wants Worf to join the Klingons. Arranging a personal meeting with Worf, Gowron asks him to leave Starfleet and join the Klingons in the battle.
Despite wanting to return to his people, Worf refuses. Enraged, Gowron strips Worf and his House of their land and titles.
Once again exiled from his people, a torn Worf is all the more convinced he should resign. He asks Sisko to accept his resignation, but Sisko refuses – Starfleet needs Worf more than ever before. Indeed, word soon arrives that the Klingons have broken through the Cardassian fleet.
Sisko contacts the new Cardassian government, the Detapa Council, only to see the face of Dukat. Apparently, Dukat switched sides when it was clear that the coup would succeed. Sisko devises a plan: if Dukat can get the Council on a ship and rendezvous with the Defiant, they can seek refuge on Deep Space 9. Since the Klingons will execute all government officials in their invasion of Cardassia, Dukat agrees. Worf points out that if Martok is correct, and members of the Detapa Council have been replaced by Changelings, then the Defiant will help them escape. Sisko considers it a risk worth taking.
Sisko, Dax, Bashir and Worf take the cloaked Defiant toward the rendezvous point. Unfortunately, three Klingon Birds-of-Prey are in the vicinity and are attacking the Cardassian cruiser Prakesh.
When the Klingons ignore the Defiant's hails and fire the first shot, the starship targets the lead Bird-of-Prey and seriously damages its engines. With the Prakesh's shields, weapons and engines obliterated, Sisko is left with no choice but to drop the Defiant's shields and transport Dukat and the Council off their impaired vessel. Sisko gambles that the Defiant's ablative armor will be sufficient against the Birds-of-Prey's attacks. The Defiant begins firing at will and destroys the second Klingon vessel in the process.
When a larger Vor'cha-class battle cruiser joins the melee, Worf suggests the use of a modulated tractor beam to deflect some of the Klingon disruptor fire. The Defiant crew is successful in rescuing all the Detapa Council members, although the Defiant's cloaking device has been damaged. The Defiant flies to maximum warp as the Prakesh explodes, and two Klingon vessels follow the starship. Meanwhile, Doctor Bashir has examined all the Council members, including Dukat, and determined that no one aboard is a Changeling.
The Defiant successfully reaches Deep Space 9, where O'Brien detects the pursuing Klingon ships. As the starship approaches the station, the crew detect several dozen Klingon ships. O'Brien had requested reinforcements from Starfleet Command, but the relief task force, under command of Admiral Hastur, had not yet reached the station. Sisko makes the decision to sound battle stations.
The crew man the battle stations, preparing for the Klingons to attack, while civilians are evacuated off the Promenade (including a reluctant Quark, who wanted to defend his bar with his disruptor pistol, only to find that Rom has cannibalized it for replicator repair). The Detapa Council are sequestered away by Dukat and, unexpectedly, Garak, who raises a Cardassian disruptor to fight alongside Dukat.
Martok and Gowron hail the station and offer an ultimatum – surrender the Cardassian officials, or the Klingons will take the Council members by force. Even when Sisko tells the two Klingons that the councilors have been given blood screenings, Martok and Gowron remain determined to conquer Cardassia. Gowron urges Sisko to surrender, claiming the old station is as defenseless as an old Grishnar cat, to which Sisko confidently replies, "I assure you, this old cat isn't as toothless as you think." Due to the Dominion threat, Deep Space 9 has been given some major tactical upgrades – the station is now equipped with more than 5,000 photon torpedoes ready to fire.
Nevertheless, Gowron declares, "Today is a good day to die!" and orders the fleet to attack.
When the Klingon fleet enters weapons range, DS9 unleashes several volleys of the station's new armaments. With multiple phaser banks and telescoping photon launchers, the station destroys ship after ship. Furious, Gowron orders the Negh'Var to fire its cannons directly at DS9's shield generators. The station's defensive systems fail and Klingon boarding parties beam into Ops, the Promenade, and the Cardassians' quarters. After a series of firefights and hand-to-hand combat, the DS9 crew regain control of the situation. An injured O'Brien restores the shields and Dax announces the arrival of the Starfleet reinforcements, lead by the USS Venture. Gowron has little choice but to retreat. He parts with one final threat: "You have sided against us in battle. And this we do not forgive... or forget." (See also: First Battle of Deep Space 9)
As the Klingons retreat and the Venture arrives, life on the station returns to normal. Quark reopens the bar, much to the delight of Morn, and Garak returns to his tailor shop. Sisko reveals to Worf that he considered leaving Starfleet after the death of his wife, but realized he could not escape what he was – a Starfleet officer.
Learning from Sisko's lesson, Worf decides to stay aboard the space station. He joins the crew of Deep Space 9 as Lieutenant Commander Worf, strategic operations officer, donning a red Starfleet uniform. However, the Klingons are continuing to remain near DS9. They have refused to abandon several Cardassian colonies and have started fortifying their positions. Sisko tells his crew that Starfleet are also staying right where they are – aboard Deep Space 9.
"I didn't know you spoke Klingon."
"Oh, You'd be surprised at the things you can learn when you're doing alterations."
- - Odo and Garak, with a quip as he casually disregards his service in the Obsidian Order
"Curzon told me once that in the long run the only people who can really handle the Klingons, are Klingons."
- - Sisko before requesting for Worf
"Let me guess, Klingon blood wine."
"Prune juice. Chilled."
(laughs) "Prune juice!" (stops laughing when Worf glares at him) "If you say so."
- - Quark and Worf upon their first meeting
"The Klingons?!? First it was the Cardassians...then it was the Dominion...now it's the Klingons! How's a Ferengi supposed to make an honest living in a place like this?"
- - Quark, exasperated before the Klingon attack on DS9
"Who would've thought that the two of us would be fighting, side by side?"
"Just remember when you fire that thing, you're aiming it at a Klingon."
"I'll try to keep that in mind."
- - Garak and Dukat, on the upcoming battle.
"This is exactly what the Founders want: Klingon against Cardassian! Federation against Klingon! The more we fight each other, the weaker we'll get, and the less chance we have against the Dominion!"
- - Benjamin Sisko
"Kahless himself said, 'Destroying an empire to win a war is no victory...'"
"...and ending a battle to save an empire is no defeat."
- - Worf and Gowron
"You have sided against us in battle, and this we do not forgive... or forget!"
- - Gowron
"Looks like the Klingons are here to stay."
"Maybe they are, but so are we."
- - Kira and Sisko
- Season 4 introduced several changes to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. These included a new title sequence, new credits, and promotions for several characters. For more information, please see DS9 Season 4.
Story and script
- At the end of season 3, the writers had planned on doing a "Changelings on Earth" storyline, which would end on a cliff-hanger. However, Paramount said that they didn't want a cliff-hanger ending, forcing the writers to go in a different direction. This not only necessitated a rethinking of the end of the third season, but also a rethinking of the opening of the fourth. The "Changelings on Earth" two-parter was molded into the fourth season episodes "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost", while the rethinking of the end of season 3 produced "The Adversary", a show which left things very open-ended as to how the series was to proceed. Falling ratings had led to the studio giving the producers a mandate to do "something" to shake up the series. Initially, there was some discussion about having the Vulcans leave the United Federation of Planets. However, Ira Steven Behr found himself returning to the episode "The Die is Cast", specifically the line spoken by the Founder; "after today the only threat remaining to us from the Alpha Quadrant are the Klingons and the Federation. And I doubt either of them will be a threat for much longer". Behr discussed the line with Ronald D. Moore, who had written it. Behr commented to Moore, "Maybe we're making a mistake. Maybe the Vulcans should not be the ones leaving the Federation. Maybe it's the Klingons who should break off diplomatic relations. That might bring more heat to it." Behr then pitched a Klingon arc to Rick Berman, who loved the idea. Behr and Berman then brought up the idea to the producers, who liked it, but wanted another element. In response, Berman suggested using the opportunity to bring in the popular Worf as a main character. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, pp. 250, 255-256; Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 100)
- Michael Dorn summarizes this episode by saying "the Klingons had finally gone nuts, basically." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 259)
- It is later revealed in "Apocalypse Rising" and further elaborated in "In Purgatory's Shadow" that Martok was a Changeling during the time that this episode is set. However, Martok cuts his hand early in the episode and we clearly see that it bleeds, which would usually indicate that the person isn't a Changeling. This suggests that the Changelings had found a way around the test. This is likely when one considers that this is a popular ritual for Klingons and the possibility of changeling infiltration would only stand to encourage the practice, hence, to ensure infiltration, the Changelings would have to find a way around it. On the other hand, the Martok Changeling may have specifically chose his palm to cut as he may have been hiding a blood pack in that area of his humanoid shape. In fact, in the episode "Paradise Lost" when the Federation implements similar screenings on Earth, Sisko's father is able to suggest off the top of his head a method by which this could be easily accomplished by a resourceful changeling.
- The scene between Garak and Quark in which they discuss root beer was added late in production because the episode was coming up a minute or two short. Armin Shimerman and Andrew Robinson wanted to play the scene with an obvious layer of subtext, but director James L. Conway felt it should be played exclusively for laughs. In the end, Ira Steven Behr came down on the subtext side of the debate, saying of the scene "it was never meant as a joke. It was two aliens giving their individual viewpoints about what it was like to live under the Federation. They have serious problems with the whole Federation philosophy, and the fact that it's such a behemoth organization. But at the same time... even though they question the giant, they want the giant on their side when they're in trouble." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 261)
- According to Ronald D. Moore, when the show was finished it was actually too long, and there was some discussion about whether to cut the root beer scene. Moore fought for it to remain, as it was his favorite scene in the episode. It was almost cut again when the episode was cut into two parts for syndication. He noted, "A great scene. Andy and Armin played it so well, and it's one of the stand-out moments of the season, if not the series. That's always what DS9 is good at, these characters." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 105)
- An unfilmed or deleted portion of the scene between Kira and O'Brien where they discuss upgrades to the station saw O'Brien reveal he and Bashir are participating in a holosuite program based on the Battle of Britain, which would be officially mentioned in "Homefront". In the scene, Kira seeks O'Brien's advice on how to enjoy the holosuite programs, referring to an earlier scene with Kira and Dax, where Kira expressed unease in the holographic Hoobishan Baths. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
- Both Gary Hutzel and Glenn Neufeld were assigned to this episode as co-visual effects supervisors. Usually, they did alternating episodes, but due to the level of effects needed for this show, it was felt that the talents of both men were required. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 263)
- During the battle sequences between the Federation and Klingon fleets, the effects department used Playmates toys, Ertl model kits and Hallmark Bird-of-Prey Christmas ornaments in the background in an effort to keep production costs down. When one of the toy ships was required to explode, special effects manager Gary Monak filled it with explosives and party glitter. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, pp. 263-265)
- Dennis Madalone enjoyed filming the battle scenes between the crew in Ops and the Klingon boarding parties. Madalone commented: "That was one of my most enjoyable fights because on one side of the room Michael Dorn was taking out two or three guys, and Nana Visitor was taking out a couple of Klingons, and being stabbed. She's such a handy actress with fight scenes. She really sold that whole plate. I remember Dax taking out a whole bunch of Klingons. The director gave me free reign to create and make things look busy". ("Flashback: The Way of the Warrior", Star Trek Magazine, issue 127)
- The Holographic skull fighter in the holosuite was originally played by stunt coordinator Dennis Madalone. Madalone took a hit in his eye in the fight scene with Michael Dorn and stunt actor Tom Morga took over for him. So both stuntmen are present in the final aired version of the fight scene. (Information provided by Dennis Madalone)
- In the fight scenes between the Klingons and the Bajorans/Starfleet only a few stuntmen appeared. They were "re-used" and most of them were shot twice or three times and appeared in the next scene in a different place.(Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 263)
- As his first task on Deep Space Nine, illustrator John Eaves, who was hired during the hiatus between season three and season four, was assigned to design several new Klingon ships which would first be seen in this episode. Eaves drew a number of concepts, based upon existing models, but with numerous surface alterations. Ultimately however, none of his proposed designs were seen in the episode, as, due to budgetary constraints, the producers decided to use regular Klingon ships for the battle scenes (apart from the IKS Negh'Var, which, originally intended for the one-time-only appearance in TNG: "All Good Things...", was hurriedly brought back from the opening leg of the Star Trek: The Exhibition tour in Scotland.). (Deep Space Nine Sketchbook: John Eaves, DS9 Season 4 DVD special features) Eaves' work was not in vain however, as his discarded design later served as the basis for the Klingon Bird-of-Prey (22nd century) in the series Star Trek: Enterprise.
- In one scene, a security officer played by stunt actress Leslie Hoffman answers "Thanks." The voice was added in the post production and is not Leslie Hoffman's voice. (Information provided by Leslie Hoffman)
- Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) does not appear in this episode. However he is mentioned by Yates.
- The new TR-590 Medical Tricorder X appears for the first time in this episode after the new regular tricorder had already been introduced in VOY: "Initiations".
- Robert Hewitt Wolfe enjoyed the action of this episode, which he noted "appeals to the thirteen-year-old boy in all of us". But he thought the episode had achieved much more than this. He commented, "What makes me proud about this episode is that we managed to find the time to do something nice for every character on the series. Everybody got a moment or two that was very true to their characters; that was fun and exciting, and we used it as a chance to showcase all of our characters, not just introduce a new one." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 105)
- Wolfe elaborated on his comments that: "I thought it was a very satisfying story. I thought it was attention grabbing. I hope it served its purpose in bringing back some of the TNG fans to the show, to make its case that DS9 was something really special. That it really deserved attention. I thought it did a great job. More to the point, it didn't ignore our alread rich, established characters to do that. Every character in there had a great moment - an action sequence or a couple of action moments of their own, so we didn't just make it a Worf show. It was a really a situation of bringing Worf in, but not surrendering the show to a new character. When a lot of shows are in the process of bringing in a new character, there's always a danger of slighting the characters that are already established. I was happy that DS9 didn't become the Worf show. We just had this great new element in addition to all the other great characters. It didn't just have a wholesale change. The truth of DS9 is, we had a great ensemble cast. Michael Piller created all these terrific characters. My biggest concern about bringing on Worf, wasn't so much servicing Worf - Michael Dorn's a great guy and a terrific actor and Worf is a great character. My concern was protecting what we had done in the previous seasons. 'Way of the Warrior' did that, bringing in a new, great character to our family without throwing out all the wonderful things that had been done up to that point". ("Flashback: The Way of the Warrior", Star Trek Magazine, issue 127)
- Ira Behr similarly noted, "I thought it was a real strong opening to the season. It had all the typical Deep Space Nine elements: It had action, comedy, relationships, and it was actually kind of fun." Behr also was impressed by the direction of Jim Conway. He noted, "I thought the scene at the end between Sisko and Worf was as finely an enacted scene as you're going to find in the franchise. I would point to that scene for anyone who has any doubts about Sisko. I thought he was strong, understanding and told it like it was. I was very proud of that scene and I'm proud of that episode." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 105)
- Alexander Siddig commented: "That was a landmark for the fans and the actors, because we met Michael Dorn for the first time on our show. We all got a chance to work with Michael on that one, which was great fun. Once we got going with Worf being there and settled down to to doing it, we realized it wasn't going to be such a nightmare and that everything was probably going to be terrific. We all enjoyed that one and I particularly liked Chief O'Brien's line about his liking the look of Worf in red. It was such an unusual line and made me think that maybe O'Brien has a new sartorial eye that we never noticed before". (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine, issue 15, p 24)
- Ronald D. Moore believed that Sisko's new appearance (which debuted in this episode) added a great deal to the scene where Sisko is in the wardroom with Worf and Martok. "It's a tense scene, and they're looking at each other but you get the impression that Avery is the guy in the room you've got to worry about. Sisko, suddenly, is the most threatening presence and the guy who is just going to kick your ass. There are two Klingons with him, and he's just blowing them away. I think it's really given him an edgy presence, which is great." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 102)
- In Star Trek 101, Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block list "The Way of the Warrior" as being one of the "Ten Essential Episodes" from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- Cinefantastique ranked "The Way of the Warrior" as the second best episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, No. 4/5, p. 97)
- This episode contains many references to other episodes of Deep Space Nine as well as The Next Generation:
- Garak and Odo having breakfast together is something that Odo suggested they should do in the third season episode "The Die is Cast".
- There are numerous references to the destruction of the Obsidian Order. The Order was destroyed in the Battle of the Omarion Nebula, which also occurred in the third season episode "The Die is Cast".
- Sisko's claim that the communications array in the Gamma Quadrant hasn't detected any Dominion ship movements near the wormhole is a reference to the third season episode "Destiny", in which the communications array is deployed.
- Worf's claim to Dax that he has even tried to contact Emperor Kahless is a reference to the Next Generation episode "Rightful Heir", in which a clone of the historical Kahless is installed as a kind of spiritual adviser for the Klingon populace.
- During the conversation between Worf and O'Brien at Quark's, the latter mentions the holodecks not working right; this is a reference to the episodes "The Big Goodbye" and "Elementary, Dear Data". Two other holodeck havoc episodes were "Ship in a Bottle" and "Emergence", neither of which Chief O'Brien was present for.
- The various mentions of the destruction of the USS Enterprise-D refer to the film Star Trek Generations.
- The Cardassian Dissident Movement which takes over control of Cardassia Prime from the Central Command was first introduced in the second season episode "Profit and Loss", while it was showing to be gathering momentum in the third season episode "Second Skin".
- Chancellor Gowron's restoration of Worf's family took place in the Next Generation episode "Redemption II".
- O'Brien and Worf's conversation about saving Jean-Luc Picard from the Borg is a reference to The Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II".
- When Bashir points out to Sisko that they aren't supposed to be using the cloaking device in the Alpha Quadrant, it is a reference to the episodes "The Search, Part I" (where the cloaking device was introduced) and "Defiant" (when the rule about not using it in the Alpha Quadrant was revealed).
- The animosity between Garak and Dukat which is seen several times throughout the episode was first alluded to in the second season episode "Cardassians" and then again in the third season episode "Civil Defense".
- When the Klingons scan Deep Space 9 after Sisko refuses to turn over the Detapa Council, the weapons Starfleet had installed are dismissed by General Martok as "duranium shadows and thoron fields" in reference to DS9: "Emissary", where Kira and O'Brien used duranium shadows and thoron fields to mask the lack of weapons on the station from several Cardassian ships. In the novelization of the episode, this was expanded upon by having the Klingon attack on Garak serving the additional purpose of acquiring information on the station's defenses, but Garak, having guessed their plans, had deliberately provoked them into going after him and had subsequently provided them with out-of-date information on the station to lull them into a false sense of security.
- Quark comments that Worf only drinks prune juice, a reference to "Yesterday's Enterprise".
- The script provides the following translations:
- Drex's insult to Odo: "Does your mother let you talk to adult men?"
- Dax's quip to Worf: "Yeah, but I'm a lot better looking than he was."
- file info: "And the blood was ankle deep / And the River Skral ran crimson red / On the day above all days / When Kahless slew evil Molor dead."
- Martok and Gowron, in battle: "They fight like Klingons!" "Then they can die like Klingons! Destroy their shields! Prepare boarding parties!" "I understand. All ships, concentrate fire on their shield generators."
- Martok, near the end of battle: "But Gowron, victory is near."
- Gowron, right before the battle:"Today is a good day to die.", as explicitly translated by Worf. Note however, this is different than previous Klingon versions of the phrase, which are usually stated as "Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam", instead of "CHEGH-chew jaj-VAM jaj-KAK!" as in this episode.
- This season premiere was initially aired as a single, two-hour long, feature-length episode, the second of three examples of its kind in the series, the first being "Emissary" and the third being "What You Leave Behind". In repeat showings, however, the episode was edited into two one-hour parts. The following scenes were cut for time:
- Dax and Kira in the baths holoprogram
- Bashir and O'Brien eating sand peas at Quark's, while Quark mentions the quiet Klingons
- Odo and Quark discussing Quark's intention to defend his bar and the discovery of the missing disruptor pistol
- This episode is the first of only three feature length episodes that are not series pilots or finales within all the Star Trek series. The second is the Voyager fifth season episode "Dark Frontier" and the third is the Voyager seventh season episode "Flesh and Blood".
- The episode is dedicated to the memory of Gregg Duffy Long and Ronald W. Smith.
- Worf previously wore a red command division uniform through the first season of The Next Generation when he served as a junior command officer, but switched to gold and the operations division when he became head of security on the Enterprise. In the DS9 episode previous to "The Way of the Warrior", "The Adversary", Lieutenant Commander Eddington mentioned to Sisko that the gold uniform rarely leads to a Captain's position, and he wished he had gone for red. Near the end of this episode, Worf transfers back to the command division, becomes DS9's new Strategic Operations Officer and the Defiant's Executive Officer, and again dons a red uniform.
- Quark mentions that his cousin Gaila sells weapons. This forms the basis of the season five episode "Business as Usual", where Gaila (played by Josh Pais) appears. Gaila also appears in the season six episode "The Magnificent Ferengi".
- In this episode, while on the bridge of the Defiant, Worf comments that he has never been on a Federation ship with a cloaking device. However, in TNG: "The Pegasus", he was aboard the Enterprise-D as it engaged the experimental cloaking device. "The Pegasus" lacked the dimmed lighting of the bridge that was used to represent the Defiant cloaked.
- The footage of the USS Venture and other starships docked and flying past DS9 is subsequently reused in "Doctor Bashir, I Presume" and "Sacrifice of Angels".
- The Klingon drinking song was heard again in (VOY: "Barge of the Dead"); the first stanza was sung by Neelix in (VOY: "Prophecy").
- This episode was adapted by Diane Carey in the novelization The Way of the Warrior.
- Among the items from this episode which were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay was one of the swimming trunks worn by one of the holographic Trill. The trunks were later re-used and worn by background actor David Polk in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Inside Man". 
- A special piece of promotional artwork (pictured) was created to advertise the episode in the UK. The artwork was used as the cover of the CIC Video VHS release, in addition to advertisements for the new season.
- At one point in this episode, Martok says to Sisko and Kira: "The blood will tell." In 2007, the comic book series Star Trek: Klingons - Blood Will Tell was released.
- The Star Trek: The Lost Era novel The Art of the Impossible depicts the Betreka Nebula Incident, which began an eighteen year conflict between the Klingon Empire and the Cardassian Union. In the novel, the conflict takes place from 2328 to 2346.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4.1, catalog number VHR 4203, 26 February 1996.
- This volume features a special case sleeve - a gatefold showcasing the promotional art for the episode, as well as background covering the events between series, such as the closing of the Cardassian borders, and increased belligerence on the part of the Klingons.
- As part of the US VHS collection Star Trek - The Greatest Battles: 3 April 1997
- As part of the UK VHS collection Star Trek - Greatest Battles: 16 November 1998
- As part of the DS9 Season 4 DVD collection
- As part of the Star Trek: Fan Collective - Klingon collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Commander Worf
- Terry Farrell as Lt. Commander Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Alexander Siddig as Doctor Bashir
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira
- Penny Johnson as Kasidy Yates
- Marc Alaimo as Gul Dukat
- Robert O'Reilly as Gowron
- J.G. Hertzler as Martok
- Obi Ndefo as Drex
- Christopher Darga as Kaybok
- William Dennis Hunt as Huraga
Special guest star
- Sam Alejan as Starfleet medical officer
- Scott Barry as Bajoran officer
- Ivor Bartels as Starfleet security officer
- Jeff Cadiente as Bajoran officer
- Ken Clark as Klingon warrior
- George Colucci as Bajoran security deputy
- Brian Demonbreun as Starfleet command/security officer
- Kathleen Demor as
- Christopher Doyle as Klingon warrior
- Charles Grisham as Starfleet operations officer
- Leslie Hoffman as Starfleet security ensign
- Randy James as Jones
- Julious Keys as Klingon warrior
- Mark Lentry as Starfleet command officer
- Ken Lesco as Klingon warrior
- David B. Levinson as Broik
- Irving E. Lewis as Klingon warrior
- Shauna Lewis as operations division officer
- Dennis Madalone as
- Johnny Martin as Bertram
- Mary Meinel-Newport as Bolian woman
- James Minor as Starfleet operations officer
- Tom Morga as
- Robin Morselli as Bajoran officer
- Mark Allen Shepherd as Morn
- James Lee Stanley as Bajoran security deputy
- Scott Strozier as
- Unknown performers as
- John Lendale Bennett as stunt double for Obi Ndefo
- Brennan Dyson as stunt double for Michael Dorn
- J. Suzanne Rampe as stunt double for Terry Farrell
ablative armor; Alpha Quadrant; attack pattern omega; bat'leth; Battle of Veridian III; Bajor; Bajoran Intelligence; Bajoran Provisional Government; Bajoran law; Bajoran Militia uniform; Bajoran space; Bajoran wormhole; battle stations; Betreka Nebula; Betreka Nebula Incident; blood screening; bloodwine; Boreth; Borg; candle; Cardassia; Cardassia Prime; Cardassians; Cardassian desktop monitor; Cardassian dissident movement; Cardassian Central Command; Cardassian Empire; Cardassian Military; Cardassian space; Caves of Boreth; Cestus III; clavicle; cloaking device; coup; d'blok; Daedalus-class (model); darts; Dax, Curzon; decibel; Deep Space 9; Detapa Council; disruptor pistol; distress signal; Dominion; Dominion cold war; duranium shadow; Earth; emergency shelter; Enterprise-D, USS; evasive maneuvers; Excelsior-class; Federation; Federation Council; Ferengi; Ferengi freighter; Founders; Gaila; Galaxy-class; Gamma Quadrant; Gramilian sand pea; Grishnar cat; hand-to-hand combat; Hastur; holding cell; Hoobishan Baths; House of Duras; House of Martok; holosuite; imagination; Imperial Overseer; Ionite Nebula; ISS model; Jem'Hadar; Kahless the Unforgettable; Kahless (clone); kanar; Khitomer Accords; kiss; Klingons; Klingon-Cardassian War; Klingon drinking songs; Klingon Bird-of-Prey; Klingon Empire; Klingon High Council; Klingon military; Klingonese; K't'inga-class; Kurn; Lancelot; lie; long range sensor scan; Lurians; M'Char, IKS; Malko; Miranda-class; Mogh; Molor; Nebula-class; Negh'Var, IKS; Negh'var warship; Nyberrite Alliance; Nyberrite Alliance cruiser; "Old Man"; Obsidian Order; orbital defense system; Patriotism; Picard, Jean-Luc; Pike City Pioneers; poker; Prakesh; primary sensor array; priority 1 distress call; priority one message; Promenade; prune juice; Qo'noS; quantum torpedo; Quark's; red alert; replicator; Replimat; rib; River Skral; Rom; Romulan; root beer; Rozhenko, Alexander; Rozhenko, Helena; Rozhenko, Sergey; saltah'na clock; Ensign Sanders; Federation-Klingon War (2372-73); sensor array; shield generator; shore leave; Sisko, Jennifer; Sisko, Joseph; situation report; standard maneuvers; Starfleet Command; Starfleet Intelligence; subspace disturbance; task force; Tholian silk; thoron field; tractor beam; transporter bay; Treaty of Alliance; Trial, USS; Trill (planet); Venture, USS; Venture captain; Vitarian wool; Vor'cha-class; wormhole relay station; Xhosa; yamok sauce; yellow alert
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