Fanwork Friday: Anthony Bourdain and Antimatter Pod

I had intended to start doing this pretty much from the beginning, but kept forgetting. It may or may not be a regular feature, since I…don’t really read all that much fanfic these days, and every time I go on Tumblr they’ve made some new update that makes it even worse to use. BUT WE’LL SEE.

One of the things that made me vow to myself I’d do a Fanwork Friday this week was seeing an article about Bourdain Day, in honor of the late Anthony Bourdain’s birthday. This gave me a good excuse to yell about one of my absolute favorite pieces of fanfic ever:”Parts Unknown: Bajor“, by fresne. It is exactly what it sounds like, complete with imagined commercial breaks, and it makes me feel a metric fuckton of emotions.

I would also like to recommend the podcast Antimatter Pod, hosted by Anika Dane and my dear friend Liz Barr. As one of the iTunes reviews says, there are a lot of Trek podcasts out there, but very few female voices among them; Antimatter Pod looks at Star Trek through a definitively feminist lens. I’ve known Liz for a long time (as in, Star Trek: Voyager was still on the air when we first became friends), and she’s always had smart, interesting, funny things to say about whatever we were discussing.

(That said, between Liz’s shout-out to me in their Problematic Fave episode and my mom low-key judging me for my Sisko/Dukat thing, I am feeling so attacked this week. I LIKE DUKAT AS A VILLAIN, OK, NOT AS A PERSON, JUST LET ME BE GARBAGE IN PEACE!!!!!!)

1.04: “A Man Alone”

NGL, I actually have very little to say about the A plot on this one. In part this is because I just…really don’t find Odo all that compelling as a character?

Reflecting on my last couple of rewatches, I feel like he arguably grows and changes the least of all the main characters over the course of the series. He has a black and white sense of justice at the beginning, and that’s never really challenged in any serious way. Given how much of the show is about having to deal with the gray areas, that gets kind of boring after a while.

Further, while the show makes it clear with the Founders that that black and white sense of justice is something the rest of his people share, and they examine with the Founders how easily that can turn into fascism, they never really take the next step and challenge Odo himself on that front. Last week he offered to just straight-up jail the Duras sisters because of their past record rather than anything they’d done since arriving on DS9 and waxed nostalgic for the simplicity of oppressive Cardassian rule, this week he wants to throw Ibudan off the station without any apparent cause. Sisko flat-out tells him that he cannot take the law into his own hands, but even after Odo is on the other side of that equation — after an angry mob literally tries to lynch him for no other reason than that a troublemaker has convinced them he can’t be trusted — the show never has anyone explicitly address the fact that Odo’s been behaving pretty similarly. Just the opposite: Odo is instead vindicated in his suspicions and actions.

That said, the other part of why I don’t have much to say about the A plot is that I am all about space operas that are just that: literally soap operas in space. Give me hot aliens and hotter gossip and I am content. (It seems worth noting here that most of this rewatch thus far has been done while I’ve been sewing, sometimes in my Pride t-shirt, so possibly I am just Garak at heart.)

Julian can u not

Good lord, I wasn’t even ten when this episode first aired, but even then Bashir’s inability to take a hint from Dax and back the heck off wasn’t cute, it was at best embarrassing and at worst creepy. Jason commented last week that his parents must not have paid for the “picking up on subtext” upgrade when they had him genetically enhanced and TRUTH.

I feel like they drop a lot of what Dax says about the Trill view on relationships later, or rather, they amend it to be about the expectations around joined Trill, who (it’s later explained as well) make up a pretty small portion of the Trill population. I think that’s a good choice, and adds more depth to the worldbuilding, since her initial comments make them seem a bit like Vulcans-lite. As an adult woman, however, my alternate explanation is that she’s just leaving out some of those key details in order to get Bashir to back the heck off.

Spilling the Tarkalean tea

I hate myself a little for that subhead but let’s be real, it was gonna happen eventually, and now it’s done and we can all move on with our lives.

Quark’s barely-contained glee in spilling all the local gossip to Odo is #relatable, honestly. I stand by what I said when I was introducing Mindi to this show last year:

The O’Briens’ basic conflict — a couple who moved someplace dramatically different for one partner’s job and the other is currently at loose ends and feeling frustrated, stifled, and depressed — is really lovely and realistic, which is one of the reasons it’s kind of disappointing that they wrap it up so quickly. Honestly, DS9 never really knows what to do with Keiko and w h e w does it show here. She’s a botanist, so sure, she can definitely be a teacher for kids from a wide variety of cultures and age groups! Teaching is basically a hobby you can just pick up because you always kinda wanted to try it and now you’ve got some free time.

Possibly I’m being a little unfair — it’s made clear that Jake, at least, is being educated via computer at home, so “teaching” at a Federation outpost may be more about providing a structured environment and facilitating socialization opportunities. But in that case…there’s really no need for it to be a school? They could’ve gone with the arboretum idea and have her offering science classes in person to balance out the home-schooling curriculum, for instance. I just have enough teacher friends that with every rewatch this bugs me more.

Beautiful cinnamon rolls too good for this space station, too pure

THE BEGINNING OF JAKE AND NOG’S FRIENDSHIP!!!! I also like that Sisko’s dislike/mistrust of Nog as a bad influence on Jake is mirrored by Rom disliking/mistrusting Jake as an influence on Nog. I feel like they initially play it for laughs, i.e. lol what kind of dummy would be worried about the Federation being a bad influence, but as they develop the characters of Nog, Quark, and Rom (who, at this point, is basically being written as “Quark but with less charm”) it becomes a bit less of a joke. See the episode where Quark tells Sisko that he knows he doesn’t like him or Ferengi, but maybe he should keep in mind that only one of their species has chattel slavery, nukes, and concentration camps in its history, and it ain’t the Ferengi.

Let us close on the mental image of Sisko, gazing into a vat full of an unidentified biological mass recovered from a murder scene, and then calmly asking, “Care for lunch?” I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.

Horniness rankings

  1. Bashir. Apparently I need to say it again: GET YOUR LIFE RIGHT JULIAN
  2. Odo has never been horny in his life (and seems to have gotten his understanding of relationships mostly from old sitcoms and stand-up routines?) and honestly I feel like his anti-horniness is so pronounced as to merit a spot on the ranking.
  3. Honorable mention for Sisko and Dax’s awkward semi-horniness for each other, particularly because they’re dealing with it in such a refreshingly grown-up way? Like, they both straight-up acknowledge that this is awkward and uncomfortable and it’s going to take time, and she even gives him the opportunity to end the relationship, and they both opt instead to just work on it! It’s so nice!
  4. Me: horny for hot aliens and hotter gossip.
  5. Quark: see #4.


1.03: “Past Prologue”

So Wikipedia’s episode list (which I based the schedule on) shows this one as following “Emissary”, as does CBS All Access, but Netflix has it as the third episode, following “A Man Alone”. Apparently Netflix has it in filming order, while Wikipedia and CBS All Access have it in airing order? I was watching on CBS while sewing, so it just started automatically after “Emissary”. In conclusion, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • I feel it’s important to paint a fuller picture I was watching this episode in one of my Pride shirts while drinking and piecing together/fitting a dress, which I feel is the best possible way to watch the introduction of…
  • I love Garak so much, so much, I have so many emotions around him and he’s such a fascinating character.
  • LMAO Bashir’s complete inability to recognize what is actually going on when Garak tries to pick him up on the Promenade is second in hilarity only to the Ops crew’s utter lack of interest in his secret agent fantasies. Like, you get the sense that it’s bordering on secondhand embarrassment for some of them.
  • I make a lot of jokes about the People’s Front of Bajor vs. the People’s Bajoran Front, but the truth is I eat the Bajoran internal politics stuff up like cake. In terms of TV, the Planet of Hats originated with Star Trek, and DS9 remains true to that in general, but the Bajorans are definitely an example of DS9 playing a bit with some of the franchise’s staple tropes.
  • g a r a k
  • Speaking of, I was sort of nonplussed by Kira’s going over Sisko’s head to Starfleet, since it didn’t really seem like her style, but my mother, who was watching with me, reminded me that the Resistance’s hierarchy was a lot less formal than Starfleet’s, so going over someone’s head likely wasn’t quite as dramatic a course of action as it would be if, say, Dax did it.
  • My father also wandered in about halfway through the episode, and after watching for only a few minutes, commented, “you really need to hit that doctor over the head with the point you’re trying to make, don’t you?” and he was not wrong.
  • Between “Cardassian rule may have been oppressive, but at least it was simple” and offering to just straight-up throw the Duras sisters in jail and calling the Klingons to collect them, Odo’s occasional tendencies toward fascism really show up pretty early on. BIG YIKES.

Horniness rankings

  1. Bashir, whose horniness is still being misdirected into trying to be the hero in a genre movie: from a Western in “Emissary” to a spy novel here. Garak, fortunately, will be able to help him channel it more productively. I stand by last week’s GET YOUR LIFE RIGHT BASHIR, though.
  2. Garak, who’s just trying to get back out there and start dating again and saw this cute twink at breakfast.

1.01 and 1.02: “Emissary”


  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again that one of the ways you know this is a pre-9/11 show is that one of the characters is not infrequently referred to as a former terrorist, and it’s used interchangeably with “freedom fighter”, and that character is one of the ones played by a white woman rather than the one played by an Arab man.
  • I appreciate that they actually make a point of showing that for all his…what might very generously be called “naive romanticism”, and perhaps more accurately “paternalistic imperialist fantasies”, Bashir is in fact really good at his job. His competence is one of the few things that makes him remotely tolerable early on in the show.
  • Off of that, I think one of the reasons it seems so obnoxious and wrong-headed from Bashir is that he’s really the only Starfleet crew member who initially comes into the show with much of that attitude. Sisko’s having what I can only call a crisis of faith around Starfleet, O’Brien is openly mistrustful of the Cardassians; Jadzia has moments, but she also has more years of experience than Sisko and O’Brien combined to temper the enthusiasm and naivete. Worf has some trouble adjusting when he joins the cast later, but even then, he’s spent enough time as an outsider in Starfleet and has enough of a career behind him already that he doesn’t have nearly as much of a rosy filter over his vision. So rather than Kira’s cynicism or Sisko’s exhaustion being the exception to the rule, Bashir is the dude who really needs to read the room.
  • As Star Trek-ishly heavy-handed as it is (and tbh having been raised on Trek I tend to find the heavy-handedness kind of charming), Sisko’s encounter with the Prophets/wormhole aliens really is a lovely, poignant meditation on grief and trauma. Their patient yet merciless explanations that they aren’t the ones dragging him back to these places/times in his life, he is, ughhh just kill me right now because this rewatch is gonna be so full of emotions.
  • On a less heavy note, I feel like the DS9 fandom really does not talk enough about how horny Dukat is for Sisko??? Like we all know he’s horny for Kira and really pretty horny in general, but we really do not discuss how, when it comes to Sisko, he is attempting to board the Acela Express to Bonetown, morning fish juice and New York Times in hand, from MINUTE ONE. He is 100% ready to rail and/or be railed by Sisko on their shared desk.

Horniness rankings

  1. Dukat. Let’s be real, if he’s in an episode, he is almost certainly going to top the Horniness Rankings. Holy shit guy, get your life right.
  2. Bashir, who is horny for a. Dax and b. the FrOnTiEr. Again, GET YOUR LIFE RIGHT. How am I capslocking this at him rather than at Dukat? How?? Perhaps because I believe he can do better while Dukat never will?
  3. Quark. On the one hand, I appreciate that his incessant sexual harassment of women around him is presented as gross, on the other hand, wowwwwww are there some Real Unfortunate Implications to that being because he is from a race of people who are defined physically by short stature and an exaggeratedly large appendage on their heads, and culturally by morality based solely on greed, who are slavishly devoted to backwards laws that are out of step with modern civilization, all making him therefore much more laughably unfuckable than others (BASHIR) whose behavior seems to be presented as, while annoying, ultimately unthreatening and perhaps even a little bit charming.
  4. Sisko and Jadzia have some awkward low-key “oh no she’s hot now”/”oh no I find him hot now” horniness for each other and it’s hi-friggin’-larious.

rewatch prewatch

So, a few days after I decided that substack wouldn’t work for this and paid for web hosting for this thing, they launched a community discussion feature, OF COURSE. I’m probably going to stick with the blog format for the time being on the grounds of “eh, I’ve got it, might as well use it” but if anyone has strong feelings either way, let me know.

Anyway, this weekend, I ended up rewatching some Next Gen as well, including, most relevant to this endeavor, “Ensign Ro”, so if anyone wants to rewatch that in the next few days and then discuss on this post, feel free! Otherwise, here is the viewing schedule for June.

June schedule

  • June 11: “Emissary”, both parts
  • June 18: “Past Prologue”
  • June 25: “A Man Alone”

welcome (?!?)

Hello! Still getting this up and running, but welcome to Bad Pajamas, aka the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine rewatch project that I impulsively decided to start one day. The title pays tribute to the hideous sleepwear that everyone on the show wears, and it was this or (on account of how horny Star Trek is in general and DS9 in particular), but it turns out that one’s already taken, which was disappointing but also probably for the best.

About the format: mostly I wanted this to be more of a community/group thing than just me rambling about my feelings because I know a lot of smart, funny, interesting people and I like enjoying things with them, and while I think I have my smart, funny, interesting moments, I also know that undertaking such a project on my own will be a lot more stressful and a lot less fun. My initial plan had been a Substack newsletter, but then I learned that Substack only allows you to have comments from paid subscribers; Twitter and Discord/Slack are too ephemeral; basically it was this or a private subreddit where people would have to DM me to join and this just seemed easier, although if it ends up just being me and a handful of friends (likelihood: 70-100%) I may end up going with the subreddit idea at a later date.

My current plan is that I’ll make a post for the week’s episode around Tuesday or Wednesday, which will probably have at least a few vaguely coherent notes of my own, and then an open discussion thread in the comments. I’m also planning on Fanwork Fridays, where we can all share links to fic, fanart, and other fan creations. There may be other content later, but those were the two categories that came to my mind first.

I’m still getting everything set up on the site and making sure it all looks/functions OK, but I anticipate getting this thing rolling in the next few days, so uhhhh GET HYPE I guess?