Because fans love Star Trek, in all of its many incarnations, so much, we're often willing to give it some leeway when it comes to continuity mistakes. After all, producing 20+ episode seasons for 7 years means that some thinks are bound to slip through the cracks. There are plenty of errors, particularly in the continuation department, to last us a lifetime, and we don't love the series any less for pointing them out--even if they make us laugh a little.
Some errors affect the plot more than others, however. These are harder to overlook. When Sisko talks about his father in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, we are made to believe that he's gone when, in fact, we get to meet Joseph Sisko later in the show. Other errors, like those when an arm, a leg, or even a com has been moved and forgotten mid-shot, making it appear as if something is missing or wrong in a scene, are less important but more laughable, giving us nothing more than something to point out and store away for useless trivia later. Both types of errors only serve to remind us that no matter how many people are in the room working on our favorite media, they're still human and deserve some slack. Only the biggest of fans will comb through a series and be able to catch its mistakes.
From characters randomly changing shirts mid-scene to previously stated facts being completely ignored, here are 20 Mistakes Fans Completely Missed In Star Trek: Deep Space 9.
20 Sisko's Com Reappears After He Throws It Off
In season one of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, there aren't too many continuity issues, but one of the most obvious errors occurs in episode 18, "Dramatis Personae". It's so glaring that we can't unsee it, even if it does occur at the end of the episode.
It takes place after Odo's sent everyone impacted by the telepathic matrix to the cargo bay. When Sisko and O'Brien throw off their coms before rushing to the cargo bay, it's pretty obvious that their coms are no longer on their shirts. The aren't wearing weird backup coms or anything like that. Why does Sisko's closeup later reveal that he's still got a com on? When everyone's cured, we see it on the screen as if he'd never thrown it off in the first place.
19 Benjamin's Father's Strap Keeps Changing
Season seven has several errors in different episodes, and one of the funniest ones happens in the first episode, "Image in the Sand". The continuity issues are regarding Benjamin's father's bag hanging from his shoulder. The strap on the bag changes every few seconds, making it clear that multiple takes had to be done during this scene and that nobody noticed that during one moment, the strap is twisted and during the next, it's flat again, before returning to its twisted status.
We can probably also infer that the man doesn't usually carry a bag because those of us who do notice when straps get twisted, which can even make them uncomfortable to wear on occasion. It definitely doesn't affect the plot at all but it's still smirk-worthy.
18 Jadzia's Hands Are Placed Differently
Hand placement changing during a shot is something that's more easy to forgive. If you're cutting in the middle of a scene and then returning to it after a change in direction, it's pretty hard to get that exact placement back. In season three's episode "Meridian", at the 15-minbute mark, this error occurs. It's a much more obvious change in hands, since there's a camera switch in the middle of a sentence.
Jadzia has her hands in front of her, where she is rubbing them, before the shift. Next she is is clasping them tightly behind her back, which is a pretty big jump in continuity. Perhaps hand continuity errors in DS9 could be dubbed "Jadzia hands" instead of "jazz hands."
17 The Person Next To Dax Changes Shirts
During the sixth episode of season five, "Trials and Tribble-actions," there's a continuity error when the person next to Dax and Sisko on the bridge's shirt changes. They're on the old Enterprise at this point and the person has a gold shirt on, but in the next shot as Kirk comes on screen the person's shirt has changed to red-- and we all know what that means! Rotten luck, mate.
Changing shirt colors mid-scene seems like a continuity error that would have been easily preventable, even if the shots took place days apart. Did everyone actually forget what color of shirt was worn? How did this little mistake manage to slip by?
16 Sisko Made It Sound Like His Father Was Gone
If we went by Benjamin Sisko's commentary alone, we might believe that his father was no longer alive. Sisko's mentioned that his father had a serious illness that he was unable to help with, implying a loss. In several episodes, such as "Paradise" and "Emissary", we're told that Joseph Sisko "was" (not "is") a chef, which implies that he's either gone or retired. In season four, episode 11, "Homefront", we not only meet Joseph but also find out that he's definitely still a chef.
These are finicky errors that really can be chalked up to grammar or slightly sloppy writing, but it's also possible that Sisko's dad had no planned appearances on the show prior to this episode and that previous writers had literally written him off.
15 Dax's Rank Pips Keep Changing
When it comes to rank pips, several characters have had theirs change throughout an episode, often displaying the wrong rank. It's a mistake that will probably continue to be made during every incarnation of Star Trek to come, and it's definitely not limited to Deep Space Nine in the past. In the case of season seven, episode 10, "It's Only a Paper Moon", the pip changes could be described as a bridge too far.
Dax's pips change from gold to black, then black to gold, and back again, which suggests that the scene had to be partially re-shot after a wardrobe change where someone didn't pay much attention to the order of Dax's pips.
14 Bashir's Prying Tool Is In The Wrong Spot
If you recall season five's fifteenth episode, "By Inferno's Light", you might remember the scene where Bashir goes to free Garak from a crawlspace, but did you notice that the prying tool he retrieved was from the wrong spot? He finds it beneath the bunk that's closest to him, which may be convenient, but it's erroneous in terms of continuity.
The Romulan prisoner in the previous scene had set the tool underneath the opposite end, so why is it located where Bashir found it? The answer, of course, is that it's really not that important in the grand scheme of things, so most viewers wouldn't notice where it had been before.
13 Dukat And Adami's Inconsistent Glasses
It's a close-up, so it would be hard to miss the varying amounts of drinks in episode 19 of season seven, "Strange Bedfellows". At 00:16:30, when Dukat pours the drink for himself and Adami, each glass looks like it holds a very different amount of liquid, but when the camera pans out, both glasses have the same amount. Did someone take a big gulp in between panning out or what?
We have so many questions about this particular mistake. Who drank it, and why? Did someone spill the drink and they needed to re-pour? Fans need to know the details of this baffling scene.
12 Ilario Went From Ensign To Lieutenant In One Episode
It's not always pip errors that promote or demote a character, either. Sometimes it's a slip in dialogue, as was the case in season seven's episode 13, "Field of Fire". Hector Ilario was first mentioned as an ensign by both Dax and Bashir, giving us the impression that he's a pretty low-ranking individual. The next morning, however, someone took his life, and Odo called him a lieutenant.
Was he an ensign or a lieutenant? Was he awarded some posthumous rank and if so, why? Maybe he was in the middle of advancing and would have been dubbed a lieutenant that day had he not been taken out. For whatever reason, he's got two rankings in the same episode.
11 Vantika's Pupils Dilate From Beyond The Grave
Even for many alien species, once the life fades from your body, their eyes go, too. This means that they can no longer dilate to the stimulus of light. That's a pretty tall order for a living, breathing actor who is playing someone who's gone, as James Harper, who played the criminal scientist Rao Vantika in the ninth episode of season one, "The Passenger", likely discovered.
As the Koblian officer performs a retinal scan on Vantika, his pupils continue to dilate. While that might be an easy CGI fix today, back in 1993 that, too, would be a tall order. Maybe contact lenses could have made his eyes appear more realistic? Or even a retinal scan without a light? It seems as if there should have been a tech way around what Harper's body physiologically could not do.
10 Worf's Pips Change
When it comes to a character as iconic as Worf, one would think that every eye in the room would be extra careful on his details. Not so in episode 18 of season four, "Rules of Engagement", when we witness his pips change multiple times. We can see him shift from lieutenant commander to commander several times, with his pips ranging from 2.5 to three, making us wonder, again, how many shots this scene needed in order to have so many pip changes.
Yes, even Worf's pips have been known to change! Do pips have a consciousness? No matter the excuse, as trivial as it sounds, Worf's big fans are not keen on the idea of their favorite klingon being demoted due to a simple scene error.
9 Arissa's Port Vanishes Between Scenes
When something just disappears in the middle of a scene, it's definitely distracting, even if it doesn't matter at all to the plot. During season five's 17th episode, "A Simple Investigation", Arissa's port can be seen vanishing between 00:08:55 - 00:11:40. She has a data port in her neck behind an ear that we can see when she's in Odo's office, but the next time she enters his office it's totally gone, as if it had never been there before.
The thing that makes the port vanishing so glaringly erroneous is that her hair was styled to prominently display the port in the original scene. It also reappears but then again disappears in another scene in Odo's office, which makes it obvious that the scene had several takes.
8 Dax's Pips Change
And the pips keep changing! This time, it's during episode 17, "Penumbra", of season seven, and it's Dax's pips again that keep changing throughout the episode. This time, the pips change in color again, but it's from two full pips to only one full and one black pip. So what exactly is Dax's rank? If you're going by pips alone in this episode, you're going to be scratching your head.
Even if Dax houses both Jadzia and the symbiote Dax, one rank should be enough per body, right? It streamlines things a bit and makes it much less confusing on the viewer who already has to keep up with two beings in one host body.
7 An Offed Soldier Is Seen Breathing
During season four's episode 23, at the 00:30:35 mark we can see the Jem'Hadar soldier, who is supposed to have been taken out permanently, breathing in the Mess Hall. Holding your breath while you're not supposed to be alive is probably one of the hardest things for an actor to do, but it's also distracting in the scene.
It's fair to say that once a character is offed in Star Trek, he or she may not truly be gone forever. We've seen plenty of reappearances, not to mention time shifts, that change everything. When some random soldier who won't ever make another appearance is offed but still appears to be breathing in a scene, it's simply an error and nothing more.
6 Dax's Stunt Body Doesn't Match
Stunt doubles are highly underappreciated in all genres, but especially in sci-fi, where they can often receive a pretty bad beating. Nicole de Boer and the stunt double for Dax in season seven's episode 18 surely tried to line up together but it didn't exactly end up working. At the 00:32:40 mark of the show, she's flung into a cell by the Breen and lands facing on her left side with her knee raised. In the next shot, her legs are straight instead of bent.
It's not the only stunt gaffe in the show, either. During season three, episode 25, "Facets", we can clearly see Avery Brooks' stunt double for Sisko standing in.
5 Worf Says He's Never Been On A Ship With A Cloa
When it comes to Worf, fans can get pretty fired up, so when he makes a remark like, "Hey, I've never been on a ship with a cloak," in DS9 episode two of season four, "The Way of the Warrior", it's really difficult to let that slide without comment.
We know that Worf's only being brought in here to add more interest to the show-- and it works, at least for a while-- and we also know that back during the Pegasus incident, the Enterprise temporarily utilized a cloaking device. Nice try there, Worf, but this isn't a first for you.
4 Kira's Earring Disappears
It was the case of the missing earring! During season one, episode 18, "Dramatis Personae", a few mistakes can be found, and one of those is in regards to the disappearing earring that Kira was wearing. Her prominent Bajoran earring is right there in her right ear while she's complaining to Jadzia about Sisko, but it's somehow gone when she picks up Quark moments later in the episode.
Did the heavy lifting require her to take out the earring? Somehow, we doubt it; the scenes were likely just filmed on separate occasions, one in which Nana Visitor was wearing the earring and one in which she just forgot to put it in.
3 Jadzia Was Unaware Of Curzon's Feelings
While we can overlook most mistakes made in the Star Trek universe, some of them are harder to look away from. During episode 25 of season three, "Facts", Jadzia acts like she was completely oblivious to Curzon's feelings for her. This makes absolutely no sense since she inherited his memories and it should be a pretty strong memory for her to be able to "see."
Any one of us would feel strong emotions upon realizing someone's feelings for us through their own memories. Mistakes like this one are the kind that make us think that a few more fact-checkers are needed in the room.
2 Sisko Only Has Commander Pips
The last time we checked, Benjamin Sisko was the captain of Deep Space Nine, at least as of the third season of the series. Yet in the fourth season episode, "Rules of Engagement", from 00:12:55 - 00:13:25 we can see that he's only wearing commander pips. This mistake occurs during the scene where Dax is being questioned by a Klingon barrister. Sisko's clearly sporting just three pips-- one short of the four that a captain wears.
Is this an old set of pips that Avery Brooks had from a previous season that somehow made it to his wardrobe that day, or is it a secret code used among the other pip mistakes that only the makers of the show know? Let the conspiracy theories commence!
1 Sisko's Missing As He And Dukat Fall To The Fire
During season seven's fateful episode, "What You Leave Behind", the moment when Sisko and Dukat fall into the fire is one of those jaw-dropping scenes that feels as if it will change everything. It's the end of the war, Sisko finally fulfills his fabled destiny, and those Pah-Wraith Fire Caves were something else. The only thing is that, at 01:13:45, we see that Sisko is actually missing from the fall into the fire with Dukat!
It's one of the most glaring continuation errors in the DS9 universe that you just have to shake your head over. Yes, the impact remains the same, but for a brief moment it's only Dukat falling into the flames.
Did you catch any other mistakes in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine? Let us know in the comments!