The original Star Trek TV series was famously pitched to the network as “Wagon Train to the stars” (Wagon Train being a then-well-known Western). Star Trek: The Next Generation was in the same mold, with Deep Space Nine described as Gunsmoke (in space!). Babylon 5, while not a Trek series, appeared around the same time and was described as Casablanca (in space). “Sooner or later, everyone comes to Babylon 5.”

So it was kind of odd tonight to watch an episode of DS9 that basically was Casablanca in space.

In “Profit and Loss”, the owner of a local bar encounters the love of his life who disappeared years ago. But she’s here with the leader(s) of a foreign nation’s underground resistance against a powerful military regime — and that regime wants to capture her companion(s). There’s also the matter of obtaining an object so that they can leave safely. She could stay here with the bar owner, but in the end has to leave. Meanwhile, there are shifting alliances as the bar owner has to deal with the local chief of police and other citizens with their own agendas.

According to the writeup at Memory Alpha, the episode was originally going to be more like Casablanca, even titled “Here’s Lookin’ at You…,” but they had to change it due to legal pressure.

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