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BABEL (production #405; first season) Directed by Paul Lynch
written by Sally Caves & Ira Steven Behr
The title, Babel, refers to the biblical tower in which all the people who were building it lost the ability to speak to each other - everyone began to speak a different language so each person's words sounded like gibberish to the next person; the tower quickly fell apart. That seems to be the fate in store for the DS9 space station in this episode. O'Brien is the first effected, at first just seeming tired from all the repair work he's been engaged in, he suddenly begins to utter phrases like "Victory strike limits frosted wake." Likewise, he can't understand anyone either. Dr. Bashir diagnoses it as aphasia, a perceptual dysfunction in which stimuli are incorrectly processed by the brain. However, there's no reason for O'Brien to be so affected, such as having head trauma.
Extra Deep Trivia: it's established in this episode, by Odo, that the station was built 18 years ago
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