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The Impossible
Dram

Season 1, Episode 11

Episode Details

Plot Summary | Ongoing Story and Character Developments
Unanswered Questions | Memorable Lines | Glitches
Trivia, Inside Jokes and References | NotePAD

Plot Summary

As our story begins, Catalina is dreaming of a medieval court populated by the crew of the Christa. Thelma awakens Cat. Cat is surprised to realize that she was dreaming, because Saturnians, and Cat in particular, don't usually dream.

Catalina leaves the bunkroom to play dÔl[ Rosie, but forgets to set her destination and finds herself at the landing bay. An old man dressed as a knight comes out of the landing bay and threatens her. But he promptly decides that Cat is his long lost daughter and commits himself to protecting her. When Goddard and Harlan arrive to investigate the intruder, the old man also threatens and attacks them. Dram ultimately decides that Harlan is his long lost squire, and leaves Goddard alone. He warns the crew that there is a monster on board.

Dram is still causing trouble. He attacks Bova as a "bug creature" and threatens Rosie, the "talking radish monster." But he continues to warn the crew about a soul-sucking monster that drains your energy. Goddard decides Dram could be dangerous, and demands that Dram turn over his sword. Dram does so when Cat convinces him that Goddard is the "lord of the vessel."

Dram is making quite an impression on Catalina, who is becoming very fond of him. Dram encourages the children to have dreams, and to pursue their dreams. But Catalina tells him she has no dreams.

Meanwhile, Thelma retrieves a data crystal from Dram's cryopod, which reveals that Dram is suffering from a terminal illness. He will die, and there is no way to stop it or even slow the process. They can't even put him back into suspended animation. Catalina wants to stage a quest for him, to give him the chance to be the knight he dreams of being.

The crew begins to pass out. Cat brings Dram his sword. She is becoming convinced that Dram may be right about the monster, because he knew what would happen before it happened. Radu and Thelma are also attempting to determine what is causing people to pass out.

Dram with his sword takes Catalina to the engine room, to do battle with the monster. He convinces her that the monster is real, and she begins to see it. Cat attacks it with her sonic scream, and Dram with his sword. Ultimately, as Cat is passing out, Dram stabs the monster through the heart, right into the engine core, and is disintegrated by the energy blast.

Cat awakens in the medlab. At first, she thinks it was all a dream, but then she sees Dram's sword. Radu explains that there was no monster; the chemicals used to induce Dram's sleep for suspended animation leaked from his cryopod into the Christa's air system. But Cat insists that it was real, or at least, as real as she needed it to be. They leave Dram's sword floating in space.

Ongoing Story and Character Developments

  • Saturnians don't usually dream.
  • The Christa has at least some degree of sentience. It made its own decision to let Dram on board, and Thelma indicates that it is able to judge character.
  • We get another hint here of a relationship between Catalina and Harlan. Dram says he can see that Cat is interested in Harlan, but not that Harlan is interested in Cat. However, given the way Harlan baited Catalina at the end, I suspect the interest is mutual. If he were not interested in her, and she were interested in him, I don't think he would want to call attention to her interest.

Memorable Lines

Goddard: You'll "smite" me?
Harlan: Smite? Or he smite not!

Thelma: The Christa is an excellent judge of character.
Davenport: (smugly) And how do you know that?
Thelma: It let you in.

Cat: Bova! How could you have hurt him?
Bova: I should have just let him stab me. What was I thinking?

[after Radu suggests entering Dram's ship to retrieve a data crystal]
Thelma: Entering it could be extremely hazardous. I wonder who should go in after it.
[Radu and Davenport look at Thelma]
Thelma: I wonder why I asked.

Goddard: Well, let's check out this data crystal, shall we?
Thelma: Excellent idea, Pierre! The corn muffins look scrumptious today!
[Thelma passes out and falls to the floor with a thud]
Goddard: After we fix Thelma.

Catalina: He deserves to live his dream, not dream his life.

Thelma: Not a problem, Radu. I have been effecting additional repairs on myself, and am now operating at peak efficiency.
Radu: It's good to see you're OK, Thelma.
Thelma: Not a problem, Radu. I have been effecting additional repairs on myself, and am now operating at [stutter] peak efficiency.

Dram: Dream of glory, Mirabella. Dream of life. And dare to fight for both. If you believe in nothing else, I say believe in that.

Glitches

  • None identified.

Trivia, Inside Jokes and References

  • The entire episode is one big reference to Miguel de Cervantes' book, Don Quixote (or, more likely, to Man of La Mancha, the musical based on it). Don Quixote is a wicked 16th century parody of chivalry and knighthood, written at a time when those values were going out of style. It is the story of a senile old man who roams the Spanish countryside believing he is a knight, along with his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, who knows full well that the guy is nuts. He does battle against ferocious giants (really windmills) and defends the honor of his chaste lady fair, Dulcinea (really a cheap prostitute). There are a few specific references: The episode title comes from The Impossible Dream, the best-known song from Man of La Mancha. But there are a few specific references. Dram refers to himself as "a knight of Cervantes." Goddard refers to Dram as "Don Quixote."
  • The name Bassanio (which Dram calls Harlan) comes from The Merchant of Venice, a play by Cervantes' contemporary, William Shakespeare.
  • Catalina mentions that she was going to play Minbar chess with Rosie, a reference to Bill Mumy's role as a Minbari on Babylon 5. Minbar is mentioned in several SC episodes.
  • In the original draft, Catalina's dream did not involve knights because co-writer Peter David thought it was too obvious to have Cat dream about knights and then run into one. As Peter said:

The original dream sequence didn't involve knights. Why? Because I thought it was too obvious to have Cat dream about knights and then run into one. So originally I went in a totally different direction. Envision the command post, dimly lit. "Swan Lake" is playing. Harlan comes leaping on in tights. Thelma follows a moment later, also in tights, and they begin dancing an elaborate duet. And then, shuffling in, looking peeved beyond imagining, is Goddard wearing a tutu. Thelma and Harlan leap around Goddard while he just stands there, making a couple of half-hearted grand jetes and looking for all the world like he wants to strangle the writers.

Nick punted it. The reason? Didn't want to see Harlan in tights. Felt it wasn't manly enough.

Sorry girls.

  • One of the five Radu wigs was cut shorter for the jester costume in Catalina's dream sequence. (information provided by ZaBaGaBe).
  • In the scene from Dram's data crystal, Jewel Staite (Catalina) played Dram's daughter Mira. [see picture at right] (information provided by Peter David)

Unanswered Questions

  1. How sentient is the Christa? Thelma indicated that it has the ability to make its own decisions to some extent (like bringing Dram on board), and is an excellent judge of character.
  2. How far spread is Earth's sphere of influence in this time, and does it have relationships with aliens outside of the solar system? Davenport speaks of Dram as being from one of the "outer rim colonies" and going to a medical facility on Tau Ceti (a star about 12 light years from Earth).

NotePAD
(Notes from co-creator Peter A. David)

  • None available at this time.

Episode Details provided by Tracey Rich.
This page was last updated on September 7, 1997.