A little known fact about the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine two-part episode “Past Tense” is how much it was altered between first draft and final product. While the storyline about Commander Sisko and Dr. Bashir becoming involved in the “Bell Riots” was always there, what wasn’t was the subplot about Jadzia ending up in the past with them and her quasi-romantic interaction with Christopher Brynner. In fact, there was a completely different subplot that involved Major Kira and Chief O’Brien getting lost even further back in the past during their trip through the timelines in search of Sisko and Bashir.
Jadzia (who stayed on the Defiant when Sisko and Bashir attempted their ill-fated beamdown to their present-day San Francisco) ended up losing Kira and O’Brien as they materialized in 1960s Haight-Ashbury San Francisco. The episode then alternated between Jadzia and Odo working to rescue all four lost officers, Sisko and Bashir in the Bell Riot timeline, and Kira and O’Brien in their own hippy love-in timeline. This subplot was meant to provide the humorous juxtaposition to Sisko and Bashir’s story and showed Kira and O’Brien forming a band as a means of making enough money to get a place to live and food to eat while they tried to figure out how to contact Dax and Odo. Their band, Prophets’ Pogue, was a BajoraCeltic folk fusion that almost instantly caught on because of the familiarity of the Celtic sound mixed with the exotic alien stylings brought in by Kira’s Bajoran roots. Soon, they found themselves with a recording contract, mingling with the likes of Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, the Doors…all wanting to know more about that groovy, trippy sound and the weird lead singer who always wore a band-aid over her nose.
There were even hints at a developing romance between Kira and O’Brien when they began to lose hope that they would ever get back to their time and their respective partners. Though lost to this two-part episode, this concept would later appear during the Season 5 storyline in which Major Kira plays surrogate for the O’Briens after Keiko is injured and Dr. Bashir is forced to perform an emergency transfer of the fetus into Major Kira in order to save it.
Unfortunately, the cost of the royalties and the CGI to add the likenesses of all these famous 60s rock musicians became too prohibitive to completing the subplot as originally envisioned (it wouldn’t be until the fifth season episode “Trial and Tribble-ations” that they would finally get the opportunity to mix the DS9 cast with CGI characters from the past, only this time it would be Captain Kirk and his crew). Also, the writers realized that they needed a subplot that worked more in tandem with the primary storyline rather than detracting from it the way they ultimately felt this subplot did. The script was reworked, that subplot was traded in for the Jadzia subplot, but in deference to the idea, the writers left in Kira and O’Brien’s brief moment in the “peace and love” era.
One of the recently discovered props that was prepared for the original script was this cover for the Prophets’ Pogue debut album, póg mo hiomairí…which, roughly translated is Gaelic for “Kiss My Ridges.”* It was to be O’Brien’s and Kira’s own private joke regarding the Bajoran’s constantly hidden alien feature.
*I don’t speak Gaelic, so for all I know this means something utterly offensive. If it is, I’m sorry. Blame Google Translate.