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If Wishes Were Horses 

While Dax investigates an unusual energy reading near DS9 to see if it's dangerous for the station, people's imaginations suddenly come alive, causing chaos.


Robert Legato


Gene Roddenberry (based upon "Star Trek" created by), Rick Berman (created by) | 6 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Avery Brooks ... Cmdr. Benjamin Sisko
Rene Auberjonois ... Odo
Alexander Siddig ... Doctor Bashir (as Siddig El Fadil)
Terry Farrell ... Lt. Jadzia Dax
Cirroc Lofton ... Jake Sisko
Colm Meaney ... Chief Miles O'Brien
Armin Shimerman ... Quark
Nana Visitor ... Major Kira
Rosalind Chao ... Keiko O'Brien
Keone Young ... Buck Bokai
Michael J. Anderson ... Rumpelstiltskin (as Michael John Anderson)
Hana Hatae ... Molly O'Brien


The crew detects an unusual energy reading; elevated thoron emissions near the Denorios belt. Sisko and Dax think it might have something to do with the increased traffic since the wormhole was found and Dax investigates to find out if it poses any danger to the station. Meanwhile chief O'Brien is telling the story of Rumpelstiltskin to his daughter Molly and after he leaves Molly tells him the fairy character appeared in her room. To his astonishment Molly tells the truth, he faces Rumpelstiltskin. All of a sudden all over the station people's secret imaginations appear in for real, causing chaos. Quark is escorted by two beautiful ladies and seems very happy until he finds out everybody is winning with dabo. Bashir finds Jadzia Dax in love with him and baseball player Buck Bokai appears before Sisko. Odo must work in the snow to keep the promenade safe. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official Site





Release Date:

16 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Chief O'Brien's fantasy was going to be a leprechaun, but Colm Meaney refused to give in to clichés about his Irish heritage. He remembered his irritation with the portrayal of Irish people in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Up the Long Ladder (1989), but, now had the clout to insist on script changes, so he had the creature changed to the German imp Rumpelstiltskin. This recalls a change to one of the first Trek productions Star Trek: The Original Series: The Naked Time (1966), where George Takei, wishing to avoid clichés about the Japanese, insisted that Sulu's alternate personality be changed from a Samurai to a Frenchman. See more »


O'Brian said that in the past 200 years since the Vulcans encountered a similar anomaly pulse-wave technology has improved a lot. However Jadzi said that this anomaly was encountered in the mid 23rd century, which was 100 years prior to the events of Deep Space Nine, not 200. See more »


Odo: Ladies and gentlemen...
[Morn walks by]
Odo: ...and all androgynous creatures, your attention please!
See more »


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Main Title
Written by Dennis McCarthy
Performed by Dennis McCarthy
See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable and familiar.
15 December 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

One of the more enjoyable episodes of the original "Star Trek" was "Shore Leave". The crew of the Enterprise land on a planet--not realizing it's an entertainment facility where everyone's fantasies come to life. Well, here with "If Wishes Were Horses", the same sort of thing is encountered--but this time in the middle of space.

It begins with O'Brien reading his daughter a fairy tale. Without warning, Rumplestiltskin appears in the room--ready to spin straw into gold or whatever they want. Soon, more odd characters begin appearing all over the station--including a very willing and amorous new Jadzea Dax who thinks Dr. Bashir is a very, very sexy guy! What's happening and why?!

Seeing the various fantasies come to life is enjoyable and this light-hearted episode is a welcome change of pace for "Deep Space 9".

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