Discovery Season 5 Just Brought Back a Lost Piece of Star Trek Voyager Canon

The Breen have really taken over Star Trek: Discovery at this point, which is why it might be time to revisit Deep Space Nine.

Star Trek: Voyager
Photo: CBS Photo Archive/Getty

This Star Trek: Discovery article contains spoilers.

Since its inception in 2017, Star Trek: Discovery has been compared to various aspects of the Star Trek franchise. But, perhaps the show it most closely resembles, at least tonally, is Deep Space Nine, the gritty ‘90s spin-off of The Next Generation. And, with its fifth and final season, it feels like Discovery knows it’s the Deep Space Nine of modern Trek, and has leaned into that feeling more than ever.

The series has also taken on the mantle of being the new DS9 by simply making a ton of references to that series, as well as continuing huge storylines from that series. In the 7th episode of season 5, “Erigah,” Discovery makes a ton of references to the breadth of the Trek canon, with a specific focus on DS9. Here’s all the best easter eggs and shout-outs you might have missed.

The Return of Nhan 

At the top of the episode, we get the first appearance of Rachael Ancheril as Nhan since season 4 episode “Rubicon.” Nhan’s journey is unique within Star Trek, and Discovery specifically. Originally a part of the crew of the USS Enterprise under Pike, Nhan joined the Discovery in season 2 during the search for the Red Angel. She stayed with the crew when they jumped to the future in season 3, making her seemingly the only Enterprise crew member from the 23rd century who now lives in the 32nd century. Nhan is from Barzan II, a planet established in the TNG episode “The Price.”

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Dominion War Medical Research 

Culber says he’s doing a deep-dive into Dominion War medical research, in order to learn more about the Breen, noting, “We don’t know much about Breen physiology.” This is accurate since, although the Breen appeared for the first time in DS9, they never took their helmets off in that series. Culber’s deep dive into Dominion War research is also interesting in light of Star Trek: Picard season 3. It was in that season that we learned Starfleet was secretly experimenting on Changelings. Did Culber stumble on any of that research?

“Never Turn Your Back on a Breen”

Reynar reminds President T’Rina of the Romulan saying, “Never turn your back on a Breen.” This comes from the DS9 episode “By Inferno’s Light,” and was uttered by an unnamed Romulan prisoner. Although T’Rina is seemingly Vulcan, the Vulcans and Romulans are essentially the same people in the time of Discovery. As revealed in season 3’s “Unification III,” all Vulcans and Romulans live together on the planet Ni’var, previously known as the planet Vulcan.

Breen Attack on the Federation 

In this episode, we’re reminded that “the last time the Breen paid a visit to the Federation, they destroyed an entire city.” This references the Deep Space Nine episode, “The Changing Face of Evil,” in which the Breen attack Starfleet Headquarters on Earth, directly, and nearly destroy all of San Francisco. Most of the city was rebuilt by the time of the Picard flashbacks in season 1 of that series, and certainly, is fully rebuilt by seasons 2 and 3 of Picard. But, it seems like the Federation has not had a direct battle with the Breen in Federation space since the DS9 era.

Tilly Is Worried About Her Cadets

In another reference to DS9 and “The Changing Face of Evil,” Tilly expresses concern about her cadets safety if the Breen attack Federation HQ. In the DS9 era, Starfleet Academy was still located in San Francisco, though now it’s at Fed HQ. That said, the upcoming show, Starfleet Academy, set in the Discovery timeline, will move the Academy back to Earth, and San Francisco.


We learn in this episode that the next piece of the Progenitor puzzle is a book called Labyrinths of the Mind, a Betazoid manuscript written by Dr. Marina Derex. “Marina” is almost certainly a reference to Marina Sirtis, the beloved actress who has played the half-Betazoid character Deanna Troi in all of The Next Generation and Picard, a few cameos on Voyager, and the Enterprise finale.

The book was also written in 2371, which is the same year that the USS Voyager left space station Deep Space 9 for the Badlands. It’s also the same year that Thomas Riker stole the USS Defiant from the same station. It’s also the year that the USS Enterprise-D crash-landed its saucer section on Veridian III in Star Trek Generations, which also means it’s the same year that a time-displaced Captain James T. Kirk was killed. Big year!

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Seven of Limes 

Reno mentions a cocktail called “Seven of Limes.” This can only be a reference to Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), the former Borg drone turned Fenris Ranger and Starfleet Captain. Because Discovery is set several centuries beyond Picard Season 3, we can only assume that Reno and the crew now have knowledge of events well beyond the early 2400s.

“A Holodeck Adventure for the Littles”

Reno jokes that the entire premise of the current clue—connected to a library card—makes everything sound like “something out of a holodeck adventure for the littles.” The most prominent holodeck adventure for children that we’re aware of in Trek canon is The Adventures of Flotter, which first appeared in the Voyager episode “Once Upon a Time.” In Picard season 1, Soji had a Flotter lunchbox.

The Badlands 

By the end of the episode, the Eternal Gallery’s location—and thus the location of the book  Labyrinths of the Mind—is revealed to be in the Badlands. This is an unstable area of space that was first mentioned in…you guessed it…Deep Space Nine! Although the Badlands is most famous as the area where the USS Voyager went missing in its 1995 debut episode, “Caretaker,” the concept of the Badlands was introduced about a year earlier in 1994, during DS9’s second season, specifically in the episode “The Maquis Part 1.”

The Badlands is located near what used to be Cardassian space, so in its next episode, Discovery will literally be traveling directly to the neighborhood of Deep Space Nine. We have no idea if the wormhole is still there in this time period, or if that old station is still kicking. But, as Discovery continues to drop surprises in its final season, we can all keep our fingers crossed for a glimpse of a very special space station.