At the 1:18-1:20 mark of the following opening credits video for DS9 there are some flashing objects that I've never seen in an episode.

I don't really recall them ever going outside the station and doing repairs externally. It looks like this might be an automatic welding apparatus of some sort.

Does anybody have any idea what those two flashing objects are? If they are some kind of automated welders, if you have any info on them, their functionality, etc. that'd be great.

If there's a DS9 companion or manual of some sort that his this info, please cite what it's called. EU and writers notes, are welcome.

If there's a DS9 episode where they go outside the station to effect repairs please mention the episode.

  • 3
    I think they are welders. They added them after they saw the cool Babylon 5 Intro with welders working at the station. :-)
    – Hothie
    Jun 19, 2015 at 8:39
  • @Hothie LOL. Didn't Babylon 5 come out after this? Man I'm getting old.
    – JMFB
    Jun 19, 2015 at 8:46
  • They both started in 1993. DS9 changed its intro in one of the later seasons. Even the music was pimped and sounds to me like the style of the music of the original B5 pilot intro. :-)
    – Hothie
    Jun 19, 2015 at 10:27
  • "If there's a DS9 episode where they go outside the station to affect repairs please mention the episode." They would have to have done after "To The Death", no? An entire docking pylon was completely severed. Jun 19, 2015 at 15:59

3 Answers 3


The flashing you see is actually from two men in yellow EV suits using some kind of welding equipment (presumably to repair the station and to add additional weaponry). You can also see a third man coming in from the left with a metal panel. Later in the same sequence, you also see a Cargo Management Unit

Quoting from the DS9 Companion:

ILM's John Knoll, responsible for the solar ships the appeared in "Explorers" and "Accession." contributed the little worker bees and the tiny welders toiling on the pylons. 'I made about half a dozen little bits and pieces for the sequence." says Knoll, including, he notes with a smile, 'a generic alien ship with blue glowy engines."

"Make it bigger, make it stronger. that's what we talked about." McCarthy says. "We weren't lonely anymore, and the new visuals showed a lot of activity. They were welding and doing stuff and there were a lot of ships running around. One French horn no longer made a lot of sense, so I put all six French horns in. I also added a counterpoint to the bottom end. Just put more movement into it in total, and I did some power-chording in all those new downbeats."

  • I don't know how you find this stuff so fast but it's awesome. I was wondering from the quote, is he referring to just those two episodes or the opening credits. How do you link the quote to it being two men in yellow EV suits? +1
    – JMFB
    Jun 19, 2015 at 19:45
  • 1
    @JMFB - The flashing is clearly welding. Ergo, these are welders. Also, you can see their little legs waggling in the HD version.
    – Valorum
    Jun 19, 2015 at 19:46
  • 1
    Good work Richard; I've seen work bees do welding before but the scale probably isn't right! Jun 20, 2015 at 0:20
  • @Valorum The HD version? When did they do a remaster of the DSN opening?
    – Xantec
    Jul 24, 2018 at 16:52
  • It's amazing how you know they're men! Jul 25, 2018 at 2:15

Not 100% sure, but I reckon they're some form of Work bee.

Here's a screenshot of the scene you're referring to:


A Work bee is a tiny little craft used for maintenance work (seen in the beginning of Star Trek: The Motion Picture working on the Enterprise): I've included an image below:

Work bee

The 'flashing' you describe is probably maintenance work. I'm not 100% sure on the scale, but considering their size against DS9 and that these are single-pilot craft, it is entirely plausible it is a Work bee, perhaps even an automated one.

Work bees have been seen in DS9 before (apologies for the poor picture) in The Muse; For the Uniform, A Simple Investigation and Hard Time:

Work bee outside DS9

  • +1 Good answer. Let me see if somebody comes up with something else. Otherwise I'll award it a correct answer.
    – JMFB
    Jun 19, 2015 at 8:32
  • @JMFB thanks! Let me know if anyone comes up with something different; I'd be really interested to see if they do :) Jun 19, 2015 at 8:43
  • Yes this is quite clearly welding/repairs. Jun 19, 2015 at 15:58
  • An interesting answer, unfortunately not correct./
    – Valorum
    Jun 19, 2015 at 19:33
  • @N_Soong Richard did it again. Check out his post... We need to hack into Richards computer and get all his resource info, lol.
    – JMFB
    Jun 19, 2015 at 20:09

I believe it’s clear that the objects are intended to represent humans in red environmental suits performing a repair on the docking arm. The problem is this is seriously (grossly!) out of scale. There is another subsequent scene showing the Defiant departing, and again the scale is way way off. I don’t understand why this was allowed, as someone must have noticed this before. I suppose they expected the sins to be hidden on the small screen. Oh well. 😉

  • While it may be clear to you, it is not to OP. Can you provide any reasoning as to why the flashing things are humans in red environmental suits?
    – amflare
    Jan 18, 2018 at 1:47
  • It doesn't seem that out of scale. That pylon is in the extreme foreground of the shot, and the rest of the station is quite far in the background. Seems believable scale to me. Jul 25, 2018 at 2:17

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