Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine|
|Based on||Star Trek
by Gene Roddenberry
|Theme music composer||Dennis McCarthy|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||176 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Distributor||Paramount Domestic Television (original)|
|Picture format||NTSC 480i 4:3|
|Original release||January 3, 1993– June 2, 1999|
|Preceded by||Star Trek: The Next Generation|
|Followed by||Star Trek: Voyager|
|Related shows||Star Trek TV series|
|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine at StarTrek
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (sometimes abbreviated to DS9) is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe in the Milky Way galaxy, in the years 2369–2375. In contrast to the setting of the other Star Trek TV shows, it takes place on a space station instead of a starship, so as not to have two series with starships at the same time (the starship USS Defiant was introduced in season 3, but the station remained the primary setting for the show).
The show is noted for its well-developed characters, its original, complex plots, religious themes and for starring the only black captain in any of the televised incarnations of Star Trek. The series often showcased darker themes, less physical exploration of space, and (in later seasons) an emphasis on many aspects of war.
DS9 premiered in 1993 and ran for seven seasons until 1999. Rooted in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek universe, it was the first Trek spin-off created without direct involvement from Roddenberry, although he did give his blessing to the concept shortly before his death in 1991. The series was created by Rick Berman and Michael Piller, at the request of Brandon Tartikoff, and was produced by Paramount Television. Key writers, in addition to Berman and Piller, included showrunner Ira Steven Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Ronald D. Moore, Peter Allan Fields, Bradley Thompson, David Weddle, Hans Beimler, and René Echevarria.
DS9 began while Star Trek: The Next Generation was still on the air and there were a few crossover episodes between the two shows. The station's first appearance in TNG was during the sixth season episode "Birthright". In addition, two Next Generation characters, Miles O'Brien and (from Season 4 onwards) Worf, became regular members of DS9. The station also appeared in the Star Trek: Voyager pilot episode, "Caretaker".
- 1 Premise
- 2 Cast
- 3 Episodes
- 4 Plots
- 5 Production
- 6 Reception
- 7 Multimedia
- 8 Books
- 9 Games
- 10 Other merchandising
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
DS9 centers on the formerly Cardassian space station Terok Nor. After the Bajorans have liberated themselves from the long and brutal Cardassian Occupation, the United Federation of Planets is invited by the Bajoran Provisional Government to administer joint control of the station, which initially orbits Bajor. The station is renamed Deep Space Nine.
According to co-creator Berman, he and Piller had considered setting the new series on a colony planet, but they felt a space station would both appeal more to viewers and save money that would be required for on-location shooting for a "land-based" show. However, they were certain they did not want the show to be set aboard a starship because Star Trek: The Next Generation was still in production at the time and, in Berman’s words, it "just seemed ridiculous to have two shows—two casts of characters—that were off going where no man has gone before."
In the pilot, the station is moved near the mouth of the newly discovered Bajoran wormhole, allowing access to the distant, unexplored Gamma Quadrant. It quickly becomes a center for exploration, interstellar trade, political maneuvering, and eventually open conflict.
While its predecessors tended to restore the status quo ante at the end of each episode, allowing out-of-order viewing, DS9 contains story arcs that span shows—or seasons—and one installment often builds upon those that aired earlier, with several having cliffhanger endings. Michael Piller believed this to be one of the series' best qualities, allowing repercussions of past episodes to influence future events and remain with the show, forcing characters to "learn that actions have consequences". This trend was especially noticeable toward the series' finale, by which time the show was scripted—intentionally—very much as a serial.
Unlike in Star Trek: The Next Generation, interpersonal conflicts were featured prominently in DS9. This was at the suggestion of Star Trek: The Next Generation's writers (many of whom also wrote for DS9) because they felt that Roddenberry's prohibition of conflict among the crew restricted their ability to write compelling dramatic stories. In Piller's words, "people who come from different places—honorable, noble people—will naturally have conflicts".
|Avery Brooks||Benjamin Sisko||Commanding Officer||Seasons 1–7||Human||
|Benjamin Sisko is the Starfleet officer placed in charge of Deep Space Nine. At the start of the series, he is a grieving widower (his wife having been killed by the Borg at the Battle of Wolf 359) and the father of a pre-teenage son, Jake. He and Jadzia Dax discover the Bajoran wormhole, which the Bajorans believe is the home of the Prophets, their gods and protectors. The Bajorans hail Sisko as the Emissary of the Prophets, an exalted religious status that initially makes him uncomfortable. Due to his exemplary leadership, at the end of the third season, he is promoted from commander to captain and becomes a key leader of Federation forces against the Dominion. It is revealed that Sisko's biological mother and Sisko's father's first wife is a Prophet who possessed a woman, who (after Sisko's birth) left the woman's body and when the woman came to herself, she just left Sisko's father. Sisko was actually raised by his stepmother and his father; however, he was led to believe his stepmother was actually his biological mother.|
|Nana Visitor||Kira Nerys||First Officer||Seasons 1–7||Bajoran||
|Kira Nerys is a Bajoran militia officer, former guerrilla fighter during the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor, and, as the station's Bajoran liaison officer, Sisko's second-in-command. She is initially suspicious of the Federation's intentions toward her planet, but grows to trust and befriend the rest of the crew. Like most Bajorans, she is deeply religious, which, in her opinion, makes it awkward having the Emissary to the Prophets as her commander. Ro Laren, a character from Star Trek: The Next Generation, was the first choice of the producers for Sisko's first officer, but Michelle Forbes did not want to commit to a television show.|
|René Auberjonois||Odo||Chief of Security||Seasons 1–7||Changeling||Constable (unofficial)|
|Constable Odo is the station's chief of security. He is a Changeling, capable of assuming any shape he wishes, but usually assumes a shape of a male adult humanoid. He was found in the Denorios Belt, brought back to the planet Bajor by the Cardassians (who maintained a military occupation of Bajor), and raised in a laboratory by a Bajoran scientist, Doctor Mora. Odo yearns to find his own people, but when he finally does, he is less than pleased to discover that they rule the Gamma Quadrant with an iron fist.|
|Alexander Siddig||Julian Bashir||Chief Medical Officer||Seasons 1–7||Human||Lieutenant, junior grade (Seasons 1–3)
Lieutenant (Seasons 4–7)
|Julian Bashir is the station's chief medical officer. Although Human, his parents had him illegally genetically enhanced when he was a child because he could not keep up with his peers. Somewhat tactless, he nevertheless develops friendships with several of the station's residents, particularly Miles O'Brien and, more ambiguously, a mysterious Cardassian named Garak. Siddig appears in the opening credits as Siddig el Fadil, a shortened form of his birth name, for the first three seasons. He was credited as Alexander Siddig after discovering that viewers did not know how to pronounce his name. Siddig continued to be credited as Siddig el Fadil when he directed.|
|Terry Farrell||Jadzia Dax||Chief Science Officer||Seasons 1–6||Trill||
|Jadzia Dax is the station's Trill science officer. She shares a symbiotic existence with a long-living symbiont named Dax, who has already experienced seven prior lives "joined" with other Trills. The previous host, a larger-than-life federation diplomat and womanizer Curzon Dax, had been a close friend of and mentor to Sisko, who often refers to Jadzia as "old man" as a friendly joke. She eventually marries Worf during the course of the war with the Dominion. Jadzia is killed by Gul Dukat at the end of Season 6.|
|Nicole de Boer||Ezri Dax||Counselor||Season 7||Trill||
|Ezri Dax was added to the show after the abrupt departure of Terry Farrell. Farrell's character was killed off and the writers introduced Ezri as a young Trill Starfleet officer and the next host of the Dax symbiont. Unprepared and untrained for the role, she is often frustrated by aspects of the symbiotic relationship and the eight lifetimes worth of memories she inherits. She also confronts the memories of Jadzia's love for Worf as well as her own attraction to Dr. Bashir.|
||Seasons 4–7||Klingon||Lieutenant Commander|
|The fourth season saw the addition of Michael Dorn, who had recently finished seven years on Star Trek: The Next Generation as the Klingon Worf, to boost ratings. Worf transfers to Deep Space 9 when the brief war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire breaks out, and stays on as Strategic Operations officer and later as a liaison to the Klingon Empire. He eventually marries Jadzia Dax.|
|Colm Meaney||Miles O'Brien||Chief Operations Officer||Seasons 1–7||Human||Senior Chief Petty Officer|
|Miles O'Brien is the Chief of Operations, keeping the station in working order. He is married to botanist and teacher Keiko. They have a daughter, Molly, and later a son, Kirayoshi. O'Brien is the first main non-commissioned Starfleet character, reprising a supporting role in The Next Generation, as an "uncomplicated" and well-studied hardware technician.|
|Cirroc Lofton||Jake Sisko||
|Jake is Benjamin Sisko's son. He decides not to follow in his father's footsteps as a Starfleet officer, desiring to be a writer and reporter instead. He at first resents the idea of living on an old Cardassian space station, but soon learns to adapt. He develops a deep friendship with Nog, a Ferengi who is the station's only other inhabitant in his age group. Jake eventually becomes a reporter with the Federation News Service. Throughout the seven seasons, both Jake and Nog evolve from young children into young men with storylines showing their rites of passage, successes, and mishaps.|
|Armin Shimerman||Quark||Bar Owner||Seasons 1–7||Ferengi||Civilian|
|Quark is the owner of a bar. Like most of his species (with the notable exceptions of his brother Rom and eventually his nephew Nog), he is extremely greedy and willing to do whatever it takes to acquire more latinum. This almost invariably brings him into conflict with Odo. Quark does, however, display a moral code on several occasions during the series, electing to save lives rather than obtaining monetary benefit. Sisko also considers Quark an anchor to the merchant community and social potpourri of the station and repeatedly took steps to keep him in operation on the station.|
|Rosalind Chao||Keiko O'Brien||
|Andrew J. Robinson||Elim Garak||Tailor||Seasons 1–7||Cardassian||Civilian|
|Chase Masterson||Leeta||Seasons 3–7||Bajoran||Civilian|
|Penny Johnson Jerald||Kasidy Yates||Freighter Captain||Seasons 3–7||Human||Civilian|
|Louise Fletcher||Winn Adami||Seasons 1–7||Bajoran||Civilian|
|Majel Barrett||Lwaxana Troi||Federation Ambassador||Seasons 1,3,4||Betazoid||Ambassador|
|Mark Allen Shepherd||Morn||Freighter Captain||Seasons 1–7||Lurian||Civilian|
|J. G. Hertzler||Martok||Seasons 4–7||Klingon||
|Kenneth Marshall||Michael Eddington||
|Robert O'Reilly||Gowron||Leader of the Klingon High Council||Seasons 3–5,7||Klingon||Chancellor|
|Philip Anglim||Bareil Antos||Vedek||Seasons 1–3,6||Bajoran||Civilian|
|Camille Saviola||Opaka Sulan||Kai||Seasons 1,2,4||Bajoran||Civilian|
|Jeffrey Combs||Brunt||Liquidator, FCA||Seasons 3–7||Ferengi||Civilian|
|Weyoun||Second in Command of Dominion Forces in the Alpha Quadrant||Seasons 4–7||Vorta||Dominion Diplomat|
|Tora Ziyal||Student||Seasons 4–6||Bajoran/Cardassian||Civilian|
|Salome Jens||Female Changeling||Founder of the Dominion||Seasons 3,4,6,7||Changeling||Founder|
|Barry Jenner||William Ross||Allied Forces Commander, DS9||Seasons 6–7||Human||Vice Admiral|
|James Darren||Vic Fontaine||Entertainer||Seasons 6–7||Hologram||N/A|
|Duncan Regehr||Shakaar Edon||First Minister, Bajor||Seasons 3–5||Bajoran||Civilian|
|Wallace Shawn||Zek||Grand Nagus||Seasons 1–3,5–7||Ferengi||Civilian|
|Tiny Ron||Maihar'du||Servant & Body Guard||Seasons 1–3,5–7||Hupyrian||Civilian|
|Brock Peters||Joseph Sisko||Restaurant Owner||Seasons 4,6,7||Human||Civilian|
The setting of the show—a space station rather than a starship—fostered a rich assortment of recurring characters. It was not unheard of for "secondary" characters to play as much of a role in an episode as the regular cast, if not more. For example, "The Wire" focused almost entirely on Elim Garak, while "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" featured Weyoun, with a secondary plot centered on Nog. "It's Only a Paper Moon" relied on Nog and holographic crooner Vic Fontaine (James Darren) to carry the story.
Several Cardassian characters figure prominently in DS9, particularly Gul Dukat, the main villain of the series, played by Marc Alaimo. A complex character, he undergoes several transformations before ultimately becoming profoundly evil, and Sisko's archenemy by the show's conclusion. A StarTrek.com article about Star Trek's greatest villains described Gul Dukat as "possibly the most complex and fully-developed bad guy in Star Trek history".
Elim Garak, portrayed by Andrew Robinson, is the only Cardassian who remains (in exile) on the space station when the Federation and the Bajorans take over. Widely suspected of being an agent of the Obsidian Order, the feared Cardassian secret police, he maintains that he is merely a simple tailor. Garak's skills and contacts on Cardassia prove invaluable on several occasions, and he becomes a pivotal figure in the war with the Dominion.
Damar (Casey Biggs) is initially a glinn serving under Gul Dukat aboard the freighter Groumall, later to become his loyal aide and rise in stature as Dukat regains prominence. He becomes the new leader of the Cardassian Union when Dukat has an emotional breakdown, precipitated by his daughter's death at the hands of Damar ("Sacrifice of Angels"). As the Dominion War progresses, Damar becomes increasingly dissatisfied with Cardassia's relationship with the Dominion. The tipping point is reached when the Dominion forms an alliance with the Breen and Cardassia is relegated to a secondary and increasingly marginalized role ("Strange Bedfellows"). Damar forms and leads an insurgency against the Dominion, playing a vital role in its eventual defeat ("What You Leave Behind").
Jeffrey Combs (of Re-Animator fame) has stated that he had auditioned for the role of William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when Jonathan Frakes (who won the part) later directed the DS9 episode "Meridian", he recommended Combs for a part. Combs made his Star Trek and DS9 debut as a one-episode alien named Tiron, before being cast as the Ferengi Brunt and the Vorta Weyoun. He would go on to appear in 31 episodes of DS9, playing four distinct characters—five, if one counts the "mirror universe" version of Brunt. In "The Dogs of War", he also became one of the few Star Trek actors to play two distinct roles (Brunt and Weyoun) in the same episode. He also appeared in the series Star Trek: Enterprise, as the Andorian commander Shran. He is one of few people to have appeared in three of four modern Star Trek series.
In addition to Quark and his brother Rom (Max Grodénchik), several other Ferengi had recurring roles, among them their shrewd mother Ishka (Andrea Martin, later Cecily Adams), who eventually engineers a social revolution on the Ferengi home world, Rom's son Nog (Aron Eisenberg), the first Ferengi to join Starfleet, and Grand Nagus Zek (Wallace Shawn), the Ferengi leader. Though she is Bajoran, the character Leeta (Chase Masterson), a Dabo girl in Quark's bar and later Rom's wife, is often involved with the Ferengi storyline. After Ishka's social revolution, Grand Nagus Zek names Rom as the Grand Nagus to lead the "new" Ferenginar.
The Klingon Empire plays a more significant role in DS9 than in any other Star Trek series. Aside from Worf, recurring Klingon characters include Chancellor Gowron (Robert O'Reilly), leader of the Empire, who previously appeared in The Next Generation. In one of the series' final episodes, he was challenged and killed by Worf for sending Klingon troops on suicide missions to discredit General Martok (J. G. Hertzler) during the Dominion War; after killing Gowron, Worf passes leadership of the empire to Martok. Kor, a Klingon character from Star Trek: The Original Series resurfaces in three DS9 episodes. One of them, "Blood Oath", unites Kor with two other Klingons from the original series: Koloth and Kang. John Colicos, William Campbell, and Michael Ansara reprised their original series roles.
Morn is a minor character who is a fixture in a bar, spending seven years sitting at Quark's. According to The Star Trek Encyclopedia, it became a running joke that, despite the other characters' remarks on how talkative and funny he is, he never speaks a word on camera. Morn did have a line in the script for pilot episode "Emissary", but it was edited for episode run time, after which the creators conceived the joke that he never talks.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||20||January 3, 1993||June 20, 1993|
|2||26||September 26, 1993||June 12, 1994|
|3||26||September 26, 1994||June 19, 1995|
|4||26||October 2, 1995||June 17, 1996|
|5||26||September 30, 1996||June 16, 1997|
|6||26||September 29, 1997||June 17, 1998|
|7||26||September 30, 1998||June 2, 1999|
In the first episode, Starfleet Commander Benjamin Sisko arrives (along with his young son, Jake) at Deep Space Nine, a space station formerly run by the Cardassians during their oppressive occupation of Bajor, a planet which the space station orbits. He is assigned to run the station jointly with the newly liberated Bajorans as they recover from the Cardassian occupation, to help pave the way for Bajor's entry into the Federation. Sisko and Jadzia Dax stumble upon the first stable wormhole ever found and discover that it is inhabited by beings who are not bound by normal space and time. To the strongly religious people of Bajor, the wormhole aliens are their gods (the Prophets) and the wormhole itself is the long-prophesied Celestial Temple, where they reside. Sisko himself is hailed as the Emissary of the Prophets, through whom the Prophets primarily act.
This provides the basis for a long-lasting story arc. Sisko initially considers his role as a religious icon with open discomfort and skepticism, referring to the Prophets simply as "wormhole aliens" and striving to keep his role as commander of the station distinct from any religious obligations that the Bajorans try to place on him. Later, he becomes more accepting of his role and, by the end of the series, he openly embraces it. The political and religious implications of this on the Bajorans and its spiritual leaders (most notably, Winn Adami) also provide a central arc that lasts until the end of the series.
The station crew early on has to contend with a human resistance group known as the Maquis. Rooted in the events of The Next Generation episode "Journey's End", in which Native American settlers refuse to leave when their colony world is given to Cardassia as part of a treaty, the Maquis is an example for the show’s exploration of darker themes: its members are Federation citizens who take up arms against Cardassia in defense of their homes, and some—such as Calvin Hudson, a long-time friend of Sisko's, and Michael Eddington, who defects while serving aboard the station—are Starfleet officers. The show’s sharp departure from traditional Star Trek themes can be seen in episodes such as "For the Cause", in which Eddington complains to Sisko, "Everybody should want to be in the Federation. Nobody leaves paradise. In some ways, you’re even worse than the Borg. At least they tell you about their plans for assimilation. You assimilate people and they don’t even know it." The Maquis also allows DS9 to subvert some longstanding Star Trek icons: Thomas Riker, a duplicate of Enterprise-D first officer Commander William Riker (also played by Jonathan Frakes; character first appeared in ST:TNG's "Second Chances" episode), is revealed in the episode "Defiant" to be a member of the Maquis who gains access to the station's crew and facilities by impersonating the Enterprise's Riker.
The Dominion War
The second-season episode, "Rules of Acquisition" marks the first mention of the Dominion, a ruthless empire in the Gamma Quadrant, though they are not fully introduced until the second-season finale, "The Jem'Hadar". It is led by "the Founders", a race of shape-shifting Changelings, the same species as station security chief Odo. They were once persecuted by non-shape-shifters (whom they call "Solids") and they seek to impose "order" upon any who could potentially harm them, which includes nearly all Solids. The Founders have created or genetically modified races to serve them: the Vorta, sly and subversive diplomats, and the Jem’Hadar, their fearless shock troops. These races worship the Founders as gods.
At the start of DS9’s third season ("The Search"), with the threat of a Dominion attack looming from the other side of the wormhole, Commander Sisko returns from Starfleet Headquarters on Earth with the USS Defiant, a prototype starship that was originally built to fight the Borg. It remains stationed at Deep Space Nine until season seven, providing an avenue for plot lines away from the station. With the third season, writers from the now completed Next Generation began to write regularly for DS9.
The Dominion forms an uneasy alliance with the Cardassians in the fifth-season episodes "In Purgatory's Shadow" and "By Inferno's Light" and goes to war with the other major powers of the Alpha Quadrant in the season finale "Call to Arms". Throughout the series, loyalties and alliances change repeatedly: pacts with the Cardassians are made, broken, and remade; a short war with the Klingons flares up and is settled, and the formerly neutral Romulans ally themselves with the Federation. This last alliance is made in an attempt to turn the war around, but comes as a result of criminal and duplicitous acts on Sisko and resident Cardassian Garak's part, thus providing an example of the moral ambiguity prevalent in DS9 in comparison to the other Star Trek series.
Another example of DS9’s darker nature is the introduction of Section 31, a secret organization dedicated to preserving the Federation way of life at any cost. This shadow group, introduced in "Inquisition", justifies its unlawful, unilateral tactics by claiming that it is essential to the continued existence of the Federation. Section 31 repeatedly states that if you inquire into the matter with the Federation, they will deny Section 31's existence. Section 31 features prominently in several episodes of the Dominion War arc, especially as it is revealed that it attempted a genocide of the Founders.
In DS9, the Ferengi are no longer an enemy of the Federation, but rather an economic power whose political neutrality is, for the most part, respected. A number of episodes explore their capitalistic nature, while others delve into the race’s sexist social norms. Unlike their depiction in Star Trek: The Next Generation, where they were generally portrayed simply as sexist buffoons for comedic purposes, in DS9 they received a more complex depiction, with the female partner (Ishka) of the Grand Nagus leading a women's rights rebellion on the Ferengi homeworld, and Rom, Quark's brother, leading a strike against unfair working conditions in Quark's bar. Also, Jake Sisko's best friend, Nog, has to deal with Starfleet's more liberal attitudes towards women while Jake learns to deal with his friend's cultural background in a respectful manner rather than risk the loss of their friendship. Nog later decides to join Starfleet, the first Ferengi to do so.
The Mirror Universe
Several episodes of DS9 explore the theme of the Mirror Universe, first touched upon in the TOS episode "Mirror, Mirror". In the second-season episode "Crossover", the DS9 crew first becomes aware of this alternate universe when Kira and Dr. Bashir experience operational difficulties while traveling through the Wormhole and wind up back on the station in the Mirror Universe dominated by the Klingon–Cardassian alliance. They discover that it is not DS9 to which they have returned but Terok Nor. Bajor is not friendly and there is no Federation here. "Terrans", as they are called in this universe, are ruthless barbarians according to the Intendant (Kira's mirror self) – the Terran Empire occupied Bajor for decades much as Cardassia had in the normal universe. The Klingon–Cardassian alliance eventually formed and Bajor was freed from Terran occupation, later enslaving Terrans as ore miners on the orbiting space station Terok Nor. Enslaved as they are, the Terran workers liberate themselves and form a resistance movement, as seen in several other DS9 episodes ("Through the Looking Glass", "Shattered Mirror", "Resurrection", "The Emperor's New Cloak").
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DS9 was the first TV show in the Star Trek franchise to use computer-generated imagery (CGI) for exterior space shots. Although a few other television series, like Babylon 5, were using CGI exclusively to avoid the high expense of model photography, the Star Trek franchise had continued to use primarily physical models for exterior space shots because producers felt models provided more realism.
The USS Defiant was the first full-fledged starship in the Star Trek franchise to have a CGI model used in regular production. It was first built and animated by VisionArt, which was responsible for the morphing of Odo. The CGI Defiant was featured heavily in the Season 4 episode "Starship Down", where it battled a CGI Jem'Hadar ship in a CGI gas giant's atmosphere.
The series started using Foundation Imaging and Digital Muse in 1997 (Seasons 6 and 7) for its effects as part of the ongoing storyline of the Dominion occupation of the station. However, the Deep Space Nine station itself remained a physical model throughout the series' seven-year run except for the final scene of the series. In October 2006, the physical model of the station was sold for $132,000 in an auction at Christie's auction house in New York City.
The opening sequence was likewise modified in the fourth season, most notably by the introduction of CGI inserts of construction work being performed on the station's exterior by suited maintenance crews, and more docking and launching activity by ships, along with subtle colored wisps of nebulae added to the background starfield. Accordingly, the solo trumpet (preceded by a solo French horn) featured prominently in the main theme by Dennis McCarthy to accentuate the lonely isolation of the outpost was now augmented by a chorus of brass as the station attained a more bustling atmosphere following the presence of the wormhole.
Although DS9's ratings remained solid, it was never as successful as the syndicated Star Trek: The Next Generation, with approximately 6% versus 11% of US households watched during sweeps months. However, it continued to perform better than its network sibling Star Trek: Voyager which averaged around 5% according to the Nielsen ratings. One factor was the increasingly crowded syndicated marketplace, which provided viewers with a number of alternative television series to follow. Another factor was the minimal promotion for DS9, as Paramount focused its efforts on its flagship network show Star Trek: Voyager. Finally, from 1995 onwards, most of the independent stations joined new networks (UPN and WB), and these primetime shows gradually pushed syndicated programming into less favorable time slots as the US television market expanded from four networks (in 1987 when TNG premiered) to six.
DS9 was well received by critics, with TV Guide describing it as "the best acted, written, produced and altogether finest" Star Trek series. Despite debuting in the shadow of The Next Generation, DS9 achieved a considerable level of success in its own right. According to a press release through Newswire on April 7, 1999, it was the #1 syndicated show in the United States for adults 18–49 and 25–54. The characters of DS9 were featured on the cover of TV Guide ten times during its run, including several "special issue" editions in which a set of four different-covered versions were printed.
The series won a number of awards. It was nominated for Emmy Awards every year of its run, including for makeup, cinematography, art direction, special effects, hairstyling, music (direction and composition), and costumes. Of these, it won two for makeup (for "Captive Pursuit" and "Distant Voices"), one for special visual effects (for "Emissary"), and one for its main title theme music (by composer Dennis McCarthy). It was also nominated for two Hugo Awards in the category of Best Dramatic Presentation for "The Visitor" and "Trials and Tribble-ations".
Deep Space Nine drew praise from African-American, Latino and other minority viewers for its handling of the minority characters, particularly the Sisko family members. In addition, actor Alexander Siddig (who portrayed Dr. Bashir) expressed his enthusiasm for the fact that he, with his English accent, unusual screen name at time of casting (Siddig El Fadil), and North African heritage was a main character on a prominent television show despite being not as easily racially identifiable to audiences as many other actors and characters were on TV at the time.
Andrew J. Robinson commented on DS9 not being as popular as its predecessors: "It's not the most popular because it's the most morally ambiguous... Whenever you have characters who are gray rather than black and white... Although they are more interesting, they are more difficult for people to get a handle on. I loved DS9 because they were gray, because the characters were not easily definable, but that's not for everybody".
Author Terry J. Erdmann commented: "DS9 was never as popular as its two predecessors, although it arguably was a more critically acclaimed series".
Former cast members and staff
In a 2007 interview with iF Magazine, George Takei, who had played the character Hikaru Sulu in The Original Series, criticized DS9 for being the polar opposite of Gene Roddenberry's philosophy and vision of the future. However, D. C. Fontana stated in an interview that Roddenberry would have liked it and its dark themes, since he was a World War II veteran. Bjo Trimble, one of the major forces behind the letter-writing campaign that helped renew the original series for its third season, commented that she thought Roddenberry would have "come to like DS9, had he lived to see it," and that "the only reason there were not full battles in early Trek is lack of funds to pull it off, and lack of technology to show it. Otherwise, GR would certainly have added it; he knew what audiences liked".
Roddenberry himself is quoted in The Making of Star Trek DS9 as having doubts that a non-exploration show could work, and being displeased with early concepts presented to him in 1991. However, Rick Berman stated in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion that Roddenberry had given him his blessing for developing it close to his death.
At Shore Leave 14 in July 1992, Majel Barrett commented on Roddenberry's involvement, saying: "He knew about it, but he was not about to become involved. He had done what he wanted to do and that was it. He just wished them Godspeed and go ahead. And as long as the name Star Trek is on it, yes, the estate will have a part of the action."
Ronald D. Moore, one of the show's main writers (who previously wrote for Star Trek: The Next Generation and went on to create the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica), praised the show as the "ultimate achievement for the [Star Trek] franchise" in 2002:
I think Deep Space [Nine] was the show that really took Star Trek as far as you could take it. You have the original series which is a sort of a landmark, it changes everything about the way science fiction is presented on television, at least space-based science fiction. Then you have Next Generation which, for all of its legitimate achievements is still a riff on the original. It's still sort of like, ok, it's another star ship and it's another captain – it's different but it's still a riff on the original. Here comes Deep Space [Nine] and it just runs the table in a different way. It just says ok, you think you know what Star Trek is, let's put it on a space station, and let's make it darker. Let's make it a continuing story, and let's continually challenge your assumptions about what this American icon means. And I think it was the ultimate achievement for the franchise. Personally, I think it's the best of all of them, I think it's an amazing piece of work.
On June 30, 1993, between seasons one and two, DS9 followed the example of other Star Trek series in releasing the original score from its pilot episode on CD. The title theme was also made available as a CD single. Music from several other episodes is included on the The Best of Star Trek releases.
Originally created in the hope that Frank Sinatra, Jr. would take the role, the character Vic Fontaine (instead played by 1960s heart throb James Darren) was introduced in the sixth-season episode "His Way". The character was a self-aware holographic Las Vegas lounge singer and night club owner from the early 1960s. Vic was popular with the station's crew and performed many period songs by, among others, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. Darren's role allowed him to release This One's from the Heart on August 24, 1999, featuring songs that Vic sang in the show and other period pieces.
On February 12, 2013, La La Land Records released a limited edition, four-disc soundtrack collection entitled the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Collection. The discs contain various cues from episodes scored by Dennis McCarthy, Jay Chattaway, David Bell, Paul Baillargeon, John Debney, Richard Bellis and Gregory Smith. Only 3000 copies of the collection were printed.
VHS, Laserdisc and DVD releases
Episodes of DS9 were made available on VHS cassettes. The series was released on VHS in the UK starting August 2, 1993. Each video cassette contained two episodes and unique artwork and character/plot information. The first VHS release in the United States came on November 19, 1996.
Beginning in 1996, DS9 began releases on LaserDisc. Picture and sound quality in this format was significantly better than that of VHS cassettes; however, the Laserdisc format was discontinued in 1997. Only 30 discs, or the first 60 episodes, were released, comprising the first, second and part of the third season before Pioneer halted its production of Star Trek laserdiscs in October 1999. DS9 LaserDiscs were also produced for the Japanese and European markets. In Japan, the first five seasons were released in a series of ten boxed sets (two per season) before they were canceled around the same time as the US releases. In Europe, a select few DS9 episodes were released on PAL laserdisc: "Emissary", also included in the boxed set Star Trek: The Pilots; "The Way of the Warrior", parts 1 and 2; and "Trials and Tribble-ations" from DS9, "The Trouble with Tribbles" from Star Trek: The Original Series, and "More Tribbles, More Troubles" from Star Trek: The Animated Series.
Following the DVD release of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 2002, DS9 was released on DVD beginning in February 2003. DS9 was released in boxed sets of one season each which were released approximately one month apart. Each season contains several "special features", including a biographical look at a main character, information from make-up designer Michael Westmore on how various aliens were created, and interviews with cast members and crew members.
The sets also include "Section 31" easter eggs that give a brief look at other aspects of the show. The Region 2 and 4 DVDs also come with bonus CD-ROM discs that allow users to build a "virtual" DS9 on their computer with each release (this software can no longer be installed as the on-line registration is no longer available). On October 26, 2004, a boxed set of all seven season sets was also released.
Pocket Books has published several dozen books based on DS9. Some of these were novelizations of memorable episodes, such as "Emissary", "The Search" and "What You Leave Behind", which were usually published a few days after the episode aired in the United States. Several novels were part of "crossover" series between the Star Trek franchises, while others were part of other franchises but dealt with events laid out in DS9. For example, The Battle of Betazed tells of how Deanna Troi attempted to resist the Dominion occupation of her world (mentioned in the episode "In the Pale Moonlight"). Most focus on the station and its crew, with a notable exception being Ira Steven Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe’s Legends of the Ferengi.
The "Millennium" series by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, published by Pocket Books beginning in 2000, consists of The Fall of Terok Nor (book 1), The War of the Prophets (book 2), and Inferno (book 3). The series lays out an alternate ending to DS9 (the novels were actually written before the series concluded) in which a second wormhole is created by the actions of a number of shady characters, destroying the station. In the space-time distortion that occurs, most of the crew are transported 25 years into the future—a future in which the Federation and its allies are virtually crushed and a fanatical sect of Bajorans who worships the Pah-wraiths have ascended to power and plan to destroy the universe to bring about a higher state of existence. Inferno ends the series as an unexpected mode of time travel is discovered after the end of the universe, allowing the DS9 crew to alter past events.
Avatar, a two-part novel published on May 1, 2001, picked up where the series left off. It began season 8 of DS9, into which A Stitch in Time (a biographical look at the life of Garak, written by Andrew Robinson himself) was incorporated retroactively. The events of "What You Leave Behind", DS9’s series finale, caused some radical changes to occur in Season 8. As Benjamin Sisko had entered the Celestial Temple, Colonel Kira was given command of the station while a new commander named Elias Vaughn took over her position, Garak became the leader of post-war Cardassia, Odo helped the Changelings rebuild, and Rom presided over the Ferengi Alliance.
Other publications, such as the Deep Space Nine Technical Manual and Deep Space Nine Companion, are common to most of the Trek series. The DS9 Companion contains detailed episode guides and interviews with actors, writers, directors and other staff members.
DS9 series influences were included in role-playing game reference books from Last Unicorn Games and Decipher. Additionally, several novels have also been released in audio form, narrated by Rene Auberjonois and Armin Shimerman among others.
Outside its line of novels, DS9 has been the subject of several comic books published by Malibu Comics, Wildstorm Comics, Marvel Comics and IDW. One comic is a spin-off, detailing Nog’s experiences at the Starfleet Academy. Another DS9 comic book series became an exceptional example of licensed Star Trek works influencing each other, as a major character from Wildstorm's N-Vector, Tiris Jast, appeared in the Avatar, Part I novel.
Several video games focusing on DS9 have been released. The first was Crossroads of Time, a 1995 side-scrolling game released for the Super NES and Genesis. The game takes place around the time of the series premiere, borrowing some stories from early episodes such as "Past Prologue" and creating others. A number of problems reportedly impeded the game's development process, and it met with mixed reactions.
Three DS9-themed games were released for the PC: Harbinger in 1996, The Fallen in 2000, and Dominion Wars in 2001. A board game was released as part of the now-defunct "component board game" series, which included an intercompatible board game for Star Trek: The Next Generation. DS9's role-playing book was one of several that failed to be released into wide circulation when Decipher, then publisher of the Star Trek role-playing game, discontinued its line.
The series features prominently in the Star Trek Customizable Card Game, particularly its second edition. In the game's first edition, Deep Space Nine is the titular fifth set, followed by one entitled "The Dominion" and several other DS9-themed sets. In the second edition, there are two types of cards for the United Federation of Planets, which may be placed at Earth or Deep Space Nine. The Ferengi, Dominion, Cardassian, Bajoran, and Maquis affiliations are primarily DS9-derived material, while the Klingon affiliation also borrows strongly from it.
The PC game Star Trek Online features Deep Space Nine as a trading hub. The lower ring (The Promenade) contains vendors, and the upper ring offers views of surrounding space.
Along with the rest of the Star Trek franchise, DS9 has been the subject of much merchandizing. Action figures, keychains, models, and other items have been released. The station itself, which is highly recognizable and iconic of the series, is the subject of many of these items. Paramount also sells Starfleet uniforms; among the styles is the so-called "DS9-style" uniform, which is primarily black with a division color (red for command, yellow for engineering or security, blue/green for medical and the sciences) on the shoulders.
DS9 was represented at Star Trek: The Experience, an attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton which recreated both Quark’s Bar & Restaurant and the Promenade. The former served Star Trek-style food and drinks, and hosted gatherings such as conventions. The latter (called the Shopping Promenade) sold various souvenirs; among the items for sale were "official" Starfleet uniforms and action figures. The attraction closed in September 2008.
- The featurette "A Bold New Beginning" can be found on the DVD set Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Complete First Season. In it, Rick Berman and others detail the early design phases of the series and what their goals were in creating it.
- Source: "New Frontiers". DVD extra included with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Complete Second Season.
- "Trek Expo Tulsa, Oklahoma". sidcity.net (official site). June 25, 2005. Archived from the original on June 26, 2008. Retrieved July 8, 2008.
- Source: "Crew Dossier – Jadzia Dax". Included with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Complete Second Season.
- Source: "Charting New Territory". DVD extra included with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Complete Fourth Season. Of Worf, writer/producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe said in an October 20, 2002 interview that the studio felt DS9's ratings were sagging at the end of the third season, and he and the other writers were asked to give viewers a new reason to watch. Their answer was to make Worf a part of the cast.
- Combs, Jeffrey. Interview conducted January 30, 2003. Included as a "Hidden File" with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Complete Third Season.
- Okuda, Michael; Okuda, Denise (1999). The Star Trek Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future. Pocket Books. p. 837. ISBN 0-671-53609-5.
- "Deep Space Nine". Archived from the original on October 25, 2009. Retrieved December 5, 2007.[dead link]
- Although it does not specify an issue or volume, the publisher’s description for the DS9 relaunch novel Unity uses this quote to tout the book.
- ""Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993) - Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- Pounds, Michael Charles (2009). "'Explorers' – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine". African Identities. Routledge. 7 (2): 209–235. doi:10.1080/14725840902808892.[dead link]
- Alexander Siddig. Interview dated 2002. 'Crew Dossier: Julian Bashir' featurette, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Season Six DVD.
- "Robinson On Why He Couldn't Leave Garak Behind: Andrew J. Robinson". TrekToday. 2002. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Walker, Adam (2012). "Paula M. Block & Terry J. Erdmann: TNG 365 Interview, Part 2". Trekcore. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- Elliot, Sean (November 20, 2007). "Exclusive: George Takei Thanks Fans For 40 Years of 'Star Trek'". iF Magazine. Archived from the original on November 23, 2007. Retrieved November 20, 2007.
- Pascale, Anthony (16 August 2007). "Interview – Dorothy Fontana On New Comics, New Novel + Canon, DS9, ENT & New Movie". TrekMovie.com. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- Tyler, Greg (August 1999). "Bjo Trimble email interview". trekplace.com. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- Tyler, Greg (July 1992). "Star Trek Deep Space Nine Pre-Premiere Bible". Trek Writer's Guild. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- Ronald D. Moore. Interview dated December 10, 2002, 'Ending an Era' featurette, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Season Seven DVD.
- "Star Trek Soundtracks: Emissary". Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- "Star Trek Soundtracks: The Best of Star Trek: Volume 2". Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- Erdmann, Terry J.; Block, Paula M. (2000). Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion. Simon & Schuster. p. 562. ISBN 0671501062.
- "LA LA LAND RECORDS, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine". Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- "Star Trek Soundtracks: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Collection". Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- Young, Blaine (22 November 2003). "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine". Blam Entertainment Group. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
- On his personal website, lead designer Maurice Molyneaux provides behind-the-scenes information and personal reflections about the development of Crossroads of Time.
- "Star Trek Deep Space Nine – Component Game System". Board Game Geek. Retrieved August 16, 2006.
- A comprehensive history of the first edition. Of note, particularly in the second edition, are the Bajoran and Dominion affiliations and the "Deep Space Nine"-oriented United Federation of Planets option; the material for all three comes almost exclusively from DS9. The Cardassian, Ferengi and Maquis affiliations also draw the majority of their source material from the series.
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