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Archive for July 20th, 2017

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by Sierra Fox and Nicholas Perry

It was the Star Trek program that wasn’t Star Trek: The Next Generation. The space station centered tv show that wasn’t Babylon 5. (Now, it’s the show Ron Moore worked on before Battlestar Galactica.) Despite never quite getting out of the shadows, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was one of the big three sci-fi shows of the ’90s (Babylon 5 and The X-Files filling out the trio.)

A spin-off of Star Trek: The Next Generation, DS9 represented a significant departure from the established formula. Where Next Gen had an episodic structure with almost all problems solved within the episode, DS9 was increasingly arc-based and focused on consequences. Where Next Gen‘s main cast was all but forbidden to argue with each other, DS9‘s was designed for interpersonal conflict. Plot threads (and characters) were carried over from Next Gen and refashioned into a new, complicated picture of the Star Trek universe.

The series starts shortly after the end of the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor (depicted as something of a cross between the Holocaust, European colonialism, and the Japanese occupation of China in World War II). When the provisional Bajoran government reluctantly turns to the Federation for protection against further attacks by the Cardassian Empire, the Federation agrees to send personnel to help staff and upgrade the abandoned Cardassian space station Empok Nor, newly christened Deep Space Nine. After a stable traversable wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant is unexpectedly discovered near Bajor,  Deep Space Nine and its crew is placed at the center of a series of geopolitical conflicts that eventually threaten the entire Alpha Quadrant.

{Note from the writers: Nick watched Next Gen and started watching DS9 from its beginning. Sierra started watching with “The Way of the Warrior,” the opening two-parter of season 4, which functions as something of a second pilot. Either approach works, but it does affect our view of things. We’ll mention those effects as we go on.}

Led by Commander (later Captain) Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) and his second in command, Bajoran liaison officer Major Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor), the main cast also includes Starfleet officers Lt. Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell), Chief Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney, reprising his Next Gen character), Dr. Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig), the shapeshifting Constable Odo (Rene Auberjonois), Ferengi bartender Quark (Armin Shimerman), and Sisko’s teenage son, Jake (Cirroc Lofton). They are eventually joined by Lt. Cmdr. Worf (Michael Dorn, also reprising his Next Gen role) in season 4, and Counselor Ezri Dax (Nicole de Boer, replacing Terry Farrell) in season 7. (more…)

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