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  • Warning: Spoilers
    DS 9 is simply the best of the Star Trek series, and, I suspect, will eventually emerge from its black sheep status and be remembered as the most mature and compelling SF series of the 20th century.

    So what makes it so good? The whole overarching concept about Bajor, the wormhole aliens, Cisco's origins and destiny, the tension between different races and characters, and (perhaps most of all) the _continuity_ once the Dominion War begins (in many ways the last four seasons are more like one collossal 75-hour movie than a series of discreet episodes).

    If there is a fault to DS9 it is probably that it took some time to hit its straps. The early seasons were not up to the quality of seasons 4-7, but when Worf arrives, The Defiant arrives, Cisco shaves his head, and The Dominion set their sites on the Alpha Quadrant, you have yourselves a hands down classic for the final 4 seasons.

    Character development and personal relationships are handled far more satisfyingly and richly here than in any other ST series. There is nothing elsewhere in the ST franchise to compare with the Odo/Kira relationship (or even the Odo/Quark, Bashir/O'brien relationships if it comes to that). There are no dud major characters (even if Avery Brooks is given to occaisional fits of extreme over-acting) - and nestled in amongst the Dominion War story arc somewhere is that one little jewel of an episode where the entire cast are working for a SF pulp magazine in the late 40's - an absolute pearler that I could watch over and again.

    I became far more emotionally attached to the characters of DS9 than any other Start Trek series. I recently re-watched the whole thing on video, and was genuinely sad to see it end, all over again.

    Damn, I miss that show. They could have run it forever as far as I'm concerned. The really sad thing is, it was such a perfectly self-contained story that there is almost no prospect of any DS9 movies - which is doubly tragic, if the Next Generation movies are going to finish with Nemesis.

    Or maybe not. Let's face it; Star Trek has failed on the big screen more often than it has scored. Where it really belongs is on the small screen, and DS 9 is the pinnacle of its achievement in that media, in my opinion.
  • Before DeepSpace 9 I could say that I was not much of an ST fan. But I rented our the first movie "Emmisary" once just to take a look at what some had been saying bout it. From here on I was hooked, this was the most rich and diverse universe I've seen in a long time. None of these one shot location scenes being whole planets. None of these random encounters every episode with a brand new planet and new race and having no consequence on other episodes to follow. No, DS9 was far more detailed, you have politics, religion , love, drama ... everything. It makes the show seem so real. Then coupled with some of the most uniqu , interesting characters you just can't but help fall in love with this show.

    A plot with such a well crafted and beautiful linear path always leaving you wanting more and wanting to know how it will all turn out. With the occasional intensly humourous episodes to the tears of a loss of major character. Deep Space 9 has it all and more.

    Words alone can not describe how entralling and captivating this show is, you really have to see it for yourself. Deep Space 9 has something about it that no other show has or can come close to achieving.

    Nothing compares.
  • Before Deep Space Nine aired back in 1993 I felt quite a bit of apprehension. How could they have a Star Trek series without a ship going off exploring? I wasn't going to watch it but being a fan Star Trek and Star Trek:The Next Generation I had to watch it.

    I was pleasantly surprised by Deep Space Nine. The stories were fantastic. The writers were very imaginative-they had to be. There was no jetting off in starships from planet to planet. Everything was set on Deep Space Nine which made for more interesting storylines. And storylines continued throughout the season. Deep Space Nine was not like most sci-fi shows where starships leave a planet at the end of the episode and jet off to their next adventure. Instead, all the action came to Deep Space Nine instead.

    The characters were good too and not all of them were buddies with each other. Avery Brooks made a good Commander and the talented Nana Visitor did a good job playing Kira. Two other memorable characters were the mysterious Odo and the slimy Quark.

    If anyone wants to watch a thought provoking show without seeing starships jetting off from galaxy to galaxy then this is the show for you.
  • DS9 is one of my all-time favorite television shows. It edges out Star Trek's original series just barely as my favorite in the franchise. I am not going to state that it's the best Star Trek series, because it definitely will not appeal to everybody, but it is my favorite.

    DS9 deviates from the Trek franchise formula in an important way - it is based on one location - a Cardassian-built space station near the planet Bejor. So even the architecture of the main set is alien - not another sterile militaristic star ship inhabited by a primarily white European crew - but a true Babel. Bejor has just been liberated from 60 years of occupation by an expansionist militaristic race - the Cardassians. Both Bejorans and Cardassians will play important roles throughout DS9. Since the station does not move much during the show's seven year run, DS9 has a much stronger sense of place than the other ST series, and is able to develop story arc and character continuity much more powerfully than the others.

    All of the major characters and most of the frequent returning characters have their own interwoven story arcs - most of which span the entire series. Ben Sisko (Avery Brooks), the station's commander, is a somewhat disgruntled Star Fleet officer who has several personal vendettas which have almost driven him from Star Fleet. He is also a single parent and a genius. In the very first episode, Sisko's arc begins and it is clear that his story will be the frame within which the entire series is organized - though the reasons for this will no become entirely clear until near the end. Also memorable are the gruff, shape-shifting Chief Constable Odo(Rene Auberjunois) who does not know what he is and where he came from; Kira (Nana Visitor) Sisko's aggressive and intense Bajoran second officer; Garak (Andy Robinson) a Cardassian Tailor and - possibly - spy, who is easily the most well-developed, well-acted and interesting recurring guest star Star Trek has ever had; Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) - the beautiful Trill science officer whose consciousness is enhanced by the memories and personality of a 600 year old symbiotic slug who lives in her stomach and has inhabited dozens of previous hosts; Julian Bashir (Alex Siddig) - the station's young, brilliant, adventurous and naive doctor; and Quark (Armin Shimmerman), the greedy, conniving, but entirely lovable Ferengi casino owner.

    The characters, cast, and serialized stories make DS9 stand apart from the franchise as the most powerfully plotted, intensely dramatic and politically charged Star Trek ever. The show is, however, not for those with limited attention spans and a disdain for complexity. While it isn't exactly hard to follow, the dialog is often dense and DS9 - more than any other Trek show - uses non-verbal communication very well. Brooks, Visitor and Robinson - all of whom are masters at this - are particularly non-verbal and make a big impression from the first few episodes.

    Throughout the series, there are constant underlying political intrigues and surprisingly little filler. Almost every story connects with the main story arc (Sisko's and Bejor's) in one way or another, and no time is wasted with aimless experimentation by the writing team (a problem Voyager and Enterprise both suffered from).

    The production is consistently theatrical in scope. The special effects are still - even today - above average for television, and even the new BSG doesn't approach the scope and coherence of the plot.

    Highly recommended for bright people looking for something more than typical TV drama normally delivers.
  • I won't say much about "Deep Space Nine" other than that it is the most well written, off-beat, and truly suspenseful of the Star Trek series. It is the series for everyone else... those who don't enjoy happy Star Trek (ie- "Next Generation), weird Star Trek (ie- "The Original"), or dumb Star Trek (ie- "Voyager").

    It has a much darker tone, with a story-line that, if anyone watched from the beginning of the story arc to what is on currently, could understand and enjoy. It doesn't have the traditional "We are the Champions and can solve any problem in an hour". It features low-life, people making mistakes in judgement, conflicts over spirituality, and a much more human and less superficial look at one of pop culture's little universes. It features war-torn individuals and petty conflicts over land. Problems with culture-clash, government conspiracy and corruption, etc... This list could go on and on.

    The main thing that makes "Deep Space Nine" different is that it is a Star Trek series for folks who don't want a lot of technobabble (not that there isn't any) Star Trek, where problems just go away or perfect people on a perfect ship that always win. It makes it more interesting for the watcher, almost like reading a novel. Most people, especially non-Trek fans, who had watched the series from its conception or joined when the story arc began about 4 years ago will know what I mean when I say this is an untraditional type of Star Trek. And those who haven't, try it. It's definitely a move away from the stereotype most folks have about the Star Trek series (though of the other Star Treks, I can't say the same.)
  • gabe-12920 January 2012
    I will say it started off kinda strange. most star trek series is spent having adventures on a star ship. This series for the most part stays on Deep space nine. Although there is still plenty of adventure. The thing that really makes this show so good is its large cast. It has many reoccurring secondary characters that help the the space station seem like a fascinating place for the show to take place. This story is much darker and more thought provoking than the other series. This series has so many things going for it.

    Characters actually grow and change realistically and has reoccurring villains that have real depth and you never know quite what they are going to do. kai Winn and gul dukat both grow and change from series beginning to end and are the best villains ever.

    This show has depth. It not all simple good guy and bad guy. There are complex motives behind many of the bad guys. Even the federation does some very bad things when they are in dire situations. People really have to live with the choices they have made. Problems from one episode don't just end with the episode like with TNG or the OS. you have to watch this from episode 1 to the end in order.

    This show is still very relevant today. Terrorism, genocide, martial law are all seen in this series.
  • This is easily the best of all the Star Trek series. The characters are likable, and develop well over time. Of course it helps that many of the characters are warm and funny and very well fleshed out. Quark is a favourite of mine, always funny and well acted. The story itself is great, and really picks up in season 4. Having a plot that develops throughout rather than just stand-alone stories like many of the Next Generation episodes helps it a lot. The Religion v Science aspects are an interesting addition to a science-fiction show. Ideas created in TNG are carried forward and developed, such as the Trills, while in TNG they simply move their personality to a new body in this the idea is taken further and the personalities are merged, making the race much more interesting. One of the great aspects of the show is the relationships between the characters. O'Brian and Julian seem like genuine friends, Odo and Quark and their rivalry, and the on going feud of Sisko and Gul Dukat, the two commanders of the Station. The series created some genuinely good characters. Sisko, the Federation Officer torn between duty and destiny. Garak, the traitor with decidedly dark past, and Gul Dukat, a truly great villain. The series succeeds with a grand plot, paints a wider picture of the Star Trek Universe, and would make for some great feature films.
  • I remember reading in a plane that there was going to be a new Star Trek Series based on a space station to premiere in January 1993. I had always found the idea of Star Trek very appealing and enjoyed a few movies and original episodes now and then. At that time, I had never really got into The Next Generation which my family and friends seemed to love, but I figured I would at least give this new show a try. As I eventually sat there with my little brother and watched the two-hour pilot, little did I know that this would change my life for the next seven years, as I would have to plan my weekends so that I could catch every new episodes on Saturday nights like football fans' semi-sacred Sunday afternoons.

    So why did I fall in love with the show? Why indeed do we fall in love? Well, there is always a part of the answer linked to resonance; something that stirs something strong and positive within you. The show is a whole package of powerful television and one of the best gifts I ever bough myself was the complete seven seasons in DVD. Now, besides the intangible, the 'magic' that comes from many elements like the beautiful mind that arises from firing neurons, here is why this television series is not only a great science-fiction experience, but ranks among the best television series of all time in my humble opinion.

    A) The Characters

    At the base of it all, the show's strength is with its interesting, conflicted and complex characters. Both the writers and actors bring life to characters that will invade your living room and your head, maybe your heart. The relationships they create on the busy space station are sure to keep you thinking, laughing or crying with them. They are very endearing and perfectly heroic and flawed. You get to know each and every one of them in a deep real-life-like layered way. You also get to see them progress and stay the same, throughout the journey.

    Beyond the friendship-like familiarity that will awaken in you the characters of Odo, Quark, Jadzia, Worf, Ezri, Kira, Julian, Miles and the Siskos, the guest characters are developed in an astonishingly similar depth. Again the writers and actors pull their heart out to create the most memorable recurring characters that feel as much part of the show as the regulars. Garak, Dukat, Rom, Nog, Leeta, Vic, Martok, Gowron, Wynn and Weyoun— to name a few—are as complex as alien DNA. It is like having a basketball team with superstars on the bench to support the starting five when needed.

    B) The Story

    Set on a space station —and the major critic and setback for most Trekkers that prefer an exploring ship a la Enterprise—the story is far from static. In fact, with the Star Trek fashion of exploring current human questions and themes in this futuristic backdrop, DS9 will explore everything from religion, war, death, slavery, genetic engineering, homosexuality (first homosexual kiss on TV!), geniuses, heroes, rebels, politics, commerce, racism, multiple personalities, memories, continuity, resurrection, time, peace, love, parenthood, marriage, espionage, mass murders, prison, biological warfare, terrorism, to the military and martyrdom. All that and more is explored in a thoughtful, meaningful way and kudos to the show for not only exploring them, but for remaining in the interesting gray area. There is nothing black and white. Everything (and I mean everything) is questionable and an opportunity for thoughts and discussion.

    The story is a balancing act between mundane nuances of life and epic goals, dreams and actions. If it is not a problem with Sisko's son at the space station school, it is the discovery of a new technology, the casual friendship of Miles and Julian, the encounter with a new race that may threaten the existence of the half the galaxy, Odo's existential crisis or the possible assassination of a prominent political or religious figure. All this is so well woven together and each has its importance in the smaller and grandeur scheme of things to make this fabricated Universe feel complete and utterly real and engaging.

    C) The People

    The writers, directors, cast and crew were without a doubt dedicated to make this thing work and it shows in the most obvious and subtle ways throughout the series. Actors will take the director chair on occasion to direct their colleagues or sit down with the writing team to discuss character development. Special effects, sets, costumes and make-up artists make crucial contributions to make the alien-filled universe seem believable. The passion that exists behind and in front of the camera is palpable and welcomed. You really feel that the whole production team has a common dream in bringing this labor of love to the viewer week after week. The consistent quality of the show over years (170+ episodes) from "Emissary" to "What You Leave Behind" is a testament to this desire to give more to the audience and create something to be proud of. Well, Ira et al, a sincere thank you and a hat-tipping bravo.
  • I'm 21 years old, not many of my friends watch star trek, as a matter of fact, I don't know anyone in my age group who watches star trek, too uncool for them. I'm almost ashame to say that voyager was my first love. first because of 7 of 9, she was the sexiest thing i've ever seen.

    But just out of curiosity I downloaded "Emissary" and "What you leave behind". I did the same for TNG, I downloaded "Encounter at Farpoint Station" and "All good things." Needless to say, I was most impressed with DS9. It was so real, well written and well acted.I downloaded as much episodes as i could find online. but I could only find about 50. Damn! so...

    I had no choice but to get the whole 7 season DVD collection. It was so expensive too. I think it's the most expensive DVD set series out there. Anyway It was a good investment. The episodes were so good. I watch them over and over. each time i see something new in the episodes and I appreciate it more.

    A part of me was wishing they would make a movie out of DS9 but after seeing what they did with TNG and nemesis..no way. Leave DS9 as it is. It's a thing of beauty. I only wished more people my age would give it a try. I mean i "loved" janeway,I thought she was great and the episodes were great but after seeing just a few episodes of DS9 i know it's the best and Dax is my girl...both of them. I love Kira too and Sisko(yea yea i know he's not as "charismatic" as picard but you know what, he's firm, direct and real. DS9 Pour Toujours
  • After half a century of occupation, the planet Bajor is finally free of the Cardassians(all but Garak, who remains, seemingly an exile… is he really just a tailor? Could he be a spy for them?). Well, more or less… the latter will continue to pester them, since there's now a treaty, and they retain some territories. The Provisional Government is a barely cohesive whole and doesn't have much support. Kira(Visitor, speaks her mind even when it'll get her in trouble) is the liaison between them and the Federation, who remain to support the rebuilding effort. The discovery of a nearby wormhole, the only stable known, complicates matters. It will enable travel back and forth between "our", quadrant, Alpha, and Gamma, which, until now, was so far away it made little sense to even consider going there. The orbiting station of Deep Space Nine will be a trading post and dock, dealing also with the plentiful traffic, all of which represents a potential help, or threat… to the safety of the war-torn lands. And a few seasons in, also once "the voice" of this has been found, tensions increase and what was a great show becomes an excellent one.

    Characters are the core, as with all good Star Trek. Credible, three-dimensional, well-acted(even when they have their body "taken over", etc.), passionate, every last one. Main and even some peripheral, the focus is evenly divided. The show likes and understands them all, and that is contagious. We don't meet as many new species or groups, but this means less one-offs, and most you meet, you will see again, learning more(without the mystery ever being lost) about them, seeing them(heck, everyone in this) in different situations: with or without power, at their peak or their lowest end, and running the gamut of emotions. The status quo will be shaken up... and these changes take time, not happening overnight. I should note that this review is co-written by my ex-fiancée. She has watched these more than I and helped me ensure that I covered every aspect here.

    Things are run by Benjamin Sisko(Brooks, wounded badass, not brooding, pragmatic but not jaded, charming). His kid Jake(Lofton, a real teen, unlike Wesley) and he maintain a natural father/son relationship. The latter's friend Nog(Eisenberg, dedicated), a Ferengi(capitalist, "let the buyer beware"), the two from different cultures, and the question is raised, are they a good or a bad influence on each other. His uncle Quark(Shimerman, giving us uncomfortable reminders of our past), who runs the bar/casino and attracts business, and his contacts can get off-the-record stuff done. He has a real give-and-take, banter-driven thing going on with Constable Odo(Auberjonois, using his T1000 powers for sting operations), the lonely, "non-human who gives us perspective on what we are like"(like Data or Spock) of this. I imagine he was based on those with Asperger's, and from personal experience, can say they do it extremely well.

    Officer of not techno-babble but actual science is Dax(Farrell, with the Dax symbiont in her giving the weight of many lives and their memories). Chief of Engineering Miles O'Brien(Meaney, an everyman) and his wife Keiko(Chao, a botanist), who have a Homer/Marge marriage… he may not always know how to make her happy, but he does love her and his efforts show that. And finally, Doctor Bashir(Siddig, young, arrogant, eager to prove. He has studied, not experienced). Prominent guests include Jeffrey Combs, who is always enjoyable to watch. Always present at the bar is Morn(Shepherd, a big, cute guy, who doesn't speak and hardly moves, we know about him from what others say about or to him, such as in response to an off-screen exchange. He has a ton of personality, and it's consistent, with the use of mostly just his eyes and gestures, reminiscent of Kevin Peter Hall, R.I.P., who performed The Predator, among others), a tribute to and anagram of Norm, of Cheers.

    This favors tense episodes with a climax and then a short wrap-up over an in-depth explanation. Like other sci-fi, it works on multiple levels, such as 'just wanting to enjoy the story' and 'thinking about/debating/analyzing', repeated viewings will allow you to think about the layers. It seems to have learned lessons from The Next Generation, it's so tightly written and executed. The theme of religion explored, almost every single idea explored in the show has, and is fair to, both sides. The Prophets(or to others, aliens) offer spiritual guidance, "helping people to accept situations, and to grow" without forcing rules upon people(though the people come up with some. They see everything, without time or context, but they show you only glimpses of your future, often something truly important to you.

    This features amazing production design, with tremendous attention to detail and credibility. It meticulously ties up anything resembling loose ends and plot threads. This is even more relevant now, 20 years later. It is the first Star Trek with a regular straight-up comic relief character, and it can be a tad annoying, and doesn't always fit with the otherwise mature content. They do stories, scenes and concepts that you've seen before, but they do them so well that you don't mind, and at times you'll even be happy to see their take on it. Politics, philosophical ideas and compelling SF concepts are explored, but that happens in other ST, as well... so here, there's the added dimension of inner conflict in the core group. Half of them have different backgrounds, goals and points of view than others, and this comes across. The tension is felt.

    There is disturbing content and some bloody violence in this. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys fiction… this has the closest to real people and the most universal stories of the franchise(you should have a basic understanding of the tech, since there is so much else going on here, it's too much to pick up), and if you watch only one series, it should definitely be this one. 10/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I loved this show, even though at the time it was out, I was rather young. I didn't get all of the plot lines. So when they put it back on Spike TV, I was delighted. The characters were complicated, hilarious and interesting and the story lines were fantastic. I can only think of maybe a handful of bad episodes*when I say a handful, I mean about 6, almost all of them having to do with the Grand Nagus.* Unlike Voyager, which kept jumping the shark every other episode, DS9 kept you interested with one storyline. The only time this show ever turned bad was when they killed off Jadzia. And as the 7th season progressed and we got more and more used to Ezri, the showed jumped back. In my opinion, it was just as good or even better than TNG and I think that they should really make a movie out of it. All we've been stuck with is Enterprise and reading the 8th season of DS9.
  • bkoganbing18 February 2010
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is one of those shows that I really wished was still going on. But if it had to end it certainly had one original ending which I'm not about to reveal. We can only hope that the SyFy channel which is running The Next Generation will bring this one back.

    Probably more than any of the other Star Trek shows this one certainly showed the universality of life. The human characters are Avery Brooks as Lt. Commander then Captain Ben Sisko, his son Jake played by Cirroc Lofton, station doctor Bashir played by Alexander Siddig and coming over from the Enterprise and The Next Generation was station engineer Myles O'Brien still played by Colm Meaney.

    The rest of the characters were not Terrans as SyFy folks like to call earth people. Major Kira was Bajoran, a planet right near the Deep Space Nine station and Sisko's number 2. Odo, Rene Auberjonois was a shape shifter and at first we're told that he's the only one of his kind. He and the Ferengi Quark had a running rivalry. Quark was Armin Shimerman and he was like Dr. Smith from Lost In Space, a man with a scheme for all occasions who provided the local entertainment such as it was on Deep Space Nine. Later Michael Dorn who was Worf on The Next Generation and a Klingon joined the Deep Space Nine Staff. And Andrew Robinson was one sly and craft Cardassian tailor who came late to the show, but had more layers to his character than an onion.

    The politics of the galaxy that we learned on The Next Generation was refined and honed to a fine edge on Deep Space Nine. Star Trek always had a great advantage in that it brought a guaranteed built-in audience for each succeeding show. It reached its height during Deep Space Nine. The franchise is still a moneymaker for Paramount.

    What I liked best about the show is that action, background, and character were all kept in balance by the writers. No one of these elements overwhelmed the other in an episode. The continuity between episodes was some of the best ever on a television series.

    In the outer reaches of our galaxy several centuries later intelligent life forms were able to work and get along. Of course with some races the bridge builders don't get along and that forms the inherent conflicts within the show.

    Given the ending of Deep Space Nine and what is the fate of Captain Sisko, no one has thought to do a feature film for the series or integrate it into a new The Next Generation feature. I would love to see that happen. I would really love to see Captain Sisko catch up with Wesley Crusher from The Next Generation.

    You'd have to be a fan to know what I'm talking about. But if you watch Deep Space Nine and The Next Generation you'll become one.
  • This television show was the fourth Star Trek series. It was a spin-off from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

    This show distinguishes itself from the other Star Trek series in several ways. Firstly, the show takes place in orbit around Bajor. Other Star Trek series take place on starships that travel continuously. Deep Space Nine explores the repercussions of Star Trek ideologies in ways that other Star Trek series did not. Secondly, this series was more dramatic than other Star Trek series, focusing more on characters and relationships than events. Thirdly, this series deeply explored issues of spirituality, religion, and politics. Lastly, this series introduced a much darker perspective on the federation, on the Star Trek universe, and on life in Starfleet.

    At the time this series was released, it was rumored that Gene Roddenberry had strong objections to the Deep Space Nine idea. Gene Roddenberry strove to depict positive role models, an optimistic future, and a spirit of exploration and scientific achievement. Roddenberry did not want a pessimistic, dark, and brooding version of his universe. As an Atheist, Roddenberry was said to have objected to the spirituality, as well. Whether the rumors are true or not, the series was not started until after Roddenberry's death, and is the first Star Trek endeavor to operate without his supervision.

    Characters

    The captain of Deep Space Nine is Benjamin Sisko, a reluctant messiah to the Bajoran people. He is a broken man, who nearly quit Starfleet following the death of his wife. He was, in fact, stationed on a remote star base so that his emotional problems would have no consequence to the Federation. The first officer is a brash Bajoran named Kira Nerys. She is a scrappy ex-resistance fighter who has trouble adjusting to freedom and procedure. The security officer is a "unique" shape-shifter named Odo. The science officer is the playful and beautiful Jadzia Dax, a symbiotic life form with many generations of life experience, and a mentor to the captain. Julian Bashir is the playboy doctor. Miles O'Brien is the salty Irish engineer.

    On the darker side, there is Quark, who runs a casino. He is a bartender, a holo-suite manager -- effectively an electronic brothel --, and performs back-office deals involving contraband, smugglers, and mercenaries. Quark's exploited brother Rom and nephew Nog round out the dysfunctional Ferengi family. Other dubious characters include Garak, a mysterious ex-Cardassian spy, and series-long villain Gul Dukat.

    Later in the series, some changes are made with the re-introduction of the Klingon Worf, and a new symbiotic host for Jadzia Dax. (a "station counselor". Ugh.)

    Location

    The totalitarian Cardassian Regime built the space station Deep Space Nine. This brutal race mined and exploited the planet Bajor using Bajorans as slave labor and performed various atrocities revealed throughout the series. Through a treaty with the United Federation of Planets, the Bajoran star system was liberated leaving Deep Space Nine the property of Bajor. The Federation serves as protector for the people of Bajor and provides station maintenance and management. Bajor is a war-torn planet clinging desperately to its religion. The people are poor, ignorant, and confused. Both the planet and its space station are beset by political and religious pressures from leaders clamoring for power.

    Critique

    This series is distinguished in part by its drama and religious/ political themes. These characteristics seem to polarize viewers. When I originally watched the series, I was disappointed. I did not watch it regularly and eventually quit watching it entirely. I have since purchased the entire series on DVD, and have been able to watch every episode in sequence. At 7 seasons and 173 episodes -- roughly 120 hours -- this was a significant investment.

    For various reasons, I found it difficult to sympathize with the main characters. Through most of the series, it seemed like the primary characters were having an identity crisis -- like teenagers with bad attitudes, pretending to be different from each other. When they united to solve a problem, it seemed unnatural and their accomplishments felt fake.

    The first several seasons have poor writing, but the show improved radically when the larger story-arcs and intertwined sub-plots started developing. They introduced a super-powerful cloaking starship, an epic war, and encounter some of the best villains in science fiction. These efforts added some excellent moments to the series -- easily the most memorable in any Star Trek series. The personalities were also subdued by the bigger plots, resulting in much better characters.

    Like the legions of trekkers who love this show and the legions who hated it, I find myself polarized. I wish that I could recommend the series for it's excellent last seasons, and the few gems in earlier seasons. However, the majority of the show is difficult to defend.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The first problem with DS9 is that it takes place on a space station. I never minded that much, but it leads to other flaws: the original mantra "to boldly go where no one has gone before" is cast by the wayside, and exploration and science fiction are largely ignored in favor of domestic drama and political tedium.

    I watched DS9 faithfully throughout its original run. I liked most of the characters, such as the feisty ex-terrorist Major Kira, and the naive young Doctor Bashir. But after a few seasons I realized that I no longer cared for these people. Kira seemed to grow middle-aged overnight, and her violent temper had given way to self-righteous complacency. Bashir was revealed to be a genetically enhanced super-doctor, and his entire life up to that point was a lie.

    I got the feeling that the writers were trying their best to distance themselves from the show they'd created. Not only did characters suffer drastic changes, but the show's plot switched direction so many times that keeping track just got frustrating. At the start there were political and religious issues with the Bajorans and their former oppressors, the Cardassians; in the second season we were introduced to the Maquis, a group of human freedom-fighters who would go on to reappear only once per season. After that came the Dominion, but little was done with them for about three years, and in the meantime there was a brief conflict with the Klingons. Eventually the writers decided to tie all these dangling plot threads together and start an interstellar war. If only they'd had the budget and the writing talent to make something of it.

    It's difficult to summarize a seven-season TV series in just a few paragraphs without sounding harsh. Most of its characters aren't bad, but their behavior from one episode to the next is often inconsistent, and the writers seem too concerned with relationships and love affairs that are tawdry rather than compelling. The insistence on romantic subplots edges out the science fiction; the writers forgot that half their characters were aliens with radically different biology. Instead of exploring the idea of interspecies romance, they focus solely on the characters as if they were all humans. Altogether the series gets a little too comfortable in its stationary setting, and loses itself in minutiae; perhaps the biggest flaw of the format is that the writers never had to come up with anything new.

    The war is DS9's real problem. It's the biggest, most explosive, and most elaborate conflict ever seen on Star Trek, even including "Enterprise" and the JJ Abrams movies. So why do I find it underwhelming? The battles are huge mêlées that closely resemble something out of "Dawn Patrol" or "Hell's Angels" rather than what you'd expect from futuristic starships. Despite the frequent discussion of strategy and tactics, the war itself always feels like it's in the background: everything happens elsewhere, to other people, and we only hear about it in stilted dialogue. The result is an uncommitted show, a series with no real story, and for all its action, its characters, and its intrigues and melodrama, it's not really about anything.
  • I've been a fan of every television series in the Star Trek universe, except for this one. Many times I have attempted to watch DS9, only to give up after a couple of episodes that just had could not keep me interested.

    People told me repeatedly that the series would get better, I just had to make it past Seasons 1 and 2, which were admittedly rough even in ST:TNG. Finally, after several attempts, I did make it past Seasons 1 and 2, only to find that the series does not get much better after them.

    The problems with DS9 are serious. Let's begin with the cast. Avery Brooks as Captain Sisko receives praise from a lot of trek fans, but he is truly awful. His acting is completely sterile most of the time, and when it isn't he's completely over the top and hams up the scene. Secondly, Nana Visitor as Major Kira. Her character has two modes: 1) angry and 2) exuberance that is so cheesy you want to believe she's being sarcastic. If you want to see just how bad these two can be, try watching "Through the Looking Glass." Sadly, this is one episode that some will claim is among the best of the season.

    The problem goes beyond the actors portraying the characters, however. The characters themselves are flat and uninteresting. There is no depth, no emotion, and thus no attachment with the viewer. Each Star Trek series has had the benefit of having characters that can evolve past their original portrayal in the first episode. Data from TNG and the Doctor from Voyager are two examples. You won't find any of that in DS9. The characters are just as boring and lifeless in Season 3 as they are in Season 1. DS9 will try to TELL you that its characters are interesting and unique, but it doesn't actually reveal that through dialogue or content. We are supposed to believe that Odo and Dax are interesting because of their history, but very little that their characters do reveals any sort of interesting past. About the only characters that I did find even slightly interesting were Quark and Garak, who isn't even a regular on the show.

    In short, I'm hoping to save some of you from falsely believing, as I did, that this show will get better as many of its supporters claim. The actors and their characters and the plots are just as boring in Season 3 as they are in Season 1 and 2. Perhaps some will say it is unfair to judge the series based on having only viewed 3 seasons, but I say that if a series must be viewed in its entirety to provide any enjoyment whatsoever, then the fault is with the series and not the viewer.
  • alex_i-09 October 2011
    In comparison with TNG, this one is plain boring an uninteresting. The only likable characters are Dr Bashir, Jadzia and Chief Obrien.

    The political parallels to our world are unmistakeably obvious. "Refugees, human/alien rights, religious teachings in school, rebellion against the old ways and our parents". And of course the number one American obsession: the father-son relationship.

    I simply hate the bajor. They don't add anything interesting to the Star Trek world. I really hoped the cardassian would wipe them out completely. Keira Nerys must be the most annoying character ever. EVER!!!

    The ferengi are portrayed completely different from the TNG. In the same way that the klingons have suffered physionomically changes since the original series.

    If you like Star Trek, stick with the original and TNG.
  • winstonsmith_8427 December 2010
    I found this series quite lacking in anything interesting. Don't get me wrong, I can see why some people enjoy it. It's a sci-fi, it takes place in space, it's Star Trek. I am a pretty big fan of The Next Generation and find some of the movies quite enjoyable. I never thought Star Trek truly lived up to its true potential in all of its incarnations, and Deep Space Nine epitomizes the reason why so many find Star Trek tough to latch onto.

    Bland characters: The acting throughout the whole series has ups and downs. Some characters have their shining moments, but all in all, there is too much drabness. Too many convoluted and unrealistic actions and reactions. The main characters didn't really grow on me, as I hoped they would. The guest characters per each episode were so contrived and their motivations so cardboard. I guess I could see how these types of characters would appeal to a younger viewing audience (teenage males) but I personally believe more socially adept individuals would find the relationships between characters in this series a bit contrived. The biggest stand-out in bad acting would be the relationship between Odo & Kira: it felt like two actors pretending to be in love, but hating the idea of it. It was weak acting. The actors didn't pull off what they should have, and you could tell the scriptwriters just needed to spice things up... so they wrote it in. Not great. Weak.

    Bland set: The set really got on my nerves. The endless monotonous brownish palette. The panning scenes where characters talk amongst the backgrounds of people walking by in their brown/clay-colored bodysuits. It's a very stale environment, a bit boring, and perhaps that is realistic... but it makes for lackluster visuals.

    Bland Story, themes, action: Just like the uninteresting characters who fill this universe, the stories, situations, etc., all feel contrived and done to death. I felt beat over the head with the Bajoran-Cardassian thing. We get it. Lots of talk of wars, but it's just that... talk. When "war scenes" happen in DS9, they don't impress visually. Action scenes tend to be lackluster. The religions, prophets, cults, "magic," were all done rather unimaginatively. In all, the themes, story, and action seemed drawn out in a series that one craved such elements.

    I think that DS9 must have had a very small budget, and it shows. Although I enjoyed a few episodes here and there, I often found my attention drifting and finally getting bored enough of the episode to turn it off. Other times I would watch them in halves, as I could only take so much DS9 at a time.

    I really feel like DS9 tried, but failed, at creating an interesting sci-fi TV show. It's just a drama, but with weak acting and dull writing. There's a reason those who are not hard-core fans do not watch this show: it's just not interesting...
  • As I write this I find myself amazed that I can even bother to comment on this poor apology for a Star Trek series.

    Star Trek shows have always been a reflection of America at the time of their production, and unfortunately this was doubly true of DS9. This is not a criticism of America - I like and admire America, and like Americans. But in the 90's (and still today) America and other Western countries became afflicted with a dread angst about race and "multi-culturalism". These concerns, and the received wisdom of the chattering classes, were presented and endlessly repeated throughout the series.

    DS9 wasn't entertainment. It wasn't an adventure. It was a drama, a morality play promoting the doctrine of political correctness. There were no aliens in the show - just people with rubber masks, performing the roles perceived to be occupied by different peoples and cultures in America and around the world in the 1990's.

    It wasn't exciting, it wasn't original. It wasn't even mildly interesting. It was... well, it was just a soap opera that happened to be set on a space station. Give the actors different make-up, lightly modify the scripts by removing references to space, and set the show in small-town America - and you have a standard daytime soap.

    Still, I watched the majority of DS9's episodes all the way to the end. Why? Well, I'd started so I wanted to finish, it was on after work and I watched while scanning the daily paper - and it made acceptable moving wallpaper. It also showed a little more life towards the end, with Worf being drafted in, the war, the "Defiant" warship (hey, DS9 actually doing some trekking!) and a little action - occasionally. The producers were obviously fighting for the show's survival, and tried to inject some interest into their relationship drama. But their heart really wasn't in it. The action was mostly lost in a morass of talking, arguing, contrived politics and (still) heavy-handed instruction in politically correct attitudes.

    There are those who view the simplistic and uneducated portrayal of moral issues and political activities in this show as deep and meaningful. They're not. Their representation is childish and shallow. If you want to find wisdom and deep philosophy, look elsewhere. And if you want entertainment, this is still the wrong place to spend your time. Even loyal trekkers will have an overriding feeling of enduring, rather than enjoying, this production.

    Still, some will get something from it. If you're one of them - good luck to you.

    I opened this comment with a statement of amazement; I now close it with equal astonishment. Astonishment that I have written so much on a production of such little worth, and some surprise at the strength of my criticism. This is undoubtedly a measure of the frustration and disappointment felt towards DS9, which could and should have been so much better. (Watch "Enterprise" to see how it should be done.)

    No wonder DS9 had a shorter run than any other Trek series bar the original. If it had been a standalone show, lacking the established Trek fanbase from other productions, I find it difficult to believe that DS9 would have lasted even one full season.

    RIP Deep Space Nine - your time is past. No films (who would pay to see them) lie ahead, you are gone forever.

    Good.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    OK, I'm a huge Star Trek fan, and I loved TNG. But DS9 is hands on the best. I was sick of the wooden, 2d characters in the original and tng that were just in awe of the captain, sick of Picard's let's talk when people are shooting at me, sick of the lack of action and the human centered crews.I got everything I wanted in DS9.

    First, the characters. They are all well written, developed, and wonderfully dark. Everyone either has a secret or does something wrong, nobody is perfect. And the children aren't annoying, Nog or Jake never made me want to bust the TV the way Wesley did. Of course, the captain was important, and Avery Brooks does a good job, even if he over-acts, much in the way Shatner did. My personal favorite: Garak, the Obsidian Order Cardassian, exiled on the station, full of secrets, hidden talents and charm. His lines are always good, sometimes brilliant, and funny when they have to. Let's not forget the villain, Dukat, by far the best villain on Star Trek.

    Next, the setting. To me, a starship exploring was a way to get a good series without having to develop characters.You don't change characters, you just change scenery. LAzy. A STATION will force you too get creative to advance a show and keep people watching.

    The aliens have a bigger role in this. TNG didn't feature so many aliens, it was very human centered. Troi was basically human, and Data wanted to be. But ds9has truly memorable characters, from Garak and Dukat to Quark and Odo, to the Jem'hadars Ikat'ika and Remata'Klan and Weyoun the Vorta. And there is no message humans are special, frankly, they are not the smartest, fastest or strongest in the galaxy, and they have a dark side to them :"let me tell you about hew-moons...". And Worf is in DS9 the meanest person in the Alpha Quadrant, not the voice of a more aggressive stance in TNG.

    Finally, this is a show with real action. Space battles, a huge war, explosions, people die, star ships are ripped to shreds, and the Defiant, the meanest ship in the galaxy. OK, sounds like Babylon 5, and I guess it is, but that is what makes it great. No shame in emulating a great show.

    In essence, it i the only Star Trek to work without Roddenberry because it is nothing like Roddenberry. I think he would have frowned at this idea, because he had a vision of a happy-go-lucky show, squeaky clean characters and the like. Nothing wrong with that, but he made it work, and honest to God Enterprise seasons 1 and2 and that train wreck Voyager proved that it wouldn't work. DS9 was different and brilliant, better because it finally had the guts to change the perspective on a great universe. It kept the franchise alive, allowed voyager to exist,enterprise and two Tng films to be made. Now if they want to revive this franchise,they should take it in a different direction, just like ds9 did.
  • edwithmj15 March 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    This was a series that did not know what it was and it took 4 seasons to work out what the main theme of the show would be. The first three seasons are akin to TNG. They have wild and wacky goings on and the weird and wonderful crew solve them. Also in the first three seasons and less so in the later ones is the most boring story line I have ever watched. That story line is Bajoran politics. Why oh why do I have to watch episodes about who the Bajoran first minister is or when "the Cardassians ended the occupation". The show tried to be clever by making parallels with real life politics and the like.

    Major Kira is without a doubt the ugliest, most irritating character on any show ever. The way her smile looks like the Joker from Batman bugs the hell out of me. She was annoying from the start with her disobedient attitude and the way she can "fight". She fights the same way every time with that double hammer punch using both hands.

    Odo (and Shapeshifters in general) have the most obvious plot hole (one of many) in the series. Odo tells the others he looks like that because he tried to mimic his Bajoran mentor. Why then do all the other shape shifters look like him with that weird face like a burns victim. Why? It makes no sense. Also, he NEVER eats anything. Where does he get his energy? What sustains him? That aside, he is an obnoxious piece of work and it is horrible how he bullies Quark. This was most apparent when he said to Quark "you'll regret the day you met me" in the most vile horrifyingly angry voice I have ever heard. It disturbed me. How he was allowed to keep his job when a Starfleet security officer should have taken his place is beyond me.

    Jadzia Dax. Yawn. Everyone thought she was beautiful but I got sick of the sight of her and that annoying voice she has that tries to sound all erotic. Ezri Dax has that stupid misshapen smirk and she can't act either. I don't know what was worse. Her or the first one.

    Jake Sisko was in my mind the most pointless character. He should have been like Nog and been a guest star. It made me cringe the way they tried to squeeze him in every episode. By the fifth season when he becomes a writer you know they've run out of ideas. How could he be a writer? He barely went to school!

    Captain Sisko I loathed from the start as he didn't pay respect to Captain Picard. You'd think as a Starfleet Officer that he could look past the fact the his wife was killed by him. Even though it wasn't Picard it was the Borg using his body. He's supposed to be professional yet can hardly contain his contempt. gave me a very bad image of Starfleet that did. Avery Brooks cannot act. His lines are given in a precise, wooden manner with little emotion. When he has to act angry he overdoes it. He thinks shouting shows anger so he shouts all the time he's angry. I have seen him in American History X and his acting was the same. He has no diversity.

    I initially liked O' Brien but he is such a wimp. He gets punched and kicked and nearly every episode he is doubled over in pain because some alien took a shot at him. It was really bad directing to have his sleeves rolled up all the time giving the impression he's a "hands on" man and loves hard work. It reminded me of something a Drama teacher would do in a cheap school play. Which leads me to my next point: What IS Chief O' Brien? In early TNG episodes he looked like an Ensign, a Lieutenant and was called "Transporter Chief" (presumably where his title comes from) and he gives his rank in a DS9 episode as "Chief of Operations". That's not a rank, that's your job. Data's job is Science officer but his rank is Lieutenant Commander. All the while they gave him the insignia of either an ensign or a lieutenant. Stupid mix up and confusion. Eventually they made him Chief Petty Officer but it was too late, the damage was done.

    Doctor Bashir was played by Alexander Siddig or his alias Siddig El Fadil. The opening credits used to give him either name. He now plays Arabs and Muslims in films that require them such as Kingdom of Heaven and Vertical Limit. Even this acting is limited as he plays the same character in those roles which classes him as a novelty actor. Anyway. Doctor Bashir is the medical officer and has a trumped up idea of morality that he thinks he's always right. Unbelievably he's allowed to carry on practising even though he's an illegal genetic mutant. No that would never happen. He'd be discharged immediately.

    Last and certainly least was the worst thing that could have happened to DS9. They added Worf. Obviously an attempt at halting falling ratings, Worf was the same wooden character he played that almost ruined TNG. Worf's lines were: "You have no honour" "Honour" "Dishonour" and "Klingon Warrior". That sums up his lines in a nutshell. Of course with Worf came the other Klingons. So the series degenerated into a show about Klingons after Worf showed up. In short he RUINED the show.

    Nog going into Starfleet was ludicrous at best. After watching the TNG episode where Wesley tries to get in you realise how difficult and how "best of the best" one has to be to get into "the academy". Nog was a thieving, antisocial, unintelligent misfit who stood no chance of getting in.What's more ridiculous was that he was promoted TWO TIMES! The whole show was poorly planned and stupid
  • Warning: Spoilers
    SPOILERS Written and released two years after the death of original creator Gene Roddenberry, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" was the evolution of the 'Trek' universe to new levels. Darker than anything seen before or since, "DS9" was well written, well acted and generally superb. As it evolved, it continued to grow and by it's conclusion, there was no finer series.

    Set in a distant outpost of the Federation, space station Deep Space Nine would suddenly become a key outpost after a wormhole to a different quadrant was discovered nearby. Declared 'Emissary' by the local planets population, Commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) would lead his crew in defence of the Federation as slowly enemies developed on both sides of the wormhole.

    Considerably darker than any other 'Trek' series, "DS9" would fast become the greatest of all series. Enjoyable, well written and clever, this series would change drastically as uniforms, appearance (Brooks growing a beard and loosing his hair) and attitudes of all characters grew in strength and style. Unlike alternative series though, it never felt out of place. Whilst the earlier series of "TNG" and "Voyager" look awkward and fake, "DS9" was enjoyable from the start. With character makeup never looking less than perfect, all those involved were given room to perform, and they never let the side down.

    "DS9" was also the finest due to it's soap like feel towards the end. With one long final season where story lines flowed from one episode to the next, it never lost it's appeal and remained addictive viewing. Whether it was William Sadler's Sloan character trying to protect the Federation through devious means or the change of Gul Dukat (Marc Alaimo) from friendly Cardassian through to follower of evil spirits, the series never stopped progressing and developing. Characters who died ages before would continue to be mentioned throughout and constantly be remembered. This flowing story line would work in the series favour as it drew to a powerful and brilliantly made conclusion.

    The series never forgot what made "Star Trek" so good either. Never afraid to use graphics, the key aspects of the stories were always the character development and connection. Whether it was Dr Bashir's (Alex Saddig) and Chief O'Brien's (Colm Meaney) adventures on the holodeck, or the romance between Dax (Terry Farrell) and Worf (Michael Dorn), the character relations always thrived aboard the limited location space. Unlike other series, "DS9" never travelled to new dangers, instead the dangers came to the station.

    This third major series in the 'Trek' universe was wonderful. Well written, dark and often deeply religious, it thrived on embracing who individuals were and dealt with major aspects of what it is to be human. As it progressed it evolved too. With the final few seasons dedicated to an all out war against the Dominion, it combined great special effects with character interaction. "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" was wonderful. It remained entertaining from start to finish, and without any shadow of a doubt, it is easily the finest 'Trek' series ever.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    OK. I think that my title will be sure to p**s off a fair amount of people and I really couldn't care less. So before you message me and try to verbally lambast me for saying this was the best Star Trek of all of them, let me save you some trouble: I'm not sorry! I had begun to lose faith in Star Trek. I really had. The cast of TNG was incredible, to be sure, with a lot of talent and a show that was not badly written. However, after a while, I got tired of the idealism. It got to a be so vanilla in its portrayal of the Federation as being all loving, knowing and good hearted that I stopped watching.

    When I started with DS9, I was ready to give up on the franchise. But a funny thing happened on my way to the T.V. remote. We got moral ambiguity, which is what the franchise needed. DS9 dared to ask the question, "How far will you go to get what you want?" The best example is in the best Star Trek episode of all time, "In the Pale Moonlight." In this episode, Sisko attempts to bring the Romulans into the war against the Dominion. He breaks rules, deals drugs, and lies in an effort to get what he wants, because he thinks his overall intentions are good. But he learns that the Devil is indeed in the details.

    Earlier on, we got a look at the Maquis. Simple Federation citizens trying to live out their lives amongst the Cardassians. They end up resorting to what we now call terrorism, and you honestly begin to wonder what you would do if the tables were turned. Would you resort to violence to keep your home? DS9 was called the darkest Star Trek of them all, and it earned that title. It deserves it. It also deserves your attention. Enjoy.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Deep Space Nine's" fifth season ended with a remarkable cliffhanger: the station had been occupied by the Dominion, the show's totalitarian villains, and our heroes escaped to join a massive Federation fleet while the entire galaxy stood poised on the brink of war. What became even more remarkable, at the time, was that the sixth season premiere picked up where the cliffhanger left off and kept going for five more episodes, telling stories all about the war and the plights of all the characters wrapped up in it.

    Until that point, science fiction television shows had always avoided any hint of serialization. The adventure of the week was the standard format, and it had succeeded fairly well for many decades. TV was changing in the mid-Nineties, and Star Trek changed with it, offering fans a show with more complex characters and an ongoing story that would hold everything together.

    The biggest failing of DS9 is what happened after those six episodes: the station was retaken, and everything reset to square one. The follow-up to the climactic battle is a light-hearted wedding. There were two more seasons for the show to get through, and thirty-six more episodes before the story resumed. Thiry-six more episodes of holodeck adventures, Ferengi shenanigans, mirror-universe escapades, romantic melodrama, and pseudo-spiritual mumbo-jumbo. Thirty-six episodes that could have been picked up, dusted off, and plonked down safely in any other science fiction franchise without any effort.

    Is this a gripping series? It's more frustrating than gripping, though perhaps all the dangling plot threads and unresolved tension might contribute to a fleeting sensation of being "gripped". DS9 is a deep space shaggy dog story, a shuffling, incoherent mess of a show, that never quite escapes the feeling of jarring discontinuity between epic interstellar conflict and humdrum soap opera. There are good episodes every once in a while -- even great ones -- but in between there are such depths of unremarkable mediocrity that there's nothing to unite those better moments. The storyline is so tangled and knotted that only a heavy dose of expository dialogue can eventually unravel it.

    In the end, what is it all about? The Dominion, with their dreams of universal order and their genetically engineered super-soldiers, are convenient villains with an absurdly simple motive. The good guys in the war -- the Federation, the Klingons -- go unexamined and uncriticized, and exist merely as generic futuristic states. Gene Roddenberry's original optimistic vision of the future is diminished and hushed up -- buried under impressive pyrotechnics and convoluted plot twists -- and eventually forgotten. The future of DS9 is a venue for space battles and soap opera, but not science fiction.
  • When I saw my first episode of 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine', I wondered whether they struggle to sustain stories in a show where there wasn't really going to be much in the way of 'going where no one has gone before' since it was set on a stationary star base. Thankfully, I was mistaken and DS9 went on to become one of the most successful of the Trek shows.

    The series sees disenchanted and recently widowed Commander Benjamin Sisko taking command of Deep Space Nine, a star base that is under joint jurisdiction of Starfleet and Bajor, which is a war-torn planet recovering after decades of being occupied by the Cardassians. When a stable wormhole being discovered near DS9, Sisko-- as the one who was the first to find it-- is named as the Emissary, a prominent role under Bajoran religion. The wormhole exits on the other side of the galaxy into the Gamma Quadrant, an area of space which holds dangers of its own and eventually drags the Federation and the races of the Alpha Quadrant into war with the Starfleet, Bajoran and neutral crew and civilians of DS9 caught in the middle.

    One of the most involving factors of DS9 as a show is that the character development was phenomenal. All the major characters, and even the two kids of the show, grew immensely from how they were portrayed in the first season. Sisko changed from a bland, reluctant commander to a resolute and hardened leader determined to see his side win and gaining the respect of all who knew him; Kira grew from a stroppy moan to a multi-levelled woman who no longer lumped all her problems down to her tragic Bajoran past; O'Brien developed from the blank faced extra he was on 'The Next Generation' to a man capable of immense loyalty and determination; Bashir really grew up from being an arrogant, fresh-faced boy to a darker, brooding man who is not afraid to stand up for his principles; Odo developed from being a stereotypical Spock Mach II to a man caught between those he loved and biological ties to his own people, and Dax changed from Jadzia to Ezri!

    DS9 was definitely the darker side to the Trek-verse and perhaps the show Gene Roddenberry might not have approved of but it really reawakened the franchise by offering a deeper insight into the problems humans might face when dealing with species that could not always be subdued by staunch Federation beliefs and good-heartedness. It showed that war is bleak and ugly whatever the time-frame and there isn't always a happy-go-lucky ending for the good guys. The show also introduced us to the darker side of Starfleet itself as it succumbed to paranoia and the DS9 crew discovered Section 31, a secret section of the organisation not above working outside the law to achieve its goals of protecting Federation interests.

    The show wasn't always pretty but it definitely spiced up the utopia that was depicted as the Trek universe. DS9 is not only a show for Trek fans but it's one for anyone looking for something meatier and thought-provoking.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    By far the single most overrated series that the Star Trek franchise has ever produced. For something that has been praised for taking the franchise in a new dark direction, it must also be guilty of sacrificing some of the chief tenets that the series was supposed to be about.

    Now during the first few seasons the show bore false promises of exploration with a new wormhole to a new unchartered part of space. Such was the way in the series of boldly going where no man has gone before. Much like Voyager it Starfleet officers and members of other factions to create a mismatch crew aboard a space station. Of course the space station was the indication of things, as they attempted to create a more grounded series which attempted to delve into the woes of two races; the Cardassians and the Bajorans.

    The cast consisted of; Benjamin Sisko a bereaved husband and father who eventually becomes the most battle-hardy but hypocritical captain ever. Jazdia Dax; a smarmy know-it-all who was really just a rehashed Guinan. Chief O'Brien who was an underused character in TNG only to find himself suffering in increasingly pointless ways.Dr Bashir; a genetically enhanced individual with the flaws of egotism which made him feel right at home with the cast. Constable Odo; a stern changeling who is torn in his loyalties. The least of course is Major Kira Nerys; a former terrorist who is incredulously privy to Starfleet tech and is repeatedly called "sir" despite the alternative "ma'am". All these characters were not without incredible amounts of hypocrisy and arrogance, with O'Brien to a lesser extent. They were all uninteresting and boring characters who laboured under the mundane conditions of working in a space station nowhere they would make their annoyed and snooty characters pronounced. Then came relaxation time when they would would huddle into their own little pairings which detracted from any feeling of a united crew and restricted the interaction between the crew members significantly.

    The greatest failings were evident when it was the minor characters who were the more likable ones. With their charm and earnest it was Garak and Quark among the few that stood out. Though they were increasingly belittled by the main cast and made to feel their blunt wrath and annoyance they carried on with grace and diligence. Then there was Gul Dukat the antagonist from the start. He too was made to feel the hostility from a group so beneath him in zeal and yet in the later series he grew to be a very powerful antagonist who made the failed Bajoran-prophet story, flesh out and have some semblance of meaning.

    The first few seasons were very uneventful until the introduction of the founders. At this point the show made with the agenda of closing of the wormhole. That's right, they wanted to do away with exploration. However, they were perfectly content to explore to mundane nature of the Bajorans. The villains early on (Cardasians) served to create very petty tension and were otherwise largely ineffective. Due to the annoying and unalien nature of the Bajorans. There was never anything interesting about these religious elements. Instead they became tedious elements to involve Sisko with powerful energy being known as the Prophets who despite their best efforts of conservation, felt totally unalien much like the Bajorans.

    But they now had to deal with the dominion governed by a race who's goals were simple but lacked any of the charisma of Dukat. Or the iconic threat that the Borg posed. They used an army of genetically-engineered soldiers. Who shared this trait of being devoid of anything interesting or worth noting. The Vorta were another serving race who were made to be subservient but as smarmy and two-faced as the Ferengi. But whilst they were usually non-threatening. They definitely helped put a face on otherwise bland enemy.

    The show was able to have some good episodes showcasing the seriousness in all things war related. But the price of which became extensively of past ideals. Sisko was willing to abet the murder of a senator and yet apposed Section 31 who's methods would not have been so similar. That episode (In the Pale Moonlight) is hailed as one of the best. When in fact, it was one of the most disgusting perversions the franchise had undertaken. Sisko was a hypocrite and it was not his first time that he had done such "dark" things. There was the time in "for the uniform" where Sisko went out of his way to persecute the Marquis, even breaking his Star Fleet code. Even to argue that ideals must be balanced with reality. We would see that justice still exists as part of the equation. To avoid the corruption and crimes that Sisko would continue to carry out.

    The Marquis were a very interesting element but the show. Found themselves being juggled like many plates. As a result the Marquis storyline finished on a rather timid note. By having so many threads running it became a detriment to the series for most of it's run such as having a major war, With only a very few confrontations only to dabble back into the tediously retreaded grounds, like the Bajorans Had they put more focus into the story lines in one season. They might have come to full fruition. But instead they became terribly wasted opportunities.

    The show reached it's peak at season 4 and then began to decline into eventual antics such as holosuite episodes. The war which started as a cold war ignited only to be felt half-heartedly as something requiring a quick bulletin update before the mundane procedures of the station needed to be carried out.

    This show drew the franchise into a deep trough thanks to the fans which may have hastened it's demise. It is the ultimate proof that fans can drag a franchise to it's knees.
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