Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television series that ran from 1993 to 1999. Based on Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek, it was created by Rick Berman and Michael Piller, and produced by Paramount Pictures. more...
The main title is sometimes shortened to ST:DS9, or simply DS9.
DS9 began while Star Trek: The Next Generation was still on the air, and there were several crossover episodes between the two series. Unlike its predecessor, DS9 was unabashedly original and often broke the rules laid down by Gene Roddenberry. In contrast with the other series, Deep Space Nine took place on a space station instead of a starship. It also relied heavily on continuing story arcs, many recurring characters, and darker themes. The main writers for DS9, in addition to creators Berman and Piller, included Ronald D. Moore, Peter Allen Fields, Ira Steven Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Joe Menosky, René Echevarria. Richard Manning, and Hans Beimler.
About the show
Originally conceived in 1991, shortly before Gene Roddenberry's death, DS9 chronicles the events surrounding space station Deep Space 9, a former Cardassian ore-processing station, which has recently been placed under joint control of the United Federation of Planets and Bajor, the planet it orbits. This unique premise makes it the first and so far only Trek series not to be set aboard a starship. According to co-creator Berman, he and Piller had considered setting the new series on a colony on an alien planet, but they felt a space station would both appeal more to viewers and save money due to the high cost of on-location shooting for a land-based show. However, they were certain that they did not want the show to be set aboard a starship because 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 first episode, the crew discovers the presence of a nearby stable wormhole, which provides immediate transportation to and from the distant Gamma Quadrant; this makes the station an important strategic asset, as well as a vital center of commerce with a largely-unexplored area of space. Inside the wormhole live aliens who exist beyond time and do not understand the linear nature of other lifeforms. To the people of Bajor, these aliens are the Bajoran Prophets and the wormhole itself is the long-prophesied Celestial Temple. Commander Benjamin Sisko, who discovered the wormhole, becomes revered as the Emissary of the Prophets, a spiritual role with which he is not at all comfortable.
Deep Space Nine was well received by critics, with TV Guide describing it as "the best acted, written, produced, and altogether finest" Trek series. However, some fans grew dissatisfied with the show's generally darker themes and objected to the notion of a series set on a space station. Fans of the series call themselves "Niners," after a baseball team of the same name, which appeared in the seventh-season episode "Take Me Out to the Holosuite".
The show was never as successful in the ratings as its predecessor due to a variety of factors, not the least of which was the fact that, in its infancy, it was forced to compete with the well-established TNG for ratings in some markets. Nonetheless, it remained the top rated first-run syndicated drama series throughout most of its run and was successful enough that Paramount launched two more Trek series. It is best remembered for its well-developed characters and its original and complex plots.
Featuring the most diverse cast in Trek history, DS9 was the first series to include non-Starfleet main characters; Kira Nerys and Odo are part of the Bajoran Militia, while Jake Sisko and Quark are both civilians. Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes) was reportedly the first choice of the producers for a First Officer, but as Ms. Forbes did not wish to commit to a seven-year contract, Kira Nerys was created instead. Among Starfleet characters, Miles O'Brien is the first enlisted (non-com) main character, reprising a supporting role he played on several TNG episodes.
Over the course of its seven-year run, DS9's cast changed twice. The first change, at the start of the fourth season, was the addition of Michael Dorn as Worf, who had recently spent seven years on TNG. The original reason for this addition was to boost ratings, but the Klingon soon became an integral part of the show and fit in well. Worf eventually married Jadzia Dax.
The second change was the removal of Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax) and subsequent addition of Nicole de Boer (Ezri Dax). This was more of an abrupt change, and it came about because Farrell did not wish to renew her contract at the end of the sixth season, stating that she felt she would receive more screen time elsewhere due to the increasingly large cast of DS9. However, the writers did not want to lose Dax, so the Dax symbiont was saved when Gul Dukat killed Jadzia, and de Boer was brought on as its new host.
Alexander Siddig (Julian Bashir) appeared in the opening credits by his birth name, Siddig el Fadil, for the first three seasons. He appeared as Alexander Siddig after he married co-star Nana Visitor (Kira Nerys), which placed their names together in the alphabetical cast credits. Siddig continued to be credited as Siddig el Fadil when he directed episodes.
The very nature of DS9 (a space station rather than a starship) fostered a rich assortment of recurring characters, and it was not unheard of for "secondary" characters to play as much or more of a part in an episode as the regular cast. For example, "The Wire" focused almost entirely on Garak, while "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" featured an A-story about Weyoun and a B-story about Nog. For a more complete list, as well as information about the characters, see List of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine characters.
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