I mentioned recently that I’d been watching Star Trek: Deep Space 9. I’ve always been a fan of Star Trek, mainly through a childhood of watching re-runs of The Next Generation with Captain Picard.
Whilst the Next Generation has been a big influence in my childhood, I’d never watched more than an episode or two of Deep Space Nine; the series which followed on from the Next Generation.
I decided it was time to see how I got on with Captain Sisko and his crew aboard their space station above the deeply religious world of Bajor.
Deep Space Nine is the name of the space station the series is based on. Taken over by the Bajorans after they gained independence from the Cardassian Empire; Captain Sisko is brought in as commander of the station after the Bajorans invited Star Fleet to administer it.
The seven series of Deep Space Nine follow the wide and varied cast of inhabitants on the space station. Here’s part one of the breakdown of what I made of them, looking back over the long journey of all the series:
There’s Odo. Chief of Station Security under the Cardassians, and now for the Bajorans. Odo is known as ‘changeling’ in the Alpha quadrant. A few series in to Deep Space 9, a worm hole opens up in the space around the station which makes travel all the way to the Gamma quadrant as if it was a walk round the corner. It turns out that the Dominion which rules most of the Gamma quadrant is all masterminded by a race of Odo’s.
Odo is an outsider. People distrust him because he’s a liquid based form – which to be fair is pretty weird. But, it certainly doesn’t help that his race are the masterminds of the Dominion, which ends up hell-bent on taking over the entire Alpha quadrant by any means necessary. I guess people also don’t trust Chiefs of Station Security, it’s a lonely job.
Odo’s in the same vein as Data and Spock, the outsiders with the rigid sense of morals and rules. They’re the ISTJs of Star Trek. I’ve always loved the characters of Data and Spock from the previous series, and resonated with them on a personal level. I instinctively really like Odo as a result.
Eventually, though, by the end of seven series, I hated to admit it, but Odo became a bit stale. In fact, I felt like Odo at the end of the story was a totally different character from the start. Sure, he’d had a lot of character development, but I felt a little like they used and abused Odo’s character a little too much and his character lost a bit of coherency along the way.
I remain a fan of Odo in the grand scheme of things. I suspect, ultimately, though he was up with the very strongest of competition against Spock and Data to be the most memorable and likeable ISTJ of Star Trek.
Major Kira is Captain Sisko’s second in command and the most senior Bajoran on the space station. She’s deeply religious, like the majority of Bajorans, and has next to no tolerance for Cardassians.
For me, being brutally honest, Major Kira was the most boring character of the series. Her stubborn personality made sense, but was just too damn stubborn sometimes. I did enjoy when her hatred of the Cardassians was challenged, but ultimately there always seemed to be something that eventually proved her right. I really wished they hadn’t written that in, it was an interesting plot device to see someone who fought for freedom against an Empire learning to see people of that Empire as individuals, not faceless goons.
As much as Major Kira was a key character to the series, especially with grounding the somewhat surreal religious ‘Emissary’ aspects of Captain Sisko’s story arc. I didn’t really like the element of the whole story arc to do with the Bajoran religion, and how Captain Sisko gets wrapped up in it as their ‘Emissary’ of the gods. That’s all personal opinion, but I felt it would have been better off without it.
Last but not least for part 1; Captain Sisko himself. He grew on me, from a shaky start beginning right in the first episode with a very contrived arguement with Captain Picard – essentially just to so how different he was going to be. Sisko isn’t one of the great Captains – the infamous argument of Kirk vs Picard really is true. I think Sisko is a pragmatist Captain, in the same vein as Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager.
Both Sisko and Janeway are thrown in to impossibly difficult situations and they have to make the best of it. There is no inspired fix like Kirk would find, or intelligent solution like Picard would – these are the Captains who have to keep slogging on in a world that will otherwise consume everything they hold dear.
Sisko’s good, but I’ll forever be in the Picard camp.
Part 2 to come soon!
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