Star Trek Deep Space 9 – Looking Back Part 2

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Back on with my thoughts on Deep Space 9 now that I’ve finished it. In Part 1 I talked about my thoughts on Captain Sisko, Major Kira and Odo. Time to finish off the cast!

Commander Worf, originally a major character in The Next Generation as one of the senior officers on the USS Enterprise, makes a return in Deep Space 9.

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The quintessential grumpy Klingon, Worf begins to mellow throughout the later series of Deep Space 9.

Mostly, thanks to Jadzia Dax that is, who he eventually marries. We see some conclusions to some plots from back in the Next Generation, such as Worf’s son Alexander grown up and coming to terms with his outsider status amongst the Klingons, which is a nice touch weaving the series together.

Overall, though, Worf moved on from being an interesting character in TNG to one of my favourites in DS9. His grumpiness becomes amusing even to himself, and the inter-play between his character and Jadzia’s is well done. *Plot spoiler – its just such a shame that they killed Jadzia off so abruptly, it seemed an unjust end to the Worf mellowing story arch*.

Chief O’Brien is the second character to make a return from TNG. The Enterprise’s transporter whizz takes on the job of Chief Engineer on DS9 – and that’s one heck of a major project to get the Cardassian relic in working order.

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Chief does an admirable job of keeping the station together, whilst being the endlessly loveable character he’s famous for being.

Particularly, he starts off really not getting along with the somewhat cocky new doctor – Julian Bashir. Over the series though they eventually grow into one of the best bro-mances of TV history.

Chief is the ever practical and grounded family man whilst Dr Bashir is the charming genetically enhanced genius. Opposites who end up getting on incredibly well.  I particularly enjoyed the running theme of their weekly holosuite sessions where they would fight a famous battle from history.

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Last but not least of the major characters there’s also Quark & Garak. Quark – the Ferengi bar owner on DS9 on a never ending quest to gain ever more profit. Garak – the Cardassian outcast who owns a tailor shop on DS9 and maintains a network of contacts from his days in the shadowy Obsidian Order of the Cardassian Empire.

Both very different businessmen who make up the vibrant patchwork of civilian life on the space frontier. They’re both quite different characters for Star Trek up to this point, previous focused on the quasi-military inner workings of Star Fleet ships. DS9 is a place of commerce and all the rest of civilian life, not just the front line in the war against the dominion. Quark especially is a good reminder of that.

While Quark is perhaps the more universally adored of the two characters, for me Garak is probably one of my favourite characters, and ultimately I think my favourite of DS9. He’s the outsider, akin to Odo, yet with a fantastic dark whit and very dry sarcasm.

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Here’s to all the Deep Space 9 characters. They were all memorable and I enjoyed my time with them. Some were bigger favourites than others, but ultimately they altogether made Deep Space 9; well, Deep Space 9.

I’m not going to give DS9 a rating, but I would recommend it. It’s the ‘hipster’ of all Star Trek series. It has a small hardcore of fans who will swear blind to the last that it’s the best series when you get to know it, but it’s probably the least known series in retrospect. DS9 is different, but fits in to the broader universe well. Maybe it isn’t my favourite, but I’m very glad I watched it.

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Star Trek Deep Space 9 – Looking Back Part 1

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.

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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.giphy

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.

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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.

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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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