1 9 9 3 – 1 9 9 9 (USA)
176 x 45 minute episodes
This third Star Trek spin-off was, in the view of many, the most successful of the franchise.
“Deep Space Nine” was a space station orbiting the planet Bajor after the Cardassians, who had been occupying it, withdrew (after taking everything of value). The new commander on the station was Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), a widower whose teenage son, Jake (Cirroc Lofton), was living with him on the station.
Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney), the station’s chief operations officer, had been the transporter officer on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Major Kira (Nana Visitor) was the Bajoran liaison officer on Deep Space Nine who had been fighting for Bajoran independence and harboured some resentment about the Federation replacing the Cardassians as administrators.
Sisko appointed her his first officer, and she eventually became more sympathetic to the Federation while retaining her hatred for the cruel Cardassians, who had virtually enslaved her people prior to the Federation’s arrival.
Others on the station were Quark (Armin Shimerman), a conniving Ferengi who ran the gambling facility on the station – unlike the noble and honourable Vulcans of Star Trek, the Ferengi of Deep Space Nine would sell their own mothers if they could garner a decent profit (with bigger ears than Prince Charles and noses like prizefighters, these scheming little creatures brought a comic element to the series); Odo (Rene Auberjonois), the chief of security, an alien shape-shifter with a love-hate relationship with Quark; Dr Bashir (Alexander Siddig), on his first assignment since graduating from Starfleet Medical; and Dax (Terry Farrell), from a joined species known as the Trill.
The life form in Dax’s symbiont humanoid body had lived in six previous host bodies, both male and female, was several hundred years old, and had been a friend of Sisko’s when residing in its previous male body.
Deep Space Nine was situated near a wormhole that allowed instant transport to the far reaches of the galaxy. Its strategic location was coveted by many, including the Bajorans, who wanted to run it without interference, and the Cardassians, who wanted to regain control.
There was plenty of conflict among the station’s permanent residents as well as with those who visited it. In 1994, the crew on Deep Space Nine faced a new threat, an organisation called The Dominion.
Sisko had obtained the Defiant, a stripped-down battleship originally designed to fight the Borg, to provide Deep Space Nine with some offensive weaponry to meet this and other threats. On its maiden voyage, the crew discovered that The Dominion was run by The Founders, a race of changelings who had created it to take over control of other races and create order in the Universe.
Odo, who found out that he was, himself, a Founder, decided to stay with the humanoids rather than be assimilated by his people.
As the 1995-1996 season began, the crew was preparing for a possible invasion by The Dominion. Worf (Michael Dorn) – previously a regular on Star Trek: The Next Generation – took over as the Strategic Operations officer following a confrontation with the Klingons, who had broken their twenty-year peace treaty with the Federation and invaded Cardassia.
In the season finale, most of the operating staff took an ailing Odo to the homeworld of The Founders in search of medical help. Once there, he faced judgment for having killed a Founder to save his friends earlier in the season, and as punishment was transformed into a solid humanoid.
The Klingons declared war on the Federation, and Odo sensed that their leader was a Founder who had assumed Klingon form. Late in the season, Kira had become pregnant as a surrogate carrying a baby for Miles and Keiko (Rosalind Chao), and in February 1997 she gave birth to a baby boy.
In the same episode, Odo regained his ability as a shape-shifter when a dying Founder infant integrated itself with him.
Threats posed to other races by The Dominion resulted in a new treaty between the Klingons and the Federation, with General Martok (J. G. Hertzler) added to Deep Space Nine’s staff as the Klingon representative.
Dr Bashir was revealed to have been the product of genetic re-engineering as a 6-year-old child, and Nog (Aron Eisenberg), now a Star Fleet cadet, was learning skills on the station.
At the end of the 1996-1997 season, Rom (Max Grodenchik) and Leeta (Chase Masterson) – who worked for Quark – got married, and the Cardassians, led by Gul Dukat (Marc Alaimo), with the help of The Dominion, regained control of Deep Space Nine, which had been abandoned by Sisko. He was on the Defiant, waging war with the Federation fleet against the Cardassians and the Dominion.
In November 1997, Sisko, commanding the Defiant, led a confrontation between Federation forces (minus the Klingons, who were not willing to fight with them) and Dominion forces over control of the wormhole and Deep Space Nine.
With the help of Quark, Dukat’s daughter Ziyal (Melanie Smith), Rom, Kira, and Odo on the station, and the intervention of the inter-dimensional beings that lived in the wormhole, the Federation regained control of Deep Space Nine. At the end of the episode, Dukat’s assistant Duamar (Casey Biggs) killed Ziyal during the Cardassian evacuation, leaving her father an unfocused mental case (he eventually recovered).
The following week Dax and Worf, who had been dating for months, got married, and General Martak was named Supreme Commander of the Ninth Fleet.
Sisko began an intermittent dating relationship with attractive freighter captain Kasidy Yates (Penny Johnson). In the season finale, Sisko was planning an attack on Cardassia, and a pregnant Dax was killed by Dukat, who materialised while possessed by the spirit of a Bajoran demon he was carrying, determined to defeat both the Federation and the Bajoran ‘prophets’. The demon destroyed the worm-hole where the ‘prophets’ resided, but Federation forces were successful in their attack on the Cardassian homeworld.
Dr Bashir was able to save the Trill symbiont, but Dax’s body and personality died. As the episode ended, Sisko and his son Jake returned to Earth so he could sort things out – he believed he had failed Dax, the ‘prophets’, and the Bajorans.
Kira, now in command of the station, was promoted to colonel. During that season most of the crew found relaxation in the holosuite in a simulated Las Vegas, circa 1962, where lounge singer Vic Fontaine (James Darren) provided entertainment and good advice.
Sisko went to the planet of Tyree, where he found an “orb of the prophets” that reopened the wormhole, and in November, Odo discovered that a plague was killing his people, the Founders. The war with The Dominion and the Romulans wore on.
In April 1999 Sisko married Kasidy Yates, who soon discovered she was pregnant. Bashir figured out that a CIA-like Federation agency had actually created the virus causing the Founders’ plague. He developed a cure and used it to save the life of Odo, who had been infected.
The Founders forged an alliance with the Breen to generate enough firepower to defeat the Federation, but in the midst of the climactic battle in the series finale, the Cardassians changed sides and joined forces with the Federation, turning the tide of the war.
Odo beamed down to Bajor and linked with the Founder military leader, curing her of the disease and convincing her to stop the war. In return, he promised to return to the Gamma Quadrant, cure his people, and show them that they could coexist with the solids.
Dukat, who had insinuated himself into the confidence of power-hungry Bajoran leader Kai-Winn (Louise Fletcher), had a confrontation with Sisko, who defeated him and was then taken by the prophets to their Celestial Temple to learn. Kasidy promised to wait until his return.
In the aftermath, Worf was named Federation Ambassador to the Klingon homeworld, Kira took over command of Deep Space Nine, and Miles returned to Earth.
Captain Benjamin Sisko
Doctor Julian Bashir
Chief Operations Officer Miles O’Brien
Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax
Lt. Commander Worf
Andrew J. Robinson
Kai Winn Adami
J. G. Hertzler
Nicole de Boer