I’m going to let you in on a not so well known secret. Star Trek Deep Space 9 was awesome.
Yeah that’s right, I said it was awesome, and I’m not afraid to say it out loud. Now before you close this tab, let me just say, that it wasn’t always awesome, but it got there in the end. So for the purposes of self satisfaction I’m going to skim over why it sucked, then gush lovingly about why it rocked.
DS9 started off in abysmal fashion. It was way too preachy, bogged down with religious lore and featured some truly ugly set and costume design. The truth is, it tried to be to different, to the point where it was almost unrecognizable from the Star Trek we all knew and loved. And for a few series, it featured some uninspiring and frankly boring storylines that just weren’t worth setting your VHS for. Inevitably, most watchers, even the hardcore among us, gave up.
But then a number of magical things happened that sky rocketed this show from worse than bad to simply outstanding.
First of all, they let Captain Sisko shave his head and grow a goatee to propel him into the badass Captain he was always meant to be (did you know they actually made Avery Brooks shave and grow more hair on top to make him more universally appealing in the first place?!)
Then Michael Dorn appeared in the show. That’s right, how do you save a show? Add more Worf. That’s freaking how.
They gave them a ship! Yes, you get the feeling that the showrunners sat down in a room and said, this space station crap ain’t really working is it. Let’s get these guys a ship. And so the Defiant arrived to provide much more interesting adventures.
Then there was Gul Dukat. Now, Kahn aside, Star Trek isn’t exactly known for great villains. Sure there was Q in TNG, but he was just too much damned fun to be really villainous. Dukat is one of those rare Trek villains who probably deserved a movie dedicated to his villainy as it was just too much to be contained on the small screen. He plagued Captain Sisko and Major Kira from start to end, walking the fine line of enemy and ally at different times, and committing some legendary badass crimes, and even killing a show regular.
Then the real kicker, they made it uber dark and introduced the Dominion War story arc which would ultimately run from series 4 through 7 and define the show. This slow burner of a plot took DS9 where no Star Trek had gone before. Sure we had seen battles, but the grim reality of War was new for Star Trek and it gave the series a real edge. There were fairly large scale space battles, main character deaths, betrayal and more.
Let me just give you a rundown of what you missed:
- All out War between the Federation and a race of artificially bred super warriors, led by a group of shapeshifters.
- War against the Klingons , including an epic assault on the space station.
- An alliance with the Romulans.
- And much more.
There are some truly memorable episodes of DS9 that you should really check out.
The Way of the Warrior
Here the Klingons really do lay siege to DS9. It’s one of the best space battles you’ll ever see on the small screen.
Far Beyond the Stars
In this award winning episode, the setting is actually in 1950′s America. Each member of the crew plays a counterpart from this time period as they explore the various issues of the time, such as racism and politics.
Trials and Tribble-ations
Look, Deep Space 9, the original crew, Tribbles. Nuff sed.
In the Pale Moonlight
In this, my personal favourite episode ever, and one of the darkest episodes of Star Trek ever penned. Captain Sisko is actually a party to the assassination of a Romulan emissary, in a move to get them to enter the war as allies. The shocking part is watching him come to terms with it all, and convincing himself it was the right thing to do. Gene Roddenbury must be turning in his grave, out of excitement that is!
Look all I’m saying is, maybe you judged this show a little too early. Maybe you should go back and pick up where you left off and this time not miss out on all the awesomeness that is DS9.
You owe it to yourself as true Trekkie or Trekker, whichever might be reading…
Oh, but the ending to the finale sucks. Just a heads up.
Your Unwilling Hero