Greetings my sci-fi lovers!
I hope all is well and you are all enjoying your week! Today I share my take on an old classic: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. After watching the first four episodes my impression, while subject to change, is pretty set.
The show begins with an introduction to the main character: Benjamin Sisko. We see he and his crew under attack from the Borg, led by a possessed and brainwashed Captain Picard. The Federation is victorious in defeating the Borg but sustain heavy damages. Sisko finds his wife buried under rubble and dead. The shattered man attempts to do something but is held back. His crew relates to him that it is too late.
In present day, Sisko is assigned as a Commander to the newly operational Space Station: Deep Space Nine. It is a base jointly under Federation/Bajoran command. Kira Nerys, the senior Bajoran officer, offers resistance to Sisko at first, but gradually acquiesces to the Federation’s presence. Sisko is also joined by an old friend reincarnated, Jazdia Dax, a shapeshifting head of security named Odo, a suspicious Ferengi barkeep named Quark, and the zealously intelligent Dr. Julian Bashir.
Sisko still grieves the loss of his wife but is compelled to continue with his life for the sake of his son, Jake. The young Commander swallows his pride and bottles his emotions of rage upon receiving orders from the now freed Picard. However, his journey is changed upon meeting a Bajoran mystic, Kai Opaka. The mystic informs Sisko that he is a sort of messiah figure for Bajor called ‘the emissary.’ While Sisko is skeptical of this her words remain with him.
Later, Sisko and Dax, an old friend, visit a nearby wormhole. The pair find the wormhole is stable and leads to the Gamma Quadrant. A mysterious force interacts with them. It releases Dax and returns her to Deep Space Nine before conversing with Sisko. The entities in the wormholes are outside of time and space. Curious, they inquire about Sisko, seeking to understand him and his species. In one of Star Trek’s most impressive dialogues on existence, Sisko explains how the human race is defined by how they handle the unknown.
On a more personal touch, the extradimensional beings replay the fateful day Sisko lost his wife, Jennifer. He tearfully wishes for it to stop but the beings simply reply with ‘you exist here.’ It takes a moment for Sisko to realize that these beings have probed his mind. They have sensed that Sisko, despite his admiration for linear time, lives in the past; regretting that fateful day. The beleaguered commanding officer realizes his sense of remorse has kept him trapped in the past. Sisko accepts her passing and the higher beings return him to his ship. Having returned, Deep Space Nine thwarts an attempt from the tyrannical Cardassians to exploit the wormhole. Peace is restored to Deep Space Nine.
Following these events, a Bajoran terrorist seeks Kira’s help. This terrorist, named Tahna Los, appeals to Kira’s mutual desire for Bajoran independence. They both share their stories of oppression under the cruel Cardassians. Kira wants desperately to help him but morally she is bound to the Federation. In a fit of self-doubt, she turns to her trusted friend, Odo. He questions her and her motives, causing her to decide where her allegiances lie. In the end, she stays true to the Federation and arrests Tahna Los.
In the next episode Odo, the shapeshifting head of security, is the central focus. Odo is blamed for the murder of a Bajoran smuggler, Ibudan, who he hated. The people of Deep Space Nine, minus Sisko and Kira, question him. While Sisko finds himself on the fence more Bajoran sympathizers begin to group up and riot. They even threaten to kill him outright. Thankfully, Dr. Bashir returns with evidence that the smuggler wasn’t killed. It was, in fact, his clone. Odo uses his deductive skills to find the real Ibudan and arrests him.
On a separate note, Keiko O’Brien decides to use her teaching skills. Both Commander Sisko and Rom (a Ferengi smuggler) to agree to let O’Brien teach their sons.
I loved these four episodes! I appreciate the character writing that went into these episodes. In the first two, we can see the focus is clearly on Sisko and his backstory. We the viewers see he is still tormented by his past even when performing day-to-day Federation duty. It is his interaction with non-linear entities, which forces him to admit what he believes. This very interaction exposes his duality: time must continue but Sisko himself cannot because he lives in remorse. This is prime character writing, which lets us see his character progressing early on. Sisko is no rational being like Picard, nor is he a happy-go-lucky maverick like Kirk. Sisko is instead a very intentional, moralistic and emotionally private character. I look forward to seeing more of his arc.
When it comes to Kira and Odo I have less to say but what I observed in these episodes is enough to keep me interested.
Kira is portrayed as a very astute and commanding Bajoran, proud of her race and concerned with their future. While she is not outwardly political all the time, she dreams of a Bajor free of any outside power, including the Federation. But, it is her dilemma to help or hinder Tahna Los that hooked me; she has a strong motivation to help him with his bomb plan but she relents because it is morally wrong. I’ve been there; I’ve had to make many decisions I strongly opposed personally in the name of fairness and objectivity.
Odo, on the other hand, impressed me not with his morals but his cleverness. He never once succumbed to guilt or despair when he was accused and doubted. Instead Odo jumps at the chance to arrest the felon and quickly deduces where he is and what he is planning. For a brief introduction, I was shown that this mysterious shapeshifter does not give up, instead choosing to think his way through obstacles.
I also appreciated the subplot involving Keiko O’Brien. While I don’t know much about her besides being Officer O’Brien’s wife I got to see a glimpse of her personality. She is nurturing, clever and determined. Keiko wants to use her teaching skills with the resident children, and she finagles her way into persuading both the Commander and a lowlife moneygrubbing Ferengi into letting her teach their kids. She was determined to be of use and got her wish. I sympathize with this, for I myself wish to be an educator and I won’t give up until I find my niche.
Lastly, I like the overall atmosphere in this show. While The Next Generation centers around a disciplined crew in normal Federation Space and Voyager features a ragtag crew lost in another quadrant fleeing home Deep Space Nine focuses on a small young hybrid crew (half were previously under Bajoran rules) involved in a political dispute while staying in one part of space. I love it!
All in all, I was highly impressed with this show! I can’t wait to find out what adventures await!
Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day!