I just finished watching the entire series of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It was wonderful. I’ve been a Trek fan as long as I can remember. My mom and I would watch reruns of TOS when I was little. I watched TNG, DS9, Voyager, and even Enterprise while they aired. I’ve seen all of the movies. A few months ago, after talking to a friend, I decided to re-watch DS9 in its entirety. This isn’t an essay or a review or anything formal. I just wanted to write down the random thoughts I’m having now that I finished.
Deep Space Nine is unquestionably my favorite Trek.
The cast is amazing, even Nog and Jake. You worry a little when children are going to be regulars or semi-regulars, but in this case there was no need. Not only did everyone fully inhabit their characters, but they had great chemistry with each other. I do feel like Avery Brooks as Captain Sisko and Armin Shimmermin as Quark deserve special credit.
Avery Brooks’ voice makes me jealous.
The relationship between Ben and Jake Sisko is perfect.
No other TV show, except maybe The Simpsons, has such a rich cast of supporting characters. Garak, Dukat, Weyoun, Zek, Brunt, Leeta, Rom, and Morn are real characters. And so are the female changeling, Vic Fontaine, Kai Winn, Zyal, and Dumar. Most shows don’t manage to flesh out their main characters as well as DS9 fleshed out its background characters.
The guest stars are pretty great, too. My personal favorite was Iggy Pop. I remember when I was originally watching the show and I saw in the opening that Iggy Pop was a special guest star, I spent the first 40 minutes of the show watching every alien that passed through Quark’s to see if I could recognize him. And then, there he was, as a Vorta, and perfectly recognizable. Brilliant. They also had Wallace Shawn as Zek. That’s a Princess Bride connection. Gabrielle Union played a Klingon once. They took one of the prettiest women in Hollywood (although she was awfully young at the time) and put forehead ridges on her.
DS9 got social commentary way better than any of the other Treks. At no point did it feel like they were saying, “Hey, look everyone, we cast a black man as the commanding officer!” Avery Brooks simply was Benjamin Sisko, commanding officer of Deep Space Nine. The only times the series every went into the showy, look we’re making a point, mode was the Ferengi episodes. And, let’s face it, you just can’t be subtle when dealing with Ferengis. The fact that the social commentary wasn’t so obvious made it that much more powerful.
Trials and Tribble-ations is one of my favorite hours of television. The bit about the crew not recognizing the Klingons and Worf refusing to explain was hilarious.
The theme music is really pretty good. I have to admit I was disappointed 20 years ago when I first heard it. I had been used to TOS and TNG which both had rousing, exciting theme music. They both said, “We’re going on an adventure!” DS9’s music is slower, more stately, and more ambiguous. The trumpet fanfare is certainly heroic, but with a sense of melancholy.
When I first watched the show, Sisko’s last scene with Kassidy didn’t leave the same impression on me. I used to think it was a Frodo and Gandalf getting into the boat kind of scene. But this time, I really feel like Sisko will be back. That it is a time of sadness, but he will be reunited with Jake and Kassidy. When I first watched, I was closer to Jake’s age than anyone else on the show. Now, I’m closer to the Captain’s age. It’s a different way of watching.