This week, January 3rd, 21 years ago, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine debuted on TV. It was the third Star Trek created in the vision of Gene Roddenberry. Although later it seems, according to Majel Barret at the time, DS9 moved away from that vision after season 3 because of the Dominion war. Star Trek was at it's prime, arguably never before was Star Trek so popular, Star Trek: The Next Generation was at it's peak, season 5, season 6, the movie Star Trek: Generations was in the works. Things couldn't be better. Besides Star Trek sci-fi was flourishing, the 90's is thé decade of sci-fi on tv with shows, besides Trek, like Babylon 5, Space: Above and Beyond, The X-Files, Stargate SG-1 and so on.


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was a different kind of Star Trek, no space ship, not going where no man has gone before. Deep Space Nine was a space station, the stories had to come to them. That was certainly different and it's shows in the early episodes of DS9. DS9 needed to find it's footing. Besides for the original Star Trek, all Star Trek shows had a rough beginning, they all needed a bit time to flourish, as also with DS9, but by the end of the first season it became clear, at least to me, that we had something special. Idea's were beginning to form to tell a serialized story instead of week to week adventures like in TNG. In season 2 the Dominion was mentioned for the first time, just a hint, nothing more. But soon the Dominion became an important threat and ultimately one of the most important one, besides family, (Bajoran) religion.

DS9 was different indeed and till this day I thank the creators they did make it different, who needs copies of other shows. For me there is no question about it, DS9 is by far the best Star Trek show ever created. I know there are a lot of people who feel differently and that's okay too. According to many, DS9 is their least favourite Star Trek show. Besides the growing threat of the Dominion, there were more interesting aspects of this Trek series, it had so many fantastic recurring characters like Andrew Robinson (Garak), Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun), Louise Fletcher (Kai Winn Adami) and of course Marc Alaimo as Gul Dukat. And these are only four names but the list is endless. What I personally also found intriguing, were the Bajorans and their religion, always made interesting stories.


DS9 always had the disadvantage, it was sandwiched between two Star Trek series, The Next Generation and Voyager, both series have always been more popular for multiple reasons but one is certainly because the setting was a Starship. Another reason perhaps was the captain. Sisko never really was as popular as Janeway and Picard. In every survey that has been done over the years, he almost always was the 4th of 5th favourite captain. To be clear, Sisko IS my favourite Star Trek captain. He was a single parent on a space station, he lost his wife, he didn't want to be there at first but he embraced not only his assignment but ultimately also his emissary ship. He could be gentle, showed emotion but could also be though, he did not evade things that needed to be done. He's my hero! Of course besides Avery Brooks' Sisko, the DS9 regular cast were all, to me, the most interesting crew of all Star Trek. I think besides Sisko my other regular favourite is dr Bashir (Alexander Siddig). I think he's has grown the most of all, from annoying young doctor who thought he knew it all to a responsible doctor who isn't afraid to speak his mind, not afraid to make difficult choices and who is genetically enhanced, a secret which he carries with him all his life. Mostly I think I love his friendship with Miles (Colm Meaney) and his relationship with Garak (Andrew Robinson).

And so now it's 21 years later, Star Trek still is a big part of our society, DS9 will always be the least favourite to the majority. But there a lot of DS9 fans, for whom, like me, DS9 is their most favourite Trek. As you all know The Next Generation is being released on Blu-Ray as we speak, the 5th season has been released last November, the sixth season is due in a few months, were we will see a first glimps of DS9 in HD in the TNG episode "Birthright" and of course we sincerely hope DS9 will get a similar treatment as TNG gets, with the release of all DS9 seasons on Blu-Ray. It's something I am really hoping for. For all you people who still think DS9 is not worthy of the name Star Trek, please give it a chance, watch it, don't give up to soon because if there ever is a tv series that gets better with every season, it's DS9!

Pictures: Trekcore.com

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