From the outset, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
was about conflict. Producers Rick Berman and Michael Piller challenged the utopian ideals of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek
universe to create something totally different from its predecessors. This meant no familial camaraderie, squeaky-clean Federation diplomacy or beige décor. Instead they wanted interpersonal friction, ruthless enemies (Gamma Quadrant Imperialists--The Dominion) and rebellion at every turn. The DS9
concept was originally facilitated by introducing the Cardassian/Bajoran war during The Next Generation
's final days. After a muted first reception fans gradually came to accept the new look, but no one liked Star Trek
without a starship and eventually the producers capitulated to viewers' wishes by introducing the USS Defiant (an apt name) in Season 3.
Relying far less on technobabble than TNG, DS9 was unafraid to focus on matters of the spirit demonstrating a gutsy independence from its parent shows. Taking up the gauntlet thrown down by Babylon 5, improved CGI space battles also became a fan favourite. Throughout the increasingly serialised story arc there were rebellious factions within the different establishments: Kira had belonged to the Shakaar resistance cell; The Maquis was Starfleet vs. Cardassians; Section 31 was a secret Starfleet group; The True Way was a Bajoran group opposed to peace; the Cardassians had their Obsidian Order and the Romulans their Gestapo-like Tal Shiar. Yet for all its constant bickering and espionage (even Bashir got to be James Bond) there was always some contemporary social commentary lurking: the Ferengi were used as a comedic foil to frown on materialistic greed; drugs were looked at via the Jem'Hadar foot soldiers' addiction to Ketracel White.
Perhaps Sisko summed up the real heart of things: "Bajor doesn't need a man, it needs a legend". A future vision that retains a place for religion and spirituality turned out to be Deep Space Nine's first best destiny. --Paul Tonks
Two episodes of the space station set Star Trek series. In 'The Assignment', stardate 50124.3, Keiko returns from Bajor seemingly possessed by a non-corporeal alien.The alien then threatens to kill Keiko if Chief O'Brien fails to sabotage the station. In 'Trials and Tribble-ations', stardate 4523.7, Sisko, Dax, Odo, Worf, Bashir and O'Brien find themselves thrown back in time to a point where Kirk and the original Enterprise crew are having a little trouble with some Klingons and a lot of furry little squeaks. This show is Deep Space Nine's contribution to the 30th Anniversary celebrations, and features similar special effects as were used in 'Forrest Gump' to put the space station crew in the same scenes as the original cast.