The second series of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
must have caused mixed feelings for those involved. There was a sense of optimism behind the scenes that stemmed from having gained a loyal following--made up of plenty of new fans--in its relatively short first year. The show had genuinely succeeded in being different from its predecessors. Better still, The Next Generation
would be bowing out gracefully halfway through this year. So it was that, with several more series guaranteed, the writers changed tack from standalone tales and into long-running story arcs. This was immediately evident in the format-testing three-part opening. Through the actions of Kira and her old pals, we saw that the Bajorans would only ever work toward their own agenda, whereas the Cardassians easily switched sides to suit their various agendas. The Federation was hardly innocent of political machinations either, especially with the discovery of the Maquis terrorists a few episodes later.
This three-way dynamic would underpin the entire run of the show. Expanding upon it was the handover of the Klingon saga from The Original Series and TNG, in which old warhorses Kor, Kang and Koloth first appeared. That left the Ferengi to maintain an element of fun with their Rules of Acquisition (Number 112: "Never have sex with the boss's sister"), exploration of their sexist culture and, naturally, through everything touched by the scene-stealing Quark (who was rewarded with a cameo for his real life wife). What seemed like standalone stories--Odo meeting his mentor, a trip into The Original Series' parallel universe and the culminating encounter with some super-soldiers (the Jem'Hadar)--later turned out to be more optimistic seed-sowing. Unfortunately, this second series also began with some concern about a competitor franchise, which started at exactly the same time as TNG ended. The impact of Babylon 5 on DS9 and TV SF in general by the end of the year could never have been envisioned at the start. --Paul Tonks
The complete second season of the popular 'Star Trek' spin-off series. In 'The Homecoming' Kira discovers that a Bajoran war hero, Li Nalas, is being held in a Cardassian labour camp and sets out to rescue him. In the second part, 'The Circle', anti-human feeling erupts again on the station, and Sisko orders an evacuation. Kira, meanwhile has been replaced as liaison officer on DS9 by Li Nalas, but from a Bajoran monastry she keeps her eye on the situation. 'The Siege' sees Sisko and the senior officers stay aboard DS9 as the right wing Bajorans move in and fight them with guerilla tactics. In 'Invasive Procedures' Deep Space Nine is suddenly and unexpectedly caught in a violent storm, leading to the evacuation of non-essential crew. While the station is running on a skeleton crew a band of criminals board the station and remove the Trill from Dax. In 'Cardassians' a young Cardassian orphan becomes the pawn in a political game between Bajor and Cardassia. In 'Melora', Dr Bashir falls in love with a woman from a planet where the gravity is different, and she is confined to a wheel-chair when away from her planet. Bashir sets about a treatment to free her from the chair. In 'Rules of Acquisition' a female Ferengi puts Quark in a difficult situation when she falls in love with him. In 'Necessary Evil' an attack on Quark's life reminds Odo of the first crime he investigated on DS9, and threatens to break the bond that he has built up with Kira. In 'Second Sight', Sisko falls in love with a mysterious woman who turns out to be a telepathic projection. In 'Sanctuary', Kira helps a group of aliens from the Gamma Quadrant, who then lay claim to Bajor, saying it is their traditional homeland. In 'Rivals', Quark feels threatened when a swindler opens a rival business on the Promenade. In 'The Alternate', Odo is offered the chance to discover more about his origins by Doctor Mora Pol. In 'Armageddon Game', O'Brien and Bashir find themselves in danger when they go on a diplomatic mission to rid a nation of a destructive weapon. In 'Whispers', O'Brien is treated with suspicion by both his friends and family when he returns to DS9 after a mission in the Paradas system. In 'Paradise', Sisko and O'Brien are stranded on a planet where there is strict discipline and a rejection of technology. In 'Shadowplay', Odo and Dax discover a planet in the Gamma Quadrant where the inhabitants of a town are beginning to disappear. In 'Playing God', Dax discovers a mini universe that is growing and beginning to displace her own universe. She finds signs of life within it, and is therefore reluctant to destroy it. In 'Profit and Loss', Quark's ex-lover returns to Deep Space Nine but she is now on the run from the Cardassians. In 'Blood Oath', three Klingons (all of whom had been in the original series) search out Curzon Dax who promised to help them in their quest for retribution. Jadzia finds that she cannot turn her back on her former host's friends. In 'The Maquis: Part 1', it becomes apparent that there is terrorist activity in the Cardassian demilitarised zone, so Sisko and Gul Dukat form an uneasy alliance to find out the truth. In the concluding episode of a two-part story, 'The Maquis: Part II', Sisko must go in search of the kidnapped Gul Dukat and face the renegade Starfleet officer, Hudson. In 'The Wire' Cardassian tailor Garak catches a mysterious illness whilst on board Deep Space Nine, and parts of his past life as a secret agent begin to surface. In 'Crossover', Major Kira slips into an alternate reality once visited by Captain Kirk, where mirror images of her colleagues from DS9 are now evil - even herself. In 'The Collaborator', Vedek Bareil is suspected of betraying Bajorans in the war with Cardassia, and Major Kira has to put her personal feelings behind her to investigate the allegations. In 'Tribunal', Chief O'Brien is falsely accused of murder and transported to Cardassia to stand trial. Finally in the last episode of this season, 'The Jem'Hadar', Sisko, Jake and Nog travel to the Gamma Quadrant and encounter the awesome warrior race, the Jem'Hadar, who intend to invade the Alpha Quadrant.