The Ferengi, not the subatomic particle
Just when I started feeling a teensy bit better, the young Wolf seems to have contracted whatever it is I've got. What that means is that I don't have the spoons to write up a bunch of fun Halloween questions or make up a quiz game. Although totally do it if you've got the energy! Lemme know how it turns out!
But there's something else I've got enough strength for.
Deep Space Nine
Star Trek Deep Space Nine (ST:DS9) has long been one of my favorite Treks, despite it not getting the cred (I think) it deserves. Its original run was seven seasons from 1993 - 1999. I first watched it during the original run and in early syndication, when they'd run marathons way after I should've been asleep, as a kid about to enter high school.
I'm now, 20+ years later, finally doing a full rewatch.
I started once, a few years ago, but I was trying to get Dr. Nerd to join me, and we have a hard time coordinating our binge-watching. One of us falls asleep or someone wants to watch when the other isn't around and it's just hard. So I finally decided to just move forward by myself and if he decides to follow suit, we'll have a chance to discuss it then.
These are the voyages of…
I said it's one of my favorite Treks, but calling it a "trek" is a bit misleading.
For those non-trekkies, Deep Space Nine is set on a space station of the same name (DS9 from here out, to differentiate between show and space station.) So although there is some voyaging (and more to come as I understand), it differs from other Star Trek series by mostly taking place in one location, with an important caveat: the space station is located on the edge of a stable wormhole. So although DS9 is their home base, they get many opportunities to travel into the far away Gamma Quadrant to explore.
The space station is located near Bajor, a planet that has, until recently, been occupied by Cardassian forces. The native Bajoran people were massacred, enslaved, and treated brutally by the villainous Cardassians (brought to us from the next generation) and now that they've been freed, the United Federation of Planets wants them to join.
I intend for this post to get more developed as I watch. I don't exactly want to make an entire encyclopedia right now. Besides, that already exists.
- Commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks)
A Black person as a leading role in mainstream sci-fi? But I thought JJ Abrams invented that in 2015!
Sorry y'all, Trek did it in 1993.
Sisko, a human, is also a single father - his wife having died in an attack by the Borg - and a baseball fanatic.
- Chief of Operations Miles O'Brien (Colm Meaney)
Moving from Picard's Enterprise-D to DS9, O'Brien also gets a promotion. He, along with wife Keiko and their daughter are all humans. Keiko is a total boss, and so faces a lot of hate in the fandom.
- Constable Odo (Rene Auberjonois)
If you recognize Odo's face - despite the makeup, you might be a fan of Boston Legal. If you recognize his voice, on the other hand, you might be a fan of the song "Les Poissons" from the Little Mermaid. Yep. Please imagine Odo singing that for just a minute.
Odo is the chief of security and a shapeshifter - the only one of his kind, as far as he knows. He's got major beef with Quark and is constantly trying to catch him at something so he can shut down his bar.
- Major Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor)
A Bajoran, local to the Planet around which DS9 was built. She was part of the resistance during the Cardassian occupation of her home planet, but now plays liaison between Bajor and the Federation as Sisko's number one.
- Jadzia Dax (Terry Ferrell)
Probably my favorite character, because reasons (update: lol it's because I'm trans). Jadzia is of a species known as the Trill, where two different organisms evolved alongside each other such that they could form a symbiosis. Dax is the name of the symbiont that lives inside Jadzia's humanoid form, making them Jadzia Dax, both and neither, plus all the hosts Dax has lived with previously. Many Trill hosts are never joined with a symbiont, and to be chosen is a great honor. The selection process is very rigorous.
In an official-to-me (read:unofficial) retcon, all joined Trills are not on the gender binary (are possibly agender) so despite the dance ST:DS9 does to ensure that they don't include anything gay, actually all romances Dax has are gay.
- Quark (Armin Shimerman)
The acquirer of many bars of gold-pressed latinum.
Remember how I said I was staying up late watching ST:DS9 reruns? That was in 1998, and just a month or two later, an amazing little series called Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be starting their iconic third season, in which the annoying Principal Snyder will finally get what's coming to him when he's eaten by his own beloved mayor in snake-demon form.
For those of you who are no quicker than I am, the relevance here is that the aforementioned Snyder and the also-annoying-but-still-lovable Ferengi Quark are both played by Armin Shimerman.
I was watching them basically at the same time and I did not know this. For twenty years I didn't know this. It's obviously because of the Ferengi makeup and because twenty years ago we didn't have IMDB but still! I've rewatched Buffy a half dozen times, and somehow this never came up?
Quark is the owner of a bar and casino on DS9 and is portrayed as your typical Ferengi, greedy and obsessed with gold-pressed latinum. Except when he's not. He's really well developed and hard not to love despite his seemingly unlikeable background. Even Odo, chief of security, is beginning to tolerate him.
- Dr. Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig)
Chief Medical Officer and human hottie. He's like if Gaius Baltar hadn't been so absolutely intolerable for 98% of Battlestar Galactica. He's utterly competent, which is maybe why he still manages to be adorably awkward despite being conventionally beautiful in a not-at-all-Hugh-Grant-esque fashion.
- Garak (Andrew Robinson)
A simple tailor. But a Cardassian.
My other favorite character, and one half (along with Dr. Bashir) of my Star Trek universe OTP - One True Pairing. The actors even performed a fan script of this ship set many years after DS9 on an Alexander Siddig fan page because they fully realize what we were deprived of and are actual icons. Plus there was no way for Rick Berman - DS9 EP and professional homophobe - to interfere.
- More to come
In this section, I'll link to reviews of my favorite episodes (or the ones about which I have the most to say). Note that they might not be "good" episodes. With the existence of the internet and group rewatches I've learned that sometimes my favorite episodes are almost universally hated ?
Anyone else up for some Doublemeat Palace?
I'll try to avoid review and ranking sites until I do my write up so that I'm not biased by being proven totally wrong.
Move Along Home
Unironically one of my favorite episodes of any Star Trek of any time. I mean I love games this one had to happen.
- The entire arc spanning Season 1 episode 19 and Season 2 episode 3