[[caption-width-right:350:[-The main characters of ''Deep Space Nine''. Not pictured: [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters Ezri, Nog, Rom, Leeta, Garak, Dukat, Winn, Bareil, Keiko, Molly, Damar, Weyoun, Gowron, Martok, Ziyal, Morn...]]-] ]]

->''"Think of it: Five years ago, no one had ever heard of Bajor or Deep Space Nine. And now all our hopes rest here."''
-->--'''Chancellor Gowron'''

'''''Star Trek: Deep Space Nine''''' is the second of the "next generation" of ''Franchise/StarTrek'' shows, airing after [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]] for its first three years, then concurrently (some might say "[[DuelingShows competitively]]") with UPN's ''[[Series/StarTrekVoyager Voyager]]'' for the rest of its run. Set on an orbital {{space station}}, [=DS9=] traded the WagonTrainToTheStars premise of past (and future) ''Treks'' for "[[SpaceWestern Fort Apache in Space]]".

[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS6E10ChainOfCommand When we last left Next Gen]], the remote world of Bajor had just booted out its occupiers, the Cardassians (the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Evil Alien Race]] of the month), through a war of attrition and a fair amount of terrorism. With the planet spiraling into anarchy, Starfleet sent a platoon to the former gulag, [[TradingBarsForStripes rechristened Deep Space 9]], to lend the Bajorans a hand.

In the pilot episode, a unique [[SwirlyEnergyThingy stable]] [[OurWormholesAreDifferent wormhole]] leading to the uncharted Gamma Quadrant of the galaxy is discovered. Instantly, Bajor is transformed from a [[NothingExcitingEverHappensHere rustic backwater]] into the most valuable piece of real estate in the Alpha Quadrant, and the station is relocated to police its traffic. The fixed base allowed the show to delve deeply into the politics of the ''Star Trek'' universe, but the appearance of the wormhole also caught the attention of the Dominion, a [[FantasyAxisOfEvil less cuddly]] counterpart to the United Federation of Planets.

What made ''[=DS9=]'' so unusual in Trekdom was that every action had consequences. Part of this is because the producers became more and more comfortable altering Creator/GeneRoddenberry's spotless, optimistic future: nobody on Bajor particularly got along with each other and, unlike its ship-based sister series, the crew couldn't just '[[ButNowIMustGo jump to warp]]' and leave the Problem of the Week behind. The writers employed {{Story Arc}}s much more extensively than in other ''Treks'' (including a full MythArc dealing with the Dominion), showing it had now earned the "SpaceOpera" genre tag that it had been given. Perhaps most importantly, by shifting focus to garrison troops [[WestCoastTeam toiling over a border planet]], [=DS9=] finally allowed writers to scrutinize the Federation as it appears to its neighbors: a noble organization that still has problems with bureaucracy and some [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans skeletons in its closet]].

Another factor was the sheer number of recurring characters. While all ''Trek'' shows have large casts, [=DS9=] is the only one that qualifies for LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters. Consequently, the show was overrun with {{Fake Guest Star}}s, Aron Eisenberg's seven-year stint as Nog standing out in particular. This was enabled, again, by [=DS9=] being a fixed location.

As a result of this kind of thing, the show tends to [[BrokenBase divide Trekkies quite a bit]]: people who like ''Trek'' for the spacefaring action and [[AnAesop moral commentary]] may dislike its focus on [[{{Soaperizing}} soapy melodrama]] and dispensing with many of Gene's utopian themes. On the other hand, those who ''do'' like [=DS9=] tend to prefer it over other ''Trek'' shows, forming a little subculture of their own in Trekkie fandom known as "Niners".

In spite of the general divide within fandom itself, ''[=DS9=]'' earned more critical accolades than even ''The Next Generation'' due to its intense CharacterDevelopment, high-quality acting and pioneering use of {{Story Arc}}s; it is still regarded by many as the greatest and most underrated show ever to take the ''Trek'' name.

The show currently runs in [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff British and Japanese TV]]. It used to run in Syndication on SpikeTV in the United States, but due to low ratings has not aired for some time. As of October 2011 the complete series is available on {{Creator/Netflix}} streaming in the United States.

Despite the acknowledged limitations of focusing on individual episodes in a ''heavily'' arc-based series, this show has a tool for voting on [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/BestEpisode/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Favorite Episodes]]. Also has a [[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine recap page]]. Please feel free to contribute to it.

See also the StarTrekDeepSpaceNineRelaunch, a series of novels continuing the show's story arcs past the finale.

!!This series provides examples of the following tropes:

* StarTrekDeepSpaceNine/TropesAToD
* StarTrekDeepSpaceNine/TropesEToL
* StarTrekDeepSpaceNine/TropesMToP
* StarTrekDeepSpaceNine/TropesQToZ

->''[[{{Website/SFDebris}} "...And get the Counselor off my bridge! The only reason she should be sitting next to me is to give me a lap dance while I'm killing Borg."]]''