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Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"If the Dominion comes through the Wormhole, the first battle will be fought here. And I intend to be ready for them."
Commander Benjamin Sisko

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the second of the "next generation" of Star Trek shows, following on from Star Trek: The Next Generation. This series ran seven seasons, airing concurrently with TNG for its first two years, then with Voyager for the remainder of its run. DS9 traded the Wagon Train to the Stars premise of the previous (and future) Star Trek shows for a "Fort Apache in Space" or "The Rifleman in space" setting.

Picking up off the heels of Next Gen, in which planet Bajor drove out their Cardassian occupiers through a war of attrition and a fair amount of terrorism, Starfleet sends a small platoon to an abandoned Cardassian outpost (renamed Deep Space 9 by the Federation) to lend the Bajorans a hand. In the first episode, a unique stable wormhole was discovered leading to the Gamma Quadrant of the galaxy—instantly transforming Bajor from an agrarian backwater into the most strategically-valuable piece of real estate in the Alpha/Beta Quadrants—and the station was relocated there to claim its use. 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 less cuddly counterpart to the United Federation of Planets.

One of the factors that made Deep Space Nine unique was that every action had consequences. Part of this is because the producers became more and more comfortable altering Gene Roddenberry's positive, optimistic future: no one on sectarian Bajor particularly got along with each other, and, unlike its ship-based sister series, the crew couldn't just 'jump to warp' and leave the Problem of the Week behind. The writers employed Story Arcs much more extensively than in other Treks, showing it had now earned the "Space Opera" genre tag that it had been given. Perhaps most importantly, by shifting focus from gallant explorers to garrison troops toiling above a border planet, DS9 finally allowed the writers to scrutinize The Federation for what it truly is: a noble organization that still has problems with bureaucracy and some skeletons in its closet.

Another key difference for Deep Space Nine was the unprecedented number - and depth - of the supporting characters. While all Star Trek series have large casts, Deep Space Nine is the only one that qualifies for Loads and Loads of Characters. It was also the only show to have a number of Fake Guest Stars, many of whom deserved a slot in the main titles. This was enabled, again, by Deep Space 9 being a fixed location.

As a result of this kind of thing, the show tends to divide Trekkies quite a bit: most people who like Star Trek for the spacefaring action and moral commentary dislike its focus on soapy melodrama while dispensing with many of the utopian themes. On the other hand, those who do like DS9 tend to like it a lot more than they like the other Trek series, forming a little subculture of their own in Trek fandom known as "Niners".

In spite of the general divide within fandom itself, DS9 earned more critical accolades than even Star Trek: The Next Generation due to its intense Character Development, high-quality acting and pioneering use of Story Arcs; it is still regarded by many as the greatest and most underrated show ever to take the Star Trek name.

The show currently runs in British and Japanese TV. It used to run in Syndication on Spike TV in the United States, but due to low ratings has not been seen in repeats in the United States for over a year. As of October 2011 the complete series is available on 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 Favorite Episodes. Also has a recap page. Please feel free to contribute to it.

See also the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch, a series of novels continuing the show's story arcs past the finale.

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alternative title(s): Deep Space9; Deep Space Nine; Star Trek D S9; ptitle13u9mryd; Star Trek Deep Space9; Star Trek Deep Space Nine; Deep Space Nine; DS 9
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