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Trivia / Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

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  • Acting for Two:
    • Most, if not all, of the main cast and their Mirror Universe counterparts.
    • Bashir gets reckd by Voyager's Robert Picardo (as Dr. Lewis Zimmerman and the Emergency Medical hologram) in "Dr. Bashir, I Presume". The "archaic" EMH is confronted by the even more presumptuous Holo-Bashir, triggering a four-way catfight between the holograms and their templates.
    • While "Nog" was away at Starfleet Academy, Aaron Eisenberg played a Ferengi waiter in "Bar Association".
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    • Jeffrey Combs, playing clones of the same character, gets to play a good and evil (ie. normal) version of Weyoun arguing over a commlink; he also played the Ferengi character Brunt. Combs always wanted to appear as both Weyoun and Brunt in a single scene, but never got the chance. He did, at least, get to play both characters in the same episode, Season Seven's "The Dogs of War".
    • "Far Beyond the Stars", "Shadows and Symbols", and (to a lesser extent) "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" and "What You Leave Behind" showcased the cast sans fards. One interesting example is the episode "Far Beyond The Stars". The entire regular cast show up as humans in Sisko's vision of the 1950s on Earth. Cast members who usually appear in heavy alien makeup here appear almost unrecognizable without their prosthetic, leading to a weird "you look familiar..." deja vu feeling (which reflects Sisko's state of mind) until you match up the actors with the characters they usually play.
  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • Like his character, Andrew Robinson is claustrophobic. He had trouble wearing the prosthetic early on. Garak also spoke of posing as a gardener while conducting surveillance on Romulus. His stint at the Cardassian Embassy coincided with a number of mysterious deaths that year, including a Romulan proconsul who was found poisoned. This is an in-joke by Andrew Robinson, who is passionate about gardening in real life but hasn't murdered anyone. (That we know of.)
    • When Kira is complaining about how she feels being pregnant with the O'Brian's baby she says "This is YOUR fault!" to Dr. Bashir. Nana Visitor was really pregnant with Alexander Siddig's child. Also, in the Bennyverse ("Far Beyond the Stars"), the pulp authors played by Visitor and Siddig are a couple, just like in real life.
    • Sisko has an extensive collection of African art (like Avery) which he gradually moves to his new space station digs. In "Past Tense" and "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" he's revealed to be something of a Civil Rights historian (again, like Avery), making him a perfect guide into the underbelly of Federation culture. Also, Avery may have been touched by The Prophets in real life... he's a little off-beat at times.
      William Shatner: Avery Brooks, what a great guy. But he's a little out there. He's doing Jazz things in his head.
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  • B-Team Sequel: The first Trek series to be created without direct input from Gene Roddenberry, and it shows, especially in the later seasons, which are much Darker and Edgier than Roddenberry's optimistic vision of humanity's future.
  • The Cast Showoff: Inverted in "Take Me Out to the Holosuite". Max Grodénchik was actually a successful semi-professional baseball player who seriously considered going pro before becoming an actor instead. The reason Rom plays left-handed in that episode despite not being The Southpaw in the rest of the show is that Max simply couldn't play badly enough to convincingly portray the worst player on the team any other way.
  • Creator Backlash: Alexander Siddig hated the genetic enhancements reveal in "Dr. Bashir, I Presume", as he considered it a nonsensical Shocking Swerve for the character. To this day, he openly states that he deliberately phoned in his performance in that episode as a form of revolt. (He's otherwise positive about the show in general, though.)
  • Dawson Casting: Even though Nog was supposed to be in his mid-teens at the start of the show, Aron Eisenberg was 24 years old when it premiered, and ten years older than Cirroc Lofton, who played Jake. Eisenberg has had kidney problems since birth, which limited his growth.
  • Defictionalization: Beyond the examples shared with other Trek media, the scifi novel "Far Beyond the Stars" from the episode of the same name was later written and published.
  • Development Gag: The name of the episode "The Siege of AR-558" comes from 558 being the development number of the episode. It fits the overall idea of the battleground being such a random nondescript place that it doesn't even have a real name.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Michael Dorn, Alexander Siddig and even guest stars Andrew Robinson and Jonathan Frakes get at least one shot behind the camera. And LeVar Burton, who appeared in The Next Generation, took a spin as well. In fact, Burton was the fifth most prolific director on the series, while Brooks and Auberjonois share sixth place.
  • Doing It for the Art: Frank Langella's uncredited appearance in the first three episodes of Season 2. He didn't want to make it seem like he was appearing on DS9 for money or exposure.
  • Dueling Shows: With Babylon 5 during its '94-'95 run. B5's auteur J. Michael Straczynski claimed for years that Paramount stole his story treatment, but he has since backed down after internal company memos came to light that showed the idea circulating around before he pitched his show. The two would remain rivals throughout their respective runs, with B5 wrapping up a year earlier in 1998. The two shows' similarities begin at being set on a space station at a trade crossroads and don't stop there:
    • Both had a female commander who began the show as a staid, by the book officer. Over time, Dax and Ivanova became more bawdy and comedic.
    • The dirty-tricks squad Bureau 13/the dirty-tricks squad Section 31.
    • Dukat and Lord Refa Weyoun concoct a story that Ghemor made a deathbed decision to embrace the Dominion, which is exactly what happened to Emperor Turhan.
    • A (barely) oblique reference is made to this on B5. In one episode, a gift shop is set up on the station. One of the characters loudly derides this idea, saying "This isn't some deep-space franchise! This station is about something!" It should be noted that the writer of this episode, Peter David, has written several Star Trek novels. (When he wrote that line into the B5 script, it was with the expectation that JMS and friends would change it, if only to a more subtle jab, before shooting; upon learning that the line was filmed and broadcast verbatim, David remarked to JMS that " people are dangerous over there, aren't you?")
    • The Deep Space Nine writers weren't above including their own subtle jabs at B5. One episode featured Bashir having to chaperone a cadre of Ambassadors visiting the station and putting up with all the crap that comes with it. According to JMS, the writers of DS9 actually liked B5. The producers, not so much.
    • There are massive parallels between the Sheridan/Shadows and the Sisko/Pah-Wraith arc. Sisko is marked for death by the Prophets for defying them and takes a high-dive into the Fire Caves, 'killing' him while transferring his essence to a spiritual realm: the situation is a mirror of Sheridan's trip to Z'ha'dum and his later vanishing into the Rim.
    • DS9 had trouble finding its feet initially, leaning on unresolved arcs from TNG and more or less sticking to its episodic format (not unlike VOY & ENT). As Babylon Five began to make waves with its much-hyped, five-year war saga, the Dominion War was shortly introduced.
    • The intrusion of Section 31 into Federation politics is incredibly similar to B5's PsiCorp.note  J.J. Abrams revived Section 31 for the film reboot, making it Deep Space Nine's longest-lasting influence on Trek as a whole.
    • There was also an amusing incident involving actor Robert Foxworth, who had appeared on B5 as Earthforce General William Hague, part of the conspiracy to overthrow President Clark. He was then mistakenly double-booked by his agent as the very similar Admiral James Leyton on DS9's "Homefront"/"Paradise Lost " two-parter, resulting in Hague being killed offscreen in "Severed Dreams". (Bruce Mc Gill said in an outtake for that episode that Hague couldn't be present because he was "doing Deep Space Nine.")
  • Enforced Method Acting: To have an episode where a character questions their entire sense of self is a big ask of any actress, but to claustrophobe Nana Visitor (who was used to a teeny prosthetic on the nose), it was like entering an iron maiden. In "Second Skin", she claws at her Cardassian face as though it is a mask that she wants to rip off – and she actually did, pulling apart her latex and fleeing the set in terror. They somehow managed to get the episode in the can, but it was her hardest episode to film.
  • Executive Meddling: A good one. The idea of the Vorta being entirely a cloned species was the result of the producers being extremely impressed with Jeffrey Combs' performance of Weyoun and wanting to bring him back.
  • Executive Veto:
  • Fake Brit: Actually averted with Julian Bashir, played by Alexander Siddig, an English Arab born in Sudan. This makes one of only three times in the franchise a non-American main cast member was played by an actor of the same nationality (the others being Colm Meaney as Miles O'Brien, and Dominic Keating as Malcolm Reed).
  • Fake Russian: Major Kira is reimagined as Colonel Anastasia Komananov ("Gay-Chee-Pee"), in Bashir's totally-not-James Bond holoprogram. Even Nana Visitor, an American, gleefully admitted that it's a terrible accent. This is commented on by Vic in "His Way". When pressed, he admitted that his sexy Kira duplicate, "Lola Chrystal", is just a modded version of the Colonel Komananov hologram and that it took him forever to get rid of her horrid accent.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Kai Opaka was called "Deep Space Nun" during the first season but was Put on a Bus midway through the season.
    • A number of fans refer to Jadzia as "Sex Giraffe" due to her giraffe-like spots and, well...
    • Thanks to reviewer SF Debris, the practice of calling the Defiant the USS Ben Sisko's Motherfucking Pimp Hand, is slowly catching on.
    • Damar was derisively referred to as "Dumbar" on certain fan forums for his blind loyalty to Dukat. Of course, this was before his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Friendly Fandoms: While it wasn't true during airing (quite the opposite, really) over time the Babylon 5 and DS9 fandoms have become this, as people have realized that the two shows are more complimentary than they are competitive and often tackle rather different issues. This is no doubt helped by guest appearances of several Star Trek actors, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett and Jeffrey Combs on Babylon 5.
  • Hostility on the Set: Nothing too extensive, but the behind-the-scenes attitude was very dour on the show. It's been said that Avery Brooks, Armin Shimerman and Marc Alaimo took their roles very seriously (Brooks' temperament was partially due to Method Acting, Shimerman always fought against Ferengi as comic relief and Alaimo, despite technically being a guest star, would behave as though he was the lead). During the first few years with TNG filming next to them, when people were actually talking and laughing the producers knew that Marina Sirtis had wandered over to visit some friends. Upon joining the cast in the fourth season Michael Dorn said it took him some time to get everyone to lighten up.
  • Irony as She Is Cast:
    • Baseball players in "Take Me Out to the Holosuite". Aside from Avery Brooks (Sisko) and Cirroc Lofton (Jake), the actors playing the Ferengi were the best baseball players in the cast. In fact Max Grodenchik (Rom) played college ball. The Ferengi being who they are, however, forced them to play left-handed and employ other tricks to look horrible on film.
    • Armin Shimerman has been on the board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild and worked against various entertainment corporations to secure actor's rights. Quark is a staunch anti-union and anti-worker's rights Ferengi. Then again, since Bioshock came out, he's given interviews stating his appreciation of Ayn Rand's books note , so he may not be so easy to pigeonhole.
    • Socialist Wallace Shawn plays Grand Nagus Zek, leader of a race whose greatest value is acquiring profit.
  • McLeaned: Jadzia Dax was killed off after contract re-negotiations with Terry Farrell fell through (the early makeup calls were getting to be too much; several cast members had reached their wit's end by that point). Terry left the show in Season 6 to join the cast of Becker. She later regretted this decision, calling Jadzia a "superhero."
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Quark's mother, Ishka was played by Andrea Martin in her first appearance, and Cecily Adams in all subsequent appearances. According to Armin Shimerman, Martin disliked acting in heavy makeup, and declined to reprise the part.
    • Tora Ziyal was played by Cyia Batten for her first two appearances, but the producers decided that she was too young for the part and replaced her with Tracy Middendorf for Ziyal's third appearance. Due to Middendorf proving allergic to the prosthetics and having poor chemistry with Garak's actor, Andrew Robinson, however, she was replaced by Melanie Smith for all of Ziyal's subsequent appearances.
    • The actor who plays Alexander is a different one from any of the actors who played him in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Interestingly, more people are upset about this than either of the above actors, possibly due to his Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome.
      • Though apparently Klingons physically mature faster than most races... Alexander would have been about 8 years old when he began military service. Being 1/4 human didn't seem to matter any considering future Alexander seen on TNG looked fully Klingon regardless of minor human genetics.
      • It's mentioned in an episode of Voyager that in Klingon/human hybrids, Klingon DNA is dominant (hence why Miral Paris, who is only 1/4 Klingon, still has visible ridges on her forehead).
  • Real-Life Relative: Kitty Swink, who is Armin Shimerman's wife, played a Bajoran bureaucrat in "Sanctuary" and a Vorta Captain in "Tacking into the Wind".
  • Romance on the Set: Alexander Siddig (Bashir) and Nana Visitor (Kira) got together and had a son, with Visitor's pregnancy being written into the show. They married the next year and divorced in 2001. Which leads to a rather hilarious in-joke in the episode where Kira says "This is all your fault!" to Bashir during an argument, since (in universe) he was the one that did the fetal transplant from Keiko to Kira. Funnier still because Bajoran labor is usually quiet and easy.
  • Science Marches On:
    • Near the end of DS9, Dr. Bashir asks Odo to donate part of his natural goo to help figure out how to grow new organs. Come the early 21st Century, and humans have nearly perfected the ability to grow organs in a lab - not, admittedly, organs that can change to become the one that is required by an impending surgical procedure (which is what Bashir was aiming for).
    • Bashir wanted it to help find a way to grow organs on the battlefield - it's on thing to grow a new organ for a lung transplant when someone has been ill for a couple of months, but it's hard to know how many lungs, hearts, etc to have on standby on a battlefield, nor do you often have the time to grow them as the patient could die before they are fully mature.
  • Throw It In!:
    • A joking reference by Rene to Admiral Ross as "Bill" in "Image in the Sand" was taken literally by the writing staff, resulting in his canonical first name. (As well as confusion for sharp-eyed viewers, as his office nameplate had previously established his first name to be Cliff!)
    • Morn was originally scripted and shot to speak a few lines early on in the series. However, when the episodes were edited down to fit the time slot, all of Morn's speaking scenes ended up on the cutting room floor. When the writers noticed the coincidence, they decided to turn Morn's silence into a Running Gag. Reportedly the guy who went through the effort of designing and building Morn's prosthetic makeup to include a moving mouth was not happy.
  • Trolling Creator: "The Emperor's New Cloak" sought to combine all three of Trekkies' bête noires: Ferengi, Mirror Universe, and Vic Fontaine. It's thanks to this episode that Vic Fontaine the Rambo-esque android has a Memory Alpha entry. Because Ira is a crazy person.
  • Troubled Production: This was probably the series with the least problematic production history, though there were a few speedbumps in the seventh and final season:
    • The first was a result of Jadzia Dax actress Terry Farrell quitting the series after a dispute with executive producer Rick Berman, resulting in Jadzia getting a bridge dropped on her in the sixth season finale. She was replaced by Nicole de Boer, playing the new part of Ezri Dax; the producers tried to distinguish her from the extremely competent Action Girl Jadzia by making her more nervous and incompetent, but this backfired and resulted in a widely negative response to the character, forcing the later spin-off novels to retool Ezri to make her more like Jadzia had been.
    • The second major issue came when they ended up massively over-spending on the visual effects for the destruction of the USS Defiant in "The Changing Face of Evil", leaving them with only about two or three episodes' worth of effects budget for the final six episodes (bearing in mind that the finale was a two-parter). This limited them to largely using Stock Footage for effects shots in the rest of the season, and notably hurt the third-last story, "Extreme Measures," by forcing them to ditch the surreal dreamworld originally planned in favor of just re-using the regular DS9 and Defiant sets with no alteration.
    • The first six episodes of Season 6 were also a doozy. Designed as a very tight story arc involving the Dominion taking over the station and ultimately being expelled by the returning heroes, it quickly became clear that the crew were completely out of their depth in creating such an intensive long term story. The various episode crews were constantly over- or underestimating how much time and resources they would need, and eventually the B-plots of two episodes had to be completely switched so the first could be done on time, requiring some significant rewrites to keep the continuity making sense. Remarkably, this all turned out very well and the arc is generally regarded as one of the best parts of the show.
  • Vindicated by Reruns: The series polarized Star Trek fans when it aired, but years after it left TV if found a new audience on Netflix.
  • Wag the Director:
    • If you study Deep Space Nine's behind-the-scenes' trivia, you realize a good number of the regular and recurring actors became very involved with their character. Especially people like Andrew Robinson, Armin Shimerman and J.G. Hertzler, who each wrote a whole novel about their characters Garak, Quark and Martok; or Nana Visitor, who met with the writers whenever she felt a scene was wrong about Kira. Another big name actor, Rene Auberjonois, consulted regularly with the writers (requesting a new uniform for Odo, etc.), though he was a little more subdued—even if he didn't particularly care for this or that plot development:
      Ira Behr: Being the pro that he was, he sucked in whatever dismay he was feeling—though I still got some of those vibes. He didn't do a screaming, "I won't do it, I won't play it! No no no!"
    • "Rumpelstiltskin" was originally going to be a leprechaun who follows O'Brien around the station like a bad smell. A less-than-amused Colm Meaney (who had earlier endured an episode full of horrific Irish stereotypes in TNG's "Up The Long Ladder") made the writers change it.
    • According to Behr, Armin Shimerman was reluctant to go for broad humor since it went against his deep respect for the Ferengi. (One of Armin's old shames is his goofy and oddly racist turn as Letek in the TNG's "The Last Outpost", which cemented the Ferengi as the laughingstock of the galaxy.) Quark is often the odd man out in panto storylines such as "Ferengi Love Songs", "Profit and Lace", and "The Emperor's New Cloak". While the other Ferengi (Combs, Shawn, et al.) seem to be getting into the spirit of things, Armin's 'zany' dialog is delivered oddly straight.
    • Gul Dukat (Marc Alaimo) was introduced as The Heavy of DS9. Very shortly he got sick of playing the baby-eating bad guy and began to play the character as a Charmer. Problem is, he charmed the audience too.
      "I could have gone one-dimensionally aggressive and mean and ugly with this character if I'd chosen to. I have the feeling that's what they kind of wanted. I thought, 'I've done that a hundred and fifty times already.'"
      • On his approach to playing the role, Ira Behr observed that Marc Alaimo reads every line like he's the hero of every episode he's in. "You listen to Marc talk about Dukat, and it's totally different than I see the character." The writers shrugged and let him carry on believing that, as it added some interesting flavor, but by Season 7 even Alaimo had fallen under Dukat's spell. He decided that Dukat's feelings for Kai Winn were genuine and that he would never strike a monk in a temple. Y'know, this guy who once declared the Bajoran religion a "superstition" and supervised the genocide on Bajor. Slugging a senior citizen over a book rental was beyond the pale for him.
      Behr: In Marc's mind, I believe he felt his relationship with Winn was legitimate in some way, and that, in some wacky fashion, it was Dukat's bid for legitimacy. I mean Marc was actually upset when we had him hit Solbor. Until the very end, he wanted Dukat to be the hero of Deep Space Nine.
    • Ira Behr and Ron Moore got the itch to pursue a Kira/Dukat Foe Yay scenario (season 4's "Indiscretion", introducing Dukat's half-Bajoran love child Ziyal, is a clue to where things may have headed). Nana Visitor (Kira) flatly refused to do anything of the sort, pointing out that he was guilty of the brutal occupation and near-genocide of Kira's species. ("If you put a gun to her head, I don't think Kira would ever consider it.") Behr tried his best to jimmy the lock in various ways, such as forming a 'family unit' with Dukat, Kira and Ziyal during the Dominion occupation of Bajor. But in the end, Nana was unmovable. Finally, the storyline was handed off to Kira's mother Meru, who turns out to have been Dukat's "comfort woman" in "Wrongs Darker Than Death Or Night" (co-written by Behr).
    • Re: the series finale twist ("What You Leave Behind") of Sisko dying in the Fire Caves and becoming a Prophet, Avery Brooks was firm: Hell no. Given the fact that he was an African-American male ditching his wife and newborn child, Brooks was uneasy about the message they would be sending. The writers suddenly saw his point, and the ending was rewritten to make Sisko's departure more ambiguous.
    • Out of all the cast members, Michael Dorn probably had the most pull. After seven years of makeup calls, he wasn't interested in reprising his old role, but the showrunners were so desperate to have Worf cross over that they bent over backwards to make him happy. No longer would Worf be the big guy who got tossed around cargo holds!
    • Siddig wasn't too happy about his character being retconned into an Augment. He interpreted it as Behr/Berman et al. attempting to squeeze him into a "Data" role without consulting him, and responded by deliberately reading long equations and statistics in a drowsy, non-eloquent manner. The Augment stuff quickly faded into into the background and became all but irrelevant.
  • What Could Have Been: has its own page.
  • Word of Dante: Barry Jenner was mostly winging it while playing the Admiral Ross character. He decided that Ross was a conflicted family man whose son enlisted and died in Starfleet, twisting him into a Knight Templar who will stop at nothing to preserve the Federation. Internally, at least, he regrets dragging the DS9 crew (whom he admires) into his machinations.
  • Word of Gay: Andrew Robinson has commented in multiple interviews that he considered Garak "omnisexual," and also strongly implied it in the character book he wrote. Robert Hewitt Wolfe has stated that he wrote Garak to be attracted to Bashir, but Bashir never realized this.
  • Word of God: Ron Moore stated that although the background check in "Doctor Bashir, I Presume?" ended up marring Bashir's exemplary reputation, this didn't preclude him from being the new template for the Emergency Medical Hologram and — despite Dr. Zimmerman's complaints — he did actually end up being selected. Therefore fans assume that either the (unseen) EMH Mark III or Mark IV was based on Bashir.
  • Written-In Infirmity:
    • Dax was benched (again) in "Rocks and Shoals " after sustaining injuries from the ship crash. Actually, Terry Farrell was suffering from a skin disorder which made her allergic to sunlight. This made it impossible to shoot scenes in the quarry, so she slept through the episode in a cave.
    • Nana/Kira's pregnancy negated any chance of her participating in "Trials and Tribble-ations", so we never get to see her in vintage ''Trek'' garb. Curses, drat, and blast.
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Joe Sisko had previously been Admiral Cartwright in the 4th and 6th movies; he's also a case of You Sound Familiar- Hanna-Barbera used him three times as the Big Bad in three different series: Galtar and the Golden Lance (Tormack), The Pirates of Dark Water (Bloth), and SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron (Dark Kat).
    • Odo's actor Rene Auberjonois likewise had a side role in the 6th movie.
    • Jeffrey Combs as Brunt and Weyoun, among others.
    • Armin Shimerman and Max Grodenchik had previously played Ferengi in TNG's "The Last Outpost" and "Captain's Holiday". Marc Alaimo also played the very first Cardassian, Gul Macet, in TNG's "The Wounded". (Word of God said that Macet and Dukat are cousins.) He also played one of the first Romulans to appear on TNG.
    • J.G. Hertzler, most well-known among DS9 aficionados for playing Martok, also played Sisko's soon-to-be-dead commanding officer, the Vulcan captain of the U.S.S. Saratoga in the pilot. He also later played changeling Laas in Season 7's "Chimera". This earned him the distinction of playing two Changelings in the show: Several times in the guise of Martok (before we meet the genuine, one-eyed one), and again as Laas. This also meant that he died twice, and possibly a third time after Laas contracted Section 31's virus.

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