Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1992-1999)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is known – and probably always will be – as the black sheep of the Star Trek family. A crew stuck on a space station? Where is the Star Trekking? But to be fair to the show, its greatest strength is in its serialised storytelling that a more static setting was able to provide. It gave us wonderful recurring characters like Gul Dukat, Garak and Kai Winn and explored an element of the Star Trek universe that wasn’t all glossy and utopian. If The Next Generation is about exploring and celebrating the inclusive beliefs of the Federation, then Deep Space Nine is about the fight to keep those values when everything is threatened.
Again, the show took a couple of seasons to get going, but while its predecessor strayed nowhere near a classic until season three, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine gave us the phenomenal ‘Duet’ in season one and film noir-style ‘Necessary Evil’ in season two. And it was in the second year finale ‘The Jem’Hadar’ that the show really stepped out of The Next Generation‘s shadows with the introduction of the Dominion that shaped the rest of the show, from the ‘Cold War’ of seasons three through five to the galactic struggle of the final two years.
In some ways, Deep Space Nine embraced different cultures more readily than any of its siblings. The show didn’t just explore Federation beliefs, but Bajoran, Cardassian, Ferengi and Klingon ones too, enriching the franchise unlike any other. And it wasn’t afraid to go dark when necessary – ‘In The Pale Moonlight’ is one of the greatest episodes of Star Trek ever, showing just what needs to be done to keep the utopia other shows in the franchise took for granted. The Dominion War arc is a masterpiece in storytelling and the show is littered with other classics too like ‘The Visitor’, ‘Trials and Tribble-ations’ and ‘Far Beyond The Stars’. What is most significant about Deep Space Nine is the characters and this show had rich, flawed, fascinating characters in abundance.
Do you agree with the above choices? Are you a Star Trek purist and believe the original is best? And where might Discovery fit on this ranking? Let us know!