Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Star Trek Deep Space Nine (on DVD)

While my first and best love among the various Star Trek series will always be the original 1960s-era Star Trek (1966-69), my second favorite is definitely Star Trek Deep Space Nine (1993-99). The series broke new ground by being the first to NOT be set aboard an exploratory ship, and it also had the first commanding officer who wasn’t a white male — in this case, African-American actor Avery Brooks as Commander (later Captain) Benjamin Sisko. Gene Roddenberry insisted, in the Star Trek series he controlled, that human beings in the future would be living in a conflict-free environment, and that all our social ills would have been solved. That was the set-up for Star Trek the Next Generation. However, the producers of Deep Space Nine decided to tinker with that policy, and the series is set aboard a massive space station on the edge of Federation space, run in partnership between the Federation and the Bajorans. The cast of characters was made up of multiple different alien species, different political and religious factions, and different motivations. Over the course of seven seasons, the United Federation of Planets ended up getting into an extended intergalactic war with the invading Dominion forces, coming through a wormhole right next to DS9, opening up the writers to telling war stories.

Deep Space Nine, while true to the Trek ideals, was also groundbreaking in some of the storytelling it took on. In many ways, the “black and white” simplicity of some previous iterations of Trek took on a lot of grey tones. Performances by all of the main cast were superb, with my favorites being Rene Auberjonois as the shape-shifting security chief Odo, Marc Alaimo as the noble yet nefarious Cardassian Gul Dukat, and Armin Shimerman as the devious, greedy Ferengi bartender/merchant Quark. What could have been a mistake, when The Next Generation’s character Worf joined the cast, turned out to opening the show to even more intriguing storylines. All in all, this is a series well worth watching, with plotlines that grew over seven whole years to reach a conclusion that was quite shocking. A lot of fans have a love-it or hate-it relationship with this particular Star Trek series. You can place me firmly in the “Love It” category.

[Over 90 Deep Space Nine novels have been released by Pocket Books. You can find them listed in our Star Trek: The Reading List booklist.]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Star Trek franchise web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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