Greetings everyone, and welcome to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch. Having recently completed a similar rewatch for The Next Generation, it seemed only fitting to keep the line moving, as it were, and look at TNG’s spinoff, DS9. While never as popular as TNG in the ratings department, and with less focus from the higher-ups at Paramount who were concentrating on their new network (UPN, launched in 1995 with another Trek spinoff, Voyager), DS9 occupies an odd niche in the Trek landscape. It’s also the only one of the Trek shows that didn’t take place on a ship (though they did have runabouts and, starting in the third season, their own starship, the Defiant), had the largest number of non-Starfleet officers among the main cast (Kira, Odo, Jake, and Quark), the largest supporting cast of any of the shows, was the first to have a non-white captain and a female first officer, and was the most serialized of the Trek shows.
But it also had a lot of Star Trek at its best, as we’ll discuss over the next couple of years....
This rewatch will follow the same format as the TNG one (which was inspired by that used by Keith Topping, Martin Day, and Paul Cornell in varioius unauthorized guides they wrote in the 1990s), with some categories carried over, and a mess of new ones.
Station log: This will cover the plot of the episode.
Can’t we just reverse the polarity?: As with TNG, any technobabble we’re subjected to gets looked at here.
The Sisko is of Bajor: The theme of Bajoran religion in general and Benjamin Sisko’s role as the Emissary in particular is a common one throughout the show.
Don’t ask my opinion next time: That was one of Kira Nerys’s first lines, and it sums her up nicely. This section will follow that character’s many ups and downs.
The slug in your belly: Revelations about the past lives of Dax will be discussed here.
Rules of Acquisition: A category for Ferengi stuff, including whatever Rules might be quoted in the episode.
For Cardassia!: A category for Cardassian stuff.
There is no honor in being pummeled: Another carryover from TNG, this will start in the fourth season when Worf joins the cast.
Plain, simple: Revelations about Garak will be discussed here.
Preservation of mass and energy is for wimps: A look at the incredibly detailed (and many-shaped) things Odo can change himself into, yet he can’t manage an ear...
Tough little ship: Starting in the third season, how the Defiant is used in the episode.
Victory is life: One that will start in the second season, when we start hearing about the Dominion.
No sex, please, we’re Starfleet: Another holdover, this will cover romantic and sexual relationships on the station.
What happens on the holosuite stays on the holosuite: DS9’s variant on a TNG category, as adventures involving Quark’s holosuites will go here.
Keep your ears open: For a particularly good quote in the episode.
Welcome aboard: As with TNG, this will look at the guest stars in the episode.
Trivial matters: As with TNG, this will address various and sundry odd factoids regarding this episode, ranging from continuity, to tie-in fiction that relates to it, to behind-the-scenes stuff, to whatever other nonsense I’m able to dig up.
Walk with the Prophets: The review of the episode.
Warp factor rating: Or, as I like to call it, “the least important part of the rewatch,” this is my out-of-10 rating, where 0 is embarrassingly bad (TNG only hit that low once), 1 is awful, 5 is mediocre, 8-9 is top of the line, and 10 is Trek at its best.
We’ll start tomorrow with “Emissary,” the two-hour premiere....
Keith R.A. DeCandido is the author of a great many books, and you should go buy all of them. His Star Trek fiction is legion, among them some DS9 fiction (Demons of Air and Darkness, the Ferengi portion of Worlds of DS9 Volume 3, a short story in Prophecy and Change, the second half of The Brave and the Bold Book 1). His fantasy/police procedural series is particularly excellent (if he does say so himself), and the latest book in that series, the short story collection Tales from Dragon Precinct, is now available for preorder.