It was this series, the only one in Star Trek, that instead of a spaceship was entirely set on a space station. It didn’t have a happy beginning, considering that it was broadcast almost together with the Next Generation series and then Voyager, and many fans of the series were initially disappointed that it didn’t take place on a spaceship. But in the long run this has rewarded, in fact after the first episodes, things have changed and this series has been very popular. There have been many innovations, both for the setting and for the characters that have characterized this series.
A bit of history of this space station. It is located near the planet Bajor, which is located right on the border between the space of the United Federation of Planets and the Cardassian space that built this station. After the occupation of the planet by Cardassia and a bloody war, the Bajoran rebels managed to drive out the Cardassians, also taking possession of the space station. They then asked for the support of the Federation and while remaining under Bajoran jurisdiction, Banjamin Sisko, an officer of the Federation, was appointed as head of the space station. Shortly after his settlement, the wormhole that communicates with another quadrant of the galaxy was discovered. Moving the space station to the entrance of the tunnel, it became an important node of communication between quadrants. The space station is very large. It consists of an outer ring that serves as a docking station for space vessels, an inner ring where the staff and visitors quarters are located, and a central part, containing a promenade with the various commercial premises, the command center and the main reactor. With the discovery of the wormhole, it becomes a port of exchange between quadrants, but unfortunately the tunnel also leads to the quadrant of the station very dangerous enemies they will have to face.
Unlike the other Star Trek series, which were almost exclusively episodic, i.e. each episode had its own beginning and end, this series preferred the episodes in longer time spans, also telling the stories of the station staff, thus making the various episodes linked together. At first the audience didn’t like this, too fond of seeing an episode start and end, but then it was this that made the series one of the most followed. It was the first series not conceived by Roddemberry who unfortunately died in October 1991, leaving the baton to Rick Berman and Michael Piller who had another vision of Star Trek, and while leaving behind the values that distinguished the previous series, they introduced and deepened themes never dealt with in depth by other series, such as racism, sexuality, politics and especially religion.
Now let’s talk about the characters that are many and very important, both for the plot of the story that takes place in the space station throughout the course of its episodes, and for the character and context in which each of them moves. Captain Benjamin Sisko, who commands the space station, arrived there with his son Jake and during the 7 years in which the story of Deep Space Nine is set, he has a role not only as commander, but also as Emissary of the Prophets, who are the Gods of the people of Bajor, and that is why he is so well received by the population. He is resolute, but very human, sometimes wrong, but he has no problem admitting it. He is well liked by the officers of the station, and after the first difficult times, in which he is very closed in on himself, having lost his wife in the war, he slowly regains the will to live that he had lost, a career advancement and even a new companion. In this he is very much helped by a singular character. She is Jadzia Dax, scientific officer, who belongs to the Trill people. She has within her a symbiote who has lived 7 lives. The characteristic of these symbiont is that once the body that hosts them dies, they are introduced in another body and continue to live, having inside of him the memories and the experiences of all the past lives. It has therefore a character not well defined, fruit of all the legacies acquired previously, so it is a scrupulous person, reliable but also contradictory. He helps Commander Sisko a lot in his missions even if he does not always agree with him and does not hesitate to let him know. Commander Sisko already knew her when she was in the body of Curzon who was her previous host, who was however a man and who had a deep friendship with him.
Upon arrival at the station, Captain Sisko often clashes with Kira Nerys, who is Bajoran and is the liaison officer between the Bajor government and the federation. He does not adapt very much to the strict protocols of the United Federation of Planets and is afraid to pass from one tyranny, that of Cardassia, to another that of the Federation. But Captain Sisko will be able to convince her otherwise, and gradually she will gain his unconditional trust and become one of his best collaborators. Odo, who is on the station, is also a unique character. He is a shape-shifter, that is, he can change his humanoid form into anything. He was already on the station at the time of the Cardassians and becomes a valuable aid to the Captain, helping him to maintain order on the station. Order that is often chaotic because of another unique character, a Ferengi, who manages the station bar, with the hologram bridges, which he rents and the various games. He is Quark, initially a classic Ferengi, who sees only and only the profit, giving a damn about everything else. But in the course of time, you discover in him, very deeply, a vein of altruism and goodness. And yet, as a good Ferengi, he tries not to show it. There are other characters that deserve at least to be mentioned, such as Dr. Bashir, Wolf, the Klingon, who we also found in The Next Generation, the station tailor, Garac, the only “good” Cardassian in the galaxy, and O’Braian also as Wolf, Captain Picard’s officer. Other minor but recurring characters make the story that develops over the 7 seasons exciting. There is no lack of a fierce war that comes from the quadrant beyond the wormhole, a bloody war that will put the Federation, Bajor and even Cardassia to the test, but that will affect the entire Alpha quadrant and will also allow strange alliances to prevail over the assailants.