Looking Back at Deep Space Nine

At last weekend’s convention, I got to see the documentary about Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, What We Left Behind, and it reminded me of how much I loved that series. I’ve been around Star Trek my whole life (my mom said she fed me when I was an infant while watching part of the original run of the original series) and have watched all the series, but when Deep Space Nine came on, it resolved a lot of my issues with the earlier series. I’d been bothered by the fact that there were few consequences for events — something drastic and dramatic might happen in one episode, and then in the next episode it was like nothing had ever happened. Nothing changed, and no one was affected. Even before DS9 became more serialized in the storytelling, they were already doing character arcs so that we saw how the characters were affected by events. The main plot might have been a bit episodic, but there were character arcs as the characters and relationships progressed. When something big happened in an episode, the characters were affected by it in the next episode even if the main plot was something entirely different.

But looking back on it now, it’s astonishing how prescient they were about how things might develop and what things might continue to be issues. I haven’t watched the series since it went off the air, but I think I’m due a rewatch.

I do feel a bit old, seeing how the actors have changed since then, compared to how they looked when the show was on. They were all such babies! One of the things I liked about the series was the sense that these people did actually like each other, even if there were conflicts. It was a “found family” kind of cast of characters, where they were isolated from everything else and found community with each other, and the documentary makes it plain that the actors really did bond like that, and some of them are still close.

Part of the documentary involved the writers sitting around and brainstorming a hypothetical first episode for a hypothetical revival of the series — the same characters and cast, taking place the same number of years since the series ended. I’m annoyed at all the reboots of older series that have been coming up lately, but I’d be in for that one — continuing the story, not telling it all over again with a different cast.

Comments are closed.