Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (sometimes abbreviated to ST: DS9 or DS9) is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. Set in the 24th century from the year 2369 through 2375, it took place on a space station instead of a starship, so as not to have two series with starships at the same time (the starshipUSS Defiant was introduced in season 3, but the station remained the primary setting for the show). This made continuing story arcs and the appearance of recurring characters much more feasible.
The show is noted for its well-developed characters and its original, complex plots. The series depended on darker themes, less physical exploration of space, and (in later seasons) an emphasis on many aspects of war. DS9 premiered in 1993 and ran for seven seasons, ending in 1999. Rooted in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek universe, it was the first Trek spin-off created without direct involvement from Roddenberry, although he did give his blessing to the concept shortly before his death in 1991. The series was created by Rick Berman andMichael Piller, at the request of Brandon Tartikoff, and produced by Paramount Television. Key writers, in addition to Berman and Piller, included show runner Ira Steven Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Ronald D. Moore, Peter Allan Fields, Bradley Thompson, David Weddle, Hans Beimler, and René Echevarria.
A spin-off from Star Trek: The Next Generation, DS9 began while its parent series was still on the air, although there were a few crossover episodes between the two shows. The station's first appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation was during the sixth season episode "Birthright" and in addition, two Next Generationcharacters, Miles O'Brien and (from Season 4 onwards) Worf, became regular members of DS9.
DS9 & Babylon 5
The pilot episode aired just weeks before the debut of Babylon 5. The creator of Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski, indicated that Paramount was aware of his concept as early as 1989, when he attempted to sell the show to the studio, and provided them with the series bible, pilot script, artwork, lengthy character background histories, and plot synopses for the first 22 episodes. Paramount passed on Babylon 5, but later announced Deep Space Nine was in development two months after Warner Bros. announced its plans for Babylon 5.
Straczynski has stated that he thinks Paramount may have used his bible and scripts as the basis for DS9's first season. In 1993 he said, "'Okay, YOU (Paramount) know what happened, and *I* know what happened, but let's try to be grownup about it for now,' though I must say that the shapechanging thing nearly tipped me back over the edge again. If there are no more major similarities that crop up in the next few weeks or months, with luck we can continue that way." Babylon 5's first-run syndicated ratings averaged between 3 and 4% of U.S. households from 1995 to 1997, whereas DS9 ranged from 4 to 5% during the same time span.
The PTEN vs. UPN network rivalry may have been a factor in the development of such similar shows, since both networks were competing for control of the same independent stations and status as the 5th major network (after ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX). Each nascent network wanted the other to fail. Ultimately, PTEN dissolved in 1997, while The WB (majorly owned by and named after Warner Bros.) and UPN (launched by Paramount, but later managed and then owned by CBS) merged to form The CW in 2006.
Although DS9's ratings remained solid, it was never as successful as the syndicated Star Trek: The Next Generation, which approximately 6% versus 11% of US households watched during sweeps months. However, it continued to perform better than its network sibling Star Trek: Voyager which averaged around 5% according to the Nielsen ratings.
One factor was the increasingly crowded syndicated marketplace which provided viewers with a number of alternative shows to follow (Babylon 5, Xena, Earth: Final Conflict). Another factor was the minimal promotion for DS9, as Paramount focused its efforts on its flagship network show Star Trek: Voyager. Finally, from 1995 onwards, most of the independent stations joined new networks (UPN and WB), and these primetime shows gradually pushed syndicated programming into less favourable timeslots as the US television market expanded from four networks (in 1987 when TNG premiered) to six.
DS9 was well received by critics with TV Guide describing it as "the best acted, written, produced and altogether finest" Star Trek series. Despite debuting in the shadow of The Next Generation, DS9 achieved a considerable level of success in its own right. According to a press release through Newswire on April 7, 1999, it was the #1 syndicated show in the United States for adults 18–49 and 25–54. The characters of DS9 were featured on the cover of TV Guide ten times during its run, including several "special issue" editions in which a set of four different-covered versions were printed.
The series won a number of awards. It was nominated for Emmy Awards every year of its run, including makeup, cinematography, art direction, special effects, hairstyling, music (direction and composition), and costumes. Of these, it won two for Makeup (for "Captive Pursuit" and "Distant Voices") and one for the Main Title Theme Music (Dennis McCarthy). It was also nominated for two Hugo Awards in Best Dramatic Presentation for "The Visitor" and "Trials and Tribble-ations", however the competing series Babylon 5 won the Hugo Award instead.
Deep Space Nine drew praise from African-American, Latino and other minority viewers for its handling of the minority characters, particularly the Sisko family members. In
addition, Alexander Siddig (Dr Bashir) expressed his enthusiasm for the fact that he, with his English accent, unusual screen name (Siddig El Fadil) at time of casting, and Arabic heritage, was a main character on a prominent TV show despite being not quite so easily racially identifiable as many other actor/characters on TV.
Pocket Books has published several dozen books based on DS9. Some of these were novelizations of memorable episodes, such as "Emissary", "The Search" and "What You Leave Behind", which were usually published a few days after the episode aired in the United States. Several novels were part of "crossover" series between the Star Trek franchises, while others were part of other franchises but dealt with events laid out in DS9. For example, The Battle of Betazed tells of how Deanna Troi attempted to resist the Dominion occupation of her world (mentioned in the episode "In the Pale Moonlight"). Most focus on the station and its crew, with a notable exception being Ira Steven Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe’s Legends of the Ferengi.
The "Millennium" series by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, published by Pocket Books beginning in 2000, consists of The Fall of Terok Nor (book 1), The War of the Prophets (book 2), and Inferno (book 3). The series lays out an alternate ending to DS9 (the novels were actually written before the series concluded) in which a second wormhole is created by the actions of a number of shady characters, destroying the station.
In the space-time distortion that occurs, most of the crew are transported 25 years into the future—a future in which the Federation and its allies are virtually crushed and a fanatical sect of Bajorans who worships the Pah-wraiths have ascended to power and plan to destroy the universe in order to bring about a higher state of existence. Inferno ends the series as an unexpected mode of time travel is discoveredafter the end of the universe, allowing the DS9 crew to alter past events.
Avatar, a two-part novel published on May 1, 2001, picked up where the series left off. It began season 8 of DS9, into which A Stitch in Time (a biographical look at the life of Garak, written by Andrew Robinson himself) was incorporated retroactively. The events of "What You Leave Behind", DS9’s series finale, caused some radical changes to occur in Season 8. As Benjamin Sisko had entered the Celestial Temple, Colonel Kira was given command of the station while a new commander named Elias Vaughn took over her position, Garak became the leader of post-war Cardassia, Odo helped the Changelings rebuild, and Rom presided over the Ferengi Alliance.
Other publications, such as the Deep Space Nine Technical Manual and Deep Space Nine Companion, are common to most of the Trek series. The DS9 Companion contains detailed episode guides and interviews with actors, writers, directors and other staff members.
DS9 series influences were included in role-playing game reference books from Last Unicorn Games and Decipher. Additionally, several novels have also been released in audio form, narrated by Rene Auberjonois and Armin Shimerman among others.