Twenty years ago, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine debuted on television.
Deep Space Nine was the third televised series, but unlike the first two, it took place on a space station, not a starship, and that was deliberate, according to Co-creator Michael Piller. “Coming with the wind at our backs, it really felt as if we had figured out what made Star Trek work, and that we could bring all the vision that Gene Roddenberry had about space and the future to a different kind of franchise,” he said. “We didn’t want to have another series of shows about space travel.”
The pilot Emissary did well, ranking first in five major markets; New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington D.C.
Deep Space Nine not only featured a strong ensemble cast, but some of the best recurring guest characters in Star Trek, including Garak, Gul Dukat, Weyoun and Damar. Viewers were also introduced to the Vorta, the Changelings, and the Jem’Hadar.
Unlike the original series and The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine had continuing story arcs, especially in the later series with the advent of the Dominion War.
Often considered a darker, grittier Trek, Deep Space Nine was either loved or hated by Trek fans, but the show did well enough to run a full seven seasons.
For this Star Trek fan (dating back to 1971), Deep Space Nine was the second best televised Trek series, coming in just behind the original series in quality. Rich characters and interesting stories made Deep Space Nine a must-see, with comedy episodes such as The Magnificent Ferengi, In the Cards and Take Me Out to the Holosuite, and dramas such as In the Pale Moonlight, The Visitor and Far Beyond the Stars.
Happy Anniversary, Deep Space Nine!