I mentioned a while back that I'd decide to watch Star Trek Deep Space Nine, and its fantastic! I watched a few episodes last year, when I was doing my big post-XI watching thing, and caught quite a few episodes (notably Far Beyond The Stars
, In the Pale Moonlight
and the series finale), and they were all brilliant episodes, but I hadn't fallen for the characters yet. Now I have, I love it to bits.
Yes, it is the dark, mature Trek, and no, they don't travel the stars, they're in one spot and the problem of the week comes to them, but both those things are fantastic, because the situation the Federation's in – assisting Bajor which has just regained its independence after 50 years of brutal Cardassian occupation – is the kind of thing that deserves careful attention. Being that they're also right next to a strategically important wormhole which means plenty problems come to them. And I really enjoy the greater focus on the characters.
A OMG the characters. I adore them. Bashir, O'Brien, Quark, Odo and especially Kira. How could I have gotten through so much of my life having not discovered the awesomeness of Major Kira Nerys? The first officer of Deep Space Nine is a former resistance fighter (from the age of thirteen), an unabashed Bajorian nationalist, deeply religious, quick to kick ass (particularly Cardassian ass, she hates them), slow to warm to the Federation and one of the most wonderfully fleshed out characters in Star Trek.
I spent most of the first season trying to pick who Kira reminded me of, and eventually I figured it out, she's a non-villainous Admiral Helena Cain (from BSG). It all there, the childhood marked by war, trauma and loss and the deep hatred of the enemy and both of them ending up as a very successful military officers. But whereas Cain snapped and she became all about seeking vengeance, Kira's arc is the opposite, she's taking inching steps towards overcoming her hatred and trying not to let the violence of her past take over her future.
Odo's also wonderful. He's the most alien of all the regular characters on Star Trek, what with being a shapeshifter whose natural form is a gelatinous mass. Plus he's grumpy and gets the best rants.
Sisko meanwhile makes for an interesting lead character. I'm third of the way into the second season, and he's yet to have a big hero moment (well, there was that time he punched Q). If there's something to be explored, Dax has it covered. If some ass to be kicked, that's Kira. If there's a mystery to be solved, that would be Odo. If there's so big moral dilemma, well, that's Kira again. Since I don't find Sisko all that interesting, that's okay with me, but it's not what I'm used to from the lead character of a Trek series.
To recommend it, here's a link to my favourite scene from the show and possibly the whole of Trek
from episode 2x02 The Circle
, which is both hilarious with Sorkin-esq rapid dialogue, and heart-warming and also serves as a pretty good intro for the regular characters (bar Sisko and Jake) as well. (In order of appearance: Kira, Odo, Dax, Bashir, O'Brien, Quark and Creepy-Dull-Reoccurring-Monk-Dude-Who-
I'm back off to watch more. There's so much I know comes up that I can't wait to get to: the mirror universe, Worf, the Defiant
, the Dominion War, Trials and Tribble-ations
, Take Me Out To The Hollosuite