Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Rifleman in Space: A Return to Deep Space Nine

Over the years, I have watched many good and some not-so-good science fiction television shows. Among my favorites are the various Star Trek shows (some I enjoyed more than others but I liked all of the various series), Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica (new series), Doctor Who, Torchwood and others. But, my personal favorite has always been Star Trek: Deep Space 9. It appeared on our local CBS station at 11:30 PM on Saturday nights. The rest of the family was in bed and I would settle in to watch the show.

In recent years, I have faithfully watched numerous shows but DS9 still holds a special place in my heart. So I thought, why not go back, re-watch the episodes, and review them here? My plan is to post a review on each Saturday. I am also reading the “Star Trek Deep Space Nine Companion” by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block. It provides interesting behind the scenes insights.

In late 1991 Brandon Tartikoff, the head of Paramount Pictures, came to Rick Berman with an idea for a new Star Trek series that would run at the same time as Star Trek: The Next Generation for the first year and a half. Then it would be the only Star Trek series. Since Gene Roddenberry pitched the original Star Trek as “Wagon Train in Space”, Tartikoff decided the new series could be “The Rifleman in Space”. It would be built around a father and his son living in a frontier town. Berman enlisted Michael Piller to help develop the concept. Since the other Star Trek series focused on spaceships, they decided to have the new series take place on a space station. This would enable them to show the consequences of the characters actions since they would stay in the same place. One of their main themes was commitment. The planet Bajor just won it’s freedom from the Cardassian occupation. The station, Deep Space Nine, was evacuated by the Cardassians and now would be run by a combined Federation/Bajorian team. In January of 1993 it debuted.

The Crew

Benjamin Sisko: A Starfleet officer placed in charge of Deep Space 9.

Kira Nerys: A Bajoran militia officer who is the second in command of the station.

Odo: A mysterious shape shifting changling who does not know his origins. He is the security officer.

Julian Bashir: Chief medical officer. He can to the station looking for a challenge.

Jadzia Dax: Chief science officer. The Trills are a symbiote race. This is Dax’s seventh host. One of the previous hosts, Curzon, was a womanizing friend of Sisko’s.

Miles O’Brien: Chief operations officer. Miles was originally on Star Trek: The Next Generation and transferred to Deep Space Nine.

Jake Sisko: son of Benjamin.

Quark: The Ferengi owner of the bar. Sisko forces him to stay and keep the bar open when other shop owners are leaving.

Many other characters will join the cast. Over time some will leave. I will cover that when I do the episode reviews.


Chimeradave said...

A great series. I watched the whole thing just a year or two ago. Look forward to hearing your thoughts. I'm watching Voyager right now, but it's just not as good.

Chimeradave said...

Oh also I wanted to mention that I've been meaning to get a copy of the Deep Space Nine Companion for years, but it's been too expensive on Amazon whenever I've got the money, so I am very jealous. :)

Carl V. said...

Cool idea! Deep Space 9, which I watched in its entirety for the first time only a handful of years back, is one of my favorite series of television ever created. From start to finish I was hooked. Although every Star Trek series had its inevitable blah episodes, I liked these characters so much that I didn't care. Each episode was a chance to spend more time with them and I loved that. I felt such a sadness when it all ended. Lately though I've been going back and starting to slowly work my way through the series again. It is just too good not to.

George said...

I'm waiting for DEEP SPACE 9 to show up in Blu-ray. DS9 is the best of the STAR TREK franchises.