|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine|
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine intertitle
|Format||Military science fiction|
|Created by||Rick Berman
Nicole de Boer
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||176 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Ira Steven Behr
|Running time||approx. 45 min.|
|Production company(s)||Paramount Television|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original channel||first-run syndication, UPN|
|Picture format||NTSC 480i|
|Audio format||Dolby SR|
|Original run||January 3, 1993 – June 2, 1999|
|Preceded by||Star Trek: The Next Generation|
|Followed by||Star Trek: Voyager|
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (sometimes abbreviated to ST:DS9 or DS9) is a science fiction television program that premiered in 1993 and ran for seven seasons, ending in 1999. Rooted in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek universe, it was created by Rick Berman and Michael Piller, at the request of Brandon Tartikoff, and produced by Paramount Television. The main 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, and René Echevarria.
A spin-off from Star Trek: The Next Generation, DS9 began while its parent series was still on the air, and there were several crossover episodes between the two shows. In addition, two Next Generation characters, Miles O'Brien and (eventually) Worf, became regular members of DS9.
Unlike the other Star Trek programs, DS9 took place on a space station instead of a starship, so as not to have two series with starships at the same time (The starship USS 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 also depended on darker themes, less physical exploration of space, and an emphasis (in later seasons) on many aspects of war.
Although DS9's ratings were solid, it was never as successful as the syndicated Star Trek: The Next Generation, with approximately 6% versus 11% of U.S. households watching during sweeps months. However it performed better than its network sibling Star Trek: Voyager which averaged around 5% according to the Nielsen Ratings. Although DS9 had a very popular first season, it experienced a gradual loss of audience over time, ultimately dropping to a 4% household rating. 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 DS9 into weekend/late-night slots when few viewers were watching. The US television market expanded from four networks (1987 when TNG premiered) to six. The competition became so intense that eventually DS9's ratings dropped below fantasy fiction rivals Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, and by the year 2001 nearly all original programming for syndication had disappeared.
Conceived in 1991, shortly before Gene Roddenberry’s death, DS9 centers on the formerly Cardassian space station, Terok Nor. After the Bajorans liberated themselves from the long and brutal Cardassian Occupation, the United Federation of Planets is invited by the Bajoran Provisional Government to take joint control of the station, which (originally) orbits Bajor. The station is renamed Deep Space Nine.
According to co-creator Berman, he and Piller had considered setting the new series on a colony planet, but they felt a space station would both appeal more to viewers and save money that would be required for on-location shooting for a "land-based" show. However, they were certain they did not want the show to be set aboard a starship because Star Trek: The Next Generation was still in production at the time and, in Berman’s words, it "just seemed ridiculous to have two shows—two casts of characters—that were off going where no man has gone before."
In the pilot, the station is moved near the just-discovered Bajoran wormhole, allowing access to the distant, unexplored Gamma Quadrant. It quickly becomes a center for exploration, interstellar trade, political maneuvering, and eventually open conflict.
DS9 contains more story arcs that span several episodes and even seasons than preceding Star Trek series. Its predecessors tend to restore the status quo ante at the end of an episode, so that many episodes could be seen out-of-order without compromising their plots. On DS9 however, not only are events in one episode often referenced and built upon in later ones, but sometimes several episodes in a row are cliffhangers. Michael Piller, who spoke very highly of Behr's contributions, believed this to be one of the series' best qualities, that the repercussions of past episodes remained with the show and characters were forced to "learn that actions have consequences". This trend was especially strong near the end of the series’ run, by which point the show was intentionally very much a serial.
Contrary to Star Trek: The Next Generation, interpersonal conflicts were featured prominently in DS9. This was at the suggestion of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s writers (many of whom also wrote for DS9) because they felt that the prohibition limited their ability to develop interesting stories. In Piller's words, "people who come from different places — honorable, noble people — will naturally have conflicts".
|Avery Brooks||Benjamin Sisko||Commanding Officer||Seasons 1-7||Human||Commander (Seasons
Captain (Seasons 3-7)
|Benjamin Sisko is the Starfleet officer placed in charge of Deep Space Nine. At the start of the series, he is a grieving widower (his wife having been killed by the Borg at the Battle of Wolf 359) and the father of a teenage son, Jake. He and Jadzia Dax discover the Bajoran wormhole, which the Bajorans believe is the home of the Prophets, their gods and protectors. The Bajorans hail Sisko as the Emissary of the Prophets, an exalted religious status that initially makes him very uncomfortable. Due to his exemplary leadership, at the end of the third season, he is promoted from commander to captain and becomes a key leader of Federation forces against the Dominion.|
|Nana Visitor||Kira Nerys||First Officer||Seasons 1-7||Bajoran||Major (Seasons 1-6),
briefly Commander (Season 7)
Colonel (Season 7)
|Kira Nerys is a Bajoran militia officer, former guerrilla fighter during the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor, and, as the station's Bajoran liaison officer, Sisko's second-in-command. She is initially suspicious of the Federation's intentions toward her planet, but grows to trust and befriend the rest of the crew. Like most Bajorans, she is deeply religious, which makes it awkward having the Emissary as her commander. Ro Laren, a character from Star Trek: The Next Generation, was the first choice of the producers for Sisko's first officer, but Michelle Forbes did not want to commit to a television show.|
|Rene Auberjonois||Odo||Chief of Security||Seasons 1-7||Changeling||Constable (unofficial)|
|Constable Odo is the station's incorruptible chief of security. He is a Changeling, capable of assuming any shape he wishes. He was found in the Denorius Belt, brought back to the planet Bajor by the Cardassians (who maintained a military occupation of Bajor), and raised in a laboratory by a Bajoran scientist, Doctor Mora. Odo yearns to find his own people, but when he finally does, he is less than pleased to discover that they rule the Gamma Quadrant with an iron fist.|
|Alexander Siddig||Julian Bashir||Chief Medical Officer||Seasons 1-7||Human||Lieutenant, junior grade (Seasons
Lieutenant (Seasons 4-7)
|Julian Bashir is the station's chief medical officer. Although Human, his parents had him illegally genetically enhanced when he was a child because he could not keep up with his peers. Somewhat tactless, he nevertheless develops friendships with several of the station's residents, particularly Miles O'Brien and, more ambiguously, a mysterious Cardassian named Garak. Siddig appears in the opening credits by a shortened form of his birth name, Siddig el Fadil, for the first three seasons. He appeared as Alexander Siddig after he married co-star Nana Visitor, which placed their names together in the alphabetical cast credits, although his stated reason for the name change was that he discovered that viewers did not know how to pronounce his name. Siddig continued to be credited as Siddig el Fadil when he directed.|
|Terry Farrell||Jadzia Dax||Chief Science Officer||Seasons 1-6||Trill||Lieutenant
Lieutenant Commander (Seasons 4-6)
|Jadzia Dax is the station's Trill science officer. She shares her life and thoughts with a long-lived symbiont named Dax, which has already experienced seven prior lives "Joined" with other Trills. The previous host, larger-than-life rogue Curzon Dax, had been a close friend of and mentor to Sisko. Jadzia is killed by Gul Dukat at the end of Season 6.|
|Nicole de Boer||Ezri Dax||Counselor||Season 7||Trill||Ensign (Season 7),
Lieutenant, junior grade (Season 7)
|Ezri Dax was added to the show after the abrupt departure of Terry Farrell. Farrell's character was killed off and the writers introduced Ezri as a young Trill Starfleet officer and the next host of the Dax symbiont. Unprepared and untrained for the role, she is often frustrated by aspects of the symbiotic relationship and the eight lifetimes worth of memories she inherits. She also confronts the memories of Jadzia's love for Worf as well as her own attraction to Dr. Bashir.|
|Michael Dorn||Worf||Strategic Operations Officer/USS Defiant First Officer||Seasons 4-7||Klingon||Lieutenant Commander|
|The fourth season saw the addition of Michael Dorn, who had recently finished seven years on Star Trek: The Next Generation as the Klingon Worf, in order to boost ratings. Worf transfers to Deep Space 9 when the brief war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire breaks out, and stays on as Strategic Operations officer and later as a liaison to the Klingon Empire. He eventually marries Jadzia Dax.|
|Colm Meaney||Miles O'Brien||Chief Operations Officer||Seasons 1-7||Human||Senior Chief Petty Officer|
|Miles O'Brien is the Chief of Operations, keeping the station in working order. He is married to botanist and teacher Keiko. They have a daughter, Molly, and later a son, Kirayoshi. O'Brien is the first main non-commissioned Starfleet character, reprising a supporting role in The Next Generation.|
|Cirroc Lofton||Jake Sisko||Student (Seasons 1-5),
Journalist (Seasons 5-7)
|Jake is Benjamin Sisko's son. He decides not to follow in his father's footsteps, desiring to be a writer and reporter instead. He at first resents the idea of living on an old Cardassian space station, but soon learns to adapt. He develops a deep friendship with Nog, a Ferengi who is the station's only other inhabitant in his age group. Jake eventually becomes a reporter with the Federation News Service.|
|Armin Shimerman||Quark||Bar Owner||Seasons 1-7||Ferengi||Civilian|
|Quark is the owner of a bar. Like most of his species (with the notable exception of his brother Rom), he is extremely greedy and willing to do whatever it takes to acquire more latinum. This almost invariably brings him into conflict with Odo. Quark does, however, display a moral code on several occasions during the series, electing to save lives rather than obtaining monetary benefit.|
The setting of the show—a space station rather than a starship—fostered a rich assortment of recurring characters. It was not unheard of for "secondary" characters to play as much, or more, of a role in an episode as the regular cast. For example, "The Wire" focused almost entirely on Garak, while "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" featured Weyoun, with a secondary plot centered on Nog. "It's Only a Paper Moon" featured Nog and holographic crooner Vic Fontaine (James Darren) carrying the story.
Several Cardassian characters figure prominently in DS9, particularly Gul Dukat, the main villain of the series, played by Marc Alaimo. A complex character, he undergoes several transformations before ultimately becoming profoundly evil, and Sisko's archenemy by the show's conclusion. A StarTrek.com article about Star Trek's greatest villains described Gul Dukat as "possibly the most complex and fully-developed bad guy in Star Trek history".
Elim Garak, portrayed by Andrew Robinson, is the only Cardassian who remains on the space station when the Federation and the Bajorans take over. Widely suspected of being a former agent of the Obsidian Order, the feared Cardassian secret police, he maintains that he is merely a simple tailor. Garak's skills and contacts on Cardassia prove invaluable on several occasions, and he becomes a pivotal figure in the war with the Dominion.
Damar (Casey Biggs) is initially Dukat's loyal aide. He becomes the new leader of the Cardassian Union when Dukat has an emotional breakdown, precipitated by his daughter's death at the hands of Damar ("Sacrifice of Angels"). As the Dominion War progresses, Damar becomes increasingly dissatisfied with Cardassia's relationship with the Dominion. The tipping point is reached when the Dominion forms an alliance with the Breen and Cardassia is relegated to a secondary and increasingly marginalized role ("Strange Bedfellows"). Damar forms and leads an insurgency against the Dominion, playing a vital role in its eventual defeat ("What You Leave Behind").
Jeffrey Combs (of Re-Animator fame) has stated that he had auditioned for the role of William T. Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when Jonathan Frakes (who won the part) later directed the DS9 episode "Meridian", he recommended Combs for a part. Combs made his Star Trek and DS9 debut as a one-episode alien named Tiron, before being cast as the Ferengi Brunt and the Vorta Weyoun. He would go on to appear in thirty-one episodes of DS9, playing four distinct characters—five, if one counts the "mirror universe" version of Brunt. In "The Dogs of War", he also became one of the few Star Trek actors to play two distinct roles (Brunt and Weyoun) in the same episode. He also appeared in the series Star Trek: Enterprise, as the Andorian commander Shran. He is one of very few people to have appeared in three of four modern Star Trek series.
In addition to Quark and his brother Rom (Max Grodénchik), several other Ferengi had recurring roles, among them their shrewd mother Ishka (Andrea Martin, later Cecily Adams), who eventually engineers a social revolution on the Ferengi home world, Rom's son Nog (Aron Eisenberg), the first Ferengi to join Starfleet, and Grand Nagus Zek (Wallace Shawn), the Ferengi leader.
The Klingon Empire plays a more significant role in DS9 than in any other Star Trek series. Aside from Worf, recurring Klingon characters include Chancellor Gowron (Robert O'Reilly), leader of the Empire until he is supplanted by General Martok (J.G. Hertzler) during the Dominion War. Kor, a Klingon character from Star Trek: The Original Series resurfaces in three DS9 episodes. One of them, "Blood Oath", unites Kor with two other Klingons from the original series: Koloth and Kang. John Colicos, William Campbell, and Michael Ansara reprised their original series roles (Colicos is also notable for playing the key role of Count Baltar in the original Battlestar Galactica).
Morn is a minor character who, like his inspiration (Norm from Cheers), is a fixture in a bar (in this case, Quark's), spending seven years there. It became a running joke that, despite the other characters' remarks on how talkative and funny he is, he never speaks a word on camera. Morn did have a line in the script for pilot episode "Emissary", but it was edited for episode run time, after which the creators conceived the joke that he never talks.
In the first episode, Starfleet Commander Benjamin Sisko takes charge of Deep Space Nine. He and Jadzia Dax stumble upon the first stable wormhole ever found and discover that it is inhabited by beings who are not bound by normal space and time. To the strongly religious people of Bajor, the wormhole aliens are their gods (the Prophets) and the wormhole itself is the long-prophesized Celestial Temple, where they reside. Sisko himself is hailed as the Emissary of the Prophets, through whom the Prophets primarily act.
This provides the basis for a long-lasting story arc. Sisko initially considers his role as a religious icon with open discomfort and skepticism, referring to the Prophets simply as "wormhole aliens" and striving to keep his role as commander of the station distinct from any religious obligations that the Bajorans try to place on him. Later, he becomes more accepting of his role and, by the end of the series, he openly embraces it.
The station crew early on has to contend with a human resistance group known as the Maquis. Rooted in the events of The Next Generation episode "Journey's End", in which Native American settlers refuse to leave when their colony world is given to Cardassia as part of a treaty, the Maquis is an example for the show’s exploration of darker themes: its members are Federation citizens who take up arms against Cardassia in defense of their homes, and some — such as Calvin Hudson, a long-time friend of Sisko's, and Michael Eddington, who defects while serving aboard the station — are Starfleet officers. The show’s sharp departure from traditional Star Trek themes can be seen in episodes such as "For the Cause", in which Eddington complains to Sisko, "Everybody should want to be in the Federation. Nobody leaves paradise. In some ways, you’re even worse than the Borg. At least they tell you about their plans for assimilation. You assimilate people and they don’t even know it." The Maquis also allows DS9 to directly subvert some longstanding Star Trek icons: Thomas Riker, a genetic duplicate of Enterprise first officer Commander William T. Riker, is revealed in the episode "Defiant" to be a member of the Maquis who gains access to the station's crew and facilities by impersonating the Enterprise's Riker.
The second-season episode, "Rules of Acquisition" marks the first mention of the Dominion, a ruthless empire in the Gamma Quadrant, though they are not fully introduced until the second-season finale, "The Jem'Hadar". It is led by "the Founders", a race of shape-shifting Changelings, the same race as station security chief Odo. They were once persecuted by non-shape-shifters (whom they call "Solids") and they seek to impose "order" upon any who could potentially harm them, which includes nearly all Solids. The Founders have created or genetically modified two races to serve them: the Vorta, sly and subversive diplomats, and the Jem’Hadar, their fearless shock troops. These races worship the Founders as gods.
At the start of DS9’s third season ("The Search"), with the threat of a Dominion attack looming from the other side of the wormhole, Commander Sisko returns from Starfleet Headquarters on Earth with the USS Defiant, a prototype starship that was originally built to fight the Borg. It remains stationed at Deep Space Nine until season seven, providing an avenue for plot lines away from the station. With the third season, writers from the now completed Next Generation began to write regularly for DS9.
The Dominion forms an uneasy alliance with the Cardassians in the fifth-season episodes "In Purgatory's Shadow" and "By Inferno's Light" and goes to war with the other major powers of the Alpha Quadrant. Throughout the series, loyalties and alliances change repeatedly: pacts with the Cardassians are made, broken, and remade; a short war with the Klingons flares up and is settled, and (through Sisko and Garak's secret, criminal machinations) the formerly neutral Romulans ally with the Federation.
An example of DS9’s darker nature is the introduction of Section 31, a secret organization dedicated to preserving the Federation way of life at any cost. This shadow group, introduced in "Inquisition", justifies its unlawful, unilateral tactics by claiming that it is essential to the continued existence of the Federation. Section 31 features prominently in several episodes of the Dominion War arc; such plot elements, as well as DS9’s relative lack of exposure compared to its predecessor, garnered the show a reputation as the "black sheep" of the Trek family.
In DS9, the Ferengi are no longer an enemy of the Federation, but rather an economic power whose political neutrality is, for the most part, respected. A number of episodes explore their capitalistic nature, while others delved into the race’s sexist social norms. Unlike their depiction in Star Trek: The Next Generation, where they were generally portrayed simply as sexist buffoons for comedic purposes, in DS9, they received a more complex depiction, with the female partner (Ishka) of the Grand Nagus leading a women's rights rebellion on the Ferengi homeworld, and Rom, Quark's brother, leading a strike against unfair working conditions in Quark's bar. Also, Jake's best friend, Nog, has to deal with Starfleet's more liberal attitudes towards women as a Starfleet cadet while Jake learns to deal with his friend's cultural background in a respectful manner rather than risk the loss of their friendship.
DS9 was the second Star Trek TV show to use Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) for exterior space shots, the first being Star Trek Voyager from Season 3 onward. Although other television shows such as seaQuest, Space: Above and Beyond, and Babylon 5 had used CGI exclusively to avoid the high expense of model photography, the Star Trek franchise continued primarily using models for exterior space shots, because it was felt models provided more realism. DS9 started using Foundation Imaging and Digital Muse in 1997 (Seasons 6 and 7) for its effects as part of the ongoing storyline of the Dominion occupation of the station. However, the Deep Space Nine station itself remained a physical model throughout the series' seven-year run except for the final scene of the series.
The opening sequence was likewise modified around the time the Star Trek: Voyager series launched, most notably by the introduction of CGI inserts of construction work being performed on the station's exterior by suited maintenance crews, and more docking and launching activity by ships (including a clear shot of the U.S.S Leeds moored at a prominent docking station), along with subtle colored wisps of nebulae added to the background starfield. Accordingly, the solo French Horn featured prominently in the main theme by Dennis McCarthy to accentuate the lonely isolation of the outpost was now augmented by a chorus of brass as the station attained a more bustling atmosphere following the presence of the wormhole.
The USS Defiant was the first full-fledged starship in the Star Trek franchise to have a CGI model used in regular production. It was first built and animated by VisionArt, which was responsible for the morphing of Odo. The CGI Defiant was featured heavily in the Season 4 episode "Starship Down", where it battled a CGI Jem'Hadar ship in a CGI gas giant's atmosphere.
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 (Benjamin, Jake, Joseph, Jennifer and Kasidy Yates-Sisko).
The pilot episode aired just weeks before the debut of Babylon 5. Babylon 5 creator, 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 after Warner Bros. announced its plans for Babylon 5. Straczynski has stated on numerous occasions that he thinks Paramount may have used his bible and scripts as the basis for DS9's first season. On the subject of suing Paramount for infringement, Straczynski indicated he had no intentions to do so, and added:
That we have decided - for the best interests of all - to take a mature, 'let's move forward' approach does not mean that I have to pretend nothing happened. [...] It's on the level of '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 shape-changing thing nearly tipped me back over the edge again. ..... The fact that the two shows were so similar at that time, one a nobody show from nowhere, the other bundled with the STAR TREK name, came within an inch of killing Babylon 5. That's one of the main reasons why it took nearly a period of four months [after the first pilot episode] before we finally got the go order for year one, after everybody crunched the ratings, and the demos, and decided to take a chance on it. And even THEN we were told, "The syndie market can't sustain two shows like this; you're gonna get creamed."
Babylon 5's household ratings averaged between 3 and 4% of the U.S. market, and the series ran four seasons in syndication until the dissolution of the Prime Time Entertainment Network, and then moved to cable channel TNT for its final season. The PTEN vs. UPN network rivalry also may have been a factor in this "bad blood" between the two shows, since both were competing for control of the same independent stations and status as the "5th network" to serve America. Eventually neither network won; PTEN dissolved in 1997, and both The WB and UPN merged to form The CW in 2006.
Over time, Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine diverged and took different paths. Babylon 5 focused on a continuing story ("novel for television" in Straczynski's words) that described the year before a major war, three years during the war, and the year after. DS9 was more similar to its parent show The Next Generation in presenting a different story every week, although DS9 experimented with a 6-part storyline to start-off season 6 (occupation of the station by the enemy), and a 10-part story to end season 7 and bring the Dominion War to a close.
In a 2007 interview with iF Magazine, George Takei criticized DS9 for being the polar opposite of Gene Roddenberry's philosophy and vision of the future. However, D.C. Fontana stated in an interview that Roddenberry would have liked it and its dark themes, since he was a World War II veteran.
Bjo Trimble, one of the major forces behind the letter-writing campaign that helped renew the original series for its third season, commented that she thought Roddenberry would "come to like DS9, had he lived to see it. There might have been some changes. Majel recently said that GR would have hated the war in DS9, but frankly I am amazed that she cannot see the same theme in much of what Gene did, including her recent 'discovery' of Earth: Final Conflict. The only reason there were not full battles in early Trek is lack of funds to pull it off, and lack of technology to show it. Otherwise, GR would certainly have added it; he knew what audiences liked".
Roddenberry himself is quoted in The Making of Star Trek DS9 as having doubts that a non-exploration show could work, and being displeased with early concepts presented to him in 1991. However, Rick Berman stated in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion that Roddenberry had given him his blessing for developing it very close to his death.
On June 30, 1993, between seasons one and two, DS9 followed other Star Trek series in releasing the original score from its pilot episode on CD. The title theme was also made available as a CD single. Music from several other episodes is included on the The Best of Star Trek releases.
Although created in the hope that Frank Sinatra, Jr. would take the role, the character of Vic Fontaine (instead played by late '60s heart throb James Darren), a self-aware holographic Las Vegas lounge singer and night club owner from the early 1960s, was introduced in the sixth-season episode "His Way". Vic was popular with the station's crew and performed many period songs by, among others, Frank Sinatra and Nat "King" Cole. Darren's role allowed him to release This One's From the Heart on August 24, 1999, featuring songs that Vic sings in the show and other period pieces.
Episodes of DS9 were made available on VHS cassettes. The first release came on November 19, 1996 in the United States, but the line was discontinued once all of DS9 had been released on DVD. The series was released on VHS in the UK starting August 2, 1993. Each video box contained unique artwork and character/plot information.
In 1996, early seasons of "DS9" were released on the Laserdisc format. Picture and sound quality in this format was significantly better than that of VHS cassettes; however, the Laserdisc format was discontinued in 1997.
Following the DVD release of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 2002, DS9 was released on DVD beginning in February 2003. DS9 was released in boxed sets of one season each and released approximately a month apart. Each season contains several "special features", including a biographical look at a main character, information from make-up designer Michael Westmore on how various aliens were created, and interviews with cast members and crew members.
The sets also include "Section 31" easter eggs that give a brief look at other aspects of the show. The Region 2 DVDs also come with bonus CD-ROM discs that allow users to build a "virtual" DS9 on their computer with each release. On October 26, 2004, a compilation of all seven season sets was also released.
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 discovered after 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.
Outside its line of novels, DS9 has been the subject of several comic books and other publications put out by Malibu Comics. One comic is a spin-off, detailing Nog’s experiences at the Starfleet Academy. Another DS9 comic book series became an exceptional example of licensed Star Trek works influencing each other, as a major character from Wildstorm Productions N-Vector, Tiris Jast, appeared in the Avatar, Part I novel.
Several video games focusing on DS9 have been released. The first was Crossroads of Time, a 1995 side-scrolling game released for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. The game takes place around the time of the series premiere, borrowing some stories from early episodes such as "Past Prologue" and creating others. A number of problems reportedly impeded the game's development process, and it met with mixed reactions.
Three DS9-themed games were released for the PC: Harbinger in 1996, The Fallen in 2000, and Dominion Wars in 2001. A board game was released as part of the now-defunct "component board game" series, which included an intercompatible board game for Star Trek: The Next Generation. DS9's role-playing book was one of several that failed to be released into wide circulation when Decipher, then publisher of the Star Trek role-playing game, discontinued its line.
The series features prominently in the Star Trek Customizable Card Game, particularly its second edition. In the game's first edition, Deep Space Nine is the titular fifth set, followed by one entitled "The Dominion" and several other DS9-themed sets. In the second edition, there are two types of cards for the United Federation of Planets, which may be placed at Earth or Deep Space Nine. The Ferengi, Dominion, Cardassian, Bajoran, and Maquis affiliations are comprised primarily of DS9-derived material, while the Klingon affiliation also borrows strongly from it.
Along with the rest of the Star Trek franchise, DS9 has been the subject of much merchandizing. Action figures, keychains, models, and other items have been released. The station itself, which is highly recognizable and iconic of the series, is the subject of many of these items. Paramount also sells Starfleet uniforms; among the styles is the so-called "DS9-style" uniform, which is primarily black with a division color (red for command, yellow for engineering or security, blue for medical and the sciences) on the shoulders.
Also, DS9 was well represented at Star Trek: The Experience, an attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton which faithfully recreated both Quark’s Bar & Restaurant and the Promenade. The former served Star Trek-style food and drinks, and hosted gatherings such as conventions. The latter (called the Shopping Promenade) sold various souvenirs and rarities; among the items for sale were "official" Starfleet uniforms and action figures. The attraction closed in September 2008, and is rumored to re-open in downtown Las Vegas in the future.