A lot of people complain about how dark and gritty the Star Trek franchise has become nowadays, having moved away from the idealistic future presented by the original series and The Next Generation. But the first time Star Trek revealed the shadows hiding in the cracks of that future, the result was one of its most beloved TV series: Deep Space Nine, which turns 29 today.
I am on the lower rungs of the ladder of Trek fandom here at Gizmodo, but I’m well aware of how divisive the show was when it premiered back in 1993, since it was set on a space station instead of a starship and explored the idea that the Federation’s utopia was not as perfect as Trek’s forbears had presented. Bust since then, Deep Space Nine has become of the franchise’s best-loved and most-acclaimed installments. I’ll let former staffer and major fan Eleanor Tremeer explain more:
“Underneath the complex socio-politics it would become known for, at its heart Deep Space Nine was a show about ordinary people in an extraordinary situation. Led by the then-Commander Sisko, a traumatized soldier who was a family man at heart, the main cast were far more “lower decks” than Starfleet’s best and brightest. And crucially, with a colourful cast of aliens and humans alike, Deep Space Nine was the first Trek series to have non-Starfleet main characters, allowing the show to offer a unique perspective on the Federation — and that perspective was not always as shiny and optimistic as Gene Roddenberry would have wanted.”
If you want to know more about Deep Space Nine — or just want to reminisce — here’s an assortment of Gizmodo’s past coverage of the series which explain why we’re still celebrating it nearly three decades later.