Paper Moon wrote:
Honestly, without some sort of revelation, I think Bashir would've ended up being the least developed and least interesting character in DS9.
Well, I think that was partly what motivated the change, yeah. I think also he tended to register as the least popular regular character at the time.
I can also see why Siddig really didn't like it, though, especially the early attempts to duplicate Data-like computations. This is what I meant by it being an attempt to turn him into DS9's Data: early in the next season there are a couple of scenes like this, where he makes calculations faster than the ship's computer. You can almost see the distaste in Siddig's performance. Then they dropped it, basically.
Anyway, I'm not saying you should agree it was a bad idea, or that it was not a valid choice in some abstract way. I just never really liked it, and didn't think it was worth it.
I think Section 31 would have worked anyway, as the main story there was the combination of his interest in being a spy and his idealism being put to the test. Certainly Section 31 must have a lot of operatives that are not genetically engineered or similar.