This FAQ is targeted towards people who haven’t seen the show before. Therefore it only contains a minimum number of spoilers. For example the character descriptions contain the characters’ initial positions but don’t reveal their development throughout the show.
Nonetheless there is also information for people who saw all episodes.
Because we didn’t want to severely reduce the number of discussions in the forum, we didn’t go into too much detail and cut down the questions to ones that either come up often or that appeal to first time viewers.
2.) Characters and actors
Q: Who are the characters and what are their positions?
Benjamin Lafayette Sisko: Commander and later Captain of DS9 and the Defiant
Kira Nerys: Executive Officer, liaison to the Bajoran provisional government
Jadzia Dax: Science Officer, pilot of the Defiant
Miles Edward O’Brien: Chief of Operations
Julian Subatoi Bashir: Chief Medical Officer
Worf: Strategic Operations Officer and First Officer of the Defiant
Jake Sisko: Benjamin Sisko’s son, aspiring writer and journalist
Odo: Chief of Security
Quark: owner of “Quark’s Bar, Grill, Gaming House and Holosuite Arcade”, president of the Promenade Merchant Association
Important recurring characters:
Morn: Quark’s most loyal customer, owner of a shipping business
Rom: Quark’s brother
Nog: Rom’s son
Zek: Grand Nagus (leader) of the Ferengi
Ishka: mother of Quark and Rom, nicknamed Moogie
Brunt: liquidator for the Ferengi Commerce Authority (FCA)
Leeta: dabo girl
Garak: tailor with a questionable background, exiled from Cardassia
Gul Dukat: former commander of the space station, Prefect over Bajor during the Occupation
Damar: Dukat’s adjutant
Martok: Klingon General
Weyoun: Vorta field commander
Gowron: Klingon Chancellor
Winn Adami: a religious leader on Bajor
Bareil Antos: Bajoran monk
Shakaar Edon: leader of the Shakaar resistance cell during the Bajoran Occupation
Vice Admiral William J. Ross: Starfleet field commander along the Cardassian border
Lt.Cmd. Michael Eddington: Starfleet security officer
Joseph Sisko: Benjamin Sisko’s father
Keiko O’Brien: Chief O’Brien’s wife, schoolteacher, botanist
Kasidy Yates: freighter captain
Vic Fontaine: A holographic program of a Las Vegas lounge singer
Q: What is the order of the hosts of the Dax symbiont?
Lela, Tobin, Emony, Audrid, Torias, Joran, Curzon, Jadzia
Q: Which actors had multiple roles?
The two most prominent recurring actors on DS9 are Jeffrey Combs and J.G. Hertzler.
Combs is best known as Brunt and Weyoun. He also played Tiron in “Meridian” and Mulkahey in “Far Beyond the Stars”. On the other Star Trek shows he can be seen as Penk in VOY’s “Tsunkatse”, Krem in ENT’s “Acquisition” and Shran – a recurring character on ENT.
J.G. Hertzler’s most prominent role is Martok. Additionally he played the Vulcan Captain of the Saratoga in “Emissary”, Laas in “Chimera” and Roy in “Far Beyond the Stars”. Outside of DS9 he can be seen as a Hirogen in VOY’s “Tsunkatse” and as Kolos in ENT’s “Judgment”.
To see Casey Biggs (Damar) and Robert O’Reilly (Gowron) out of makeup watch “Shadows and Symbols” and “Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang”. Biggs plays Dr. Wycoff in the former, and O’Reilly is the one who drinks the poisoned martini in the latter episode.
Q: Which characters were played by multiple actors?
Ziyal was played by Cyia Batten in “Indiscretion” and “Return to Grace”, by “Tracy Middendorf in “For the Cause”, and Melanie Smith in all other episodes. Batten was replaced because the writers wanted an older actress and Middendorf couldn’t handle the makeup.
Senator Cretak was played by Megan Cole in “Image in the Sand” and “Shadows and Symbols”, and by Adrienne Barbeau in “Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges”. This time the change was necessary because Cole wasn’t available for the third episode.
Ishka was played by Andrea Martin in “Family Business”, and by Cecily Adams in “Ferengi Love Songs”, “The Magnificient Ferengi”, “Profit and Lace”, and “The Dogs of War”.
3.) TV, DVDs and books
Q: When will DS9 air on Spike TV?
DS9 will begin airing on Spike TV beginning April 5, 2004.
Q: Which TNG episodes relate to Deep Space Nine?
Several TNG episodes set up backstory for DS9:
- Benjamin Sisko:
Best of Both Worlds, Parts I & II
The Wounded (also O’Brien)
Chain of Command, Part II
The Host (largely contradicted by DS9)
Sins of the Father
Redemption, Parts I & II
Birthright, Part I (Bashir)
However watching these episodes isn’t required to understand DS9. All necessary information is repeated.
Q: Is there a difference between the one-part and two-part versions of the pilot and the finale?
Yes. “Emissary”, “The Way of the Warrior” and “What You Leave Behind” were shot as one episode each. For the reruns in syndication they were split into two parts. This made it necessary to cut material to make room for a second credit sequence. The cuts are as follows:
A last visit by O’Brien to the Enterprise and his farewell to Picard
Cardassians scanning the station and detecting unexpected weapons
The Way of the Warrior
O’Brien and Bashir play around with beans in Quark’s
A holodeck scene with Dax and Kira in swimsuits
What You Leave Behind
The rebels are laughing and joking because they can’t enter Dominion HQ
The farewell between Bashir and Garak
Additionally several scenes around the middle are rearranged to end the two-part version on a cliffhanger
Q: What are the differences between the Region 1 and Region 2 DVD sets?
The R2 sets include several bonus features, which are only available as extra DVDs from BestBuy affiliated shops in R1.
Additionally two episodes are cut in R2. Season 4’s “To the Death” has 6 seconds cut from the neck breaking scene (the actual twisting can’t be seen). In Season 6’s “Sons and Daughters” 25 seconds were cut from the blood sharing scene at the end.
The R2 DVDs also come with a “Virtual Space Station” CD-ROM set; one CD per season. It’s a reference guide to events, characters, episodes and other items.
Other changes like different case designs or booklets are only cosmetic.
DVDs from different regions are incompatible for technical reasons. You need a region-free DVD player that can be switched between PAL and NTSC to watch them
Q: What features can be found on the Best Buy discs?
The Deep Space Nine Scrapbook – A look at the creation and launch of Deep Space Nine. Features archival cast and crew interviews and behind-the scenes-footage.
Quark's Story - A look at the character Quark and the origin of the Ferengi.
The U.S.S. Defiant - An in-depth look at the "tough little ship" that debuted in Season 3
Bob Blackman's Designs of the Future - Veteran Costume Designer Bob Blackman discusses the wide range of costumes he created for the series - from Bajorans, Cardassians, and Ferengi to a constant stream of aliens visiting the station. Includes behind-the-scenes footage of rarely seen sketches.
Sketchbook: Jim Martin - Illustrator Jim Martin reveals the meaning and evolution of many of his artistic designs used for DS9. Includes rarely seen drawings of Ferengi props, starships, and alien worlds.
DS9 Chronicles: Short introductions to selected episodes from seasons 1-4, narrated by Deep Space Nine actors
DS9 Sketchbook: John Eaves - A look at original and unused designs created for Season 5 of DS9.
Ferengi Culture - Executive Producer Ira Steven Behr explains how the Ferengi evolved from their debut on The Next Generation through the end of Deep Space Nine.
Inside "One Little Ship" - Visual Effects wizard Gary Hutzel provides an in-depth look at filming and designing the shrunken shuttlepod featured in "One Little Ship"
Ferengi Rules of Acquisition: The Beginning - Armin Shimerman and Ira Steven Behr discuss the cultural impact of the "Rules" on society.
Ferengi Rules of Acquisition: The Sequel - Armin Shimerman and Max Grodenchik explore the Ferengi rules accompanied by clips played back to back in numerical order.
Special Crew Profile: Ezri - A special profile of Nicole deBoer, a new cast member added in the final season.
Morn Speaks! - Mark Allen Shepherd talks about his unique role on the series and reveals dialogue that was written but never made the final cut.
Sketchbook: John Eaves - Illustrator John Eaves covers several designs created for the final season of DS9, including the Breen Ship.
Q: Are there special Asian editions of the DS9 DVD Boxed Sets?
No, those DVDs you see on EBay are pirated versions of the official sets. There are no Paramount liscenced Asian versions of the DVDs.
Q: How is the quality of the Asian DVD sets?
Pretty low quality. They're grainy, and have a bad tendency to break up, much resembling the errors you get when a disk is dirty. Also, many episodes cut off prematurely.
Q: Do the movies make references to Deep Space Nine?
The Defiant is featured extensively in the Borg battle
Worf is thus brought to the Enterprise
Riker mocks Worf if he can still fire phasers, referring to his absence from the ship
Picard wonders about discipline on DS9 when Worf oversleeps
Picard mentions that the diplomatic corps is busy with Dominion negotiations
The Son’a are known as producers of Ketracel White (also mentioned in “Penumbra”)
Ru’afo mentions the Dominion among powers that challenged the Federation
Remans were used by the Romulans as cannon fodder during the Dominion War
Shinzon commanded a ship during the war
Q: What is the Deep Space Nine Companion?
A book with episodes synopses, interviews with writers and actors, and behind the scenes information. The Companion is a very good source for background information on Deep Space Nine, as well as the writing and production of a weekly television series in general.
It is out of print but still available from Amazon.com either used or new.
The book is not to be confused with the CD-ROM of the same name. The CD contains episode scripts, pictures, and trailers.
Q: What is the Deep Space Nine Relaunch?
A series of books that began in 2001 and continues the series beyond “What You Leave Behind”. The name refers to a relaunch of the DS9 novels.
The following is a list of the main titles in chronological order:
The Left Hand of Destiny, Books One & Two
The Lives of Dax
Avatar, Books Ones &Two
Section 31: Abyss
Gateways #4: Demons of Air and Darkness
Gateways #7: What Lay Beyond: “Horn and Ivory”
Mission Gamma #1: Twilight
Mission Gamma #2: This Gray Spirit
Mission Gamma #3: Cathedral
Mission Gamma #4: Lesser Evil
Rising Son (actually takes place from “Avatar” through “Lesser Evil”)
Worlds of Deep Space Nine, Books One, Two & Three (to be released in 2004/05)
Note that in publication order the series starts with “Avatar”. “The Left Hand of Destiny” was released after “Rising Son”; “The Lives of Dax” several years earlier as trade paperback and reprinted as massmarket paperback together with “Rising Son”.
For a more comprehensive timeline that also includes many secondary titles, see this thread:
Q: What's up with O'Brien's rank?
He is enlisted, or a non-commissioned officer. That means he has special technical training, but didn’t take the more extensive courses required for officers. His rank was specified as “Chief Petty Officer” in “Hippocratic Oath”.
Technically an ensign outranks him, but because of his experience and long service time junior officers usually follow his orders.
The confusion about his rank has two main sources. Firstly he was referred to as Lieutenant early in TNG when the writers didn’t know what to do with the character. But in “Family” he was firmly established as NCO. Secondly his rank insignia was a hollow black pip early, which can be mistaken. That’s why he got a new insignia with chevrons in DS9’s fourth season.
Q: Why does Thomas Riker become so angry at O'Brien in "Defiant"?
The following is conjecture, but it's the most common answer you get when you ask the question.
O'Brien is a talkative person who likes to chat about old times with past acquaintances, as seen in Tribunal or with Worf in general for example. So Thomas Riker couldn't allow himself to get caught in a discussion with O'Brien and risk the possibility of events coming up in conversation that he didn't experience. Acting in such a brash manner and sending O'Brien off the bridge was an effective way to avoid that.
O'Brien wouldn't question a superior officer in front of his XO. He clearly had a reaction to Riker's strange behaviour when he left the airlock, but he didn't act on it. Riker hijacked the Defiant shortly after, so the diversion didn't need to last for long. By the time O'Brien might have become suspicious, the plan was already implemented. O'Brien might have made the connection when the Defiant's warpcore became critical. But given the choice between a matter/anti-matter explosion next to the docking ring and following an unproven suspicion, safeguarding the station should always have priority.
Q: What’s wrong with Sisko’s combadge in “Rapture”?
It seems that Avery Brook’s uniform was either tailored incorrectly or he used one from “First Contact” that didn’t fit him. The combadge is in the correct place on his breast, but the uniform’s grey shoulder area was too large for him.
Q: What are the names of the Orbs of the Prophets?
There are nine original Orbs, plus a previously unknown Orb of the Emissary.
Established on TV:
1. Orb of Prophecy and Change
2. Orb of Wisdom
3. Orb of Time
4. Orb of Contemplation
Established in the novels:
5. Orb of Memory
6. Orb of Destiny
7. Orb of Truth
8. Orb of Souls
9. Orb of Unity
Q: What are the songs James Darren sang on the show?
You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You: His Way
Come Fly With Me: His Way
I've Got You Under My Skin: His Way
Here’s To The Losers: Tears Of The Prophets
All The Way: Image In The Sand
I'll Be Seeing You: It's Only A Paper Moon
It's Only A Paper Moon: It's Only A Paper Moon
I've Got The World On A String: It's Only A Paper Moon
The Alamo: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang
The Best Is Yet To Come: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang
The Way You Look Tonight: What You Leave Behind
After the show ended James Darren recorded a album called “This One’s From the Heart” that includes some of these songs, as well as a few others.
Q: What is the origin of Alexander Siddig's name and why did he change his name midway through the series?
The origin of Sid's name:
Siddig El Fadil is Sid's western name. It's the name on all the official documents, etc. El means "son of," Fadil (pronounced Fah-dill). Fadil is actually Sid's paternal grandfather. Siddig (pronounced Sih-Dig) is actually his paternal great grandfather. Sid's parents didn't actually choose the name for him... the elder women of the town Sid was born in (Omdurman) actually chose the name.
There are no "family" names per se in middle eastern culture. If Sid were to have a true family name, it would probably be Mahdi, Mahdi being the name of the famous Sudanese Holy man who fought the English during the Sudan campaigns in the 1800s (that's Sid's great great grandfather).
Siddig's birth name is the following:
Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig El Abderahman El Mohammed Ahmed El Abdel Karim El Mahdi.
When Sid's mother moved him to England, they chose El Fadil as his surname.
Why Sid changed his name:
The reason for this was two-fold:
1) Sid's mother had always wanted to give him a part Arab, part European name. Since people were clearly having problems with Sid's name, he decided to change his name.
2) At the time he was also fighting with Viacomm over merchandising rights and thought changing his name would be a great way to stick it to them, because all the merchandise would have to be changed. He actually considered changing it every season. Thank god for the cool heads who told him it was a bad idea (one of them being his girlfriend at the time, Nana Visitor).
Q: Which runabouts were destroyed when during the show?
Battle Lines: Yangtzee Kiang (replaced by Orinoco)
Armageddon Game: Ganges (replaced by Mekong)
The Die is Cast: Mekong (replaced by Rubicon)
Our Man Bashir: Orinoco (replaced by Yukon)
The Ship: unnamed
Nor the Battle to the Strong: unnamed
The Ascent: crashed but probably recovered, possibly Rio Grande
By Inferno’s Light: Yukon
Empok Nor: unnamed
Only the Rio Grande survived from beginning to end.
All runabouts are named after Earth rivers. The ship class is called Danube class.
The Gander was originally supposed to be the Ganges, but then someone remembered that this name was already used. So it was dubbed over with a similar name.
Q: What are the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition?
The Rules of Acquisition are a strict codex of behavior every Ferengi is bound to. Quoting all 285 rules here would be too much, so just follow this link:
Q: Why does DS9 have a 26 hour day?
The station is Bajoran property and uses a the local timekeeping system parallel to Federation stardates. Bajor rotates around its axis within 26 instead of 24 hours, so its days are longer.
That is the reason why characters think of 2 days in 52 hours or 3 days in 78 hours. Sometimes you might also catch a reference to suspiciously late dinner times (for Earth standards).
Q: Links to DS9 related websites
DS9 Encyclopedia & Lexicon: http://ds9encyclopedia.0catch.com/
Jammer’s reviews: http://www.st-hypertext.com/
Avatar website (DS9 Relaunch): http://www.angelfire.com/trek/avatar/main.html
Music videos: http://www.lcarscom.net/vicslounge.htm
Caption That!: http://www.geocities.com/sirrockotwo
Maximum Defiant: www.maximumdefiant.net
The Great Link : http://dominion.greatlink.org/
Alexander Siddig (SidCity): http://www.sidcity.net/
James Darren: http://www.jamesdarren.com/
Chase Masterson: http://www.chasemasterson.com/
Nana Visitor : http://www.nanavision.com/
Casey Biggs: http://www.caseybiggs.com/index.html
Robert Hewitt Wolfe: http://www.rhwolfe.com/
Mark Allen Shepherd: http://garrisonent.com/morn/
Jeffrey Combs: www.jeffreycombs.com
NOTE FROM Vash: Special thanks to Gul Dukat for the addition to the FAQ concerning the Asian DVD's.