My first episode was Heart of Stone. Like many people, I was preoccupied with TNG and didn't give the show a fair chance until catching it late one night almost by accident. I hadn't intended to watch it, but simply left the tv on to have something playing in the background while I was working on something else...which I can't even remember what it was now.
What I do remember though, was being so engrossed by the Odo, Kira, and the Female shapeshifter that I made a point to tune in the following week to watch more. And boy was I not disappointed. By the time I started watching, Season Three was nearing the end of its original run and was showing repeats before heading into the last few episodes of the season. I don't recall if it was the next episode I saw, but shortly there after, I saw The Search...and was properly introduced to the Defiant.
Wow. This wasn't the Enterprise-D at all and Sisko wasn't anything like Picard. If anything, he was more like Kirk, kicking ass and taking names. It definitely left an impression.
Soon after that came Defiant, Improbable Cause and the Die is Cast. I suppose that it helped a great deal that my introduction to DS9 was based mainly on such strong episodes. Had I started out from the beginning, I'm not sure I would have stuck with it. I enjoyed Emissary quite a great deal when I finally saw it and there are some really good episodes in the first two seasons, but they are certainly few and far between.
Well, by the time the Season Three finale came around, I was hooked and I had only seen mainly half the season. I was gearing up for Season Four and the obvious conflict with the Dominion that was sure to come and that's when something changed for me.
I had seen and enjoyed the original movies, some of TOS, and much of TNG. All of it though was just something I watched and and enjoyed. They were just movies and TV shows.
DS9 was different.
DS9 flipped the switch that made me a Star Trek Fan. It wasn't enough to just watch the show any more. I had to know about the Defiant and how things worked on the ship as well as the station. I had to know about these characters and their past, where they had been and where they were going. I needed more information than what the show was giving and for the first time, I began to seek out other sources for that information.
DS9 pushed my into bookstores to buy sci-fi magazines so I could get interviews with anyone who worked on the show. And eventually DS9 pushed me online to find other people and what information they had. I had to know as much as possible about this world. I was fanatic...I was a fan.
DS9 made me the sci-fi fan I am today and for that, it will always hold a very special place in my heart. Those were good years, some of the best years and while my love and enthusiasm for Trek may wain at times, I will always be a Niner.