Deep Space Nine featured a wide range of unforgettable characters.
I remember the skepticism some Star Trek fans expressed when Paramount announced Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the franchise’s newest series. “A Star Trek series set on a space station?” they asked. “What will the new mission statement be—‘to boldly stay put where no one has stayed put before?’’
That tag line might actually have served Deep Space Nine well. The series creators wanted, in part, to “stay put” at a single strange new world, rather than always warping to a new one week after week.
But what then-skeptical fans may also have forgotten was the success of Star Trek depends in no small part on the richness and robustness of its characters. Deep Space Nine may not have gone as many places as the original series or The Next Generation did, but it had no shortage of compelling characters.
The series includes so many well-developed characters, brought to life by so many talented actors, choosing the best is almost an impossible task. But here’s my ranking—as of now—of the 30 most memorable characters from Deep Space Nine.
30. Advocate Ch’Pok
Though he appeared only once, Ch’Pok—played by prolific actor Ron Canada, who has a penchant for playing “tough but sympathetic authority figures”—is one of the more memorable Klingons we’ve seen in any Star Trek series. His dogged pursuit of Worf, whom he believes wrongly destroyed a civilian transport, shows him to be a fierce and adamant, if opinionated, advocate of justice.
29. Arne Darvin
Charlie Brill was able to reprise his role as the Klingon spy surgically altered to look human nearly 30 years after playing him first in “The Trouble with Tribbles.” Darvin was a one-note character in his original appearance. Here, Brill had the chance to add more depth to Darvin. The character’s decades of resentment and desire for revenge led him to a desperate act of time travel—and made him the catalyst for one of Deep Space Nine’s most popular episodes.
René Auberjonois got to play several versions of Odo during the run of Deep Space Nine, thanks to various science fictional twist and turns. One of the most intriguing was the future Odo on Gaia, living among the Defiant crew’s descendants. The Gaian Odo sacrifices eight thousand people’s lives to save Kira’s life—a shocking act of love that further forces the issue of “our” Odo’s feelings for Kira to the fore.
27. Tim Watters
Played by Paul Popowich, Tim Watters is the cadet who leads Starfleet Academy’s elite Red Squadron on a series of increasingly dangerous missions against the Dominion. Watters speaks of pride and courage, but appears driven by war fever, and is fueling himself with chemical stimulants. He is an unforgettably tragic figure, all the more so because he was so young. As Nog says of him, “He may have been a hero. He may even have been a great man. But in the end, he was a bad captain.”
26. Dr. Mora
James Sloyan guest starred as Dr. Mora Pol, the Bajoran scientist who taught Odo, in two Deep Space Nine episodes. In both “The Alternate” and “The Begotten,” Mora and Odo clash over the former’s past treatment of the latter, but ultimately find some measure of reconciliation. Sloyan’s sympathetic and complex portrayal of Mora helps bring immeasurable depth to Odo’s backstory.