25. Michael Eddington
Deep Space Nine wasn’t afraid to challenge the ideals of Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets, not only from without but also from within. Michael Eddington, played in nine episodes by Ken Marshall, was one of the biggest internal challenges. A security officer who ultimately became a Maquis leader, Eddington forced Sisko—and viewers—to confront questions about conflicts of loyalty and freedom that don’t always have easy answers.
24. Tora Ziyal
Tora Ziyal is the only character on this list played by three actors: Cyia Batten (“Indiscretion,” “Return to Grace”), Tracy Middendorf (“For the Cause”), and Melanie Smith (in Ziyal’s last six appearances). Ziyal was the daughter of Gul Dukat by a Bajoran woman during the Cardassian occupation. Although Dukat eventually acknowledged her and although she forced a true though not always smooth friendship with Major Kira, Ziyal perished when Damar decided she deserved execution as a traitor to Cardassia. Ziyal’s death pushed Dukat into madness, ensuring this character cast a long shadow long after she was written out of the series.
23. Ishka (Moogie)
Two actors portrayed Quark and Rom’s mother Ishka, whom they affectionately called “Moogie.” Andrea Martin originated the role in “Family Business,” while Cecily Adams played her in her remaining four appearances. An unapologetic advocate for women’s rights and economic freedom in patriarchal Ferengi society, Ishka eventually became romantically involved with Grand Nagus Zek, and influenced him to institute reforms on Ferenginar—much to Quark’s dismay. Still, the affection between them remained.
In 23 Deep Space Nine episodes, Casey Biggs played Damar, the one-time right-hand man of Gul Dukat who eventually rose to become Legate of Cardassia during the planet’s alliance with the Dominion. Biggs’s earliest performances as Damar give little hint of the tragic figure Damar ultimately becomes, especially when Damar kills Ziyal in “Sacrifice of Angels.” But viewers follow Damar’s descent into alcohol-fueled depression as he realizes he is nothing but a puppet of the Founders, and ultimately cheer for him as he leads a self-sacrificial attack against them near the Dominion War’s end.
21. The Female Changeling
Salome Jens played the nameless Female Changeling in 14 episodes of Deep Space Nine. A shrewd military strategist, this Founder also became Odo’s primary connection to the rest of his people. Although she took him to the Great Link to be judged for having killed a fellow Changeling, Odo ultimately cures her of the disease afflicting the Changelings, which leads to the end of the Dominion War.