20. General Martok
Worf isn’t on my list of most memorable Deep Space Nine characters—I remember him first and foremost from The Next Generation. But General Martok is, and his relationship to Worf is a major reason why. Brilliantly brought to life by J.G. Hertzler, Martok is arguably the most enjoyable Klingon we’ve seen in the franchise. He’s a cunning warrior, but also loads of fun, and his adoption of Worf into his house is one of the most moving events in Worf’s story across the franchise. It’s entirely appropriate Martok becomes Chancellor at the series’ end. Who wouldn’t want to follow him to glory?
Jeffrey Combs has been an amazing gift to Star Trek. Other fans may remember him more for his amusing performances as Liquidator Brunt of the Ferengi Commerce Authority, but I remember him most as Weyoun, the Vorta we meet again—and again, and again—in 24 episodes of Deep Space Nine. With an infuriatingly irresistible blend of charm and menace, Combs made all the Weyoun clones some of the funniest and most fascinating of Star Trek villains.
18. Captain Kassidy Yates
Penny Johnson (now credited as Penny Johnson Jerald on The Orville) played freighter captain and, ultimately, Benjamin Sikso’s wife Kassidy Yates in 15 episodes. Her tough, independent-minded character gave us a rare glimpse into civilian, commercial space travel in the Star Trek universe. She also became a friend to Jake, and the mother of a child, still unborn in the series finale, to Ben Sisko. I hope we’ll get to see Kassidy and her child in some future Star Trek production.
17. Luther Sloan
Section 31 is one of the worst ideas Rick Berman-era Star Trek left us with, and I don’t understand why the franchise, from Star Trek Into Darkness through Discovery and even a supposed spinoff series, insists upon revisiting it. Maybe it’s due in large part to William Sadler’s creepy and compelling turns as Luther Sloan, Section 31 operative, in three episodes of Deep Space Nine. Sadler plays the part to paranoid perfection, leaving not only Dr. Bashir but all of us to wonder how much of what we’ve believed about the Federation turns out to be true.
16. Vic Fontaine
One-time teen idol and crooner James Darren enjoyed a resurgence of interest late in his career thanks not only to his regular role on William Shatner’s cop series T.J. Hooker but also his seven appearances in the last two seasons of Deep Space Nine. Darren put his pipes to good use as holographic singer and Vegas nightclub owner Vic Fontaine. He advised Odo on Odo’s courtship of Kira in “His Way.” He helped Nog re-engage with the real world in “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” And he serenaded the station crew during their last time all together in the series finale. Truly, as Dr. Bashir promised, no ordinary hologram!