The Aliens of Deep Space Nine
With Deep Space Nine, a stationary space station, there were often visitors from all over the galaxy passing by. One could expect to see their share of Aliens.
What has been a major plus, established in the original Star Trek, is the development of cultures.
These aliens aren't just some guy with a rubber head. They are created with a back story. Their planets, the societies on their planets, what is positive and negative which gives their actions and attitudes hold a kind of sense.
When Deep Space Nine began it was pretty clear the Cardassians were Nazis.
They'd invaded a planet, reduced the people to slaves, and exploited the resources.
Garick we knew was a spy.
Although it is claimed he was left behind as punishment, considering his sterling work for the Obsidian Order, and the fact anything that happens at the station is almost instantaneously reported to Cardassia, proved our assumption.
At the first episode it seemed the writers intended to set the viewer's mind against the Cardassians. Oddly, we came to like Garick, and somehow sort of enjoyed
seeing Gul Dukat.
Clearly the writers hadn't expected this, so began to give us a bit more and a
bit more, and we took it.
And we wanted more.
So Gul Dukat and Elim Garick, who were never listed in the credits as part of
the cast, became part of the cast, for we wanted to see them. We wanted to
know more about Cardassia.
The Ferangi had always been distasteful trolls.
Trolls who prayed to Capitalism and worshipped greed. Yet somehow they became lovable. Somehow we wanted to see Quark every epi.
We wanted to see him bribe as he prayed, we wanted to hear the Rules of Acquisition, many of us memorising them. Instead of being a side story or comic relief, Quark and his bar became more central than the Bridge of the Defiant, than the Operation station of DS9.
The Klingons had already gained a large following since Star Trek, primarily,
The Next Generation.
Any scene with a Klingon or Klingons was going to catch the viewers.
Adding Worf to the cast to deal with the myriad others was brilliant. Although we pretty much knew what Klingons would say, do and drink, we loved to see them, hear them.
We loved everything about them. The more Klingons the better.
And Deep Space 9 gave us a lot of Klingons.
The Bajorians, and their culture we took and understood.
They prayed, they believed, they had religious institutions we recognised.
They even had corrupt religious leaders.
We were supposed to identify with Bajorians. We should be able to get them
with a minimum of info dump and we did.
Unlike other species they were near enough to Terrans to be integrated without difficulty.
Major Kira was a central character, part of the cast, bringing bits of her culture with every appearance along with references to the recent past of her people.
The Jem'Hadar were genetically created warriors.
They were taking Klingons to the nth degree.
Decanted, fully grown in about three days, ready to fight and kill, wanting only to fight and kill they were the kind of easy to hate villains; the perfect organic robot, with a few traces of humanness.
In one epi we got to see the life cycle and almost, not quite but almost began to
feel for the boy.
In another, we met one who no longer needed the drug and was becoming
It would have been an interesting twist if he had survived.
Odo, a Changeling, and Dax, a Trill, along with others made up the aliens of the cast.
The Vulcans didn't translate from TOS. Although they popped up in the epis they were aloof, cold, boring.The Romulans added treacherous to the list.
Other aliens were very very ugly.
Ugly and one shots.
Spending xyz $ to create a Whatisit to pass on the promenade or appear in an episode then gone; might as well use them.
And do they have to be so weird with such bad teeth?
What is evident is that well thought out aliens and alien cultures captures the imagination. We like to see human types with a different 'operating system'.
The use of Aliens is that, not being human, we can consider their behaviour without any form of political correctness.