Star Trek: Deep Space Nine TV Poster Image

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine



Strong spin-off is more violent than the others.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series portrays a benevolent democracy with a tolerance and acceptance for other cultures.

Positive role models

The Federation is portrayed as a benevolent democracy, but the series prominently features several other cultures with very different values, including the Klingons, who judge each other by their fighting prowess; the sexist Ferengi; and the Dominion, a fascist dictatorship bent on taking over the galaxy.


Explores themes of genocide, fascism, and oppression, all of which come with plenty of violence -- though it's discussed more often than it's shown. A central long-running plot line involves a major intergalactic war, with plenty of spaceship battles and some ground combat.


No nudity, but more sexual situations and innuendo than other Star Trek series. Couples occasionally shown in bed together, etc.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One of the main characters owns a bar where many important scenes take place, usually with a fair amount of drinking. An entire race of villains has been genetically engineered to be addicted to a drug.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Star Trek series is by far the most violent entry in the franchise. One alien race was enslaved and forced into concentration camps, while another has been genetically engineered to become the perfect fighting machine (their masters take over a portion of the galaxy and prove to be brutal dictators). A secret faction within the Federation engages in biological warfare. Later seasons focus on an all-out war against the Dominon, which costs billions of lives and features several battle scenes involving hundreds of starships.

What's the story?

Unlike other entries in the Star Trek lineup, STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE 9 takes place in a space station that's permanently parked near the planet Bajor. It centers on Commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), who oversees the station's operations. At the series' start, Bajor has just been liberated from five decades of brutal occupation by the Cardassians and with the assistance of the Federation, the freed planet is assuming joint control of the strategic space station. Shortly thereafter, Sisko discovers a "wormhole" in space, a shortcut to the far side of the galaxy. Peace on Bajor and the wormhole's tantalizing secrets quickly transform Deep Space 9 from a galactic backwater to a thriving commercial hub.

Is it any good?


The show's complicated setup provides endless opportunities for drama. Not only does the series explore the lingering tension between the Bajorans and the Cardassians (who make it very clear that they want to regain control of the outpost), the constant stream of characters passing through the busy station means endless opportunities for guest stars with new conflicts. And unlike the other Trek series, which almost always resolved their conflicts by the end of each episode and rarely followed story arcs for more than a few episodes, DS9 (which originally aired from 1993 to 1999) really hit its stride by creating a compelling, overarching storyline that follows the complicated political machinations among the Federation and its allies, the Dominion and its invasion plans, and the simmering conflict with the Cardassians (who eventually ally themselves with the Dominon and later come to regret that choice).

DS9 is also notable for its many comedic subplots, which generally focus on Quark (Armin Shimerman), a grumpy Ferengi who owns the station's popular bar (imagine the famous Star Wars cantina, with a bit less attitude and a lot less gunplay). The Ferengi value greed and pure capitalism, and the show often depicts them as childlike nuisances. They also have institutionalized sexism, which is clearly displayed in Quark's attitude toward the bargirls he employs. Not surprisingly, a fair amount of drinking takes place at the bar.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about dictatorship and rebellion. Two of the show's main alien races were involved in a long war before the series began; considerable tension remains between them, and there are frequent references to atrocities committed during the conflict. Is war ever necessary? When is it acceptable to fight back? What would you do if your homeland was invaded? Families who've seen other Star Trek shows and movies can also discuss how they're different from and similar to each other. Which one is your favorite? Why is the franchise so successful?

TV details

Cast:Armin Shimerman, Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois
Networks:Spike, Syndicated
Genre:Science Fiction
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

This review of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was written by

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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byBlasterbolt95 April 1, 2009


Wow. This show is very well done. The acting is incredable as is the writing. The violence is much worse than other Star Treks and lots of gore in one episode with a very graphicly decomposing charactor. Sexual content isn't graphic butt the series does have some homosexual content. Language is less frequent than TNG but a single N word in the sixth season spoils that.
Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written bytungster June 17, 2013

The most thought-provoking of the "Star Trek" series, with three-dimensional characters

I've been a big fan of the original "Star Trek" series and "Star Trek: The Next Generation," but when "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" first came out, I thought it was just okay. The first season was a bit slow, and while things picked up a bit in season 2, it wasn't until near the end of season 3 that the set-up started to pay dividends. By season 4, the show hit its stride and maintained a consistently high quality to the end, which is bittersweet but perfect. What makes "DS9" so outstanding is that it was the first "Star Trek" series to be free of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's edict that there be no interpersonal conflict among humans in the 22nd/23rd century. The people (humans and otherwise) in "DS9" are much more real than the archetypes who populate the original series and "Next Gen." The kind of themes that "DS9" explores include heroism and cowardice under fire; the use of asymmetric terrorism to turn a society against itself; labor unions versus capitalists (really); the ethics of genocide to win an all-out intergalactic war; justice versus revenge; and others. If this makes the show sound deep, well, it often was. At the same time, "DS9" knows how to have a good time, and there were a number of light-hearted episodes, such as one where one of the characters (Dr. Bashir) ends up stuck in the holodeck in his "James Bond" program. . . . And of course, for the 30th anniversary of the original series' episode "The Trouble With Tribbles," "DS9" came up with an incredibly inventive time travel episode that spliced the DS9 crew into the original episode so that they were at times interacting with Captain Kirk! I showed my little boys "The Trouble With Tribbles" episode when they were 8 and 5, but I wouldn't let them watch "DS9" until they're much older, because of the complex arcs and themes and the grim violence (not gory and never sensationalized, but still a bit much). When they do get to watch it, though, I expect there will be much more to talk about than with other "Star Trek" series.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator and Parent of a 6 and 15 year old Written byImportantParent January 9, 2014

Deep Space Nine

Very good. One of the characters near the end has a drinking problem, but he gets over it, teaching kids to get over their drinking problems, which is good. Many bodys are seen because it is war so violence is a given. There is some sex because one of the characters is a sex fan. In another episode a woman refers to another woman as a "sl*t"
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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