A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The Federation is portrayed as a benevolent democracy with a tolerance and acceptance for other cultures. However the series also 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.
Positive Role Models
Captain Sisko and his crew frequently use teamwork to solve problems. Although they are trying to maintain peace, they often find themselves amid violent battles against other cultures.
Violence & Scariness
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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
No nudity, but more sexual situations and innuendo than other Star Trek series. Couples occasionally shown in bed together, etc.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
No direct product promotion, but the Star Trek franchise is a commodity in itself.
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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 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 Dominion, which costs billions of lives and features several battle scenes involving hundreds of starships. There are more sexual situations and innuendos than in other Star Trek series, but there's never any nudity, and language is not an issue.
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, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.