Parents' Guide to

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

By Will Wade, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Strong spin-off is more violent than the others.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 14+

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.
age 2+


its prettyyyyyyy goood! i love it! theyre gay

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (11 ):

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.

TV Details

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