Back on January 3, 1993 -- or 24 years ago today -- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine debuted in first-run syndication with the two-hour premiere, "Emissary." It's true that DS9, particuarly when compared/contrasted with The Next Generation, represented an angry, gritty, contentious twist on Gene Roddenberry’s Wagon Train to the Stars concept. A commander with no desire to be there? Who had a young child on board with him? Characters who disliked one another other? A space station that boldly went… absolutely nowhere? Politics? Religion?
At the end of the day, could it be called Star Trek? Twenty three years later, most fans would argue that, yes, DS9 was Trek. Truth be told, many fans consider DS9 their favorite of the five live-action Trek series to date precisely because it was so different. Others appreciate it more now in retrospect, as it grew on them over time. And, yes, there are those Trek fans who, to this day, still detest the show.
To celebrate the 22nd anniversary of DS9, we've gathered together “Emissary”-centric facts, figures and anecdotes...
- According to The Deep Space Nine Companion, Paramount Pictures boss Brandon Tartikoff put the notion of “a man and a boy in space” in the ear of Rick Berman, longtime TNG producer. Berman then teamed with Michael Piller to create DS9.
- August 18, 1992 marked day one of production on “Emissary.”
- As late as August 11, 1992, while “Emissary” was still in the pre-production phase, Dr. Julian Bashir was named... Dr. Julian Amoros.
- The final series regular cast was Terry Farrell. She arrived on set after production started on “Emissary.” Remarkably, she shot her first scene on day 11.
- David Carson directed the acclaimed series opener. His reward? The much-sought-after director's chair on Star Trek Generations.
- For his appearance as Captain Picard/Locutus, Patrick Stewart received billing as Special Guest Star.
- DS9 inarguably assembled the best and biggest ensemble of recurring guest stars of any Trek show. “Emissary” alone introduced Aron Eisenberg as Nog, Marc Alaimo as Gul Dukat and the uncredited Mark Allen Shepherd as Morn, while John Noah Hertzler (who came to be known as J.G. Hertzler) appeared as the Vulcan Captain and Max Grodenchik portrayed a character credited as Ferengi Pit Boss. As the series evolved, viewers were introduced to such frequent returnees as Robert O’Reilly, Brock Peters, Louise Fletcher, Frank Langella, Jeffrey Combs, Andrew Robinson, Casey Biggs, Chase Masterson, Penny Johnson, Salome Jens, Barry Jenner, Rosalind Chao and Wallace Shawn, among others.
- The Air Date Schedule provided to the media by Paramount in advance of DS9’s debut referred to “Emissary” as Episode #721, with the pilot to be delivered to stations on December 23, 1992. Later, when the pilot was repeated on March 1 and 8, 1993, it was split in half and referred to as “Emissary Pt. I (#401)” and “Emissary Pt. II (#402).”
- Paramount's official “Emissary” press material provided to the media suggested that newspapers, radio stations, TV publications, etc., introduce the series as follows:
STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE: “Emissary” – On a distant outpost at the edge of the final frontier, an untested crew embarks on an unprecedented journey in the two-hour series premiere of STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE.”
At the edge of the final frontier for an untested crew to being an unprecedented journey.
TV LOG LISTINGS
Tonight, the wait is over. STAR TEK: DEEP SPACE NINE Series Premiere!
- “Emissary” captured 18.8 percent of the syndicated audience, per The Deep Space Nine Companion, ranking #1 in all major markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
- “Emissary” received Emmy Award nominations in the following categories: Outstanding Sound Mixing, Outstanding Sound Editing, Outstanding Art Direction and Outstanding Special Visual Effects. It took home the award for Outstanding Art Direction, with the Emmy honor shared by Herman Zimmerman, Randall McIlvain and Mickey S. Michaels.