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A cup of Raktajino
by Asa Butcher
2008-09-09 09:57:55
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"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." Ha! Absolute piffle! Why do we want to go back in time to another galaxy when we could remain in our own and jump a few hundred years into the future? Exactly!

The various reincarnations of Star Trek take us to a believable not-that-distant future and show us how Mankind could become given the right set of opportunities, such as the devastating Eugenics Wars that resulted in some 30 million fictional deaths, and nearly plunged Earth into a new Dark Age. Yes, Eugenics Wars, not Clone Wars, they are two similar bit different things, but I won't bore you with explanations or upset any of my groupies who will think me to be "nerdy".

If you hadn't gathered by now Ovi is celebrating Star Trek Day, albeit a day too late, due to basic human error. September 8th 1966 was the first time that "Star Trek", later to be known as "Star Trek: The Original Series", was broadcast on American television, thus starting a forty year phenomenon that shows no sign of slowing down, especially with the planned 2009 release of the eleventh film of the franchise Star Trek directed by Cloverfield producer J. J. Abrams.

Last year I wrote an Ovi article entitled "Trekkies of the world unite!" to celebrate Star Trek Day 2007 and the article was a reflection on "Star Trek: The Next Generation", which was the one I grew up with during the '90s. At the end of the article I decided to take a trip down memory lane and re-watch them thanks to Thanos. Well, I did. One after the other, seven seasons in about two months I believe, and I loved it. So, I kept going and hesitantly plunged into "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", a series that I had never followed closely during its original run at the tail-end of "ST:TNG". What a mistake that was!

The mistake wasn't watching it again, but not watching it the first time because it is replaces the shiny clean new setting of the U.S.S. Enterprise D with the brutal, hard-edged, isolated new frontier of the former Cardassian mining station Terek Nor, a.k.a. Deep Space Nine (DS9). The Enterprise D could leave you feeling slightly claustrophobic in its endless corridors and decks, where you felt that everybody constantly washed their hands to avoid leaving sticky fingerprints on the display screens and discipline was the watchword of every light year, but on DS9 somebody could spill a cup of Raktajino (Klingon coffee) and nobody would care - okay, maybe Chief O'Brien.

Chief O'Brien, played by the superb Colm Meaney, crossed over from "ST:TNG" to "ST:DS9" and the series definitely benefitted from his presence. He was a familiar face in an unknown setting, something of a security blanket for fans still unsure of a series set on a stationary space station. In series four another character from "ST:TNG" joined the cast, Worf, played by Michael Dorn, and he was able to develop his Klingon/Human conflict to the point where he was able to bring fun to the endlessly-repeated line, "He has no honour!"

Those were the two recognisable faces, but the main man, for once not an immediate captain, was Benjamin Sisko, played by Avery Brooks, who stamped his mark on the character by punching Q on the nose to which the alien exclaims, "You hit me! Picard never hit me!" Sisko's first officer Kira Nerys, played by Nana Visitor, is one of the best main character developments over the seven series gradually changing from suspicious to trusting - something I didn't know was that in season 5 Nana Visitor married fellow Star Trek actor Alexander Siddig, who played Dr. Julian Bashir, and they had a son; her pregnancy was incorporated into a DS9 storyline. Visitor and Siddig divorced in 2001.

I can't sit here and bore you with my love letters to Alexander Siddig's Dr. Julian Bashir, Rene Auberjonois' Odo, Terry Farrell's Jadzia Dax, Armin Shimerman's Quark and Cirroc Lofton's Jake Sisko, nor can I keep you here all day telling you just how great it is to watch the minor-major characters, such as Gul Ducat, Garak, Kai Winn, Nog, Rom, Morn, Vic Fontaine, Leeta, Grand Nagus Zek, Damar, Gowron, Martok, Weyoun and more over the course of 176 episodes.

I shouldn't waffle on about the awesome battles between Starfleet and the Klingons at DS9, the finale that features Cardassians, Klingons, Romulans and Starfleet joining forces against the mighty Dominion. How much space would I need to enthuse over the U.S.S. Defiant? Oh god, I think I have finally lost the last of the truly-dedicated groupies… he's a nerd, they scream. What can I say, except yes?

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