Fans Have Chosen The Best Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Character

By Michileen Martin | 1 month ago

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The 2018 documentary What We Left Behind chronicled how the age of streaming had breathed new life into the fandom of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. New fans means new opinions on the series’ various Bests — best episode, best season, best villain, etc. Now one site has tasked its visitors to choose the best character on DS9, and we find the results troubling.

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According to the poll results Slash Film posted on Monday, the best Star Trek: Deep Space Nine character is the Ferengi bartender Quark, played by Armin Shimerman. Out of the 619 U.S.-based fans polled, 31% chose Quark. To be clear, we do not object to this result. Quark was an all new kind of regular character to Trek — one with a healthy dose of moral ambiguity. Particularly early in the series, you never knew whether Quark would be working on the heroes’ side or against them. As the series continued and the conflict between Starfleet and the Dominion heated up, Quark was more often with Starfleet than against them, but his criminal dealings still had a habit of making things more complicated for the good guys. Quark was funny, offered a welcome new perspective on the Federation, and his frenemy-ship with Odo (Rene Auberjonois) makes for one of the most compelling relationships in the series.

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While we do not object to the poll naming Quark the best Star Trek: Deep Space Nine character, we are somewhat upset with the poor showing of the actual best Star Trek: Deep Space Nine character — Andrew Robinson’s Garak. Slash Film reports Garak actually had the poorest showing on the poll and they don’t even bother to include the percentage he won. It’s particularly surprising considering part of the DS9 documentary What We Left Behind is dedicated to showing just how many fans name Garak as their favorite DS9 character. Clearly, none of those fans showed up for Slash Film’s poll.

Ironically, considering his height, Slash Film says the number of folks who showed up to vote for Quark was head and shoulders the numbers for everyone else. In second place is the late Rene Auberjonois’ character Odo. In third is Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor), Benjamin Sisko’s (Avery Brooks) First Officer on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and a former Bajoran freedom fighter. Sisko follows in fourth and in fifth is Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney), who endured some of the most miserable fates ever in the history of Trek. Finally in last place there’s Garak, the Cardassian exile who — if justice were a constant in the universe — would be in the #1 spot.

To be fair, one thing working against Garak is that he’s the only one in the poll who isn’t played by a regular cast member. While later in the series Andrew Robinson got tapped a lot more often to show up — particularly in the final season — Garak is only a recurring character. He only shows up in 37 episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, versus the 173 episodes that all of the other actors on the list are credited for. This, perhaps, is the true reason for this injustice, rather than any conspiracies… we hope. As for why the talkative Morn wasn’t even made an option on the list? That’s another matter.