Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1992-1999)
Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994)
Type: Franchise
Group: 10

   Of all the Star Trek series, Next Generation and Deep Space Nine have to be the two most closely tied to each other. This is mostly because unlike the other Trek shows, both of these shows were on the air at the same time and they also were both set in the same area of space. As a result, crossovers were constant. Here's a quick rundown.

   Right from the premiere episode of DS9 the shows were linked. It begins with Next Generation's Starpship Enterprise stopping by the space station to deliver Officer Miles O'Brien, a regular on Next Gen who would serve as Chief Engineer on DS9.

   With the Enterprise being at the station, we also get to see the one and only meeting between The Next Generation's Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Deep Space Nine's Commander Benjamin Sisko. Surprisingly, it didn't turn out to be the back slapping hearty handshake moment you would expect. One of The Next Generation's most harrowing stories had been when Captain Picard had been kidnapped by the cyborg race the Borg, brainwashed by them and turned into their mouthpiece Locutus. They also used him and his knowledge of the Federation and their tactics to destroy tons of Federation ships in the the Battle of Wolf 359. As it turned out, Sisko and his wife had been in that battle and Sisko's wife had been killed with Picard as Locutus looming on the view screen. Sisko held Picard responsible for her death and in the scene where they met it was clear Picard felt he couldn't exactly disagree.

   Also, most of the featured races and groups on Deep Space Nine all started on The Next Generation. DS9 was set on a space station near the planet Bajor. The Bajorans were introduced on Next Gen. The bar on the station was run by Quark, a Ferengi, a race who values the acquisition of wealth. Again, the race started on Next Gen. DS9's Science Officer was a Trill, a race who is actually one race of aliens that live with conscious-sharing parasitic creatures implanted inside them. Do I have to say it? The Bajoran's main enemies the Cardassians and the splinter group of Federation defectors who fought against the Cardassians called the Maquis also both started out on Next Generation. Phew. We're just getting started here folks.

   The next full on character crossover concerned two of Next Generation's regular recurring characters - Q and Vash. Q was a being from another dimension called the Q Continuum. All the beings in the Q Continuum are known as Q's and are more highly advanced and evolved than regular humanoids. Q appeared in the pilot episode of The Next Generation and put all of mankind on trial for their past savage behavior. He then continually showed up to torment and generally annoy the crew of the Enterprise. Vash was a woman that Captain Picard had met on holiday. She was sort of a scientist, explorer and general out-for-herself rogue. Think Han Solo in a skirt. Not a bad person, just self motivated. When last seen on The Next Generation, Vash had hooked up with Q who took her with him, of her own free will, to the far reaches of the universe.

   The Deep Space Nine episode "Q-Less" found Vash arriving at Deep Space Nine after having explored the Gamma Quadrant - a far flung area of space normally only accessible through a wormhole in space near to Deep Space Nine. The wormhole is how she arrives - without Q. Soon after Vash, Q also shows up. Q and Vash are no longer together. Q is trying to make things right with Vash. Soon strange things begin happening on the station and Q is, of course, suspected. As it turns out though, Vash is the cause of all the trouble due to some of the items she has smuggled from the Gamma Quadrant. The best part for me had to be Q turning into a turn-of-the-20th-century fighter and challenging Commander Sisko to a fight. Q instantly transformed the area around them into a boxing arena even zapping in other people on the station as an audience (Moments before he had zapped everyone but Sisko off the station to Q-knows where). Sisko is normally very cool and self possessed but when he suddenly finds himself in the ring, for the only time in the run of the series his cool, in control front slips and in uncharacteristic surprise he blurts out a quick, "What!?!?!" Might not sound like a lot but for Sisko it was. Kinda like seeing Spock slip and express emotion. Hehehe.

   The Enterprise and its crew then arrived at DS9 for a two part Next Generation Episode called "Birthright". It had Next Generation's Klingon officer Worf finding out that his long thought dead father might actually be alive and being held hostage in a Romulan POW camp. His search for info takes place on DS9. Eventually Worf takes off on an unauthorized mission to the Romulan prison camp.

   Part 2 of "Birthright" was all about Worf's adventures at the camp, finding out his father is not in the camp but that the Klingons there are there voluntarily and living in a sort of peace with the Romulan's there (looong story). But "Birthright Part 1" had a second story featuring Next Generation's android Commander Data and DS9's Doctor Bashir. While helping Doctor Bashir study an alien device, Data receives an power shock and is knocked out at which point he begins having dreamlike experiences. Previously he did not dream. It turns out to be a part of his programming that was activated prematurely by the shock. He decides to continue to experiencing these dream states on a regular basis.

   Next came a visit to Deep Space Nine by a character that was...well... both a regular on The Next Generation and yet also not. In the Next Generation Episode "Second Chances" the crew of the Enterprise had went to a planet Commander Will Riker had explored eight years earlier. Due to atmospheric problems, getting to the surface of the planet is only possible about every eight years. They soon discover that when Riker was beamed up eight years earlier, the atmosphere had caused a transporter mishap. When Riker was beamed up, the beam had been split causing the reflected half to target back on the planet. The upshot of all this mumbo jumbo is that the second beam ended up creating another Riker, just as equally Will Riker as the one who got away. This Riker ended up trapped on the planet for eight years until rescued by the Enterprise. By the end of the episode, Riker #2 took his middle name, Tom, as his new first name and headed off to restart his career in Starfleet.

   In DS9's "Defiant" Tom Riker (that's Riker #2) shows up on DS9 pretending to be Will Riker. Having become involved with the previously mentioned Maquis, Tom Riker steals the Starship Defiant and takes it on a Maquis mission against the Cardassians. He succeeds in uncovering a dangerous Cardassian plot and in the end, in the interest of avoiding war is taken to Cardassia to stand trial and receive a life sentence (On Cardassia, the verdict is decided before the trial). And thus a loose plot thread of a character is written off. Too Bad. Tom Riker was an interesting plot development for Star Trek.

   Deep Space Nine never quite got the ratings The Next Generation did. Once Next Generation left the air, in an effort to draw more viewers to Deep Space Nine, Next Generation's Worf was brought onto the show as a regular. All his running plots and the characters they involved came with him. Of most note was the appearance of Worf's brother Kurn. To keep the Klingon Empire from crumbling, Worf had allowed his family name to become dishonored. While Worf could deal with this, his brother Kurn had more problems with it. Kurn tried to live outside the Klingon culture but found he couldn't. In the end, with Worf's help and Kurn's okay, Kurn was physically altered and hypnotized into a new identity. A friend of their family then took Kurn in as a long lost relative. Kurn was effectively dead with the creation of the new identity.

   Worf had also had a son named Alexander on The Next Generation. When Worf had initially discovered he had a son to care for, he had sent Alexander to live with the people on Earth who had raised Worf himself as a child. Later Alexander had joined Worf on the Enterprise. When Worf went to DS9, Alexander went back to the folks on Earth. Eventually Alexander did come to Deep Space Nine. He had gone from looking like an eight year old to looking like an eighteen year old in about four years. No wonder those Klingons are cranky. Their growing pains must hurt like hell. Alexander turned out to be a little bit clumsy for a Klingon warrior.

   Finally, another recurring character from The Next Generation made an appearance on DS9 in the form of the Enterprise's Counselor Deanna Troi's mother Lwaxana Troi. Lwaxana Troi was always a bold and outspoken... kook. She had a habit of calling Mr. Worf Mr. Woof. She showed up on DS9 married and pregnant. Finding out her child was male, her husband decided to invoke some of his cultural laws to take the child away from Lwaxana when it was born and raise it without her. DS9's shape shifting Security Officer Odo came to her rescue. Taking advantage of those self same cultural laws, Odo married Lwaxana so that her previous marriage would be annulled and she could keep her child.

   The final sort of crossovers between these shows came in the movies Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection. Given that Worf was originally a cast member of The Next Generation, whenever a Next Generation movie was staged, Worf would be worked back into the story in one way or another. First Contact starts with the Federation battling their foes the Borg. Worf arrives at the battle at the helm of Deep Space Nine's Starship Defiant. The Defiant gets creamed and Worf is brought on board the Enterprise where he quickly becomes a member of the crew for the rest of the film.

   Star Trek: Insurrection does the most slap shod job of explaining Worf's presence. First, Worf just sort of shows up on the Enterprise. Then Captain Picard asks what brings Worf to the Enterprise, Worf mumbles half a response that is hard to hear over the background noise going on and then Picard cuts him off with "nice to see you" pleasantries. The crew discovers that Commander Data while on a special mission has malfunctioned and is in danger of being exterminated. The Enterprise decides to go to his aid, blaming their unauthorized change of course on getting Worf back to Deep Space Nine... despite the fact Deep Space Nine is in the totally opposite direction.

   The cast of Deep Space Nine was a solid one and with little hope of Deep Space Nine feature films, the only chance we may have to see those characters again may be with them perhaps appearing in crossover roles in The Next Generation films. So here's hoping for more additions to this crossover page.

Other Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Crossover Links
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Enterprise
Star Trek: Deep Space and Star Trek
Star Trek: Deep Space and Star Trek: Voyager

Other Star Trek: The Next Generation Crossover Links
Star Trek: The Next Generation and Enterprise
Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek
Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager

Links To Star Trek Related Web Sites
Cynics Corner (Star Trek Episode Reviews)
The Official Star Trek Web Site

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