Friendship has been a key element of Star Trek throughout the franchise; In the TV shows and movies, we’ve witnessed friendships form, grow, and become essential elements of our favorite characters’ lives as they boldly go where no one has gone before. While the most well-known Star Trek friendship may be between Kirk, Spock, and Bones from The Original Series, the show that offers the best look at friendship is actually Deep Space Nine.
Unlike other Star Trek shows, Deep Space Nine spent almost as much time developing its side characters as it did its main characters and that helped all of them to grow in unexpected ways. Looking at the series, this allowed special relationships to form between those main and side characters that you don’t often see in other shows. The way it told its stories allowed Deep Space Nine to show us different types of friendships and explore them in more ways than we’d seen before.
That’s why, just in time for July 30's International Day of Friendship, I thought it was only fitting to celebrate these friends on the space station. Here’s a closer look at eight of the most unforgettable friendships we witnessed on Deep Space Nine.
Benjamin Sisko and Jadzia Dax
One of the strongest friendships on the station is between Sisko and Dax. Sisko first knew Curzon Dax, who acted as his mentor. When Curzon died, the Trill symbiont was placed in Jadzia, who shared memories and certain behaviors of the former Dax hosts. Sisko eventually adjusts to the “old man” in his new incarnation and they form a close friendship that’s unique to the two of them. When Jadzia dies, Sisko notes that their relationship was different than that of then mentor-mentoree dynamic with Curzon. Jadzia was truly a friend he could turn to. They trusted one another, had each other’s backs, and celebrated good times together. Thought the friendship was built on a previous relationship, it developed into something all its own. These two were best friends in every sense and it made it all the more heartbreaking to see how Jadzia's death impacted Sisko.
Dr. Julian Bashir and Miles O'Brien
When you think of true friendship in Star Trek, Bashir and O’Brien's bromance is easily at the top of the list. But it wasn't exactly smooth sailing to get there. Initially, the two didn't exactly get along (O’Brien though the younger Bashir was annoying).Eventually they become best friends, and the episodes that feature them are some of the most enjoyable in the series. The two hang out playing darts and having many holosuite adventures, and even sing every once in a while. They help each other through the good times and bad, and risk their lives for the other. These two don’t have a problem admitting how close friends they are. In fact, they probably like each other a little bit more than their respective significant others!
Quark and Odo
While these two may never actually refer to themselves as friends in a serious conversation, over time a certain amount of respect and caring develops between them. Sure, they’re often provoking the other: Quark is always scheming and doing something illegal, Odo is always watching and trying to catch Quark in the act. All of this gave them the excuse to spend time together, and they seemed to enjoy it, even if their conversations included trading barbs. They also seemed to pick up on each other's subconscious character quirks and moods, like the time Quark knew about Odo’s feelings for Kira.
Kira Nerys and Jadzia Dax
There are far too few female friendships portrayed on screen, so the friendship between Kira and Jadzia always stood out to me. As with all Starfleet personnel, Kira doesn’t immediately take a liking to Jadzia, but over time they start to trust each other. From there, a friendship forms and they become confidents who play well off each other. They hang out outside of work, offer advice to one another, and are always there if the other needs support.
Jake Sisko and Nog
Sisko’s son Jake and Rom’s son Nog become important characters on Deep Space Nine. Since there aren’t too many kids their age on the station, Jake and Nog start to hang out, forming a friendship their human and Ferengi families don’t understand or always approve of. Sometimes they get into trouble and they sometimes have difficulty understanding the other’s culture, but their friendship allows them to see things from the others’ perspective and this ultimately helps others bridge the gap between their species. Through the seasons, we see this relationship develop as the two get older and find their own paths as they both grow into different people. Still, through it all, Jake and Nog remain friends and it’s a journey that’s great to watch.
Dr. Julian Bashir and Elim Garak
This is another one of those friendships where the two people might not exactly call themselves friends, at least until they part. Bashir and Garak have shared many lunches while on the station and been through a lot of adventures. Their dynamic was one of my favorites in the whole series. Bashir often tries to find out the truth about Garak and his past, but it’s hard to seperate fact from fiction with Cardassian's penchant for fabrication. Despite never being certain of the tailor's motives or agenda, it’s clear their relationship matters to them both, like the time Bashir did everything he could to help Garak in “The Wire”. But most of all, it's their differences and constant banter than make this duo fun to watch.
Odo and Kira Nerys
Odo and Kira eventually have a romantic relationship, but it all started with their friendship. The groundwork for their friendship began before Deep Space Nine started and their relationship continued to grow over the course of the series. Since the two experienced the Occupation of Bajor, they shared a history and bond they didn't have with the other characters. Their profound friendship and strong connection is really enjoyable to watch evolve as the show progresses.
Jadzia Dax and Quark
Possibly the most fun and least obvious friendship on the show is between Jadzia and Quark. Jadzia isn't bothered by the very different aspects of Ferengi culture as much as other Starfleet personnel, so she often hung out with Quark. They would chat,play tongo, and were even close enough for Jadzia to invite Quark to participate in her zhian'tara! Quark would often flirt with her, but his caring for Jadzia became more platonic than romantic as the years passed.
What was your favorite friendship from Deep Space Nine? Tell us in the comments below!