Many Star Trek fans doubted the ability of Deep Space Nine to capture the exciting exploratory nature of other Star Trek series. It took place on a space station beside a massive wormhole, and didn't feature any of the planet-hopping of previous spin-offs, or alien-of-the-week plots. Instead, it focused on the interpersonal relationships of its inhabitants, and the repercussions of interspecies conflicts that raged around it.
The intense drama of the serialized show divided some viewers, but no one could deny the appeal of its cast, who became some of the most memorable characters in the franchise. Years of Trek had made the costume department that worked on the series old pros, so bringing the characters to life with the power of prosthetics and textiles was a defining highlight. Here are 10 hidden details about the DS9 costumes you never noticed.
The unique markings of the Trill Jadzia Dax were hand-drawn by Michael Westmore, who was the lead supervisor and makeup artist for Deep Space Nine. Each spot had to be carefully recreated every day of filming in the exact same pattern, which only varied if Jadzia was in or out of uniform.
After every application, the master painter would mark Terry Farrell's collar bone with a Roman numeral. By the time of her last day of filming on the series, he was up to number 479. Sometimes he'd even have to draw markings down her legs, such as when she wore a bathing suit, in Sharpee!
For the Deep Space Nine episode of "Rapture", the Starfleet uniforms of the crew abruptly change. Instead of the familiar black uniforms with the color blocking on the chest and shoulders to designate Starfleet division, they are grey with a visible color undershirt.
These uniforms first appeared in the franchise film Star Trek: First Contact, which would be used for the remainder of the series. They were held back from being debuted in DS9 until the events of the film had passed. Bashir even makes an in-joke, "Does my uniform look brighter?" to draw attention to the costume change.
It can be difficult for the departments responsible for props, costumes, and makeup to come up with so many exciting alien designs every week on a typical Star Trek series, but one that takes place on a bustling space station presents a challenge all its own.
To help with this, the costume department for DS9 reused fabrics and patterns on purpose, but not just to save time and money. They purposefully wanted to create the concept that these fabrics were in demand in the universe, and that different species would wear their patterns, but in an altered way, to reflect their culture and keep with the latest trends.
As is the case on long-running series, members of the female cast may become pregnant. In the case of Roxann Dawson on Star Trek: Voyager, her costume had to be let out to accommodate her growing belly, and she needed to be shot from the chest up. Ironically, her character B'Elanna Torres also became pregnant but later in the series, when they had to use a tummy prosthetic.
When actress Nana Visitor, who plays Kira Neyrs became pregnant on the series, they didn't bother altering her uniform. They simply wrote in an episode plot where she carries the baby of Miles and Keiko O'Brien, and is allowed to wear full on maternity clothing.
By now, Star Trek lore is peppered with commentary about the industrial strength undergarments that were known to be worn by the female members of the crew in every spin off since Star Trek: The Next Generation. Counselor Troi, and Voyager's Seven of Nine famously wore them to enhance their decolletage, and the same thing occurred on DS9.
Penny Johnson Jerald, who played Kasidy Yates on DS9 and now appears on The Orville, has been known to harbor great affection for the bra she wore under her wardrobe in the series. She said they were "monster bras", able to transform even the worst looking chest into something beautiful.
Chief O'Brien, like Commander Worf, was a crew member that transferred from the USS Enterprise-D on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He went from operating the transporters under Captain Picard to keeping Deep Space Nine fully operational like an intergalactic super. It was this vocational change that prompted Colm Meaney to request his uniform be customized.
Given the nature of his work, he felt his uniform should be more utilitarian than the rest of the officers. He wanted the ability to roll his sleeves up, and that most coveted item in all Star Trek costumes- pockets!
Worf had the distinction of being the only Klingon in Starfleet, and to reflect the prestige of the position of Chief Tactical Officer as well as honor his Klingon heritage, he wore a sash across his Starfleet uniform that would normally have gone over traditional battle dressage. In TNG, it was the sash worn by the first Klingons featured in the Original Series.
By the third season his sash changed from cloth to metal, and that sash followed him to Deep Space Nine, when he was posted under a new superior officer. He would also wear his hair longer, in Klingon tradition, and engage in an ornate Klingon wedding ceremony.
While the pilot "Emissary" didn't have nearly the same problems as on Voyager, there were some inevitable hiccups that occurred. One involved Ferengi costume and prosthetics, especially Quark's. All of his prosthetics weren't finished by the time shooting started or promotional material was selected, so he wore the nose designed for Rom.
Later on, occasionally noses would get switched, as Rom became a more prominent character, or if the nose Quark was supposed to use got broken. However most noses were cast from silicone to specifically adhere to the contours of the actors face.
While you wouldn't assume that the makeup worn by the infamous Dabo Girls at Quark's Bar would take a long time, it could take hours on end given their different races. The most prominent, Leeta, was Bajoran, and the ridges on her nose kept peeling off under the heavy lights.
Their costumes took far less time, since there wasn't much of them. Somehow the censors didn't object to very scantily clad escorts in all the shots, provided they were background. Some wore little more than gold bikinis.
One of the initial ideas Gene Roddenberry had for the Original Series was to have squadrons of Space Marines aboard Starfleet vessels, especially since they conform to Navy regulations with their ranking system. When he decided that Starfleet wasn't a military operation the concept was scrapped.
Given the militarized feel of DS9, it was reintroduced briefly, with several individuals having red stripes across the black portions of their uniforms, designating them as "Starfleet Ground Forces", but the term was never specifically referenced or spoken.