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The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Episodes Fans Always Skip On A Rewatch

When "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" debuted in 1993, it was something of a departure for the optimistic sci-fi series. Instead of taking place on a starship, as "Star Trek" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" did, "Deep Space Nine" took place on a space station and featured the franchise's first Black commander — and later captain. Not only that, it had a distinctly morally gray tone the other shows didn't have, and it was the franchise's first attempt at creating a serialized storyline that continued through multiple episodes. 

"Deep Space Nine" eventually logged 176 episodes over the course of seven seasons. It's part of a long-running franchise that's currently one of Paramount's biggest priorities — if five currently running projects and the development of new series (per Variety) is an indicator, anyway. This is helping it attract new fans who may want to get straight to the good stuff. With so much material, there are definitely some disposable options. On one subreddit featuring one of these newbies, those who have watched (and re-watched) the shows weighed in on the episodes they prefer to skip. 

While some commenters disliked certain characters, like Dr. Bashir (Alexander Siddig), Ferengi, or Bajorans, and others purported to dislike "alternate universe" stories, there were multiple people recommending a couple of strategies that would allow viewers to get to the best "Deep Space Nine" episodes quickly.

Fans recommend paying less attention to the first season or two

There's a "Star Trek"-related phenomenon called "Riker's Beard," which defines the moment when a show starts getting good. The "rule," in Gene Roddenberry's universe, isn't limited to "Star Trek: The Next Generation," though. For "Deep Space Nine," that happened in the 3rd season, when actor Avery Brooks, who played Captain Ben Sisko, debuted a new look that featured a shaved head and a goatee.

The first season, and some of the second, focused on character and world development, and the ongoing narrative arc that dominated much of the later seasons didn't come about for some time; the Dominion, made up of an aggressive collection of races from the Gamma Quadrant, isn't even mentioned until the Season 2 episode "Rules of Acquisition." But, like many new series, "Deep Space Nine" struggled to find its footing initially.

This has led many fans to write off the entire first season, and some of the second, entirely. "I would recommend that anyone wanting to watch DS9 begin with season three," wrote u/OsakaWilson. And u/Brad3000 referenced the Riker's Beard phenomenon: "A good rule of thumb is this — Does Avery Brooks have hair? If the answer is yes, you can probably skip it," the user said. However, others noted that the seeds for these well-liked later seasons are planted in the 2nd season and thus it's worth viewing as well.

Fans think the Dominion War plotline is the best part of the series

Implied in many fans' conversations on the subject is that the narrative arc that eventually made its way into the show is what made "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" worth watching. Some fans (on this Reddit thread, at least), recommend sticking with episodes that focus on the Dominion War and the Cardassian Elim Garak (Andrew Robinson), who is a space station resident and tailor with a somewhat checkered past; he was once a part of the Cardassian intelligence agency, and his dealings with both DS9 staff and his own people play a large role in the overarching story that drives the series in a way not replicated by other "Star Trek" properties. 

The Gamma Quadrant's Dominion was led by a race of shape-shifters and included races like the Cardassians, the Vorta, and the Jem'Hadar. These aliens battled the Alpha Quadrant planets, forcing the Klingons and Federation — and eventually the Romulans to boot — to come together. This resulted in an epic tale that spanned worlds, cultures, and seasons. As one commenter, u/judasblue, put it, "If you stick to the dominion war eps, you end up with a somewhat modern experience in that it appears to be a continuous story arc with no filler as is the way now." Another Reddit user noted, "When I rewatched the series, I skipped anything that wasn't a Dominion War ep, or in some way linked to the arc, and it vastly improved the show."