It’s only a paper moon

There is no doubt that the epic television shows that we have all grown accustomed to owe a significant debt to the writers and creators of Star Trek:Deep Space Nine.Introducing DS9

The show first aired in 1993 (with The Next Generation, “TNG”, still running), but never gained the same degree of commercial success as its predecessors. This was largely due to the bold decision by the producers to move away from the franchise’s well-established episodic structure, and to opt instead for thematic and series-stretching story arches (which, of course, is now the norm in all of our best television shows).

With what started as innocuous mentions of the “Dominion” in series 2, we witness the literal infiltration of the Founders into the Alpha Quadrant, and the increasing undertones of menace results, by season 7, in all out inter galactic war between ever shifting alliances.

Unlike the original series and TNG, DS9 is based not on an exploratory ship, but on an ageing Cardassian space station, located at the final frontier of Federation space adjacent to a wormhole connecting the Alpha Quadrant with the previously unexplored Gamma quadrant. The core characters include both Federation and non-Federation species, which gives a unique perspective of the (to date, unquestioned) federation way of doing things. For the first time in Star Trek history, we see imperfect and flawed characters in continual conflict and often making questionable decisions. None of the characters are one dimensional and the main protagonists’ have greater affinity to characters such as Jaime Lannister and Walter White than they do to any Star Trek character seen before. The introduction of Section 31, in particular, represents, and indeed exposes, the darker side of the Federation.

It was also well ahead of the curve in terms of the significant screen time is gives to issues of race, PTSD, religion, war, discrimination and sexuality and the show also gives us strong and inspiring role models in Sisko, Dax and Major Kira.

As you may be able to tell, I absolutely love this show! I have watched the entire series twice and it continues to stand up to the high standard I have come to expect despite being 25 years old, which is a testament to the talent of the original production and acting teams. It is also showing on Netflix, and so I recommend that you give it a try (and accept that Season 1 is not a reflection of the series as a whole. I would be inclined to say skip season 1 but then again it does help with much of the character development of the main ensemble).

You are cordially invited: A DS9 Party

I wanted to celebrate this wonderful show by using it as the backdrop for my birthday dinner last weekend and it was such fun recreating a little part of DS9 at home.

Welcome to Vic’s

One of my favourite parts of DS9 were the holosuite episodes, particularly those invoking visits to the 1962 Las Vegas casino of Vic Fontaine. For the party, we recreated the bar’s backdrop and played music from the real life Vic Fontaine, Darren James.

The Replimat

The food was all lovingly replicated from the Replimat area of the station (except, of course, for the live Gagh*, imported especially from Kronos, the Klingon home world for the occasion). You May even notice that we borrowed the black plates from Captain Sisko’s quarters;) The Promenade’s favourite sweet treat, the jumja stick, also made an appearance.

Quark’s Bar

The beverage selection (including Trixian Bubble juice, Blood wine, Kanar and Romulan ale) procured from Quark in exchange for a hefty quantity of gold-pressed latinum. We were also very fortunate to find some authentic Raktajino mugs for after dinner.

Gateway to the Gamma Quadrant

And it wouldn’t be a birthday party without a cake, and we managed to also find a vintage DS9 micro machine (what could be more 1990s!!) to sit atop the wormhole cake.

Manual

1.Tube Grub Cocktail: your regular retro prawn cocktail and tempura prawns

2.Thanksgiving Turkey and Seasonal Bajoran Sides: Turkey crown, romanesco cauliflower with lemon and garlic, purple sweet potato pie, roast potatoes, roasted heritage carrots, cornbread and pepper stuffing, red cabbage

3.Gagh: Delia Smith chocolate mousse with jelly worms (lots of DIY instructions on Pinterest)

4.Jumja Sticks: Root beer and Sarsaparilla jelly shots

5.Romulan Ale: Blue colour changing gin (Aldi)

6.Table Decor: H&M Star table cloth, battery operated strip lighting (Amazon), metallic self-adhesive lining (Wilko’s), sequin backdrop (Amazon), Raktajino mugs (Hotjo), Menus (Cafepress), Invitation (Etsy)

7.T-shirt: Infrablack (Etsy)

Thanks to the Gravelle’s for coming:) We missed you Nesta and Shelley!

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