Alexander Siddig Reveals Anger Over Changes To Bashir Character On DS9 | TrekMovie.com
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Alexander Siddig Reveals Anger Over Changes To Bashir Character On DS9 May 6, 2010

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Celebrity,DS9 , trackback

In a interview promoting his new film Cairo Time, Alexander Siddig discussed his time as Dr. Julian Bashir on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, including revealing how he was not very happy with changes made to his character over the years. Find out more below.

 
Siddig didn’t want Bashir to be Date 2.0

The new interview comes from our friends at UGO who cought up with Siddig at the Tribeca Film Festival, but resident Trek nerd Jordan Hoffman spent most of his time talking DS9. Siddig reveals that immediately after production ended on DS9 he went into a "cool stage" where he distanced himself from his time with Trek, but he "got over" that and he is now happy to return to the genre world in the UK series Primeval (see previous Trek story).

The most interesting stuff was regarding Siddig’s views on how in season 5 of Deep Space Nine the writer decided that his character was secretly genetically modified (in "Dr. Bashir, I Presume"). Siddig said he didn’t learn about the change in his character until the last minute:

…on Thursday the script arrived – we started shooting on Friday. I was so shocked. You know you get the impression that maybe the producers sit down and talk about strategies and character arcs with actors but this thing came out of the blue and pissed me off so royally. It was a reaction to the fact that the character was genuinely unpopular in the early days. Because he was not fancy; I mean this is a time where 90210 was at the top of the charts in American TV and this guy was so not the hunk, he was the anti-hunk. He was the -

… He was a man of science; he was like half good looking, rubbish at pulling girls. I mean it was all the wrong kind of archetypes. And so they kept trying to do things to make it happen. Eventually they did the Bond thing (reference to “Our Man Bashir”) – they did the Bond thing before that actually. And that kicked it off. I have to say that I’m still pretty angry. Well, not angry . . .

Siddig revealed that after the change he did everything he could to sabotage efforts to turn Bashir into a genetically-enhanced walking computer:

I did it the only way that an actor can. I completely destroyed the lines that they gave me regarding the situation. Every time something came up that was to do with being kind of Data-esque – I mean, I couldn’t get away from the fact – I thought I was being a Data, which is what they wanted to do, they wanted to switch the characters from all the shows, which they ended up doing with Voyager …Well, it was a bit cynical at the end of the day. But I just fluffed the lines; well I didn’t fluff them completely I literally pinned the lines on the back of someone’s shoulder once, reading them. I wasn’t bothered even to learn them. I just pinned them around the office as if they were lines needed for daily modification. And they got the message and dropped it kind of.

Go to ugo.com to read the full interview for more on Siddig’s thoughts on Star Trek, his name change and his current projects.

Here is the trailer for "Dr. Bashir, I Presume", the episode where he revealed his "darkest secret."

 

POLL: Super-Bashir?

What did you think of the Season 5 change to the character of Bashir?

Genetic enhancement arc for Bashir on DS9?

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Comments

1. Tough Little Ship - May 6, 2010

I never really minded the revelation about Bashir.

2. Eking - May 6, 2010

I always thought that the tangent they took Bashir to was a little odd, glad to know I wasn’t the “first” to think that.

3. Me - May 6, 2010

I actually kind of liked it.

4. Kent Butabi - May 6, 2010

I thought that was a great addition to his character; however, he was my least favorite character on that show. Still, it gave his character a deeper history and more to do.

5. AJ - May 6, 2010

Nice to know Siddig admits he did a sh*t job at work when they changed the character. Must have been all the other roles that were coming his way during DS9.

Frankly, I would have been angry as well, but it’s no reason to not do one’s best on the set. In the end, I thought the Bashir arc was handled well, and his friendship with O’Brien particularly so (Trials and Tribbleations being a high-point). Odo was the “Data” character on the show (understanding humanity, blah blah), so I think Siddig was safe, being very much a human doctor with human feelings and foibles. The writers could’ve simply sent a blonde lab technician his way, and he’d have been set.

6. IowaTim - May 6, 2010

I would think, after 5 years, an actor would actually rather relish the idea of being able to play that “new” character, rather than just riff on the previous template. Admittedly, if the writers were just giving him “Data”-type exposition, then it wouldn’t work. But we also wouldn’t have gotten Bashir’s interaction with Jack’s Pack, or some of the nice character interaction with O’Brien after the revelation. It’s all in what direction it takes AFTER the fact, and if you’re against it from the beginning, you’re not going to see (and take advantage) of the possibilities. Bashir, in the middle of the series, didn’t seem nearly as interesting to me as he did after “…I Presume”, as there were now new places to explore character-wise.

7. Sean - May 6, 2010

I actually liked the genetic modification arc to his character. It was brought up best when the whole senior staff talked about whether Bashir deserved to be in Starfleet anymore, despite all the good he had done, just because of the risks of creating another Khan.

BTW, Anthony, did you mean “Data 2.0″ near the top? It says “Date 2.0″.

8. Just Me - May 6, 2010

I liked it, it gave the character a little more depth which I think he lacked. On a side note, I really, really like DS9 but I CANNOT STAND Sisko… I could be completely alone on this but, man he annoys me! It’s like he’s always overacting…

9. cd - May 6, 2010

I never did like when that did that to his character. It’s as if the writers couldn’t write without a gimmick. Smacks of Braga-style writing.

10. Rainbucket - May 6, 2010

Surprising news, and a shame he was upset with it, but I don’t blame him one bit. Bashir had been a relatable and utterly human character. Turning him into a gimmick with action figure properties is a short road to Wesley territory.

Honestly I’d forgotten about the augmentation arc, with Bashir I remember his performance in The Blight and any scene with O’Brien. I think Mr Siddig had the right instincts.

11. Rainbucket - May 6, 2010

And by “The Blight” I meant “The Quickening.” I’ll turn in my nerd badge.

12. Allen Williams - May 6, 2010

Actually Dr. Bashir was one of my favorite characters of DS9. Him and Jadzia. If there is anything I would have changed, I would have put the 2 of them together instead of her and Worf.

13. Dr_Beckett - May 6, 2010

#8 – I did at times feel that Avery Brooks was being too ‘stiff’ while playing the role, as if he was uncomforatble for some odd reason. This is especially evident for the first few episodes, but I’m a fan of Sisko nontheless :)

Back on topic, I enjoyed the turn Bashir’s character took. He was annoying at first but by the end of the series his was one of the characters that had grown the most. I also enjoyed the relationship the writers had developed between O’ Brien and Bashir.

14. Kev-1 - May 6, 2010

I thought the genetic enhancement made the Bashir character more difficult to relate to as a human being. And “Space Seed” had already established the negatives of such gene tampering in the ST universe– revisited in ENTERPRISE — I can’t remember the episode. But the whole gene enhancement thing contradicts the ST IDIC ideology.

15. Adam E - May 6, 2010

It was interesting that the character had a secret history. I liked his interactions with the characters from “Statistical Probabilities” and the discussions about the rights of the genetically-engineered.

It was kinda annoying how, in some instances, they treated him as a “Data” character with his mental math abilities and such. I’m glad they toned this down.

I thought he was an interesting character even without his secret past. Being intelligent and a bit socially awkward is something I can relate too. (I’m sure other Trekkies can as well.)

16. Chingatchkook - May 6, 2010

I was always ok with the storyline. I kind of thought that it spoke more to what lengths a parent would go to protect his/her child, something that I doubt would be much different today, much less 400 or so years into the future. As for Siddig’s reaction, I think that it speaks volumes about his dedication to the character. Siddig sounds like the professional and consummate actor to me.

17. Adam E - May 6, 2010

I can totally see how Siddig could be upset with how the writers did this without his input.

Although the writers deserve most of the credit when it comes to creating the characters, the actors should be able to provde their input. They know the characters just as well and are the ones that bring the chracters to life.

18. Pro-Khan-Sel - May 6, 2010

I wasn’t surprised when the genetic thing came up because it didn’t change the character.

What did annoy me was section 31. The idea of a secret federation agency wasn’t the problem. It was sloan. The episode where the crew has to probe into his dying mind to get the antidote for the changlings. I groaned the whole episode. There should have a been a better way for the dominium to surrender.

19. Andy - May 6, 2010

16. By a shows 5th year running an actor and writer are on par with each other when it comes to the character. They both know everything there is to know about them and collaboration should happen between the two professionals.

To not tell Siddig about this change is stupid but for Siddig to act like a little kid with a temper and not even memorizing some of his lines is just UNPROFESSIONAL. Your there to do a job and to do it the best you can regardless of the material.

If you have a problem, talk to the writers and discuss it behind the scenes. There’s no “I” in “Team” and making a TV series is a group effort. Regardless of “how dedicated” he was to his character doesn’t give him the right to act like he did.

20. Syd Hughes - May 6, 2010

Another example of a good actor managing to turn a bad role good. Like Harrison Ford managed to do with pretty much every line or role Lucas ever gave him.

The producers wanted to make Bashir into Data, Siddig rebelled, and we got his version of Bashir instead — who I liked. And a great deal more than I would’ve liked a Data clone.

Wish they’d learned that lesson when they went to write Enterprise, perhaps the first two seasons would’ve been better.

21. CmdrR - May 6, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve watched the final three seasons of DS9, but I don’t remember it making a huge difference that Bashir became a Mentat. Over the years, he had a lot of interesting stuff to do. I don’t think the writers got it too wrong. DS9 is a wonderfully layered series. If some of the layers don’t work for everyone, I don’t think that takes away from the overall series.

Anyway, Alex is a great actor. Loved Syriana.

22. Pierre - May 6, 2010

There is probably more to this story than he says.

I thought this arc with Bashir sounded a bit needless and stupid. The character was holding his own the way it was. Thankfully, it was more or less dropped thereafter as they could have pursued this angle quite further.

23. Yojimbo - May 6, 2010

I’m not sure what Siddig’s problem was with the Bond episodes, but I can understand his annoyance at being made more “Data-like.” Even if Siddig honestly tried to sabotage his performance, Bashir was a unique character and I feel that Siddig did an excellent job playing him. It’s too bad he didn’t have a better time with it.

24. Greg2600 - May 6, 2010

Great line by Siddig about the writers wanting to use the same “characters” in every series. Rick Berman 101.

25. Norm - May 6, 2010

Can someone explain what he means exactly by the Voyager comment?

26. MikeTen - May 6, 2010

#25 I’m guessing that he meant the writers had a formula and on Voyager 7 of 9 was the “Data” character as Bashir was on DS9.

It would have been nice to have a bunch of normal “unenhanced” people like on TOS (besides Spock) that just worked hard and figured stuff out.

27. Syd Hughes - May 6, 2010

I think what we should be clear on is that Siddig sabotaged lines that were too Data-like as a protest in favor of his character — we didn’t see this sabotage because it didn’t make it into the show.

What we got to see was what Siddig was allowed to do after he’d thus made it clear that he wasn’t going to let them rewrite Bashir into being Data.

@25:

I think what he means is that in terms of actual character, the Voyager characters were essentially just the TNG characters recycled with different names, faces and (largely irrelevant) backstories. Paris acted a lot like Riker, Tuvok was of course Data, Janeway was Picard, Kim was Geordi, etc etc.

To test this, use the old screenwriter’s trick of “describe the character without saying what their job is or what they wear” and the similarities are pretty inescapable.

28. Philip Dunlop - May 6, 2010

When Bashir’s character got the chance to develop in DS9, I always enjoyed him. When he was introduced, yes, he was annoying, but the character grew into the role and became quite a bit deeper (yes, “The Quickening” would be another episode I would point out as evidence of this, Rainbucket, you’re totally right). I enjoyed his relationship with O’Brien (who’s another one of my favourite Star Trek characters, but that just might be because myself and Colm Meaney are from the same part of town). The two seemed more “real” without being too far removed from the 24th century. They were two blokes who went on the beer together and got up to hijinks as a means of escaping the everyday drudgery of life, and we can all relate to that on some level. And yes, I can relate to the Bashir character too, with the social awkwardness, et al. Writing his “secret history” into the show stank of gratuitousness. And raises a lot of “but if you had those powers, then why didn’t you….” questions from previous episodes. Suffice it to say, the ol’ hypocratic oath doesn’t hold much water if you’re more worried about keeping your genetic engineering credentials under wraps. It was a bad decision by the righters, and it’s nice that Alexander Siddig had enough respect for his character to stand up for the dilution of the series, and the character, into something more marketable.

It doesn’t erase the whole Odo/Kira lovestory though. Wow, that got tiresome real quickly!

29. AJ - May 6, 2010

Voyager gets weird in that respect, as, as Data was the “Spock” character on TNG, Tuvok was the Vulcan “Spock” character on VOY. His challenge was to integrate with a human(oid) emotional crew in constant conflict in an environment where he had to come to terms with never seeing his home planet or family again.

While he, as a full-blooded Vulcan, was never truly able to play the “emotion card,” they brought in Seven to do the “human exploration” thing, with mixed results. Jeri Ryan is a talented actress, and did a reasonable job, while also being beautiful to boot. They should have explored her sexuality more, but the Bermanverse neutered almost everyone.

Hearing that Siddig was so angry that he “called in” his lines isn’t good news, but I agree that he probably retained the character’s integrity through the end by rejecting the idea that he become a super-human.

30. Gabriel Bell - May 6, 2010

Wow. Very surprised to read this.

Sorry, Sid, but the change to Bashir’s backstory was extremely well done and turned him into a compelling and watchable character. From Season 5 on, he was one of the true strengths of the show. From Season 1 to 4, he was, well, exactly as Sid described himself above. He was a bore.

Disappointing to hear he was so displeased, but it is pretty tough for these show-runners to please everyone in an ensemble that lasts for seven seasons.

31. Philip Dunlop - May 6, 2010

The righters? I meant the writers, of course. That’s a sure sign that it’s past my bedtime.

32. Dalek - May 6, 2010

It made no sense, and didn’t fit in with the characters ignorance and charm of earlier seasons, not to mention downplayed all his eureka moments of brilliance. A random twist that had no foreshadowing just to serve a particularly bad plot of a badly written episide by Ron “another boring Klingon story” Moore! If I wiped my ass with that script, more crap would come from the pages themself! Not surprised he was furious about it.

It also led to some really lame genetic engineered stories, with a group which made people of genius out to be some sort of retarded special needs characters.

33. Thorny - May 6, 2010

I really didn’t see that much “transplant” of TNG characters to Voyager. All the Treks had an ‘outsider’ character, starting with Spock (lone alien on a human ship) on TOS. On TNG, Data (android) primarily filled that role, but the surprising and huge popularity of Worf (aggressive Klingon on ship full of peaceful explorers) gave them two characters to do that with. On DS9, it was largely Odo (non-humanoid), and on Voyager it was mostly The Doctor (holographic entity), with Seven (recovering Borg) coming along a few years in to pick up some of the slack from Kes’s failure as a character, but I always saw Seven as a Worf-analog, not a Data 2.0. Enterprise had T’Pol as the outsider most of the time, with Dr. Phlox too rarely filling that slot.

34. OLLEY OLLEY OLLEY - May 6, 2010

PARAMOUNT 1990’s

Berman “We need to get new fans, we can destroy the character of a Chief medical officer and turn him into a DATA clone too attract more viewers , they wont notice!”

35. Max - May 6, 2010

I kind of liked it, but I’m not sure it tracks with his performances in the early seasons.

36. Kent Butabi - May 6, 2010

Is Berman really writing a tell-all book? I read somewhere he had thought about doing that.

37. count23 - May 6, 2010

Bashir didn’t want to be “DATE 2.0″ don’t you mean “DATA 2.0″?

38. British Naval Dude - May 6, 2010

Arrrrrrr… Siddig wanted ta’ Bash-Her…

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…

39. Protovulcan - May 6, 2010

I loved Bashir from day 1.

40. Protovulcan - May 6, 2010

Bashir is the character predacessor to the guys on Big Bang Theory.

41. Canadianknight - May 6, 2010

I agree that it didn’t make sense, and the character lost some of his charm.

Can’t blame SIddig for being pissed… if you read the full interview, the interviewer nails it on the head… you work for years to create a character, and then suddenly “you have a secret you’ve been hiding from everyone” comes up and changes everything you’ve done. (…and personally, I think that’s a cheap scripting trick to create conflict where it previously didn’t exist.)

Had he known from the beginning, he might have played things differently, or at least given some sort of continuity to the character that could have made the genetic secret all the more relevant.

I *love* DS9, and enjoy most, if not all of the characters… but I would have loved to have seen how Siddig played it had he known in advance… even by a few episodes…

42. Jen Ingram - May 6, 2010

If they really wanted to do something to get attention they would have hooked him up with Garak and made history with the first openly gay male couple in trek history. Unfortunately, while girls kissing and making out is just ‘good clean family TV, boys kissing is just ‘icky’.

When Gene ran the show they pushed envelopes and had shows that created buzz because they were a commentary on society, when Moore-Ron and the rest of TPTB took over it was about cheerleaders and formulas. Sid didn’t tank anything, the writers and producers had that covered already.

43. LoyalStarTrekFan - May 6, 2010

30, I agree. It added more depth to the character that he was missing. It led to some of the most interesting changes in the Trek franchise, including Section 31. Section 31 probably wouldn’t have come about without Bashir’s “Bond” side or his “dark” secret.

Regardless Alexander Siddig’s interview is an interesting revelation.

44. Jeffery Wright - May 6, 2010

Well, that explains some of the horrific acting on that snoozer of a series.

The first season, not bad…

I couldn’t bear to watch Deep Snore 9 after they tried to jazz up the opening titles to compete with the superior Babylon 5.

Shark firmly jumped. I’ll watch Enterprise any day, under any circumstance before laying eyes on another DS9 ep.

Bashir started out promising, as a young, naive doctor, used to the latest high tech facilities who longed for the romance of the edge of the frontier.

They turned him, and the rest of the show, into a joke. A space opera caricature with tedious “spiritual” overtones and sludgy klingon melodrama.

Yawn.

45. LoyalStarTrekFan - May 6, 2010

36, I had heard that as well a while ago but haven’t seen any updates on the topic. I think Berman gets too much of the blame to Trek’s downward slide in popularity at the beginning of this century. He had many contributions, some of which were excellent, such as Star Trek First Contact, and I think the entirety of his work should be considered not just the last 5 years of an unprecedented 18 year run!

46. Jordan - May 6, 2010

That was the most interesting thing that happened to his character. Bashir was completely boring before that.

47. Nathan - May 6, 2010

The writers on DS9 were the best in any incarnation of Star Trek, period. And the “Bashir-as-Data” thing was only in about two or three episodes before it was largely dropped.

Really, the modification thing didn’t really change his character much at all, since he was always supposed to be a tech wiz. The only thing it did was give him some more and better storylines…

48. Magic_Al - May 6, 2010

I don’t think it’s fair to blame RIck Berman for transplanting character traits from one Star Trek series to another. Certainly Gene Roddenberry did it in the incarnations of Star Trek he produced (The Cage, TOS, Phase II, TMP, TNG), to an extent that Berman could as well be praised for maintaining Roddenberry’s formula.

49. S. John Ross - May 6, 2010

This almost makes me want to watch some DS9. An actor rebelling through his work is proper Star Trek, that is. Bravo.

50. HelenofPeel - May 6, 2010

He was right though. That new feature came out of nowhere. I think the producers were desperate for ratings.

51. ryanhuyton - May 6, 2010

#43

“If they really wanted to do something to get attention they would have hooked him up with Garak and made history with the first openly gay male couple in trek history. Unfortunately while girls kissing and making out is just ‘good clean family TV, boys kissing is just ‘icky’.”

I for one AM GLAD THE PRODUCERS DID NOT GO THAT ROUTE!
(rolls eyes)

#44

“Well, that explains some of the horrific acting on that snoozer of a series.”

I disagree. I thought the acting was top notch. Especially in the show’s later years. Avery Brooks kept getting better as the show went along and Rene Auberjonois and Armin Shimerman had great chemsitry together.

“The first season not bad…”

Again I have to disagree. “Emissary” was great, but after that the show was average until “Duet”. The show steadily improved each season after.

“I couldn’t bear to watch Deep Snore 9 after they tried to jazz up the opening titles to compete with the superior Babylon 5.”

That’s what finally turned you off? The ‘jazzed up’ title sequence? I liked the updated sequence. It showed the station as an important hub. It also had to include the Defiant and Michael Dorn’s name.

“Bashir started out promising, as a young, naive doctor, used to the latest high tech facilities who longed for the romance of the edge of the frontier.”

He gained experience, both professional, and personal, as the years passed on Deep Space Nine. He matured considerably, yet was still able to have fun. He couldn’t find romance with Jadzia, but he did with Ezri. Two wars made him into the man he was at the end of the show. He grew as a character during the seven years, just like the other characters.

“They turned him, and the rest of the show, into a joke. A space opera caricature with tedious “spiritual” overtones and sludgy klingon melodrama.”

No, the show used religion to illustrate the forces of good, evil and everything inbetween. It was a commentary on our own religions and beliefs.

I really like “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”. It gave the franchise a new perspective, while holding true to the ideals of “The Origninal Series” and “The Next Generation”. It dared to be different, while remembering its roots. The themes of war, religion and politics helped put the show ahead of its time.

52. CarlG - May 6, 2010

Sorry to hear that he didn’t enjoy the Bond spoof. I adore that episode, and I thought he was fantastic in it.

53. ryanhuyton - May 6, 2010

The first response is directed at #42

54. Thomas A. - May 6, 2010

#51

“I for one AM GLAD THE PRODUCERS DID NOT GO THAT ROUTE!
(rolls eyes)”

I, on the other hand, WISH THEY HAD! Star Trek used to be all about diversity and inclusion. Having a black woman — and a Russian! — as bridge officers in the 1960s was a big deal. Having a black captain on DS9, and a woman captain on Voyager, were, sadly, still big deals, but far less so than in the original era. Star Trek has completely missed the boat on the diversity of human sexual experience. The few “very special episodes” of Trek that featured anything like gay characters were always about aliens. To this day, gay humans in the audience are wondering why we don’t seem to exist in the Star Trek future — and that’s scary.

55. RetroWarbird - May 6, 2010

I liked the revelation about Bashir, insofar as just because he’s genetically modified, illegally, from a sort of “defective” human to being better than average. I like the notion that they made a genius out of a slow kid.

However, I never thought that meant he needed to be some kind of genetic superman. Being genetically engineered doesn’t automatically mean he’s genetically augmented. At least, not to the degree a guy like Khan was. Eugenics. Specialized breeding. Upgrades to the typical human limits.

That being said, I’m glad he played it the way he did and didn’t let them turn him into Data 2.0, to borrow the phrase. Just because he’s had a condition altered using illegal science and he benefited from it, doesn’t mean he’d talk like a robot.

As for the whole “James Bond” thing, it never felt like they were trying to make him cool. It actually felt, do to the playfulness of it, that Bashir wished he was cool, and used the holodeck for wish fulfillment, but even with some illegal modifications he’s still an awkward geek.

You are who you are.

56. ryanhuyton - May 6, 2010

#54

I don’t think any studio should go ahead and write two gay characters unless there is a legitimate point to it. Making Bashir and Garak a gay couple just to appease the gay crowd just doesn’t cut it. It is not the same thing as breaking down the race or gender barriers. Because you would need the two actors to have to be comfortable taking on the roles as well as having good chemistry during intimate scenes. Its easier to write for a woman or a non-white man since you are trying to establish his/her skills, talents and whatever role he/she plays in a particular setting or situation. Gay characters are more complex plus it would be all to easy to stereotype. And I would assume a lot of actors (certainly mostly male, though not all male actors) would be uncomfortable.

57. richpit - May 6, 2010

I agree with #44. I never liked DS9. I tried, but the characters never did anything for me.

58. Subatoi - May 6, 2010

@14…How does it contradict the ‘IDIC ideology’?

If anything, it embraces it surely?

59. Philip Dunlop - May 6, 2010

56. Just shows how much times have changed. Not. I think that reply is completely out of touch. While I agree writing two characters to be gay “just for the sake of it” is a bit awkward, it’s the elephant in the room Star Trek has managed to avoid while steamrolling just about every other taboo in it’s 44 year history. Transplant yourself back to the time when “Plato’s Stepchildren” was being made. I’m sure it was awkward for both actors to be charged with producing television’s first inter-racial kiss, because it was a different time. I think the assumption that “most male actors” would find the thought of gay scenes uncomfortable is also a little out of touch. These are people getting paid a lot of money to pretend to strut around in lycra onesies, some of whom have porridge stuck to their foreheads, shooting invisible laserbeams at eachother while staring wistfully out portholes with massive blue screens on the other side. Why would a gay kiss be awkward when, in other TV shows, they’re part of the scenery? Just look at the performances one straight actor put in in an entire TV SERIES, Michael C. Hall in Six Feet Under. I’m sure his role in Dexter, which requires various stages of graphic disemboweling, is probably a more difficult role for him.

60. Philip Dunlop - May 6, 2010

58. I can understand how it contradicts IDIC: it passes the genetic impurities and imperfections through a pasta strainer while leaving some juicy, perfect human behind. Only, it’s not a perfect human. It’s a better-than-perfect human, because a perfect human isn’t “good enough” without being tinkered with.

61. wickedjacob - May 6, 2010

56 -“just to appease the gay crowd”

Including different races is diversity but including different orientations is “appeasement?” huh?

62. The Emissary Of The JJverse - May 6, 2010

#19…you obviously didnt hear what was rumored to be going on behind the scenes of BermanTrek…namely that actors viewpoints were generally NOT welcome, so Siddig HAD to do what he did, because as he said, it was all he COULD do, other than let them corrupt his character into Data 2.0…

Back then, Berman’s mindset was the actors are there to play the roles, and their input was not wanted and not welcome… it was read the lines WE tell you to read or GTFO…

#59… coughcough you obviously dont remember the DS9 episode ‘Rejoined’ (season 4) which featured a lesbian kiss between Terry Farrell and Susanna Thompson (who would later be cast as the Borg Queen in Voyager)…true the Trill characters were not both female (meaning the symbiont characters) but the host characters were so there was lie half-lesbianism going on there…and also, in retrospect, what were Sulu and Chekov REALLY doing in the woods of Yosemite at the beginning of Star Trek V? At the time it was viewed as a regular camping trip, but after Takei came out as gay, it makes me wonder if it was a Brokeback Mountain foreshadow…perhaps part of the inspiration for the film in fact…and did you know they originally had planned Seven of Nine to be a lesbian and have her and Janeway have a lesbian relationship on Voyager? However, at the time, it was deemed too inflammatory and the actors didn’t want to do it, so it was abandoned…

63. Philip Dunlop - May 7, 2010

Yeah, and I’m sure Kirk, Spock and McCoy were having a three-way reacharound session on THEIR shore-leave too. Come on.

Lesbianism has been done to death. Hell, even Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a little army of tween “lesbians” running around getting black lipstick on eachother’s collars for a number of years. The issue at hand is a male gay couple. Many have been written for Star Trek, all have been ditched, whether it’s Blood & Fire (as recently performed by the Phase II crew), or Lt. Hawk in First Contact.

64. anonomys - May 7, 2010

I think it’s funny that he got upset that they tried to give his character some character!

65. fansince66 - May 7, 2010

I thought it was a great improvement on th character. Before that I always “by-passed him” on the way to more interesting characters. He became one of the 2 or 3 top characters afterwords. Glad he didn’t play it dead-pan data though.

66. Admiral_BlackCat - May 7, 2010

Alexander Siddig and Colm Meaney were always fun to watch together onscreen.

67. fansince66 - May 7, 2010

#51
I agree. DS9 was the best of the old (pre-JJ) school series. Best actors, most interesting story-arcs. I’ve put it all behind me now, to step into the JJ-verse.

68. Worf - May 7, 2010

I dont watch season 5. im watch only season 1 on DVD.

69. Damian - May 7, 2010

The whole Bashir enhanced story did not really bother me. I agree, his character, and many others on Deep Space Nine, annoyed me a bit at the shows start. But as the show evolved, their characters became deeper and Bashir was probably the character that evolved the most. He started as a naive, annoying pest at the start, but as he gained experience, he turned out to be exactly what he wanted to be. A genius doctor on the frontier creating new cutting edge treatments. He also never stopped caring for his patients as people. The Quickening proved that.

As far as the complaints that each shows characters were recycled from prior series, really what do you expect. You had 4 shows that had large casts. Let’s be honest, you are going to see characters that are similar to characters from prior series. I mean, how many different personalities can you possibly create.

#8–Sisko was the man. I’ll never forget the first episode where he conned Quark, the con-artist himself, into having to stay on Deep Space Nine. I loved Odo’s line when he said “You know..I didn’t think I was going to like him.” Classic stuff.

70. Moe - May 7, 2010

Although I didn’t mind the Genetic Modification arc for Bashir, they brought it up too often. It seems like every time Bashir was on screen they would talk about it or he would do something as a result of his enhancement. I think after the cat was out of the bag they should have hardly brought it up again unless necessary.

71. Horatio - May 7, 2010

Bashir sort of reminded me of Luke Skywalker – without the force. So the writers tried to pump some testosterone into him and he hated it????

72. Tony Whitehead - May 7, 2010

In my opinion, DS9 is where the entire franchise began to fall flat on its face. Filled with unlikable characters and dreadfully over-acted, this soap opera in space should have been called “As the Worlds Turn.”

This is not to disparage the production crew who brought this to the screen, however. Throughout the years, they just kept knocking it out of the park. I refer you to the set design and effects of ENT to applaud these professionals on their expertise.

My main issue is; when one compares TOS and most of TNG, against most any other incarnation, most of the “fun” left the franchise. Too bad.

73. NCC-74656 - May 7, 2010

#61

Yep. Last I checked, you can’t choose whether or not to be black, asian, white, etc. You are born that way.

Being gay? Spare me the ‘I was born that way’ blech. Show me where, scientifically, that you are ‘born that way’. It’s programmed into our genome to procreate; it’s how the species survives. If there is a defect somewhere that ‘makes you gay’, show me. If not, it’s a lifestyle choice, plain and simple. It’s not remotely similar to breaking down race and gender barriers.

I could personally care less what folks do, or how they live, as it relates to being gay. I don’t believe any one, or any entity, has the right to tell any of us how to live in that regard. But I do have a problem with people trying to compare the ‘gay movement’ with the civil rights movements, and the gender equality movements of the past and present. It’s insulting.

74. Daoud - May 7, 2010

Siddig is confusing. I wonder if this is some of what Nana discovered about him.

Take lemons and make lemonade. If he can’t, shame on him.

Anyway, Ron Moore did a much better job the next time around with a similar-looking actor in BSG’s Gaius Baltar. Now, if someone finds a way to cast Siddig and James Callis together as brothers in something… that would be interesting!

75. mac - May 7, 2010

Too bad he was angry with it. I genuinely liked the character of Bashir all along. I guess it’s a testament to his acting skills that you couldn’t tell he was fluffing it once the revelation came out. Wasn’t the stereotypical I’m so confident I can do anything Starfleet officer. Hell of an actor i thought.

76. Jim Williams - May 7, 2010

#73
“If there is a defect somewhere that ‘makes you gay’’, show me.”

The pieces of my DNA that contributed to my being gay are not defects, any more than are the pieces that made my eyes blue. They are natural variations. You may, if you like, choose to ignore the large and growing body of research that demonstrates a genetic component to sexual orientation, but that doesn’t change the facts. Yes, there is more to it than just genetics, since identical twins don’t always (but more often than not) share the same orientation. There seem to be gestational factors involved. But to call being gay a “lifestyle choice” demonstrates a lack of understanding of current knowledge of human sexuality.

Personally, I was sorry they sexualized Odo. I though it would have been better to keep him asexual, so he could comment as an outsider on the sexual situations of the humanoids in the show.

77. scott - May 7, 2010

To #73, “Being gay? Spare me the ‘I was born that way’ blech. Show me where, scientifically, that you are ‘born that way’. ”

For starters, google: genetic predisposition to homosexuality. Plenty of evidence. Like all predispositions, it’s not a guarantee of anything, but there does appear to be a genetic factor.

78. scott - May 7, 2010

To #16: “Siddig sounds like the professional and consummate actor to me.”

Quite the contrary, I think, intentionally not giving a performance his best because he didn’t like what the writers wrote shows a complete lack of professionalism. Sure, it would be nice if they had asked for his input. But either way, his job is to do the best he can with whatever the writers give him.

Tangentially related, to me, the best evidence of Patrick Stewart’s talent can be found by looking at the worst TNG episodes. On a well written episode, everyone shines. But on the really bad episodes, most of the actors will occasionally make you cringe… yet somehow, Patrick Stewart’s lines still work. Any halfway decent actor can do a good job with a well written part. But it takes an exceptional actor to make even the badly written things work.

79. cd - May 7, 2010

19, 78 – As far as actors not doing something that thought was out of character or they wanted to do another way, even Shatner and Nimoy did that.
Shatner, in the famous interracial kiss, was told to do a take without the kiss, he kept messing that up until they had to use the take with the kiss.
And, in ST:TMP, Spock had a line referring to the ‘heart of the cloud’. Nimoy did not like that line and would keep saying ‘the liver of the cloud’.
The genetic modification bit was just lazy writing in my opinion, and rang false.
Kind of like Voyager.
>;>}

80. Pah Wraith - May 7, 2010

Well… this is kind of astonishing to me. Heck… well. Never cared very much about Bashir character, more about his links to other characters (O’Brien and Garak – EXTREMALLY particular choice of friends). The reveal of his genetic extreme makeover did however allowed for at least 3 decent episodes – the mentioned “Dr Bashir, I presume”, the one with a bunch of other genetically improved people and the first Section 31 ep.

Guess that’s a good thing they flipped the character upside down :]

81. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - May 7, 2010

Im surprised that Sidig tried to sabotage the arc… Why not just give it 100% and see how it goes.

82. Sebastian - May 7, 2010

I’m equally surprised; I thought the revelation of the genetically-engineered secret of his character was when he finally became really interesting to me. It was great that this bright, ambitious character had a park past, a dysfunctional relationship with his parents, and an ability which potentially isolates him from his colleagues.
In other words, he REALLY became human! Warts and all.

The genetic engineering was just a McGuffin; it couldn’t have been a variety of ‘dark secrets’, but I like the fact that this one was in his very DNA. It couldn’t be undone or swept away.

Ironically, “Doctor Bashir, I Presume…” is one of my favorite episodes, as is “In the Pale Moonlight” when Sisko did something illegal and immoral and had to live with it. Those were the things that set DS9 above the other TOS spin-offs; their characters were not always pristine and perfect (even the Bajoran XO was a former terrorist; something that would probably NOT be done today).

I think perhaps Siddig was more upset that he was not consulted about what was done to his character, rather than the actual change itself (he did NOT become Data 2.0, by any means).

83. Jon Weizmann - May 7, 2010

It was a brilliant idea.
Dunno what Siddig is off about.
He does make sense that it seems like they tried to make him the new Data, like Seven on Voyager.
But there were some brilliant Bashir-centric episodes as a result of this revelation.
Great writing.

84. Lore - May 7, 2010

#77 We all know you can believe anything you read on the internet.

85. Damian - May 7, 2010

#62–Captain Sulu had a daughter. Just because the actor is gay does not mean the character is gay, anymore than a gay actor playing someone who is heterosexual. George Takei is gay, Captain Sulu is not.

Maybe you noted that in jest, but I thought that should be clarified. Also, where did you hear they wanted to make Janeway and Seven lovers. This is the first I ever heard that, and I consider myself a knowledgeable Trekkie.

86. JohnWA - May 7, 2010

I thought the revelation added a lot of depth to the Bashir character. Before the big reveal, for example, his obsession over failing to get the highest score on his medical exit exams could be dismissed as the behavior of a stereotypically arrogant prick. But his psychological insecurities actually make a lot more sense if he’s genetically engineered. After all, Bashir has a much better memory than the other candidates because of his enhancements.

So, what gives?

Is it possible that he even got the question wrong on purpose because he resented what his parents did to him?

59 –

I have heard all the excuses for that particular omission (as I am sure you have). While I might not find these convoluted explanations terribly convincing, I don’t think it even matters anymore. I can barely find a television show without a non-heterosexual character in the mix nowadays. There’s no shortage of representation. If Star Trek wishes to stick to an old-fashioned “Leave It To Beaver” vision of intimacy, then it is welcome to do so. Much like Counselor Troi and her antiquated therapy techniques, it is something to laugh at rather than get too upset over.

87. P Technobabble - May 7, 2010

… and I heard Kate Mulgrew and Jeri Ryan didn’t get along too well…

88. John from Cincinnati - May 7, 2010

Siddig was purposefully acting stiff? And this change happened when?

LOL

89. martin - May 7, 2010

I would have voted LIKED IT, but admit to being bothered at the time in that it seemed to break the continuity of his character in some of his previous flaws and characteristics no longer seemed to fit.

But the depth and new flaws it added to his character were rich, and so overall I think it was a big plus.

Odd that he didn’t like it. But also at the time wasn’t he already having issues with Nana Visitor?

90. The Dwayne - May 7, 2010

Does anyone really care at the end of the day what the actors opinions are , enjoy the show and shut up ! ( They make an ass-load of money anyway ! )

91. keenan bryson - May 7, 2010

the Bashir revelation had so much potential, but they took it in a silly direction. DS9 was such a let down in so many ways towards the end. The lines were ripped off from the movies, etc, etc. There just seemed to be a lack of creativity. The Changelings were completely mis handled. dont even get me started on Sisko… just weird. The real revelation at the end of the show should have been that the Changelings were so “evolved” that they had little thought for solids and this war really meant nothing. Odo was all they wanted and all the lives lost in the war were of no interest to them. Odo was all they wanted. It was talked about but the point wasnt driven home. They could have emphasized humanity and the remorse the characters felt for their lost friends. It should have ended with the Changelings finding that they lost something along their evolutionary way-compassion. Misunderstandings and mis-communication should have been the moral story ending for DS9.

92. Bucky - May 7, 2010

Fun fact off Memory Alpha, originally the episode was supposed to end with Bashir hiding from his colleagues that he was genetically enhanced, but Siddig said it’d be next to impossible for him as an actor to play the rest of the series like he was hiding a secret, which does show how much thought he puts into his process. I was okay with the revelation: I thought it tied nicely to Space Seed/TWOK to show a different side of the “superior” race, but I don’t think it added much aside from explaining how uptight Bashir had been for years, cause he was programed that way. It was a nice retcon, but ultimately it was kind of irrelevant.

93. Cousin Itt - May 7, 2010

I loved DS9, but never got the impression that they were trying to turn Bashir into a ‘Data’-type character. And ‘The Quickening’ is one of my all time favorite episodes of any of the series.

My big DS9 complaint has to with that whole Sisko’s mother was a Prophet thing. That, to me, was just silly.

94. T'Cal - May 7, 2010

I didn’t like bashir at first, finding him annoying. Jadzia was smarmy and forever spewing technobable. Sisko was stiff as a board. I never warmed up to Quark. Kira was a bitch. Miles was great from the start.

That being said, the stories were mostly good a first and got better. Sisko became more likable, Garak’s deep dark past was fascinating, Odo’s secret love for Kira became interesting, Miles and Bashir became a great bromance, and Bashir’s enhancement made him interesting AND brought in Sloan and Section 31. As much as I loved TNG, the writing and character development on DS9 was better, especially during the Dominion War. Oh, and Ezri was HOT!

95. T'Cal - May 7, 2010

How could I forget Dukat, Damar, Enabrin Tain, Weyoun, the addition of Worf, and most of all Vic Fontaine!

96. MJ - May 7, 2010

DS9 is what you get when the actors give a damn. Voyager is what you get when they don’t. Enough said!

97. fansince66 - May 7, 2010

#94
Yeah. I thought it was a BIG mistake to kill off Jadzia Dax. I thought the show was ruined. But Ezri totally displaced Jadzia. WELL DONE Nicole De Boer. REALLY!

98. Jim Nightshade - May 8, 2010

i also think it added more depth to bashir to have the augment storyline–also agree that his friendship with o brien was great–dont forget louise fletcher as vedic wynn she was great–also one of the earliest n best gay episodes in trek was “metamorphisis” i think-the one with the companion being in love with the man and how the communicated by merging w mccoy saying thats sick haha-
I liked ds9 until the too religulous finale but oh well

99. warptek - May 8, 2010

Seems to be a lot of talk about genetic predispositions (and forgive me for coming into this late)… well all I can say is if a persons sexuality might be partly considered from genetic factors then why can’t genetic factors apply to other things as well like a genetic predispositon to serial killing or pedophelia?
I mean where does it end? I believe genes has very little or nothing to do with non-physical characteristics of humans. I strongly think that sexuality is something that develops over time and is the culmination of experiences, emotional states and exposure, not genetic dispositions. For example, say a child grows up in a city where 99% of the people are lawyers. Chances are he or she will grow and become a lawyer also… there is a small chance they will grow up and become a theoretical physicist under their “experience, exposure and emotional states”.

100. Canon Schmanon - May 8, 2010

Bashir never worked very good for me. I don’t think it was Siddig’s fault, really. The writers just never seemed to know what to do with him. They figured that since this was Star Trek, they needed a doctor because Trek always needs a doctor.

Well, that’s rubbish. They didn’t need Bashir, not the way he was written. The guy was essentially Barney Fife, then late into the series we’re told he’s actually Khan. I love DS9, but they sure did some stupid things some times.

101. naseweis - May 8, 2010

This story turn shocked me too. I just tried to ignore it. I’m glad he wasn’t happy about it either.

102. Buzz Cagney - May 8, 2010

i have to admit i just don’t care. I didn’t care then and its hardly a surprise to me to find I still don’t. I suspect i’d have forgotten it altogether if I hadn’t caught a few minutes of a repeated DS9 just the other day which mentioned him being genetically modified.
At that point in time i’d disconnected from Trek and jumped ship (or should that be space station?) for B5.

103. Buzz Cagney - May 8, 2010

#99 WHAT A LOAD OF TRIPE! So gay people become gay because they grow up around gay people? What nonsense.

104. KirneH001 - May 9, 2010

I’m glad he was professional about it and never really let his anger show onscreen (unless it was important to the plot).

The Section 31 subplot bothered me a bit more.

105. Schiefy - May 10, 2010

If they hadn’t made the reveal then my younger son wouldn’t have been able to claim his name was a Trek-related one (my oldest is Jean-Luc but only because my wife heard the name on a coffee commercial while my younger son was named Jules Miles but before we found out that Julian used to be a Jules–and of course, there is the irony that Jules/Julian became best friends with Miles!).

Jules was diagnosed with diabetes 5 years ago so Trek (and Spider-Man) has become a haven for him. So now, instead of wondering what I was doing naming him, Jules (think Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue”), he is proud of his Trek heritage because the writers didn’t consult Alexander!! :)

106. LordEdzo - May 10, 2010

I’m surprised by the reason for Siddig’s anger, but not by the anger itself. At some point during the series, I noticed that Bashir had become waaaaay serious, almost as if he’d been severely dressed down by Sisko off-screen and then started acting … stiffly.

There was a joy to the character in the beginning, but it ended somewhat abruptly. I just chalked it up to the “greenhorn” kid getting a taste of *real* space frontier life and suddenly having his entire “vision” dashed, thereby forcing him to “grow up” quickly like those cadets in TWOK.

107. ML31 - May 10, 2010

Didn’t mind that Bashir had the enhancements. But I REALLY didn’t like the “Our Man Bashir” shows and the Vic Fontaine thing was just… Too silly.

108. deadassassinofthedivineorder - May 10, 2010

it wasnt horrible,as it brought elements from the original star trek into the limelight ie khan eugenics war…etc..

i didnt much care for season 7 as it just didnt make sense how plots played out stories ended…could have easily went another 3 seasons hell could even do a mini series movie type thing now and i bet it would be a success.

vic fontaine lol i liked some of those elements they man from the time tunnel :)

109. Balint - May 16, 2010

I always liked Dr. Bashir with all his arrogant attitude and stuff. He was really an authentic character who enjoyed everything around him and overdid it in a likeable sort of way. I watched DS9 in Germany where all episodes where telecasted within only 2-3 years. So I missed the whole discussion about his character being unpopular. That’s a shame. Siddig is a great actor and I loved the friendship between him an O’Brien and his dedication to be a doctor. In a certain way he was more Star Trek then all other characters especially when some like O’Brien (even Sisko) threw their moral aboard when it came to the conflict with the dominion. So he was an important reminder what the Federation and Star Trek is all about!! Although I didn’t mind the change in his character (him being genetically enhanced) when he was calculating the time until whatever on the bridge of the Defiant the producer’s definitely overdid it! The change in the character’s mood etc. was too harsh. So I’m glad Siddig intervened. The DS9 characters are all great and not as two-dimensional as in the other shows, there was a character for almost everything and Siddig did a brilliant job playing his part.
I recently bought all episodes on DVD and watched them in English and I have to say that of all the Star Trek shows I enjoyed DS9 the most (Kirk was before my time and I hated Voyager but I loved Next Generation). However, DS9 became a little dark in the final seasons.

110. christy - May 18, 2010

I didn’t like it. Changed his character too much the rest of the seasons. I liked his original character. You loved him cause he was naive and yet endearing.

111. Annita - April 30, 2011

I didn’t like his character change but what I hated the most was his forced romance with Ezri. Totally unbelievable. He and Garak had so much more chemistry

112. DynV - August 25, 2011

I think the writers were just looking for a way to add something quirky to Bashir’s character and at the same time find a way to get out of bad situations (for the plot).

Was it really necessary? Don’t people expect all shows character to be Rambos, that a single character in fact represent the IRL (In real Life) equivalent of 5-15 people (with average work hours) ?

113. ckikilwai - January 29, 2012

If one person on DS9 was genetically enhanced it should have been O’brien. He knew everything from warpcores to electronics, programming to mining, starships and space station layouts all by heart! Just anything related to engineering: Miles was the expert. If only they made him consult other experts for each field and shown him looking up stuff on a computer he would have looked more like a real engineer instead of android.

114. Thissalantine - May 17, 2012

I thought Bashir was smexy from his nose to his toes from DAY ONE, and he was the biggest reason I watched the show. Polished, intelligent, modest.. he was everything I find attractive. Hollywierd is so lame and predictable with casting… here was a brilliant exception!

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