Deep Space Nine
's fifth season was a turning point from which there was no going back. Character and information overload took over, and the complicated twists and turns in the build up to war either hooked viewers securely, or sent them away with a headache. The Klingon faction instigated by Worf's arrival was occasionally played for laughs, but mostly their hardheaded personalities made all efforts at diplomacy moot. In the opening episode a chilling possibility is proposed as to what might be: have the Changelings infiltrated already and replaced key personnel? Some fans saw this as a flawed X-Files
-style development. Nevertheless it sowed a seed of insidious suspicion, affecting all the principal casts' relationships with one another, even allowing Odo and Quark an opportunity to confess a degree of friendship. Expanding on the new theme of duplication, the crew also made numerous trips to their mirror-universe counterparts.
As well as new uniforms and the milestone 100th episode, Nana Visitor and Alexander Siddig got to comically disguise the arrival of their child during filming. More laughs came from the fan favorite "Trials and Tribble-ations," with CG allowing Sisko and crew to interact with Kirk and a cameo from Leonard Nimoy. Avery Brooks began taking a backseat, partly a result of the now-overcrowded cast. Although Sisko's destiny would be foreshadowed by his first vision and the introduction of the Pah-wraiths, the Captain was in an increasingly sulky mood. Brooks only directed one episode, allowing room for regulars LeVar Burton and Rene Auberjonois to do more behind the camera. Joining them were Alexander Siddig, Michael Dorn and even Andrew Robinson. Available space started to seem hardly deep enough. --Paul Tonks
Episodes: Apocalypse Rising, The Ship, Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places, ...Nor the Battle to the Strong, The Assignment, Trials and Tribble-ations, Let He Who Is Without Sin..., Things Past, The Ascent, Rapture, The Darkness and the Light, The Begotten, For the Uniform, In Purgatory's Shadow, By Inferno's Light, Doctor Bashir I Presume?, A Simple Investigation, Business as Usual, Ties of Blood and Water, Ferengi Love Songs, Soldiers of the Empire, Children of Time, Blaze of Glory, Empok Nor, In the Cards, Call to Arms.