Deep Space 9.5: Casting the Inevitable Star Trek Series Deep Space 9 Reboot


It’s only matter of time before everything old is new again when it comes to pop culture phenomena. When the future holds a Suicide Squad movie and an Agent Carter TV show, have no doubt that if there’s something with a brand name attached to it, studios will find a way to polish off the dust and give it a heaping helping of lens flare.

So, don’t be surprised if Paramount starts mining Federation space for more product to replicate. But they won’t need any omicron particles for this project. No, no, much like with 2009’s original series reboot, I’m certain that eventually every series to ever trek through the stars will be reimagined and revived in some form or another. I’ve gone on record about my…dare I say…deep appreciation of Deep Space 9 and while I’d prefer they leave well enough alone this is Hollywood we’re talking about and if there’s latinum to be had, they’ll have seconds.

Today I’m bringing you my ideal choice for a reimagined DS9 cast. For some of these choices I know I’ll be aiming for the stars, but come on, this is Starfleet. Without further ado, let’s hop into the wormhole and revisit everyone’s favorite converted Cardassian space station.




With Boardwalk Empire being unfairly cancelled (following the unfair cancellation of The Wire) Michael K. Williams will once again need actorly employment, and I think the Alpha Quadrant is the place to find it. If you haven’t seen either of the two shows listed above, you now have a new goal in life. Watch them, you’re welcome, now keep reading.

Michael K. Williams is a study in subtlety for any aspiring actor. He could’ve easily played either of his previous iconic roles as HUGELY EXPLOSIVE ANGRY MEN but instead often kept in all within, only offering brief glimpses into the blazing fire that ran their engines. He was the coolest guy in the room, and, easily, the most deadly but you would never know until it was too late. It was fun, it was fascinating, and it was a remarkably underrated.

These are the qualities all Starfleet captains should have, and this is the actor that Benjamin Sisko deserves. Sisko wasn’t the pacifist explorer that occasionally fenced like Picard. Nor was he the devil-may-care pretty boy Kirk enjoyed being. Nope. Sisko was damaged, angry, and was given one of the most difficult commands in all of Starfleet history.  And he kicked its ass. Regularly. And while he could’ve just been the four-pipped nutball, instead he was a truly cool, always sharp, suffer-no-fools master commander.

This is a role that requires many masks, and I have no doubt Michael K. Williams could wear each one sublimely.




I’d be truly amazed if I had to sell any of you on the genius of Andy Serkis. But just in case I do, you’ll know Andy Serkis as the actor behind Gollum, King Kong, Caesar the ape and many others. Essentially, he is the actor who makes men out of monsters.

Odo was the orphan Changeling discovered, experimented on, and eventually brought on to DS9. As the show’s resident Pinocchio character (see: Spock, Data, 7 of 9), Odo struggled more attempting to understand love and life than he ever did against any phaser blast. A fan-favorite, Odo tugged at the heartstrings when he wasn’t busy shape-shifting into a massive, nine-faced space pig.

Odo would require an actor with as much physical acting chops as they have emotional. That’s Serkis through and through. Watch that King Kong movie and tell me that big ol’ ape isn’t alive. Remember how much Gollum stole the show? That’s all Serkis, owning a character inside and out, crafting the soul before us through movement, more often than not never needing a single word of dialogue.

Odo was my favorite DS9 character and among my very favorite in all of Stark Trek. He deserves the very best. In my opinion, Andy Serkis may be the best actor out there.


laverne cox


The Trill species, that the previously mentioned symbiont Dax is a member of, is the most interesting and underutilized species in all of Star Trek. A peaceful symbiotic species, a percentage of the Trill people bond themselves with a sentient symbiotic organism known as a symbiont sharing their memories, personalities, and, of course, bodies. Some of the symbionts have lived for centuries, bringing untold amounts of wisdom, personalities, and spirit.

Laverne Cox is, of course, known as the openly transgender actor on the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Cox was the first transgender person to be nominated for an acting Emmy, and the first transgender person to be on the cover of Time magazine. Not bad, Ms. Cox. Not bad at all.

I’m hoping that in my fantasy of a DS9 reboot the Trill species is looked at much more deeply, and that the implications of having the symbiont as part of your essence is explored much further. Just imagine if you suddenly shared your body with the same person was Albert Einstein or Joan of Arc or Genghis Khan. What a fascinating concept that DS9 played with, but never went far enough with.

Cox is obviously a person used to dealing with conflicting personalities and assimilating into a culture that really doesn’t understand what’s been her life’s struggle. This would be the perfect real life background for an actor to bring to Dax. Star Trek was always at its best when it found a way to bring the problems of yesteryear into a new tomorrow, and this would be a ripe opportunity. Plus, Cox is a fantastic, thoughtful performer and bringing Jadzia to life will take a lot of brainpower beyond acting prowess. Laverne’s our lady for sure.




Unfortunately, most of you probably have no idea who I’m talking about. However, for those of you familiar with the wild and weird universe that is New York City theatre, Debargo Sanyal is a name you’ve seen more than once. And you’re glad you did.

Debargo is an actor that (and I’m ripping off Kevin Smith here) could play the shark. By that I mean, were they to remake Jaws, he could play the titular character and pull it off flawlessly. He’s that good. Hell, he’s better. I can’t sing the guy’s praises enough other than if you’re in NYC, search out a show he’s in. He’ll steal it and you’ll stand up and cheer for more.

Bashir was a character that took some time finding his way. At first he was a headstrong, ladies’ man who wanted the “frontier” experience that was practicing medicine on Deep Space 9. Fun, but surface. Eventually they went deeper and deeper with the character exploring his childhood as an experiment in eugenics, turned him into a prisoner of war, and a number of other character-defining and pretty strong left turns for your average sci-fi show.

Like I said, Debargo is a point-man like few others and no matter what you throw at him, he’ll masterfully bring it to life. So while I hope that this new DS9 doesn’t beat around the Bashir bush as much as the old one, if they do, Debargo will be able to handle every second of it.


marc pickering


Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m returning to the Garden State and plucking out another member of Boardwalk Empire, but if you watched the final season of the show, you know why. Pickering stood out as a shining star this last year, miraculously playing a young Nucky Thompson with frightening precision. Seriously, you’d have thought this really was a time-travelled Steve Buscemi. It was almost scary. It was undeniably amazing.

Quark was everyone’s favorite Ferengi. Always providing his fair share of comic relief to the series, Quark also tiptoed into the serious side of things now and then and his monologue to his nephew Nog about what “hu-mons” are really like stands out as one of the series’ best. There was a struggle within Quark between morals and money, between his mom and progression, and always with his (though he’d never admit it) best buddy Odo. He was rarely at peace, and it was hysterical to watch.

Quark is leaving some pretty big, funny shoes to fill. Everyone loves Quark, and that’s an act no one wants to follow. Well, on Boardwalk everyone loved Steve Buscemi and Pickering was able to seamlessly fit himself into the BWE mythos with alarming accuracy and total skill. I would watch him in awe of his flawless recreation of every nuance that was Nucky Thompson. For such a young actor to emulate one of the finest out there, that’s impressive.

Also Pickering has that unique look about him that makes him an ideal Quark. Let’s be honest, Ferengis need an actor with a certain…something to bring them to life. Pickering has it, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Though I wonder how he’d feel about me telling him…

Either way, Pickering could knock out Quark in a second, and here’s hoping he doesn’t mind the makeup.

And that’s it for now, Unrealtors! No Kira? No Garek? NO VIC FONTAINE?! Sorry, folks, there’s only so much space, deep or otherwise. But don’t worry, when I get my warp engines churning it’s hard to stop, so I’m sure I’ll be back to fill out the rest of the cast. Until then, Prophets, see you on the other side of the wormhole.

Adam Esquenazi Douglas is a playwright who was born in Texas, grew up in Arkansas, was raised by a Jewish man and a Cuban woman, and, somehow, he doesn’t have an accent. His plays have been produced across the United States from Los Angeles to New York City, as well as in Canada and Japan.

He is co-host of two podcasts, The JimmyJew Podcast Extravaganza and Schmame Over Level 2, which can be found at and respectively, as well as on iTunes. He is a contributing writer to

He currently lives in Brooklyn where he drinks far too much coffee.

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One Comment

  1. O’Brien is the first role that needs to be filled! He was the best character in that entire series. And I am placing him near Garak and Weyoun and Dukat and Martok. The side characters were what made the show amazing. Not the main cast. You want a great main cast you watch TNG. You watch DS9 for the side cast. Except for O’Brien. Who proves that even 400 years into the future we are still gonna have a fat Irish guy who works with his hands all day, every day, drinks heavily, complains about his wife and family, and wants to eat heavy meals made of real meat instead of that replicated crap. Truly the only relateable and 20th century human left in the Star Trek universe.

    Also on a side note I have to say that Quark has to be played by a Jew. Like most Ferengi it just fits really well.

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