The Dominion - a forbidding partnership of alien races based in the
Gamma Quadrant - are as ominous as their name suggests. First alluded to
in the Deep Space Nine episode 'The Rules of Acquisition' and introduced
in the 1995 episode 'The Jem'Hadar', The Dominion epitomise the series' often pessimistic and determinedly unique Trek style.
Established by the mysterious race known as the Founders 2000 years
before the Deep Space Nine series began, the Dominion are without doubt
one of the Federation's most powerful and politically complex enemies.
Dedicated to expanding their planetary empire, the Dominion use
Jem'Hadar soldiers to mercilessly enforce their rule. The Founders -
revealed to be shape-shifters of the same race as DS9's security chief
Odo - have been attempting to infiltrate the Alpha Quadrant in the lead-up to a full-scale Dominion invasion. The final episode of Deep Space
Nine, recently broadcast in the US and the subject of rapturous reviews,
apparently goes some way towards resolving the Dominion/Federation war.
The Dominion have typified Deep Space Nine's willingness to experiment
with elaborate, multi-layered storylines. The political machinations of
the Dominion, the Federation, the Cardassians and the Romulans has now
progressed over five seasons, proving that Deep Space Nine was not
designed for viewers with short attention spans.
It is perhaps hard to imagine Gene Roddenberry sanctioning such a
fatalistic and refreshingly oblique concept as the Dominion. Yet it has
paid off. 'The Quickening', an episode dealing with the catastrophic
effects of a plague the Jem'Hadar have unleashed on a planet that
resisted Dominion rule, is arguably one of the best examples of how Deep
Space Nine's departure from the typical Trek pattern can produce great
Key Deep Space Nine Dominion Episodes: 'the Jem'Hadar', 'the Quickening'
'Shadowplay', 'The Die is Cast', 'By inferno's Light', 'What You Leave