This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe. An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
Welcome back to Character Insight! This week, our subject is Quark from Deep Space Nine.
Quark is the owner and barkeep of Quark's Bar, Grill, Gaming House, and Holosuite on board Deep Space Nine. Commander Sisko blackmails Quark to keep his business on the station when the Federation takes over in an effort to keep the station running with some sense of continuity.
Quark had to thrive on typical greedy Ferengi business practices and the black market when the station was run by Cardassians. However, he becomes a generous, honest businessman in seven years of Federation ownership of the station.
In addition to Deep Space Nine, Quark is featured on two episodes of Voyager in which he tries to con Harry Kim and Tom Paris before Voyager's departure. Quark was also supposed to appear in the movie Insurrection, but unfortunately the scene and his awful mirror-ball outfit were left on the cutting floor.
Although Quark comes to appreciate the Federation, he often compares it to root beer: a cloying, bubbly, sickly sweet force bent on corrupting the core of Ferengi culture. Quark tries to make new drinks as a bartender but usually fails, including when he tried to make a caffeine free version of raktajino that he dubbed Quarktajino for the pregnant Kira Nerys.
Quark's name obviously comes from the theoretical particle name by Murray Gell-Mann, but what is lesser known is that the name was borrowed by Gell-Mann from a 1939 James Joyce novel Finnegans Wake.
Quark appeared in the first couple of shows of the series wearing the prosthetic nose designed for the Rom character because his nose was not ready yet. Quark's intended nose shows up in the fourth episode of the series for the first time.
Our notable quote comes from The House of Quark in season 3:
I should've gone into insurance - better hours, more money, less scruples.
Actor: Armin Shimerman played Quark and also played one of the original Ferengi in season 1 of The Next Generation. Shimerman has acted for 30 years but has made more of a name in the last decade as voice talent in video games like Mass Effect, Bioshock, Starcraft, and Diablo.
Until next time, live long and prosper...