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 Dr. Julian Bashir from DS9.
Dr. Bashir is the chief medical officer on the Deep Space Nine station. Although he is always engaged in medical research and keeping people healthy on the station, Bashir is also active in many tactical battles, especially during the Dominion War and the Cardassian takeover of the station.
Bashir was born with the first name Jules and he was a child who was a slow learner initially. However, his parents took him to alien doctors for genetic engineering treatments for two months at the age of seven, and this transformed Bashir into a star pupil with enhanced physical and mental capabilities compared to normal humans. When Bashir discovers this genetic engineering at the age of 15, he changes his name to Julian as a response to his parents thinking him defective as a youth.
Julian is great at sports as a result of this, but he turns down a professional tennis career to be a doctor in Starfleet. He does enjoy many games of darts and racquetball though, especially with his best friend Miles O'Brien.
One of the few things that Bashir adores from his childhood is his prized teddy bear Kukalaka, and he keeps the bear well into his adult life. His nearly computer-like mental abilities allow him to be fascinated with the android Data, as he sees many similarities between himself and the human-like android. Bashir writes many papers and wins awards for his research in cybernetics.
Bashir started as a blank slate, but the writers knew they wanted the doctor to be an imperfect character who grows into his role over time. As a result, Bashir was lambasted by many fans of the series until his character developed in the second and third seasons.
Our notable quote this week comes from the episode The Quickening:
Doctor Bashir: Some people don't like to be around the sick; it reminds them of their own mortality.
Ekoria: Doesn't bother you?
Sometimes. I prefer to confront mortality, rather than hide from it.
When you make someone well, it's like you're... chasing death off,
making him wait for another day.
Actor: Alexander Siddig played Julian, and his acting career started with a gem called Sammy and Rosie Get Laid. Siddig has appeared in movies regularly since Star Trek, including Kingdom of Heaven and Clash of the Titans. He currently stars in the Da Vinci's Demons TV series.
Until next time, live long and prosper...