Sunday, November 23, 2014

Character Insight No. 122: Michael Eddington

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, we profile Michael Eddington, a recurring character from Deep Space Nine.

 ("Another security officer you just can't trust") 

Eddington first appears when he is assigned to Deep Space Nine as a Chief of Starfleet Security after the Dominion contacts and conflict begin. Although he was added to the crew because Starfleet did not trust Odo completely, these two security officers worked together well during Eddington's short stint aboard the station.

Eddington ends up playing a critical role in some of the biggest early missions of the Dominion conflict prior to breakout of full war. He sabotages the Defiant's cloaking mechanism when Sisko disobeys an Admiral's orders to hunt down an Obsidian Order fleet. He later also plays a huge role discovering that blood tests can be used to detect infiltrator shapeshifters in Starfleet as well as in the plot to make a second wormhole to the Founder's home planet.

Eddington then serves an interesting bridge between the stories of the first part of DS9 and the Dominion War storyline as he defects to the Maquis in his second year aboard the station. It turns out that the Maquis battle against the Cardassians appears to be the moral battle to take when the Dominion and Cardassians appear to gain the upper hand in the war. Of course, Eddington and the Maquis take it to the next level, far beyond what Starfleet can tolerate.

To this end, Eddington prepares a biogenic weapon to cause fatal nerve damage to Cardassians and he begins deploying this weapon at Cardassion colonies in the Demilitarized Zone. Sisko and the Defiant outsmart Eddington though and prevent the destruction of further colonies by detonating a trilithium resin device over one Maquis colony with threats to do others unless Eddington turns himself in, which he does. 

From Blaze of Glory
Captain Sisko: [about Cal Hudson] He was a good man.
Michael Eddington: He felt the same about you. He thought you were wrong about the Maquis; but he forgave you. Which is ironic, considering you never forgave him. You can't forgive any of us. And not because we betrayed Starfleet or the Federation. But because we betrayed *you*.

The last we see of Eddington is his assistance of Sisko with the rescue of the final Maquis survivors after the Jem'Hadar take this resistance movement out. He saves his wife Rebecca and Sisko before falling to the Jem'Hadar himself, a fitting fate for a Maquis leader.

Eddington was fond of the novel Les Miserables, and he saw himself as the hero Valjean, always trying to elude the inflexible policeman which he saw as Commander Sisko. Eddington's character is based on a similarly named character in the 1965 movie In Harm's Way, a very unlikeable protagonist. His character ties together some of the important aspects of this TV series while also providing some contrast from the tendencies of the main cast in the late seasons. This type of character works well for that very reason.

Eddington was played by Kenneth Marshall, who has not acted in over a decade. However, you can relive some of his greatest hits in the 80s movies Krull and Feds.


Feedback can be sent to me with future segment suggestions on Twitter @BuckeyeFitzy. Until next time, live long and prosper...

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