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Nana Visitor     Kira Nerys' stand-off in Covenant  
TV Zone visits the set of Deep Space Nine, and finds Nana Visitor preparing to say her farewells…
from TV Zone #110

The view is stunning. We’re standing on the upper level of the Deep Space Nine promenade, looking through the vast window to the stars of the Bajoran system. Below us, crowds of people are going about their daily business. It could all be real, but, of course, it’s not: the set on the soundstage at Paramount studios is a solid, beautifully crafted piece of architecture. Totally enclosed, it gives one the impression that you’ve arrived in a tangible alien culture.

Sad to think that, in just a few months time, the whole structure will be torn down and the studio left empty. After seven seasons – during which time the show has developed from inferior Star Trek spin-off to a magnificent Science Fiction epic in its own right – Deep Space Nine will be over.

It’s not only the fans who will miss this popular series and its eclectic band of characters. Its passing will be a time of adjustment for the cast and crew, who have devoted the best part of a decade to the show. That’s certainly the feeling of Nana Visitor, the actress who has brought Kira Nerys to such vivid life on our screens.

“You know, when something [ends that] has been so much a part of your life for such a percentage of your life, it’s a passage,” she tells TV Zone. “With every passage – like leaving school – you could have had a great time, but when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. I think we’ve definitely done a lot of interesting things here, and it’s time to go somewhere else and see what that’s like. But I’m gonna miss the people, that’s for sure. I’m gonna miss this set strangely enough – I’ve spent so many hours on it, and seen my eldest son grow up here. Life is going to change in a huge way for me. This show has woven itself into the fabric of me.”

Likeable Personality

Likewise, Visitor has brought so much of herself to the show. Arguably Deep Space Nine’s most magnetic character, Nerys is a complex individual who is loyal to the Bajoran people, who have lived through years of oppression under the Cardassians. If there’s a fight, you’d want her on your side – she’s tough, determined, and physically strong for her stature, yet this is balanced by a gentle side, a caring nature, a warm sense of humour, and a radiant smile. The show has explored her history with the resistance, her upbringing after her mother became a Cardassian collaborator, her conflict with the Bajoran religious leaders, and her determination that Starfleet will win the war against the Dominion.

“I remember doing interviews at the beginning of these seven years, when people said, ‘My God, this is a rarity – a strong female character on television’,” says Visitor. “I felt… not a danger, but an edginess to the whole subject. I was proud that we were trying something. Now when I watch tv it’s not a rarity anymore. That’s a great thing. Of course, it puts my character into a kind of history; something else needs to come, there does need to be another chapter, and who and what that’s going to be I don’t know. It makes me feel senior and it makes me feel glad that it’s not such a special thing anymore.”

Nana Visitor talks about Nerys's relationship with Odo and her elevation to Colonel, her real-life relationship with Alexander Siddig, the arrival of Nicole de Boer as Dax, and much more... Plus three final-season Deep Space Nine and three fifth-season Voyager episodes reviewed – all in TV Zone #110

David Richardson
 
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