One of the best things about "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" is the show's dedication to complex interpersonal relationships on board the space station. Throughout the series, there were a number of great pairings as different crew members realized that their friendships or work partnerships had turned into something else. Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks) fell in love with the fiery transport captain Kasidy Yates (Penny Johnson Jerald), Security Chief Odo (Rene Auberjonois) found a perfect partner in former terrorist and current second-in-command Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor), and Cardassian spy/tailor Garak (Andrew Robinson) and suave doctor Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) have a will they/won't they for the ages, even if it is a little queer-baity. But the most wonderful of all the "Deep Space Nine" romances is the one between joined Trill science officer Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) and Klingon strategic operations officer Worf (Michael Dorn). The two are a beautiful example of an odd couple that make their differences work and push one another to be better people. They're an inspiration, proving that a pansexual goofball who can beat Ferengi at Tongo and a stoic warrior raised by Russians can somehow be a perfect pair.
It turns out that making Worf and Dax such a great couple wasn't difficult at all for Farrell and Dorn, who were good friends and relished the chance to get to spend more time together. They just didn't quite anticipate how close their characters would get.
In an interview with StarTrek.com, Farrell revealed that she and Dorn would often flirt with one another in-character because they thought it might encourage the writers to give them more scenes together. The writers definitely gave them more scenes, though it took a direction neither actor completely expected:
"Oh, we'd thought we were so clever flirting with each so we'd have more stuff to do together, just because we were friends. Ha! You'd think they had that planned the whole time because it all just went so easily. And I loved it because Michael and I were such good friends. We could just hit heads and really talk things out. At the time it could be really irritating because we were so tired all the time. But taking that out of the equation, I learned so much from working with Michael, as a person and as a performer. He's a very good friend. My husband reminds me of him in that they don't say that 'Enough is enough.' They're just constantly picking at stuff. It's like, "Enough already!" But it's that need to make it perfect."
It sounds like Dorn shares a bit of perfectionism with his character, which only makes the relationship between Jadzia and the stubborn Klingon feel more real. The performers being comfortable with one another helped them really embrace the couple's rough-and-tumble courtship starting in the season 5 episode "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places." Worf always pictured himself with a Klingon woman, while Jadzia clearly didn't have intentions on settling down. Their chemistry is undeniable, though, and their fierce flirtations turned into one of the franchise's most compelling love stories.
The Sparks Flew, And It Wasn't Just From Clashing Bat'leths
Worf was originally a character on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," but when that series ended, the creators decided to move the fan-favorite over to "Deep Space Nine." In an interview with TrekZone Network, Dorn explained that the ideas for Worf on "Deep Space Nine" weren't all that concrete, though once they saw him and Farrell onscreen, the Jadzia/Worf story-line was sealed:
"I think that they had a number of scripts. They had a number of things that they were thinking about. Also the Jadzia Dax/Worf thing may have been something that they were playing with. But they didn't really realize that it was going to be a big thing until she and I did our first scenes together. They went: oh my god, we've got to put these people together! I think they had it mapped out a little bit but when you get involved in it and see things happening you see the relationships going on. Then they take it from there."
Once the writers saw the undeniable chemistry between Dorn and Farrell, who turned the heat up with their flirting, they knew they had to put these two together. "Star Trek" has plenty of romances and lots of sex, but it's rarely felt this authentic or natural. The friendship between the actors allowed them to really go all-in on their onscreen romance, whether their characters were flirting or fighting (though for Klingon courtship, those are pretty much the same). The perfection of their relationship just makes Jadzia's death at the end of season 6 all the more painful, because a love this pure shouldn't have such a tragic ending. The symbiont Dax was able to find love again in new host Ezri (Nicole de Boer), but it still doesn't quite stack up to the Jadzia/Worf dynamic. Sorry, Han and Leia, but these two are my One True Pairing, now and forever, and Dorn and Farrell's friendship helped that happen.
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