Killing Off Jadzia Dax Was DS9’s Biggest Mistake

Killing Off Jadzia Dax Was DS9’s Biggest Mistake

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine killed off Jadzia Dax in season 6, the unfortunate result of backstage tensions between Terry Farrell and Paramount.

Killing off Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) at the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 6 was the series’ biggest mistake. Dax was one of DS9‘s main cast and was introduced in the pilot episode, “Emissary.” Jadzia’s shocking death came in DS9‘s season 6 finale, “Tears of the Prophets,” when she was murdered by the series’ greatest Cardassian villain, Gul Dukat (Marc Alaimo), and it was a devastating moment that crescendoed DS9‘s dark and complex Dominion War storyline. But it was behind-the-scenes tensions between Farrell and Star Trek’s studio, Paramount, that led to Jadzia getting axed from DS9 and replaced with Nicole deBoer as Ezri Dax.


Jadzia was Deep Space Nine’s popular Science Officer and the closest friend of Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks). Although it took a couple of seasons for DS9‘s writers to truly define Dax, the initially inexperienced Farrell gradually grew into the character, and Jadzia emerged as a highly intelligent, spirited woman beloved by both her crewmates.

Related: Why DS9’s Original Ending Would Have Been A Mistake

Worf (Michael Dorn) joining DS9 in season 4 was a boon to Dax, as the Klingon warrior and the Trill scientist quickly sparked a romance that brought out fascinating new sides of both characters. Jadzia married Worf at the start of DS9 season 6 and they looked forward to a happy life together after the Dominion War was over — until Jadzia’s senseless murder, which necessitated a huge revamp of the Dax character as DS9 headed towards its ending in season 7.

Why DS9 Killed Off Jadzia Dax

Jadzia Dax death

The full details of why Terry Farrell left Star Trek: Deep Space Nine have not been fully disclosed, but Farrell has her side of the story while the producers and studios have their version of what happened. According to the Star Trek oral history, The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross, Farrell requested that she appear in fewer episodes in season 7, which would essentially reduce her role to a recurring character. Instead, the actress claims the producers and the studio were trying “to bully me into saying yes [to signing onto a full season 7 schedule].” In What We Left Behind, 2019’s DS9 retrospective documentary, an emotional Farrell blamed the studio and executive producer Rick Berman for her dismissal.

For his part, Berman takes umbrage at Farrell’s accusations: 

To say that this woman was let go is absolutely ridiculous. She was not fired. She requested to not be in all the episodes… to be a recurring character. The studio basically said “no way”… She’s a regular character and she does all twenty-six shows or nothing… She ended up departing. It certainly was not my choice. It was the loss of a character and it was difficult for us.

Meanwhile, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s showrunner, Ira Steven Behr, and the writing staff were purposely kept out of the tense negotiations. Behr was livid when he found out Farrell was leaving the show, which meant he had to kill off the popular Jadzia Dax character. Behr said, “Let me put it this way, if I had known what was going on, I would have stopped it.”

Killing Off Jadzia Dax Was DS9’s Biggest Mistake

Star Trek Deep Space Nine Jadzia Dax

With Farrell out of DS9, the writers seized the opportunity to create a new Trill character, Ezri Dax, who received the Dax symbiote and joined the show as the space station’s Counselor. Although de Boer was thrilled to join DS9, even for one season, the actress was also that aware a segment of fans wouldn’t accept her as Jadzia’s replacement. DS9‘s writing team did their best to rapidly integrate Ezri into the series but the shadows of Terry Farrell and Jadzia Dax were difficult for de Boer’s Ezri to overcome and the constant comparisons between the two Daxes were inescapable. Worf was also left floundering without his counterpart, while Dr. Julian Bashir’s (Alexander Siddig) love affair with Ezri felt rushed as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 7 closed out the series.

Next: Why Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Never Got A Movie (& Why It Still Should)

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