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1 August 2014
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Deep Space Nine
Kira Nerys

Major Kira Nerys

After seven years of Nana Visitor's gutsy and compassionate performance as Major Kira Nerys, it is hard to imagine a different actress playing the role.

But when the producers of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine were developing the series they thought they had found the perfect person to play the female second-in-command of the remote Federation station in the form of Michelle Forbes.

Forbes was winning plaudits at the time playing the Bajoran Ensign Ro in Season Five of the Next Generation. However, the actress turned down the role and headed for Hollywood, leaving the part vacant perilously close to the start of filming. Visitor, an alumnus of US daytime soaps, stepped in.

A fervently religious Bajoran national, Major Kira grew up fighting the Cardassian occupation of her native planet. From the age of twelve she was a member of the Bajoran resistance. Her attitude to the Cardassians hardened after her mother died of malnutrition, although she has gradually been able to recognise that not all Cardassians are as evil as their leaders. Becoming disillusioned with paramilitary tactics, Kira became Bajoran liaison to Deep Space Nine in 2369.

Suspicious of the Federation's motives in taking over the station, Kira's relationship with Captain Benjamin Sisko was initially strained. It remains ambivalent. Her faith in the Bajoran religion tells her that Sisko is the Emissary of the Bajoran Prophets, although she frequently regards her commanding officer with a mixture of awe and derision.

As Star Trek's most prominent Bajoran, Major Kira has honourably upheld Star Treks' tradition of cheap alien make-up, in this case three wrinkles on the upper nose.

Major Kira recently served as surrogate mother to Miles and Keiko O'Brien's baby daughter, a handy plot device to cover for Nana Visitor's own pregnancy. The actress is married to Alexander Siddig, who plays her co-star Dr Julian Bashir.

Odo Major Kira has also begun a faltering romance with Odo, who has apparently managed to tempt the feisty Bajoran back for some hanky panky in his bucket.

Key Kira Episodes: Emissary, Accession, The Maquis Part 1, Looking for Par'Mach in all the Wrong Places, The Begotten.

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