Despite being billed as Star Trek's first show set on a space station, Deep Space Nine put the "Trek" back into its premise with the introduction of the USS Defiant, a warship built to give the station a fighting chance against some new enemies and a boost in the ratings.
The Defiant debuted in DS9's season three opener, commissioned by the show's creators to defend against the series' new, unstoppable villains, the Jem'Hadar. The ship instantly made fans sit up and notice the show again and created a dividing line in the series – there was the quiet, unassuming Deep Space Nine before the Defiant, and the ass-kicking Deep Space Nine post-Defiant.
In honor of her service (twice) in the Dominion War, here are ten secrets and little known facts about Deep Space Nine's tough little ship: The USS Defiant, NX-74205.
10. A Giant Runabout
In the run up to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's third season premiere, the design process of the show's new warship began under the guidance of production designer Herman Zimmerman by exploring ways to use the existing runabout set.
Described by concept artist Jim Martin as a "beefed-up runabout", early sketches for the warship (before it had a name) were heavily inspired by DS9's usual compliment of support craft. Martin produced several concepts for the ship, all retaining the basic configuration of the standard Danube-class runabout, but with equipment and technology added to the superstructure, "making it look like they were adding systems and weapons to an existing ship."
Ultimately this direction was abandoned and the runabout on steroids idea was rejected, leading the writers and producers to opt for a "full fledged" starship: The USS... Valiant.