Structure and functions
The Promenade comprised a large multi-level public space, with broad circular walkways extending in a full 360º ring around the upper levels of the station's central core. The upper and lower levels of the Promenade housed shops and station facilities accessible from the public walkways, and the upper level also provided a stunning view of the Bajoran wormhole and surrounding space through a series of tall viewports. Spiral staircases linked the various levels of the Promenade.
Decoration was provided by colored banners hung from the ceiling, and the lower thoroughfare featured a fish tank, alien plant life and the skeleton of a strange alien creature (possibly a Cardassian fish).
As a major thoroughfare, many visitors and station inhabitants progressed through the Promenade on their way from the docking pylons, docking ring and habitat ring to the central core. Several airlocks provided pedestrian access to the Promenade from the docking and habitat rings, and numerous turbolifts linked the Promenade to all other parts of the station. As young boys, Jake Sisko and Nog often passed time perched on the edge of the Promenade's upper level, watching passengers of various ships disembarking at the airlocks below. Before Nog left to attend Starfleet Academy, he joked to Jake that they had spent 2,147 hours there. (DS9: "Little Green Men") They were often moved on by Security Chief Odo, though he later revealed to Jake that it was Nog (rather than Jake) that he was chasing away. (DS9: "Shattered Mirror")
The Promenade also served as the primary public meeting place on Deep Space 9, offering places to congregate and socialize, sit, eat, drink, play games, worship and shop. A number of essential station facilities were situated on the Promenade, including the security office, the infirmary, the Bajoran temple, and the assay office. (DS9: "Q-Less") There was also an information kiosk. (DS9: "Crossfire")
Odo's security office and the station's holding cells were located just off the Promenade, and he kept a close eye on the area's goings on. Odo did not allow weapons on the Promenade, and the airlocks leading to it had built-in weapon detectors. (DS9: "Emissary", "Captive Pursuit") The station's inhabitants were not allowed to sleep on the Promenade, and Odo scolded barfly Morn for doing so on one of the Promenade's couches on at least one occasion. (DS9: "Rules of Acquisition") Station Regulation 1526, Paragraph 7, prohibited fund raising on the Promenade without a license, under which authority Odo arrested Vedek Solis in 2374. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")
Odo took great pleasure in enforcing station regulations upon Quark, no matter how petty. In 2374, Odo forced Quark to remove a new set of expensive backless bar stools because they infringed Station Regulation 2562, Paragraph 4 ("All furniture intended for use on the Promenade must not pose a danger to public safety"), and he also told Quark that one of his Dabo wheels infringed Station Regulation 4721. (DS9: "The Sound of Her Voice")
The Promenade was a thriving commercial area. There were numerous retail outlets, including a range of shops and kiosks selling crafts and decorative items. Garak's Clothiers was among them. The businesses on the Promenade were collectively represented by the Promenade Merchants' Association, of which Quark was a member. (DS9: "Call to Arms")
Quark's Bar, Grill, Gaming House and Holosuite Arcade (commonly known simply as "Quark's") was one of the largest and most popular attractions on the Promenade, and was centrally located with entryways on all levels. Quark's provided commercial holosuites and various gambling tables, as well as a fully-stocked bar, freshly-made food and several replicators. A rival bar and gaming establishment, Club Martus, operated briefly in 2370. (DS9: "Rivals")
Other dining choices included a Klingon restaurant serving fresh Klingon delicacies, a Bajoran restaurant called the Celestial Cafe, and the Replimat, a quiet area with several tables and food replicators. A Bolian restaurant opened in 2372, and by that year there also was a Vulcan restaurant. (DS9: "Crossfire", "Indiscretion") A kiosk selling Bajoran jumja sticks also operated on the Promenade.
The Promenade featured a free-standing directory that listed the shops and offices located there. The directory was written in six languages: English, Vulcan, Klingon, Ferengi, Bajoran and Cardassian.
- The directory appeared on the Promenade beginning with Season 2. The DS9 art department incorporated numerous jokes and references in the directory's listings, including "Jupiter Mining Corporation" and "Diva Droid" (both references to Red Dwarf, being the company that operated the ship Red Dwarf and the company that built the service droid Kryten respectively), "Milliways" (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), "Spacely Sprockets" (The Jetsons), "Del Floria's Tailor Shop" (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), and "Chez Zimmerman" (a reference to Herman Zimmerman, the show's production designer and the man responsible for much of the look of the Promenade set).
- The following version of the directory is reproduced from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion:
Prior to the withdrawal of Cardassian forces at the end of the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor in 2369, the Promenade, and indeed the station, was a very different place. Under the name "Terok Nor", the station served as a refinery for uridium ore, and the Promenade was often strewn with exhausted Bajorans who worked in the station's ore processing center, or who had managed to escape to the station seeking refuge from the labor camps and uridium mines of the planet below. Few could afford private accommodation and most were dirty and hungry. The Promenade was divided by a gated fence that caged the Bajorans into a squalid ghetto area, and armed Cardassian officers patrolled the upper and lower levels to maintain order. The atmosphere was smoggy and the lighting poor.
Several recognizable Promenade facilities existed during the Occupation, including Quark's, the Bajoran temple and the Security Office. There was also a chemist's shop. Quark sometimes hired Bajorans to perform menial tasks, and he sold black market goods to anyone who could pay.
The Security Office was inhabited for part of the Occupation by a Cardassian Chief of Security named Thrax. He was succeeded by Odo, who was appointed by Gul Dukat to investigate the murder of the proprietor of the chemist's shop. Prior to this, Odo had become trusted by the Bajorans on the station to act as an impartial arbitrator in resolving petty disputes. Dukat assigned the Security Office space for him to use. The Cardassians were known to publicly execute Bajorans on the Promenade in order to serve as examples to their fellow countrymen and discourage disobedience. Dukat would often walk the Promenade to make his presence even more oppressively felt, and would choose Bajoran females to serve as comfort women for him and his officers; there were numerous attempts on his life during such walks, though none succeeded.
The Bajoran Resistance operated on the station during the Occupation. One covert method of arranging a meeting with a Resistance operative was to peruse the market stalls in the Bajoran sector of the Promenade and turn over a vase displayed there so that its base was facing upward. This signal was operated for years right under the Cardassians' noses. (DS9: "Necessary Evil", "Things Past", "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night")
Suspected collaborator Prylar Bek took his own life by hanging himself on the Promenade soon after the Kendra Valley Massacre during the Occupation, his suicide forming part of a political cover-up to protect the then Kai, Opaka. (DS9: "The Collaborator")
Transition to Federation control
In 2369 the Cardassians withdrew from Bajor, and Starfleet took over the operation of Terok Nor, rechristening it Deep Space 9. The departing Cardassian officers ravaged the station before they left, and the Promenade was heavily damaged. Four Bajorans were killed trying to protect their shops. New station commander Benjamin Sisko persuaded Quark to stay on the station and re-open his bar, and soon afterwards the Promenade was transformed into a bustling, happy, thriving place, filled with laughter and music. Within weeks, numerous shops and restaurants had opened, and, with the consent of Commander Sisko, Keiko O'Brien opened a school there for the station's children. (DS9: "Emissary", "A Man Alone")
Conflict and protest
Unfortunately, the Promenade was the scene of numerous scenes of violence and discord over the years, as well as several deaths and suicides.
An angry mob protested outside the Security Office in 2369, demanding that Odo be tried for the murder of a Bajoran man named Ibudan. (DS9: "A Man Alone") Later the same year, survivors of the Bajoran labor camp Gallitep gathered outside the Security Office while Aamin Marritza (whom they mistakenly believed was the notorious war criminal Gul Darhe'el) was being held there. Kainon, a Bajoran petty criminal, later stabbed Marritza to death on the Promenade after he was released. (DS9: "Duet") Weeks later, the schoolroom was destroyed by an explosion after Vedek Winn Adami publicly criticized the secular teachings of Keiko O'Brien. Neela, a member of the station's Bajoran engineering crew, subsequently disabled the weapon detectors on the Promenade and staged a failed attempt to assassinate Vedek Bareil Antos when he came to the destroyed schoolroom to promote understanding and co-operation. (DS9: "In the Hands of the Prophets")
When the Alliance for Global Unity took over the station in early 2370, the Promenade was one of the locations where Starfleet personnel fought the Alliance to regain control of the station. (DS9: "The Siege") Later that year, Odo was lured into a trap formed from force fields on the Promenade so that he could be purged of a gas that had pervaded his body and caused him to lose control. (DS9: "The Alternate")
In 2371, Elim Garak detonated a micro-explosive device in his shop to blow it up, as a way of dragging Odo into an investigation into the assassination of a number of his former associates from the Obsidian Order. (DS9: "Improbable Cause") The shop was subsequently rebuilt.
During the First Battle of Deep Space 9 in 2372, the Promenade was boarded by Klingon troops armed with disruptors and bat'leths. Bajoran and Starfleet security officers fought them off. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior") Later that year, Vedek Porta murdered one of his fellow Vedeks, Imutta, on the Promenade by pushing him from the upper level, after the Bajorans briefly returned to a caste system and Imutta refused to return to his family caste. (DS9: "Accession")
Jadzia Dax was critically injured by Dukat in the Bajoran temple in 2374 while the latter was under the influence of a Pah-wraith. Jadzia later died in the infirmary, though the Dax symbiont was saved. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")
The Changeling Laas caused considerable disruption in 2375 when he assumed the form of fog and expanded to fill the floor of the Promenade. During a subsequent confrontation with a Klingon officer about the incident, Laas formed a long metallic sword to defend himself from attack and killed the Klingon by stabbing him. Quark told Odo that the height of the Dominion War was "no time for a Changeling pride demonstration on the Promenade." (DS9: "Chimera")
Being at the center of the station's civilian activities and the location of the Bajoran temple, the Promenade inevitably became a focus of Bajoran religious activity. The Bajoran Gratitude Festival was celebrated in and around the Promenade on at least two occasions. (DS9: "Fascination", "Tears of the Prophets")
The famous Bajoran poet Akorem Laan gave a speech on the Promenade advocating a return to the Bajoran caste system following his emergence from the wormhole and brief claim to be the true Emissary of the Prophets in 2372. (DS9: "Accession") While experiencing a series of prophetic sacred visions in 2373, Benjamin Sisko walked through crowds of Bajorans on the Promenade who had come to receive advice from the Emissary. (DS9: "Rapture") The following year, Kai Winn Adami flooded the Promenade with chroniton particles in order to drive out a Prophet (inhabiting the body of Kira Nerys) and a Pah-wraith (inhabiting the body of Jake Sisko) that were locked in a battle there that threatened to destroy the station. Winn believed that her actions would avert the Reckoning, the prophesied Bajoran apocalypse. (DS9: "The Reckoning") The Pah-wraiths re-emerged in 2375, and following the collapse of the Bajoran wormhole and the disappearance of the Prophets, groups of Bajorans linked to the Cult of the Pah-wraiths began to congregate and chant on the Promenade. (DS9: "Image in the Sand")
Gatherings and celebrations
The Promenade served as the primary communal social space on the station, and played host to a range of public performances and gatherings. A zero-gravity tumbling performance was staged there in 2373, (DS9: "The Begotten") and Quark's sometimes featured live music (DS9: "Sanctuary") or one of Quark's auctions. (DS9: "Q-Less", "In the Cards") Jadzia Dax and Worf's wedding ceremony was performed in Quark's in 2374, (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited") and the "End of the war/Farewell" party was held in Vic Fontaine's lounge in one of Quark's holosuites in 2375. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
Several important political addresses were made on the Promenade, including a speech given by Li Nalas following his return from the Hutet labor camp in 2370 (DS9: "The Homecoming"), and an appearance by First Minister Shakaar Edon in 2372. (DS9: "Crossfire")
In 2372 of an alternate timeline created when Benjamin Sisko was killed aboard the USS Defiant, Sisko's memorial service was held on the Promenade. This timeline was erased from existence by subsequent action by the alternate Jake Sisko. (DS9: "The Visitor")
The Promenade was overrun with tribbles in 2373, after Captain Sisko and his crew accidentally brought at least one of the creatures back from a time-traveling visit to the tribble-infested Deep Space Station K-7 of 2268. (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")
- It was never explained how the tribbles were removed from Deep Space 9.
As Dominion forces flooded into the Alpha Quadrant in late 2373, the crew of Deep Space 9 laid a field of self-replicating mines around the entrance to the wormhole to stop any more Dominion ships from coming through. Their actions triggered the Second Battle of Deep Space 9, during which Starfleet withdrew from the station and abandoned it to the Dominion. (DS9: "Call to Arms") Dukat once again renamed the station Terok Nor, and it remained under Cardassian-Dominion control for around five months.
Most civilians were evacuated from the station during this time, and this, combined with the presence of large numbers of Jem'Hadar soldiers, gave the Promenade a much more militaristic ambiance. However, Quark's remained open and most other services on the Promenade were relatively unaffected by the change from Federation to Dominion control. It was certainly a far cry from the Promenade of Terok Nor during the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor, so much so that Quark remarked:
- "Look around. Do you see any ghetto fences dividing the Promenade? Or exhausted Bajoran slave laborers sprawled on the ground after a grueling day in the ore processing center? Do you hear the cries of starving children? I don't... all I'm saying is: things could be a lot worse."
Odo's Bajoran security personnel were taken away, prompting him to reveal that he felt useless and couldn’t even patrol the Promenade. However, Kira persuaded him to exert his influence over Weyoun to get the Vorta to reinstate his deputies. (DS9: "A Time to Stand")
Vedek Yassim felt so strongly that Dominion occupation of the station should be opposed that she tied a noose around her own neck and jumped from the upper level of the Promenade, hanging herself in public protest. Yassim's suicide prompted Kira to form a resistance movement on the station, and Quark's was later the scene of a massive brawl between Cardassian and Jem'Hadar officers triggered by the covert actions of the resistance. (DS9: "Rocks and Shoals", "Behind the Lines")
The abandoned Cardassian station Empok Nor, essentially a duplicate of Terok Nor, also had a promenade. The promenade on Empok Nor was of similar overall layout and design, with multiple levels and a large central space akin to Quark's on Deep Space 9. There was also an infirmary. Numerous members of Chief O'Brien's work crew were killed and strung up on the promenade on Empok Nor during an engineering expedition in 2373. A group of Ferengi, including Quark, Rom and Nog, later arranged a prisoner exchange on Empok Nor's promenade in order to rescue Ishka from the Dominion. Dukat established a base for the Cult of the Pah-wraiths on Empok Nor's promenade in 2375. (DS9: "Empok Nor", "The Magnificent Ferengi", "Covenant")
- It could be assumed that the design shared by Terok Nor and Empok Nor was a standard Cardassian station design and that other stations of this type might have existed, also with promenades. The promenade on Empok Nor was, of course, a redress of the existing Deep Space 9 Promenade set.
- While Deep Space Nine was in development in 1992, executive producers Rick Berman and Michael Piller wrote a detailed treatment of various planned aspects of the series including the overall premise, backstory, locations and characters that would be brought to life. In this series "bible" the Promenade was described as follows:
- "One aspect of life on the space station hasn't changed since the departure of the Cardassians. During their tenure, they sold commercial concessions to the highest bidder to provide services to the mining crews. The result is the Promenade... unlike any space interior ever seen on STAR TREK. It's somewhere between a free port and a flea market, bustling with aliens of all sorts when a ship's in... intruiging and unusual characters at every bend. There's gambling and smuggling... alien grifters at work here... bars with sexual holosuites upstairs... right next to traditional ship's stores, a Bajoran temple and a kiosk serving live food." (The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
- Originally, there was to be a monorail running through the Promenade, but this idea, although very popular, was considered too expensive, and the monorail was replaced by standard turbolifts.
- In-keeping with the idea that Deep Space 9 was a western in space, Herman Zimmerman says of the Promenade, "It was basically like a western town. The simile is pretty easy. We had the doctor's office, we had the sheriff's office in the security office, and we had the town saloon in Quark's. We also had a restaurant, and we had several indie openings; one has been a church on occasion, the Bajoran temple. We also had the school and the classroom." (Deep Space Nine: A Bold Beginning, DS9 Season 1 DVD, Special Features).
- The Promenade was the largest permanent set ever constructed for Star Trek. One third of the Promenade's supposed total length was built for filming on Paramount's Stage 17, and this one set occupied the entire sound stage for all seven years of Deep Space Nine's run. The set was three stories high and stretched in a 120º arc from the Replimat at one end around Quark's to the school room/Garak's shop at the other, and also included the sets for the security office and the infirmary. The interior of the Bajoran temple and holding cells sets were constructed separately. (The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) The Promenade was the first internal Deep Space 9 location seen in the pilot episode, and was the last one seen in the series finale. (DS9: "Emissary", "What You Leave Behind")
- Although the Promenade set was built prior to the start of filming for the pilot episode, due to budgetary constraints parts of the upper level remained unfinished until the hiatus between the first and second seasons. According to production designer Herman Zimmerman, "We initially had finished only the window side of the second level. On the side with Quark's bar, there was just a blank wall. So we put a walkway over there and finished the entire area, with two turbolift entrances and two doorways to who-knows-where, and a second level access to Quark's."
- The Promenade set included one of only three known "functional" turbolifts to ever appear on a Star Trek television spinoff, located near the entrance to Quark's Bar (with the other two built into the station's Ops set). This was only depicted once, in DS9 (as QUark is protesting to Sisko the latter's decision to allow Martus Mazur to establish his own gambling establishment on the Promenade.
- Zimmerman also had eighteen inches of extra space added to each side of the crossover walkways, allowing directors to stage "walk and talks" on the second level more easily. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) The unfinished side can be seen on screen in several first season episodes, most notably in "Babel".
- A fold-out section at the back of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual presented an illustrated plan of the complete Promenade. The section seen on the TV series was designated "Main Floor North"; various shops and establishments from the Promenade directory were used to populate the unseen side of the Promenade, designated "Main Floor South".
- An interesting directorial device was used towards the end of the episode "In the Hands of the Prophets" to make the Promenade look longer than the one-third section built for the standing set. When Neela is dragged away for firing a phaser at Bareil, the camera is stationed next to the schoolroom looking up the Promenade towards the Bajoran temple; as Kira moves toward the camera to confront Winn, a cut to a reverse angle now has the camera stationed at the Replimat end looking down the Promenade towards the Security Office. In this way, the Promenade set could be made to look like it continued on past the schoolroom to more shops and facilities.
- Scenic art supervisor Michael Okuda examined parts of the Promenade set in the "Inside DS9" special feature on the DS9 Season 5 DVD.
Appearances outside Deep Space Nine
- Parts of the Promenade were seen in TNG: "Birthright, Part I" (in which Alexander Siddig also guest-starred as Julian Bashir), and in VOY: "Caretaker" (in which Armin Shimerman made a cameo appearance as Quark).
- The Star Trek: The Experience attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel has an area of gift shops styled after the Promenade, and a restaurant loosely modeled on Quark's.
- The Promenade was recreated as a series of navigable 2-dimensional images for the video game Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Harbinger. It was later recreated as a highly detailed, fully three-dimensional environment for the video game Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Fallen, with the player free to run around the lower and upper levels of the Promenade section seen on the TV series as well as into Quark's, the security office, Garak's Clothiers, the Bajoran temple, the infirmary, and the school room.