In Deep Space Nine, we learn that Dr Bashir is

genetically engineered, like Khan

Due to the legal complexities of this, and he wants to hide his special talents, but in private why isn't he stronger and faster? There are many scenes where he gets his rear handed to him even though he is the only one around. Why is that?

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    Could you add some scenes you refer to? My memory of earlier seasons if a bit foggy. But as a general idea: Bashir spent his career being a doctor, not a fighter. No matter how your general reflexes and physical strength, practice matters! – Layna Jul 25 '17 at 6:11
  • “There are many scenes where he gets his rear handed to him even though he is the only one around.” Literally cannot think of one. He’s abducted by the Dominion, but as far as I remember that happens while he’s asleep. – Paul D. Waite Jul 25 '17 at 8:01
  • Before, there's an alien that beats him up while it's raiding his office for bio-mimetic gel – CBredlow Jul 25 '17 at 16:45
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    In the episode where the Trill tries to steal Dax' symbiont, Bashir is beaten up pretty badly. – Ham Sandwich Jul 25 '17 at 21:39

Dr. Bashir was genetically enhanced, but not in the same way as Khan was. Bashir was subjected to a very specific procedure, Accelerated Critical Neural Pathway Formation, not to engineer a superman but to (over)compensate for his slow mental development as child.

At age six, Bashir was small, not very bright, and a bit physically awkward for his age. In the first grade, while the other children were learning how to read and write and use a computer, Julian was still trying to tell a dog from a cat and a tree from a house.
The focus of his "enhancements" were to increase his mental abilities and as such, his IQ jumped five points a day for over two weeks. Further treatments led to improvements in his hand-eye coordination, reflexes, vision, stamina, height, and weight.


We know from various episodes that it also gave him a photographic memory, a resistance to Romulan mind probes (DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges"), and the ability to consciously control many of his bodily processes, such as blood pressure (DS9: "Extreme Measures").

Since his strength and speed were presumably "normal", his parents would not have been as motivated to artificially enhance them. These enhancements would also have probably been much easier to detect, increasing their risk of incarceration.

  • If he was immune to the probes and so highly resistant, why was he susceptible to the aphasia virus? – CBredlow Jul 25 '17 at 6:44
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    @CBredlow Bashir demonstrated a resistance to having his brain scanned by technology, not to having his brain infected by a virus. He'd need to have an enhanced immune system for that. – ApproachingDarknessFish Jul 25 '17 at 6:56
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    I used the Khan example because they say in the episode he's revealed they say "For every Julian Bashir, there's a Khan Noonien Singh" – CBredlow Jul 25 '17 at 16:46
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    @CBredlow Both have been engineered to have exceptional abilities, and both let it get to their heads to a certain extent, but it doesn't mean they received the same enhancements. – ApproachingDarknessFish Jul 25 '17 at 23:51

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