I was rewatching DS9 recently and I realized that, in light of Bashir's genetically modified status.

For example, his statement

[Doctors] seemed to know everything. It was as if they held the power of life and death in their hands. I used to think that if I didn't behave, they'd make sure I got sick. Then as I got older, I decided that I wanted to know what they knew, be as smart as they were DS9 : Equilibrium

seems to be foreshadowing the fact that he was heavily treated by the doctors who genetically modified him early in life.

Another problem was the way everyone seemed to treat Bashir with annoyance, which seems fairly similar to the way other genetically modified people behave in Star Trek.

I have two questions

  1. Is this foreshadowing (out of universe) of Bashir's status?
  2. If so, are there other instances?
  • 5
    Childhood fear of doctors is a common thing, heavy handed or not. And Bashir Was a young, chipper, sassy, know it all. That always annoys people
    – user16696
    Mar 3, 2015 at 22:18
  • My name is Bashir and I was not genetically modified :) Mar 4, 2015 at 9:05
  • 5
    There’s that moment somewhere in season 2 when Quark brings him the wrong drink and he mutters “From hell’s heart, I stab at theeeeee...” Mar 4, 2015 at 10:43
  • 1
    "everyone seemed to treat Bashir with annoyance" Sometimes, people are just annoying to other people. Frankly, it's a good thing that both the audience and the characters feel the same here.
    – Zibbobz
    Mar 4, 2015 at 15:08
  • 1
    Isn't is a point of plot earlier that he's 1st or 2nd in his class, but he decides to take the position at DS9 to be "on the frontier". So it was at least established that he's near the best of the best. Mar 4, 2015 at 15:47

2 Answers 2



As stated on the Memory-Alpha page for Bashir in the Background Information:

Making Bashir genetically engineered in "Doctor Bashir, I Presume" was a last-minute decision. As Ira Steven Behr explains, "at the time we were working on "In Purgatory's Shadow" and "By Inferno's Light", we had no idea that Bashir would turn out to be genetically engineered... even though it was the very next episode..."

Alexander Siddig was not happy about this sudden development in his character: "I didn't know about it on Tuesday, and on Thursday the script arrived – we started shooting on Friday. I was so shocked. You know you get the impression that maybe the producers sit down and talk about strategies and character arcs with actors but this thing came out of the blue and pissed me off so royally." Siddig interpreted the change as an attempt to turn his character into Data, a tendency which he fought against by deliberately playing any "Data-esque" lines badly. ref

That last bit is interesting. Because I always thought when Bashir was acting the genetically modified doctor, his lines were delivered flat and unconvincing.



According to an interview with DS9 writer Jimmy Diggs in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, the concept of Julian Bashir being a genetically modified human was something that was invented in Season 5, specifically for the episode Dr. Bashir, I presume.

Since the episode you're referring to happened in season 4, we can safely say that the answer to your question (was there foreshadowing prior to this) is a definite no. That also goes for the way in which Bashir was treated by the other crewmen he encounters.

"Up to this point in the show [Dr. Bashir, I presume], Bashir's background was a big question mark," says [Jimmy] Diggs... "Bashir's background was layered in a fog, which made him incredibly intriguing. So here we had a chance to delve into that background. There was a feeling that he was a very private individual, which meant that it would be interesting to put him into an embarrassing situation."

"I kept saying, 'What's the secret of Bashir's past? What's the thing that this guy, Zimmerman, is going to find that's so interesting?'" says [Ron] Moore. "I remember that Rene and I started talking about genetics, and Rene pointed out that genetic engineering is one of the things that is oddly missing in the Star Trek universe... in Star Trek it's virtually never discussed, aside from the fact that there was this thing called the Eugenics Wars at some point, and Khan came out of it."

"And then Ron just had this bolt of inspiration," says Echevarria. "What if Bashir had been genetically engineered?"

  • 3
    There are a handful of times in early DS9 where you'd expect Bashir to use his enhanced capabilities, sometimes covertly to maintain his secret, and he doesn't. Such a retcon.
    – user1027
    Mar 4, 2015 at 13:45

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