Julian Bashir

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Character
Name: Julian Bashir
Occupation: Starfleet Doctor
Relationships: romantic relationship with Ezri Dax; friends with Jadzia Dax, Miles O'Brien and Elim Garak.
Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Other: Memory Alpha entry.
Julian on cover of Salutatorian 1, by Stephani D. Etmanski
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Dr. Julian Bashir is one of the main characters in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, played by Alexander Siddig. He is Deep Space Nine's Chief Medical Officer.

In Canon

Bashir starts out as a TNG-like character: young, brilliant, oversexed & over-enthusiastic, far more naive and idealistic than most of the rest of DS9's staff. He even has a teddy bear, called Kukalaka. Later, he is revealed to have been genetically engineered as a child. Many fans assume this means that his naivete in earlier outings was just a facade, but this assumption is not required by the retcon.

Aside from Kukalaka, his closest associates on the station are the polar opposites, Miles O'Brien & Elim Garak -- the one "plain and simple", the other (despite his protestations) anything but. Julian has a classic buddies relationship with the married Miles, featuring beer, darts and frequent trips down the holosuites to refight the Battle of the Alamo. On the other hand, you don't need slash goggles to see that Garak flirts with him constantly. He also has an enduring friendship with Jadzia Dax, which features unrequited love or lust on his side. In the final season he gets to hook up with Ezri Dax, in a move which was not popular with many fans.

Fan Perspectives

2000

Gabrielle Lawson wrote:

I write about Julian Bashir. He intrigued me right from the start, even when I had to cover my eyes because he was being such a dork in the beginning. I saw his potential. And I think they, the PTB, were fairly successful in having him explore that potential. He grew out of being a dork and became a very popular and fairly well developed character. Fairly well? you ask. Well, yeah. I may be biased, but I think they could have done more.

[snipped]

Julian Bashir's history was slowly unfolded after 7 years of DS9, so my picture of him evolved as we learned more. This is where I ended up. Julian Bashir is a caring person, an idealist, someone who could never be "turned to the dark side of the force." He's a Good Guy, without question. He lives and breathes medicine. He is a doctor. That is his identity, not just his profession.

He had a hard childhood, first with his intellectual inabilities then with peer problems after he was enhanced. It's not easy being the smartest kid in class. It often leaves you lonely, outside the circle. Makes you a little awkward in social settings. Then at 15, which is hard enough, he learns he's a monster. Yes, a monster, because Julian Bashir learned about Khan in school, just like everyone else. He thought the same things everyone else did about genetically enhanced people. So he found out he was one. That's got to mess a person up. He thinks he's less-than-human, a freak, and a fraud. But he goes to med. school anyway. Love of medicine too great for the law? That's my guess. He goes anyway. And maybe he pays penance by screwing up the preganglionic thing and not being valedictorian. He beats himself up for his mistakes, not because he's arrogant, but because he believes he "shouldn't" make those mistakes. Someone designed him to be smarter. He doesn't have the excuse of saying he's just human.

He is forgiving as well, for the most part. He doesn't press charges on people when he could (O'Brien in "Hippocratic Oath" and Worf in "Afterimage"). He hides his truest feelings from others, not showing his hurt when he's hurt or his anger. He very rarely really gets angry (not out of righteous indignation). The only time we really saw him angry was when his parents showed up. And family can do that to anyone.

[snipped]

...let's move on to the successes in the show. Season 1, there were few. But they were there. Even in the first episode. One thing I loved about Bashir right from the beginning was "The Voice". He could make anyone obey him. Odo in the premier, an invading Klingon in "Invasive Procedures", a soldier pointing a gun to his (Bashir's chest) in "Battle Lines". Nothing stood between this man and his patients. That stood out and it didn't let go through seven years. This man is a DOCTOR. But he was also naive and arrogant. Or maybe not..... Years later we learn his secret, the genetic enhancement, and looking back, it explains so much of his behavior. He hid his real superiority behind arrogance, when he really had a very low self-image.

Bashir grew from the first season on, lost some of his annoyingness and became very likable. Jadzia said once, "You're a dear man, Julian Bashir." She was right. They, the PTB, made him that way and did a good job of it. But they also made him strong. He could carry a weapon as well as a medical kit. They made him funny, without always making fun of him. They made him smart in other other areas, engineering for example. He fixed a broken computer in "Battle Lines". He was a good athlete as well, captain of his racquetball team in med school. And he was surprisingly wise at times, like in "The House of Quark" when he gives O'Brien marriage advice.

They did a lot of bad things to him, but never broke him. He changed, grew darker, but never dark. Julian Bashir was still the Good Guy (with the exception of the much debated Extreme Measures -- which I say, he intended to not be a Good Guy but was actually preempted from DOING anything bad by Sloan's suicide).

Two of the best things they did to explore Julian Bashir were 1) making him genetically enhanced and 2) Section 31 (Sloan was the perfect "anti-Bashir"). [1]

2010

Blossom Morphine wrote:

The writers created him to be an imperfect character, someone who would grow throughout his time on the station instead of starting out being the perfect officer. Bashir was brilliant, beautiful, kind, and wanted adventure. He fancied himself someone capable of handling any situation, and was very talented in many areas, both physically and mentally, but socially inept. He was by no means a pure character, but he was still rather naive, especially for being part of a military organization, not to mention a little arrogant. [2]

Butterfly wrote:

Julian Bashir seems simple in the beginning, too -- he's the brash young doctor with too many brains and not enough sense. But as the years pass, his bravado is shown to be true bravery, and his arrogance to be as much façade as truth. He chose to be a doctor, chose to make saving lives his life's work. He chose to work not in the heart of the Federation, but on what he thought would be on the outskirts, what he assumed would be an unimportant space station. [3]

2011

The revelation of Bashir's genetic enhancements had a mixed reception among fans. Some felt betrayed by the change, while others welcomed the complexity it brought to the character or felt it explained earlier contradictions in his character. Regann wrote:

[T]he genetic enhancement arc, though handled clumsily, was the saving grace for the Bashir character, who had been written so unevenly and sporadically throughout the five seasons before it, a complicated mess of contradicting traits that didn't add up. But then they did, because we knew that there was two Bashirs -- the public persona he created and the Julian inside, dealing with the deception his life was built on. There may even be three Bashirs, if we count the un-enhanced "Jules" in our tally. [4]

In Fandom

Bashir is one of the most popular characters on the series. In a 1995 poll including all Trek characters, he was the highest ranked DS9 character and one of only three DS9 characters to reach the top ten, coming in at number seven.[5] He's also very popular with fanwriters; nostalgia writes that he's easily ... the most-written character by far.[6] According to her, he's also commonly held to be Trek's only bisexual character,[6] and he certainly lives up to that reputation in fanfiction. Given Bashir's mixed-race heritage,[7] his popularity perhaps runs counter to the perceived fannish bias against non-Caucasian characters.

In slash, he's most frequently paired with Garak; Garak/Bashir is by far the most common slash pairing in the DS9 fandom and is still being written. There's also a large following for the buddies coupling of Bashir/O'Brien (aka BOBslash), which also includes threesomes and love triangles featuring Miles' wife, Keiko and/or Garak. BOBslash generally tends to lie on the vignette end of the spectrum, while G/B inspires anything from drabbles to novels. Bashir also gets slashed with characters from other Trek series, especially Tom Paris.

In the fandom's heyday, there was also an almost equally prominent strand of het which pairs him with Jadzia (usually referred to as Julian/Jadzia to distinguish it from the pairing with Ezri Dax). Bashir/Ezri did not find favour among fanwriters, and tends to appear only to be repudiated in favour of the author's favourite brand of slash. Ezri gets to die heroically a fair bit as well.

Gen fiction about the character is also very common, and is often angsty. Nostalgia lists awful epic Bashir Torture in which the good doctor is beaten raped by wolves as one of the main DS9 cliches.[6] Other topics include his genetically engineered status and his interactions with Section 31.

Fanon & Tropes

  • Autistic Julian: Very common fanon in the newer wave of DS9 fans. Fans point to his social awkwardness and the genetic enhancement plotline.
  • Foot Fetish: Due to a throwaway canon line about his previous girlfriend, Palis Delon, having the most remarkable feet, some fans headcanon Bashir as having a foot fetish.
  • Trans Julian: Although still a minority, there is a not insignificant amount of transfic of Bashir. Some fans cite a line in canon that implies he could carry Keiko O'Brien's baby.

Example Fanworks

Fanfiction

Slash

Het

  • A Dead End, by dilly -- Julian/Ezri short that dissects the relationship
  • Intifada, by nostalgia -- dark vignette; Julian/Ezri
  • examples of Julian/Jadzia required

Gen

Fanzines

Bashir-focused anthology zines include:

Garak/Bashir

Nonfiction

Newsletters focusing on Alexander Siddig, the actor who portrayed Bashir:

Additional Art Gallery

Meta/Further Reading

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Archives

Author Sites

Fanclubs

Resources

Canon Resources

References

  1. ^ from Writers and Writing (2000)
  2. ^ Ship Manifesto: Especially the Lies: Garak/Bashir (accessed 7 October 2011)
  3. ^ Ship Manifesto: Julian Bashir/Miles O'Brien (accessed 7 October 2011)
  4. ^ Liars Make the Best Lovers (Garak/Bashir, DS9) (accessed 7 October 2011)
  5. ^ Brenda S. Antrim 'Netchatter', in Multi-Species Medicine #18
  6. ^ a b c Crack Van Overview: DS9 - TrekCrack for Grown Ups (accessed 7 October 2011)
  7. ^ His mother, Amsha Bashir, was played by Fadwa El Guindi, who is Egyptian by birth[1], his father, Richard Bashir, by Brian George, who has part Indian heritage[2], and Siddig himself is half Sudanese[3]