Followers of Star Trek and Deep Space 9 in particular should be familiar with the character Cmd. Michael Eddington. A recurring character, the Star Fleet Security officer was stationed to DS9 after first contact with the Dominion. This was done in part to increase Starfleet control of the station’s security operations, as Starfleet did not have full confidence in the current security chief, Odo. Ironically it was Eddington who ended up being a traitor and causing the Federation issues.
Eddington, who became disillusioned with Starfleet and the Federation, and joined the Maquis, was created as a Canadian but played by New York actor Kenneth Marshall. After joining the staff at DS9, he worked closely with Odo. There was an incident where he was ordered by an admiral to sabotage the Defiant when Capt. Sisko disobeys orders, but then helps the crew to complete their mission. Eddington also saved the lives of Captain Sisko, Major Kira, Lt. Commander Dax, Chief O’Brien and Lt. Commander Worf on an occasion. But he would show his true colours and defect to the Maquis after hijacking some equipment meant to be sent to the Cardassians. He would soon rise to become their leader and would soon be established as Sisko’s nemesis.
Sisko would be hell bent on bringing Eddington to justice, more so because the latter was an officer under his command. He would try to uncover all Maquis operations to get Eddington in a cell but kept getting thwarted. Finally it was an uncharacteristic ‘villainous’ move by Sisko which helped him to bring the wayward Commander in – Sisko destroyed the atmosphere of a planet where the Maquis had established a colony and threatened to do the same to more. In order to spare the other Maquis worlds, Eddington turned over the remaining biogenic weapons and surrendered to Starfleet for court martial. In this move, Sisko was playing out a fantasy of Eddington’s – Eddington was particularly fond of the novel Les Misérables. He saw himself as the hero, Valjean, pursued by the inflexible policeman Javert, whom Eddington envisioned as his former commander, Benjamin Sisko.
In the final episode to feature the commander, Sisko enlists Eddington’s help to find a small planet in the Badlands that houses deadly missiles. It turned out to be a ruse to save a few Maquis survivors from the Jem’Hadar who had aso uncovered the base on the planet. Sisko & Eddington worked together to save the Maquis personnel, among whom was Rebacca Sullivan, Michael’s wife. The Maquis were saved but at the cost of Eddington; injured he stayed back to cover the escape of the rest of the humans. At the end of the episode, Sisko pays a tribute to his former chief of security to whom he had a grudging admiration.
Eddington would be one of the most intriguing recurring characters in Star Trek history. Who would want to leave the utopia of the Federation & of Earth in particular and defect to the deary living & hiding of the Maquis? Eddington was one of those who didn’t like the fact that the Federation was held back by diplomacy to side with the Cardassians against the Maquis who, according to him, had nobler reasons for fighting the Cardassians.
“I called him a traitor once, but in a way, he was the most loyal man I ever met. He was a Maquis, right up to the bitter end.”