Dax, as a result, had no patience for a young buck like Bashir, seeing through his flirty B.S. pretty quickly. Bashir’s crush on Dax would eventually wane, as the good doctor came to regard her as a friend and a co-worker. The crush would, however, pay off in the show’s seventh season, when Dax was killed and the symbiote was transferred into a character named Ezri (Nicole de Boer). Bashir and Ezri ended up falling in love. 

As for Bashir’s idealism, it would be constantly challenged by the slithery Garak (Andrew Robinson), a tailor and former spy who grinned while he lied. Bashir was fascinated by Garak and his loose interpretation of the truth, and the two formed a fast friendship that many fans consider a low-key romance. It was through Garak that Bashir learned there were no clear-cut answers, and that the idealism of Starfleet didn’t always function during turbulent times. Bashir still had principles, but he increasingly understood that those principles were rarely shared. 

And then there was a late-series twist that revealed that Bashir was illegally genetically manipulated by his parents while in utero. He is long-lived, extraordinarily intelligent, and has to hide the fact that he is physically fit beyond ordinary human standards. This twist, when revealed, showed that Bashir was posturing for his early career, putting on airs to hide his unfair genetic advantages.

Bashir was set up as a greenhorn, and presumably his youth was meant to carry his character through. The writers of “Deep Space Nine” acknowledged, however, that youth is not a permanent state, and that growth would be required. Bashir grew extraordinarily. 

Let’s hope the “Prodigy” kids can similarly grow up. And someone give Harry Kim a promotion, please.