Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1995) -Past Tense: Part I, and Part II

Station log: stardate 48481.2

Robert Hewitt Wolfe pens this stellar episode from a story he developed with Ira Steven Behr. First broadcast on 2 January, 1995, the story follows Sisko (Avery Brooks), Bashir (Alexander Siddig) and Dax (Terry Farrell) as, thanks to a transporter accident while the Defiant is in orbit around Earth, end up in the 21st century, the year 2024, and find themselves living through one of the darkest times in human history.

Famed character actor, Dick Miller, has a role of one of the first people Sisko and Bashir meet upon waking in 2024, district security, and he plays out a great arc through the pair of episodes. There is talk of sanctuary districts, the homeless, the outlawing of sleeping outside, and the must of carrying identification at all times.

Dax fares a little better, and uses some know how to try to track down her friends, who find themselves trapped in the middle of a system that isn’t doesn’t to aid, but keep the ‘problem’ citizens off the street… but Sisko knows they need to get out now, because he knows his history, the Bell Riots are about to take place. Led by Gabriel Bell (John Lendale Bennett), the riots, and the events around them would finally begin to change the troubled and flawed social and justice systems of the United States.

Meanwhile, back in the 24th century, the crew of the Defiant try to find out when their missing crew is.

Despite not wanting to be caught up in events, the trio find themselves in the middle of everything… When Sisko and Bashir end up getting into a fight with some thugs, Bell comes to their aid, but ends up dead… throwing all of future history into jeopardy (which O’Brien (Colm Meaney), Kira (Nana Visitor) and Odo (Rene Auberjonois) witness the impact of).

Unless…

Sisko pretends to be Bell to keep things on track, including leading the riots. Which leads right into the cliffhanger ending.

siskopasttense
Station log: stardate unknown

Ira Steven Behr and Rene Echevarria pen the conclusion to this outstanding two-parter from a story by Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe. The episode is directed by Jonathan Frakes, and first aired on 9 January, 1995.

With Starfleet now non-existant in the 24th century, and the crew of the Defiant existing in a temporal bubble caused by the accident, Sisko, stuck in the 21st century, tries to take hold of the hostage situation, coming into conflict with Billie Coleridge (Frank Military) as he tries to keep violence and bloodshed to a minimum while keeping history on track.

I have to say, I do love the pairing of Bashir and Sisko in this episode, there is a nice dynamic between the two actors, and the story is completely engrossing.

There is some nice continuity and nods to Trek that has gone before. Clint Howard makes an appearance, his first Trek episode since The Corbomite Maneuver, and when Kira and O’Brien do a little time travelling in their attempt to find Sisko and Bashir, they end up in the 30s, (amongst other decades) and some of the signage and advertisements suggest that they are Earth at the same time as Kirk (William Shatner) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) during the events of The City on the Edge of Forever.

Sisko as Bell fights to make the changes that will revolutionise the 21st century. His passion for justice, and his moral integrity is on full display. When Dax finally reunites with the duo, they have a chance to jump start history, and make sure things happen they way they are supposed to.

When O’Brien and Kira find them, they are able to return to the 24th century, the Defiant, and a restored future, leaving them to wonder how we let things get so bad in the 21st century in the first place.

This, like the first part, is an exemplary episode, and makes for a fantastic watch, it may be my favourite of the series so far.

The Human Adventure continues next week as i continue with Season Three of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and begin my travels home with Star Trek: Voyager, both available as complete series DVD sets, available from Paramount Pictures.

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