Sunday, April 15, 2012

TWITrek Character Insight No. 1: Captain Benjamin Sisko

This is the first in a series of "Character Insight" Articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe.  Pending approval, an audio version will also appear on the This Week In Trek podcast.
Welcome to Character Insight, a segment honoring the remarkable characters of the Star Trek universe.  In episode 1, our character is Captain Benjamin Sisko, the commanding officer on the Deep Space 9 television series.

Sisko is the commanding officer of Deep Space 9, a station strategically positioned next to the Bajoran wormhole leading to the Gamma quadrant.  Sisko transforms during Deep Space 9 from a bitter man lamenting the loss of his wife Jennifer at the Battle of Wolf 359, to a military mastermind that turns the tide in favor of the Federation in the Dominion War.

Compared to other contemporary captains Jean-Luc Picard and Kathryn Janeway, Sisko proves more willing to act in a Machiavellian manner to achieve his objectives in dire circumstances.  The most notable example of this is when Sisko lies and obstructs justice to bring the Romulan Empire into the Dominion War to turn the tide for the Federation in the episode "In the Pale Moonlight" (featured this week in This Week in Trek).

Sisko's personal interests include cooking creole food and a love of the ancient game of baseball.  Sisko keeps a baseball on his desk and leaves the baseball there when he intends to return to Deep Space Nine, most notably when the Cardassians and Dominion take the station temporarily during the Dominion War.

Sisko also serves a unique role compared to other Star Trek captains as a result of discovering the Bajoran wormhole and becoming the Emissary of the Prophets, the beings who control that wormhole.  Sisko grows as a commander at the same time he accepts his role as a religious figure in Bajoran culture, adding much to his unique characterization.

Notable Quote:  
"That may be the most important thing to understand about humans. It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching, not just for answers to our questions, but for new questions. We are explorers. We explore our lives, day by day. And we explore the galaxy, trying to expand the boundaries of our knowledge. And that is why I am here. Not to conquer you with weapons or ideas, but to co-exist and learn"
Emissary, season 1 episode 1-2

Best Episodes Featuring Sisko:
In the Pale Moonlight, season 6 episode 19
For the Uniform, season 5 episode 13
Trials and Tribble-ations, season 5 episode 6

Actor: Avery Brooks has a relatively limited film background, but his most notable work outside Star Trek is a role as Dr. Bob Sweeney in American History X.  He also played Hawk in the 80's television series Spenser For Hire/A Man Called Hawk.  For an interesting recent film appearance by Brooks, check out his eccentric interview with William Shatner on The Captains documentary.


Thanks for listening and please contact me with feedback to make this segment better.  You can find me on twitter @BuckeyeFitzy and at my blog:  See you next week!

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