Sisko, Bashir and Dax are accidentally sent to San Francisco in the 21st century due to a transporter malfunction, and must figure out how to get back to return without changing the time line.



(based upon "Star Trek" created by), (created by) | 4 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Doctor Bashir (as Siddig El Fadil)
Jake Sisko (credit only)
Frank Military ...
Male Guest (as Henry Hayashi)


The Defiant has arrived at Earth and Sisko, Bashir and Dax are beamed to the surface, where they will address the Starfleet Symposium in San Francisco on the situation in the Gamma Quadrant. But they never arrive. O'Brien has no clue what happened: the logs show that he definitely arrived. Meanwhile the three find themselves in San Francisco in the year 2024. They have no ID and Bashir and Sisko are arrested and put in a concentration camp-like Sanctuary District. While the two try to find a way back, Sisko notices it's only days before major riots break out in the District, a pivotal moment in Earth's history. Meanwhile Dax is picked up Chris Brynner, a business man. He takes her to his home, where she starts searching for Bashir and Sisko. Written by Arnoud Tiele (

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Release Date:

2 January 1995 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


On the clock on the wall of the Processing Center, the date reads: Friday, 8/30/24. This is correct: August 30, 2024 will be a Friday. See more »


Although she has trouble convincing someone that she is who she says she is, Jadzia is able to replace her identity. She never had any identity from that time period, so would not have been able to replace it. See more »


Chris Brynner: Don't worry, your friends are fine. That's the whole point of the Sanctuary, to give people in trouble food and a place to stay.
Lieutenant Jadzia Dax: If that's all it's for, then why is there a wall around it?
See more »


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Main Title
Written by Dennis McCarthy
Performed by Dennis McCarthy
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User Reviews

Twenty years later, this is disturbingly familiar
18 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm a Star Trek fan from its beginning, and I know that one thing they do poorly is time travel. This story is not an exception to the general rule, but today's viewer can be distracted from the flaws by the jarring effect of seeing what writers in 1995 considered fiction.

The "sanctuary" district in San Francisco interns the homeless, the unemployed, and mentally ill people. The government processes them and hands out food stamps. Welfare is not merely accepted, but an enforced one. The writers call the Bell riots a watershed moment of the 21st Century as a harbinger of change for the better. Today we can look at this fiction and see how much closer we are to it now than we were twenty years ago.

I've always admired Arthur C. Clarke for his vision of the future. He was startlingly accurate in his depiction of online media, but we lack only extraterrestrials to drive us forward into his vision. "Past Tense" doesn't require its writers to look so far ahead. They only had to extend a trend line of poverty a few years out. But, while it might have seemed far- fetched in 1995, today's viewer can see that the trend line is no longer fiction.

The only real requirement is that the writers not let the characters get in the way. There is little in the way of character development. Sisko, Bashir, and Dax are observers, even when Sisko has to take part in the action.

Still, I'm not convinced about the writer's view of neckties in 2024...

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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