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Past Tense: Part I 

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.


Reza Badiyi


Gene Roddenberry (based upon "Star Trek" created by), Rick Berman (created by) | 5 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Avery Brooks ... Cmdr. Benjamin Sisko
Rene Auberjonois ... Odo
Alexander Siddig ... Doctor Bashir (as Siddig El Fadil)
Terry Farrell ... Lt. Jadzia Dax
Cirroc Lofton ... Jake Sisko (credit only)
Colm Meaney ... Chief Miles O'Brien
Armin Shimerman ... Quark
Nana Visitor ... Major Kira
Jim Metzler ... Chris Brynner
Frank Military ... B.C.
Dick Miller ... Vin
Al Rodrigo ... Bernardo
Tina Lifford ... Lee
Bill Smitrovich ... Webb
Eidan Hanzei Eidan Hanzei ... 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 (imdb@tiele.nl)

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TV-PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

2 January 1995 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Chris Brynner, Vin, Lee and Bernardo Calvera are all named after characters from the classic 1960 film The Magnificent Seven. Brynner also takes his name from Oscar-winning actor Yul Brynner who plays Chris Adams in the film. B.C. was named after first assistant director B.C. Cameron. See more »


Commander Sisko: By the early 2020s, there was a place like this in every major city in the United States.
Dr. Julian Bashir: Why are these people in here? Are they criminals?
Commander Sisko: No, people with criminal records weren't allowed in the Sanctuary Districts.
Dr. Julian Bashir: Then what did they do to deserve this?
Commander Sisko: Nothing. Just people, without jobs or places to live.
Dr. Julian Bashir: Ah, so they get put in here?
Commander Sisko: Welcome to the 21st century, Doctor.
See more »


Piano sonata No. 16 in C, K. 545, second movement
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Played during the cocktail party.
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User Reviews

Deep Space 9's Version of "Future's End"
1 May 2015 | by XweAponXSee all my reviews

It's not that Time Travel stories are *explained* well in the Trek Universe, it's that they are *performed* and Produced well.

Every time travel tale has a gimmick or a gadget. I should say, every "Unwanted Time Travel" tale because in Trek, these are all accidents. Twice in the Trek Universe has time travel been done deliberately, in 1968's The Original Series episode "Assignment Earth" and in 1986's "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home".

As far as I can recall, these are the only two instances that were deliberate, maybe The Original Series "All Our Yesterdays" - Which had Kirk deliberately setting up a time portal for Spock and McCoy. Although, the original time travel was an accident because Mr Atoz (Ian Wolf) accidentally let Kirk jump into the "Atavacron".

Whether in TOS, TNG (Time's Arrow), Voyager or on DS9, Trek has a style when it comes to Time Travel stories, there is always some gadget that caused it, be they the Walls of the Cave on Dividia II, or in this case, a malfunction of the Romulan Cloaking Device which had been installed on The Defiant.

What interests us here, is that in our world, this story almost happened - In Los Angeles, where creation of something like what we see here, a "Sanctuary District" almost happened, by bean-counting reactionary politicians in that city whose solution to the Homeless problem is to not see them and then refuse to acknowledge their existence. One thing I will say, is that this so-called "Forced Welfare State" will never happen, it is always the choice of the Citizen to use Welfare, or to not use it. Most people who are on it, don't like the necessity of being on it. But it is better for it to BE there so we CAN choose to use it or not, I won't have someone else "Choosing For me", by denying me the right to choose it - By Eradicating it.

Fortunately, this concept was shouted down by the public in our world, it never happened. However, in our Trek story, this is going to happen in 2024, about 9 years from now.

What is great about Trek is that they can foresee future technology, sometimes getting it right - We already have communicators (iPhones) and things like Tricorders. What I like here are the Future "Internet Terminals", which look like a cross between a 1980 Dynagraphyx Dumb Terminal and a 80486 or maybe even a Pentium system, with extra displays and a Stylus. One thing was done right, the security cards used to access the terminals, I don't think USB had been put into use back when this was made, but today we have security chips flashed into USB drives, I use one for Pro Tools to enable my Plugins, it holds my I-Lok User ID and my Account Info.

This is not the first Trek episode involving Time where something got changed and our Principles must needs change it back, Harlan Ellison wrote "City on the Edge of Forever"- Which is the same as we see here, future is changed, something very bad has to happen to change it back. Or rather, something bad did happen, was accidentally prevented, and it changed the whole future.

These episodes are basically iterations of "The Butterfly Effect", or in Fringe science, "The Firefly Effect", but it is all the same thing, the idea that if time travel can occur, would changing very minor things result in a drastic change in our history? This is a premise that cannot be tested - YET.

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