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Star Trek DS9 - Season 3 - Episode 12

Star Trek DS9 - 3x12 - Past Tense, Part II

Originally Aired: 1995-1-9

Trapped in Earth's past, Sisko must assume the role of a pivotal historic figure in order to restore the future. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 6.26

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 10 4 5 3 1 18 16 14 30 16 10

Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- There is a minor reference in a future episode (DS9: Little Green Men) that won't make sense unless you see this episode, but otherwise there's nothing essential here unless you're interested in some historical trivia about what the year 2024 was like in Star Trek's alternate history of Earth.

- Why does everyone keep pumping their pump-action shotguns? The pump isn't there to intimidate people. It's there to eject an empty round after a shot.
- How could O'Brien speak during transport?

- The crazy guy Jadzia hunts down to retrieve her comm badge is played by Clint Howard, who also played the alien in TOS: The Corbomite Maneuver.

Remarkable Scenes
- Kira's disguise on her "Bajoran heritage."
- Kira and O'Brien beaming into the 60s.
- Jadzia's scene with the crazy guy, declaring she's an alien.
- The chaos as the government attacks the Sanctuary.
- Sisko's photo appearing in the historical records for Gabriel Bell.

My Review
The second part of the episode has a nice ending. I'm glad to see they handled Sisko's involvement in the past so eloquently. I'm also fond of the little surprise at the end to find Sisko's photo in the place of Gabriel Bell's. In the end, this episode was trying to make a point about American social policy. A paradise can easily become oppression if social programs put in place to help people are allowed to be corrupted. Maintaining true freedom takes constant vigilance. Overall, I'm usually very displeased with time travel stories in general, but this one avoided a lot of the common pitfalls. Overall a fine two parter if not terribly profound.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Popescu on 2010-08-22 at 4:25pm:
    When O'Brien and Kira transported to the '60s there was Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix playing so loud that they had to shout to hear each other. That was sooo awesome! :D
  • From Zorak on 2016-05-16 at 11:31am:
    I enjoyed this 2 part-er quite a bit. It was an interesting story and I really enjoyed the guest characters. The social worker, the security guards, the residents of the sanctuary, even the mogul.. all played well and convincing. I tend to really like these time travel outings. I think I find Star Trek the most interesting when characters are out of their element. Also Bashir and Dax are becoming less annoying characters and starting to come into their own (well Bashir at least.. Dax still has a long way to go).
  • From Gaius Gracchus on 2021-08-15 at 7:07pm:
    A very enjoyable two-parter that gives good commentary on social issues that indeed do plague the 21st century, albeit a bit stylized. Trek has always had this social consciousness and it is indeed better for it.
  • From Steven Wrieden on 2023-08-29 at 7:24am:
    Interesting to me that the older guard says: "best ball club I ever saw,'99 Yankees, no doubt about it". In fact, they won the World Series in 1999. The episode aired in 1995, the Trek writers called it.

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