Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 6 Episode 13

Far Beyond the Stars

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Feb 11, 1998 on Syndicado
out of 10
User Rating
198 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Stardate: Unknown Sisko has visions of himself and his crew as writers for a science fiction paper in 1950's Earth.

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  • Terrible Payoff

    This episode intrigued me for about 30 minutes as I waited for the reason why Ben was trapped in this world. Was it the Cardassions? Was it some kind of Holodeck malfunction? NO. It was all a dream. The lamest way out of a story you could possibly contrive.

    The only reason I am writing more words about this waste of time episode is because this website demands a 100 word review. Oh and 30 seconds of Dax looking hot chewing gum is the only reason this is a 1 out of 10, not a 0 out of 10. Still not at 100 words. Da Da Da, Da Da Da Da Da. Space. The Final Frontier. These are the Voyages of the Starship Enterprise...Yada Yada Yadamoreless
  • Not the Star Trek people, but somebody else

    In the '50s, there was a short story written (I'm very sorry, but I cannot recall the title, but I think the author was Fritz Leiber - it seems like his kind of tale), in which a staff writer for a second-rate science fiction pulp magazine (they weren't referred to as "papers") got mysteriously transported to a world where he was the center of everything.

    The situation here is the same story in reverse - Sisko is transported from a world where he is the center to one where he is a science fiction writer on the periphery of things.

    Star Trek borrowed from many science fiction sources, but with the exception of the animated series, never acknowledged borrowing story lines. In the academic world, that's called plagiarism.moreless
  • Absolutely Beautiful!

    I have always been a fan of TNG and I am just beginning to love DS9. This is the first ep of DS9 that has made me want to write a review. This is the most poignant and spot on episode dealing with race in the entire history of Star Trek. I love that this is the first one dealing with race that was not glossed over by making it an allegory with aliens. I am so proud of the DS9 cast and crew for finally tackling race head on in the setting of 1950's America. It was great to see the cast out of their makeup and yet still playing their characters personas. I love how Armin and Rene still played off of each other brilliantly and kept their characters personalities while playing humans in the 50's. Bravo to Star Trek DS9 for making this episode. They have defiantly come a long way from interracial kisses to express the breaking down of cultural barriers.moreless
  • Acting at its finest.

    This is one of my favorite Star Trek episodes of all time. The writing was brilliant, the setting was great, and the acting was top notch. Avery Brooks gave a spectacular performance as he managed to change his Ben Sisko persona to that of a 1950's writer. He portrayed his struggles really well and accurately depicted how difficult life was for an African-American during those years of racism. The supporting cast gave stellar performances and did wonderful jobs of making the 1950's scenery realistic with their mannerisms and personality. Hidden among the episode was an underlying lesson of morality. It was an episode that showcased a deeper meaning on how society was then and still is today. Not only did it dive into conflicts between dynamic characters, but it also managed to capture the varied storylines with sincere detail. In my opinion, television should have acting like this every day. By far, this was an all time great episode of the Star Trek ilk. Thank You.moreless
  • It gives insight for those who weren't there.

    I was born in 1968 and was not there to see the birth of the civil right movement firsthand. I was not there when racism was normal and discrimination was practically institutionalized. People like me have seen video of the Martin Luther King marches and the speeches by Malcolm X, but still find it difficult to really understand what it meant when African Americans were told to sit in the back of the bus or to eat in separate diners. This episode, in a small but significant way, gave us an insight into the America of the 1940s and 1950s. Although race relations have a long way to go before skin color becomes a non-issue, this episode shows just how far America has come on a veeeeerrrry long and difficult road.moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman

Quark/Herbert Rossoff

Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

Jadzia/Darlene Kursky

Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Worf /Willie Hawkins

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Odo/Douglas Pabst

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Kira/Kay Eaton

Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

Sisko/Benny Russell

Jeffrey Combs

Jeffrey Combs


Guest Star

Marc Alaimo

Marc Alaimo

Ryan/Gul Dukat

Guest Star

J.G. Hertzler

J.G. Hertzler


Guest Star

Brock Peters

Brock Peters

Joseph Sisko/Preacher

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Nitpick: This episode heavily focuses on racism, however, it is only very narrowly targeted. Despite the overt racism towards Sisko, Worf, and Kasidy, Bashir is treated as 'white' throughout.

    • Nitpick: The publication Sisko works for in the 1950's is referred to in the episode as a 'paper'. Actually, the science fiction publications have always been referred to as 'pulps', ever since Hugo Gernsback founded Amazing Stories, the first science fiction magazine, in 1926.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Benny: Who am I?
      Preacher: Don't you know? You are the dreamer, and the dream.

    • (commenting on the character of Jadzia)
      Darlene: Oh! She's got a worm in her belly!.... oh, that's disgusting.

    • Jimmy: (to Benny) I told you you were wasting your time. (shaking his head) A colored captain? The only reason they'll ever let us in space is if they need someone to shine their shoes. Ain't that right, Cassie?
      Cassie: I don't know and to be honest, I don't much care about what happens a hundred years from now. It's today that matters.
      Jimmy: Well, I got news for you. Today or a hundred years from now don't make a bit of difference; as far as they're concerened, we'll always be negroes.
      Benny: Things are going to change. They have to.
      Jimmy: You keep telling yourself that.

    • Herbert: Will someone please shoot me and put me out of my misery?!
      Julius: Oh, how I long for a gun...

    • Sisko: Maybe, just maybe, Benny isn't the dream: we are. Maybe we're nothing more than figments of his imagination. For all we know, at this very moment, somewhere out there, far beyond all those distant stars... Benny Russell is dreaming about us.

    • Benny: I'm tired of being calm! Calm's never gotten me a damn thing!
      Pabst: I'm warning you, Benny - if you don't stop, I'm calling the police.
      Benny: Call them! Go ahead! They can't do anything to me! Not anymore. None of you can. I'm a human being, dammit! You can deny me all you want, but you can't deny Ben Sisko! He exists! That space station - those people, that future - they exist! In here. In my mind. You hear what I'm telling you? You can destroy the story, but you cannot destroy an idea. That's ancient knowledge! That future is real - I made it real! You hear me - it's real!

    • Benny: What about my story?
      Pabst: The way I see it, you can either burn it or you can put in a drawer for fifty years or however long it takes the human race to become colorblind.

    • Herbert: Congratulations, Douglas. That's the most imbecilic attempt to rationalize personal cowardice I've ever heard.
      Kay: Uh-oh, he's angry now.
      Pabst: Herb's been angry ever since Joseph Stalin died.

    • Pabst: I'm sorry, Benny. I wish things were different, but they're not.
      Benny: Wishing never changed a damn thing.
      Pabst: Come on, Benny... it's just a photo.
      Benny: I'll try to remember that.

    • Herbert: (sarcastic) If the world's not ready for a woman writer - imagine what would happen if it learned about a Negro with a typewriter - run for the hills! It's the end of civilization!

    • Pabst: Next order of business, some of our readers have been writing in, wanting to know what you people look like.
      Kay: Write back and tell them we look like writers. Poor, needy and incredibly attractive.

    • Herbert: I can see it now - the lonely, little girl, befriended by empathethic aliens who teach her how to smile... (shudders) it's enough to make you go out and buy a television.

    • Kay: Voila! A pitcher of plain water instantly becomes a pitcher of ice tea.
      Julius: Incredible. White Rose Redi-Tea. What an appalling concept.
      Kay: I bet H.G. Wells would've liked it.

    • Sisko: I just don't know how many more friends I can lose. Every time I think I've achieved a real victory... something like this happens and it all seems to turn to ashes.
      Joseph Sisko: So what do you want to do?
      Sisko: Maybe it's time for me to step down... let someone else make the tough calls.
      Joseph Sisko: I see. Well, no one's indispensable, son. Not even you. Whatever decision you make, I'll support it. Of course, if Quentin Swofford was here... I'd bet he'd have a few things to say to you.
      Sisko: But he's not here... is he? That's the whole point.

  • NOTES (6)

    • Brock Peters (Joseph Sisko/Preacher) also played the role of Admiral Cartwright in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

    • This episode is listed on the Star Trek: Captain's Log Fan Collective DVD box set as being Avery Brooks' favorite episode.

    • In the episode "In The Cards" from the previous season, Jake Sisko and Nog make a series of increasingly complicated trades to acquire a Willie Mays trading card for Jake's father. Thus, Mays already had an important tie to Sisko, and that could be reason that Sisko imagined Hawkins as an incarnation of Mays.

    • This is the only Deep Space Nine episode in which Marc Alaimo, Aron Eisenberg, J.G. Hertzler, Armin Shimerman, Jeffrey Combs and Michael Dorn appear in human form, without their alien make-up.

    • When Sisko picks up the padd in the Infirmary and transitions into the world of Benny, he is suddenly holding the latest issue of Galaxy magazine. The cover is a futuristic building on an alien planet and the featured story is Court Martial. In fact, the image on the cover is Starbase 11, which was the site of Kirk's hearing in the Original Series episode "Court Martial". The author of the "Court Martial" story is Samuel T. Cogley. Samuel T. Cogley was Captain James T. Kirk's defense attorney in "Court Martial".

    • The original script had Jake going back into time instead of his father. This is one of many shows where Jake was meant to be used and was replaced.


    • Hugo Awards
      Sitting on the desk of Herb Rossoff (the science fiction writer character played by Armin Shimerman aka Quark) is an actual Hugo award. The Hugos are awards for achievement in science fiction most notably in writing, but also includes excellence in movies, TV and illustration. It was lent by DS9 designer (and Hugo award winner) Rick Sternbach. The awards were first given out in 1953, but did not become an annual event until 1955.

    • Kay: It Came From Outer Space.
      Kay is referring to the 1953 film of the same name, which was written by famous sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury. Also, Ray Bradbury is mentioned as writing for rival Galaxy.

    • Joseph Sisko: I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith.

      Joseph Sisko is quoting quoting from the Bible (2 Timothy 4:7).

    • Isaac Asimov
      The robot obsessed writer Albert Macklin (played by Colm Meaney) is inspired by pioneer science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, who originally won fame for his stories about robots (an early collection of these stories was entitled I, Robot).