The best time travel stories in Star Trek, ranked


In the two-part third-season effort “Past Tense”, Commander Sisko, Dr. Bashir, and Lt. Dax are sent back in time to 2024, which was then still about 30 in the future when the episode aired in 1995. San Francisco After a transporter crash, Sisko and Bashir are trapped in a “sanctuary neighborhood”, a dystopian homeless encampment. Things get complicated when they inadvertently have a man killed who happens to be an iconic revolutionary destined to lead a political revolt that will prove vital to Earth’s past.

Taking his place in ensuring that the story unfolds as it should, Sisko – as citizen freedom fighter Gabriel Bell – must lead an uprising in the Sanctuary District. However, Bashir points out that according to the history books Bell was killed in the riots and Sisko may have to sacrifice his life to save the timeline. Meanwhile, Dax is rescued by a wealthy and charismatic media mogul who, with his help, realizes that what he thought was a 21st century utopia might just be anything but.

A chilling harbinger of a future eerily similar to what we see today, “Past Tense” is peppered with social and political allegories. Another commanding performance from series star Avery Brooks punctuates one of the show’s most prescient and powerful episodes.


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