DEEP SPACE NINE
Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko
PLAYED BY: Avery Brooks
SPECIES: Human (African-American descent)
POSITION: Commanding officer, Deep Space Nine
RANK: Commander until "The Adversary"; Captain thereafter
BIRTHPLACE: Earth (New Orleans)
PARENTS: Joseph Sisko (father); Sarah Sisko (biological mother,
deceased); stepmother (apparently deceased)
SIBLINGS: Judith (younger half-sister); at least two younger
SPOUSE: Jennifer (1st wife, deceased); Kasidy (2nd wife, married
toward end of series)
CHILDREN: Jake (son); son or daughter by Kasidy (unborn at end of
LOVE INTERESTS: Neffie Beumont (teen crush); Zoey Phillips (dated
as teenager); Fenna
FRIENDS: Capt. Laporin (deceased), Calvin Hudson (Academy
classmate), Capt. Quentin Swofford (now deceased)
HOBBIES: Sisko enjoyed cooking; his specialty was gourmet Cajun
Earth food. His favorite beverage was raktajino; another was Saurian
brandy. He was a fan and player of the obsolete Earth sport of baseball,
and wrestled in his Academy days. He also played Jokarian chess and
poker (though he had never learned to bluff, according to Dax). Another
hobby was 21st-century Earth history; he also knew how to play piano,
and had an excellent singing voice.
DISLIKES: Steamed azna.
Sisko was born in New Orleans on Earth, and entered Starfleet with a
major in engineering and ship design; he was captain of the Academy
wrestling team. He spent his sophomore year field study at Starbase 137,
and later considered it one of the best experiences of his life. Once,
after a few drinks at a bar, Sisko challenged a Vulcan classmate named
Solok to a wrestling match and lost humiliatingly. After graduating from
the Academy, he was awaiting his first posting when he met a woman named
Jennifer. They fell in love and married; a year later, their son Jake
At around the same time, while still an ensign, Sisko also met an aged
Trill diplomat named Curzon Dax, who became his friend and mentor; his
nickname for Dax was "old man". Sisko went on to serve on various
starships, including the Livingston and the Okinawa, under Captain
Leyton, during the Tzenkethi wars. Leyton made Sisko his executive
officer, convincing him to switch from engineering to command.
After the Okinawa, Sisko served on the Saratoga, and rose to the
position of first officer, and the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Then,
during the battle of Wolf 359, the Saratoga was among the Federation
fleet that tried to stop the Borg. The ship was destroyed; Sisko and
Jake escaped, but Jennifer was killed.
Devastated, Sisko served three years as commander of the Utopia Planitia
shipyards. Just as he was considering quitting the fleet for a job
constructing orbital habitats on Earth, however, Starfleet gave him a
promotion, and command of a ruined space station that had been built by
the Cardassians, in orbit of the occupation-ravaged planet of Bajor.
There, he was unexpectedly hailed by Kai Opaka as the Emissary. Sisko
also discovered the Bajoran wormhole, and made first contact with its
inhabitants, beings which the Bajorans worshipped as the Prophets.
Through communicating with them, he actually finally began to heal and
come to terms with his wife's death. Sisko then decided to stay in
Starfleet and at DS9 ("Emissary").
Sisko soon proved himself not only an able commander and tactician, but
a shrewd diplomatic player and a schemer who was willing to bend the
rules to get things done. He defended Dax in an extradition hearing when
she was accused of betraying a Klaestron general, when she was Curzon
Dax ("Dax"), dealt with the Ennis and Nol-Ennis after the wreck that
killed Kai Opaka ("Battle Lines"), and worked to smooth out the conflict
between Bajorans and Starfleet on the station, preventing the
assassination of Vedek Bareil ("In the Hands of the Prophets"). He was
also a loving father who worried about his son's friendship with a Ferengi boy, but backed off when he caught Jake teaching Nog to read
("The Nagus"). In "The Homecoming"/"The Circle"/"The Siege", Sisko
convinced Li Nalas to accept his role as hero. He also played a major
part in restoring the status quo during the coup by the Circle.
Sisko was attracted to a woman for the first time since Jennifer in
"Second Sight", but learned that Fenna was a projection of the
unconscious self of Nidell, wife of Professor Seyetik. Soon afterwards,
when he and O'Brien were stranded in a utopian anti-technology colony,
Sisko showed that he was willing to endure torture to defy Alixus'
subtle tyranny ("Paradise").
In "Shadowplay", Sisko learned that Jake didn't want to join Starfleet,
and took it well, telling his son to find something he loved, then do it
the best he could.
Not long after, Sisko learned of a new renegade group, the Maquis, and
that his old friend Cal Hudson was a leader of it. He and the other DS9
officers managed to prevent the Maquis from starting a war ("The Maquis,
Parts I and
II"). Sisko also uncovered the truth behind the Cardassians'
arrest of O'Brien ("Tribunal"). Then, on a Gamma Quadrant camping trip
with Jake, Nog and Quark, Sisko learned for the first time of the
Jem'Hadar when he was captured by them ("The Jem'Hadar"). After being
debriefed back on Earth, Sisko led the mission to locate the Founders,
and experienced their simulated reality ("The Search, Parts I and
In "The Abandoned", Sisko invited Jake's girlfriend Mardah to an
evaluation dinner, and found himself coming to like her. When the
Defiant was hijacked by Tom Riker in "Defiant", Sisko assisted the
Cardassians in tracking the ship, and eventually talked Riker into
giving himself up. Then later, in "Past Tense, Parts I and
was stranded in 2024 San Francisco with Dax and Bashir, and masqueraded
as a martyred historical figure, Gabriel Bell, in order to preserve the
When asked by Nog to sponsor him to Starfleet Academy, Sisko finally
agreed ("Heart of Stone"); and then had to decide what to do when an
ancient prophecy seemed to predict the destruction of the wormhole by
three Cardassians ("Destiny"). Kidnapped to the mirror universe, Sisko
met the alternate Jennifer, who was very much alive, and was able to
save her by convincing her to join the Terran rebels ("Through the
In "Explorers", Sisko built a replica of a Bajoran lightship, and
voyaged with Jake on it, proving that ancient Bajorans could have
reached Cardassia. Along the way, he learned of Jake's dream of becoming
a writer, and agreed to meet Jake's friend, Captain Kasidy Yates. He did
so in "Family Business", and the two of them finally hit it off after a
bit of awkwardness, when he discovered her interest in baseball. Shortly
after that, he was finally promoted to Captain, and commanded the
Defiant on a mission that nearly turned disastrous due to a Changeling
infiltrator ("The Adversary").
After dealing with the crisis of the Klingon invasion of Cardassia ("The
Way of the Warrior"), Sisko was trapped in subspace by an accident on
the Defiant, coming into normal space at years-long intervals, and saw
Jake grow to old age. When Jake died during the last of these
visitations, Sisko was sent back to the moment of the accident,
extremely moved by his son's sacrifice ("The Visitor").
In "Homefront"/"Paradise Lost", Sisko was made acting head of Starfleet
security to increase vigilance against Changeling infiltrators, but
found an equal threat in Federation paranoia, embodied by his former CO,
Admiral Leyton, whom he finally persuaded to resign. Later, in
"Accession", Sisko gave up the title of Emissary to Akorem, but
reclaimed it after seeing the chaos generated by Akorem's plan to return
to the d'jarras system. This was a major step for Sisko toward
reconciling himself with the role he played in Bajoran religion.
Sisko was lured back to the mirror universe when Jake was taken there by
the alternate Jennifer. After he helped the rebels with their version of
the Defiant, he watched Mirror-Jennifer die from a phaser blast
("Shattered Mirror"). He saved Jake from Onaya ("The Muse"), and was
forced to arrest Kasidy for smuggling to the Maquis ("For the Cause").
Sisko was disguised as a Klingon for the mission to Ty'GoKor with
O'Brien, Odo, and Worf ("Apocalypse Rising"), contended with Kilana for
possession of a downed Jem'Hadar warship ("The Ship"), and became part
of Odo's flashback as one of three unjustly executed Bajorans ("Things
At around the same time that Kasidy returned from prison, Sisko had an
accident that heightened his neural activity, found the lost Bajoran
city of B'Hala, and had visions of Bajor's future. He interrupted the
signing ceremony, at which Bajor was joining the Federation, to warn
that Bajor would be destroyed unless it stood alone. The visions ended
when Bashir operated on his brain to save his life ("Rapture").
In "For the Uniform" Sisko chased the traitor, Eddington, and finally
got him to give himself up, by playing the villain and threatening to
poison Maquis colonies. Later, in "Blaze of Glory", Sisko got Eddington
out of prison to help deactivate cloaked missiles headed toward
Cardassia, but found out it was a ruse to rescue some Maquis members;
Eddington died in the process.
When the takeover of DS9 by the Dominion and Cardassia became a sure
thing in "Call to Arms", Sisko left the station with all Starfleet
personnel, vowing to return. During this time period, in "A Time to
Stand", he led a mission to destroy a Ketracel-white storage facility,
and in "Rocks and Shoals", he had to decide whether to slaughter a Jem'Hadar troop in unfair combat. Then finally (after acting as Admiral
Ross' adjutant in "Behind the Lines"), Sisko learned that the minefield
across the wormhole's mouth would soon be destroyed, and led a fleet to
re-take DS9, but was too late. However, as the Defiant faced the
Dominion fleet inside the wormhole, Sisko had an experience with its
inhabitants, who sent the Dominion fleet away but warned him that as a
"penance", he would never find rest on Bajor ("Favor the
Bold"/"Sacrifice of Angels").
On the way to testify against Dukat in "Waltz", Sisko was injured and
stranded on a hostile planet with the increasingly mentally unstable
Cardassian, who finally escaped in their shuttle, vowing to kill all
Bajorans; Sisko's response was to tell Dax, "It's him or me."
Sisko experienced a curious series of visions telling a story in which
he was Benny Russell, a struggling black science fiction writer on Earth
in the 1950's ("Far Beyond the Stars"). Then, in "In the Pale
Moonlight", Sisko went to great lengths and violated his personal ethics
in order to manufacture a recording that would bring the Romulans into
the war against the Dominion. He succeeded, but not in a way that he was
comfortable with, and at the cost of his self-respect.
In "The Reckoning", guided by a vision and by mysterious urges, Sisko
brought an ancient Bajoran tablet to DS9, and later smashed it,
releasing a Prophet and a pah-wraith who duked it out on the Promenade
in the bodies of Kira and Jake. Jake survived, to Sisko's relief; but
Sisko was still ambivalent about putting his faith in the Prophets.
Igoring their warnings, he led the attack on the Chin'toka system, and
felt them reaching to him when the pah-wraith closed off the wormhole.
With the loss of Jadzia Dax weighing on him, he took a leave of absence
and went back to New Orleans, unsure if he would ever return to DS9
("Tears of the Prophets").
After three months on Earth, Sisko finally had a vision from the
Prophets, of uncovering a woman's face in the sands of Tyree. He learned
that the woman was his real mother, Sarah, and that she had left behind
a locket with ancient Bajoran writing that read "Orb of the Emissary".
Sisko resolved to find the Orb, despite an attempt on his life by a
member of the Cult of the Pah-Wraith. He found it on Tyree, and finally
opened it despite a vision of himself as an institutionalized Benny
Russell; the vision was a false one sent by the pah-wraiths. The Prophet
he released told him that his destiny as Emissary was fulfilled, and
that it had possessed his mother Sarah to ensure his birth ("Image in
the Sand"/"Shadows and Symbols").
Sisko encountered his old nemesis, Solok, in "Take Me Out to the Holosuite", when the USS T'Kumbra arrived for repairs, and challenged
him to a holosuite baseball game. During the game, in which the DS9
officers were soundly defeated, Sisko let go of his rivalry. In "The
Siege of AR-558", he commanded the Defiant on a supply run to AR-558,
and decided to stay to lead the troops there, helping them to keep
control of the Dominion communications array.
After finally purchasing the land on Bajor on which he planned to build
a house after the war, Sisko proposed marriage to Kasidy, who accepted.
However, in a vision, he was told by a Prophet that he and Kasidy could
not walk the same path, and that his greatest trial was about to begin
("Penumbra"). Sisko told Kasidy of his vision, and the wedding was off,
until he finally decided to go ahead with it despite the Prophet's
warning. They were married in a small Starfleet ceremony in the wardroom
("'Til Death Do Us Part").
Not long afterwards, Sisko was commanding the Defiant in battle when it
was destroyed by the Breen ("The Changing Face of Evil"). However, he
was soon given command of the Sao Paulo, renamed the Defiant; and on the
eve of the Alpha Quadrant offensive against the Dominion, he learned
that Kasidy was pregnant with their child ("The Dogs of War").
In "What You Leave Behind", Sisko commanded the Defiant in the last
assault on the Dominion, during which he had a vision from his
Prophet-mother telling him that his task was nearly completed. After the
final victory, while he was celebrating with his wife, son, and
officers, he was instantly aware of the freeing of the pah-wraiths, and
raced to Bajor, where he confronted Dukat. Sisko finally tackled Dukat,
sending both of them over a cliff into the fire, along with the Text of
the Kosst Amojan. Sisko then awakened in the Celestial Temple, and
learned from "Sarah" that he had joined the Prophets. He visited Kasidy
in a vision, promising that he would return.
Other facts: His authorization code was Sisko-1-7-green.
Brooks played Captain Benjamin Sisko, the Starfleet Captain in
charge of the Deep Space Nine space station on Star Trek: Deep
Space Nine. Ever since his wife was killed in an attack during
the famous encounter with the Borg (the bloodiest battle ever
recorded in Federation history) Sisko has also been a single
parent raising his son, Jake. "Since its inception, Star Trek
has always provided a positive message of life in the future,"
Brooks commented on being a part of the Star Trek legacy.
"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine provides an opportunity to
reinforce how critical it is to find a way to live together."
Born and raised in Indiana, Brooks attended Oberlin College,
Indiana University and, later on, Rutgers University, where he
was the first black MFA graduate in acting and directing.
These were his first steps in developing into a distinguished
and respected actor, director, musician and teacher. In 1993,
Brooks was named Artistic Director of the National Black Arts
Festival. Held biannually since 1988 in Atlanta, Georgia, the
internationally renowned festival celebrates African-American
culture and people of African descent.
Prior to joining Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Brooks performed
to critical acclaim in the title role of the Phillip Hayes
Dean play "Paul Robeson." He has performed the role since 1982
at the Westwood Playhouse in Los Angeles, and also at the
Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Longacre Theater on
Broadway. He also portrayed Robeson in "Are You Now Or Have
You Ever Been?," both on and off-Broadway.
A veteran of numerous theatre productions, Brooks has appeared
in the lead role in Shakespeare's "Othello" at Washington
D.C.'s Folger Theatre, and sang the title role in Anthony
Davis's opera, "X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X."
Brooks has hosted several documentaries, including the award
winning "The Musical Legacy of Roland Hayes." His television
credits include starring in the ABC series A Man Called Hawk
and co-starring with Robert Urich in ABC's Spenser: For Hire,
a role which he reprised in four two-hour movies for Lifetime.
Furthermore, Brooks has done extensive work with the
Smithsonian Institute's Program in Black American Culture. He
was seen in the title role in the film "Solomon Northup's
Odyssey" for PBS' American Playhouse. Brooks also earned a
Cable ACE Award nomination for his portrayal of Uncle Tom in
Showtime's production of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." He also is the
narrator for the large format IMAX film "Africa's Elephant
Kingdom." Also in the animal kingdom, Brooks could recently be
heard as the narrator behind the highly acclaimed "Walking
with Dinosaurs" documentary.
On the feature film front, Brooks recently starred in New Line
Cinema's "American History X" co-starring Edward Norton,
Edward Furlong and Jennifer Lien. He additionally co-starred
with Mark Wahlberg and Lou Diamond Phillips in the Tri-Star
feature film "The Big Hit," produced by Wesley Snipes and John
Since 1972, Brooks has been affiliated with Rutgers
University, where he is a tenured professor of theatre at the
Mason Gross School of the Arts. In 1993, he was inducted into
the Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni. He has
also taught at Oberlin College and Case Western Reserve
Avery Brooks bio