Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko

TREKCORE > DEEP SPACE NINE > CAST > 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 half-brothers
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 series)
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 was born.

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 II").

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 II", Sisko was stranded in 2024 San Francisco with Dax and Bashir, and masqueraded as a martyred historical figure, Gabriel Bell, in order to preserve the timeline.

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 Looking Glass").

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 Past").

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.


Avery Brooks

Avery 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 Woo.

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 University.

Avery Brooks bio from StarTrek.com