Star Trek Deep Space Nine Review: Past Tense

Tonight I continued my screening of multipart episodes of Star Trek DS9 by viewing Past Tense (Season 3, 1995). In this 2 part episode the crew are involved in a transporter accident that takes them back to the year 2024. Set in San Francisco, Sisko and Bashir find themselves trapped in a Sanctuary District. Sanctuary Districts were walled off ghettos where the unemployed, disabled and those who couldn’t look after themselves were taken.

The Sanctuary Districts processed and treated it’s residents with contempt and as sub-human. The episode is resolved by Sisko taking the staff hostage (known as the Bell Riots) and demanding jobs as ransom on the internet. Testimony on the internet by members of the sanctuary district leads to great social change far into the future to a united Earth.

Having rewatched this Star Trek episode for about 20 years I am still amazed how close the UK is leading to the events of past tense as it is in linear time. Back when this episode was made the internet didn’t have Social Media and was far more primitive. As an Autistic person I have increasingly become more dehumanised for not earning an income. I have been locked in a place that was called a hospital when I was made homeless.

Given the increased strikes happening in the UK in 2022 due to inflation and economic depression I expect it won’t be long until our version of the Bell Riots happen. I hope if it does happen, compassion and good sense prevails.