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Peter Capaldi and Anthony Stewart Head Auditioned for STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE

Next year, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its television premiere. Deep Space Nine (DS9) didn’t immediately find its identity in the shadow of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but it went on to become one of the most groundbreaking series in the franchise. Unlike its predecessors, Deep Space Nine allowed its heroes to be flawed and very human. That was especially true of Benjamin Sisko, the complex Commander turned Captain, as deftly played by Avery Brooks. But what if someone else had portrayed Sisko on the series? It turns out that several familiar faces were up for the role.

Via The Nerdy Bird, TrekDocs tweeted out a casting session for Sisko that included current Doctor Who star, Peter Capaldi, Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Anthony Stewart Head, Preacher co-star Pip Torrens, and more.

And if you’re wondering what Capaldi and Head looked like in the early ’90s, the Deep Space Nine documentary, What You Leave Behind, tweeted out photos from their DS9 audition tapes.

Wild, right?

However, we believe Brooks was ultimately the right choice for the role. Brooks is an exceptional actor, even though the first season didn’t give him a lot of juicy material. In the later parts of the series, Sisko received some of the most morally complex stories that Star Trek has ever attempted.

Would Sisko’s alter ego, Benny Russell, in “Far Beyond the Stars” have had the same resonance if he wasn’t a black man? That powerful storytelling allowed Star Trek to directly address race in a way it doesn’t usually dare to.  “Far Beyond the Stars” followed Sisko/Benny as he desperately tried to confront racism in sci-fi…and failed. That story had real power and emotional stakes, which is a testament to both the talents of Brooks and the rest of the cast, as well as the screenwriters.

It also has to be said that it meant a lot for Star Trek to have a black commanding officer as the main character. It was important in 1993, and it is important in 2017. Sisko’s early stories didn’t really touch on race and he certainly wasn’t defined by it, but it was an aspect of his identity, which only made him a stronger character.

If Brooks hadn’t been cast as Sisko, who among the other contenders would you choose? Share your picks below.

Images: BBC/CBS/Paramount

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