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Capatin Benjamin Sisko

Deep Space Nine
by Artemis

In the perennial "Kirk vs. Picard" debate, my vote goes to Sisko.

Assigned to command an outpost on the edge of Federation space, Commander Benjamin Sisko's destiny was forever altered by his discovery of the Bajoran wormhole - Benjamn Sisko the only stable wormhole known to exist in the galaxy! Responsible for exploring this new gateway to the Gamma Quadrant, Sisko and his crew are the last line of defense against any number of threats: Cardassians, the Dominion, Pah-wraiths and untold others!

That's the generic background text that's on the packaging of every figure in the first series of Deep Space Nine figures (and they like their exclamation points, don't they!? Taking lessons from Stan Lee no doubt!), but since Sisko is the star of the show, it's not surprising it's mainly about him. What I like about Sisko is that he grows - uniquely among Star Trek shows (aside from some half-hearted dabbling in the notion on Enterprise), Deep Space Nine's characters and setting truly evolved as time went on, none more so than Sisko. He begins the show a depressed widower, unmotivated about his new command, considering resigning, and the only thing he actually wants to be is a good father - and he's not too sure how to manage that either. By the end, he's become the leader of a community and a commander of armies, holy man and prophet to a civilisation, a diplomat juggling every major faction in the Federation and the races surrounding it, a husband, a father (again), trusted, respected, admired and loved.

This is Sisko circa seasons 5-7, soft ribbing when he (and all of DS9) was really firing on all cylinders - not that they started slow, but there's no denying they stepped up a gear. He wears Starfleet's new uniform - heavier and less colourful, as befitting a series moving into a lengthy war storyline - duplicated admirably in action figure form, though compared to Jadzia and Ezri, the sculpt plays down the detail of the ribbed shoulders - not so much as to be jarring when they're side by side, but it's noticeable.

He stands 7½" tall, and his physique is that of a healthy, active man - strong, but not superhero-muscular. The only oddity of his body sculpt is that the hip joints, compared to the Daxes, reveal a lot more of the joint's internal space - they're not balljoint ugly, but they're not as well-concealed as the girls' hip articulation. On the plus side, they do allow him to take fairly dramatic stances without his legs swaying wide as they approach horizontal, as the more subdued joints tend to do.

The facial likeness is outstanding - ...and starring Keenan Thompson as Cap. Sisko there's none of this "reasonably close" or "clearly resembles him" stuff, this is Benjamin Lafayette Sisko, and if a better action figure representation of him is ever made, that'll be something to see. You can ignore the uniform completely, and look at his face from any angle, and it's still spot on. Facial hair is often tricky on action figures, but this is a very good effort - there's a very shallow sculpt behind a paint application that's just a touch lighter than the hair itself, giving the impression of a short goatee that lets some of the skin colour through. There's a slight flush on his cheeks, and the paint on his lips and eyes is near as dammit perfect.

It's not just technical either, his expression is a work of art too - calm, determined, unflinching but not going so far as to be stern or unfeeling, it really captures the nature of the character, and looks appropriate to any number of poses. While we're talking about his head, it's worth noting that the neck joint is cleverly hidden beneath the collar, rather than behind the jawline - the range of motion is unimpaired, but there's no visible break at all in the sculpt.

The rest of the paintwork supports the sculpt well - the slate grey shoulders and burgundy tunic are good matches for the actual colours, everything's painted within the lines, clean and crisp and consistent. Sisko's boots are given a high gloss coat, making for a strong contrast with the matt finish on the uniform, and the small metallics on the combadge and rank pips (four - he was promoted from Commander to Captain at the beginning of season three) all hit the mark.

Articulation is the usual set - balljoint neck, balljoint shoulders, swivel biceps, peg elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist, peg hips, knees, and ankles. As mentioned above, the neck joint is at the base of his neck, hidden within the collar - it's an excellently made joint, completely hidden, A black man in sci-fi? This isn't going to end well. yet with a very good range of motion in all three axes, and only at the most extreme positions does the collar seem to sit away from the neck in any noticeable way. The waist joint is the same as that on the Daxes, but the fact that Sisko's pants have a center seam, which doesn't continue above the joint, sells the idea that the joint is at the bottom of a tighter hem on his jacket, beneath the more obvious start of the loose fabric sculpt over his stomach and abs.

His legs, as mentioned, are good for poses from subtle to more dramatic, though I did find myself wishing there were a swivel in there, akin to the bicep ones on the arms, which would result in a little extra stability in wide stances. His arms are easily capable of holding a rifle in both hands, though he can't quite manage to lift it high and close enough to sight down the barrel.

This wouldn't be a DST/AA Star Trek does anyone know how to work this Zune? figure without a replicator pattern buffer's worth of accessories, and Sisko doesn't disappoint. For starters he has a type-2 phaser and PADD, both DS9-specific styles of the props - incidentally, these are the only accessories repeated across the series, with Jadzia also having the phaser, and Ezri the PADD. When you consider how ubiquitous phasers and PADDs are in Trek, it's no small credit to DST/AA that they didn't deluge us with more repetition of them.

whoops Sisko also gets a type-3 phaser rifle (or a type-IVa, according to some sources, though I'm not sure that that's canonical), a different design to Jadzia's rifle (the IIIb) - the other of the two new styles used on DS9, along with the old TNG rifle (IIIa). Sisko's rifle is more grey than silver, and personally I think it rings truer to the on-screen props in appearance - they were silver, but on screen they didn't seem so bright as Jadzia's rifle is - though one or the other is inaccurate in size, since Sisko's is overall larger, when in fact the two are modifications of the same prop. However big it's meant to be, it sits well in both hands, especially if you get his forefinger around the trigger, which can be done without risking damage if you're careful.

Finally, as befitting his love of the archaic sport, he gets his beloved baseball - mounted on a small square base to keep it from rolling around - and a baseball cap. He's admiring his own balls The baseball is good work, considering the challenge of all that bright red stitching on a white ball at such a small scale - the stitches are larger than they'd be on a real ball, but at this size the effect looks right, and the red paint is quite credible work. The base is handy, if you have something to sit it on, but if when we get a Sisko variant (Season 3, I believe, is on the way, with the earlier uniform and hair on his head) it'd be nice to have a baseless ball he can hold. The cap bears the logo of the Niners, the amateur team Sisko assembled from his crew and friends to take on Captain Solok's Logicians - the logo is a bit washed out on mine, though I haven't yet had a chance to check if that's the same across the line, or if it's just the figure I got. It looks good regardless, and fits perfectly on his head - the sculpt is identical to the Pike City Pioneers cap included with Ezri (though the Niners cap is cast in a lighter blue, not so navy) so that fits Sisko too.

This ''Who's on First'' routine is getting pretty esoteric

Bottom line, this is a great figure in all regards. Whether you're collecting all of DS9, or the various Starfleet Captains, or you're a fan of Sisko in particular, or you just want someone from Star Trek to put on your desk, this won't disappoint.


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