In the first three seasons of DS9 it is strongly implied that Commander Sisko's father is dead, but from season 4 and up Joseph Sisko makes several appearances in the show. Now I would like to know if Commander Sisko's participation in the Bell Riots changed the timeline and brought his father back to life or did the writers just forget Joseph Sisko was supposed to be dead when they wrote him into the show?

Reasons I believe Joseph Sisko was originaly meant to be dead. Thanks to Hypnosifl for finding most of these.

  • On several occasions Commander Sisko refers to his father as having been a chef. But during later appearances it is clear the elder Sisko is still a chef and has no plans to ever retire. And besides a gourmet chef is a gourmet chef till the day he dies whether he is retired or not.
  • The scene from The Alternate, where Commander Sisko tells Odo about his father's illness. Yes he never said his father died, but the way he talked it did not sound to me as if the story had a happy ending.
  • But the clearest evidence in my opinion comes from Commander Sisko's log entry at the beginning of Past Tense part 1. He mentions looking forward to visiting his sister in Portland. He makes no mention of seeing his father, which seems odd considering how close they seem and his health.
  • Can you point to any specific lines that implied his father was dead? There's a collection of transcripts here, and when viewing each transcript, you can do control-F (or command-F on a Mac) to search the page for a given word like "father".
    – Hypnosifl
    Mar 3, 2015 at 0:22
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    Looking through the scripts, one that stands out is a line from The Alternate where Sisko says: "When my father became ill I can remember how small and weak he looked lying there in the bed. He'd been so strong, so independent. It always seemed to me there was nothing that he couldn't do. But in the end, I realised that there was nothing that he could do, and nothing I could do to help him." Still, it could be consistent with a scary illness that he later recovered from.
    – Hypnosifl
    Mar 3, 2015 at 0:28
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    He also sometimes speaks in early seasons of how his father "was" a chef, as in The Emissary and Paradise, but it could be his dad retired and then decided to get back into it, or that in both cases the context of his comment was why he learned to cook as a kid, in which case past tense could make sense.
    – Hypnosifl
    Mar 3, 2015 at 0:37
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    Recently rewatching DS9 I noticed this retcon. Good question.
    – user1027
    Mar 3, 2015 at 1:49
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    I fully believed Commander Sisko's father was dead and this helped to shape the image I had of this man, traumatic pasts encourage endearment. I too was confused to learn he was still alive.
    – Firebat
    Mar 3, 2015 at 4:12

2 Answers 2


AFAIK there were never any indications that Joseph Sisko was dead - merely older and more frail than he used to be. This depiction is consistent with the appearance of Joseph later in the show, along with discussion of his heart condition.

At some point prior to the events of DS9, Joseph had nearly died and received several new organs, including his heart. When Benjamin inquired as to his health and how the new organs were holding up, the elder Sisko replied he was "good as new". However, he continued to suffer from heart-related issues afterwards as well.

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    I don't think Joseph said the specific phrase "good as new", but here's a scene from Homefront which dealt with Joseph Sisko's organ replacement: SISKO: How's the new aorta holding up? JOSEPH [on monitor]: The doctors say I am a medical marvel. At the rate things are going in another year or two I won't have an original organ left in my body. They'll write me up in the medical books. SISKO: But you're feeling okay? JOSEPH [on monitor]: Just point me in the direction of a party and a pretty girl and I'll show you how good I feel.
    – Hypnosifl
    Mar 4, 2015 at 17:44

More than once in the first two seasons especially which I just completed in a back to back marathon of episodes, Commander Sisko no only refers to his father and his activities in the past tense, but also, he directly refers to his having died, having lost his father and how hard it was to get over etc etc...Then suddenly in season four he is blatantly alive with absolutely no explanation as to what occurred to change the state of death in which Sisko's father was previously found...?

Now, if something he or the prophets or one of the other characters did in this or the previous or next series or alternate dimensions or universes changed this fact of the state of death of the father, it nor any other changes were ever referenced...ever, the only real reference would be the outcome, or the change itself!

  • 1
    When does Sisko mention his father's death? I recently re-watched those season too, and I don't remember it Oct 31, 2015 at 20:29

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