Strange New World's Dr. M'Benga Reverses Sysco's DS9 Story
Dr. M'Benga of Strange New Worlds is a single father like Captain Sisko, but the ending of Rukiya's story echoes that of Ben in DS9.
Dr. Joseph Mbenga's (Babs Olusanmokun's) arc in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 deftly reverses Captain Benjamin Sisko's (Avery Brooks) story in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine . Dr. M'Benga, the chief medical officer of the USS Enterprise, commanded by Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), is hiding a secret: he's hiding his young daughter, Rukiya (Sage Arrindell), in the Enterprise's medical transporter mode buffer. M'Benga eventually finds an unlikely solution to Rukiya's problems, a reversal of Captain Sisko's fortunes.
In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Captain Sisko balances his dual roles as a Starfleet officer and a Bajoran emissary. Benjamin, also a widower, raised his young son, Jack Sisko (Ciro Clofton), as a single parent on one of the most dangerous frontiers of the Federation of Planets. At the start of DS9 Season 7, Ben learns that his real mother is Sarah (Deborah Lacey), one of the prophets who incarnated and married Ben's father, Joseph Sisko (Brock Peter S). At the end of DS9, after the Federation wins the Dominions War, Ben joins the Prophet as a non-linear presence ascendant, In doing so, he leaves behind Jack, his wife Cassidy Yates-Sisko (Penny Johnson), and their unborn child.
How Strange New Worlds' Dr. M'Benga Reversed Sisko's DS9 Story
Dr. M'Benga was unable to find a cure for Rukiya's cygnokemia until an unlikely solution appeared in Strange New World Episode 8 "The Elysian Kingdom". When the Starship Enterprise encounters the Chonisis Nebula, a sentient nonphysical life form within the nebula is theorized to be a Boltzmann brain, turning the Enterprise into Rukiya's favorite fairytale fantasy. But the strange existence also turns Rukia into pure energy, as long as she is in this state, her illness will be cured. Dr. M'Benga decides to let Rukiya stay in the Jonisian Nebula with her new friend, who Rukiya named her Debra after her mother.
Strange New Worlds' story about how Rukiya becomes an incorporeal Captain Sisko on DS9. Not the father, but the child becomes another Star Trek god-like life form, no longer subject to the effects of time or death. When Ben left his son Jack, Lucia's father Joseph had to give up his child. Joseph also meets Rukiya (Makambe Simamba) as an adult, just as Ben once met Jack (Tony Todd) in the classic DS9 Season 4 episode "The Visitor."
Dr. M'Benga Is A Rare Star Trek Sight: A Good Father
Captain Sisko was a breakthrough character on Star Trek, not only because he was the first black captain in the series to lead his own series, but also because DS9 was an important portrayal of a loving single father raising his son. Dr. M'Benga is Star Trek's first black character with a single father since Ben Sisko, and Joseph is in dire straits as he desperately wants to do what's right for his terminally ill child. Dr. M'Benga violated Starfleet regulations by hiding Rukiya in his dropship, but then again, Captain Sisko also violated quite a few regulations in his time. Star Trek as a whole lacked a strong father figure, but Dr. Mbenga in Strange New Worlds proved to be the best single father since Captain Sisko.
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