In an alternate dimension, either a Time Lord or an expert in vampire-slaying was in command of a space station called Deep Space Nine. It turns out both Peter Capaldi and Anthony Stewart Head auditioned for the same role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 1992. Which character were they trying play? None other than Captain Benjamin Sisko.
On Thursday, the Twitter account for a forthcoming Deep Space Nine documentary shared preview footage including shots of Capaldi and Head auditioning for the famous Star Trek role. The documentary — called What We Left Behind — is produced by former DS9 lead writer and showrunner Ira Steven Behr. After a successful crowd-funding push, the documentary began filming in earnest in February. While it was previously revealed that the documentary will depict former DS9 writers breaking a “new” episode of the show, alternate casting histories weren’t something anyone saw coming.
Because the casting of Avery Broks as Ben Sisko is such a huge part of Star Trek history, imagining another version of the show where he wasn’t the lead seems insane. Not only was Sikso the first person of color to lead a Trek series, he was also decidedly not from the United Kingdom like his predecessor, Patrick Stewart. Obviously, the thing that sticks out about both Capaldi and Head is that like Stewart, they have an accent that most Americans would call “English.” (Even though Capaldi is Scottish.)
Accents and ethnicity aside, what’s even more insane about these auditions is how huge both Head and Capaldi became in the world of science fiction and fantasy anyway. In a lot of sci-fi stories about time travel and alternate dimensions, various timelines all tend to have similar results. This feels like what happened in real life with Peter Capaldi and Anthony Stewart Head. In our timeline, they weren’t on DS9, but ended up being huge on Doctor Who and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, respectively. But in another universe? Who knows. Maybe Giles played Doctor Who and Avery Brooks was on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
There is not yet a release date for What We Left Behind.