Is Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko) a good or bad actor?

Since Star Trek Deep Space Nine first aired on our TV screens back in 1993, there has been an ongoing debate as to whether Avery Brooks who played the leading role as Benjamin Sisko is a good actor or not.

‘The Sisko’, as The Prophets in the series were rather fond of calling him, has certainly had a few well-known roles in his acting career. His Wiki page, notes that he played the character Hawk in Spenser for Hire, which then led to a short spin-off series called Hawk. I’m not sure why it was short lived as I’ve never seen it, but if it’s anything like Joey in Friends spin-off attempt, Joey, it might possibly be because it was crap.

Regardless of your opinion, Brooks has also done a fair bit of stage work too and he’s also a professor of acting type stuff at some University somewhere.

Avery, please stop singing!

Brooks has a reasonable singing voice and apparently, music was a big influence in his early life too. He plays instruments and tickles the ivories on his piano quite a lot. However, not everyone likes his singing and many find him really, really annoying.

Anyway, back to DS9

A user on Reddit posed the question about Sisko’s acting somewhere around 2012. He/she asked:

I’ve never seen this mentioned when people talk about DS9, but I’m finding Sisko to be an extremely wooden character with poor acting…. Does this get better over time or should I try to get used to it?

A good question indeed. Whilst there are only 10 comments and the thread is now closed, there was some speculation that when non-beardy Sisko grew a beard, his acting suddenly started to improve. Much like when Samson had all his hair chopped off and lost his strength.

It seems that the facial hair growth imbued him with magical powers that improved his acting ability.

Another Reddit commenter notes:

The third season of DS9 is also the first season produced after Star Trek: TNG ended, and a lot of the writers and directors from TNG started working on DS9. The whole show improved as a result.

This could indeed be true but when all is said and done, I always like to refer back to that famous quote by Plato back in 10,000 BC.

Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one”.

Disclaimer:- Plato may or may not have said that, and may or may not have lived around 10,000 BC


9 thoughts on “Is Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko) a good or bad actor?

  • 15th April 2018 at 3:15 am

    There’s no doubt that the reason I hated DS9 originally was the terrible Sisco character. Badly portrayed by Brookes , Sisco bullied threatened and other members of DS9 as well as exuding an air of extreme arrogance and sarcasm towards everyone. Permanentlyvangrey provoked a war and constantly disappearing into dream sequences. All in all a horrible odious character made worse by Brookes inability to make the Sisco both likeable and credible.

  • 28th May 2018 at 2:58 am

    Odo and Sisko being mad all the time, grumbling constantly is the distinct low point of the series so far for me (starting season 4). I’m overwhelmed by their normally shitty attitude and for me the reading of Sisko’s lines by Avery Brooks is atrocious. The cadence is all f-d up and I can’t image why anyone would ever, at any point in space time, would think it is O.K. to talk like that. I mean WTF

    Avery should really be dubbed over because his performance is just so god damn weird. It’s like the dude is mentally ill. Either the volume is erratic, or the rhythm is twacked, or he’s mad… booty all around.

  • 8th August 2018 at 7:04 am

    Yeah, he’s awful. I’ve read several desperate defenses of Brooks’ DS9 acting on old Reddit threads — “It’s just the personality of the character he’s playing,” and “He just uses a different, more formal acting style,” etc… it’s all nonsense. The stiff delivery, the arrogance, all of this would be totally fine in Sisko’s *character* if Brooks could pull it off, but he can’t. He doesn’t let go and relax into the character, he fights it the whole time, not feeling it, overacting in a blustery, amateur way and often seeming confused as to what’s needed in the scene. Just watch the master Jeffrey Combs play uptight, arrogant Weyoun (or uptight, arrogant Shran from Enterprise) to see how it’s done right.

    • 30th September 2019 at 7:44 am

      Wow, speaking of display of arrogance, as you go on to discuss this rather subjective topic by rejecting other people’s opinions out of hand with no attempt at refutation… oh, their opinions? I mean “desperate defenses of” and then presenting your own subjective opinions as if they’re facts.

      You know how you know if your argument is bad? If it can be flipped 180 degrees and right back in your face. For example..

      I’ve seen PLENTY of desperate arguments of why Brooks isn’t a good actor, but its all nonsense, the fact that Avery Brooks can deliver his lines in such profound poignant way with strong confidence, is amazing.

      And no, thats not my argument, I happen to think Avery Brooks is one of the best actors I’ve ever seen? Why? Because like you, its just like my opinion, man.

  • 13th November 2018 at 11:45 am

    I loved Sisco, esp the way his character grew, I think it was a combination ,they finally let him play the part the way he wanted, the writing got better as time went on, I assume they wrote him to be a tougher Capt coming out of the loss of wife and half the federation, and into a mix of crew that wasn’t yet a team or used to taking orders. I loved the last few seasons the best. And I luv Vic Fontaine and Sisco singing!

  • 17th December 2018 at 8:28 pm

    I’m now watching DS9(I’m in season 5) on Netflix and find Avery Brooks barely watchable. No human acts like that. Sisko just doesn’t feel natural at all. From the poor line delivery to the awkward body motions to the strange changes in emotion. NONE of it works. The other characters on the show are well portrayed by their actors but Sisko was not done justice. On a few rare occasions I’ve see Brooks relaxed and sincere in his portrayal but he’s mostly all over the place. He really detracts from an otherwise decent series.

  • 24th February 2019 at 3:40 pm

    I really don’t know why it has to be mentioned that he’s done a “fair bit of stage work”. He’s one of the most awful actors ever. Just because someone let him on stage or the fact that he even may have been good in some plays doesn’t change that fact that he was an awful Sisco. I don’t know what that thing is where he takes breaths in between sentences, which makes everything really weird. The worst thing is, that he portaits Sisko as a horrible charactor.

  • 14th June 2019 at 10:57 pm

    His performance/acting is really awful. Like other have said, the way he delivers his lines is unnatural, weird unnatural rhythms, weird unnatural pauses. He does in every situation on DS9.

    I had a really difficult time getting into the series from the beginning because I was so frustrated each time Avery Brooks spoke as his line readings were just so unbelievable.

  • 3rd January 2020 at 4:13 am

    I’m just now starting to watch Deep Space 9 for the first time. I can say without hesitation that Avery Brooks is a horrific actor. His wooden style and seeming confusion over what the character should be feeling is making it difficult for me to enjoy the show so far. Hopefully he will get better. I am still on season 1.


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