Dukat (Star Trek)

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For the character in Babylon 5, see Dukhat.
Gul Dukat
Guldukat.jpg
Species Cardassian
Affiliation The Pah Wraiths, formerly the Cardassian Union
Posting Kornaire
Prefect of Bajor/Overseer of the Cardassian Occupation
Terok Nor commanding officer
Commanding officer of the Second Order
Cardassia Prime
Chief military advisor to the Detapa Council
Groumall commanding officer
Leader of the Cardassian Union
Emissary of the Pah-Wraiths
Rank Gul
Legate (demoted)
Portrayed by Marc Alaimo

Dukat is the main antagonist of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. A member of the fictional Cardassian species, he is introduced as the former overseer of the series' namesake space station but goes on to become the leader of his species' governing body, the Cardassian Union. At times an enemy while at others an ally of the series' protagonist, Benjamin Sisko, Dukat appears in 35 of the series' 176 episodes, beginning with the pilot episode, "Emissary", and ending with the series finale, "What You Leave Behind". He was portrayed by Marc Alaimo throughout.

Creation and role[edit]

Marc Alaimo, who played Gul Dukat, out of costume

The Cardassians were introduced to the Star Trek universe in the Next Generation episode "The Wounded". In that episode, Marc Alaimo played a Cardassian named Macet. While the similarities between Macet and Dukat were never explained when Dukat was cast for Deep Space Nine, the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine relaunch novel Demons of Air and Darkness features Macet, who explains to Kira Nerys, "Skrain Dukat was my cousin."[1]

Dukat played a versatile role throughout the series and was often a nuanced character. In the words of Deep Space Nine co-executive producer Ronald D. Moore, "I don't think of him as being completely evil through and through ... He can be charming. He can be generous. He can do the right thing. All of that somehow makes his 'evil' actions all the more despicable, because we know that there was the potential in there for him to be a better person." Ultimately, despite the character's versatility, "Dukat is a bad guy. A very bad guy."[2] Indeed, StarTrek.com describes him as "the most complex and fully developed villain in Star Trek history".[3]

Appearances[edit]

Prior to the start of the series, Dukat held the military title of Legate (Admiral) and was the head of the Cardassian occupation government of the planet Bajor as well as commander of the station Deep Space Nine (then referred to by its Cardassian name Terok Nor). When Cardassians are forced to withdraw he is demoted to Gul (Captain). Due to this background Dukat's early appearances range from being anti-heroic to antagonistic. In his debut appearance in the pilot episode "Emissary", he takes a Cardassian warship to Deep Space Nine to demand from the new Starfleet-appointed commander Benjamin Sisko one of the recently discovered Orbs of the Bajoran Prophets.[4] In "Cardassians" Dukat is at the center of a conspiracy which his exiled Cardassian enemy Elim Garak and Dr. Julian Bashir are trying to unravel.[5] In "Civil Defense" he tries to blackmail the crew of Deep Space Nine when they cannot disarm an accidentally-triggered Cardassian counter-insurgency program.[6] He is allied with the main Starfleet characters against the Maquis rebels in "The Maquis" and "Defiant" and against the Klingons when they invade Cardassia in "The Way of the Warrior".[7][8][9]

In the season 4 episode "Indiscretion", Kira Nerys accompanies Gul Dukat on a search for a lost Cardassian starship, where it is revealed he is trying to track down and kill his illegitimate half-Bajoran daughter Tora Ziyal. He ultimately resolves to take her home with him.[10] The follow-up episode "Return to Grace" shows Dukat being disgraced with the Cardassian military as a result of this move, reduced to commanding a freighter with Ziyal and his deputy Damar. With Kira's help he commandeers a Klingon Bird Of Prey and sends his government their battle plans. When he hears that the Cardassian government still wants to negotiate with the Klingons he decides to use his new ship to launch a one-man war against the Klingon Empire, leaving Ziyal with Kira at Deep Space Nine.[11] In this capacity he helps Sisko, Miles O'Brien, Odo and Worf infiltrate the Klingon Empire in the season five premiere "Apocalypse Rising".[12]

Dukat's character takes a more villainous role in season five's "By Inferno's Light", where he is revealed to have negotiated Cardassia's joining The Dominion, becoming head of the Union's government in the process.[13] He leads an invasion force which recaptures Deep Space Nine in the season finale "Call to Arms", effectively starting the Dominion War and retaking his old command.[14] He loses the station again in the sixth season episode "Sacrifice of Angels", where Ziyal is also killed by Damar in retaliation for her helping the Federation. Mentally broken, Dukat is easily captured by Starfleet.[15] He escapes their custody when he and Sisko are marooned in "Waltz", during which he hallucinates appearances of Kira, Damar and Weyoun, comes to accept his hatred for the Bajorans, and swears vengeance on all Bajor before escaping.[16] Towards this end Dukat allies himself with—and is for a short time possessed by—the Pah-wraiths, the effective archenemies of the Bajoran Prophets, renders the latters' orbs useless and kills regular character Jadzia Dax in "Tears of the Prophets".[17]

Dukat returns in season seven at the head of the cult of the Pah-wraiths in "Covenant", but quickly is disgraced in front of his followers by Kira and goes into hiding again.[18] In "Penumbra" he seeks Damar's help to find a surgeon to make him look like a Bajoran.[19] In this guise he convinces Kai Winn to join him in his efforts to free the Pah-wraiths from their imprisonment in the Bajoran Fire Caves in "Strange Bedfellows", even when she discovers his true identity in "The Changing Face of Evil".[20][21] Their plan is put into action in the series finale "What You Leave Behind", where the Pah-wraiths choose him as their emissary instead of Winn. Sisko, emissary of the Prophets, arrives to stop him and at Winn's advice shoves himself, the Pah-wraiths' holy book and Dukat into the burning fire caves, sealing Dukat and possibly himself in the Fire Caves with the Pah-wraiths forever.[22][23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Keith R. A. DeCandido, Demons of Air and Darkness, 134-135
  2. ^ Memory Alpha:AOL chats/Ronald D. Moore
  3. ^ STARTREK.COM : Article
  4. ^ "Emissary, Part I". StarTrek.com. Paramount. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  5. ^ "Cardassians". StarTrek.com. Paramount. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  6. ^ Erdmann, Terry J. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, (Pocket Books, 2000) 183.
  7. ^ "The Maquis, Part II". StarTrek.com. Paramount. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  8. ^ "Defiant". StarTrek.com. Paramount. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  9. ^ Erdmann, 259.
  10. ^ "Indiscretion". StarTrek.com. Paramount. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  11. ^ "Return to Grace". StarTrek.com. Paramount. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  12. ^ "Apocalypse Rising". StarTrek.com. Paramount. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  13. ^ STARTREK.COM : Detail
  14. ^ STARTREK.COM : Detail
  15. ^ STARTREK.COM : Detail
  16. ^ STARTREK.COM : Detail
  17. ^ STARTREK.COM : Detail
  18. ^ STARTREK.COM : Detail
  19. ^ STARTREK.COM : Detail
  20. ^ STARTREK.COM : Episode
  21. ^ STARTREK.COM : Episode
  22. ^ STARTREK.COM : Episode
  23. ^ STARTREK.COM : Episode

External links[edit]