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"One man's villain is another man's hero, Captain."
– Dukat, 2373 ("By Inferno's Light")

Dukat, S.G. was a Cardassian military officer who served as Prefect of Bajor in the final years of the Bajoran Occupation. As the last person to hold the position, Dukat lost favor with Cardassian Central Command and fell into a downward spiral for several years. However, he became ruler of the Cardassian Union overnight, after he negotiated Cardassia's entry into the Dominion. Following his defeat in Operation Return and the death of his beloved daughter Ziyal, he suffered a complete mental breakdown and was captured by the Federation when it reclaimed space station Deep Space 9. He subsequently escaped, and became a disciple of the Pah-wraiths. Along with Kai Winn Adami, he attempted to release the Pah-wraiths into the Bajoran wormhole. Dukat was imprisoned in the Fire Caves with the Pah-wraiths, after a fateful confrontation with the Emissary of the Prophets. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

Dukat's "initials" (S.G.), as stated in the episode "A Time to Stand" ("Permanent Documentation File, Dukat, S.G."), may in fact indicate a type of rank as opposed to his initials, such as "Supreme General" or "Station Gul", as he was in command of Terok Nor at the time of this recording. See notes below for more information.


One of Dukat's first assignments was as a newly minted glinn aboard the Kornaire. Among his tasks as a glinn was cleaning out a compartment where three men had gone through an explosive decompression, after which he could not sleep for a week. (DS9: "Waltz") At some point prior to being stationed on Bajor, Dukat was a legate, but he lost favor with Cardassian Central Command and was reduced to the rank of Gul. (DS9: "Indiscretion") He later rejected the title of legate because he felt Gul was more "hands on." (DS9: "Ties of Blood and Water")

Dukat and Odo Occupation

Dukat and Odo

Prefect of Bajor[]

"I only hope you won't condemn us all for the boorish behavior of one man."
– Gul Dukat to Kira Meru, 2346 ("Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night")

By 2346, at the rank of gul, Dukat was made Prefect of Bajor. (DS9: "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night")

In 2360, he was assigned command of Terok Nor, the mining station and command post in orbit of Bajor that was later known as Deep Space 9. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I") Dukat was the last Prefect of Bajor before the end of the Occupation. He was responsible for many atrocities committed against the Bajoran people, and became one of the most hated individuals in Bajoran history. (DS9: "Emissary")

According to Dukat, he was convinced that a gentler approach was needed to quell the Bajoran Resistance and make Bajor suitable for colonization. His first act as prefect was to cut labor camp output quotas by fifty percent, abolish child labor, and improve medical care and food rations. These measures led to a twenty percent drop in the camp death rates. However, the Resistance repaid him by destroying an orbital drydock on his one-month anniversary, killing two hundred Cardassians. During the Occupation, the Resistance attempted to assassinate Dukat five times, all of them unsuccessful. Dukat grew to hate the Bajorans for not acknowledging his "compassion" towards them. (DS9: "Things Past", "Waltz")

Despite his latter admission of hatred for his charges, he conducted numerous affairs with Bajoran women, including Kira Meru, mother of Kira Nerys, and Tora Naprem, whom he claimed to love and with whom he fathered a daughter, Tora Ziyal. (DS9: "Indiscretion", "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night", "Waltz")

In the original version of "Waltz", the circumstances surrounding Dukat's romance with Tora Naprem would have been explored in a fantasy scenario which would have revealed "why it was a twisted relationship," in the words of "Waltz" writer Ronald D. Moore. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 521)

Dukat was fond of Bajoran springwine. (DS9: "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night")

While Prefect, Dukat reported to Legate Kell regularly; however, he did not have the respect from Kell that he was led to believe. Dukat created a counter-insurgency program to combat potential worker revolts on Terok Nor, but Kell secretly added a level to it in case Dukat tried to flee. The automated program was set to deal with various situations, the most severe of which was a complete takeover of the station. In the event that this happened, the program could initiate an auto-destruct sequence, and if Dukat tried to transport off the station while this sequence was in effect, his access codes would be nullified and he would be doomed to die with his station. (DS9: "Civil Defense")

Cardassian officer[]

"I've found that when one has a difficult job to do, personal reasons can be quite an incentive."
– Gul Dukat, 2372 ("Indiscretion")

Dukat strongly opposed the Cardassian withdrawal from Bajor in 2369, a move which damaged his career due to the politicians, such as Kotan Pa'Dar blaming him, as it occurred during Dukat's administration. During the evacuation and after a bombing, he had one of his female officers take Pa'Dar's son, Rugal, to an orphanage to, at some point, be used to humiliate Pa'Dar. After the withdrawal, Dukat became the commander of the Second Order and given the command of the Galor-class Prakesh. He played a major role in many interactions between the Cardassian military and the Federation for the next three years, and made several visits to his former command post, Deep Space 9, under various circumstances. (DS9: "Cardassians")

Dukat with Naprem's pledge bracelet

Dukat at the crash site where his former lover, Tora Naprem, died

Dukat was implicated in the supplying of illegal weapons to Cardassian citizens in the Demilitarized Zone in 2370 by his political enemies, including Legate Parn. Arriving aboard DS9 as an unregistered passenger aboard a Kotakian ship, Dukat assisted Commander Benjamin Sisko in his investigation of the Maquis, so as to prove his innocence. He was briefly abducted by the Maquis, but he was rescued by Sisko. It emerged that the Cardassian Central Command was actually responsible for violating the Federation-Cardassian Treaty. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I")

When the Cardassian Union underwent a revolution in 2372, Dukat sided with the victorious Detapa Council. He was made chief military adviser. Following the Klingon invasion of the Cardassian Union, Dukat was able to evacuate the council members to DS9 aboard the cruiser Prakesh, with the timely assistance of the USS Defiant. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior") He was promoted to legate later that year. (DS9: "Indiscretion")

Dukat's promotion to the rank of legate was barely discernible in canon Star Trek. "You have to be one of those fans who really pay attention to notice," noted Hans Beimler, "because we never mentioned it – he was just wearing a legate insignia." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 15, p. 51)

Dukat subsequently accompanied Kira Nerys to Dozaria to find the wreck of the Ravinok, a transport ship that had been lost several years earlier with Dukat's mistress, Tora Naprem, and his half-Bajoran daughter, Tora Ziyal, aboard. Dukat had initially intended to kill both Ziyal and Naprem, had they survived. However, after he found his daughter alive in a Breen mining camp on Dozaria, he decided to take her with him back to Cardassia, despite the effect it would have on his career. (DS9: "Indiscretion")

Fighting the Klingons[]

Dukat Kira cargo exercise

In command of the Cardassian freighter Groumall

"Everything I have lost, I will regain."
– Dukat, 2372 ("Return to Grace")

After he returned with Ziyal, Dukat was demoted and given command of a small freighter, the Groumall. His family disowned him, his wife and children left him, and both he and Ziyal were shunned by Cardassian society. (DS9: "Return to Grace")

According to Hans Beimler, Dukat's rank returned to gul upon his demotion. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 15, p. 51)

In 2372, Dukat oversaw the Groumall on a courier mission to ferry Kira Nerys to the outpost at Korma. After finding the outpost destroyed, Dukat and Kira were able to capture the Klingon Bird-of-Prey responsible. Dukat urged the Detapa Council to use his captured intelligence to mount a new offensive against the Klingons, but they rejected his proposal, preferring to seek a diplomatic option. (DS9: "Return to Grace")

Disgusted with the Detapa Council's unwillingness to fight, Dukat began to carry on his own one-ship war against the Klingons. In 2373, he and his ship helped an undercover Starfleet team, led by Sisko, to infiltrate Klingon military headquarters on Ty'Gokor to expose a Changeling. (DS9: "Apocalypse Rising")

Dukat joins Dominion

Announcing Cardassia's union with the Dominion

Alliance with the Dominion[]

"Cardassia will be made whole. All that we have lost will be ours again. And anyone who stands in our way will be destroyed. This I vow with my life's blood: for my son, for all our sons."
– Gul Dukat, 2373 ("By Inferno's Light")

By 2373, Dukat became convinced that the only way to regain Cardassia's former glory was for them to join the Dominion. In secret talks, he negotiated Cardassia's entry into the Dominion with himself as ruler. Dukat promised to the Cardassian people that under his leadership, all that Cardassia lost would be regained. His move was initially celebrated by most Cardassians, who had suffered defeat and humiliation for years at the hands of the Federation and Klingons. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light") Dukat chose not to promote himself back to legate, since he saw the rank of gul as more "hands-on." (DS9: "Ties of Blood and Water") One of Dukat's first acts was to have his Dominion allies release all surviving Cardassians from Internment Camp 371 with one exception – Elim Garak, who had not only killed Dukat's father but had also fallen in love with Ziyal. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")

In the months after his taking office, Dukat made good on his promises by wiping out all Klingons and Maquis from Cardassian space with his newly gained Dominion allies. Dukat commanded the Dominion forces which retook Terok Nor from the Federation in late 2373. In the following weeks, Dukat directed the Dominion War from his old command, winning many early victories against the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Bringing in Dominion reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant by re-opening the Bajoran wormhole was to be his greatest triumph. (DS9: "Call to Arms", "A Time to Stand")

However, victory was snatched from his grasp when the Dominion reinforcements were eliminated by the Prophets. As allied forces retook the station during Operation Return, Dukat – driven half-mad by his rapid change of fortune – descended into insanity after the murder of his beloved daughter Ziyal by Damar, his second-in-command. He refused to evacuate with the rest of the Dominion forces, and was captured by Starfleet. (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels")


Dukat psychotic

Falling into insanity following the death of his daughter Ziyal

"They thought I was their enemy. They don't know what it is to be my enemy, but they will."
– Dukat, 2374 ("Waltz")

Afterward, Dukat began suffering from hallucinations and fits of paranoia, and was treated by Federation doctors. After he was declared "recovered," Dukat was to be taken to a Special Jury at Starbase 621 aboard the USS Honshu to stand trial for war crimes, but the Honshu was intercepted by Cardassian warships. Dukat escaped to a nearby planet in a shuttlecraft with his adversary, Benjamin Sisko. Dukat's hallucinations returned, and he attempted to kill Sisko before escaping in the shuttle. During his time on the planet, Dukat embraced his hatred for the Bajoran people, promising to one day return and rain destruction on all of Bajor. Even more than before, his actions became increasingly proactively spiteful. (DS9: "Waltz")

Pact with the Pah-wraiths[]

Dukat as the Emissary of the Pah-wraiths

Part of the Cult of the Pah-wraiths

"Everyone has their reasons. That's what's so frightening. People can find a way to justify any action, no matter how evil."
– Kira Nerys, 2373 ("By Inferno's Light")

In late 2374, Dukat believed he had found a way to destroy the Bajoran people and their Emissary, Sisko. Having immersed himself in the ancient Bajoran texts, he discovered that the wormhole was actually the Celestial Temple. He returned to Cardassia Prime and enacted an ancient Bajoran ritual to release a Pah-wraith into his body. Thus possessed, he traveled to Deep Space 9 and released it into the Celestial Temple via the Orb of Contemplation, causing the wormhole to disappear. In the process, Dukat killed Jadzia Dax, who was simply in his way. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")

His habitation by the Pah-wraith had turned Dukat into their believer; subsequently, he retreated to station Empok Nor and founded a community of members from the Cult of the Pah-wraiths. He was worshiped as a messiah, and fathered another half-Bajoran child, with Mika. Dukat never publicly admitted fatherhood. He instead tried to kill Mika, then attempted to have the cult members commit suicide to conceal his attempt to kill her. When he was exposed, Dukat fled again. (DS9: "Covenant")


Dukat posing as Anjohl Tennan

In late 2375, Dukat secretly underwent cosmetic surgery on Cardassia Prime to pose as a Bajoran farmer, Anjohl Tennan. He then traveled to Deep Space 9 and gained the confidence of Kai Winn Adami and even became romantically involved with her – albeit for ulterior motives – and with the assistance of false visions given to Winn by the Pah-wraiths, he slowly convinced her to join him as a follower of the Pah-wraiths. During the Occupation, just after the Great Famine, Anjohl Tennan was one of a hundred Bajorans due to be executed by Gul Dukat's orders as a public example after the Bajoran Resistance destroyed the outpost in Relliketh. Winn, who was a ranjen at the time, had bribed the pilot of Anjohl's transport, Prenar, to "accidentally" misread his orders and divert his prisoners to a labor camp. Dukat later retold this story to Winn to further gain her trust. (DS9: "'Til Death Do Us Part")

Dukat falling into Fire Caves

Falling into the flames of the Fire Caves on Bajor

Along with Winn, Dukat plotted to release the Pah-wraiths from their prison in the Fire Caves, using the Book of the Kosst Amojan. After Solbor eventually discovered what had happened to the real Anjohl Tennan, Dukat's true identity was exposed by Solbor, but he was in turn killed by Winn. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil")

Dukat accompanied Winn into the Fire Caves, where Winn poisoned Dukat as a sacrifice to complete the release ritual. However, the Pah-wraiths rejected Winn and chose Dukat as their Emissary, restoring him to life, returning his Cardassian features, and imbuing him with their power. Sisko tried to confront Dukat, but Dukat used his new power to force Sisko to his knees and taunt him. However, when Dukat was distracted by Winn's attempt to destroy the Book, Sisko used the distraction to stand up and throw himself and Dukat into the fires, which destroyed the book and trapped Dukat forever in the prison with the Pah-wraiths. Sisko himself was rescued by the Prophets. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil", "What You Leave Behind")

Alternate timeline and realities []

Dukat's skull

The skull of Dukat in General Picard's trophy room

In an alternate timeline created by Q, Dukat lived in a universe where Earth had developed into an authoritarian society known as the Confederation of Earth. At some point in the 24th century, he battled General Jean-Luc Picard at the Ithian Forests, where he was killed.

According to Q, in that timeline Dukat had been the reason of General Picard receiving a synthetic body.

General Picard later displayed Dukat's skull in his trophy room. (PIC: "Penance")

Family and personal relationships[]

Dukat's father was arrested and executed by the Cardassian government. Dukat blamed Obsidian Order operative Elim Garak for his father's death and ordered his execution at least twice. Dukat had his own dealings with the Obsidian Order after some involvement with arms merchants. However, it's also possible that the arms merchant was a reference to Dukat's father and the circumstances leading to his arrest and conviction. (DS9: "The Wire", "Improbable Cause", "The Die is Cast", "By Inferno's Light")

Dukat claimed to be married and have seven children with his wife. At one point in 2371, Dukat expressed regrets about missing the eleventh birthday of his son Mekor. However, he apparently abandoned these supposed family members when he found his daughter Ziyal. Furthermore, he also kept several Bajoran mistresses when he was Prefect on Terok Nor during the Bajoran Occupation. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I", "Defiant", "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night")

Dukat's wife and their seven offspring were never seen. The idea of establishing Dukat as having seven children was thought up by Michael Piller; the children were mentioned by him in a rewrite he did of "The Maquis, Part I". Because it was humanizing the antagonistic Dukat, Behr initially asked Piller if he was certain he wanted to include the reference. ("The Producer's View", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 12) Dukat voicing annoyance over having to be absent from Mekor's birthday, in "Defiant", was an attempt to essentially humanize the character (actually as part of efforts to soften him in the third and fourth seasons) during a lengthy search for the USS Defiant with Benjamin Sisko. "I wanted a moment in that scene where we see that Dukat has better things to do than participate in this particular mission," stated Ronald D. Moore. "That he has some Humanity and a life outside of that war room–and that this kind of sucks for him too. He's not getting any joy out of what they're doing." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 190) Dukat actor Marc Alaimo approved of the writers having gone some way toward humanizing Dukat by giving him a family. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, p. 44)

Midway through DS9 Season 2, Marc Alaimo admitted he personally wanted the character to "have a real love interest." The performer went on to say, "That would be cool. You could go any way with that. You could have him be attracted to a humanoid person and see where that would take us […] How people react to him is really interesting. I think people regard him as a very powerful presence and they're attracted to him in a very strange way." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 6, pp. 49-50)

In DS9 Season 5, Marc Alaimo voiced an interest in Dukat having more relationships with a more varied mix of other characters, the actor commenting, "I would like to do more of that kind of thing, work more with the different characters." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, p. 38)

At one time, Ronald D. Moore remarked that Dukat "doesn't understand why everyone else doesn't see that" he's a good man, believing himself that he is. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 520)

Benjamin Sisko[]

Dukat had a strange relationship with Benjamin Sisko, who was in many ways his counterpart and opposite. Dukat saw Sisko as a friend and viewed him with a great deal of respect, although that view was not shared by Sisko. However, after Dukat realized his hatred for the Bajorans and made his promise to destroy Bajor, he and Sisko became mortal enemies. They eventually confronted one another, one last time, in the Fire Caves. (DS9: "Waltz", "What You Leave Behind")

Regarding Dukat's connection with Sisko, Marc Alaimo once remarked, "I liked that he felt Sisko was an equal who gave him respect. They had a mutual understanding of sorts as these two strong presences." ("Cold Warrior?", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 12)

While "Waltz" was under development, noticing that Dukat's relations with Sisko seemed, at least to the DS9 writing staff, to be working compelled the writers to concentrate the episode on that relationship, causing them to become marooned together. Ronald D. Moore referred to Dukat, in those circumstances, as "a madman who is perfectly capable of killing [Sisko]." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 47) In an early version of the episode's script, Dukat threatened Sisko he would "learn what it's like to lose a child," rather than threatening the annihilation of Bajor and its inhabitants, instead implying that Dukat intended to kill Sisko's son, Jake. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 522)

Turning Dukat into the leader of the Cult of the Pah-wraiths in DS9: "Covenant" appeared as if it would influence his relationship with Sisko. "Somehow it seemed like it was going to help us put him into conflict with Sisko," reflected René Echevarria. Indeed, at the time "Covenant" was written, Dukat's clash with Sisko was the only thing the DS9 writing staff knew they wanted to feature at the end of the Cardassian's character arc. While filming Dukat's final confrontation with Sisko in "What You Leave Behind", Marc Alaimo was required to perform Dukat being punched twice in the head with hits swung by Sisko. However, the actor was accidentally hurt by Sisko actor Avery Brooks during the filming, as a result of Alaimo unintentionally bringing his head slightly too near Brooks prior to the second swing. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, pp. 632 & 711)


Dukat's closest friend was Damar, who served under him when he commanded the transport ship and later the stolen Klingon Bird-of-Prey and was his adjutant during his time as leader of the Cardassian Union. Dukat found Damar "useful" and despite the fact it was Damar who shot and killed his daughter, he later forgave Damar. Dukat came to him for help in his plan to release the Pah-Wraiths, even encouraging Damar to once again become the brave man he had fought with years before. (DS9: "Return to Grace", "Sacrifice of Angels", "Penumbra", "'Til Death Do Us Part", "Strange Bedfellows")

Damar had a great deal of respect for Dukat, looking up to him as a role model. He disliked seeing anyone show what he perceived as insufficient reverence to Dukat, and often sought his approval. Most notably, in his speech calling for resistance to Dominion occupation of Cardassia, Damar neglected to mention Dukat's role in Cardassia joining the Dominion, instead blaming a nebulous "government". (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil")


Dukat also had a good working relationship with his Dominion ally Weyoun, and although they occasionally antagonized one another, there was a mutual respect between the two. Dukat even gave Weyoun a picture his daughter Ziyal had painted. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets", "Penumbra", "'Til Death Do Us Part")

The relevant pair of actors spoke about Dukat's somewhat uneasy alliance with Weyoun. Said Marc Alaimo, "Dukat wants to flick [Weyoun] […] off if he can." Weyoun actor Jeffrey Combs commented, "Gul Dukat and Weyoun are such an interesting contrast, because he's all testosterone, and the Vortas are very gentle and pleasant cobras." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, pp. 45 & 61) Combs elaborated, "What's very interesting about that dynamic is that he [Dukat] perceives himself as being the one in control, having to deal with me, and I see the absolute opposite […] After all, he wouldn't be there at all if it weren't for the Dominion. So it makes for a great dynamic tension, because he sees it his way, and I see it my way, Dukat is Dukat and it's an unfortunate marriage, but you have to make do with what you have." Combs also suspected, while interviewed at the end of DS9 Season 6, that Dukat, together with Damar, would turn against Weyoun. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, pp. 68-69)

Elim Garak[]

Dukat had a deep-seated personal hatred of Garak, stemming largely from the death of his father. As an agent of the Obsidian Order, Garak tortured and killed Dukat's father. Dukat used those events to try to dissuade his daughter Ziyal from her relationship with Garak. (DS9: "For the Cause") This relationship with Dukat's daughter only strengthened his animosity toward Garak, driving Dukat to nearly kill him in Quark's in 2373. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow") When Dukat commanded Terok Nor, he made at least one attempt to have Garak executed, but this attempt failed, which Garak later pointed out to Dukat's chagrin. (DS9: "Civil Defense")

Despite the bitterness between Dukat and Garak, the reason for the arrest and interrogation of Dukat's father is never mentioned. Even after a reason for the conflict between Dukat and Garak was revealed in "For the Cause", Marc Alaimo considered Dukat's relationship with Garak as having "never been defined," at the end of DS9 Season 5. Alaimo additionally suspected they would have a fight, though Garak would have to return to the station if they were to engage in battle. Initially speaking directly from the viewpoint of Dukat, the actor speculated, "I'll kick his ass if he does. Or maybe he'll end up doing Dukat in. Who knows?" Garak actor Andrew Robinson was entirely uncertain whether Dukat would indeed combat Garak. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, pp. 46 & 58)

Kira Nerys[]

In the years after the Occupation, Dukat and Kira Nerys crossed paths many times. Dukat was fascinated by Kira. Indeed, Dukat hinted on several occasions that he was romantically interested in her, referring to her as a "fascinating woman." Dukat complimented Kira on her talents and skills more than once, much to her disgust. He seemed to be determined to win Kira's respect and acknowledgement as a sort of vindication from his past actions. At times, however, both seemed to enjoy each other's company, to an extent, and were able to work together when it was required. (DS9: "Indiscretion", "A Time to Stand", "Return to Grace", "Apocalypse Rising")

Marc Alaimo believed Dukat had a long-standing attraction to Kira Nerys. "I think Dukat has kind of always wanted to flirt with her," he said. "Because of their history, that's pretty far-fetched." Alaimo speculated that, if Kira could ever get past their history, Dukat could become very interested in a romantic relationship between them. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 52) As it turned out, Alaimo approved of Dukat's fascination with Kira. "I liked that he had this huge crush on Kira," he remarked. ("Cold Warrior?", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 12)

Ira Steven Behr and Marc Alaimo deemed DS9: "The Maquis, Part II" as an important episode in establishing Dukat's relationship with Kira Nerys. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 138; Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 52) Behr believed that, in the installment, Dukat starts to be viewed by her as a multi-faceted person, rather than completely evil. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 138) Alaimo cited a specific scene in which Dukat exchanges a look with Kira after he speaks, in a way more persuasive than Benjamin Sisko is capable of, to Drofo Awa. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 52) Dukat's relationship with Kira becomes even more complicated, increasingly so, in the third and fourth seasons of DS9, Dukat apparently seeming less and less sinister to Kira. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 138)

Kira and Dukat look for wreckage

Dukat with Kira Nerys

Exemplifying how they were able to collaborate with each other, Dukat joined Kira on a mission to find the transport ship Ravinok; the two successfully located remaining crew members from that vessel and worked out a plan to rescue the prisoners. Dukat was also persuaded by Kira into sparing his illegitimate half-Bajoran daughter, Ziyal, and accepting her into his life. (DS9: "Indiscretion")

Ira Steven Behr believed that, in "Indiscretion", Dukat's relationship with Kira was dealt with in an "interesting" way and that the two performers playing those roles "worked very well together." ("'Indiscretion' Datafile", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 4) Kira actress Nana Visitor felt it was obvious that Dukat's objective of killing his daughter would be prevented by Kira. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 16, p. 48) In the same episode, the writing staff of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine took the relationship to a closer level than before, though decidedly not a romantic one. "[The perceived potential for romance] was always more about Dukat than Kira," noted Robert Hewitt Wolfe. Explained Behr, "I think it's only in Dukat's mind that there was any hope of a relationship. And maybe in Marc Alaimo's mind. Certainly Kira never thought so, and certainly we never thought so. But Marc was so insistent in playing that hope in the way he treated her that it became a fun thing to follow up on, although we knew there was no way in hell that it would ever happen." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 275)

Additionally, when Dukat's ship transported Kira to a conference, the two enjoyed a meal together and subsequently collaborated to stop a group of Klingons operating behind Cardassian borders. Seeing that his new life of terrorism against the Klingons was not a good one for his daughter, Dukat allowed Kira to take Ziyal back to DS9 with her. This development pleased Dukat because he and Kira now had something in common. (DS9: "Return to Grace") Given this somewhat mother-like role he perceived Kira having for his daughter, Dukat blamed her when he discovered Ziyal had become romantically involved with Garak. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow")

While developing "Return to Grace", it was important to the DS9 writing staff that they take another step in furthering Dukat's relationship with Kira Nerys and turning it "on its head a little bit," as phrased by Robert Hewitt Wolfe. The writers did this by making Dukat become more like Kira, as he starts being a kind of freedom fighter in "Return to Grace". The writing staff didn't ensure, though, that their relationship was equal in that installment. "As the episode took form and became real, we realized that we had thrown the episode a little bit too much toward Dukat and away from Kira," stated Ira Steven Behr. "Dukat had all the major decisions." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp. 113-114)

In DS9 Season 5, Dukat was again made despicable, with both the viewers and Kira allowed to hate him. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 138) When Dukat was made villainous again, Marc Alaimo didn't want the character's relations with Kira to come to an end. Rather, he hoped the series would continue to explore "the whole thing he's got with Kira, this great crush. In spite of everything that's taking place, and how much she hates him, he keeps after her," commented Alaimo. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, p. 46)

Dukat and Kira's relationship took on a much darker tone during the Dominion War, when Dukat took over as commander of Dominion-occupied DS9. He made a few rather obvious advances towards Kira, which she rebuffed with disgust. (DS9: "A Time to Stand", "Sons and Daughters")

As originally conceived, a fantasy scenario imagined by Dukat in "Waltz" would have featured Kira as his wife, while he was once again in charge of the space station. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 521)

The writing of "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night" started with the notion of putting more stress on Dukat's relationship with Kira. "We asked ourselves, 'How can we take Gul Dukat and bond him closer to Kira in a way that would just make her insane?" remembered Ira Steven Behr. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 547) The answer was showing Dukat's connection with Kira was affected by his bond with her mother. "We thought it was an interesting place to take their relationship," Behr continued, "and it helped to explain part of this total fascination that Dukat has with the Major." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 53)

Later, after he had become a disciple of the Pah-Wraiths, Dukat had Kira kidnapped to Empok Nor. There, he tried in vain to convince her to join the Cult of the Pah-wraiths community he had established on the station. (DS9: "Covenant")

Kira Meru[]

Kira Meru - Dukat

Dukat kissing Kira Meru

Kira Meru was one of Dukat's mistresses on Terok Nor during the Bajoran Occupation, with whom he fell in love and was involved for seven years before her death in 2353. Years later, Dukat developed an attraction to Meru's daughter, Kira Nerys, the first officer of Deep Space Nine. (DS9: "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night")

The idea of Dukat being romantically involved with Kira Meru, prior to its depiction onscreen, wasn't an intention of the DS9 writing staff over a long stretch of time. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 59) The writers actually devised Dukat's involvement in this romance as a way to frustrate Kira Nerys. Bradley Thompson recalled, "We asked ourselves, 'What if Dukat had been making it with Kira's mother?'" After consulting the Star Trek Encyclopedia to ensure the idea chronologically fit with the events which had already been established, the writers went ahead with depicting the relationship. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 547)

Tora Ziyal[]

Towards the end of the Occupation, Dukat fell in love with another Bajoran woman, Tora Naprem, and the two had a daughter named Tora Ziyal. Dukat sent the pair away to Lissepia in 2366, though their ship was shot down by the Breen on Dozaria. Ziyal survived and was forced to labor in a Breen dilithium mine until Dukat rescued her in 2372. Tradition demanded that he kill her, but Dukat couldn't bring himself to do so, so he took her back to Cardassia Prime with him, whereupon he was severely ostracized. His wife and children left him and his mother disowned him. (DS9: "Indiscretion", "Return to Grace")

When Dukat became a terrorist in the Klingon-Cardassian War, he sent Ziyal to live on Deep Space 9 under the care of Kira, with whom she had formed a close relationship. (DS9: "Return to Grace") During the first Dominion offensive, Ziyal helped Kira and others in their efforts to sabotage the station and get it back into Federation hands. After the Dominion was forced to abandon DS9, Damar overheard Ziyal admit that she'd helped Kira and the other saboteurs escape, and he killed her before Dukat's eyes, declaring her a traitor. She died in Dukat's arms, an experience that left him deeply scarred and, together with the defeat in battle, was the beginning of his downward spiral into madness. (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels") He subsequently spent many months under the psychological care of Federation doctors, often calling out Ziyal's name. (DS9: "Waltz")

Marc Alaimo liked Dukat's interactions with Ziyal. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 70) The actor once observed that, in any given episode, Dukat never had very much to do with Ziyal, an aspect of their relationship which Alaimo found "interesting." He cited "Indiscretion" as the installment he thought features the most involvement between them. ("Cold Warrior?", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 12) Similarly, even after working on "Return to Grace", Nana Visitor referred to "Indiscretion" as "the Dukat and his daughter episode." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 16, p. 48)

The degree to which Dukat truly cared about Ziyal is unclear. "He loved Ziyal," posited Ira Steven Behr, "but like the true sociopathic personality he is, he wasn't above using her, or lying to her." Hans Beimler disagreed, "It's not that he really loves her. He feels guilt about her. Guilt!" Beimler slapped the surface of his desk, emphasizing his point because he clearly felt strongly about the subject of Dukat's feelings for Ziyal. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 495)

Winn Adami[]

In late 2375, Dukat secretly underwent cosmetic surgery on Cardassia Prime to pose as a Bajoran farmer, Anjohl Tennan. He then traveled to Deep Space 9 and gained the confidence of Kai Winn Adami and even became romantically involved with her – albeit for ulterior motives – and with the assistance of false visions given to Winn by the Pah-wraiths, he slowly convinced her to join him as a follower of the Pah-wraiths.

Along with Winn, Dukat plotted to release the Pah-wraiths from their prison in the Fire Caves, using the Book of the Kosst Amojan. After Solbor eventually discovered what had happened to the real Anjohl Tennan, Dukat's true identity was exposed by Solbor, but he was in turn killed by Winn. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil"). Following the reveal of his true identity, Winn rejected Dukat as a lover and attempted to banish him from her sight, only to fail knowing that she required Dukat's aid in unlocking the secrets of the Kosst Amojan. Dukat attempted to read from the Kosst Amojan, which was only meant for the eyes of the Bajoran Kai, and was rendered blind by the Pah-Wraiths. Following this, Winn banished Dukat to live as a beggar on the streets of Bajor until such a time that the Cardassian had found humility. Upon his return, the two continued to work on unlocking the secrets of the Pah-Wraiths, eventually discovering that the entities were imprisoned within the Fire Caves of Bajor.

Dukat accompanied Winn into the Fire Caves, where Winn poisoned Dukat as a sacrifice to complete the release ritual. However, the Pah-wraiths rejected Winn and chose Dukat as their Emissary, restoring him to life, returning his Cardassian features, and imbuing him with their power. During the ensuing fight with captain Sisko, Winn attempted to destroy the Kosst Amojan, only to fail and in turn be killed by Dukat who summoned a pillar of flames to incinerate Winn, killing her instantly. However, Winn's attempt to destroy the book and her subsequent death provided enough of a distraction for Sisko to tackle Dukat and throw him into the fiery pits, destroying the Kosst Amojan and leaving Dukat imprisoned with the Pah-Wraiths for all eternity. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind").

Ira Steven Behr believed Dukat's relationship with Winn was a logical step in him becoming increasingly involved in Bajoran religion. Bradley Thompson stated, "Putting Dukat and Winn together gave us so much to play with." He also declared, "The idea of Dukat wooing Kai Winn appealed to us on a very twisted level." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, pp. 686-687)

Dukat's relations with Winn motivated the writers to disguise him as a Bajoran. René Echevarria rhetorically asked, "How else could he interact with Winn?" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 686)

Though Winn's deeds include killing a fellow Bajoran in "The Changing Face of Evil", Ira Steven Behr held the opinion that Dukat continued to be more "tainted" than her. Regarding the Cardassian's place in the relationship, Behr went on to comment, "Dukat is still the master, the manipulator, the liar." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 690)

According to Ira Behr, Marc Alaimo regarded Dukat's connection with Winn as genuine. "In Marc's mind, I believe he felt his relationship with Winn was legitimate in some way, and that, in some wacky fashion, it was Dukat's bid for legitimacy," stated Behr. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 696) Alaimo himself, however, said, "Carrying on this relationship with her was all a manipulative thing, to get what he wants, but it was fun to play, because you never quite know how sincere he's being." The actor also enjoyed performing alongside Winn actress Louise Fletcher and was proud of the work he did with her, noting that virtually all of Dukat's scenes in DS9 Season 7 are with Winn. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 70)

It made sense to Ira Behr for Dukat to kill Winn. "Dukat had to kill Winn," Behr emphasized. This decision was made because the pair had sex and, according to a horror movie cliché, characters who have sex end up being killed afterwards. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 709)

The DS9 producers were extremely pleased with how Dukat's relationship with Winn was portrayed on camera. "The stuff with he and Kai Winn worked terrifically," remarked René Echevarria. Ira Behr thought "the Dukat-Winn stuff" was "fabulous." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, pp. 70 & 55)

Memorable quotes[]

"My oldest son's birthday is in five days. To him, and to Cardassians everywhere, I make the following pledge: By the time his birthday dawns, there will not be a single Klingon alive inside Cardassian territory, or a single Maquis colony left within our borders."

- Dukat (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")

"Cardassia will be made whole. All that we have lost will be ours again. And anyone who stands in our way will be destroyed. This I vow with my life's blood: for my son, for all our sons."

- Dukat (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")

"A few days ago, I swore all Cardassia lost would be regained. That space station you're so fond of was built by Cardassia."
"Funny. I thought it was built by Bajoran slave labor."

- Dukat and Benjamin Sisko (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")

"Still calling yourself 'Gul'? I'm surprised you haven't promoted yourself back to Legate by now."
"I prefer the title 'Gul'; so much more hands-on than Legate. And less pretentious than the other alternatives: President, Emperor, First MinisterEmissary."

-Sisko and Dukat (DS9: "Ties of Blood and Water")

"Are you INSANE"?

- Dukat to Weyoun after the latter downs a glass of poisoned kanar (DS9: "Ties of Blood and Water")

"They thought I was their enemy! They don't know what it means to be my enemy, but they will! From this day forward, Bajor is dead! All of Bajor! And this time, even their Emissary won't be able to save them!"

- Dukat to Benjamin Sisko (DS9: "Waltz")



Background information[]

Examining the character[]

Dukat's initials (S.G.) come from the DS9 Season 6 opener "A Time to Stand", in which Dukat records a permanent documentation file identifying himself as "Dukat, S.G." Though it is possible that it stands for "Station Gul", Ronald D. Moore jokingly gave Dukat's first name as "Elmo" on several occasions, stating it had "always been his first name." (AOL chat, 1997) Moore further commented, "The initials probably represent some rank or association or achievement (like Ph.d, or A.S.C., or J.D.)." (AOL chat, 1997)

In the series bible for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dukat was described as "Forties, male. A deceptively amiable Cardassian commander who represents the continuing threat to our people – the militant Empire whose borders are only a short distance away from Bajor and DS9. He used to be Prefect of the Bajoran province when it was under Cardassian domination, thus he is the former landlord of the space station." [1]

In the first draft script of DS9 pilot episode "Emissary", Dukat was introduced by being described as "a most intimidating figure." Another description of him, from the same page of the first draft, stated, "He is overly cordial as classic bullies can be." In the script's final draft, the pronunciation guide spelled the name "du-KOT". Additionally, the same script draft included the description of Dukat as "overly cordial," though not the initial detail about him being "most intimidating." [2]

Actors whom Casting Director Junie Lowry-Johnson scheduled to audition for the role of Dukat include Mark Rolston, Eric Allan Kramer, Richard Moll, and Stephen Lee. [3] As it turned out, Marc Alaimo wasn't the first choice to play Dukat. For "Emissary", another actor was initially cast in the role. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 717) According to one of the episode's call sheets, this actor was apparently Michael McRae. This is probably, however, a misspelling, as there is no actor with that name on Internet Movie Database, though a similarly named Michael MacRae was, at the time the installment was shot, a prolific actor. On the fourth day of the episode's production, the original performer of Dukat was involved in filming of the scene from "Emissary" in which the character visits DS9. After that day's shooting, the producers decided they had miscast. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 717) Hence, according to Day 5-7 call sheet for "Emissary", the actor was put on "hold". The original actor seemed to lack a particular sense of presence, so the part was recast. "It was either Mike Piller or Rick Berman who finally said, 'Let's get Marc Alaimo,'" related Ira Steven Behr. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 16) Alaimo obviously agreed to take the role. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 717) "Marc came in and, of course, he was Gul Dukat," Behr added. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 16) Alaimo brought a prominent theater background to the part. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 52) In the production schedule of "Emissary", he first went before the DS9 cameras on the ninth day of the shoot, filming – as a "retake" – part of the same scene the original Dukat actor had filmed. The delay, in between, was apparently a week long.

Establishing the persona of Gul Dukat was enjoyable for Marc Alaimo. "I think it started out really terrific," he opined. "I loved the way it developed in the beginning […] I loved the character especially in the beginning, when you didn't know which way he was going to go." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 70)

Dukat greenscreen

Marc Alaimo portraying Dukat

Indeed, Marc Alaimo highly valued the opportunities to play Dukat, referring to the character as "a good role." He continued, "I really like Dukat. I try to deal with him very objectively. I like him to walk the line, if you know what I mean. I don't want him to be one-dimensionally evil and I don't want him to be goody two-shoes, either. I want him to be a rational, intelligent Cardassian […] I try to play him closer to that. I don't think of Dukat as a villain at all. I think he does things his way. He's used to a Cardassian rhythm where things are not questioned and people do as they're told. That's interesting. I like that. As long as the writers keep him interesting, I'll keep playing him. I think the writers like him, too […] There's a tremendous sensuality to the character, don't you think?" Alaimo didn't base his performance as Dukat on anyone in particular. Neither did he create a back story for the character, mostly leaving it up to the writers to do so. Of course, the actor did, however, add certain qualities to the portrayal. The performer added, "I have tried to instill a little bit of softness into him, a little playfulness […] I would like to keep instilling little things to which people can relate and show his different dimensions." The character's flexibility was what Alaimo loved about the part. "I can have him do anything," Alaimo remarked. "He doesn't have to be mean. I can try to instill that softness and playfulness into him." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 6, pp. 49 & 50) Not thinking of Dukat as a villain whatsoever, Alaimo considered the character more of an opportunist. ("Cold Warrior?", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 12) The actor elaborated, "I've tried to play him with some sort of sensitivity. I could have gone one-dimensionally aggressive and mean and ugly with this character if I'd chosen to. I have the feeling that's what they kind of wanted. I thought, 'I've done that a hundred and fifty times already.' So I wanted to give him some dimension, some depth, and I think it's worked very well […] I think Gul Dukat even thinks that a lot of what his race does is evil. He understands the difference. Then again, in war – in a fight – Gul Dukat is unbeatable. He won't stop until he wins, and that's the Cardassian philosophy […] But when he's not in that situation [of war], I would think he's a very reasonable, sensitive and thinking Cardassian." Alaimo found Dukat very unpredictable, because the producers of DS9 didn't communicate with him very often and the character itself seemed highly unstable to him. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, pp. 51-52) The actor remarked about Dukat, "You never know quite if he's going to be aggressive, if he's going to be sensitive, if he's going to be passive, you never quite know which way he's going to go. That's what I love about him. Originally when first I started doing this, I could have taken a very one dimensional point of view about this character, and just played him. 'I'm going to rip your arms and legs off and eat them, right in front of you.' I could have done that. It would have been easy. But I began to see little interesting things about him, to give him texture and some different colors, and something people could really relate to. It's all turned out very well. I think he's really turned into a very interesting character […] A lot of people assume that I am bad, that I am a heavy on the show, and I don't think so at all. If [Dukat] is pushed into the corner he can get real mean. That's part of his nature […] So Dukat's a fighter. But he's fair, he's sensitive, he's intelligent, he's reasonable." While playing Dukat, Alaimo particularly liked the character's use of language and the opportunities which the series allowed for dealing with extremely mature topics. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, pp. 51 & 52) "Plus I think he's sexy – there's a romantic inside of him," the performer said. "I'm trying to be objective. I don't think of myself in those terms. But it's fun to look at him and say, he's a sexy Cardassian. He's cool […] He's an opportunist. He aligns himself with what is convenient at the moment, but I don't think he's a psychopath, or capable of mindless evil […] He's got power and he's not afraid to use it, plus he's charming, he's all these other things […] I'm enamored by Dukat. I wish I could be more like him […] I enjoy, I love this character." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, pp. 44 & 45) In a retrospective interview, Alaimo stated, "I thought Dukat had a lot of different levels that could have been played […] You didn't know whether you should love him or hate him. He could be charming one minute and then manipulative in the next. I liked all that […] They could have done so much [with the role] […] I had a good time [playing Dukat]. I had a terrific character. They trusted me with some wonderful episodes, and wrote some good stuff for me, and that is very gratifying." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, pp. 70 & 71) In 2003, the actor commented on his portrayal of Dukat, "I thought the character was terrific. It was one of the first times I'd been able to really sort of expand a multifaceted character like that, instead of one dimensional, which is I think the way they wanted to go with Dukat in the beginning, but I started to sort of branch off emotionally, and they picked up on it, and they gave me all these wonderful multifaceted character moments. I was pretty proud of my work throughout the whole seven years of it." (Hidden File 01, DS9 Season 7 DVD special features)

To prepare for assuming the role of Dukat, Marc Alaimo routinely had to endure several hours in which makeup was applied to him and he was fitted into his Cardassian costume. Wearing the Dukat makeup was no problem for Alaimo, as he had many years' experience with such makeup for stage productions. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 6, pp. 50 & 51) "Dukat is hard to schedule, because I put in long hours," he admitted. "I've had to be there at two o'clock in the morning, in the beginning […] I remember being at the studio at two o'clock in the morning. Nobody's there. I liked that though […] I had to be there so early to be on the set when they started shooting, at six or seven […] It used to be a scheduling problem with Dukat, because they have to give actors twelve hours turnarounds [twelve hours off]. They couldn't do it with me oftentimes because of the makeup." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 53)

The DS9 writing staff generally viewed Dukat as the personification of evil and not just any villain. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 520)

Ira Steven Behr was impressed by Marc Alaimo's approach to portraying Dukat. "What's interesting is that Marc Alaimo plays Dukat like he's the hero of the TV series," Behr commented. "You listen to Marc talk about Dukat, and it's totally different than I see the character, but he brings that to it and adds a whole other level to it." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 107) Behr clarified, "In Dukat's mind, Dukat is the hero of every episode he appears in." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 10) On the other hand, Behr said, "Dukat is not a nice man. He is not a sensitive man. He likes to act like a sensitive man, but he's a man of appetites to whom public image is very important, much more important than the truth […] I find him reprehensible myself." Behr also found Dukat was a fascinating character to structure episodes around. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 308) "He's a Nazi, folks!" Behr exclaimed. "He's not a good German. He's a Nazi. Alaimo is the shining example of the actor who's trying to turn his character one way and we're turning it the other, and he gives interviews about how his character would be one-dimensional if left in our hands. It's a weird thing, but he's great. He's a great Gul Dukat." Alaimo objected to Behr comparing Dukat to a Nazi, believing the statement was far too strong. ("The Producer's View" & "Cold Warrior?", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 12) Behr also said, "Dukat is a self-deluded, opportunistic, egomaniacal sadist. In other words, he is the Richard Nixon of Deep Space Nine. He will do whatever it takes to come out on top […] Dukat is a totally self-deluded person. He's a deeply, deeply screwed-up Cardassian who doesn't understand his own motives." Behr additionally thought Dukat's lack of self-comprehension helped differentiate the character from Benjamin Sisko, as Behr believed Sisko knew himself despite being imperfect. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, pp. 427 & 495) As for Alaimo's take on Dukat, Behr stated, "It's a great role, and he plays it like gangbusters. He's not the hero of the show, but he definitely does the job." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, p. 46) Behr also said about the character, "I make an exception in Dukat's case. Evil may be an unclear concept in this day and age. But Dukat certainly has done evil things." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 520) Additionally, Behr stated, "Alaimo truly is Gul Dukat. He takes it very seriously. He always gets a little bit upset about the places where we take the character, but then he goes off and plays him to the hilt anyway." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 59) Behr observed that, throughout the seven years of portraying Dukat, Alaimo always maintained his assertion that Dukat was, at heart, a good person. "Until the very end, he wanted Dukat to be the hero of Deep Space Nine." Behr himself regarded the character as highly prolific and remarked, "Dukat, of course, always got a lot of stuff to do." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 696) Behr also considered Dukat a "great" character and a "wonderful" character to write for. (AOL chat, 1997)

Several actors have made comments about Dukat. Nana Visitor said, "This was a character who was the worst people we have had on Earth, this is who this man was." (Hidden File 02, DS9 Season 6 DVD special features) She stated about Marc Alaimo's transformations into the role, "When he's on the set, he is Dukat. He's already in makeup and I can't see him as anything else." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 16, p. 47) Jeffrey Combs remembered about Marc Alaimo's portrayal of Dukat, "When he walked into the makeup trailer, I had no idea that this was the man who was going to transform himself into Gul Dukat. It's not so much his face, to me, it's his stature. He's certainly taller than me, but when he plays Gul Dukat to me he appears to be big, hulking, and much taller. As Gul Dukat he's even bigger and grander and he's quite impressive. He really knows that character inside and out." Reacting to these sentiments from Combs, Alaimo stated, "I think he's in awe of Dukat." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, p. 45) Combs also remarked, "He has fleshed out that character to such a great degree." In regards to the idea Alaimo didn't portray Dukat as an evil person, Combs concluded, "Maybe that's why he's so interesting, the way he plays him." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 69)

Hans Beimler has likewise commented, "With Dukat, you were writing a Nazi; an intelligent, vicious, complicated Nazi. That doesn't mean there wasn't something worthwhile about him – he was a complicated person, but he was Nazi." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 3, pp. 44-45) Beimler also regarded the multi-faceted, complex Dukat as an unpleasant "bad guy" who had "done a lot of terrible things" and "always been a Nazi." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, pp. 495 & 308) Portraying Dukat through writing was enjoyable for Beimler, though. "It's always nice to write for a character who likes to talk, and Dukat certainly likes to talk!" he exclaimed. Furthermore, Beimler considered Dukat an authority on surprises in a person's lifetime, the writer commenting, "Life has a way of providing some strange twists. Just ask Dukat!" (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 15, p. 51)

René Echevarria noted about Dukat, "He's a wonderful character." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 632)

Concerning Dukat's opinion of himself, Ronald D. Moore remarked, "Dukat is the hero of his own story. He definitely thinks that he's on the side of the angels." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 520) On Dukat's role as villain, Moore has commented, "I don't think of him as being completely evil through and through to the point where every thought, every impulse is shaded by a nefarious agenda or horrid motive. We've seen other aspects to this guy over the years. 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. But sometimes the clichés are true: Hitler loved his dog. No Human being (and by extension, no Cardassian) is one hundred percent pure evil. But there is a 'critical mass', if you will, where the dark deeds attributed to one person become so overwhelming that they swamp all the redeeming characteristics. Dukat is a bad guy. A very bad guy. He has a lot of blood on his hands and it's hard to see how his smile and innate charm can wipe that clean." (AOL chat, 1998) When Moore was asked by a member of Reddit if he regretted that the writers made Dukat into "a cartoonish super-villain" in response to fans who found him increasingly sympathetic, he responded, "I think we were all pleased with where we took Dukat, it felt like it was organic based on where the character began, who he was in the past and in the present, so I don't think we have any regrets." [4]

Occasionally, Dukat's motivations mirror those of historic figures. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 308)

Episodic developments[]

Dukat underwent extensive character development during DS9 Season 2. During or after that season, Ira Steven Behr commented, "It's amazing that [Cardassian Gul] Ducat started out in the beginning of the season on monitors for the most part. He was just this little head and this character has grown so much." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25/26, No. 6/1, p. 100) Dukat's involvement in season two included two highlights for Marc Alaimo, who revealed, "I've really enjoyed it [playing the 'bad guy of the week'], particularly 'Necessary Evil' and 'The Maquis'." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 73) The use of Dukat in second season two-parter "The Maquis, Part I" and "The Maquis, Part II" gave him something of a "nice guy" image and seemed to suggest the DS9 writing staff was experimenting with the idea of making the Cardassian a more frequently recurring character. "I totally agree," stated Alaimo. "I'd rather not just keep coming back to guest. If I'm going to do the show, I'd like to be a part of the team. And I think Dukat would be a really interesting addition, because he's got so much power." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp. 73 & 86)

Dukat was described in a revised series bible compiled prior to DS9 Season 3. In the document, he was referred to as a "continuing threat to our people." (Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before, paperback ed., p. 198)

Following his appearances in the "The Maquis" two-parter, Dukat was once again portrayed as a somewhat sinister character in third season's "Civil Defense". "We were making him a little too friendly and we definitely did not want to do that," remarked Ira Behr. "I don't want him to become the friendly neighborhood Cardassian." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 86)

In the development of season four offering "Indiscretion", freelance writers Toni Marberry and Jack Treviño devised having Dukat seek a half-Bajoran daughter of his and draft Kira Nerys for the mission, only for him to later reveal that he was planning to kill his daughter. Although some of Dukat's rough edges were later basically blunted by the introduction of his daughter Tora Ziyal, the writing staff maintained his essential nature, never losing track of it. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 274) While the script for "Indiscretion" was being written by Nicholas Corea, he told Marc Alaimo, they having been friends for over twenty years, that the episode would heavily feature Dukat. "He said, 'It's for you.' As soon as he said that I felt good because he knew me, he knew what I was capable of doing as an actor […] Sure enough, it turned out to be wonderful," Alaimo reminisced. "He got so many things in there, and I was able to add on to that." Alaimo did so by showing Corea something, performance-wise, which the writer hadn't known Alaimo could do. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 51) In general, the use of Dukat in "Indiscretion" actually equated to extensive acting work by Alaimo, resulting in an installment that was especially interesting for him. "He really had to make the mental and emotional leaps," relayed Nana Visitor. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 16, p. 48) In "Indiscretion", a statement criticizing Dukat's passion for talking (specifically, Kira's line, "Captain Sisko's right; you are in love with your own voice.") was added as an in-joke regarding Cardassians in general and Dukat in particular. "No one can milk it like Marc Alaimo, even though there are times when you just want him to get on with it," related Ira Behr. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 275) The way Dukat is depicted in "Indiscretion" evoked pride in Robert Hewitt Wolfe, who rewrote the episode's script together with Behr. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 107) Behr himself felt the episode's portrayal of Dukat "ran a certain risk" of making Dukat seem too Human-like and slightly too accessible for a villain. However, Behr also thought showing another side of the character, rather than always depicting Dukat as a killer, was necessary and turned out to be "interesting." ("'Indiscretion' Datafile", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 4)

The depiction of Dukat in "Indiscretion" led to that in subsequent fourth season outing "Return to Grace". "Ira [Behr] and Robert Hewitt Wolfe set the ground rules [for further developing the character] in 'Indiscretion', and this ['Return to Grace'] is the natural evolution of that," explained Hans Beimler, who scripted the later installment. The DS9 staff writers were pleased with how they managed to depict Dukat in "Return to Grace". Enthused Behr, "I thought that Alaimo was terrific […] It was just so great to put him out there." Ronald D. Moore expressed, "Turning Dukat into Captain Dukat of the Spanish main seemed like a great idea. He takes that ship and off he goes." René Echevarria commented, "It was an attempt to look at Dukat and have him realize that regaining his glory in a hollow empire isn't quite worth the undertaking. More important is getting back to his roots as a military man and being a sort of freedom fighter." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, pp. 113 & 114) Beimler observed, "In this episode, you're aware of different shades to his personality. But, if you think about it, they're all very self-serving." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 308) Beimler also appreciated the direction the character is heading in at the end of the installment, though. (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 15, p. 51) Ira Behr likened part of Dukat's attitude in the installment to that of Sioux leader Sitting Bull, because Dukat defiantly referring to himself as the last Cardassian echoes a statement Sitting Bull made, when he was the only Sioux who didn't agree to a treaty with the white-skinned settlers of the United States. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 308) Ira Behr felt this inspiration was important to developing Dukat, as Behr meanwhile wanted to make the character a lone hero. "That's what I had in my mind for Dukat at that point," said Behr, "with 'Return to Grace' and 'Indiscretion' and stuff like that." ("The Producer's View", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 12)

Marc Alaimo approved of the way Dukat is depicted in "Return to Grace". "It was really terrific […] dealing with having an abandoned Klingon ship," he remarked. "It was interesting, becoming a pirate in space." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 70) Alaimo said further, "The fact that they had Dukat going off to be a pirate who captured this Klingon ship, I found very exciting […] He was very heroic." Though "Return to Grace" features a scene in which Dukat debates with Kira about whether his motivation for fighting the Klingons is a selfish urge for redemption or a genuine love of the Cardassians and a desire to protect them, Alaimo clarified, "He loves his people and wants to stop the Klingons. He wants to go out and get them." The actor went on to state, "I loved those moments when he finally took charge of the ship and also when he realized he was not going to get help from Cardassia to track down the Klingon killers, but that they simply wanted him to come back and take some post. [Putting Dukat in a situation where] he was very disappointed and decided to take on the Klingons himself […] was a wonderful scenario." ("Cold Warrior?", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 12) Alaimo further enthused, "I love that. That's someone saying, 'I'll stand by myself,' and then suddenly people start gathering around him and saying 'We're with you.' It's Robin Hood, it's a heroic character." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, p. 46)

In fact, Marc Alaimo liked appearing as Dukat in both "Indiscretion" and "Return to Grace", listing the two episodes in that order of preference (followed by the "The Maquis" two-parter). ("Cold Warrior?", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 12) He noted about the pair of fourth season entries, "I thought those were terrific for Dukat." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 71) Alaimo also said, "[Dukat] had so much to do, and so much to feel, so many transitions to make emotionally. Those two really defined him so much more." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 51)

From the time when "Return to Grace" was produced until the end of DS9 Season 4, none of the series' producers contacted Alaimo. In fact, at the end of the fourth season, he had never seen Executive Producer Rick Berman in all the time Alaimo had been playing the role of Dukat. Regardless of this, Alaimo felt that, by portraying the Cardassian, he had "contributed a great deal to the show, and that's good," he remarked. The actor wished the producers would, "at least, let me know that they appreciate my work." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, pp. 52 & 53)

Upon entering DS9 Season 5, Ira Behr meant for the show's writers to resolve, during the course of the season, the danger of making Dukat seem overly relatable and essentially Human. ("'Indiscretion' Datafile", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 4) "Yes, it was nice that he was a swashbuckling pirate for a while, this guy who was ready to blow up shiploads of Klingons without batting an eye for revenge," Behr commented. "But I really got concerned, I think we all got concerned, that we were just making him way too benign a character." Behr's worries about overly humanizing the character dated back to the conceptual introduction of Dukat's family in the "The Maquis" two-parter. "From that point on," he continued, "it was only a matter of time before we said, 'Woah! Put the brakes on.'" Behr had a long discussion with Marc Alaimo about the nature of Dukat. ("The Producer's View", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 12) "I think we have to find," Behr stated, in an interview, "not the villain, though maybe that as well, but the man who is willing to go places that some of us might not be willing to go. We did that in 'Return to Grace'." Moreover, Behr felt it was important "to keep both sides [of the character] alive," ensuring his identity as basically a killer and military man would be reaffirmed. ("'Indiscretion' Datafile", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 4)

Although Dukat is present in DS9 fifth season opener "Apocalypse Rising", his part in the episode was minimized. "There was [originally] supposed to be a lot more with Dukat," explained Robert Hewitt Wolfe. When the episode was initially planned to be a two-parter, Dukat would have actually featured in most of the first part, taking Sisko, O'Brien and Odo to Ty'Gokor via his captured Bird-of-Prey. The reduction of Dukat's part in the story was made when the narrative became a single installment. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 364)

In DS9: "Things Past", Dukat laments to Jadzia Dax (a character he had never been paired with before) about what a complicated and lonely man he is. "That's how Dukat sees himself," offered Ronald D. Moore. "He wants to be loved. He's the kind of dictator who thinks, 'It's not enough that I put my foot on the throat of the people I'm oppressing, I want them to love me for it.' Dukat believes he's the hero of his own story." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 398)

Dukat's alliance with the Dominion was planned out. Regarding how the writing staff had this goal while plotting fifth season two-parter "In Purgatory's Shadow" and "By Inferno's Light", Ira Behr noted, "We wanted to put Dukat in bed with the Dominion." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 422) A comment Dukat makes when joining the group in "By Inferno's Light", regarding the dissolution of his friendship with Kira, (specifically, "You and I on the same side. It never seemed quite right, did it?") mirrored the producers' feelings toward Dukat at that time; they never expected him to become one of the show's heroes. His motivation for collaborating with the Dominion was "pure desperation," commented Robert Wolfe. Hence, Dukat was reflecting feelings that had been prevalent in Germany around the start of World War II. "Hitler's reign was a horror story, but there were people who didn't see the alternatives. And Dukat felt he was doing the only thing he could do to save his culture and his people," Wolfe remarked. Though Dukat's attainment of rulership in the Cardassian government might seem slightly abrupt, Wolfe cited some historical precedents, noting, "Hitler's rise [to power] happened pretty quickly, too. So did Caesar's. It was a coup." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 427)

Upon learning Dukat was to switch sides and return to a villainous role in "By Inferno's Light", Marc Alaimo was highly surprised but understood why the character was about to be altered. "I guess it's their way of getting him back into line so that they can develop all the conflict that was coming up with the Dominion," Alaimo supposed. "They don't want to make him that likeable. They need conflict. He's the most obvious for that, because he's so well-known in that aspect of his character." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, p. 44)

Marc Alaimo wasn't entirely pleased with the concept of Dukat resuming his nefarious antics. "I'm not too crazy about becoming the heavy Cardassian," the performer admitted. "There are so many aspects of Dukat, so many different avenues to explore, I think, that to narrow in and make him this evil character negates everything I've tried to do." Alaimo was particularly regretful about the change in Dukat's personality because the writers "gave him a reasonableness, an intelligence, an open-mindedness." He continued, "I always thought that was special for a Cardassian […] I felt like Dukat opened up different avenues [for the Cardassians]." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, p. 44) The performer elaborated, "I'm not too crazy about the idea of him being an antagonist again, to tell you the truth. I liked […] that we saw another dimension of him, like being a hero, being a father […] I don't like playing him heavy at all […] Just to make him a Nazi […] seems to be wasting a wonderful opportunity. They've really been able to open up all of these different character aspects of Dukat over the years, and I'd hate to suddenly lose all of that." ("Cold Warrior?", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 12)

On the other hand, Marc Alaimo meanwhile appreciated the flexibility of playing Dukat. "One minute he's sweet and he's caressing his daughter. The next minute he's off and ranting and raving about getting the Klingons," Alaimo observed. "I like that unpredictability about him. He can go any way." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, p. 44)

Marc Alaimo enjoyed appearing as Dukat in "Ties of Blood and Water". He said doing so was "great" and "a lot of fun." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, p. 45)

When Dukat was left with the Dominion at the end of the fifth season, Ira Behr predicted, "He will stay with the Dominion for the foreseeable future. Not that it will always be comfortable for him, but he doesn't deserve comfort." ("The Producer's View", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 12) Marc Alaimo thought Dukat's alliance with the Dominion was an example of the character being opportunistic and that Dukat was joining with the Dominion purely because it was convenient for him to do so at that time. Alaimo also hoped Dukat had a plan for dealing with the Dominion and Weyoun, playing Dukat as if he did indeed have a stratagem in mind. "But [Dukat] keeps playing along, and sooner or later I think he's going to turn on these people," Alaimo reckoned. However, Jeffrey Combs suspected Dukat was being used by the Dominion "for his ruthless, aggressive ambition." Alaimo believed that, after five years of playing the part, there was "a lot" of himself in the character. "Because of it, I think it's been good for me as a person to be able to do Dukat," he related. "It's opened me up as a person." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, pp. 44, 45 & 61)

At a stage when Marc Alaimo knew only that he would be involved in the first four or five installments of DS9 Season 6, he speculated about Dukat, "They'll probably kill him off." Obviously, that was not what the actor portraying him wanted. Instead, Alaimo hoped the character would prevail. Furthermore, the actor desired for some of the other elements of the character's personality to be explored, including Dukat's heroism, parts of his backstory, and his relationships with such characters as Garak and Kira Nerys. Ira Behr assured viewers, "There hasn't even been talk about killing Dukat. I can never say never, because you never know what's going to happen, but he can rest easy." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, pp. 45 & 46)

By the time season six of DS9 began, Marc Alaimo regretted that Dukat hadn't been presented again in much the same way as in "Return to Grace", as basically a pirate opposing the Klingons in a ship of theirs he had commandeered. "I actually wish they'd elaborated on that a little bit more than they did," he expressed. "We really didn't pick up on that again after that episode." ("Cold Warrior?", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 12) He additionally noted, "That would have been so cool." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 70)

During the course of a six-episode Dominion War arc at the beginning of DS9 Season 6, Dukat repeatedly toys with Sisko's baseball as if it will bring him good luck and means a lot to him, such as representing the station and his job of commanding the facility. "We see Dukat playing with the baseball all the time […] When Dukat is thinking about that, he's concentrating on the things that matter to Sisko," observed Hans Beimler. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 501)

At the end of sixth season offering "Sacrifice of Angels" (which concludes the Dominion War arc), some viewers might think Dukat's insanity was due to Ziyal's death driving him mad (as Dukat himself claims in the teaser of later season six installment "Waltz"). Ira Behr and Hans Beimler were of the opinion, however, that Dukat was already well on his way to losing his mind, Behr proclaiming, "Anyone who could be the head of the Occupation ain't all there." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 494) Elaborated Behr, "I don't know if Dukat was ever totally sane. Is any oppressor sane? […] If you can kill millions of people, I prefer to think that there has to be a screw loose somewhere." (Cinefantastique, pp. 54 & 59)

In retrospect, René Echevarria once commented that, after appearing in the six-episode arc which commenced DS9's sixth season, Dukat became "a very peripheral villain." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 632) He elaborated, "I think we lost our way with Dukat, to some extent, after the [six-parter] […]He was dropping by the wayside. We really didn't have anything for him, other than him being crazy." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 70) However, a continuation of Dukat's ongoing story seemed inevitable. "After Dukat went crazy," Ron Moore recollected, "it was obvious that there was going to be follow-up. We didn't want to do it right away, because frankly, none of us knew what the next step was for him." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 47) "Waltz" was the writing staff's way of making Dukat face the fact that they deemed him an evil character. "I wanted us to come away from this show with Dukat finally having faced who the hell he is and what he's done," commented Ira Behr. "To get him to finally admit that he hates the Bajorans and he wishes to kill them all. And he does […] Since he refuses to admit to [his evil deeds] […] we then have to simplify things, deconstruct things, until we get to the most simplistic level. Which is: 'He does evil things, therefore, he is evil.'" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 520)

At first, the writers planned to set much of "Waltz" in Dukat's mind, in a story they called "Dukat's Head". His actual situation, of being in a psychiatric hospital with Sisko outside his cell, was also to have been periodically shown. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 520; Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 47) "Dukat's inside [the cell], catatonic, and the camera pushes in on Dukat's face and we go into his mind and see what he's thinking," Moore explained. "It's this fantasy of himself running the station again, being in charge […] Then the fantasy starts unraveling and we find all these internal demons in his mind." The concept of depicting scenes inside Dukat's head was inspired by third season episode "Distant Voices", most of which is set in Julian Bashir's psyche. Regarding Dukat's mind, Ira Behr noted, "I just thought that would be an interesting place to go." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, pp. 520-521) When it became evident to the writing staff that what they were instinctively concentrating on more and found more appealing were the reality scenes, however, Dukat's fantasy was excluded from the episode. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 521; Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 47)

Rene Auberjonois directing 'Waltz'

Marc Alaimo discussing a scene from "Waltz" with Rene Auberjonois

Ira Behr was satisfied with how he and the rest of the group managed to deal with Dukat in "Waltz". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 520) Ron Moore agreed, "It became a tour de force for Marc Alaimo […] Most of the scenes are Marc, and Marc has a lot of big dramatic things to do." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 47) Odo actor Rene Auberjonois, who directed "Waltz", admiringly commented, "I loved the fact that Dukat's insanity was written as a 'Roman Polanski' kind of crazy […] Marc Alaimo really had a handle on it. He was in touch with where it was coming from in his own psychology and where it was going. And that's the way a good actor plays a villain, by finding ways to rationalize what he's doing." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 521)

The writers briefly considered having Dukat, the next time he appeared after "Waltz", be accompanied by hallucinatory figures who appear in that episode, though the idea was dropped. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 522)

In the aftermath of "Waltz", defining Dukat's motives turned out to be hard. "He just didn't have a drive anymore, we felt," René Echevarria offered. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 70) Developing Dukat nonetheless remained important to DS9's in-house writers. "[After] 'Waltz' we were looking for something that would, in an unexpected way, begin to show where Dukat's head was at," said Ira Behr. "We thought that ["Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night"] was the perfect way to do it." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 53) Behr believed Dukat is referenced in the episode's title. After asking what the title might allude to, he continued, "It would have to be Dukat, because he is a wrong darker than death or night." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 549)

When DS9 sixth season ender "Tears of the Prophets" was at a very early stage of development, the DS9 writing staff imagined Dukat stealing a ship, and then stealing an orb. Taking the artifact into the wormhole, Dukat next set a detonation to blow up the Prophets. In a subsequent first draft of the script (when it was called "Tears of the Gods"), Dukat was stopped by Jadzia Dax, though she herself was killed by a phaser blast. Dukat's actions in this version of the script seemed to have a "clunkiness" about them. "Dukat had to get a shuttle, a chroniton generator, an Orb," listed René Echevarria, ticking off the objectives on one hand. Eventually, Ron Moore suggested, "Wouldn't it be much simpler if all Dukat has to do is help the Pah-wraiths get into the wormhole?" Thereafter, deciding exactly how to write Dukat into the narrative became simply "a matter of asking the right questions," continued Echevarria. These questions involved the writers pondering what would happen if Dukat procured a Bajoran artifact or allowed a Pah-wraith to inhabit his body. The writers chose to lead him down such a path, observing that doing so tracked well with what they had established in earlier season six installment "The Reckoning". "And there was something nice about having Gul Dukat, the butcher, be the guy who's suddenly into the Bajoran religion and who learns which little statuette to crack open to get a Pah-wraith to fly up his nose," Ira Behr commented, grinning. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, pp. 587, 588 & 586)

By the end of season six, Ira Behr knew Dukat would "continue to make his presence felt right up until the closing chapter of this little saga," he said, referring to the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 59) As the last installments of the series weren't planned at the beginning of the seventh and final season, however, there were times when the DS9 staff writers asked each other what they wanted to do with Dukat. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 591)

By the time season seven offering "Covenant" started to be written, the show's writing staff were aware of Dukat having seemingly receded into the background. "We felt we'd lost Dukat […] Now he had no role to play," explained René Echevarria. As a result, the writers intentionally started creating a new role for him, one that would again make him the series' main villain. Dukat was brought back to the ongoing narrative of DS9 in "Covenant", though the writers were simultaneously unsure how to bring an end to his character arc in the series. "I always knew that the ultimate challenge would be Dukat, and not the war," admitted Ira Behr. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 632)

After René Echevarria suggested making Dukat the leader of the Bajoran Cult of the Pah-wraiths in "Covenant", the prospect of developing Dukat in that way appealed to the DS9 staff writers. "It gave us a chance to ask ourselves, 'What is Dukat's craziness, and how is it manifesting itself now?'" remembered Bradley Thompson. "We could touch base with him and show that he's really getting hooked into these Pah-wraiths." Such an exploration of the character would, the writers decided, help them to set up the conclusion of Dukat's character arc. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 632)

In the first draft of "Covenant", Dukat was portrayed as being secretly insincere about his alleged belief and faith in the Pah-wraiths. "He wanted to use the fact that he had been touched by a Pagh-wraith to bring some Bajorans into his life and recreate a fantasy world where he was in charge of Bajorans again," René Echevarria said, recalling the initial draft. Deciding that Dukat was indeed a true believer, however, was a major discovery for Echevarria. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 50) "That wasn't clear in the first draft, not even to me," Echevarria admitted. "But then I came up with the idea of having him pray alone. He's not performing for anybody. In his own twisted, self-aggrandizing way, he genuinely would prefer to send these people to their makers with their faith intact than allow it all to fall apart." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 633) Echevarria elaborated, "He still has a dark twisted soul, and twisted, love-hate relationship with the Bajorans. At the end, when he is sending them to their maker, a part of him is sincere. On the other level, of course, there is some dark need of his to continue to punish these people. I hope that that decision to make him sincere really pays off. On some level he is." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 50)

Dukat's halo

Dukat apparently crowned with a halo in DS9: "Covenant"

Representing Dukat as the leader of the Cult of the Pah-wraiths was done with "a very theatrical approach," in the words of Kris Krosskove, who served as the cinematographer of "Covenant". This is probably most evident in the episode's first shot of Dukat, from the installment's teaser. Krosskove noted, "He's in black with a very strong backlight." Not only was Dukat highlighted, in this footage, with a spotlight shining straight down on him but he also appears to be crowned with a halo, an effect produced by showing an overexposed circle from a Bajoran symbol above the top of his head. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 633)

René Echevarria viewed Dukat as undergoing a final character arc begun in "Covenant". Detailing that arc, Echevarria stated, "I think [it] basically tracks where he has come from and propels us into the latter half of the season for him, and brings him back into the picture." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 70)

Rene Auberjonois directing 'Strange Bedfellows'

Portraying Dukat in Bajoran disguise in "Strange Bedfellows", Marc Alaimo receives directions from Rene Auberjonois

Ira Behr felt that, by midway through the seventh season, Dukat "had become so multidimensional" that he couldn't be depicted as purely evil. However, the writing staff of DS9 wanted to complicate Dukat's character arc even further as the series drew to a close, starting by showing him disguised as a Bajoran in the episode "Penumbra", the first installment of a nine-episode, series-concluding arc. "Turning him into a Bajoran made sense […] He had to have the surgery," René Echevarria posited. Behr concurred, "The story dictated it. The way Dukat was going, getting involved with Bajoran religion, the next step would be to go to Bajor." Behr also commented, "We knew that Marc Alaimo would get turned on by playing the seemingly kind, sweet Anjohl." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, pp. 697, 686 & 696)

Marc Alaimo was upset, due to his deep interest in having Dukat act heroically, when the writers had the character assault Solbor in "The Changing Face of Evil". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 696)

In "When It Rains...", the writers blinded Dukat and sent him begging in the streets of Bajor because they essentially ran out of story for him, with nowhere to take the character for the subsequent three episodes, and therefore wanted to deflect attention from his activities. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, pp. 687 & 690) "I came up with the idea of blinding Dukat," René Echevarria announced. "Now, truth be told, I didn't really have a specific intention when I wrote that, but I can justify it after the fact." Echevarria went on to theorize that Dukat, required by the Pah-wraiths to enter the Fire Caves and die there so they could make use of his body, had been blinded because the Pah-wraiths wanted to prevent him from reading particular text in the Book of the Kosst Amojan. "If he had read in the book, 'You will be killed and reborn,' he might not have gone for it," Echevarria speculated. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 690)

There was a lot of interest, among the cast of DS9, about which character would kill Dukat in series finalé "What You Leave Behind". "Everyone wanted to kill Dukat," Ira Behr observed. Those actors who desperately wanted their own character to become Dukat's killer included Nana Visitor, though Behr was certain that he wanted Dukat to be killed specifically by Sisko. Dukat's fate was made very clear, with the Bajoran Fire Caves intended to represent Hell. "I think he belongs in hell," Behr declared. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, pp. 709-710)

Ira Behr was extremely pleased with how Dukat is featured in the series-ending arc, remarking, "[Marc] Alaimo has never been better." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 67) Having played the Cardassian through the preceding seven years, Alaimo believed he knew the character better than anyone else. He didn't necessarily agree with Dukat's eventual fate, though, finding the final season somewhat confusing and preferring the Cardassian earlier in the series. "I wasn't too crazy with what they turned him into toward the end […] I don't think they really carried it to a good ultimate characterization," the actor critiqued. "He kind of turned mean and ugly toward the end […] In the final season, I wasn't always sure what I was, where I was going with it […] I kind of liked [chasing after the Pah-wraiths and maintaining Dukat's Bajoran disguise], being freed up. But I missed Dukat, too, I missed the persona of Dukat […] It was a little jarring for me, I think, especially the last piece, was very jarring. It wasn't a very smooth episode for me. At some point you just have to accept what you are given and go with it […] When it's over it's over." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, pp. 70 & 71)

Filming Dukat's participation in "What You Leave Behind" obviously involved some physical pain for Marc Alaimo, as a result of accidentally being hit by Sisko actor Avery Brooks. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 711) Winn actress Louise Fletcher, who found the incident shocking, recalled that Alaimo's guise as Dukat initially covered the fact he had been injured; "He had on all that makeup, and you couldn't tell right away." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 69) After being struck, Alaimo was tended to by a studio nurse. His Cardassian makeup was removed by the production staff and, since they were able to ascertain that he didn't need an ambulance, he was instead taken to hospital in a van. Much to Behr's amazement, Alaimo wanted to quickly return to portray Dukat's final scenes. A full recovery allowed the actor to reprise the character a week after receiving the injury, and he thereafter filmed the scenes depicting Dukat's plunge into the Fire Caves. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 711) Whereas Fletcher was under the impression Alaimo had broken his nose, the actor himself downplayed the extent of the wound, saying, "I had two black eyes for a while, but I'll be okay." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 71)

Reception and aftermath[]

Marc Alaimo sensed Dukat was at least generally accepted while the actor was playing him. During DS9's second season, the actor stated, "Now that I've been doing Dukat on a fairly regular basis, he has become an established character that people know and recognize." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 6, p. 51) Indeed, fans in various parts of the world showed enormous interest in Dukat. At around the end of DS9 Season 4, Alaimo noted, "We all want to be liked, and I know that this character is liked. I get it from them. It's the first time it's ever happened to me." Alaimo additionally suspected that the DS9 producers didn't want to make him aware of how popular Dukat was. "They don't want to give me that satisfaction, because then in negotiations it would give me power, I suppose," Alaimo hypothesized. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 53) He additionally supposed, "Dukat is one of these characters that a lot of people wish they could be." The actor thought Dukat specifically fascinated people because he had power which the character was unafraid to use as well as charm and other attributes. "We all feel that way," he noted. Alaimo liked being appreciated for his performances as Dukat. "I see so many people like him, and it's me. I'm doing him, so it all comes back to me, and it's good for me," he analyzed. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, Nos. 6/7, p. 45)

Marc Alaimo believed Dukat's popularity was evident to the DS9 producers. "They know that the fans like Dukat. They're well aware of it. There's all sorts of fan mail coming in. So they've got to know that he's a very well-liked character," the performer reasoned. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 28, No. 4/5, p. 53) The team of DS9's writer-producers were indeed aware Dukat had become an extremely popular character. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 520) René Echevarria referred to Dukat as an individual who was "well liked by the audience." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 632) Ira Steven Behr said about the fan response to Dukat, "I know that there are women fans who still want to bear his child, but to me that's the whole thing where you want to marry the serial killer. You want to have sex with Gul Dukat? It's all the same thing." ("The Producer's View", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 12) However, Behr was somewhat irritated by how fandom seemed to whitewash Dukat to a certain extent. "The fact that Dukat has become such a popular character, and I've read things on the Internet where people actually talk about the fact that 'only five million Bajorans were killed during the Occupation – that's not such a big deal.' It's just so" Behr sighed and didn't continue his sentence. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 520)

Regarding viewer response to how Dukat is depicted in "Waltz", Rene Auberjonois observed, "It comes as a surprise to the audience how psychotic Dukat really is." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 521)

Dukat's popularity waned by the time "Covenant" was first broadcast. "I think many people saw it as the final nail in the coffin of the character, and it was the end of his character," noted René Echevarria. "But I hope in the larger perspective, people will see that it was the beginning of the new [character] arc." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 70)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 427 refers to Dukat as "DS9's favorite villain." Similarly, Cinefantastique (Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 54) referred to the recurring character as a "fan favorite." describes Dukat as "probably the most complex and fully developed bad guy in Star Trek history." [5](X)

Behr also commented: "Getting back to telling character-oriented stories, getting back to having conflict between Human beings; plot at the service of character…I think we created a much more complete universe in which you can have all these characters with all these back stories, all these races, all these supporting characters. You knew more about 'Garak' or 'Gul Dukat', ultimately, than you knew about 'Riker'. [6]

In 2002, Dukat placed fourth in TV Zone's list of the top twenty science fiction television villains. The Borg Queen was second, Weyoun was eighth, Q was eleventh and Seska was eighteenth.

The stunt costume used for Dukat in DS9: "Covenant" was auctioned off in the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, as well as the Breen coolsuit worn by Alaimo in the episode "Indiscretion". [7]


In the novels published by Pocket Books, Dukat's first name is identified as "Skrain". In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine relaunch novels, specifically Demons of Air and Darkness, the resemblance between Dukat and Macet (both played by Marc Alaimo) is explained, stating that they are cousins.

In the novel Fearful Symmetry, it's revealed that Dukat was responsible for kidnapping Iliana Ghemor and saving Kira from being replaced by her as he was honoring the promise he made to Kira Meru to protect her family. He then took Iliana to a Cardassian prison on the planet Letau where she was kept completely isolated in a secret sublevel of the prison that was known only to Dukat and the warden of the prison, Dal Rokai. Over the next fifteen years, Dukat would visit Iliana to use her as his sexual plaything and would drug, rape, and torture her to satiate his sadistic cravings. In 2369, Dukat nearly kills Iliana in his rage over the withdrawal from Bajor and Starfleet's discovery of the Bajoran wormhole. It's also revealed that during Dukat's time as leader of Cardassia, he undertook a number of secret projects that involved quietly acquiring samples of "misplaced" Dominion technology, in preparation to lead a stronger Cardassia against the Dominion.

In the Millennium series, which begins shortly before Dukat released the Pah-Wraith that drove him to Deep Space 9 where he killed Jadzia and briefly closed the wormhole, Dukat's discovery of Sisko's apparent death with the creation of the Pah-wraith wormhole drove him to once again create the Cult of the Pah-wraiths on Empok Nor (now relocated to DS9's original position), becoming one with Kosst Amojan. Regarding himself as the Pah-wraith Emissary, Dukat developed a vendetta against Weyoun, who had proclaimed himself the Emissary of the True Prophets and sought to end the universe by combining the two wormholes. When the Defiant reappeared, Dukat briefly confronted Sisko and Weyoun after luring the two into the mirror universe, but, when this attempt to kill them failed, Dukat returned to our reality and managed to capture O'Brien, Quark, Rom and Garak. With these prisoners/crew, Dukat forced them to take an advanced Klingon ship to follow Weyoun and the Defiant into the wormholes before the end of the universe, which trapped both ships in a pocket dimension outside of time. Dukat freed his former "prisoners" from their Pah-Wraith induced Hells to get their help in repairing the damaged ship so that he could oppose Weyoun, but Garak was able to render Dukat unconscious as he no longer had his Pah-Wraith powers now that the universe no longer existed. Dukat eventually regained consciousness and managed to escape to a past version of Deep Space 9, where he committed a murder that Odo had been investigating prior to the destruction of the station. In a somewhat ironic twist (given that his alternate past self would go on to kill her), after the crew prevented the red wormhole from ever opening, Dukat was returned to the present and was shot in the back by Dax when he was distracted attacking Sisko.

Dukat's mirror universe counterpart (β) is depicted as the Supreme Legate of the Cardassian Union in the novels Saturn's Children and Rise Like Lions.

Gul Dukat (alternate reality)

Dukat of the alternate reality

The alternate reality version of Dukat appears in the Star Trek: Ongoing story arc The Q Gambit where he is commander of Terok Nor and Dominion forces in the Alpha Quadrant after having been horribly scarred during a conflict between the Dominion and the Federation. Dukat meets Captain James T. Kirk of the long-lost USS Enterprise after he and the ship were brought over a hundred years into the future by Q and explains to him that the Federation no longer exists. Following Kirk's escape with Captain Benjamin Sisko, Dukat then turns his attention toward the Bajoran Resistance that threatened the Dominion. When Kira, Spock and Dr. Leonard McCoy are taken prisoner and brought to Terok Nor with the Reckoning Tablet, Dukat, after engaging in some false pleasantries, smashes the tablet freeing both the Prophet and the Pah-wraith trapped inside. Dukat merges with the Pah-wraith and claims that there is now only one power in the galaxy: Dukat. The Prophet leaps at Kira only for Dukat to strike her dead with his newfound power. The Prophet vanishes but this is of no concern to Dukat who is assured of his victory. Dukat then takes command of the Enterprise and sets a course for the Bajoran wormhole, intending to ascend to godhood. When the Defiant drops out of warp just in time to see the Enterprise enter the wormhole, Dukat hails them knowing that Sisko is hosting the escaped Prophet and taunts them to follow him beyond the event horizon. In the nexus of the wormhole, other Wraiths possess the bodies of Dukat's crew to better converse with him. The lead Wraith is impressed by Dukat's willpower trapping one of their fellows and Dukat offers to free their brother…if he can ascend to become a Wraith. Dukat then transports Q, Kirk, Spock and Sisko aboard the Enterprise as his prisoners. As even the Wraiths are powerless inside the nexus, Dukat grabs a phaser and kills Sisko, who uses his dying breath to transfer the Prophet into Spock. Spock then transfers the Prophet into Q through a mind meld and it causes the two to merge into an even more powerful entity. Q then uses his newfound powers to snuff out both the Wraiths and Dukat with little more than a thought.

The Star Trek: Terok Nor trilogy depicts Dukat's activities before and during the Occupation.

Dukat appears in the video game Star Trek: Conquest as the captain of a playable ship.

An alternate timeline version of Dukat appears in the comic miniseries Star Trek: Sons of Star Trek where he's a Starfleet officer and captain of the USS Avery.

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