Dal Rassak wrote:
Sorry for the length. It was a bit of a rant. I needed to get this off my chest for quite some while now!
Part of the issue with Dukat is the role he played in the Bajoran occupation, which the show wants to make analogous, sometimes at least (for example, in Duet
), to the Holocaust.
This is something that, initially, the writers don't really deal with directly as it relates to his character. They let him be a basically sane, if at times ruthless, person.
In the mid-seasons (3 and, especially, 4, as I recall), they even decide to make him very sympathetic, suggest that maybe he isn't such a bad guy after all, and toy with the idea of Dukat and Kira becoming an item.
Nana Visitor was revolted by this idea, apparently, because Kira saw him, basically, as Hitler.
With her reaction as motivation, perhaps, or for reasons completely unrelated to that, but anyway, for *some* reason, the writers obviously decided to ask themselves if they were doing a plausible job of examining the psychology of someone who had willingly and unapologetically participated in something like the Holocaust, running what was basically a labor/death camp.
And I think there is some merit to that view. The psychology we see emerge in Waltz
, for example, contains some important ideas that the show needed to address, I think, especially as far as the darker motivations for Dukat's fascination with the Bajorans are concerned. What we see here is far more plausible, ultimately, than some of the "he's not such a bad guy, really" stuff we see in season 4.
Where everything gets a bit murkier is what we see after Waltz
(including, even, I think, the very end of Waltz
, which is mostly a brilliant episode, really).
Basically the writers stumbled around a bit too much with Dukat after that. The basic idea of the combination of his fascination with the Bajorans and his hatred of Sisko leading him to strive to become a sort of rival Emissary is not bad, as a concept.
But the Pah-Wraiths themselves, and that whole part of the final arc of the show... none of it is really handled in a very coherent manner. There are some good moments and ideas (example: his alliance with Winn), but it never really *clicks* imo, after Waltz