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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old February 11 2013, 04:43 PM   #31
DavidLeeRoth
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

According to the Bajorian texts, delivered via the orbs, the emissary would save Bajor. The terrestrial aliens/gods knew that there would be an emissary all along. However, when Sisko presented himself, they didn't know that he was the emissary at first and then figured it out.

The religious aspect, Christ-anti-Christ, may be over-the-top for some, but I thought that it worked.

The epic showdown between Dukat and Sisko was pretty damn awesome, IMHO.
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Old February 11 2013, 05:16 PM   #32
Dal Rassak
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

Really? Personally I have to say I felt cheated. I found it a total anti-climax. All along I'd been waiting for these two to have a really big fight - I mean you knew the gloves were going to come off at one point - but I saw them fighting as men, as soldiers and commanders. I thought it would be battleships or phasers or even hand-to-hand.
In other words a real fight.

Instead everything goes metaphysical (and I'm a big fan of metaphysical in most cases), the Pah-wraith/Dukat creature does some fire magic and a lot of taunting, and then Sisko simply jumps on him and they fall into the pit.

I was just sitting there going "this was IT"?

Personally for me, the whole occupation story arc (end of Season 5 / beginning of season 6) where the station is conquered and then re-taken, was the more satisfying "big confrontation" (apart from the fact that they had Sisko simply pick up his arch-enemy, finding him in a dejected witless heap in a corner, obviously...)
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Old February 11 2013, 09:58 PM   #33
DavidLeeRoth
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

Dal Rassak wrote: View Post
Really? Personally I have to say I felt cheated. I found it a total anti-climax. All along I'd been waiting for these two to have a really big fight - I mean you knew the gloves were going to come off at one point - but I saw them fighting as men, as soldiers and commanders. I thought it would be battleships or phasers or even hand-to-hand.
In other words a real fight.

Instead everything goes metaphysical (and I'm a big fan of metaphysical in most cases), the Pah-wraith/Dukat creature does some fire magic and a lot of taunting, and then Sisko simply jumps on him and they fall into the pit.

I was just sitting there going "this was IT"?

Personally for me, the whole occupation story arc (end of Season 5 / beginning of season 6) where the station is conquered and then re-taken, was the more satisfying "big confrontation" (apart from the fact that they had Sisko simply pick up his arch-enemy, finding him in a dejected witless heap in a corner, obviously...)
Dukat's little speech with the whole "bow down to me," vaporizing Kai Winn (yay!) and falling into a pit of fire was, like I said, over the top, but I really think that they pulled it off.




The Dominion taking over and losing Terok Nor/DS9 was also definitely another highlight.
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Old February 28 2013, 09:40 AM   #34
Muldfeld
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who had a problem with Dukat post-"Sacrifice of Angels", but I really started to pull for him for most of the last 10-episode arc that ended the series. What I can't forgive is the really lame way Sisko and he ended their battle.

Dukat supposedly has all this power and is holding Sisko down and Wynn's distraction is enough to make him let go and allow Sisko to push them both off? Silly. They could have worked much harder on that. Dukat deserved much better.

I think Dukat was deluding himself when he told Wynn he had changed that much; he was about to obtain the ultimate power of the Wraiths, after all.
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Old February 28 2013, 05:15 PM   #35
sonak
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

Dal Rassak wrote: View Post
Really? Personally I have to say I felt cheated. I found it a total anti-climax. All along I'd been waiting for these two to have a really big fight - I mean you knew the gloves were going to come off at one point - but I saw them fighting as men, as soldiers and commanders. I thought it would be battleships or phasers or even hand-to-hand.
In other words a real fight.

Instead everything goes metaphysical (and I'm a big fan of metaphysical in most cases), the Pah-wraith/Dukat creature does some fire magic and a lot of taunting, and then Sisko simply jumps on him and they fall into the pit.

I was just sitting there going "this was IT"?

Personally for me, the whole occupation story arc (end of Season 5 / beginning of season 6) where the station is conquered and then re-taken, was the more satisfying "big confrontation" (apart from the fact that they had Sisko simply pick up his arch-enemy, finding him in a dejected witless heap in a corner, obviously...)

I agree
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Old February 28 2013, 07:54 PM   #36
dub
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

I understand why people didn't like it. I guess I'm one of the few who found the end satisfying. I did say to myself "is this it?" But that was only because I wanted to see the scenes last longer not because I was unsatisfied with the concept. I always thought the fact that we see Sisko afterward meant the door was open for future stories for both Sisko and Dukat (whether in movies, books or just our imagination), so in the end I was satisfied with the "fire pit" ending because I didn't see it as a death scene. I think I remember in an interview Rick Berman stated that he wished they had a few more episodes to stretch it all out a bit more because it seemed a bit rushed in places. But I can totally understand if it wasn't your thing.
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Old February 28 2013, 08:01 PM   #37
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

sonak wrote: View Post
I agree that the character became a mess in the last few seasons. Apparently there was some behind the scenes stuff with certain writers(I think Behr and maybe some others?) thinking they'd gone too far in making Dukat complex and multi-faceted, so they decided to turn him into a more cartoonish and one-dimensional villain.(I mean, I don't think the memo was to literally turn him into a cartoonish villain, but that was the effect of the changes)

Yes. I agree completely. One gets the impression that the writers were uncomfortable with the popularity of a "villain", and engaged in an effort to make him more villainous, per se. The result was ridiculous. Why they would strive to do so in the first place is baffling to me, because a charismatic antagonist is what draws the viewers in...people like to be able to feel a certain degree of empathy with antagonists. It fascinates us, this pull of the forbidden. The moment the villainy is too cartoonish, it loses its magic, at least in my opinion.

...but then again, it was the 90s, and we all make mistakes.
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Old February 28 2013, 11:41 PM   #38
DalekJim
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

Dukat was my absolute favourite DS9 character until the end of Season 6 and the entirety of Season 7 assassinated his character. It BAFFLES me that the writers thought Dukat being a complex, often sympathetic character was bad so he had to be a 2d cartoon vilain. I love Waltz but Sisko declaring Dukat as pure evil was insanely out of character.

Dukat wasn't pure evil. He was at times thoroughly decent, honourable and clearly was starting to like the DS9 crew in a Quark-esque arc of going native. The writers... expect the audience to forget that in the final 2 seasons but it's insane. Nope. Not buying it guys. Dukat could be a good man. I saw it a ton of times.
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Old February 28 2013, 11:54 PM   #39
Nagisa Furukawa
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

DalekJim wrote: View Post
Dukat was my absolute favourite DS9 character until the end of Season 6 and the entirety of Season 7 assassinated his character. It BAFFLES me that the writers thought Dukat being a complex, often sympathetic character was bad so he had to be a 2d cartoon vilain. I love Waltz but Sisko declaring Dukat as pure evil was insanely out of character.

Dukat wasn't pure evil. He was at times thoroughly decent, honourable and clearly was starting to like the DS9 crew in a Quark-esque arc of going native. The writers... expect the audience to forget that in the final 2 seasons but it's insane. Nope. Not buying it guys. Dukat could be a good man. I saw it a ton of times.
The problem is (from reading Moore and Behr comments in the DS9 Companion) they began to think of Dukat as a character who the audience thought was interesting and therefore, didn't realize did terrible things. When, uh, clearly, the audience DID realize he did terrible things to innocent people, but the dichotomy between those things and his genuine belief that he was a good guy was what made him interesting. Once they stripped him of that and made him 2D evil, then he stopped being interesting all together, a character whose name could be scratched out and replaced with Cobra Commander or Megatron or whatever and there'd be no difference.
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Old February 28 2013, 11:57 PM   #40
DalekJim
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

Yup. Dukat is obviously the antagonist during the occupation arc in S6, no viewer was dumb enough to view him as a hero there. Still, he was written as multi-dimensional with his genuine affection for Kira and his daughter being obvious. I can think of Dukat as a monstrous douche for betraying the Alpha Quadrant to the Dominion, while still feeling really bad for him when his daughter bites it.

But the writers fell the need to spoonfeed the audience and make him 2d evil. The exact same thing happened with Winn, who is OBVIOUSLY starting to like and respect Sisko during S5. Then she comes back in S6 as a 2d evil bitch.
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Old March 1 2013, 12:36 AM   #41
Nagisa Furukawa
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

DalekJim wrote: View Post
Yup. Dukat is obviously the antagonist during the occupation arc in S6, no viewer was dumb enough to view him as a hero there. Still, he was written as multi-dimensional with his genuine affection for Kira and his daughter being obvious. I can think of Dukat as a monstrous douche for betraying the Alpha Quadrant to the Dominion, while still feeling really bad for him when his daughter bites it.

But the writers fell the need to spoonfeed the audience and make him 2d evil. The exact same thing happened with Winn, who is OBVIOUSLY starting to like and respect Sisko during S5. Then she comes back in S6 as a 2d evil bitch.
Spoonfeed is the perfect word. I took out my DS9 Companion to get what Behr says on the subject, and since Behr suggests to "deconstruct things," that's what I'll do:

Ira Behr wrote:
I'm always a strong proponent of giving characters' personalities multidimensional aspects and portraying someone in shades of gray rather than black and white.
Heh, you always know when people start off what they're saying with stuff like this that by the end, he's going to end up completely contradicting it. It's like the guy who starts a racist rant by saying, "Now, I'm not a racist, and I have many black friends, BUT..."

(Just to be clear, that's an extreme example I'm comparing Behr too; what he said was nowhere near that bad, but it's the same sort of "I want to make clear that usually I don't agree with what I'm gonna say, but now I'm gonna say it..." method of explanation.)

But you know, being human, I can't help by sometimes react to the feedback we get. And the fact that Dukat had 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... (sigh)
Here, I think is the big issue for Behr. Dukat's change in character has nothing to do with the mumbo jumbo Behr says below and everything to do with overreacting to a couple of people on the Internet. Yes, I'm sure there ARE people who thought that because Dukat was charismatic, genocide must be okay and yes, those people are wrong.

But the integrity of the fiction shouldn't be used as a personal soundboard to argue back with a few nutjobs online, and in doing so, they threw the baby out with the bathwater. There are many more people who understood that Dukat was a vile person who did horrendous things... but thought that the fact that he genuinely thought he was doing the right thing, and was genuinely capable of doing nice and kind acts for those he cared about, was what made him such an interesting villain. "Guy does bad things but thinks he's the hero" is an interesting story. "Guy turns into a cackling supervillain with glowing red eyes" isn't. Having Sisko address the camera and say, "THERE IS PURE EVIL AND IT'S DUKAT" or turning Dukat into a Pah-Wraith toadie who cackles while doing evil things for no reason like killing Jadzia doesn't dispute the people who somehow think genocide is okay; it just makes a good character into a shit one.

Anyway, 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. And since he simply refuses to admit to them, we have then to simplify things, deconstruct things, until we get to the most simplistic level, which is: He does evil things, therefore, he is evil.
This is pure "????? Huh?!" territory. But it's clearly pseudo-intellectual twaddle used to justify the real reason they did it (to spoonfeed what was obvious to most of the audience to a couple of wackos and ending up choking them by shoving so much food down their throats). Not a million miles from Dukat actually...
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Old March 1 2013, 10:49 AM   #42
Muldfeld
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

DalekJim wrote: View Post
Dukat was my absolute favourite DS9 character until the end of Season 6 and the entirety of Season 7 assassinated his character. It BAFFLES me that the writers thought Dukat being a complex, often sympathetic character was bad so he had to be a 2d cartoon vilain. I love Waltz but Sisko declaring Dukat as pure evil was insanely out of character.

Dukat wasn't pure evil. He was at times thoroughly decent, honourable and clearly was starting to like the DS9 crew in a Quark-esque arc of going native. The writers... expect the audience to forget that in the final 2 seasons but it's insane. Nope. Not buying it guys. Dukat could be a good man. I saw it a ton of times.
I remember thinking that at the time.

Still, when I hate someone, I do talk like Sisko does. I see it now as a reflection of Sisko's anger and hatred than a factual description. I thought Dukat returned to his initial self in that last 10 episode arc. I think the fear by Behr was in reading fans trying to make him out to be a hero and that Bajor's occupation wasn't so bad as to deserve his hatred. That really frightened him.

Edit: Ignore my previous paragraph because the poster before me already wrote what I was referring to.

What I LOVE about Behr is that he has a strongly political and moral conscience to his writing. Star Trek isn't interesting to me without him.
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Old March 1 2013, 07:57 PM   #43
Worf'sParmach
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

Dal Rassak wrote: View Post
Really? Personally I have to say I felt cheated. I found it a total anti-climax. All along I'd been waiting for these two to have a really big fight - I mean you knew the gloves were going to come off at one point - but I saw them fighting as men, as soldiers and commanders. I thought it would be battleships or phasers or even hand-to-hand.
In other words a real fight.

Instead everything goes metaphysical (and I'm a big fan of metaphysical in most cases), the Pah-wraith/Dukat creature does some fire magic and a lot of taunting, and then Sisko simply jumps on him and they fall into the pit.

I was just sitting there going "this was IT"?

Personally for me, the whole occupation story arc (end of Season 5 / beginning of season 6) where the station is conquered and then re-taken, was the more satisfying "big confrontation" (apart from the fact that they had Sisko simply pick up his arch-enemy, finding him in a dejected witless heap in a corner, obviously...)
THIS!!!
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Old March 3 2013, 08:38 AM   #44
CommanderRaytas
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

Are the writers in the business of morally educating people? Let the audience decide who's interesting, and who isn't. Even if we start liking a villain, so fucking what? That at least means they managed to create an interesting character. Most of us are aware that stuff on tv isn't real, and most of us aren't going to try taking over the galaxy just because we have a thing for an "evil" fictional character. Jeez.
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Old March 3 2013, 02:09 PM   #45
HaventGotALife
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Re: Dukat character - writer's mess?!

I think it would've been more interesting if Dukat wasn't a true believer, just a vessel for power. If he realized that Sisko commanded the Bajoran Gods and to destroy them is to destroy Sisko's power. He is just chasing the power to control, and beat, Benjamin Sisko because he is emissary.

The final showdown was weak. It's like the writers just wanted to have a reason for their to be an emissary in this time of the series. I thought guiding Bajor after the Occupation was reason enough; that he would bring peace to them. Really, the idea that Sarah had a child with the prophets--the whole story arc for the emissary in season 7--wreaks.
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