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The road not traveled, Deep Space 9 Gul Dukat (and Worf) v Spike BtVS comparison

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  • The road not traveled, Deep Space 9 Gul Dukat (and Worf) v Spike BtVS comparison

    Ok so I'm a big DS9 fan, as Trek show it's very unTrek with its serialized storytelling and character arcs. On the documentary the creators admit that Major Kira an ex Terrorist is not something they could get away with post 9/11, while the episode In the Pale Moonlight really goes there in terms of characters doing dark conflicted things for the greater good.

    Anyway one character who was really interesting was Gul Dukat the shows antagonist. He was made more and and more conflicted and there was a developing relationship with the main protagonist Kira. Then boom in S5/6 that arc goes right out the window. All potential relationship with Kira is cancelled and Dukat goes back to being a 1 dimensional villain.

    The actress who played Kira Nana Visitor says that she killed the idea of the relationship when it was floated to her. While the writers openly state that the audience were finding Dukat way to sympathetic and wanted to put a stop to that.

    Does anyone see the comparisons here with Spike. A character introduced as a villain developing a relationship with the main female character. You had huge writer objections and (so JM says) objections from the actor as well.

    Could this have been what could have happened to Spike of they'd gone the other direction?

    Btw I also included Worf because he was brought into DS9 from Star Trek the Next Generation in S4 in a soft reboot for the show much like Spike was on Angel S5. The actor said some of Worfs best stuff was on that show while JM says it helped get Spike his edge back which is what he preferred.

    Anyway I don't know how many people watched DS9 but I noticed these parallels and it's a great show worth a watch if you haven't seen it.

  • #2
    I've just done a re-watch of DS9 and my appreciation for the show has grown considerably. I do see some similarities with Gul Dukat and Spike, but I feel the main difference is that Buffy is a fantasy show, whereas DS9 was far more a mirror of the real world. We see Gul Dukat committing atrocities that we never see from Spike, although we know he has done terrible things. Dukat takes Kiras own mother into a coercive relationship, threatens to kill his own daughter and does kill millions of people as the leader of an invading army.

    It would have stretched credibility to think that Kira would have entered into a relationship with Dukat so soon after he'd destroyed her home world, which she'd fought against and been labelled a terrorist for doing so. I don't know how they could have believably achieved this. I also wonder how close Dukat and Kira were to becoming a couple, because I never really picked up on any great chemistry between them, unlike Buffy and Spike who, for me, had instant chemistry.

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    As for Worf, i thought he was brilliant in DS9 and his relationship with Dax was wonderfully written.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Priceless View Post
      I've just done a re-watch of DS9 and my appreciation for the show has grown considerably. I do see some similarities with Gul Dukat and Spike, but I feel the main difference is that Buffy is a fantasy show, whereas DS9 was far more a mirror of the real world. We see Gul Dukat committing atrocities that we never see from Spike, although we know he has done terrible things. Dukat takes Kiras own mother into a coercive relationship, threatens to kill his own daughter and does kill millions of people as the leader of an invading army.

      It would have stretched credibility to think that Kira would have entered into a relationship with Dukat so soon after he'd destroyed her home world, which she'd fought against and been labelled a terrorist for doing so. I don't know how they could have believably achieved this. I also wonder how close Dukat and Kira were to becoming a couple, because I never really picked up on any great chemistry between them, unlike Buffy and Spike who, for me, had instant chemistry.

      - - - Updated - - -

      As for Worf, i thought he was brilliant in DS9 and his relationship with Dax was wonderfully written.
      It's a great show, really underappreciated. I can reccomend the Documentary What we leave Behind. The Blu ray scenes are incredible

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post
        Ok so I'm a big DS9 fan, as Trek show it's very unTrek with its serialized storytelling and character arcs. On the documentary the creators admit that Major Kira an ex Terrorist is not something they could get away with post 9/11, while the episode In the Pale Moonlight really goes there in terms of characters doing dark conflicted things for the greater good.

        Anyway one character who was really interesting was Gul Dukat the shows antagonist. He was made more and and more conflicted and there was a developing relationship with the main protagonist Kira. Then boom in S5/6 that arc goes right out the window. All potential relationship with Kira is cancelled and Dukat goes back to being a 1 dimensional villain.

        The actress who played Kira Nana Visitor says that she killed the idea of the relationship when it was floated to her. While the writers openly state that the audience were finding Dukat way to sympathetic and wanted to put a stop to that.

        Does anyone see the comparisons here with Spike. A character introduced as a villain developing a relationship with the main female character. You had huge writer objections and (so JM says) objections from the actor as well.

        Could this have been what could have happened to Spike of they'd gone the other direction?

        Btw I also included Worf because he was brought into DS9 from Star Trek the Next Generation in S4 in a soft reboot for the show much like Spike was on Angel S5. The actor said some of Worfs best stuff was on that show while JM says it helped get Spike his edge back which is what he preferred.

        Anyway I don't know how many people watched DS9 but I noticed these parallels and it's a great show worth a watch if you haven't seen it.
        I don't think you can really compare these two, because
        1) DS9 had many real world parallels in a way that BtVS did not: Cardassian occupation of Bajor is reminiscent of things like colonialism, or Nazi Germany occupying various countries during WW2. (The episode "Duet" even played obvious parallels with Holocaust, though I don't think that parallel works for Cardassia/Bajor outside of Gul Dar'heel and that episode; Cardassians never wanted to exterminate Bajorans, they wanted to rule over them.) Kira was a part of the resistance/rebellion forces - and a large part of her arc was overcoming her prejudice against Cardassians in general, and even accepting those that participated in the occupation but whose transgressions were not that severe (Maritza, Ghemor). She even found some common ground and recognized some humanity in Dukat, and, of course, cared for and was a friend of his half-Bajoran daughter. However, I think that starting a romantic relationship with the former head of Cardassian occupation government in Bajor would have been going way too far, and Nana Visitor was right about that.
        2) BtVS had many other specific things like the soul vs no soul distinction, and the fact that Buffy had already had a relationship with a vampire, that one of her friends had a relationship with an ex-demon with a history of 1000 of years of murder, etc. and in that context, Spuffy wasn't nearly as shocking or unimaginable.
        3) Spike never had a position of power over Buffy and her people and wasn't responsible for all the misfortunes they had (see point 1).

        However, while I think not doing a Kira/Dukat romance was the right call, I think they really messed up by making Dukat a one-dimensional villain in season 7 in a way it didn't even make sense for him. That whole Pah Wraith plot was ridiculous in general.
        You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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        • #5
          I think Dukat was, even at his best moments, fundamentally a narcissist, and that was a huge difference between him and Spike in my opinion. It's no accident that Dukat was kindest to his daughter when she said she would rather die than be abandoned by him, because that kind of abject dependency was exactly what he craved. Once she developed the nasty habit of caring about people who weren't Dukat, his claws came out again.

          I just don't see Dukat having any romantic relationship with anyone that would work for me, because I don't see him ever choosing to prioritize or even care about the needs of his partner, unless those needs matched his own.

          For that reason, and for all the reasons TimeTravellingBunny wrote above, I think Kira/Dukat would have been a disaster for the show and for Kira's character especially. Nana Visitor deserves so much credit for protecting the integrity of the most complex character in Trek (IMO).

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