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Date: 98-01-28 18:55:12 EST
<<Encapsulating a *long* question from a while back: in our interview, you
said that over the course of the season, Dukat fans would "suffer along with
the Gul", hate you, think you'd lost your mind, but like the season as a whole
when we got to the end of it. Do you still feel the same way? >>
That interview took place well before we on staff had even talked about what
eventually became "Waltz." I'm not sure if the Dukat fans will ever be able
to look at him quite the same, frankly. I know that I don't. Once you've
ripped away the mask and discovered the gruesome interior, it's a little hard
to go back to pretending that there's a good guy hiding in there somewhere. I
know that we'll continue to show him as a three-dimensional character with
different layers of motivation and feeling, but I'm not sure that we can go
back to the "is he a good guy or isn't he?" mode. We've crossed a bridge with
the Gul and while there can be interesting paths ahead of us, I don't think
they're the same paths that got us to this point.
<<Ron, [Dukat] has been written and played with
a "silver lining". And your "Waltz" didn't destroy it, no matter how
much you may think it did. You can't hold a madman to anything, let
alone his evil thoughts or deeds. If you wanted to emphasize all the
bad things about Dukat, you should have left him sane. Methinks you
are tweaking the public again. You can chat away on AOL about how evil
Dukat is all you want to, but when it comes down to writing the script,
somehow all that ambiguity gets in there...>>
I think you're getting lost in semantics. What you call "ambiguity", I call
"character." As I said before, no one is 100% evil in every way. Any villain
that is written that way is a cardboard character and a cartoon. We look at
Dukat as a fully fleshed out character with sometimes conflicting motives and
emotions. But -- and it's a big BUT -- there is something dark and ugly in
this guy's soul. Explain that away with his poor childhood or his life
experiences all you want, it's still there and the result of it has been pain
and suffering for literally millions of people. And I don't buy the argument
that just because Dukat's grip on reality was a bit shaky in "Waltz" that we
can't hold him responsible for his actions in the past. The hell we can't.
He wasn't crazy when he ordered those reprisals against the Bajorans or
ordered them into labor camps or burned their villages or commanded an army of
occupation that terrorized an entire planet. Yes, he's interesting. Yes,
he's charming. Yes, he can even be funny and likeable on occasion. But those
are the reasons he's been such an interesting villain, they are not reasons to
excuse his behavior or try to wash away the blood on his hands.
<<I was wondering if since the Dominion has committed so much to try to take
over the Alpha Quad. (Loseing all those ships in the wormwhole) Will the
Dominions enemies in the Delta quad try to take over them while they are
While theorectically possible, I don't foresee us going in this direction.
<<Was the downfall, leading up to Waltz, all part of the six part arch that
started off the season? Had it been part of the plan for Dukat to escape and
everything, or did this come later?>>
Dukat going mad at the end of the six-part arc was something we planned from
the beginning. We didn't know what we wanted to do with him after that until
the arc was over and we started talking about doing a follow-up episode with
<<Also, in First Contact, was there any personal significance to the April
date of Cochran's launch? >>
April 5, is my son's birthday.
<<Does Jadzia Dax have a last name to give up?>>
Jadzia presumably had a last name before being joined, but we haven't
established one yet.
Date: 98-01-28 19:34:52 EST
<<How involved is Rick Berman with your creative work and has he ever said you
couldn't go in a direction you wanted?>>
Rick is very involved in the process. There have certainly been times over
the years when Rick didn't want us to go in a certain direction, but we
usually have found a way to both address his concerns and still tell the story
we wanted to tell.
<< In Trials and Tribbulations, Julien asked Miles that he must remember his
temporal mechanics course in the academy??? So whats the deal?>>
This is a mistake, plain and simple. If you want to rationalize it, I suppose
we could say that the enlisted training program also takes place at the
<<Betraying a spouse is wrong. It may not be illegal, but it's still wrong.
Lying to a friend (except under oath!) isn't illegal, but it's still wrong
(well, maybe not in Cardassia...had to get that Trek reference in there!).
Taking advantage of a much younger woman is wrong. Taking advantage of your
position as the leader of the free world to fool around with a young woman
whose career you and make or brake is wrong.>>
As long as we're making a catalog of right and wrong, I'd like to point out
that there is only one undisputed action so far which I think is
reprehensible: taping a series of intimate conversations with your "friend"
as she spills out her guts to you and then turning them over to someone else.
It's a profound betrayal which has now splashed her "friend's" name across the
world and quite probably wrecked her life. What a pal. My loathing for this
woman and her behavior knows no bounds.
<<It has been established that O'Brien is an enlisted Chief Petty Officer.
Will we ever see him promoted to Senior Chief before the end of the series?>>
It's something we've talked about and it's a definite possibility.
<<why stop at 7 years? Your answer made it sound as though you assume season 7
will be the last. Why not 8?>>
No one's talking about a year 8. The studio had always talked about 7 as
being the ideal number of seasons and I tend to agree. TNG went out on top,
with people wanting more and we'd like to do the same. There is such a thing
as overstaying your welcome and I think that creatively, we have one good
solid season left in the show and I would really hesitate to push beyond that.
<<I would trust Gul Dukat, voices in his head and all, before I would trust
Sometimes this board frightens me.
<<What was the significance of Kira's initial reaction to the gift from Dukat
in Sons and Daughters? I've been reading past posts from both camps about
whether or not she had hidden feelings for him along with the revulsion.
Nothing up to that point made me think she might really have a thing for him,
but her delight at first recieving the dress (knowingly from him) seemed quite
evident. Is she really attracted to him after all?>>
She was charmed by him and found herself actually lulled into the first steps
of some sort of relationship with him. In that sense, she's a stand-in for
the audience: "Hey, he's not so bad. He's even kinda cute. Maybe, it would
be okay if he and I.... YIKES!"
Date: 98-01-28 20:39:41 EST
<<You've often said a Klingon series would be an interesting idea. If such a
thing ever happened, would you like to see Worf involved in some capacity?>>
I haven't given this much thought, but my initial reaction is that I'd rather
see a Klingon series featuring all new characters. (And there's nothing like
this in the works, so don't ask.)
<<WHY wasn�t Dukat�s hatred of Bajorans consciously clear to him? Dukat was
RAISED to hate Bajorans so that using them would be easier! Considering
Bajorans inferior is as basic to the Cardi mind-set as breathing! >>
I don't find it that hard to believe that someone with Dukat's enormous ego
would want to be seen as the "savior" of the down-trodden Bajorans while at
the same time never believing that they were his equals. He failed to
understand that trying to make the Occupation a little more palatable wasn't
going to address the fundamental problem: The -- Cardassians -- Did -- Not
-- Belong -- There. The Bajorans wanted them to LEAVE, not increase the
rations in the labor camps. Dukat DID believe them to be inferior and he said
so in "Waltz."
<< But [Dukat] having a shaky grip on reality in waltz does affect the
believability of his words during that episode. In other words, the his
motives and his hatred of Bajorans revealed during Waltz are what I would
treat with caution, because theywere spoken by a madman.>>
Crazy or not, the things Dukat espoused in the climax of "Waltz" were his true
feelings. Trust me on this one, I know the guy who wrote the scene pretty
Date: 98-01-29 13:50:46 EST
<<In First Contact when they were out on the deflector array, it looked like
one of the Borg was a Borgified Klingon. I thought that was cool because
obviously they've assimilated more than just humans. Do you know if that was
indeed a supposed to be borgified Klingon, or if the guy just ended up looking
like that (maybe he really has a ridged forehead). >>
He was supposed to be a Borgified Klingon. I think there might have been one
or two other Borgified aliens in FC, but I don't think they were of any of the
major Trek races.
<<I'm curious who made the decision that sparked all this controversy. Was it
purely your decision to take Dukat in that direction when writing the episode,
or a joint decision by the staff, or Ira Behr?>>
It was something we discussed at length among the staff. In the end, everyone
agreed that this was the way to take the character.
<<I was going through some of my old TNG tapes, and I noticed that you wrote
one of my favorite episodes, "The Defector". I love the Romulans, and I think
you portrayed them very well in that episode. One thing I noticed is that
when Riker insulted Admiral Jarok, he used the Romulan word veruul. I
remember that word being used in several of Diane Duane's Romulan novels, so I
was wondering, did you go over some of her material to get some background
information on Romulans? >>
To be honest, I don't recall whether I got the word from Diane or vice versa.
I was a fan of Diane's books before ever writing my first script and I might
have borrowed it from her, but I don't recall if her Romulan novel came before
or after "The Defector." I still think the world of Diane and her husband,
Peter and I hear they're both doing well in beautiful Ireland.
<<Have you given thought of promoting Kira from Major to Lt. Colonel in the
Bajoran Militia sometime before end of the series?>>
It comes up now and again, but we just can't get past the way "Colonel Kira"
sounds when you say it out loud. (It's way too close to "Colonel Klink" for
<<Despite not planning a follow-up episode to Voyager's "Message in a Bottle",
what about a line somewhere in an upcoming episode?>>
It's always possible.
<<I was just wondering, since season 7 promises to be DS9's last, if there
have been any idea's floated around for a new Trek series to fill that void?
What are your feelings regarding an anthology type of Trek series? Also, in
your opinion, would TPTB consider a Trek series with an anthological format
rather than the traditional episodic? >>
As far as I know, there are no plans for another Trek series underway. I have
no idea what kind of show they would contemplate when and if they decided to
create a fifth series, and I really don't know if an anthology format would
work or not.
Date: 98-01-29 14:14:04 EST
<< Is the kind of optimism depicted in Star Trek justified? At the rate at
which we are progressing in this society, I do not believe the universe
depicted in Star Trek, insofar as it depicts a nearly perfect community within
the Federation, can exist by the time imagined... I think it is far off the
mark... What have we in the late 20th Century? Freedom? License? Scandal?
have material wealth, and yet we have never been more spiritually bereft.>>
I'm an optimist. I think we're far better off today as a society and as a
culture than at any point in the past. It's easy to get caught up in the
problems of the moment, but if you turn around and look back the way we've
come without engaging in nostalgia, I think you'll find that we're making
tremendous progress. In just my lifetime, we've made huge strides in civil
rights, women's rights, the struggle against totalitarianism and communism,
medical knowledge, technology, understanding the universe we live in,
environmental issues, the nuclear arms race -- it's a fairly long list of
progress. If you gave me a choice of living in 1964 or 1998, I'd choose the
later, hands down. I'm not satisfied with everything, nor should I be. But
look back over the last hundred years and tell me that we're not better off
than the people in 1898. Or 1798. Or 1698. I have high hopes for the future
and yes, I'd like to think that Trek's optimistic outlook on the road ahead is
<<I was wondering, if the Founders are like gods to the Vorta and the
Jemh'dar, and most of them have never seen a god, then why did all of the
Jemh'dar and Vorta react so casually to the arrival of Queen Goo, the leader
of the founders on the station. >>
I don't think the Founders are interested in pomp and circumstance, therefore
they get none.
<<Wait a minute, here. Linda Tripp was the subject of a supoena.She had been
made aware of the alleged sexual escapades in the White House, placing her at
risk. In addition, she was privy to the information that Lewinsky planned to
LIE under oath. Tripp had already been skewered once by Clinton's henchmen. Is
it really that loathsome to protect herself by taping Lewinsky?>>
Yes it's loathesome. She's little better than the informers who used to turn
their neighbors in to the KGB. She taped Lewinsky without her knowledge over
and over again as she discussed intimate details of her life (whether they
were true or not). Do you really want to approve of people secretly taping
private conversations with each other? She was defending herself? Against
what? Who exactly was going to go after Linda Tripp? And for what? She
didn't use these tapes in her defense against some charge of perjury or some
civil suit, she took them on her own initiative to Ken Starr. If this was all
a defensive action, why didn't she keep them to herself until she had no
choice but to produce them? Why go to the guy who's itching for a chance to
get something on the President? Tripp has somehow managed to be a witness in
the Travel Office imbrolgio, the Vince Foster non-case, the Paula Jones
lawsuit, and now the Intern Affair -- doesn't sound like a disinterested party
just looking out for herself to me.
<<Got a cliffhanger for us this season?>>
Not a cliffhanger per se, but we always end the season with an episode that
sets up events for the following year.
<<You said we probably won't be able to look at Elmo Dukat the same way again.
Does this mean we probably won't see any of the "Good Side" at all...the
moments of compassion, like when he sacrificed his future to bring Ziyal back
from the Desolution Planet, or displays of love, like when he expressed regret
at being forced to miss his son's birthday party (the Tom Riker episode)?>>
No, I'm sure we'll still play the many different aspects of his personality.