In a series full of complex characters, few of DS9's roster exhibit as much of a nuanced and compelling an emotional journey as Gul Dukat. The former Prefect of Bajor's life is often contradictory in terms of his moral and ethical boundaries, and fans of the show spent seven years trying to figure out exactly where his roller coaster storylines would take him next.
Running the gamut from scheming politician to noble renegade, stopping off at loving father and landing on religious zealot, Dukat's fully realised arc is a marvel of storytelling, as well as a vehicle for the truly mesmerising portrayal by Marc Alaimo.
With such a rich history, there's very little that fans of this inconsistent ne'er do well don't already know. However, a deep dive into the writer's room, the production office, and the thoughts of the man behind the make up reveal subtext and rewrites that both define the character and the journey on which he travelled.
From his first steps onto his former station in Emissary, right through to his eternal fall into the Hell of the Fire Caves, these are the things you may not know about Gul Dukat
10. Marc Alaimo Was Not The First Choice
In a series with as much legacy as Star Trek, casting is essential to establish the right character, both in terms of appearance and tone. A figure as imposing as Gul Dukat is no exception, and although we couldn't dream of anybody else's neck sporting all those ridges, it turns out that Marc Alaimo wasn't the first choice to play the part.
The original audition sheet for the character included actors Mark Rolston, Eric Allen Kramer, Richard Moll, and Stephen Lee, although it would be Michael McRae who first took the role. However, four days into filming it became clear that McRae had been miscast, so producers turned to Alaimo, who had Cardassian experience as Macet in TNG, as well as Romulan Tebok.
With his prolific background in theatre, Alaimo's foreboding yet charming figure was the perfect fit for Dukat, and the character who would both perplex and terrorise the crew of DS9 had truly found his face.