Star Trek Fan-Favorite Actor Saved Deep Space Nine From Being Ruined

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Kira quickly became a fan-favorite character in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and it’s not hard to see why. In addition to being beautiful and intelligent, this former freedom fighter embodied the Bajorans’ former struggle against Cardassian occupation. Conversely, nobody embodied Cardassian evil more than Gul Dukat, whose smarm and sneers barely mask the fact that he’s Space Hitler. As it turns out, the show writers tried to romantically hook these characters up, and Kira actor Nana Visitor had to personally shut this plot down.

Writers Wanted To Make Kira And Gul Dukat A Thing

Weirdly enough, you can still see echoes of this aborted plot line in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night.” This is the episode where a time-traveling Kira receives the gut-punching news that her mother actually had an affair with Gul Dukat. Fans at the time assumed this was meant to explain why Dukat was always so fascinated with Kira, but Nana Visitor later revealed that the Deep Space Nine writers wanted it to be her that had the ill-advised affair with the Cardassian.

Nana Visitor Shot It Down

She frequently argued with the writers about plot points involving her character, and in this case, she argued that Dukat was part of “the species that dominated my planet” and was “the worst of the worst.” This is why she rejected any idea that Kira would ever have an affair with Dukat. While she didn’t get into exactly how the episode’s original plot would have been different, she clarified which ep she was talking about when she said, “it was my mother” that ultimately “had a relationship” with Gul Dukat.

A Plan To Change Dukat?

star trek gul dukat

All these years later, Visitor is still not sure what the Deep Space Nine writers were thinking when it came to the idea of making her fierce freedom fighter hook up with the face of everything she was fighting against. The actor speculated that “maybe they wanted to turn his character,” which could have led to some cool stories about Dukat helping to lead Captain Sisko and others into battle against the Dominion, his former allies. 

For better or for worse, this would have prevented the strange plot line where Dukat becomes a rather literal embodiment of malice by letting Pah-Wraiths (basically, evil versions of the Prophets) turn him into a superpowered apostle of evil.

The Better STory

It’s possible the Deep Space Nine writers wanted to hook Kira and Gul Dukat up to see what it would be like for the Bajoran to develop a closer relationship with her most hated foes. However, the final season later accomplished this by having Kira help Damar lead a Cardassian revolution against the Dominion. Not only did this story avoid compromising Kira’s strong moral values, but it also gave her complete closure to help her former foes achieve the freedom they once took from the Bajorans.

We’re Glad Nana Visitor Put Her Foot Down

Considering that Deep Space Nine remains the perfect Star Trek show (sorry, Picard fans), it’s more than a bit shocking to hear the writers wanted Kira to have an affair with Space Hitler. However, it’s equally amazing that Nana Visitor put her foot down and essentially saved the show because she cared about her character so much. Perhaps that’s why Deep Space Nine remains the best Trek show: from top to bottom, it was filled with actors who care about their characters just as much (if not more!) than the writers and producers.

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