Friday, December 30, 2022

Star Trek: Duet

Episode: "Duet"
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 1, Episode 19
Original Air Date: June 13, 1993

via Memory Alpha

A Cardassian arrives at the station with a disease he could only have contracted at a Bajoran labor camp during the occupation.  Major Kira leads the investigation to find out who he is: Aamin Marritza, a blameless file clerk, or Gul Darhe'el, the camp's commander and a war criminal.

"Duet" marks the point when Deep Space Nine goes from good to great.  For the first time, a Star Trek series sits with the problems of a single planet over time rather than scuttling off at the end of the episode.  The real world parallels for the Bajoran struggle against the Cardassians are many, in this case most clearly evoking the Nazi Holocaust, though just as easily the Japanese and British imperialism of the same era in other parts of the world.  Once again, Kira is placed in the position of having to come to terms with the horrors of the past as she interviews Marritza/Darhe'el.  While the question of identity is resolved by story's end, the deeper resentments clearly are not.  This is new and refreshingly uncomfortable ground for the franchise.  Problems are going to take more than 42 minutes to fix.

"Duet" is a low-budget bottle episode to boot, a reminder to all storytellers of how much can be done within strict limits.

Acting Notes

via Ghostbusters Wiki

Harris Yulin played the role of Marritza/Darhe'el.  Yulin was born November 5, 1937 in Los Angeles.  He made his New York stage debut in 1963, hitting Broadway with Watch on the Rhine in the '80s.  

Film credits include Scarface, Clear and Present Danger, The Hurricane and Training Day.  Beyond Trek, he has appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Rubicon, Ozark and Frasier, for which he received an Emmy nomination.  Also an accomplished stage director, he won the Lucille Lortel Award for The Trip to Bountiful in 2006.

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