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Star Trek - Deep Space Nine, Episode 19: Duet [VHS]
Pitched by a couple of interns on the show as a Judgement at Nuremberg-like courtroom drama, "Duet" was instead given a Man in the Glass Booth spin by writers and coproducers Ira Behr and Peter Fields. Ironically, the episode was made during a state of end-of-the-season exhaustion and under a frustrating mandate to shoot cheaply. Yet the result is stellar, a morally and politically complex drama. --Tom Keogh
From the Back Cover
A photograph from Bajoran archives reveals that this teacher is actually Gul Darhe'el, the "Butcher of Gallitepp". When Kira confronts him with the information, the Cardassian says it's true - but an even deeper secret remains!
Top Customer Reviews
In Star Trek lore, every race that we see on a recurring basis is based on a culture in Earth's past or present. Klingons were modeled after Samurai warriors, for example. Bajorans are clearly Star Trek's version of the Jewish people and the Cardassians are the sci-fi version of German Nazis. This is especially evident in the DS9 series in which we see a liberated Bajor, recovering from the cruel occupation of the Cardassians. Gallitepp is their version of Auschwitz. Bajoran women were raped in front of their children, men beaten until their wives could no longer recognize them and old people who could no longer work were buried alive as the Cardassians forced the Bajorans to strip-mine the resources of their own planet for the Cardassian cause and then were eliminated when they were deemed no longer useful.
Kira goes to sickbay to visit the patient, since survivors of the camp she helped to liberate hold a special place in the heart of all Bajorans. When she arrives, she sees not a Bajoran, but a Cardassian under the doctor's care. Since he clearly suffers from Kalla-Nohra syndrome, he clearly must have been present at Gallitepp, which makes him gulity of war crimes by default.
Kira's shoulder pads go into over-drive and her hair gets more spikey - she calls for Odo and the man who claims to be Aiman Maritza tries to flee. Odo subdues him and he is put into the brig.Read more ›
A lot of DS9 episodes may take a little familiarity with the backstory to appreciate, but this episode stands firmly on its own 2 feet. You get all the exposition you need, and the payoff at the end is powerful. Plus, Harris Yulin's performance as the Cardasian suspect is nothing short of awesome. Great sci-fi, but more importantly, great drama.
The plot of this episode takes a number of tricky twists, so I won't go into a summary of them here. It's enough to say that a possible Cardassian war criminal appears on the station, and Kira must determine who he is, and what crimes he committed in the past. The plot, as it unravels, is diabolical, and had me completely fooled and eager to get to the next revelation.
This is an episode hinging on strong performances and steady direction. Harris Yulin as the Cardassian is particularly notable. Two scenes in particular stand out, and I'll try to describe them without giving away any plot points. In the first scene, we see Yulin's character from Major Kira's point of view, and what she sees is genuinely frightening and unsettling. In the second scene, the scripted lines are very similar, but Yulin alters his performance, and the direction is just different enough to throw a completely different spin on what is unfolding on the screen. We see the action through Kira's eyes, and the difference is startling. Kudos to everyone involved for managing to completely change the tone using only the most subtle of means.
This episode proves that Deep Space Nine can do a terrific episode without leaving its main sets. In fact, the narrative rarely moves away from three rooms, and this gives the episode an intense and effective claustrophobic feel. The strong script, excellent performances, and confident direction combine to make this episode one of the best Star Treks that I've seen. This one is definitely recommended, especially to those people who know that science fiction (and indeed good drama) is far more than mere visuals and special effects.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As an avid S Trek fan, I have to say this is one of the best. Harris Yulin and Nana Visitor should have gotten awards for this episode. And the writing was excellent. Read morePublished on July 31, 2007 by Matthew A. Johnston
I get COLD CHILLS at the end of this episode.I'm a
Star Trek fan with some HARSH criticism about DS9 but THIS
is one of their Top 10 BEST shows. Read more
Simply put, this is the best Star Trek episode that I have ever seen, and I have seen the majority of them. Read morePublished on December 23, 2002
This is a great early episode of Deep Space 9. Ever since The Next Generation, we knew that Bajorans and Cardassians did not get along, and Cardassians occupied Bajor for over 50... Read morePublished on October 1, 2000 by L C
Every year of Deep Space Nine produced at least one episode that I consider to be among the best Star Trek episodes ever. Season 1's Duet is the first of these. Read morePublished on August 8, 2000 by Geebus
One of Deep Space Nine's more intriguing elements is the relationship between the Cardassians and Bajorans. Read morePublished on July 5, 2000 by Joe White
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