Recently while watching the classic Clint Eastwood film Dirty Harry, I couldn’t help but wonder where the hell I knew the Scorpio Killer from?
Once I remembered I had the internet at my fingertips, I did what anyone would do and looked him up on IMDB. Much to my amazement I discovered it was Garak from Deep Space Nine, himself Mr. Andrew Robinson.
Robinson was offered the role of Garak after he originally auditioned for the role of Odo, which eventually went to Rene Auberjonois. He almost did not accept the role, but was pressured into accepting for financial reasons. Like the character, he is claustrophobic and at first had trouble performing in heavy makeup.
His character was originally intended to appear in only one episode but eventually became one of the most frequent recurring characters of the series, appearing in 37 of the 176 episodes as the writers of the show enjoyed working with the character. Originally planned to be an antagonist, the character became more sympathetic as the show progressed, becoming one of the main protagonists by the end of the series. Robinson has described the role as being complex in a StarTrek.com interview:
“We have an expression: subtext. That much of the truth of Garak was like a glacier: you saw only the tip of the glacier, but then, underneath the tip, was the very complicated truth of his life. So, playing that subtext, living with that subtext, presenting that subtext behind a mask of affability, of friendliness, of congeniality, I think that was both the challenge and the pleasure of the character.”
I personally can’t fault any episode of Deep Space 9 which feature Garak. He was one of the best characters in all of the Trek shows, which has lasted in my memory.
Andrew Robinson I salute you.
(Image via Tumblr)