Elim Garak is a fictional character in the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, in which he is portrayed by Andrew J. Robinson. In the series, Garak is an exiled spy from the Cardassian nation and a former member of a prestigious Cardassian intelligence group called the Obsidian Order. Garak was exiled (for unspecified reasons) to the space station that became known as Deep Space Nine and established a tailor business there.
Garak is introduced in the third episode of the first season of Deep Space Nine "Past Prologue" (after the double episode "Emissary"). In the episode, he appears in the replimat on Deep Space Nine, where he flirtatiously introduces himself simply as "Garak", a tailor exiled from Cardassia, to the station's discomforted doctor, Julian Bashir. In the same episode, it is discovered that Garak was simply known as "The Spy" to the crew of Deep Space Nine, being the only Cardassian left on the station after Cardassia withdrew their occupation from the nearby planet Bajor.
Over the course of the series, Garak at first denies involvement with a feared Cardassian intelligence agency called the Obsidian Order, only to later reveal his connections as he (as plot-development devices) deems necessary. As Garak's friendship with Bashir develops, it is revealed that he was one of the Obsidian Order's highest ranking operatives, and that he was exiled from Cardassia due to unspecified reasons. The details of Garak's exile are never revealed, but it is suggested that his exile resulted from either letting prisoners escape during the occupation of Bajor, or betrayal of the head of the Obsidian Order named Enabran Tain, who is later discovered to also be Garak's resentful biological father. Garak's constant enigmatic secrecy keeps him a character of both interest and importance in the series, and he later uses his contacts with Cardassia and the training he received as an operative of the Obsidian Order to assist the Federation in the war against the Dominion.
Upon his introduction in the series, Garak was intended to be a one-shot character, and not a character that was to be developed or even appear in the series beyond a single episode. Robinson stated that he portrayed the character in the episode for the simple fact that he needed money for that month to pay his bills.
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