Kelas Parmak

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Character
Name: Kelas Parmak
Occupation: doctor
Title/Rank: Doctor
Location: Cardassia City, Cardassia
Status: Alive
Relationships: Elim Garak (possible partner - see ship page)
Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Other:
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Kelas Parmak was a Cardassian doctor from the book series of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Canon Facts

  • He is described as "sweet" and "a bit whiney" by Julian Bashir.[1]
  • In Enigma Tales, he is described as "greying" and "stooped", and moves slowly.
  • Elim Garak is very fond of him, referring to him as someone "whom he loved" and his "dearest Kelas".
  • Garak is also highly protective of him, and gets angry when someone tricks him (such as Julian Bashir in The Nexus, or Peter Alden in Enigma Tales)
  • Back in the heyday of the Obsidian Order, Kelas worked as Enabran Tain's personal physician. He was later interrogated by Garak, and as a result of his confession was sent to a labour camp for three years.
  • Kelas lives with Garak in the Castellan's residence, and picked out the colours for the Castellan's office.
  • He has a thriving medical practice, and is also on the boards of numerous medical committees.

Fanon

Kelas is often perceived as very gentle, but with a "take no shit" attitude. Much of fandom perceives him as a little bit of a hippie, and very much into both traditional and homeopathic medicine. Given the paucity of physical descriptions for Kelas, fans often have their own visual interpretations for him - long hair is very common, and it's normally white or grey. Some see him as tall and willowy, whilst others see him as shorter and fatter, and the colour of his skin can vary from very light to dark with vitiligo patches. Occasionally, he's also depicted as wearing glasses. It's also fairly common to have him portrayed as either gender-nonconforming or nonbinary - an intersex version of Kelas has also become much more widespread.

Controversy

Kelas' role in the books is controversial, due to perceived similarities between Kelas Parmak and Julian Bashir. Often, Kelas is seen as "Bashir-lite", and some fans dislike him for taking the role "meant" for Bashir.

[thornfield13713]
The thing is, Doctor Parmak is, through no fault of his own, a prime example of one of my least favourite tropes in all of fiction: the Replacement Love Interest. It’s the same reason it took me so long to warm up to Ezri Dax, with the added downside that Parmak…really doesn‘t get to have much of an arc of his own. In everything I’ve read, he‘s appeared purely as a satellite to Garak, and while he’s perfectly likeable in his own right and I‘d probably enjoy him just fine in any other context, it does make him somewhat difficult for me to read simply because he is so obviously an off-brand Julian substitute, to the point where this is explicitly spelled out in A Stitch in Time.[2]

Fanworks

The most common ship involving Kelas is Elim Garak/Kelas Parmak. Julian Bashir/Elim Garak/Kelas Parmak is also somewhat popular, and there has been growing interest in ships involving Kelas and other characters in the canon, such as Jack/Kelas Parmak.

Fanfiction

  • Currents to Deep Water by ssorrell - “Elim’s right about you and the analogies,” Julian mumbled. “You make them sound like they could mean anything.” (Bashir/Parmak)
  • cysur by Cân Cennau - Written for Pride month. Parmak and Garak share some intimacy before going to sleep.
  • Of Blood and Bleach by JulianObviouslyLovesToad - Kelas has always had peculiar taste - that's the way one would put it in polite company. But on Cardassia, beyond the dalliances of youth, homosexuality was forbidden. Kelas isn't holding out hope that post-occupation Cardassia will be any different in that regard. (Parmak/Garak)
  • Forgiveness by vaiya - Kelas Parmak has to deal with the man who sent him to a labor camp for three years. (Gen)

Fanart

Meta

  • Kelas Parmak Headcanons of Joy and Terror by atomicmayo - What do you do when a character is mentioned once in an episode of Star Trek: DS9 and never shown on screen or referenced again? You naturally read all the expanded universe material on him you can and generate headcanons for him - that's what you do. It's fun, it's probably legal, and it's disconcertingly meta.

References

  1. The Nexus, by Andrew J Robinson and Alexander Siddig, transcribed by edosianorchids901 on February 13th, 2019
  2. What is your opinion on Garak/Parmak and Kelas Parmak in general? by thornfield13713 in response to an ask, on Tumblr on December 9th, 2017.