Thanks to Ronald D. Moore, fans got to see what happened on a Klingon ship and in Klingon society. Many fans cite the “Klingon” episodes as their favorite in the franchise. Some say that the Klingon stories told on “Deep Space Nine” were as good as — or better — than the ones on “The Next Generation.”
Moore, known by some as the “Klingon Guy” during his time on Trek, had to actually fight with creator Gene Roddenberry to get some of these episodes made. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Moore shared what happened behind the scenes.
“He didn’t really see Worf as a primary character,” Moore said of Roddenberry in the interview. “[The Next Generation] was about Picard. He was the Captain. This was the first time that Next Gen — that ‘Star Trek,’ really — had ever done a big war story like this. And this was going to be the series’ 100th episode on top of it. So, we had to fight somewhat to get the episode going.”
Moore helped make Worf one of the focuses of “The Next Generation,” so much so that Michael Dorn wants to make a Worf-centric show. Dorn portrayed Worf in 272 episodes of Trek and four feature films — the record for any “Star Trek” actor. He recently got a vote of confidence from one of his fellow TNG castmates (Marina Sirtis) for a Worf show.
There are many lists of favorite “Star Trek” episodes out there. Heavy put together a list of the very best Worf-centric episodes, which fans can now binge on Netflix, Amazon, Paramount Plus, or other streaming platforms.
“Heart of Glory” TNG: S1 – Episode 20
With a story by Maurice Hurley, Herbert Wright, and the legendary D.C. Fontana, Worf is united with three other Klingons. They try to convince him to join up with them. This show gets to the heart of Worf’s loyalties and who he actually is — a Klingon warrior or a Starfleet officer. Note that frequent Trek guest star, Vaughn Armstrong, appears as one of the Klingons.
“Sins of the Father” TNG: S3 – Episode 17
Worf stands before the Klingon High Council and takes the dishonor meant for his father. He is shamed and works for the best interests of the Klingon Empire by taking the blame. He carries this dishonor for years, and it plays a massive part in how Worf operates from this point forward.
“Reunion” TNG: S4 – Episode 7
Worf must play host to an acquaintance of his, K’Ehleyr (Suzie Plakson). It turns out that K’Ehleyr had Worf’s baby, and she brings “Alexander” to meet his father for the first time. That meeting was rough and is part of why some Trek fans rank Worf as the worst father in the franchise. Meanwhile, Picard must serve as an arbiter, deciding who the next leader of the Klingon Empire should be. Bombs, battles and Gowron (Robert O’Reilly) are involved. This is a great story, which continues into the two-parter — “Redemption.”
When K’Ehleyr is killed, Alexander (Brian Bonsall) gets shuffled off to Worf’s adoptive parents on Earth for safekeeping. Worf’s parents, who are Russian, love Alexander as their own. But the whole situation caused some fans to wonder why Worf didn’t speak with a Russian accent like his parents.
“Redemption” TNG: S4 Episode 26 and S5 Episode 1
This was the storyline that Roddenberry objected to, which made Worf such a focus. Thanks to events on Kronos, Worf was able to regain his honor and gain the trust of the Klingons’ new leader, Gowron. The Enterprise crew also learns that the Romulans are involved with the Duras Sisters, and a Klingon civil war erupts.
“Ethics” TNG: S5 Episode 16
Worf is severely injured and asks for help in ritual suicide. Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) is able to create a new spine to replace what had been crushed in the accident, so all ends well. But Worf must also deal with Alexander again.
“Firstborn” TNG: S7 Episode 21
Alexander returns, and unlike earlier episodes, he actually wants to be a Klingon warrior (at first). Worf and Alexander attend a Klingon festival where they appear to bond a bit. Alexander decides that he’s not interested in just becoming a warrior after working with a Klingon teacher named K’mtar. And then they find out that K’mtar is actually Alexander — in disguise and from the future. This is an interesting episode, which gets fans deeper into Klingon lore and tradition.
“The Way of the Warrior” DS9: Season 4 Episodes 1 and 2
Worf joins the crew of “Deep Space Nine” with an exciting two-part episode. Writer Jamahl Epsicokhan said that this introduction of Worf to the DS9 team was “terrific” and “ambitious.” The story centers around why Worf is assigned to DS9 and how the Klingons return to enemy status against the Federation. “The Way of the Warrior” features some of the best action in DS9. This episode would eventually be released as a novel, written by Diane Carey. As Worf sides against Gowron and with the Federation, he is stripped (again) of his honor.
“Sons of Mogh” DS9: Season 4 Episode 14
There’s a lot of ground covered in “Sons of Mogh.” The main crux of the episode is that Worf’s brother, Kurn (Tony Todd), returns to the scene and asks for Worf to kill him, thanks to the loss of honor in “The Way of the Warrior.” Worf tries to help Kurn make a life for himself on DS9 as a security officer, but Kurn tries to get himself killed. Eventually, Worf gets a friend, Noggra, to adopt Kurn as his son. Kurn then becomes ‘Rodek,’ and his memory is wiped.
“Rules of Engagement” DS9: Season 4 Episode 17
Worf must stand against a Klingon ‘lawyer’ Ch’Pok (played by Ron Canada), while Sisko watches. Ch’Pok accused Worf of murder, but the Klingon warrior loses his cool in the proceedings and attacks Ch’Pok. Written by Moore and directed by LeVar Burton, the story is reminiscent of many Trek courtroom dramas — including “Court Martial.”
“Soldiers of the Empire” DS9:Season 5 Episode 21
The Federation and Klingon Empire are now friends again. Dax and Worf join General Martok on a secret mission for the Empire against the Dominion. Worf must serve Martok again, even though he disagrees with the general’s fear of battle against the Jem’Hedar. Ron Canada appears again as a Klingon crew member.
“You Are Cordially Invited…” DS9: Season 6 Episode 7
Everyone loves this episode. Dax and Worf finally tie the knot, and fans everywhere get to see what a Klingon joining ceremony is like. Fans also got an eyeful of the Kal’Hyah, which is like a Klingon bachelor party. But unlike the human version, the Kal’Hyah lasts for days.
“Once More Unto the Breach” DS9: Season 7 Episode 7
As writer Jamahl Epsicokhan brilliantly summarized, “Once More Unto the Breach” was not about Worf, per se. Still, it was about uselessness, which is the ultimate fear of all Klingon warriors — as we learned in “Firstborn.” Worf joins with Kor, and they struggle together against Martok — and obsolescence. Kor was portrayed by actor John Colicos and appeared in the classic TOS episode, “Errand of Mercy.”
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