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Star Trek: The Next Generation

“Birthright, Part I”

3 stars.

Air date: 2/22/1993 Written by Brannon Braga Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Review Text

The Enterprise docks at Deep Space Nine to assist with Bajoran equipment repairs. While there, a Yridian who traffics in information (James Cromwell, nearly unrecognizable) approaches Worf and says that his father Mogh did not die at Khitomer 25 years ago but instead was taken prisoner and is still alive in a Romulan POW camp. Meanwhile, DS9's Doctor Bashir (Siddig El Fadil) comes aboard the Enterprise to run an experiment and becomes fascinated with Data. (Bashir is mostly interested in Data's human personality traits as programmed by his creator Soong; this plays into the story's theme about fathers and sons.)

"Birthright, Part I" is TNG 's only explicit DS9 crossover episode. Looking back ex post facto, it's interesting, almost funny, to revisit this version of Julian Bashir, so greenly wide-eyed and enthusiastic, knowing how much more serious and grown-up he will become. That's really neither here nor there as far as this episode is concerned, but it was something that caught my attention.

What's of more relevance is when Data gets zapped by an energy beam and is knocked unconscious for about 45 seconds, during which he has an intriguing vision that includes his father. He spends much of the rest of the episode trying to reconcile the meaning of the imagery. He creates dozens of paintings of what he saw in the vision and ultimately decides to recreate the circumstances of his unconsciousness. While Data's subsequent exploration of this dream realm gets a little heavy on arty, new-agey mumbo jumbo and imagery, there's a resonance in the message Soong has for him that feels like a rare moment of actual growth for the character. By the end, Data realizes that he should shut down every night and try dreaming, to see where it might take him.

Meanwhile, Worf struggles with the idea that his father might be a live prisoner rather than having died at Khitomer (which, of course, would be a grave dishonor; what isn't a dishonor for Klingons?). This is mostly setup for the second part, but what we have here is reasonable table setting, as Worf travels with the Yridian to the Romulan prison camp and discovers that although his father did in fact die at Khitomer, there's an entire colony of Klingons that survived. Before this final revelation, however (which kind of feels like a bait-and-switch), "Birthright" is about two orphaned sons who are confronted with new things about their fathers that could significantly alter their own self-identities.

Previous episode: Tapestry Next episode: Birthright, Part II

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Comment Section

48 comments on this post.

Found this one rather dull, and kept busying myself with other things.

3 stars???? Sorry More like 2 or 2.5 stars. Bashir and DS9 were totally gratuitous and a waste, Bashir was annoying. The episode was plodding. And you could tell TNG was getting long in the tooth when they thought a show like this needed to be 2 parts--I mean really! By this point in the show the Klingon stories were yawn-inducing and the only interesting part was the possibility of Mogh was still alive except that never materialized. Also Data's new age soul searching wasn't any more involving.

I agree this was a moment of true growth and progressio for Data. I loved the idea of him dreaming {and I really liked the follow-up in "Phantoms"}. Great visuals. I liked the ds9 element too, the whole episode had a large scale/scope to it really. And I always appreciate the crossover stuff, it reinforces how big and connected the whole universe of star trek is. Good worf-data connectio. Unfortuately part 2 was REALLY boring, dull and slow. I give part one 3.5 stars.

I think 3 stars is a fair review. This didn't need to be a two parter, but I still think the final dream sequence is one of the best dream sequences in the entire series. It was just a beautiful atmospheric scene with a beautiful score.

This is one of those episode's where the Berman-era musical directives really take their toll. The dream sequence was visually sufficient for the time, but the music is saccarine and minimal, totally sabotaging the moment. I giggle every time I see it. I found the Bashir scenes redundant and ponderous. I like talky, I enjoy patiently-paced dialogue scenes, but I need the characters to SAY something of interest. I think Data's general "who the fuck are you?" expression is very telling about how poorly the actors and director understood the scenes: ironic that the executors of an episode about identity crises seem not to understand what this show is about. Data's growth is a joke in the final seasons of TNG. With the exception of "All Good Things..." and ST: VIII, nothing after "Time's Arrow" feels genuine for the character. A shame really as he was given so much attention and was, by that point, such a strong and defining character in his own right. On the other hand, Worf's story (in this part of the 2-parter, anyway) is pretty strong. I didn't need it explained to me about Klingon suicide and honour and so forth; Mogh's death at the hands of the Romulans is such a key element of Worf's personality--his hesitation to get close to people, his lack of imagination and his commitment to duty--that to have this idea shattered was very involving. I recognised Cromwell the moment he spoke in that signature rasp of his, and boy does he sell the oily Yridian perfectly. It's also a shame then that part 2 was so terrible. Overall, this is a 2.5*

Did anyone else notice how bad the makeup was? To me, Worf, the Yridian, and Data's makeup jobs were extremely artificial and plastic-y. Spiner's closeups really show his age lines and Data's color seems to change several times between scenes. Even some of the human characters seemed worn or overdone. I'm usually not picky about these sorts of things, but the crappy makeup on this episode really ruined it for me.

I think the mystery should have been kept a bit more with the dream, it was quite intriguing before Noonian explained it to death.. Agree that we should have met Mogh, and that Bashir was gratuitous in this episode. Was surprised that they didn't throw Quark in.

Doing these two stories together hurt both of them. Also I think it was dumb for Data to stand in front of a machine that they were working on. That to me is like working on an eletrical appliance with the plug in and the power on.

DS9 tie-in was underwhelming and didn't realize potential. Data dream sequence had potential...but never "took off" IMO. Just seemed like simple pycho-babble + data's background. No sense of mystery for which dreams should have. The original concept from Ron Moore and Braga was more of an NDE...THAT would have been interesting! Can you imagine data being programmed with a "NDE" program for Data to experience when he was about to die? Would have been "meatier" than the dream sequence which was weak.

I just saw this, and all of Bashir's dialogue would have made more sense coming from Geordi. It's nice to see Bashir, but they were shoehorning the role in an artificial way. Like making rebel Chekov into the idea lapdog in "The Way to Eden" (TOS) Having said that, Data's story is magnificent and the music almost has a Ron Jones style to it...

While Part 2 is a major snooze, the first part definitely resonates with me. The A and B stories (really, the two A stories) compliment and echo each other in surprising ways: I liked how both Data and Worf's father issues and struggling to exist in a alien (human) society seemed to dovetail each other. I thought the dream program storyline is just fantastic- I knew they'd never give us a emotional Data (at least until the films) but it was nice to see him evolve. Continuity on TNG! ;) The dream sequences were wonderfully directed (although who was that person sitting in the corridor during the "crow's eye view"?) I don't know how they got the crow to respond to direction like that, but for once having an animal in an episode didn't seem gimmicky. (Note: Spot the Cat is immune from criticism.) And Bashir's appearance is actually a nice touch- it's nice to see the Enterprise actually go to a Starbase and see crews interact. Other than the Bynar episode, Starfleet mostly seemed to be made up of Excelsior class starships we never get to explore, Admirals on subspace, and Starfleet HQ in San Francisco. I also have to agree with "dpc"- for a later season episode, this really does have some effective music. The DS9 theme NEVER sounded better than here. (I just Googled it and the composer was Jay Chattaway. I'm sure the producers chastised him for writing it and they were wrong. It was nice to hear some REAL melody actually enhancing the drama.) Much better than I remembered it being. This is easily a 3-star episode. PS- Part 2 should have been about Data. Bo-ring!

The big question for "Birthright, Part I" (I think we all know what the big question for Part II is) is "why was this story the one chosen for the DS9 crossover onto TNG?". The DS9 elements add virtually nothing to the show. This could literally have been done without any involvement from Bashir and without having the Enterprise even docked at the station. The closest DS9 comes to relevance here is that they needed some way for Worf to meet the Yridian. That obviously couldn't happen on the ship; they needed a setting like an open port-of-call like a space station. But, that could have been anywhere. It's a complete waste of the new show to have it used in so trivial a fashion. Then there's the DS9 component of Data's plot-line. What was the point of this?! Was it to showcase the new show and maybe draw some TNG viewers over to it (that's usually what crossover episodes are intended to do)? If so, then it was a complete and total failure! The only character we even meet from the DS9 crew is Bashir. (Well, okay, I guess Morn does make a cameo appearance.) And it's first season Bashir, no less! I've heard that it was originally intended for Dax to be the crossover character here, not Bashir. Well, that wouldn't have been much better. Season One Dax is just about as insufferable as Season One Bashir. These early DS9-TNG crossovers were all subject to the exact same problem - they all dull as fucking dishwater! Even Q's appearance over on DS9's first season was dull, bland and uneventful. This really doesn't do a service to DS9. All it does is make it look unappealing. And, it does a disservice to TNG as well by bogging it down with this boring crap! But beyond even that, what did Bashir even add to the mix here? He's barely in the episode to begin with. When he is around all he does is stare in dewy-eyed amazement at Data. That is, of course, when he isn't making himself look like a complete dipshit - "Oh hey, I have a mysterious piece of Gamma Quadrant alien technology. I think it's a medical scanner but I really don't know. I think I'll just go hook it up to the main computer of the fleet's flagship without any authorization or warning. I'm sure that won't go wrong!" Yeah, dipshit! This was supposed to be the introduction to DS9 for people who hadn't signed up yet? Good grief, at least VOY got it right and had Quark as its crossover character - he at least brings something enjoyable to the table. I mean, we don't even find out what the device from the Gamma Quadrant actually was! It's nothing more than a McGuffin to fuel Data's dreaming. In other words, DS9 wasn't needed for it! Oh, and by the way, Worf straight up assaults, blackmails and threatens to murder the Yridian on the Promenade in full view of passersby and Odo is nowhere to be seen (and neither are any of his deputies)? That must be the first and only time something like that happens! But enough about the complete and utter waste of a DS9 crossover. Let's focus on Data learning to dream. This is actually a pretty intriguing concept and could have been a worthwhile episode in its own right. Maybe we could have gotten something like Data exploring all those "religious/philosophical/cultural symbols and interpretations" he mentions to Picard on the holodeck or something along those lines. But, sadly, it's so woefully underdeveloped. If it hadn't been paired with the Bashir appearances or with Worf's plot-line, it could have possibly been developed into a nice look at dreams and what they mean for people, as well as some nice character growth for Data. But, instead, we get a bunch of new-age, hippy claptrap. It has the feeling of (put on your best hippy voice here) - "Yeah, man, it's like the wings and the birds, man. And your dad is the blacksmith hammering your soul. Wow, man, that's deep! And then you're the bird and stuff and.... duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude, I saw the center of the Earth, man!" Seriously? This is where they wanted to go with this idea? Talk about another failure. The use of Data's dreaming was better used in "Phastasms" and that's no masterpiece of an episode either. Then Worf, after doing some truly unnecessary soul-searching, decides to go look for his father. This the only passable section of the episode. But even it has its problems. Namely, like Jammer said, it's nothing but window dressing for Part II; and it's not particularly interesting window dressing either. Most of it could have (and should have) been cut and that time spent on Data's story. Most of Worf's soul-searching, his threatening of the Yridian and most of their banter in the Yridian's ship spring immediately to mind as things that could have easily been excised. It's not bad, but it's not good either - it's mostly just padding. But more on that when I get to Part II. And, finally, all the talk about this being about orphans and their fathers really rings hollow for me. Now, again, I'm not saying that an A/B structured episode has to have the two plots inter-relate with each other. One of my favorite episodes of DS9 has two plotlines that never actually connect with each other in a narrative fashion. But these two - why jam them together? They don't even relate thematically. Data's story is about him learning to dream and, oh yeah, his dad just happens to be involved. Worf's story is about a son setting out to find, and possibly rescue, his father and Mogh is absolutely, 100% essential. So, "Birthright, Part I" is... well, I suppose it's not as bad as it could have been. There's nothing downright offensive or simply unwatchable about it. It's certainly nowhere near a zero rating or as bad as "Man of the People" or "Aquiel." But, still, given what it sets out to do, it's quite a dud. 3/10

Diamond Dave

Has there been a less compelling two parter intro than this? It takes a long time to get where it's going and the two main themes are simply not carried over in an interesting way. Data's visions are a bit too spacey, and Worf's story has some interesting elements (his desire to find his father, even if that results in dishonour for him and his heirs), it's not truly explored. I can't also help think that the ball was dropped in regard to the DS9 crossover. A few more cameos, apart from Bashir? Let's face it, this episode could have been set anywhere. Ah well, at least we get to see Morn.... 2 stars.


Hello Everyone I rather liked the Data storyline in this one. Yes, even watching it first-run in the 90's, I instantly knew Data was going to be zapped by the machine. But I liked seeing him 'fly' around the ship, as in a dream. And I didn't notice the first time that Soong was crafting a wing for a bird, and since Data was the bird, Soong was creating Data. :) I never quite understood how Bashir would jump to the conclusion that the machine was medical in nature. He admitted he did not know how it worked, so that is quite a leap. I kept wondering why they didn't call Geordi in to take a look at it. He likes new, strange things, and would probably enjoy fooling around with it. My comments on the Romulans, Klingons and other various items are on the page for Part II. I do believe I'd have liked it better if Part II had been set weeks or months later though, instead of seeming like days. Regards... RT

This sucked badly. The entire data string was another forced attempt to humanize data. With some random bs about crows and hey! Lets get brent spiner in here without makeup.... yahoo. Maybe what made it worse was that they forced the DS9 Line with worf and his own totally unrelated problems on top of it. This episode was a complete sham. If anyone disagrees pleas explain bashir and his contraption brought aboard unannounced to zap data into his dreams. I can clearly see this was a clever attempt of the of the producers to meld 1.5 episodes (birthright) to a half episode (data) all the while tying into DS9 which had just been launched. Great job at multi-tasking, bad execution for all stories combined. It would have been better if they made birthright a standalone episode and tied datas dream sequence into ds9 kickoff party somehow or just drop the latter altogether.

Trekkie Dave

OK, not a great episode, but there were a few things I liked. Bashir's interaction with Data asked questions that had occurred to me also. Does his hair grow? And what is it about that breathing I've been seeing going on for years! There were other things about Bashir I liked also, including his aversion to beets that I shared (an endearing quality if ever there was one!), but that one's confined to DS9. These are certainly not ground-breaking reveals but details that occurred in idle moments (like a majority of the show). Maybe that's a bit harsh but I didn't feel drawn in by any of the story lines.

James Cromwell, nearly unrecognizable? LOL. Let's not insult the man and go with unrecognizable.

If it weren't for the fact they were filming "Move Along Home" at the same time, having the entire DS9 cast cameo in it would have likely made the show better, or at least having an O'Brien-Picard meeting or even a Sisko-Picard meeting. It'd have certainly been interesting to have seen Worf meet Odo long before they would meet and work together again.

Not sure why they did the Data subplot only to completely drop it during the second part of this "two-parter". They could have made it a character developing moment but instead it came off as "oh by the way Data can do this now too isn't that cool okay back to Worf". Do androids dream of electric sheep? Apparently not. The "dreams" were more interesting when they appeared to be some sort of near death experience, they should have gone with that and pushed it to being the main plot. The doctor from the other show showing up and screwing around in sickbay without authorization was stupid. If we're supposed to consider the guy competent shouldn't he be shown following the rules, or at least breaking them for a reason other than "oops I guess I forgot lol court marshals don't happen to main characters." Okay, it was a little funny watching the guy having a severe crush on Data, and Data's reactions to it (in some scenes he's got that insufferably smug look he sometimes gets (how did Spiner get away with that, I wonder), in others he seems severely weirded out by it). But I could've sworn in a previous episode Data stated his hair didn't grow, and given how long Lore survived in space I think he's under exaggerated how much he doesn't need to "breath". (Now that we're explicitly told he apparently has a "respiratory system" that cools internal components like the fans on a pc I imagine him periodically popping himself open and having a go at it with some canned air---too funny! No wonder he was trying to figure out how to sneeze back in season 1.) We never did find out what that machine actually was. A machine that makes robots dream, I guess. Looks like the doctor was way off the mark on it being a medical scanner. I'm getting a little bored of Worf's Klingon storylines by now. We get it, he has issues, but quit bringing them up unless you're going to show him working past them, he's getting stagnate. I'll admit, it's a little fun seeing Worf enjoying plastic pasta and roughing up some ugly alien, but once he actually found the Klingons things got pretty dull.

It was obvious from the get-go this episode was going to be a bad one when the first thing Bev Crusher wants to do on station is visit the holodeck... you can't do that on The Enterprise (?!)

@Luke: glad someone else noticed worf's bad behaviour. He threatened to kill the Yridian if he didn't take him to the prison. Very un-starfleet.

I watched this one right after 'Aquiel'...whoa. Talk about a contrast. This is an absorbing drama on two fronts: Worf investigating the prison camp hoping to find his father, and Data exploring a vision of his creator Dr. Soong. The backdrop of Deep Space Nine is surprisingly underutilized, as Dr. Bashir is the only character from that series to actually make an appearance (unless you count Morn), and he's as irritating as ever - although his interest in Data helps a bit. Data's story is rather murky and new-agey, but the ability to dream does add something new to his character. Worf's situation will be more complicated, as the Romulan prison(?) camp he sneaks into is obviously not what it seems. A very good setup that left me looking forward to part two.

Just watch this one in 2017 on Blu-Ray. It was a lot better than I remember, at least Part 1 was. Things I liked: -The scene where Worf is giving Data advice about his vision. Worf talks about the importance of one's father. This is one of the most moving scenes in the series, with the way the camera pans around and the music plays. -Picard saying that Data is a "culture of one." I never thought about it that way. -The thought of Worf's father possibly being alive. It's quite a revelation. -The dark side of Worf emerging. -The elder Klingon sharing his memories of Worf as a child. It's adds another piece to Worf's background. His life before his foster parents was never discussed before, to my knowledge. Things I didn't like: -WAY too much time is spent on Data trying to find meaning from his initial dream. -It was never revealed what the medical device was used for. -The crew of the Enterprise on board Deep Space Nine acting like replicated food and holodecks are some new thing 3 Stars

Not a bad first parter. Data's dreams were rather trippy and mysterious. Our human dreams are very difficult to understand so it's not surprising that Data is confused. The Word segment was tripping because we've had multiple storylines revolving around his father. The revelation that he might still be alive was a nice twist in Words arc. I don't get why so many here crave an appearance from O'Brien to show up and recite a few lines. The man crush on him is baffling.

Darned autotype. My second paragraph was supposed to read "The Worf segment was gripping because we've had multiple storylines revolving around his father."

The sequence where Data dreams he is a bird and he flies through the ship and eventually out into space is one of the most mesmerizing, beautiful, and creative sequences in all of dramatic art. It's just so awe inspiring! It's sequences like this in TNG--sequences that are "out-there" and unique in a highly creative off the wall sort of way-- that make TNG not just a great dramatic show, but a wonderful work of cinematic art. It's stuff like this that transcend the medium and make TNG a mythology that becomes part of the collective consciousness. Totally heavenly. For this sequence alone, and similar sequences, this episode is worth 3 stars. Plus a pretty good story...equals 3.5 stars.

A rather dull affair that doesn't seem to have the story to go with making use of DS9 and revisiting the Khitomer massacre of Klingons by the Romulans. The potential of adding to that historical tale is intriguing, but it's not realized here unfortunately. The dishonor thing is a strong motivator for Worf to find his father, but this A-plot was slow to get going. Data's quest to understand his visions did not do it for me -- what "character development" he gets out of this isn't worth the time spent on all the nebulous aspects of interpreting his visions. So this is an episode about the importance of the father figure -- Worf realizes he should pursue the Yridian's info to learn about his father after telling Data to learn about his own father, Soong. I found the Data/vision subplot to be particularly dull and arbitrary. So Data decides he should try dreaming -- big deal. Ultimately, this Data dreaming subplot is filler material to turn "Birthright" into a 2-parter. I guess the episode does a good job creating some intrigue for the 2nd part given that the Klingons make it clear that they don't want to leave / can't leave and that Worf is to be a prisoner there. Hope Data's dreaming is not part of Part II! A low 2 stars for "Birthright, Part I" -- just too much padding here, really don't know how Jammer rates this 3 stars. Data's quest to be more human is an often visited theme on TNG but this aspect of dreaming/visions does not lead to some specific human characteristic like love etc. What Data was going through just was not interesting. Most of the Worf subplot was just mechanical but at least it ends with leaving the viewer wondering what's up in this prison camp with Klingons apparently having freedom with Romulans about.

What a yawn. Boring stupid episode. Everyone acts like an idiot. DS9 is pointless as a setting.

8/10 I enjoyed the Data story as I do most if not all Data stories. I remembered the clanking hammer from first seeing this episode so many years ago. Spiner playing both Data and Soong is a treat. I had hoped to see more of the DS9 characters to be honest. The Worf story is okay and continues his arc. The forested planet reminded me of Worf and Jadzia on that mission to rescue a defector.

Does Data dream of electric crows? More Worf ninja stuff-always ends badly.

Man, I liked this one -- both the Data and the Worf stories -- but yeah, they coulda done so much more with a DS9 crossover. Instead we get pointless Bashir and also the food on the Promenade sucks, what else is new.

Picard Maneuver

I realize DS9 has a wild west type atmosphere to it, but I'm still doubtful a Starfleet officer could get away with holding someone over a railing 15 feet up with half a dozen other officers watching. Loved the wide angle, low shot camerawork during the dream sequences. James Cromwell is lookin' pretty bad. Did he go to warp 10 and have lizard babies with Janeway, too? It's really more the Janeway part than the warp 10.

Not great, and the Worf parts ultimately have terrible payoff in part 2. For me, the Bashir/Data parts are pretty well, probably because Julian is intentionally a Scrappy saved from the heap, as TV Tropes calls it. Bashir is silly here, but completely consistent with his contemporary DS9 character. The Data stuff isn’t bad at all, and gives some amount of character growth. The Worf stuff is already trite and cheesy by now. Klingons aren’t/don’t take prisoners unless we’re captured or need to or whatever. Blah. Garbage.

Hotel bastardos

Maybe Worf should've just left a box of milk tray in the camp then buggered off, considering that gear he was wearing....

Frake's Nightmare

Is it just me or does a 'protein bath' sound dirty ? And on an ornithological note - it's a raven not a crow....unsure if this has any relevance ? Seems unlikely that Data would be channeling Norse mythology ?

Yawn. I expected better from a two-parter.

I’ll save most of my comments when I’ve rewatched Part 2 but… Data on LSD! Yes I remember that. Probably what I remember most about the episode, the brilliant psychedelic landscape that TNG wandered into. I’d forgotten that it was also the “TNG meets DS9” story and that Dr Bashir came on-board. I have always loved this one. It’s quirky and different from the normal routine. I hope Part 2 is as good, though I can’t remember right now… I’ll give it 4 stars, though I’m tempted to deduct 0.1 star for the producers thinking we are so stupid that we would believe that a genius like Dr Soong would gratuitously insert a panel of lazily and randomly flashing red, green, and orange LEDs into Data’s head for no good reason… (useful at Christmas perhaps, if Data could be persuaded to stand in your living room for 12 days with part of his head removed, and wearing a Santa outfit while balancing a cardboard star on his skull, a heap of wrapped presents at his feet, and singing Christmas songs from a variety of different galactic cultures).

That is how genius Soong was. He put those LEDs in on purpose so that the primitive Humans would not be freaked out by Datas brain. He also made sure that the LEDs blink in a way that calms us down. You look at those LEDs and think:" Everything is alright up there. This android is completely harmless and certainly will not murder me and destroy the Utopia Planitia shipyards" https://i0.wp.com/readysteadycut.com//wp-content/uploads/2020/01/F8.jpeg?resize=1200%2C800&ssl=1

As a bonus kids can use his cranium as a Lite Brite.

@Booming "He also made sure that the LEDs blink in a way that calms us down" LOL. I think I'd be calmer watching Worf practice Tai Chi'plakk...

@Tidd Ok, I hear ya but picture this. You are on an away mission. Things have gone awry as they often do and it's only you, Worf and Data and you are one spoiled food ration away from sitting down and crying for ~30 minutes. What calms you down more? Data opening his head and showing you all the little funny lights blinking away like nothing is wrong or Worf starting to practice Tai Chi'plakk? Let me tell you, if Worf starts to train murdering people I will start dictating my last will to the tricorder...

Sigh... Now Data is having a near-death experience... And wants to engage in meditation... And delves into religious exegeses... And "visions" and "trips"... 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️ What on earth happened to this show...? If this wasn't a two-parter, I'd have moved on after 15 or so minutes but I felt guilty skipping the previous one plus these TWO episodes so I persevered. I had it mostly in the background and, even then, had to pause it every few minutes. Fast-forwarded through the Data nonsense. Still took me most of the day just to plow through this first part. I'm glad I stuck around because the Worf angle was more interesting although the whole "it brings dishonor to three generations" bit really had me rolling my eyes almost out of their sockets. Worf's antics, obstinacy, bigotry, parochialism, jingoism, and sheer bloody-mindedness in the second part were extremely disappointing. So, so ridiculous... However, it all provides a very salutary lesson about the inherent dangers of group-think and collectivism, which are very much in vogue these days, especially among the lunatic Leftists. They rightly denounce religion for its excesses and for impinging on individual freedom, yet they aim to impose a different collectivist dogma on us all (statism, socialism, politically-correct right-think, etc.). The antithesis to the Religious Right is not Socialist/Globalist Left; it is individual freedom. For the smallest and most vulnerable minority is indeed the individual. A bird born in a cage thinks liberty is a disease. The Romulan-Klingon chick is hot!

Okay, so I was giving this Worf thing some more thought afterward (I guess it's a testament to the quality of an episode, if it or something it brings up sticks in your head afterward) and I realized that my comments above may seem contradictory. How can I be advocating for individual freedom but simultaneously reproach Worf for seeking to awaken the community portrayed here to the fact that it's living in a type of "slavery"? My issue is not with Worf trying to make them alive to the realities of their situation--I very much support that: Stirring the thirst for FREEDOM in a person is one of the noblest things a man can do--but the argument(s) he uses to do so. He's not focusing on every living entity's unalienable right to make his/her free choices in and about life; rather, he appeals to "tradition." He argues that the "prisoners" should seek change not for the sake of asserting personal sovereignty and gaining liberty but because they ought to feel beholden to "their" traditional codes of behavior. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Replace one form of bondage, both physical and mental, with another. Not Worf's finest hour, that's for damn sure.

In one of the corridor scenes aboard the Enterprise Bashir is wearing white tennis shoes.

Blooper Snooper

@Squiggy - I noticed that too. I thought it was just my imagination, but after reading your comment I went back and double-checked: Bashir is definitely wearing white shoes!

Reminds me of the movie Flatliners. I found it slow and plodding too, I'd give it a 2.5 ish.

I would think that the reason the Enterprise crew would want to try food and holo-programs on DS-9 would be because DS-9 is a hub of trade. The Enterprise would come programmed with standard foods and holodeck programs and of course, you can make your own if you have the knowhow. So really, any base and especially a trade port would have access to some new and cool stuff. And if Quark was the owner, you know it would be protected from being copied (profit!) I loved the idea of Data being able to grow as a thinking being and learn to dream. It makes me wonder if that was something Lore was missing and it made him crazier.

This was a decent episode, but it was a really lazy crossover with DS9. There is literally no reason why this episode had to take place on DS9. It felt like they just took a script they already had written and tweaked it so that it was on DS9 and wrote Bashir into it. Bashir's presence in the Data plotline contributes nothing other than a fresh voice to say "Hey, an Android. Cool!" Once we got past that, Bashir might as well be any random member of engineering. A random engineer would actually make more sense, as a medical doctor really has no place helping with an experiment on an android. The only benefit the Worf plot has from the DS9 setting, is its a believable place for someone to approach Worf with information on his father. But they literally could have done that just as easily at any station, planet, etc. They could have also had the person contact Worf remotely. It wouldnt be a big stretch of the imagination. Basically, for it to have really been a worthwhile crossover, they should have utilized more of the DS9 cast (have O'Brien say hi) and have DS9 serve a more crucial role in the story.

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star trek tng birthright

Star Trek: The Next Generation : "Birthright, Parts One And Two"

"Birthright, Part 1" (season 6, episode 16, first aired: 2/20/1993)

or  The One Where An Android Does Not Dream of Electric Sheep

I'm not sure if it's a shift in the general culture, or just something unique to me, but I've never had any emotional investment in carrying on my father's legacy. I love my dad, and I would be the first to tell you he's a good man, and that he's accomplished a lot in his life to be proud of, but I don't feel any direct connection to those accomplishments. I'm ambitious, no question, and I certainly wouldn't object to either of my parents taking pride in what I do, but there's no sense that I need to achieve in order to do right by the family name. Stories about fathers nearly always revolve around a son needing to live up to his dad's expectations, or else transcend them. I've seen and read dozens of them, some good, many bad, and I've always wondered is this a theme that we repeat more because it's always been there, than because it means anything to any of us now. Maybe it's about maintaining fictional continuity, just as the son who strives to make sense of sire is trying to maintain a biological one.

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Or maybe I'm just odd. Either way, the "I need to connect with my dead dad!" element of "Birthright: Part 1" didn't do a lot for me emotionally, but it's a sign how much I liked it (and it's follow-up) that this didn't really matter. As yet another two-part storyline in a season jammed full of them, "Part 1" seemingly makes the mistake that so many other part ones have made, with a plot that's heavily padded with unrelated material in order to justify the running time. But where before I've been frustrated by  TNG 's inability to make the two-part structure work, here, that clumsiness actually made for a more interesting episode than I was expecting. What we've got here isn't  really  a "part 1," despite what it says in the title. "Birthright" is more a peek into the kind of show  TNG  might've been had it been able to more fully embrace serialization. I appreciate that peek, and for the interesting ideas raised here. I can see how they wouldn't work for everyone, but it worked for me.

Ostensibly, "Birthright" is about Worf. While the  Enterprise  is visiting Deep Space Nine (leaving time for Beverly and Picard to rave about the stations recreational facilities, while Geordi complains about the food), a Yridian information trader, Jaglom Shrek (James Cromwell, no stranger to  Trek , although he isn't given much to do here), comes to Worf with an offer: he knows where Worf's father is. This enrages Worf, because as far as he knew, his father died during the attack on Khitomer, fighting the Romulans. If Worf's father is actually alive, a prisoner instead of a corpse, it will bring a shame down on the family that will reach all the way down to Alexander. Not that Alexander couldn't use a bit of shaming, just to keep him in line. So Worf threatens Jaglom, dismisses what he says as a lie, and we spend most of the rest of the episode waiting for Worf to have second thoughts. If he doesn't, it's not much of a story.

But then, an entire episode given over to Klingon doubt wouldn't be much of a story either, so while we're waiting for Worf to realize that he'd be better off having a living, shamed father, then a dead noble one, Dr. Bashir pops over from DS9 to muck about with a new toy, and Data has a dream. It's nice seeing Bashir (Alexander Siddig); as I mentioned in the comments section last week, the good doctor was a favorite character of mine when I watched  DS9  as a kid, and he's fun here. Once again, we have a terribly smart person being very interested in Data, although, as Data notes, Bashir is more interested in Data's ability to mimic humanity than he is in Data's computational skills. To Bashir, Data's hair growth and breathing is impressive, and also indicative of his creator's big goal. The android wasn't designed to be a magic robot super hero. He was designed to be alive, and that means something.

That's relevant to what happens next. Bashir is on the  Enterprise  to test out some mysterious space tech, and when Data and Geordi get involved, Data gets zapped by a bolt of energy from the machine. The energy knocks him offline, and in the thirty seconds he's out, he sees himself walking the halls of the ship, and meeting a young version of his creator, Dr. Soong (Spiner, without the make-up). The vision ends before Data can make any sense of it, but it haunts him, and while Worf is coming around to the idea of going on a dad hunt, Data is puzzling out how to handle the first seemingly irrational experience of his life. In the end, he does the logical thing, and recreates the initial exerpiment that caused him to pass out, with instructions to Geordi and Bashir to let him stay under for as long as he needs.

If you view "Part 1" as a typical first-half, it leaves something to be desired. While there's a nominal thematic connection between Worf's soul-searching about his dad, and Data's attempts to reconnect with his own father, the connection is never all that compelling, and the two storylines could easily have been relegated to different episodes. The only problem being that neither story has enough meat to it to stand on its own. Worf's arc, from learning that his dad may be alive, to rejecting this, to learning from his friends that he might have been to hasty, to going back to Jaglom, to setting out for the prison camp, isn't enough for a single episode. Nor is Data's arc. The drama for both characters is entirely internal, and there isn't much danger for either of them. (Sure, Worf decides to put himself in danger, but that doesn't happen till the second part.) Which makes it easier to dismiss this as padding, but I think it works.

The highlight here is Data's dreaming, and it's the dreaming that makes the padding easier to forgive. In order to get this story in this form, you need to have something else going on around it, and in most other cases, that would've meant some artificial conflict. At the very least, we would've had to create more artificial difficulties to keep Data from understand what was going on before the final five minutes. That would've been a shame, because the strength of these scenes lies in their efficiency. If this  is  padding, it's a sort of padding that doesn't come across as belabored or pedantic. The dream sequences are nifty, and Data's attempts to paint them show a new side to his character. And for once, Spiner's work as Soong comes across as more inspiring than unsettling. Data's self-discovery in "Part 1" represents the purest form of  TNG , exploration done for knowledge that leads to personal growth, and it's such a lovely, quiet thread that I'm willing to put up with some structural clunkiness if this is we get in trade.

Really, the biggest misstep in "Part 1" isn't something that becomes a clear mistake until the second half of Worf's story. When Worf arrives at the prison camp, he finds the situation not at all what he expected. He finds a Klingon elder, who tells him that Worf's father, Mogh, did die on Khitomer after all—and then the elder turns Worf over to the Romulan guards. Take Worf's father out of the story is a bad call, I think, but we can wait till part 2 for that. For now, let's just leave Data to his dreams, and Worf standing there with a confused expression on his face. He does those so well, don't you think?

"Birthight: Part 2" (season 6, episode 17, first aired: 2/27/1993)

or  The One Where Worf Throws a Spear Through a Hoop

And back in we go.

Here's my criticism: a large part of the first part of this two-parter is taken up by Worf trying to understand his relationship with his maybe-not-dead dad. Klingon culture dictates that warriors are supposed to die in battle, and being taken for a prisoner of war indicates a certain cowardice or weakness. Lord knows, Klingons aren't forgiving when it comes to cowardice and/or weakness, and Worf knows that if Mogh really did survive Khitomer, if he's spent the decades since the attack as a Romulan POW, it's not going to be good for the family name. Worf's family name has taken a number of hits over the course of the series, but those hits were always unjustified, part of a frame job that looked to turn Mogh into a traitor for political reasons. Here, the shame would be, at least by the dictates of Klingon culture, entirely deserved.

I've said before that I appreciate  TNG 's attempts to treat Klingon laws and ritual with the same amount of respect the show gives other, easier to relate to cultures.  TNG 's record isn't spotless, and it sometimes treats Worf as a headstrong child who needs to be taught to think before he stabs, but in general, the series has done a decent job of handling Worf's struggles to balance his Klingon side with his Federation duties. "Part 1" is no exception to this. While to you and I, Worf's fury at the very idea that his father might not be dead may seem ridiculous, the episode itself never acts as though Worf is behaving foolishly, instead allowing him to come to his own decision through conversations with friends about  their  relationships with his father. It's a nice bit of writing, and it's one of the reasons this storyline, at least theoretically, needed two eps to work. With only one episode, Worf would have to had to make the decision to rescue his dad almost instantaneously. I'm not sure any of us would've noticed (my knowledge of Klingon culture is, "shouting and stabbing and whatever Worf says"), but we would've lost some fine acting from Michael Dorn, and some good character work.

Which is why it's so frustrated that almost the first thing Worf learns upon arriving at the prison camp is that Mogh really did die at Khitomer after all. I'd thought when L'Kor told Worf his dad had died that L'Kor was lying; I thought there was even a chance that L'Kor  was  Worf's dad, and that the shame of his capture and emprisonment had led him to hide his true identity. I was wrong, though. Mogh is definitely dead, which means Worf spent "Part 1" doing all that soul-searching for nothing. Sure, the idea of Klingon values is an important one for "Part 2," and the scene where Worf talks about fathers with Data is strong enough that it doesn't need to be justified, but the writers here have chosen to take away the strongest emotional connection that their hero and the audience has to the situation, without any clear reason. The episode does a decent job finding conflicts without having to deal with any father/son unpleasantness, but why sacrifice the most interesting development without having anything to replace it with?

The twist here is that the Klingons who survived Khitomer to be taken captive by the Romulans are now by and large happy with how things ended up. Sure, they had their problems at first—and they certainly didn't want to be captured, but when the Romulans knocked them unconscious during battle, they didn't have much choice. But now, everyone is getting along very well, enough for a whole new generation of Klingons to have been raised in the confines of the camp. Even more, there's been some inter-species hooking up. Tokath, the Romulan in charge of the camp for the start, chose to keep the place going after the war, and he's now married to a Klingon; they've even produced a beautiful half-Klingon/half-Romulan daughter named Ba'el. It's a relationship that wouldn't work in the outside world, just as the peace between the Klingons and their former guards wouldn't work. It's an Eden for people who've only known bloodshed, and then Worf has to arrive and screw up everything.

The problem with "Part 2" is that it's soft; despite the increasing tension between Worf and the elders, despite the fact that Tokath nearly has Worf executed at the end of the episode, the tension isn't particularly strong. There doesn't always need to be tension, of course, but given the volatile nature of the situation, everything that happens here happens too easily, and to much by rote. The elders resist Worf and refuse to let him leave, so he starts behaving like a Klingon in front of the younger people, and they soon grow infatuated with the ways of their culture which have been denied them. This comes to a head, Tokath tries to remove Worf from the equation, but it's too late, and Worf finally leaves the planet with the young people who are curious to see more of the universe. (Barring, presumably, Ba'el, whose mixed-species parentage would probably cause some problems.)

There's no real sacrifice here by any party, and, apart from realizing he's maybe a little racist towards Romulans, Worf doesn't learn much of anything about himself, or open his mind. I appreciate the way "Part 2" presents us with a conflict that has no clear answer: the peace that Tokath and the others have achieved is laudable and worth preserving, but Worf's attempts to bring culture and self-awareness to his own kind are also important. It's also fun to have the ostensible hero of the episode be the nearest thing there is to a threat. Worf is a disruption here, not the others, and if he'd never come to this colony, there may never have been any strife. The episode asks just how much our heritage and social identity is worth, and it does its best to show both sides of the idea without giving any easy answers.

It just doesn't hold together, though. I'm not sure that the lessons Worf teaches really are that worthwhile, and the fact that all we get to see is the Klingon side of this, when it's a Klingon/Romulan camp, makes it less interesting to me. I suppose there's some point being made here about the way the older generation always resists young people coming into their own, and how forcing people to make one choice isn't right, even if that choice is better for them in the long run, but it's too tepid to have much impact. It's especially disappointing how easy that final resolution comes—Worf makes everyone leaving with him swear never to reveal where they truly came from. That's it? If that's all that was needed, they should've just done that at the start. (I realize it's more complicated than that, but the end here is too much of a wish fulfillment for Worf. Apart from one awkward last look, we don't even get an acknowledgement that Ba'el won't be able to leave with the others, and that even if he loves her, Worf will have to leave her.)

Despite all my assertions otherwise at the start of this review, I seem to have once again come around to a two-part episode in which the first half is stronger than the second. But really, these episodes are so distinct that I don't think the failing of "Part 2" is the usual failing we see with two-parters. It's not that "Part 1" raised the bar so high that the conclusion couldn't hope to live up to expectations. As cliffhangers go, Worf-at-phaserpoint isn't going to blow anyone's mind. It's more that the second half failed to deal with the ideas it raised in a satisfying way. I appreciate the ambition and thought that clearly went into both these episodes, but while I found much of "Part 2" interesting and fun to watch, I was never gripped by it. "Part 1" brought me something new, with Data's strange visions and the ghosts of dead fathers. "Part 2" is a little too much of a classic  TOS  plot, without the camp: first thing we do is find an Eden, the next thing we do is destroy it.

Stray Observations:

  • I didn't mention the quick scenes on the  Enterprise  in "Part 2," but there are quick scenes on the  Enterprise  in "Part 2." They're largely irrelevant.
  • Morn puts in an appearance in the background of "Part 1." Or, as he'd put it, …
  • Troi is absent from "Part 2," but she does help Worf make up his mind in "Part 1," and even gets the episode's funniest line: "Did the table do something wrong?"
  • When Worf tells Picard that the Klingons he brings aboard from a downed ship, and that there were no survivors from Khitomer, Picard says, "I understand." I wonder if he does—something about the look on his face suggests he might have a good guess or two.

Next week:  We find out who the  Enterprise  really belongs to in "Starship Mine," and learn some "Lessons."

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Recap / Star Trek: The Next Generation S6E15 "Birthright"

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Original air date: March 1, 1993

The Enterprise arrives at Deep Space Nine to assist in the reconstruction of Bajoran aqueducts. As Geordi and Worf grab lunch, a Yridian is shown watching Worf in the distance.

Back on the Enterprise , Data detects a power drain in the starboard EPS conduits. He goes to sickbay to investigate and finds DS9's chief medical officer, Dr. Julian Bashir, who's studying a strange device found in the Gamma Quadrant; he thinks it's a medical scanner, but DS9's computers aren't up to the task of determining what it is yet. Data suggests taking it to Engineering, where Geordi could assist him.

On DS9, the Yridian introduces himself as Jaglom Shrek, a broker of information. He tells Worf that his father, Mogh, didn't die at Khitomer, but is alive in a Romulan prison camp. Worf is enraged at the prospect because being taken prisoner would dishonor a Klingon's family for three generations, affecting even Alexander.

In Engineering, Bashir becomes intrigued by Data, asking about the miscellaneous features that make him seem more human, such as his hair and the appearance of breathing. Powering up the device, Bashir detects an overload inside, and Data is struck by an energy discharge. Data finds himself walking down a corridor, hearing a loud clanging sound. He sees a blacksmith hammering a piece of metal. He turns around and reveals himself to be Dr. Noonien Soong, but as a younger man. Data awakens, unable to understand the "vision" he experienced.

Later, in Ten Forward, Data struggles to find meaning in his vision, asking Worf, who had had a similar experience as a boy, for advice. Worf tells him that nothing is more important than receiving a vision of his father, and that no matter what he has done, he must find him. Through talking to Data, Worf realizes what he must do. Worf returns to DS9 and forces Shrek to take him to the colony.

Data has examined some of the symbolism in his vision as interpreted in various cultures, but Picard urges him to look at it from his personal perspective. Data returns to his quarters and paints images from his vision. His paintings are as incomprehensible as the vision, but certain paintings – those of a bird, and a bird's wing – were not present in the vision. Data decides to replicate the experiment with the Gamma Quadrant device. Monitored by La Forge and Bashir, Data is again struck by an energy beam and experiences another vision.

He encounters Soong once again, this time on the bridge, hammering a bird's wing on his anvil. Soong tells him that he has developed the capacity to dream; no man should understand his dreams, hence why they are incomprehensible. He then tells Data that he is the bird; Data "flies" through the corridors and out of the ship before waking up in Engineering. Finally understanding, he tells Bashir that he intends to deactivate himself every night and dream more. Bashir wishes him "sweet dreams."

Meanwhile, Worf is dropped off on the planet and given a homing device by Shrek, which will tell him where and when he'll be back. Worf first encounters a Klingon woman in the jungle who doesn't seem to understand that she's being"rescued," but guards call her away. Worf approaches the camp and sees a group of Klingons sitting around a fire, the eldest of whom is singing a Klingon song. Worf pulls the old man aside and learns that he is L'Kor, a family friend. He confirms that Worf's father Mogh did indeed die at Khitomer, but the rest of them were taken prisoner and now live willingly in this community alongside Romulans. Now that he knows of the camp's existence, he cannot be permitted to leave...

End of Part I

Worf has been captured in the Romulan prison camp. He learns the story of the Klingons who were captured from L'Kor. They were knocked unconscious, and when they awoke in the prison camp, they failed to starve themselves. After being interrogated, the Romulans tried to trade them for territory. The Klingon Empire refused to believe in their existence. When Tokath, the Romulan officer who captured them, offered to let them go, they did not wish to return and dishonor their families. He took pity on them and built the prison camp. Their own honor gone, they had nothing to lose by staying prisoners.

Touring the camp, Worf is dismayed to learn that the young generation of Klingons born in the colony knows nothing of its Klingon heritage. He tries to instruct a young man, Toq, to properly respect the spear he's using to farm but gets rebuffed. He also speaks to Ba'el, the Klingon woman he encountered in the jungle who doesn't seem to realize that she's a prisoner. He suggests she tell her father she wants to visit the homeworld and see what he says. Before he can say much more, her mother, Gi'ral, calls her home.

Tokath introduces himself to Worf and argues that the colony is a shining example of peace between their two species. He reveals that he sacrificed his career to prevent its inhabitants from being executed and now lives alongside his captives, married to a Klingon woman. He'll do anything to protect his community and family. Worf is unconvinced. He attempts a daring escape, but Toq tackles him, allowing the Romulan guards to recapture him.

At the prison camp, Worf is implanted with a tracking device. Toq is instructed to keep watch over Worf. Worf tries a new strategy by teaching the young Klingons about their heritage. He instructs them in the Mok'bara (Klingon tai-chi). He also explains some of the Klingon relics that Ba'el's mother hides from her. At night, Worf relates some ancient stories about Kahless. Toq and the older Klingons continue to disapprove of Worf's actions, but the rest of the young Klingons are fascinated. Ba'el shows romantic interest in Worf, but as soon as they start to neck Klingon-style, he realizes that she's half-Romulan, the daughter of Tokath. Worf is horrified.

On the Enterprise , the crew has become concerned that Worf has not returned on schedule. Geordi examines Shrek's flight plan. He identifies two systems close to Romulan space, so Captain Picard tells him to head for the closest one.

The next morning, Worf tries to make amends with Ba'el, but he's clearly still rattled by her Romulans lineage. Outside, he spots Tog and others playing a wimpy bowling game with spears and a hoop. Worf shows them how use the equipment to train their spear throws for hunting. Tog enjoys the exercise and finally warms to Worf. Worf suggests they go on the ritual hunt, and Toq agrees. When they ask Tokath for permission, the Romulan initially balks, but L'Kor stiffly assures him that a Klingon who pledges not to escape will keep his word, just like L'Kor did decades ago. Tokath reluctantly agrees, telling Toq to kill Worf should he break his word.

Toq is amazed by the ritual hunt, feeling more alive than he has ever before. He's angered that he was never taught his heritage. When he returns that evening, he presents a slain animal to the colony and proclaims that they have forgotten themselves, leading them all in a more triumphant rendition of the song K'Lor sang before.

After dinner, Tokath again tries to convince Worf that the peaceful coexistence in his colony is worth preserving, but Worf states that the peace is artificial. Tokath orders his execution. Worf says he would rather die than live under the thumb of Romulan jailers. With his death, he will show the young generation what it is to die as a Klingon. While awaiting execution, Ba'el pleads with Worf to escape. He refuses but does admit that he loves her, despite everything.

The next day, when Worf faces a Romulan firing squad. With his final words, Worf announces that he has brought something "dangerous" to the children: knowledge of their origins and the reasons they are there. Toq arrives in full Klingon regalia and announces that if they kill Worf, they will have to kill him too. Soon, the whole younger generation stands with him and Worf, facing the firing squad. Gi'ral intercedes and tells her husband Tokath that she and the older Klingon prisoners had hoped to avoid dishonoring their children back on the homeworld, but they lost sight of the children raised on this planet. Their captive children should be set free if they wish to go.

Worf tells the young Klingons about the sacrifices their parents had made before and are making again. The children must honor their parents by never revealing this camp to anyone outside. The Klingons hitch a ride on a Romulan transport ship and get beamed onto the Enterprise . When Picard asks Worf if he found what he was looking for, Worf answers no, there was no prison camp. The young people, he says, are survivors from a vessel that crashed several years ago. With a knowing look, the captain says he understands.

Tropes featured in "Birthright":

  • Aborted Arc : Many fans were upset that Data's dreams weren't explored any further in part 2. The writers would make up for this in season 7's "Phantasms".
  • All There in the Script : Jaglom Shrek's motivation for helping Worf is that he was once a prisoner of war himself. This explanation was cut from the episode proper due to the Real Life Writes the Plot example noted below.
  • Anti-Villain : Commandant Tokath became the antagonist for this scenario by taking pity on helpless Klingons, sparing their lives, and trying to live with them in peace. He repeatedly argues that the peaceful coexistence he's built justifies any lack of freedom on the part of the Klingons living there.
  • Arc Number : The initial shock knocks Data out for 47 seconds.
  • Bittersweet Ending : Contrary to Shrek's claims, Mogh really is dead. Worf teaches the young Klingons of Carraya IV about their heritage, and many of them choose to leave with him. However, to preserve their families' honor, they must pretend to be survivors from a supposed crashed vessel in the system, and can never see their parents again. Conversely, it's implied that Ba'el — who as a Klingon/Romulan hybrid would never be welcome in either world — will have to stay behind, meaning she will likely never see her friends, or Worf, again.
  • The Cameo : Morn makes a brief appearance while Worf is visiting DS9's Promenade.
  • Geordi mentions O'Brien, who transferred off the Enterprise and is now Chief of Operations for DS9. The bad pasta is also a sign of the many problems the station is having, especially with the replicators.
  • Worf eagerly eats food that humans find inedible, just as he did back in "Time Squared".
  • Crossover : The Enterprise makes a stop at Deep Space 9 , and Data helps Dr. Bashir with a device that the station crew had found in the Gamma Quadrant.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance : Klingons are not allowed to be captured. Worf is initially horrified by the thought that his father was captured rather than killed, though he later states that he would want to see his father again even if he dishonored himself. L'Kor, however, says that he hopes his son would be Klingon enough to kill him if they ever met again.
  • Dream Episode : Data (an android) starts having dreams because he's uncovered a program in his brain.
  • Dreams of Flying : In part I, Data dreams of a raven flying around the Enterprise. Later on towards the end of the part, he becomes the raven and flies through the Enterprise and into space before waking up.
  • Eye Take : Bashir when he realises he's talking to the famous Data.
  • Face Death with Dignity : Worf commits to dying with honor to show the young generation how to be a Klingon.
  • Fantastic Racism : Worf is unable to accept the idea that Romulans and Klingons can ever live in peace together. He's horrified when he discovers that Ba'el is half Romulan.
  • Foreshadowing : Upon meeting Data, Bashir is immediately fascinated not by his extraordinary abilities, but by the little details his creator added to more closely mimic humanity, such as his breathing and circulatory system. Five years later, Deep Space Nine would reveal that Bashir underwent genetic engineering as a child, giving him strength and intelligence that completely defies the curve of what's normal for humans. His recognition of Data's more human aspects is because the more he sees Data as human-like, the more he realizes that Data is very much like himself — a person engineered to have superior qualities who seeks to emulate regular humans to fit in.
  • I Can't Believe I'm Saying This : Worf when he admits his attraction toward Ba'el even after discovering her half-Romulan heritage. Worf : I would not have thought it possible to fall in love with a Romulan.
  • Ironic Echo : During a conversation between Worf and Tokath: Worf : You robbed the Klingons of who they were. You dishonored them. Tokath : By not slitting their throats when we found them unconscious? Worf : I do not expect you to understand. You are a Romulan. Tokath : You're just like L'Kor was twenty years ago. Proud and angry. He hated me. All the Klingons did. And I had no love for them, I won't deny it. When I informed the High Command that the Klingons wanted to remain here, I was told that unless I stayed to oversee them myself, they would be killed. My decision ended my military career. Worf : Why did you do it? Tokath : I don't expect you to understand. You're a Klingon.
  • Living Is More than Surviving : Worf's rationale to teaching the Klingon youth their heritage. Worf: I saw what happened to him when he caught the scent of his prey on the wind. For the first time in his life, he felt powerful, and that is what he has been denied living here. And that is what you have tried to take away from him. Now you may be content to sit here in the jungle and wither to old age, but Toq and the others have tasted what it is to feel truly alive, and they will not give that up now.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage : The thought of Tokath and Gi'ral as mates with a child almost makes Worf sick.
  • Mandatory Line : Dr. Crusher only has a single line at the beginning of Part I and another at the end of Part II.
  • No OSHA Compliance : As per usual, the staff of Engineering sees fit to conduct an experiment directly in front of the warp core. Luckily, the energy discharged away from the ship's engine.
  • Obvious Stunt Double : In the first episode, when Data is lying down with Dr. Soong standing over him, it's pretty clearly a stand-in rather than Brent Spiner, who is only playing Soong in this shot.
  • Percussive Therapy : Worf is doing his mok'bara exercises when he angrily smashes a table. Naturally, Deanna can't resist snarking about it. "Did the table do something wrong?"
  • Questionable Consent : Worf's attraction to Ba'el can come across as rather squicky. He considers a her as one of the Klingon youth, and there is a clear generation gap between them, not just in terms of culture, but also age and experience, making it look like a mature, experienced Starfleet officer and family man is taking advantage of someone who, in human terms, appears to be in her late teens and has no experience of the universe outside her camp.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot : The reason why Shrek inexplicably disappears from the plot without explanation, as detailed in the What Happened to The Mouse entry, is because James Cromwell broke his leg in a riding accident, severely curtailing his availability.
  • The Reveal : Ba'el is Tokath's daughter, and Gi'ral is that wife he was talking about.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot : Discussed by Data and Bashir, who first asks if Data's hair can grow (it can), and also notices that he breathes and has a pulse.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules! : Tokath threw away his career to preserve the colony he built.
  • That said, Tokath’s success comes at the cost of the Klingons born on Carraya having no connection to their culture and heritage - is "peace" that comes from the loss of cultural identity truly peace? Or is it just another form of conquest?
  • The Watson : Ba'el and Toq serve this role, asking about Klingon culture.
  • While the Yridian does miss the rendezvous with the Enterprise , we never see what actually happened to him. In the script, he was killed by the Romulan guards.
  • Did Geordi, Data, and Julian ever figure out what that device they were studying was supposed to be?
  • You Can't Go Home Again : The Klingons captured from Khitomer stayed in the camp, instead of returning and having dishonor for themselves and their families. L'Kor: None of us are going anywhere... and neither are you .
  • You Cannot Kill An Idea : When Tokath threatens to kill Worf, Worf tells him that he is content to Face Death with Dignity for this reason. Worf: I am being executed because I brought something dangerous to your young people. Knowledge. Knowledge of their origins. Knowledge of the real reasons you are here in this camp. The truth is a threat to you.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation S6E14 "Tapestry"
  • Recap/Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation S6E16 "Starship Mine"

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star trek tng birthright

An archive of Star Trek News

Retro Review: Birthright, Part Two

  • Star Trek: TNG

Worf teaches Klingons being raised in a Romulan-run installation about their lost heritage as warriors.

Plot Summary: Held by Klingons in the onetime Romulan prison camp, Worf learns from L’Kor that after being captured, the Klingons asked the Romulans to allow them to remain following the Khitomer massacre to avoid dishonoring their families. The Romulan Tokath gave up a promising military career to take charge of the camp, and married a Klingon woman. Worf tries to escape, but Tokath puts a young Klingon named Toq in charge of his security. Worf tries to calm himself by performing Mok’bara, a Klingon form of martial arts, which interests the other young Klingons who allow him to teach them. Soon Ba’el – the young woman whom Worf first encountered – has joined Toq in trying to learn about her Klingon heritage. Worf tells them stories of Kahless and begins to fall in love with Ba’el, only to discover that she is half-Romulan, which disgusts him. Though angry at Worf’s prejudices, Ba’el asks Tokath, who is her father, whether she might leave the planet to visit either the Klingon or Romulan homeworlds. Tokath is dismissive, and when Toq arrives with an animal he killed on a ritual hunt, the Klingons begin to sing a warrior chant in defiance of the Romulans present. Tokath tells Worf that he must stop behaving as an agitator, to which Worf replies that he would rather die as a warrior than accept dishonor. Worf is scheduled to be executed, but first Toq, then his peers, and finally Ba’el stand in front of Worf to tell Tokath that he will have to kill all of them first. Finally Tokath agrees that Worf and any young Klingons who wish to leave the planet may do so. When the Enterprise encounters the warbird carrying them, Picard accepts Worf’s word that the rescued Klingons are crash survivors and that no one survived Khitomer.

Analysis: “Birthright, Part Two” features one of Michael Dorn’s best performances and really represents the rebirth of Klingon culture on Star Trek: The Next Generation , which will remain largely consistent throughout the run of Deep Space Nine and subsequent series and films. But there’s a price – our previous understanding of Klingon society, and of Worf’s background as a Klingon among humans. Gone is the character from the first season who wasn’t all that familiar with Klingon ritual and lore, and who shared with K’ehleyr disgust at some of the rationalizations for violence and cruelty that went on in the name of Klingon honor. Worf has gone from an outsider to a self-professed expert in Klingon behavior, and it’s not always easy to believe. Worf is horrified when he sees Toq using a Klingon weapon to till the soil and disgusted when he learns that Ba’el’s mother has allowed her weapons of war to rust. But while he may keep his bat’leth clean and practice with it on the holodeck, Worf doesn’t kill his own food or march around chanting hunting songs, either. Is his extreme reaction to the Klingons among Romulans an overreaction to his own position as a Klingon among humans? I wish there had been more introspection, more a sense of Worf working out why this means so much to him particularly once he realizes that his father was never among the survivors and his quest to reconnect with that aspect of his identity has been in vain.

Worf is largely sympathetic to the young Klingons, yet mostly expresses dismay that their elders did not commit suicide the moment they understood they could never escape the Romulans. He believes at first that he can make the young Klingons into warriors merely by teaching them of their heritage, and indeed, their transformation from peace-loving farmers to defiant rebels happens with almost absurd speed. Did he do them a favor, putting them in touch with instincts they all knew they had and couldn’t understand in this peaceful society, or did he introduce them to exactly the sorts of doubt and prejudice that Tokath said they’d done away with? Certainly the adults seem at peace with their own decision to go on living, if not delighted with the necessity of hiding among Romulans. They don’t blame the guards whom Tokath keeps around him for their plight – indeed, they invited them as the price for remaining alive and isolated in this camp. Yet we’re supposed to believe that their offspring have tapped into some primal Klingon warrior instinct that sparks anger at the Romulans yet not at the parents who made the choices that have shaped their lives. Sure, it’s an isolated, restrictive existence, but as Ba’el points out, they’ve been spared the horrors of war, they’ve never been hungry, they respect one another. It’s easy to see why the adults stopped raging against their fate.

In so many ways, Ba’el is caught in the middle. She is the daughter of the Romulan leader and also of the Klingon who seems the most angry and bitter at Worf’s reopening wounds from the past. We know that in the current reconception of the Klingons, women don’t have equal rights in the Council; was Gi’ral given an equal vote when the Klingons who survived Khitomer decided to stay in a Romulan camp? Did she love Tokath or merely accept that life with him would have certain advantages – even, perhaps, that as the wife of a Romulan, she might be treated as more of an equal than as the wife of a Klingon? And how did the other Klingons feel about her choice? We have no idea, though it appears that Ba’el is treated no differently than the other Klingon youths despite her Romulan blood by anyone but Worf. Though Ba’el is the first to ask whether she might have permission to leave, she is also the one youth who really has nowhere to go. Despite the identity of her father, the other Romulans treat her as a Klingon – she does not hang out with Tokath’s subordinates – and Worf makes it very clear that she will never be accepted by Klingons, since even he, who has feelings for her, cannot overcome his prejudices. The first time I saw this episode, I found Worf quite despicable in his scenes with her – he’s a bigot, despite the fact that his own son does not have pure Klingon blood and his mate was half-human. It’s easier to watch now, knowing that he will eventually date a Betazoid and marry a Trill, which suggests that his hatred is limited to the Romulans for their actions rather than a sense of Klingon superiority over all other races, but it’s still disturbing to see the depth of his intolerance.

For all the terrible things Worf says about the Romulans, most of which we have seen to be true – they are treacherous, deceitful, they don’t fight fair – they are also the culture that produced Toreth, Sela, the Romulan commander from whom Spock stole the cloaking device. The only really exciting Klingons produced this generation are the Duras sisters, and their good points are that they act like Romulans – self-serving, sneaky, etc. For all Worf’s praising of Klingon culture, I can’t help wanting Ba’el to choose to be more like her father – to put aside war in the service of community, to appreciate women who don’t always follow their husbands. Sure, Tokath has plenty of faults, his willingness to make a martyr of Worf being chief among them. But he doesn’t make the choice because he believes Klingons are inherently evil, which, sadly, makes him seem more enlightened than the Klingons. I wish Worf could have told Picard a bit more about his experiences, because I’d love for him to have heard Picard’s take on the situation and on letting go of the past.

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Birthright, part 1 Stardate: 46678.4 Original Airdate: 22 Feb, 1993

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Star Trek: The Next Generation

Birthright, Pt. 1

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Star Trek The Next Generation: Birthright, Part 1

star trek tng birthright

I've been a TOS fan since forever, but because I lived in a TV-free household for a couple of decades, I'm watching TNG for the first time (in order to learn the back story for the upcoming Picard show). I find that Klingon culture as described in TNG is mostly a form of extreme masculinity that I consider toxic. I think Worf's obsession with honor and death makes him all too ready to avoid really thinking a problem through or understanding other points of view. And yet I love Worf! I'm having trouble understanding just why I love Worf so much, given that there's so much I find problematic about Klingon culture, and of course he's devoted to Klingon culture. I'm just barely bisexual -- I'm mostly a lesbian -- and yet I do find Michael Dorn sexy. I guess he -- like Spock -- is just so sexy that even *I* can feel it. :-) Even though Patrick Stewart is an acting god, I'm always glad when we get a Worf or Data episode; the non-human characters are just more interesting to me.

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Star Trek: TNG’s “There Are Four Lights” Meaning & Why It’s Still Quoted 32 Years Later

9 reasons why ncis: hawai'i's season 3 cancelation was a mistake, 10 most rewatchable episodes of mash that never get old.

Star Trek: The Next Generation   took fans into the 23rd century and presented some of the most compelling science fiction in TV history. Occasionally, the exploits of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D were too much for one simple episode, and the stories branched out over two.

RELATED: The 10 Best Star Trek Movies, According To Reddit

Whether it was gripping tales of The Borg invasion, or Worf's personal journey within Klingon society, the two-part episodes of  TNG  were often some of the most exciting of the entire series. Although all of the two-part episodes are memorable in their own right, some garnered much higher scores on IMDb .

Birthright Part 1 & 2 - 7.6/7.3

Worf's struggles with his Klingon heritage was one of the most compelling arcs in  TNG , and the episodes "Birthright" brought it to the forefront once again. While visiting Deep Space Nine, Worf learns that his father is still alive and he is determined to track him down. Worf's search leads him to a former prisoner of war camp where Klingons and Romulans live in peace with one another.

Worf is doubly challenged in the episodes because he must reconcile his desire to clear his family name, with his overwhelming distrust of Romulans. Generally considered one of the best episodes about the Romulans , "Birthright" shows a different side of both alien races, and proves that peace is an option between them. Fortunately for fans, Worf would return in  Deep Space Nine and they would get a chance to follow his quest for acceptance once again.

Gambit Part 1 & 2 - 7.8/7.9

Usually,  TNG 's two-part episodes had important implications for the show moving forward, but occasionally they would simply tell a compelling story that was too long for one episode. "Gambit" takes place after the apparent death of Captain Picard, and Riker is put in charge of the intense investigation. When he is suddenly kidnapped by a group of archeological thieves, Riker finds that the Captain has seemingly joined with them.

RELATED:  The 10 Best Borg Episodes Of Star Trek, According To IMDb

Further fleshing out Picard's intense love of history and archaeology, the episodes are a fun adventure romp that sees the Captain and his first officer working together. Picard was not often put in the action hero role, but he excelled on the few occasions that he was. While the story might not be as earth-shattering as other two-part episodes, it was an intriguing adventure that harkened back to the earlier days of the  Star Trek  franchise.

Descent Part 1 & 2 - 8.1/7.8

While they only appeared a few times in  TNG,  The Borg proved to be one of the strongest alien races in the entire franchise. "Descent" finds the crew once again in conflict with the Borg, but to everyone's surprise, both the Borg and Data experience a range of human emotions that they hadn't previously shown. Digging into why they are suddenly feeling things, the crew encounters another old foe in the form of Data's brother, Lore.

Data's flirtation with human emotion was a thread throughout the entire series, and it was interesting to see him experience them in the episodes. The Borg are just as frightening as ever, but the added wrinkle of emotion adds an element of humanity that lessened their usual impact. The heart of the episodes was Brent Spiner's terrific turn as both Data and Lore, and he was able to imbue both characters with their own distinct personalities on screen.

Unification Part 1 & 2 - 8.2/8.3

In one of the best episodes about the Vulcans , "Unification" reunited  Trek  fans with their favorite pointy-eared hero. Ambassador Spock has gone deep into Romulan territory, and the Enterprise has to track him down in order to ascertain why he seemingly defected from the Federation. Once on Romulus, Picard learns of Spock's ambitious plan to bring peace between the Romulans and their distant Vulcan cousins.

Giving fans their first up-close look at Romulan society, "Unification" was an absolute treat for longtime  Trek  viewers. The usually secretive race was laid bare in the episodes and the tense negotiations have lofty implications for the future of the Federation. Despite all that, the biggest selling point of the two-part story is the return of Leonard Nimoy as Spock.  The veteran actor plays the character with an interesting grace that is indicative of 80 years of aging since  The Original Series .

Time's Arrow Part 1 & 2 - 8.4/8.2

Time travel has been a part of  Star Trek  since the beginning, and few episodes had as much fun with the concept as the two-parter "Time's Arrow". While investigating an archeological site on earth, the Enterprise crew discovers that there is evidence that an alien race may have been on earth in the 1800s. When Data is sent back in time to the turn of the century, the crew must attempt to rescue him, as well as get to the bottom of the alien menace.

The most memorable part of the episodes is the appearance from famous author Mark Twain, but there is a lot more to the episodes than simple fan service. The story does a great job of playing with the difficult concepts of time travel, and it explores timelines through the mysterious bartender Guinan. Eventually destined to meet, Whoopi Goldberg excels at playing a younger, and slightly less wise version of her character, centuries before she encounters Jean-Luc Picard.

Redemption Part 1 & 2 - 8.4/8.4

Proving to be the perfect fodder for two-part episodes, "Redemption" brings together both the Klingons and Romulans for one of the most tense stories in the series. Worf's allegiances are put to the test when the Klingon empire descends into bloody civil war. Deciding to leave the Federation behind, Worf goes off to fight for his family name. Meanwhile, Captain Picard unravels a Romulan plot that may be at the heart of the entire conflict.

RELATED: The 10 Most Frightening Episodes Of Star Trek The Next Generation  

Worf's emotional journey throughout the story is gripping, and it was genuinely shocking to see him turn his back on the Federation. As always, the dastardly Romulans prove to be tricky adversaries and it is ultimately Picard's insistence on peace that saves the day. As the name implies, Worf is out for a measure of redemption, and he earns some respect within his community because of his selflessness.

Chain Of Command Part 1 & 2 - 8.3/8.9

Fleshing out the ruthless Cardassians, "Chain of Command" was one of the darkest storylines in  Trek  history and challenged Captain Picard like never before. Sent on a top-secret mission into Cardassian space, Captain Picard is replaced on the Enterprise with a humorless and unpopular fill-in named Jellico. Picard is captured and tortured, while Jellico attempts to stop a full-scale Cardassian invasion of Federation space.

Showing the guileless Cardassians at their most evil, the episodes prepare viewers for what to expect in  Deep Space Nine . As for the story itself, Picard's journey is harrowing, and it is interesting to see the ship's dynamic when the beloved captain is replaced by an inferior substitute. Jellico is a fascinating (if unlikable) character, and shows that Starfleet doesn't always produce the best and brightest.

Best Of Both Worlds Part 1 & 2 - 9.3/9.2

"Best of Both Worlds" goes far beyond simply being a great two-part episode, and it shines as one of the best episodes of  The Next Generation , and all of  Trek  in general. When responding to a distress call at the outer reaches of Federation space, the Enterprise encounters a decimated colony that has apparently been destroyed by the Borg. When Picard is assimilated, Riker and the rest of the crew must find a way to save their captain and defeat the Borg menace.

The episodes deftly weave together several narrative threads that pay off brilliantly throughout the two parts. Riker is tempted by the call of higher command, while Picard's strategic mind is brought into the Borg collective which makes them doubly dangerous. While not the introduction of the Borg in the series, "Best of Both Worlds" really established them as the biggest baddie in all of the  Star Trek  universe.

NEXT: The Best Star Trek Series, Ranked According To IMDb

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Published Jul 26, 2019

Catching Up with Jennifer Gatti, 'Trek''s Ba'el and Libby

In advance of her appearance at STLV next week, StarTrek.com chats with TNG and Voyager guest star.



Jennifer Gatti made her mark on Star Trek as Ba’el, the half-Klingon/half-Romulan character she portrayed on in the Star Trek: The Next Generation two-parter, “Birthright,” and as Libby in the Star Trek: Voyager installment, “Non Sequitur.” But it’s not as widely known that she almost landed role of Kes on Voyager . In fact, it came down to her and Jennifer Lien. Though Lien won the part, Gatti still has a great Trek connection and she’s worked pretty steadily thereafter, guest-starring on everything from NCIS, JAG and Drop Dead Diva to Devious Maids, Nashville and Vice Principals .

Gatti — whom some people may remember as the teen girl at the center of Bon Jovi’s “Runaway” music video — will make her Star Trek Las Vegas debut next week, which finally gave StarTrek.com the opportunity to chat with her.


StarTrek.com: How ready are you to meet the fans at Star Trek Las Vegas, and what stands out most about your previous Trek convention appearances?

Jennifer Gatti: I’m really excited about Star Trek Las Vegas . It’ll be my first big convention. Last summer, I was a guest at the Vul-Con convention in Alberta, Canada and that was the first time I was ever invited to a convention. The fans were amazing – so kind and enthusiastic – and it was a blast to hang out with them. Las Vegas will be a whole new experience for me because of the size of the convention, but I’m looking forward to meeting some of my favorite actors, as well as all of the fans.

How familiar were you with Star Trek before guest-starring on TNG and Voyager ?

JG: I’m a big fan of the original Star Trek series, and I was a faithful viewer of TNG before playing Ba’el. When I booked the role, my Dad was so excited because he loved TNG and Picard was his absolute favorite character. I got to meet Patrick Stewart briefly while on set, and it was so thrilling to be a part of that show.

Go back in time to TNG . What was your audition like for Ba'el?

JG: There were three or four callbacks before I booked the role. Everybody wanted to be on TNG , and the producers were very thorough with the auditioning process and making sure they got what they wanted. I felt pretty good through most of that process that I was going to get the part. Sometimes you just know that you’re right for a part, and all you have to do is not blow the audition.

She was part Klingon, part Romulan and 100 percent in love with Worf.  What do you recall of trying to get into character?

JG: So, the story was a very human story dealing with bigotry, acceptance, and cultural differences between people – or in this case, Klingon and Romulan. The script was great in helping me find the inner life of Ba’el, but I really needed the makeup and the costume to help me discover Ba’el’s physical being.

How long did the makeup process take, and can you talk a bit more about helpful it was to you in breathing life into Ba'el?

JG: Once everything was made, the makeup process took two hours to put on, and about 90 minutes to take off. The makeup, the hair, the teeth, and the costume were what ultimately helped me fully flesh out Ba’el. It was a two-week process getting everything made. I had a cast mold made of my head and face, a wig was created, I had a molding of my teeth, and several costume fittings to complete Ba’el. During that time I was able to really discover Ba’el’s physicality. The makeup and the costumes forced my body to move in certain ways that were not like my natural body movements. So, Ba’el stands straighter than I do, for example. And what I discovered was that even though she was peaceful and kind, her body had a warrior strength that she does not discover until Worf comes along and teaches the Klingon ways.

Ba'el in

What stands out most about sharing scenes with Michael Dorn?

JG: I remember he was really funny. He was very professional and easy to work with, but he also could really make me laugh. It’s always such a relief when you meet an actor you’re a fan of and they turn out to be a nice person. And that’s Michael Dorn.

At some point along the way, you were up for the role of Kes on Voyager . What do you remember of going up for the role? And you came so close, second to Jennifer Lien. That kind of thing happens all the time in the industry, but how frustrating was it then?

JG: Ugh, it was so frustrating. I really, really wanted that part, but I totally blew the last audition. Not that I would have gotten it anyway, but I had been called back 4 or 5 times and it came down to me and Jennifer Lien. I just psyched myself out too much and got nervous because I wanted it so badly that it affected my audition. I basically tried a little too hard and that sometimes comes off as inexperience, so the network heads were not impressed, I guess. Not to take anything away from Jennifer Lien – she totally deserved the role and did a great job. So, kudos to her for not blowing her audition, like I did.

Can we assume that the producers and/or casting people remembered you and brought you in for "Non Sequitur"?

JG: Yes, so the bright side of that story is that they gave me another shot and I got to be a part of the Voyager world anyway.

Libby in

Libby was a solid one-off role. What interested you most about the character?

JG: Well, it was nice to play a human and not have to show up on set at [four in the morning] to have two hours of makeup put on, ha-ha. But seriously, I just loved the story of Kim waking up next to his fiancé – the place he’s been trying to get back to – only to have to decide about leaving her again because it’s not where he’s supposed to be. And I thought Libby was a great role. As far as she’s concerned, nothing has changed, and now Kim is going to devastate her world by leaving. I still feel like he should’ve stayed, but I’m biased, ha-ha.

You had real chemistry with Garrett Wang. What was it like interacting with him?

JG: I know, we really hit it off and worked well together. I got very lucky with both of my Star Trek boyfriends. My experiences with both Star Trek casts were amazing. I have such fond memories of working on both shows. Garrett was very attentive and we spent a lot of time with the director talking about Libby and Kim’s relationship, so when we filmed, the audience could feel the love and the history between these two characters.

You've done a lot of work over the years, but an actor does a Trek show or two and it pretty much lives on forever. What's that like for you, more than 25 years later?

JG: It’s very surreal because it doesn’t seem that long ago. Both of my episodes are still being watched on a regular basis, and new, younger Star Trek fans discover them every day. It also was one of those working experiences for me that was so fun, it’s easy to remember my days on the set.

We really appreciated your performance on Vice Principals . How much fun did you have on that show?

JG :  Thanks. Vice Principals is another show where I had the best time and got to work with some great people. Danny McBride is so nice and so good to work with. He creates a fun atmosphere on set. I was only supposed to do a couple of episodes in the first season, but it turned into a much larger role, and I was grateful for that because I got to work with some really talented people.

IMDB lists a short called Indolence as an upcoming project. What is that and what do you play?

JG: I saw that someone put that in there. Indolence is a seven-minute short I worked on in Asheville, NC, which is where I live now. There is a community of actors, filmmakers, and artists who live here and film projects in the area. Most of them are non-union projects, so I’m not able to be involved, but the writer/producer of this film did a SAG contract with me so I could be in it. It’s a horror short and I play a mom. It was a fun day.

Jennifer Gatti

Jennifer Gatti

What else are you working on these days?

JG: I recently worked on an episode of Swamp Thing [for DC Comics]. I play Dr. Janice Fortier in episode 10. I was supposed to continue on to episode 11, but the show was suddenly rewritten to have it end in 10 episodes. I got to work with Jennifer Beals, which was exciting for me because I’m a fan of her work.

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For the full list of guest and updates, visit Creationent.com .

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Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV Series)

Birthright, part i (1993), james cromwell: jaglom shrek, photos .

James Cromwell and Michael Dorn in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)

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Ba'el was the daughter of the male Romulan Tokath and the female Klingon Gi'ral , living in the Romulan prison camp on Carraya IV , where Klingon prisoners and Romulan guards lived peacefully together following the Khitomer Massacre of 2346 . She also had a sense of tolerance between the two races because she was half Klingon and half Romulan.

Her first contact with the outside world came in 2369 when Worf came to the camp. Worf discovered Ba'el bathing in a pond , and Ba'el fell in love with him. Worf responded to the romantic overtones until he discovered that she was part Romulan. She protected him when Tokath was going to kill him for influencing some Klingons to leave by standing in front of him as her father 's men aimed their weapons at Worf. Ba'el stayed at the camp as she felt she would not be accepted by either the Klingons or the Romulans. ( TNG : " Birthright, Part I ", " Birthright, Part II ")

Appendices [ ]

Background information [ ].

Ba'el was played by Jennifer Gatti in her first of two Star Trek appearances. Gatti's costume was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [1]

The script for "Birthright" described Ba'el as " a young and beautiful KLINGON WOMAN. " [2] Of her and Worf's second meeting, in the village, it said, " She is the first person in the camp to hold his gaze, and Worf returns it without realizing it... suddenly they both become embarrassed and look away. " [3]

Apocrypha [ ]

Ba'el appeared in the Star Trek: Klingon Empire novel A Burning House , in which the camp on Carraya IV was attacked by Gorrik, son of Gannik, leaving Ba'el as one of only three survivors. She was later found and rescued by former camp resident Toq , who took her back to Qo'noS , where she reunited with Worf, then Federation ambassador to the Klingon Empire. Worf helped her secure a job at the Federation embassy as an assistant to events coordinator Eduardo Mazzerone.

External links [ ]

  • Ba'el at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • 1 Daniels (Crewman)


  1. Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch: “Birthright, Part II”

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  2. Watch Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 6 Episode 17: Birthright

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  4. "Birthright, Part II" (S6:E17) Star Trek: The Next Generation Screencaps

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  6. Birthright, Part I (1993)

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  1. Birthright (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

    List of episodes. " Birthright " is a story spanning the 16th and 17th episodes of the sixth season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, the 142nd and 143rd episodes overall. Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D.

  2. Birthright, Part I (episode)

    At Deep Space 9, Worf investigates reports that his father is still alive and an engineering accident causes Data to experience a vision of his father, Dr. Soong. "Captain's log, Stardate 46578.4. The Enterprise has arrived at Station Deep Space 9, to assist in the reconstruction of the Bajoran aqueduct systems damaged during the Cardassian Occupation." As Jean-Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher ...

  3. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Birthright, Part I (TV Episode ...

    Birthright, Part I: Directed by Winrich Kolbe. With Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn. While visiting Deep Space 9, a Yridian tells Worf his father lives, and a discharge from an alien device puts Data in a dream state where he meets his own father.

  4. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Birthright, Part II (TV Episode 1993

    Birthright, Part II: Directed by Dan Curry. With Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn. In seeking his father, Worf discovers a prisoner-of-war camp that has evolved into a Klingon/Romulan haven - an Eden where Worf becomes their serpent.

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    Production. "Birthright, Part II" was filmed between Wednesday 6 January 1993 and Friday 15 January 1993 on Paramount Stage 8, 9, and 16. It was the first episode of TNG filmed in 1993. Although James Cromwell ( Jaglom Shrek) appears in this episode, he has no lines.

  6. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Birthright, Part I (TV Episode 1993

    "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Birthright, Part I (TV Episode 1993) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Menu. ... Best ever Star Trek TNG episodes a list of 30 titles created 24 Sep 2015 Star Trek Movies a list of 40 titles ...

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    In-depth critical reviews of Star Trek and some other sci-fi series. Includes all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, Prodigy, and Strange New Worlds. Also, Star Wars, the new Battlestar Galactica, and The Orville.

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  13. The Next Generation Transcripts

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  14. Birthright, Pt. 1

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    Birthright Part 1 & 2 - 7.6/7.3. Worf's struggles with his Klingon heritage was one of the most compelling arcs in TNG, and the episodes "Birthright" brought it to the forefront once again. While visiting Deep Space Nine, Worf learns that his father is still alive and he is determined to track him down. Worf's search leads him to a former ...

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