Michael Dorn Revisits His Captain Worf Pitch

Every fandom has spinoff ideas that get stuck in its collective consciousness, rattling around for years or even decades.  Owing to both its longevity and the devotion of its fanbase, ‘Star Trek’ has had more than most, but one of the more persistent has been a Klingon-centric series, one that would follow, for example, the crew of a bird of prey or political intrigue within the Empire as opposed to the franchise’s typical focus on Starfleet crews. One particularly enduring variation of this idea is that of a series fronted by Michael Dorn’s Commander Worf.

It’s an idea that Dorn himself has pitched several times over the last decade or so, and now that CBS is keen to expand their ‘Star Trek’ slate following the success of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’, he’s resurrected his pitch. Of course, there’s more to it than “Michael Dorn wants a show.” Beyond a continuing fascination with the Klingons and an obvious desire to revisit his most iconic role, Dorn believes that such a show could – in the finest tradition of ‘Star Trek’ – serve as a potent allegory for the increasingly fraught real-world political climate, as he explained to Inverse:

“This is, I think, perfectly timed and placed. You’re not stepping on anybody’s toes, and I always thought the Klingon Empire was a great empire to write about because it’s Shakespearean. .. The Klingon Empire has had to evolve and change and they don’t like that and they’re fighting it every step of the way. They’ve had to introduce aliens into their society. Just like our world is becoming a global world where it’s not just like, “Oh we’re Californians and that’s all that really matters.” We’re talking about something here and it affects China.”

If such a show were to be greenlit, the concept Dorn describes could provide an intriguing thematic counterpoint to ‘Star Trek: Discovery’, which similarly deals with a changing Klingon Empire (one that has expressed some degree of xenophobic paranoia at that). A sister show like this would open up the possibility of taking the Klingon storylines on ‘Discovery’ and exploring the ramifications and echoes, the ways in which things have changed – or not – in a century and a half.

Dorn also described his vision for the would-be show in a more general sense, and for all the superficial changes that would come with a focus on the Klingon Empire, it certainly sounds like he sees the show as being cast in a more traditional ‘Star Trek’ mold than ‘Discovery’ often is. For one thing, it would see Word commanding a Klingon ship, having presumably left Starfleet in the years since ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’. It would, however, be more episodic in nature than ‘Discovery’, or even latter day ‘Deep Space Nine’, with Dorn comparing the format to earlier ‘Trek’ series:

“Worf is on a ship and he’s going out and all the adventures are happening with him. Every episode is like the original or ‘Next Generation’. It’s a self-contained episode that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. And it says something.”

In the meantime, though, the most likely place for Worf to turn up is the upcoming (and untitled) Jean-Luc Picard series. And it’s a possibility that Dorn certainly won’t rule out. With one caveat:

“I’m only interested if it’s something really interesting; if the character was a major part of the franchise or whatever the show is. He’s not just going to show up, beat somebody up, and then go home.”

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