Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Star Trek The Next Generation: Heart of Glory

Worf: "You look for battles in the wrong place. The true test of a warrior is not without. It is within."

This surprisingly good episode told us a lot about Worf and his backstory, and gave us a few interesting hints about what's going on with the Klingon Empire.

Even though Worf connected with Commander Korris and Lieutenant Konmel, he never once seemed tempted to throw away his career in Starfleet to romp about the galaxy in the Enterprise's stolen battle bridge. For Worf, it is all about "duty, honor, loyalty." He is committed to Starfleet, and that is that.

But Worf's isolation most definitely exists. Just as Spock was the only Vulcan in Starfleet, obviously a deliberate parallel, Worf is the only Klingon. As a child, Worf was rescued from a Romulan attack at Khitomer by a human Starfleet officer, and that officer and his wife raised Worf at the Gault colony. Worf mentioned that he was adopted by humans before the "age of inclusion" without mentioning a number, but it sounds like something that would be connected to Klingon adolescence.

And yet, Worf isn't just a human who looks like a Klingon. He is familiar with Klingon culture and identifies strongly with it. Here, we got the Klingon death ritual that involves holding the dying person's eyes open and screaming so that the afterlife knows a Klingon warrior is on his way. (Is it just for guys?) We also learned that for Klingons, the body is completely unimportant after death. I liked the detail that Klingons consider hostage-taking to be cowardly, although that didn't apply to Korris capturing the dilithium chamber and threatening to take it out, killing everyone on the Enterprise along with it. Including a whole lot of kids. Tell me again why there are children on the Enterprise?

So some Klingons aren't happy about peace with the Federation. That makes sense. How did that peace happen? At this point in the series, we don't know. It doesn't seem that Klingons would be the type that would seek peace with the Federation, and Korris and Konmel certainly weren't on board with an alliance with those soft, icky humans.

The B plot with Geordi and his VISOR connecting with the view screen as the away team explored the severely damaged Talarian freighter was a lot less successful than the A plot. What Geordi sees is interesting — especially that intriguing bit about Data having an aura — but wouldn't that sequence have been better served by just taking a teeny tiny futuristic camera along? Geordi was able to see metal fatigue in the hull, but wouldn't a tricorder do the same thing? For that matter, Data is a living computer. Shouldn't he be able to transmit what he sees?

The Geordi and Worf plots were connected by Picard, who observed in a much too obvious way that he was learning a lot about both of them. But Picard did allow Worf to represent the Federation during the discussions with Commander K'Nera, and that was no small thing since any sort of unpleasant incident could have damaged relations with the Klingon Empire. Picard never appeared to doubt Worf's loyalty, and that reminded me of another Spock parallel: Kirk's unswerving faith in Spock in the classic original series episode "Balance of Terror."

Bits and pieces:

-- Stardate 41503.7, in the Neutral Zone. The waylaid Talarian freighter was called the Batris.

-- Korris and Konmel were incarcerated in the Enterprise's brig, which was an empty room with a bench in it. They managed to escape by constructing what looked like a high tech dreidel with bits of their belts and shoes. Okay, it was a disruptor, but wouldn't it have been cool if it had been a dreidel?

-- Worf mentioned that he and his foster brother attended the Academy, but his brother dropped out.

-- Commander K'Nera invited Worf to join the Klingon version of Starfleet somewhere down the line.

-- Some of the details in this episode connect to the sixth Star Trek movie, The Undiscovered Country, which didn't come out until 1991.

-- There's a glass floor in the dilithium chamber? Very dramatic way for Korris to die, but shouldn't there be, um, some sort of high tech transparent plastic instead? Perhaps transparent aluminum?

-- Commander Korris was played by Vaughn Armstrong. This was his first Star Trek appearance, but most certainly not his last. While this was his only role in Next Gen, he returned a dozen times as different characters in the other Star Trek series, occasionally but not always under alien makeup.

-- I liked those gray military Klingon costumes. Although they did make Worf's gold sash look tacky.

I'm not a fan of the Klingon episodes, but this one was better than I remembered. Three out of four Klingon high tech dreidels,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. I enjoyed this episode as well although some of the scenes were still a bit much. The Klingons are a central part of the TNG universe and it was fun to get to know them. I always wanted them to explain how the Klingons had changed from TOS but I guess that involves suspending disbelief.

  2. For me, this was the first really GOOD episode of TNG ... and I say that as someone who has always thought the Klingons were overused.

    Um, Spock was NOT the only Vulcan in Starfleet! In the episode "The Immunity Syndrome," we learn that there's a Starfleet vessel -- the Intrepid -- that's crewed entirely by Vulcans. Spock is the only Vulcan on the Enterprise, and that's lonely enough, really.

    It fascinates me how MANY people identify with the misfit/outsider characters like Spock and Worf. If millions of people feel like outsiders, then there's something weird going on...

  3. This episode was okay. Worf did not come across like a wannabe, or an overly emotional being. This episode did highlight a problem that Starfleet or at least the Enterprise crew had, and that is othering people. The crew did to Worf what they did to Data, they doubted his loyalty. This is especially egregious in Worf's case because he is without any doubt very much a Starfleet officer, and for them to think 2 random Klingons would make him turn his back on them is laughable. Starfleet isn't nearly so openminded as they would like to believe themselves to be. The only 2 non-human bridge officers and these are the ones doubt is cast upon. Disappointed to say the least. But if you ignore all that then this is a pretty good episode. You get some back story on Worf. The two random Klingons are okay, if a bit dense. Three Klingons against an entire ship full of trained people. Not too bright. As for the vision thing with Laforge, I didn't care. It didn't add anything to me. Interesting episode overall.

  4. I'm watching this series for the first time and it is interesting to see episodic reviews of them.

    Noname, I have to disagree about how you see the Enterprise treating Worf. Putting aside it is over 30 years old, the idea that are 'othering' Worf or Data in the other episode would be very simplistic. In both cases, that crew member asked to be involved in mission that include their background and in both cases, the Enterprise was nearly destroyed. I might agree with you if they had locked up Worf too, or reduced his duties. He did actually give them a guided tour of the Battle Bridge, and hesitated when Tasha wanted them secured! But all they did was raise awareness of a potential conflict of interest, which any leader should be doing. To ignore that someone might be swayed would be bad writing. There is no plot intrigue if they can't be tempted.

    If Picard can accept Tasha Ya questioning him on a security matter in a previous episode, I think all crew members can accept security comes first on the ship.

  5. I love how we got so much more background on the Klingons here. It's good to know more about them, instead of them just being 'the enemy' like they were in TOS.

    The Geordi subplot wasn't as interesting as the Worf and Klingon parts, but it was still nice to see. LeVar Burton will always be Reading Rainbow to me first and foremost, but he was so good in TNG as well, so he deserved more development like this, even if it wasn't as good as the main focus here.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.