What’s this? Jimmy and I were unable to get a Next Gen chat up for the previous two weeks, and this time we get two? Well, it happened.
Anyway, Worf finally gets an episode focused on him with this episode, “Heart of Glory”.
“Heart of Glory”
Worf’s loyalty is questioned when the Enterprise rescues some Klingon fugitives.
jimmy: Having a glass floor in engineering that shatters simply by falling on it seems like a bad idea.
tomk: They really need a Chief Engineer in case Klingon criminals return.
Someone who can spot such obvious design flaws.
jimmy: No one would have the sight required for that job.
tomk: True story: they almost made that Argyle guy from “Datalore” and a couple other episodes a member of the regular cast when the producers got a lot of letters supporting the guy. Then they found out the actor arranged for the entire letter campaign and fired him instead.
jimmy: Really? That’s hilarious. And sad.
tomk: Instead, we have here…a poorly paced episode where everyone thought the dark skinned guy might not be on their side after all.
jimmy: Are talking about Geordi or Worf?
tomk: This time? Worf. I just thought the way the whole crew reacted to the Klingons on the ship seemed extra wrong given the BLM protests of late
jimmy: Well, I guess technically, are the Klingons black?
tomk: Michael Dorn is. I don’t know about the guest stars but I don’t think so.
jimmy: They were definitely lighter skinned.
tomk: And there were definitely extras pulling kids away from them in the corridors.
Plus, Tasha assumed Klingons take children hostage.
jimmy: Their make up seemed different than Worf’s as well.
tomk: The one lying in Sickbay dying showed where the ridges were glued to the actor’s face.
jimmy: I did notice that. Might not have my been the best directing choice.
tomk: Probably worse with your fancy blu ray.
jimmy: For sure.
tomk: But I have an issue with this episode. The pacing seems weird and I think I know why.
jimmy: Do tell.
tomk: So, there’s a name in the credits you might see: Maurice Hurley. Hurley got a co-writing credit on this episode and others. He wasn’t a guy with TV writing experience. At least not in sci-fi. Hurley was Gene Roddenberry’s lawyer.
Roddenberry by this point was not in the best of health. Hurley would show up when Gene was out with “messages” allegedly from Gene that Hurley probably wrote himself. And while Hurley was good at continuity and helped set up the Borg, that’s about the only thing to his credit.
Episodes he “fixed” often had really off pacing and long dull stretches like this one. And Hurley has a hand in both Denise Crosby’s decision to quit and firing Gates McFadden for season two, but I’ll save that stuff for later.
jimmy: I never knew that lawyer stuff. Sounds crazy. Sure seems like there were a lot of people “tricking” the crew of TNG to better their careers.
I felt like the stuff with Geordi at the beginning was out of place/unnecessary. Sure, it was cool to give the viewer (and the crew) a glimpse into what/how Geordi sees, but the whole thing seemed like they really just needed body cams like many police wear today. It’s interesting that none of the away missions involve any kind of video surveillance or documenting. Though they can take time in the middle of the action to dictate a log entry.
tomk: It was a cool idea that not much was done with. The ship they are on is falling apart and Picard has a ton of questions on how the VISOR works now?
jimmy: Yeah. Only been out in space like a year or more. And Picard not only had questions he was SUPER EXCITED about the whole thing.
tomk: And then it was never mentioned again.
jimmy: Yeah. Not surprised.
It was cool that he could see the degradation in the metal. But he really needs an upgrade for seeing people and androids. They pretty much looked like extras with Michael Myers Halloween masks on. (Which, fittingly, is a Shatner mask.)
tomk: And he doesn’t seem to be the most formidable guy to bring along.
“We have an unknown security threat. Better bring along the guy who can see stuff!”
jimmy: Better than when they brought the guy that couldn’t see stuff.
tomk: Ensign Matt Murdock has other skills.
jimmy: Geordi’s visor view did remind me of Daredevil’s radar sight, but of course it would.
tomk: And then Jessica Jones and Luke Cage worried Iron Fist would join the Hand because they all knew martial arts.
jimmy: Don’t bring Iron Fist into this perfectly nice TNG conversation.
tomk: You’re right. We save him for the Westeros Watch.
jimmy: The Klingons would fit right in there.
tomk: Eh. Those racist Westerosi would give them a wide berth too.
jimmy: Outside of Worf, is this really the first time we’ve seen the Klingons as allies in Trek?
tomk: More or less.
It is the first time we’ve gotten much of a hint of Klingon culture.
jimmy: And no questions/jokes about why they look so different than TOS.
tomk: The Klingons changed for the movies by then. Roddenberry may have claimed they always looked like that, but he may have done a lot of drugs.
tomk: It was the 60s. Everyone did drugs. Except Richard Nixon and Bullwinkle.
jimmy: But yeah, you’re right. By the time TNG started they were up to at least Voyage Home with the movies?
tomk: Yup. And Klingons with forehead ridges go back to forehead ridges go back to the first Trek movie.
jimmy: What one was Christopher Lloyd in? Was that 6?
jimmy: Right. And Kristie Alley.
tomk: She was in 2.
jimmy: …it’s been awhile.
tomk: Jimmy, your pro-mop anti-TOS beliefs have been apparent for quite some time.
jimmy: I’m not as anti the movies. Except for V. No one likes V.
tomk: No one who counts.
tomk: Well, as far as this episode goes, DC Fontana has a co-writer credit. She along with Leonard Nimoy basically invented Vulcan culture. If there was an episode about Spock and Vulcan society, she probably wrote it. We could argue Michael Dorn did much the same as Nimoy when it comes to the Klingons. And Fontana’s name is right there in the credits…
But hey, Klingon Death Shouts, something no outsider had ever seen before but a Data knew all about.
jimmy: So Data knows about that…but doesn’t know what a PI is.
tomk: Data’s education sure is spotty.
jimmy: That said, I can see him being programmed with knowledge of Klingons over 20th century Earth information.
tomk: You and your sensible conclusions.
jimmy: I have to even out my nonsensical ones.
tomk: Well, it makes more sense than everyone suddenly worried Worf would turn on the Enterprise.
You know, instead of doing what he did where he tried to find a way for the other Klingons to have an honorable death.
Or at least an honorable solution to their collective problems.
jimmy: No one was worried that Data would turn on the Enterprise when Lore showed up. (Outside of Tasha just sucking up to Picard.)
tomk: She was a spurned lover.
Plus, given what happened, the others should have been more suspicious of Lore/Data.
jimmy: Maybe they learned their lesson and hence the suspicion of Worf. Though probably not.
tomk: Well, they shouldn’t have. Worf turning on the crew would have been, you know, dishonorable.
And “honor” is the one thing that has been part of the Klingon mythos since their first appearance. Granted, that usually meant they wanted to fight all the time back then, but you get the idea.
jimmy: Well, given it took until almost the end of season one for Picard to inquire about how Geordi sees, I don’t think mingling with the crew and getting to know them is high on the priority list.
tomk: Worf doesn’t even have a steady job.
He’s just “the Klingon”.
tomk: But yeah. Worf met some Klingons, found a way for one to die with honor, got a job offer he said he’d consider just to be polite, and that’s that.
jimmy: Speaking of, is that why Worf killed the guy in Engineering instead of just stunning him?
tomk: I would say yes.
The guy died “in battle”.
Otherwise, he goes back to the dishonorable punishment the Klingon Empire set up for him.
jimmy: Ok. Makes sense as I thought it was a bit extreme.
tomk: Yeah, well, poorly paced episode and all that.
Did you have anything else to add, Jimmy?
I mean, we have a recognizable character actor in the next one.
jimmy: Recognizable eh? We’ll see about that.
tomk: You doubt me?
jimmy: No, but you’re better with the recognizing.
tomk: Shall we move on and see if you recognize him?