Star Trek: The Next Generation (1988): S01E20 – Heart of Glory


“Heart of Glory” is the twentieth episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, first broadcast 21 March 1988.

The story was created by Herbert Wright and D. C. Fontana, and was made into a script in two days by executive producer Maurice Hurley. The episode was directed by Rob Bowman.

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D. In this episode, the crew rescue three Klingons from a damaged freighter in the neutral zone. Once aboard they befriend Lt. Worf (Michael Dorn) and attempt to hijack the Enterprise so they can live as true Klingons, forcing Worf to choose between them or Starfleet.

The episode explained the backstory to the character of Lt. Worf and Michael Dorn was pleased with the outcome. Rob Bowman thought that the episode worked well. He included an overhead shot on the engineering set which had not been done before on the show and tweaked the ending.

Shots of the Klingon starship were reused from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, while the freighter model would be reused as various freighters throughout the various Star Trek television series. Guest stars included Vaughn Armstrong as Korris in his first role in the franchise and only appearance in The Next Generation. He appeared in a further eleven roles in the franchise, including the part of Admiral Maxwell Forrest in Star Trek: Enterprise. The episode was watched by 10.7 million viewers during the initial broadcast, and reviews by critics were mixed.


The Enterprise enters the neutral zone, to investigate the distress call of a Talarian freighter. The freighter is badly damaged, and three life forms are detected aboard. An away team beams over and finds three Klingons: Korris (Vaughn Armstrong); Konmel (Charles Hyman); and Kunivas (Robert Bauer), who is wounded. The away team returns with them to the Enterprise before the freighter explodes. Kunivas is taken to sickbay and Korris meets with Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). The Klingon explains that they were passengers when the freighter was attacked by a Ferengi ship; the Klingons took over the freighter to fend off and destroy the Ferengi ship, but the damage sustained left the freighter adrift and faltering. As Korris and Konmel are shown to quarters, they are surprised to hear about a fellow Klingon, Lt. Worf (Michael Dorn), who is serving within Starfleet.

Kunivas’ condition worsens, and Korris, Konmel, and Worf are present when he dies, and the three let out a fierce roar as per Klingon custom. As they return to the Klingons’ quarters, Konmel is disappointed that Kunivas was not killed by an enemy, leading Worf to question the nature of the attack on the freighter; Korris and Konmel quickly change the subject. Worf forces Korris to reveal the truth: the three had commandeered the freighter, in order to seek out a place they could live as true Klingons, and the damage to the freighter was a result of a battle with a Klingon ship. When the two are seen near the ship’s battle bridge, hoping to steal the drive section and escape the crew on the saucer, they are placed in the brig.

The Enterprise is soon met by a Klingon battlecruiser, captained by Commander K’Nera (David Froman), who demands the return of the fugitive Klingons. Knowing that Korris and Konmel will be tried and executed if they are returned, Worf argues instead for their exile to a hostile planet, but K’Nera refuses. Korris and Konmel use parts secreted on their uniforms to assemble a disruptor pistol and escape from the brig; Konmel is killed as Korris takes over the Engineering deck. Picard and Worf race to Engineering, and Worf tries to reason with Korris who is threatening to destroy the warp core and take the Enterprise with him. Korris attempts to persuade Worf to come with him and conquer the galaxy as a true Klingon, but Worf retorts that a true Klingon fights out of honour and loyalty, and that Korris has demonstrated neither. Korris is enraged, and Worf takes the opportunity to shoot him dead. K’Nera is told of the deaths of the fugitives, and Worf declares that they “died well” when asked of their manner of death. Worf agrees to consider an offer to serve aboard the Klingon battlecruiser after his service aboard the Enterprise is complete, but when communications with K’Nera are broken off, assures the bridge crew he was just being polite.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Rob Bowman.
  • Writer(s): Herbert Wright and DC Fontana.
  • Release Date: 21 March 1988.
  • Running Time: 50 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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