Star Trek: The Next Generation (1993): S06E16 – Birthright, Part 01


Introduction

“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. In this episode, Worf and Data both seek to know more about their fathers: Worf through visiting a world inside Romulan territory and Data through a newly discovered dream programme.

In Part I, the Enterprise 1701D visits the Deep Space Nine space station, which was featured in the concurrently airing show set in the same science fiction universe, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Several actors and sets from that show are featured in this Star Trek: The Next Generation episode.

Outline

While the Enterprise is docked at Deep Space Nine, providing assistance in repairing the Bajoran aqueducts, Worf is approached by an Yridian information broker, Jaglom Shrek (James Cromwell), who claims that Worf’s father was not killed at Khitomer, but is instead alive at a Romulan prison camp. Since Mogh’s capture would dishonour Worf and his own son, Worf is reluctant to believe the alien’s claim but it upsets him. However, following an accident, Data has a dream-like experience that involves his creator and Data approaches Worf to ask about a time Worf himself had a hallucination during a Klingon ritual. Worf realises that it is important to learn the truth about his father.

Data continues to pursue the meaning behind his dream. Geordi and Dr. Julian Bashir (DS9’s Chief Medical Officer) reluctantly recreate the experiment that caused the dream (a dangerous venture that could damage Data permanently). Data has the same experience, which continues on to a conversation between Data and Dr. Noonien Soong, his creator. Soong encourages Data to continue dreaming. Awake, Data comes to the conclusion that Dr. Soong pre-programmed the ability to dream in anticipation of activating it himself. The energy charge from the experiment simply activated this feature. Data then plans to henceforth spend a brief period each day experiencing these dreams.

Worf suspects the information about his father to be a trick and forces the reluctant Yridian to take him to the prison camp himself. Because of the danger involved, Worf makes the final leg of the journey alone on foot, where he finds the Klingons moving about freely with Romulans. He corners one of the Klingons, who informs him that his father fell in battle at Khitomer as he thought, meaning that Worf’s family honour is intact. When Worf offers to free the Klingon prisoners, they insist on staying. Since he is aware of the camp’s existence and location, they insist that he must also stay. Two armed Romulans show up to prevent Worf from leaving.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Winrich Kolbe.
  • Writer(s): Brannon Braga.
  • Release Date: 07 March 1993.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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