Klingons to the rescue.
To create some excitement about Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and boost the ratings of the syndicated series, an original member of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast, Worf the Klingon, will join DS9 next season.
Those bad old Klingons will enter the 24th century to wreak havoc in space, and Capt. Sisko (Avery Brooks) will call on Lt. Worf, played by Michael Dorn, to advise him on how to deal with the troublemakers.
"We got the feeling in the last year that The Next Generation viewers had stopped watching DS9," says Rick Berman, executive producer of DS9, Star Trek: Voyager on UPN and the Star Trek: Generations sequel, which he says will be in theaters by Christmas 1997.
"We needed to get viewers to resample the show, and we thought having the Klingons back would do the trick."
Worf was born a Klingon, the enemy of the Federation, but he was raised by humans. Worf enrolled in the Federation Starfleet program, the only Klingon ever to do so, and he served seven years on The Next Generation as the first "good" Klingon in the Star Trek universe.
Capt. Sisko oversees the DS9 space station, where alien visitors congregate. The DS9 crew also uses a small ship (in comparison with the Enterprise) to visit other planets. But the chief complaint among Trekkers has been that DS9 doesn't visit enough of those new worlds. (Voyager, which premiered last fall, went back to the exploring space ship format to the delight of Trek fans.) Berman says that bringing in Klingons as the chief villains will remedy some problems.
Dorn, who joined other Next Generation cast members in the Star Trek: Generations film, had gone on to appear in an episode of Showtime's Outer Limits and co-star in an upcoming TV movie for Showtime.
When Berman asked him to put on the Worf mask again, Dorn's only concern was makeup time. By the end of Next Generation, the makeup process had been reduced to one hour, and he wanted to make sure it wouldn't be any longer.
Dorn is pleased Worf will be taking center stage on DS9. His screen time in the Generations movie was limited, and on the Next Generation series, he got only a few episodes a season in which to shine.
With DS9's Klingon story line, he'll be an integral part of each show. "As an actor, even with all the makeup, something like that is hard to pass up," he says.
All the Next Generation cast members will be in the next film, says Berman. But he isn't planning to bring any of the old gang to Voyager, where the premise is that the ship is lost in space zillions of miles away from home, and it could take 70 years to return.
Berman says some other members of The Next Generation cast might show up on DS9 next season, but he won't say who.
As for Voyager, he wants to add "a little more action next season."
USA TODAY - Wednesday, July 5, 1995
By Jefferson Graham
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