Dwarf Stars
selected from Cult Times #42
He’s been in more episodes of Star Trek than anybody else, and made Klingon the second language of thousands of ardent fans. We say “Kerplunk!” (or whatever the word is) to the legendary Next Generation warrior, Worf

Taken from our five-page interview with Michael Dorn. Read the full interview (including more of Dorn's thoughts on Insurrection and DSN) in Cult Times #42, along with details of Worf's family tree and some Klingon for beginners!

Michael Dorn as Worf

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There was a rumour that Michael Dorn was initially just going to be a recurring actor on Star Trek: The Next Generation. But he was signed for all shows produced from the very start. “It was tough during the first season,” he explains, “because there was a clause that said after six or 10 episodes they could let you go and all bets would be off. So, I was just hoping that I’d make it to 10 episodes. Little did I know that 12 years later I’d still be talking about Star Trek, that I’d still be doing Star Trek.”

Sure enough, here’s Dorn still talking Trek and still portraying everyone’s favourite Klingon, the ever-gruff Worf. There’s hardly anybody in the Trek universe, particularly among the actors, who’s been as across-the-board immersed as Dorn. He appeared in all seven seasons of Next Gen, as well as the three Next Gen features. He turned up as Worf’s grandfather in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. And, of course, he journeyed to Deep Space Nine for several more seasons of employment as Worf. On DSN, Dorn spread his wings further, stepping behind the camera to direct, and out of make-up to play a baseball star in the episode Far Beyond the Stars.

Looking back, can Dorn pick a single favourite Trek experience? Yes, he can, actually. “I think Star Trek: First Contact was the culmination of Next Gen. That’s been my favourite,” he explains. “I’d totally enjoyed being on Next Gen for the seven years we did the show, and First Contact was truly the culmination because that was the first true TNG movie, where there was no inference to the past, there was no Kirk, no Scotty, and no Chekov. It was just us and we did incredibly well on our own.”…

As for more recent experiences, that brings us to Star Trek: Insurrection and the imminent end of Deep Space Nine. First, Dorn looks back on Insurrection, the latest Next Gen film adventure, which performed so-so at the box office following so-so reviews and so-so Trekker response... "When I saw the movie I thought it was OK. People seemed to like that it was romantic, light and funny. That’s not my taste. I like the dark, edgy stuff. I can watch that all day.”

There’s dark, edgy stuff aplenty on DSN, though not all that much of it has landed in Dorn’s corner. Since joining the show in 1995, Worf has become an integral member of the senior crew aboard the space station. Yet, fans of Worf and the Klingon race have probably gotten less than they expected when Dorn agreed to join the DSN cast. Really, how much more do we know about this guy than we did when All Good Things… aired?

Still, Dorn won’t complain: “I made the right decision when I signed on to do Deep Space,” says the actor, who will direct one last episode, probably in February. “I don’t regret it for a minute. The first and second years were good. Something happened, and I don’t know what it was, but Worf has not been in there as much as I hoped he would be since then. The whole idea, I thought, was to bring him back to help the ratings and to add to the show. And bringing him back did that. But I just haven’t gotten the episodes that I wanted, that we talked about. It taught me something very important: get it in writing. In all honesty, from a creative level, you want to do more, but from a work level, you couldn’t ask for a better job. At least I’m able to go do my other stuff and get my career back on line for April, when Deep Space is over...”

Ian Spelling

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