The Surprising Reason Why Star Trek Icon Hated His Most Important Episode

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Why the heck would Worf actor Michael Dorn hate “Heart of Glory”? While the Star Trek: The Next Generation character Worf would eventually go on to have more screen time than anyone in the franchise, he started out as a very basic character.

In the early days of TNG season one, he mostly played second fiddle to Security Chief Tasha Yar, and his character didn’t really get to shine until she died.

Near the end of that first season, Worf’s most important episode was meant to be “Heart of Glory,” but Worf actor Michael Dorn hated the ep because it was just a Klingon info dump that didn’t show off his character’s complexity.

Worf In Heart Of Glory

worf heart of glory

Before we dive deep into the Worf actor’s complaint, we need to quickly review what “Heart of Glory” is all about.

In this episode, Captain Picard and the Enterprise crew take on some Klingons that they eventually discover are fugitives from the Empire.

Worf is caught in the middle trying to reconcile his Klingon heritage with his Starfleet duties (something that would become an ongoing theme in the show), and the episode as a whole helps us learn plenty about both his character and Star Trek’s most famous aliens.

Michael Dorn Hated It

worf heart of glory

With that being said, why did Worf actor Michael Dorn hate “Heart of Glory” so much? According to the actor, “it was an informational show” focused on “explaining where [Worf] came from, why he was there, and whether he was loyal.”

The actor bitterly noted “that was it” and that the episode didn’t help audiences “see the complexity of Worf.”

All About The Klingons

worf heart of glory

In retrospect, he is correct about this: Worf is ostensibly the main focus of “Heart of Glory,” and the episode is certainly a treasure trove of trivia about his character and about the Klingons.

In that sense, it was a success for early fans who wanted to learn more about the first onscreen Klingon officer in Starfleet.

However, Worf’s most important episode didn’t let the character really tap into any inner struggles or reveal any new details about him the same way that, say, “The Measure of a Man” would for Data in the very next season.

Dorn’s Acting Choices

The Worf actor’s critical thoughts about “Heart of Glory” also reveal something important about Dorn’s acting choices when it came to Star Trek.

In addition to becoming a main star on Deep Space Nine and still appearing in all of the TNG movies, Dorn spent years campaigning for Paramount to create a solo show focused on his adventures as Captain Worf.

Because of that, cynical Star Trek fans liked to joke that the actor was mostly focused on securing ongoing paychecks from the franchise that made him famous.

Adding Depth And Complexity

worf heart of glory

However, his thoughts on Worf and “Heart of Glory” show that as early as the first season of The Next Generation, the actor wanted to add as much depth and complexity to his character as possible.

Furthermore, his appearances in the spinoffs Deep Space Nine and Picard show that Dorn has never given anything less than 110% to his performance.

If getting a Star Trek: Legacy show just isn’t in the cards, then we’re just going to come out and say it: we are well past time for Michael Dorn to have his own solo Worf show.

More Worf On The Way

star trek worf

At its worst, such a series would likely be more captivating than the upcoming Starfleet Academy show and Section 31 movie.

Plus, bringing back this fan-favorite character in such a big way might help struggling studio Paramount gain more streaming subscribers.

With a Worf show in place, more and more audiences might do their best imitation of Dorn’s bellowing baritone and declare that “today is a good day to binge.”

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