The past comes to haunt both Worf and Data in today’s crossover episode with Deep Space Nine. Originally Airing on February 22,1993, this is Birthright Part I.
Stardate 46578.4 Birthright, Part I
While visiting station Deep Space Nine, Worf is informed that his father may still be alive. Meanwhile Data has a strange encounter with Doctor Noonian Soong.
Story A: Do Androids Dream of Noonian Soong?
After detecting a stranger accessing information in sick bay, Data finds Dr Julian Bashir running diagnostics on a device. Bashir indicates that he needed to use the Enterprise’s systems to properly scan the device and soon Data begins to join him in his research.
Taking the device to engineering, LaForge helps with the repairs and examination of the device. All the while, Bashir finds Data intriguing. He finds Data a fascinating being and keeps asking questions about his functionality. Soon the device is activated and suddenly sends out a plasma shock that knocks Data out.
While unconscious, Data finds himself in a dreamlike state where he encounters a younger version of his father, Doctor Noonian Soong. Data awakes and informs Bashir and LaForge that he had what could only amount to…a dream, something he did not previously believe possible. Data soon asks Worf for advise as Worf has experienced visions in his past. Soon after his discussion, Data talks to Picard about the elements of his visions. Trying to understand the meanings of the vision, he asks Picard for the Captains insights. Picard suggests looking inward and to explore Data’s own culture of one.
After his discussion, Data chooses to continue experimenting with the dreamlike state and he begins to paint elements of his experience. LaForge soon arrives and finds Data has been painting most of the night. Data has painted a variety of paintings that make no sense to him. He asks LaForge to help him recreate the accident so he can experience the dreams again. LaForge reluctantly agrees and, after getting Bashir’s assistance, they perform the experiment again. Data falls into the dream.
While under the dreamstate, Data encounters Doctor Soong again who indicates that Data is indeed experiencing a dream. This is a program that Soong planted in Data’s system that was meant to take him to the next level of ‘humanity’. To be able to dream means that he has surpassed his android state and is now on his way to being more.
Data indicates to Bashir that he intends to keep dreaming.
Story B: Sins of the Father
While visiting Deep Space Nine to assist in rebuilding the Bajoran aqueducts, Worf is approached by a strange man who informs him that Worf’s father, Mogh, is still alive. The alien indicates that Mogh was kidnapped by the Romulans and was taken to a nearby planet when Khitomer was attacked.
Worf soon finds himself distracted by the news and can not concentrate on his duties. He is concerned that, if his father is still alive, that this would disgrace not only himself but also Alexander and any children that his son may have.
After having a discussion with Data about his Data’s dream (see above), Worf realizes that he must find out if his Father is indeed alive, even if it means disgrace. Worf returns to the station and discusses the matter with the Yridian who has the information. After convincing the Yridian to take him to the Romulan Prison Camp, Worf sets out to find out if his Father is indeed still alive with the Yridian in tow.
Worf and the Yridian work their way through the jungle near the Prison Camp. After his companion departs, Worf encounters a young Klingon woman who is bathing in a nearby spring. When he informs her that he is there to rescue her and the others, she appears confused in his statement and indicates that she is, in fact, home. Worf flees when a Romulan appears and asks the young woman not to reveal his presence. Worf infiltrates the compound only to find other Klingons participating in a traditional ritual. As an elder leaves, Worf encounters the elder Klingon and asks about his father. The Klingon indicates that Mogh is indeed dead and that Worf doesn’t understand the situation. The Klingon tells Worf that he remembers him in his youth. The man tells Worf that he should not have come that he can’t leave now. Romulan guards appear and is captured.
To Be Continued…
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
I love crossovers and this is no exception. In real time, DS9 had already been on for a few episodes so, in an effort to establish this new series as part of the greater universe, they naturally had the Enterprise visit Deep Space Nine. Having Bashir interact with the crew-members is fantastic, his witty personality and roguish nature really stands out here making me wish he could have come aboard more often.
The stories themselves, Data’s and Worf’s, are about rediscovering their roots. For Data, this means finding a dormant program that allows him to receive a gift from his creator, Noonian Soong. His new ability to dream has brought him closer to humanity than ever before and he finds it fascinating to explore.
Worf’s tale is one of honor, as it usually is, but also one of Family. Upon hearing the news that his father may have survived Khitomer, Worf is initially upset. How could an honorable Klingon like Mogh allow himself to be captured alive?! Such a thing is a great disgrace! It is not until he talks with Data that he realizes the importance of his father to him and that he must try to save him no matter the cost. Of course, his story doesn’t end in this episode as it is, indeed, to be continued…
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
This is the first appearance of a Deep Space Nine actor on Star Trek TNG and the second crossover counting the DS9 Pilot. It will not be the last.
Long time Star Trek guest start, James Cromwell plays the Yridian. We will see him again in Star Trek First Contact as Zephram Cochrane.
This marks Worf’s first time on Deep Space Nine, somewhat of a foreshadowing of things to come.
We find Data painting again. Honestly, I think he has vastly improved.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Birthright Part II
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