Exclusive: Michael Dorn Talks ‘Capt Worf’ Star Trek Series Casting Details, Go-ahead Timeframe & more


Remember the talk a couple years ago of a new Captain Worf Star Trek TV series from Michael Dorn? Well he has now given us an exclusive update on the show including casting ideas and a timeline on when he could have the go-ahead to move forward.

Michael Dorn Gives "Capt Worf" TV Series Pitch Update

No actor has more Star Trek screen time than Michael Dorn, appearing in seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, four season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, four TNG feature films and even one of the TOS feature films. But it is his hope that there will be even more Worf in our future. Back in May 2012 TrekMovie first broke the news that Michael Dorn was writing a pilot for what he hoped to become a new Star Trek TV series centering on Captain Worf, played by himself. That spawned a lot of news coverage in the media, but there were no reports of the show getting any traction with CBS. As of last October Dorn was saying that he was ready to "send it out" and gauge interest, noting it was "never dead." And in August of this year Dorn said that the idea had been proposed, but nothing was happening, yet. Over the weekend at Destination Star Trek 3, Mr. Dorn talked to TrekMovie again to give us an update on the project.

Michael Dorn captaining the USS Defiant in "Star Trek: First Contact" – actor is pitching new TV series with himself in the captain’s chair

TrekMovie: Regarding the proposed ‘Captain Worf’ TV series, is there any update on that? Has there been any progress?

Michael Dorn: We have a script. We have idea. We have all the framework. But we are waiting for Paramount to say yes or no. Not in terms of doing it, but in terms of having to shoot something. Because if they say "no, you can’t do it" there is no need to keep going…So we are asking them, can we do this? Can we make money? Can we sell it as a pilot? And if they say "no, forget it," then it’s over.

TrekMovie: In terms of cast, any ideas who you would like in it?

Michael Dorn: There are a couple of ideas but they are all just talk right now. We don’t want to do too much casting right now. We want to bring some of the Next Generation people back. Definitely Marina [Sirtis], LeVar [Burton]. We have an idea for Patrick [Stewart] in the pilot episode. But it kind of depends. Because the thing is that the show can stand on its own without trying to bring everybody back and so I only want to do it if it means something to the story. For the new characters we are going to go with people that are kind of known in the science fiction world. Not for Star Trek, but kind of known.

Dorn hopes to bring TNG co-stars Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton and Marina Sirtis into the series (photo cropped from LeVar Burton’s TNG reunion selfie)

TrekMovie: You mean for a crossover kind of thing?

Michael Dorn: No, not in a crossover thing, just actors who are known. A lot of a lot of really good actors. There are some favorites I want to use. I definitely want to use Armin Shimerman. Probably not as Quark, but as someone else, maybe.

TrekMovie: Is that it?

Michael Dorn: That is kind of where it is right now. Basically, if you have enough money and enough wherewithal you can film whatever you want to film. But you can’t make money. If you sell it, or try to make money, Paramount will be very angry. But if you just do it for yourself, who cares? So we are basically asking them, can we do this? Can we make money? Can we sell it as a pilot? If they say "no," then forget it, it’s over.

TrekMovie: Do you have a timeframe?

Michael Dorn: Two weeks, where we’ll know…we’ll know.

Michael Dorn at Destination Star Trek 3 – says he will know if his new Worf TV series is a go within two weeks (Photo: Daniel Lewis)


POLL: Want Your Worf TV?

Are you ready for Worf TV or would you prefer something else? Vote in the new poll and sound off in the comments below.

[poll id=”740″]



More DST 3 Interviews to come

We have more interviews to come. If you missed it, check out our interview with Bruce Greenwood.

…and our other coverage from DST 3

Top photo by Idil Sukan, taken at DST 3.

Ronan O’Flaherty is an Irish based, life-long Star Trek fan, software engineer and radio presenter. His site is currently under revamp at www.ronanoflaherty.ie.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Of course, I would love to see it happen. I would love to see him take a show in a new direction, however.
We’ve talked in other threads about interlacing season-long arcs and doing a modern form of story-telling. That would be excellent, whether it’s web-based or **gasp!!** someday on TV.

In any case, let me be the first to wish you Q’Plah!

Would be interesting. A fan of the original show with more on-screen time than any actor – sounds like a good start. Let’s hope it works out.


PLEASE approve the sale of “Captain Worf” TV pilot!! PLEASE!!! =D

nu-trek sucks… =(

Final warning to Herbert for trolling/thread derailing attempt

Make it so…

I would watch this show if he had a hot Orion babe as his first officer.

Boy, talk about some great photography coming out of DST3, really loving these actor portraits.

I would love to see something like this.

Perhaps direct-to-dvd?

I’ve long thought that Paramount/CBS is missing a golden opportunity in the home entertainment market.

Image if they produced a line of direct-to-dvd films that served as a sort of anthology series, stories that could feature any character or group of characters from any series, timeline, or universe.

They could make a Worf movie, or a Q movie, a Klingon movie, or a movie that centered around Archer, or Dr. Soong, Riker, Kira, Seven.. the possibilities are endless!

There are plenty from the old Trek actor pool that would jump at the chance to do something like this, I’m sure of it. Just look at the turnout for the fan films!

I for one would be lining up outside of Best Buy on release day, and I bet there’s more like me out there that would do the same.

If only…

So glad to see that Matt Wright here at Trekmovie was wrong when he said that the Captain Worf idea was just something Dorn said to mess with the fans.

Let them produce a direct-to-DVD movie and see whether it works or not.

Why does Paramount have to approve this? Doesn’t CBS hold the TV rights to Star Trek?

Worf as a ship captain? I don’t know. He is kind of a micro-brain.

@11. It has to do with not wanting to dilute the market like they did in the post TNG period and CBS not wanting to interfere with the film franchise, also consider this, perhaps CBS has already given a go-ahead and he is waiting on Paramount to be sure they don’t think it will conflict with the films. There were indications a few weeks ago that CBS is interested in putting a new Trek series on Showtime, I could totally see this being the series.

Thumbs up!

And the beauty of the *beast* is: it wouldn’t be just a Worf series, it’d be a Star Trek series!

Apparently no one has ever explained to Mr. Dorn that ‘we’ll get back to you’, loosely translated, means ‘hell no’…

I would be in complete support of this idea.
I’d want to see the veteran cast members act as leaders and mentors.
I do think it should take place in the prime timeline. Nu Trek is fun and entertaining but at it’s core lacks the rich history.

They’d also have to stray from the trek formula that was transposed onto each series. I’d like to see an episode where time travel wasn’t wrapped up neatly at the end of the episode, or great characters/storylines that are never mentioned after the episode they occurred in. I’m not saying i want constant story arcs, but maybe a few nods to prior episodes here and there.

overall yes please bring back trek on television. popcorn flicks are fun but i miss long standing character development, and having a new adventure each week

Let’s have 2 new tv series, TNG Reboot and/or Captain Worf AND A series of TOS Reboot Films, make EVERYONE happy and the CASTS rich as hell! :D

– Markus McLaughlin

*Face Palm*

Absolutely NOT interested in this. But if there’s a market for it, good for everyone.

Hm, if Axanar and OGAM and Phase II and Continues and Renegades are no problem, this should work just fine as well, right?

This has the potential to be EPIC.

Can’t let the cash cow dry up.

I prefer to see a fresh crew maybe the USS Kelvin or a ship commanded by Pike played by Bruce Greenwood in the prime universe before Kirk.

I also think a Klingon series would work centered around the life of unknown Klingon working his way up.

Great idea…I hope they’ll approve… CBS / Paramount HAVE TO ACT, and quickly… before Star Wars and 10+ comic shows get all the attention Trek could get…

The idea of it just being about a captain and ship is limiting. Really, this should follow all the popular trends and become more conniving and political, with ongoing narratives about the rivalries, honour and deceit amongst the Klingon imperial houses. Just make it more Game of Thrones and less Caprica.

I could see Worf returning to cobble together a warfleet under the banner of Mogh and at the same time, it would be neat to explore civilian life in the Empire as the Houses also have to control and defend production bases, agricultural colonies, merchant fleets.

I would rather a Captain Sulu tv series set in the new timeline, but I see that I am in the minority on these talkbacks.

I just think that a Captain Worf series would not work. The TNG characters have been out of the public eye since 2002’s Nemesis, and that movie was the least attended Trek movie of all time. I just don’t see this working. It looks like CBS thinks the same as I do.

Maybe it’s time Paramount adopted the Disney / Lucasfilm / Marvel / WB models and start cranking out various films and TV series and standalone character films.

What’s good for the goose….

I’d watch it if it was on but I would prefer a Star Trek series in the alt-universe with Kirk, Spock, McCoy, etc. No bloody Alt-TNG, Alt-DS9, Alt-V’ger or Alt-Enterprise. Get a fresh set of actors for the TV series and do an intra-company purchase of the movie sets and CGI master files. Put it on Showtime and make it cutting edge. I want Orci to be the showrunner.

Make it so, Bobby O! Sneaky Shark!

I doubt this will sell as a pilot, but when the pilot leaks to the Internet I will be a very happy person. So I hope Paramount at least gives them a chance to try it.

If they don’t: more proof we need copyright reform. Paramount shouldn’t be able to tell people, 50 years after Star Trek came out, that they’re not allowed to make completely independent stories in the Star Trek universe using exactly none of Paramount’s resources. That’s what the public domain is for, and it’s high time we started using it.

Call your Congressman! The next major copyright bill is in 2019!

The problem is interest. Is anyone really clamoring for more Worf?

I’d be open to watching it, but I can’t see this working.

Plus, CBS is never going to go for it, at least I don’t think it will.

Years ago, Babylon 5 turned out a few vignettes. They were of mixed quality, but the idea is sound: focus on one or a few of the main characters. Obviously, it was not possible to rebuild the sets — not to mention recasting some of the roles formerly held by Andreas Katsulas, Jeff Conaway, and Richard Biggs. But, the project did manage to give us some pretty cool sfx… and a few more moments with characters we knew and liked. If the story is right, we could accept Worf being away from the bridge of the Ent-D or Ops of DS9. “Thine Own Self” was a Data-apart ep, and even Worf got away in Birthright Part II. Something along those lines could work for a stand-alone web-based movie.
As for a series… it’s gonna take a lot more development than Dorn seems to be offering here. I’m open to it, but you’re talking YEARS of prep.

i want the worf show

I like the idea of a Direct to DVD movie series….

It goes along with this article I read the other day, which is exactly how I’d like to see Trek….


27. Long Haired Sybok

Read the article I posted on #33. It’s what you suggested

#7. Yeah, I enjoyed the teaser picture on the main page; the blue tint reminded me of the photos from my old Funk & Wagnall’s Encyclopaedia–you know, the set you could by volume-by-volume at the grocery store.

#21. The difference is that no one is making money off of fan films–at least not directly. If they did, Paramount would shut them down. As of now, they operate like free advertising, keeping interest and goodwill alive for their properties. Also, since most of these series’ concepts take place in the prime (non-profitable) universe, Paramount has been tolerant.

#29. Paramount owns the intellectual property associated with Trek and they have a right to profit from it. Paramount is a business whose main purpose is to generate revenue for its shareholders; anything that gets in the way of that revenue is contrary to the purpose for which it exists. To paraphrase Kirk, its profits would “cease to exist.” People who work hard to create ideas for which others are willing to pay money for their use have a right to benefit from those ideas.

#35: that should read “buy by the volume.” Man, I wish there were an edit function.

I just didn’t want to get called on that.

34. Bart

That’s what I’m talking about. Paramount/CBS would be crazy not to do this.
There are so many options available within this type of strategy.

@33. Great article. Hopefully someone at Paramount and CBS reads it….

It also echoes a sentiment shared by many here. Stop treating Trek like the red-headed son no one want s to fess up to…

I don’t know if anyone else has linked to it, but io9 did an article about how and why Paramount should develop Star Trek as its answer to Disney and Marvel:

ughhh…and I just ate too, now my stomach is rumbling.

Enterprise and Nemesis sealed the fate, and the coffin, of Bermanized Trek, years ago. This would only serve to finalize it’s demise further and seal it in cement! That ship has not only sailed, it sunk!

At least someone did post it; I tried to, and inadvertently hit the ” say it!” button.

Please remember that Paramount had an agreement that no new Star Trek TV shows were to be made whilst JJ’s nu Trek movies were in production.

Therefore, I can’t see this happening for at least a couple of years, if at all.

PS. Destination Star Trek 3 was awesome, so much better than the previous one.

I sure hope he is saying “Paramount” out of old habits as I am fairly certain he only needs the ok from CBS. If Dorn is actually looking for a nod from Paramount, he could be wasting his time barking up the wrong tree as he needs a license from CBS to do this Trek series business.

39. Thomas

I linked to it in #33.


All this Worf business aside, I’d be legitimately surprised if a new series didn’t come through Bad Robot/Orci. Hollywood likes to go with what it knows works, and love them or hate them, the last two movies were successful. I wouldn’t be surprised if CBS tried to duplicate that success on televison somewhere.

I want to see Star Trek:Civilizations. Several independent shows each centering on a different species; Klingon, Vulcan, Romulan, etc.

#45 Thomas

Sulu could finally get his own ship…but in the JJ-verse.

He’s a television actor. Still pops up on Sleepy Hollow.

Make him the lead.

If Dorn can actually get this thing off the ground, nobody can argue that he hasn’t earned it. He’s certainly put a lot of sweat equity into it.

I read an artical the other day sayig Star Trek could become like the Marvel Universe and spawn different shows over different media platforms. It seems to be the thing now. Marvel, DC, Star Wars and even Universal Monsters. Star Trek has a huge universe to explore

A Capt. Worf show should be the beginning of a Star Trek mega-franchise, not unlike Marvel’s or what Lucasfilm is planning with Star Wars. Paramount would be foolish to pass on this – it’s a great idea.

@45. Well, not only the movies, but BR has done plenty of successful TV as well. I’d agree they’d have the inside track, unless someone made one hellava push to wrestle a project away.