In part one of TrekMovie’s new exclusive interview with Michael Dorn, we talked about his new movie Agent Revelation along with his time playing Worf from Star Trek: The Next Generation through to Deep Space Nine and the TNG movies. In this second part, we talk about Worf’s possible future, which included his concept for a Klingon-oriented “Captain Worf” show and what it would take for him to revive the character on Star Trek: Picard or Lower Decks.
Years ago you and I spoke – and this was before CBS All Access even existed – about your idea for a Captain Worf show. In the last five years or so, have you talked to the CBS All Access people about this project?
Yeah, I actually did. And, interestingly enough, it seems to rise and fall. There’s interest and then there’s not. Then there’s interest and then there’s not. And I guess it was two years ago I thought they would take it a little further. But that did not happen. So I don’t know if the whole idea is dead – not in my mind. [laughs] I believe that they are missing a great opportunity to insert something into Star Trek that’s always been part of the Star Trek lexicon, which is the Klingons.
Could you give us your latest elevator pitch?
Basically, the script I wrote was: Instead of looking at the Klingon Empire from Starfleet, we look at Starfleet from the Klingon Empire. And it has been going on for decades, the Klingon Empire just can’t go on. It’s the Russians, basically. And they decide that they have to either die with a sword in their hands and go extinct, or change with the times and become something different. And Worf is the guy that says, “We have to change with the times, that is the mark of a warrior.”
And so two things happen. They start letting other races into the Klingon world. And the only way they can do that is by letting in Starfleet officers. That’s sort of the way it’s done. ‘We’ll let in other people, but first Starfleet offers because we understand Starfleet. They’re soldiers, we’re soldiers.’ The second thing they have to do is their resources are limited and dwindling, because the Klingon universe is just like the Federation. They have planets and worlds and societies that they own, but they do it in a brutal way. And so they have to go out to every one of these worlds and either give them their freedom, or try to work with them, which is something that’s anathema to Klingons.
And since Worf opened his big mouth and said, “This is what we have to do,” then they say, “Okay, then you’re the guy that has to go out to all these worlds.” And every world is different. Some worlds are rebelling. Some worlds want to be part of the Klingon Empire. Some worlds want to be independent. And so every episode is that.
So Worf is no longer part of Starfleet, but a member of the Klingon Defense Force?
Exactly. This is the Klingon Empire. He’s a captain aboard a ship.
The IKS Something.
Yeah, I forgot what it is. It’s the Vortas or something. [laughs]
It probably has a random apostrophe in there.
[laughs] Exactly! The thing is, Worf is a character that has no fear. We have seen that over the years. I think Star Trek has always liked that about the Klingons. What I wrote, it’s claustrophobic. It’s Shakespearean in its scope. There’s assassinations and coups and behind-the-scenes politics going on. It’s such a great fit and it doesn’t feel like anything else that’s on All Access. It’s funny because it’s like they are looking for something and they’ve totally ignored this easy path. But we’ll see what happens. I don’t know if it’s dead or not. I have the script ready. [laughs] It’s on my computer and ready to be emailed to anybody that’s interested. But we’ll see. They have their own take on these things, and we’ll leave it at that.
Worf was name-checked in the first season of Star Trek: Picard. We recently spoke to Gates [McFadden], who said she is talking to them. LeVar [Burton] has said the same. So, have you had any discussions? Are you interested in doing what Jonathan [Frakes] and Marina [Sirtis] have already done?
Well, let me put it this way. I have not been contacted about that. But I don’t like to say yes or no. It really depends on quite a few things. It depends on the role. It depends on how they want to present it. The one thing you have to realize is that I have to get into makeup. You are talking about three hours. For me to do that, it really has to be kind of worth it, you know what I mean? I don’t want to get in makeup and just stand around and scowl at people.
Well, an easier way – which fits into a lot of the work you are already doing – which would be do add your voice to the new animated show, Lower Decks. They also brought in Marina and Jonathan, and you could do that one in your sweatpants.
They haven’t they have not contacted me at all. Not a peep. So I just assumed that it’s not gonna happen.
I think you may get a call from the Lower Decks showrunner Mike McMahan. I know he is a big fan of yours.
And animated would be an easier yes for you because of the makeup?
So, I don’t want to take up your whole day, but always an honor to talk to the man who has been in more Star Trek than anyone else.
You would think that would mean something too, wouldn’t you? [laughs] It’s hilarious.
And since the days of doing 26 episodes each season are over, you will probably hold that record forever.
[laughs] I chuckle because sometimes I think that they are going, ‘You know, we need something on this CBS All Access.’ ‘We need somebody that’s done more Star Trek than anybody. God, who do you think?’ ‘What about Michael Dorn?’ ‘No, he’s not right.’ [laughs] I think that’s the conversation. At least I laugh about it.
See Michael Dorn in Agent Revelation – available now
Agent Revelation tells the story of Jim Yung, a rejected CIA analyst who has been exposed to an ancient ‘dust’ that transforms him into a super soldier that can communicate with aliens. When a secret organization works with him to discover why aliens have returned to Earth, the truth comes at a price. Dorn plays Alistair, a mysterious tech billionaire who works with Yung to unravel the alien mystery. Agent Revelation will be released on video on demand on Friday, January 22nd.
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