- The Washington Times - Friday, August 11, 2006

Note: This is part two of a three part series. Part one can be read here.

Star Trek lives, at least at the Zadzooks blog. Here’s part two of the interview with the actor who played the legendary Klingon, Worf, Michael Dorn, By the way, if you want to see the man in action, grab Paramount Home Video latest DVD set “Star Trek Fan Collective - Klingon” ($38.99) where seven of the eleven episodes feature Mr. Dorn.

Q. Did you watch the original series with William Shatner?

A. We watched the original series. In college we had a drinking game, who ever could tell what the show was about the quickest, got a shot of tequila. However, when we first saw it we were just kids, and then it became a cult classic.

Q. Do you have a favorite Captain?

A. Patrick Stewart, Captain Picard of course. He is a wonderful actor, and he brought something special to that character. One day I was watching the original and our show, and Captain Kirk was a bloody cowboy, punching, and leveling planets, and threatening to kill everyone. To see the difference between Kirk and Picard … Picard was thoughtful. He would say, “We are not going to do that, we are going to do this” and that option was always the more intelligent, thoughtful choice.

And this was Gene’s (Roddenberry) idea, what we needed to grow, not what is expected, it has to grow to reflect our society.

The one thing Gene did that I thought was the smartest thing, was when I got the role, I was told nothing about it, it was just a name on paper. I do not mind creating a character so I talked to Gene and asked what do you want and he responded by saying “look forget what you have read, seen in the past and make the character your own,” and I said well ok.

And it was a smart thing to do. As an actor you own the character and it is part of your creation and you are going to be a lot more protective, to create something meaningful, and luckily for all of us on Next Generation, we were all able to create our characters which worked well because we are thinking actors.

Q. Captain Picard did have an strong connection to Worf. Why was that?

A. Worf grows into a compassionate individual, an individual that is learning like a baby almost. But because of who and what he is he has lots of honest answers. Everyone wants to be like Worf. It is the honesty.

His attraction is that he is a big honest guy not afraid to listen and you can’t have anyone better in your corner, he will protect you. Everybody likes that. Everybody wants a hero, and Worf, without trying is hero material.

Q. It is often reported that your favorite episode is the “Drumhead.” Is that accurate and why?

A. It is courtroom drama, at its best, and I like courtroom drama. I love things that make you think, that catches the characters off guard, and The Drumhead [Dir. Johnathan Frakes] caught everyone off guard.

Jean Simmons [Admiral Satie] comes in as this Starfleet legend and everyone is impressed and in awe. Then as the show progresses she becomes this whacko and the ending of that show is one of the most compelling endings that has every happened.

I adore it because I am talking to Captain Picard, and Worf is trying to understand what just happened, how did something he initiated become so wrong, and Picard explains, in a manner that is very compassionate, that you have to be careful of people you admire, and that the price of liberty is vigilance and it is the price we must continue to pay.

Johnathan Frakes directed it, and it was done with incredible drama, camera work, and it was brilliant filmmaking.

Next: The Enterprise Crew and missed opportunities.

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