When the Enterprise explores a derelict Talarian freighter, they are surprised to discover that the three survivors aboard are in fact Klingon warriors. The warriors claim that they fought off an attacking Ferengi vessel, but something about their story doesn’t quite add up. And when they take Worf under their wing and remind him of his warrior blood, he finds his loyalties torn between his fellow kinsmen and his duties as a Starfleet officer.
This is our first proper look at the Klingon culture of the 24th century, and also a welcome vehicle to learn a bit more about Worf. Worf is the fish out of water on the Enterprise bridge – the only Klingon in Starfleet, he lost his biological family at an early age and was raised by humans. Just like Spock in TOS, he doesn’t quite fit into either world.
And even the Klingons themselves are having trouble fitting in – gone are the days when they could do whatever they liked, as they are pulled into a more peaceful and diplomatic era. Some, like the rescued Klingons from the freighter, cannot bear to give up the old ways, whilst Worf represents the other extreme – a warrior who takes pride in overcoming his baser lusts. All in all, if you like Klingons, you’ll enjoy this episode. If you find them a bit tedious, then, yeah, not so much.
Klingon culture in the 24th century
- I’ve said it before, but once again Worf’s timeline indicates that he matured at the same rate as a human – he was still a child when his family was killed, underwent adolescence with his new family, and joined Starfleet Academy at the same time as his adoptive brother. Perhaps it was living on a starship that caused Alexander’s rapid maturation – even though we ignore the effects of relativity on ageing (or not-ageing), who knows what warp drive and subspace is doing to those kids?
- Worf mentions the Age of Inclusion, a Klingon ritual we will later learn more about, albeit renamed the Age of Ascension.
- Worf grew up on a farming colony.
- The Klingon death ritual involves opening the eyes of a dead comrade and howling, as a warning to the afterlife that a Klingon warrior is on their way.
- The Klingon homeworld is referred to in this episode as Kling. This sounded so ridiculous that it was later changed to the canon name of Qo’Nos (Kronos).
- In this episode, and all of TNG and DS9, Klingons bleed red. Of course, in Star Trek VI, they bleed pink – the latter film having been made after this episode.
Other bits and pieces
- At the start of the episode, the bridge viewscreen s hooked up to Geordi’s VISOR so we can see what he sees. It’s a bit of a visual jumble, but Geordi explains that he is used to navigating the information overload and only picking out what he wants to see.
- For some reason, androids such as Data have a glowing halo when seen through the VISOR.
- Poor Yar gets hardly anything to do yet again, except for ordering around a team of yellow-shirted security officers (24th century redshirts!).
- Once again, security is so poor that the Klingons are able to escape and enter operational areas of the ship, as well as interact with civilians and their children. Let’s get some proper access controls on this ship! And no, I will never stop going on about this.
Summary – Heart of Glory: A decent introduction to 24th century Klingons, even if all their set phrases about honour and whatnot swiftly become tiresome.