Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 7 Episode 13


Aired Unknown Jan 17, 1994 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
173 votes

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Episode Summary


Stardate: 47423.9

Worf's foster brother violates the Prime Directive to save an alien society whose planet is dying.

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Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Great stuff... if you're into boring. (Okay, it's not really that bad)

    Paul Sorvino and Michael Dorn work well together as foster brothers in this throwback episode that, much like "Pen Pals" and "Who Watches the Watchers" from earlier seasons, builds its drama out of the noninterference principal of the Prime Directive.

    The story uses a clever plot device (which, in fact, is reused in TNG's third feature film, Insurrection) and marries it with the recycled idea of a malfunctioning holodeck... with mixed results. The languid pacing does the episode no favor, nor does its use of the Prime Directive, which comes across here as cold-hearted and abstractly enforced. The end result is an uneventful road trip with a tone poem tucked inside. (Or you can call it a battle of wills between bickering brothers if you want to be less poetic and more alliterative.)moreless
  • I always hated this episode.

    Actually this episode somewhat pissed me off more then anything else. The very concept that its better to let a culture, nah a species die out then save it, and risk cultural contamination, was the most asinine of ideas. Picard and the entire series always struck me as the world is not black and white. Nor are the concept and ideas being presented in the show and the world. And yet here we are with something that is shockingly black and white: Prime Directive overrules survival of a species due to a natural disaster.

    Not a good example of an enlightened culture.moreless
  • TNG begins a long limp to the finish line.

    The Star Trek business was pretty busy at this time, finishing up TNG's final season while simultaneously juggling its first feature film, DS9's second season and the to-be-Voyager. Unfortunately this had an extremely detrimental effect on TNG, which despite being halfway through the season had only about 2 great episodes left in it.

    "Homeward" is not bad or painful to watch. It's just dull. I actually think this is one of the better Worf roles from the last 3 season, simply because the overdone Klingon theme gets a rest. (Not to mention no Alexander!)

    That said, the whole story is rather dull and banal. Another Prime Directive violation, big whoop, and the "victims" are a rather dull alien race.

    You won't miss much if you skip this one.moreless
  • A great example why the Prime Directive needs some corollaries and exceptions. Better to let a race die than to interfere? What is this, Animal Planet?

    Clearly the Prime Directive needs to be looked at hard if this is the result. Let people die rather than interfere and save them from certain death? Stupid, stupid, stupid. And how sad that Picard could have looked like the humanitarian and violated the prime directive to help people, rather than follow some dumb rule. Isn't the whol epoint of these directives to protect the sanctity of life? So you let them die? And you even sacrifice yourself and your ship to prevent interference? Idiotic! I'd want out of any such organization that had such scary, inflexible rules. Don't let your dogma run over your karma, Picard! Worf's brother is the only hero in this one. Ugh, so far Season 7 is weak. Sad notes to go out on. If I were in the Federation at this time, I'd want to secede.moreless
  • The “Enterprise” responds to a distress call from Boraal II. Worf’s brother Nikolai ask for help on saving Boaraal II. In order not to violate the prime directive. Picard allows worf to beam down to the surface disguises as a Boraalan.moreless

    The “Enterprise” responds to a distress call from Boraal II. Worf’s brother Nikolai ask for help on saving Boaraal II. In order not to violate the prime directive. Picard allows worf to beam down to the surface disguises as a Boraalan. There is nothing that Worf can do to help , so Nikolai and Worf beam aboard the “Enterprise”. Boaraal II atmosphere is rapidly losing the ability to sustain life. A power drain occurs on the ship. Worf investigates and finds his brother has beamed the settlers to the holodeck. Now how is Picard going to react to this?moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • When Worf beams down to the planet in disguise, his mustache is modified to normal length (without the curly tips). When he beams back up and goes back to his normal appearance, his mustache is its normal, longer length. So...did it regrow, or does he use mustache extenders, or what?

    • Even though the chronicle scrolls are described as "the life of our village," Worf casually asks for and receives one of the remaining few at the end of the episode.

    • When Nikolai and Worf discuss what to do about the missing chronicler, they are in clear earshot of the villagers, and they are talking fairly loudly, but no one notices.

    • When Worf and Nikolai are talking in the turbolift, their destination is the bridge, which is on deck 1. Wherever they were before, it could only be under deck 1. So in order to get to the bridge the turbolift has to move up (or maybe sidewards for a while), however, the lights in the back indicate a down movement.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Worf: It is an omen.
      Villager: What does it mean?
      Worf: It's the sign of La Forge. It is a message to travellers. It is said, when these lines appear and disappear in a pool a water the road ahead will be filled with good fortune.

  • NOTES (2)