Posted in Rewatch, Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 212: Birthright (1 & 2)

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.16 Birthright (03/07/1993) & 6:17 Birthright Part II (3/14/1993)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3/38

Notable Guest Stars:
Siddig El Fadil/Alexander Siddig (Julian Bashir) – This episode crosses over with DS9 slightly and brings Julian on to show the interconnection of the two shows existing together. At this point in time he was still being credited with his actual name of Siddig El Fadil.

James Cromwell (Jaglom Shrek)- James Cromwell is one of my favorite actors. He’s well known in Star Trek, having appeared several times over the years in various franchise roles. His most reoccuring role is that of Zephram Cochran, which he would play in a few years. He is under heavy make-up for this episode though, but that distinctive voice carries through.

Cristine Rose (Gi’ral) – Cristine Rose is most known for her role on series Heroes, where she played Angela Petrelli. She has also appeared on Friends, NCIS, Chicago Hope, Crossing Jordan, and Gilmore Girls.

Jennifer Gatti (Ba’el)- She is known for her work in soap operas, including Guiding Light and Young and The Restless. She has appeared on several shows as a guest actor, including Voyager, ER and Cheers. In 2019 she appeared on the newer medical drama The Resident.

Richard Herd (L’Kor)- He might sound familiar because he will appear several times on Star Trek Voyager as Admiral Owen Paris – father of Lt. Tom Paris. He also appeared in Seinfeld, Quantum Leap, and JAG among many others. He has been inducted into the National Broadcast Hall of Fame for his radio work. Unfortunately, he died of cancer in 2020.

Alan Scarfe (Tokath) – Alan Scarfe has appeared on TNG before, but he has also appeared on my favorite Scifi series Stargate Atlantis, and another good series called Andromeda. He has won several awards for both film work and stage work.


Review:


This episode is a good showcase of acting for those involved but overall, I wouldn’t call the most memorable episode of the TNG series. The basic premise of the episode is Worf finds out there are rumors that his father lived through Khitomir and is leaving in a Romulan War Camp.

He follows the hints and finds a community of Klingon warriors. Some of which have married and had children with their Romulan captors. Now, from all appearances they were released to go home and choose to stay, but it still seems a bit odd that the Captors are having children with the captives. It has a bit of dubious consent to it. I believe that Tokath tries to impress the fact that everything was consensual and they were all happy.

There is also this weird moment where Worf stumbles upon Ba’el bathing and it just seems a little awkward and again consent issues.

In the first episode we have a B plot where Geordi and Julian Bashir help Data explore a new program he has activated that allows him to dream. In his dreams he interacts with Nonien Soong, his own “father”. I wish they had explored that more in the second episode.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Brannon Braga (Part 1) and Rene Echevarria (Part 2)
  • Directed by Winrich Kolbe (Part 1) and Dan Curry (Part 2)
  • This is Richard Herd’s first appearance on Star Trek.
  • Originally L’Kor was going to be Mogh, but the writers felt it overly complicated matters so they made him into his own character.
  • Computer graphics programing (including Photoshop) was used in the production of this episode.
  • This episode was being filmed at the same time as DS9’s Move Along Home, which will be the next episode we watch. This led to Julian being the DS9 character to crossover rather then Jadzia Dax. Honestly I think it works better since Julian has some clue about neurological systems which might have inspired Data’s systems. Also I feel that Jadzia Dax was almost a bit overused as the Deus ex machina at times.
  • This episode is Worf’s first introduction to DS9. I won’t spoil those of you who are watching TNG for the first time, but this will be important later in his character arc.

Pros

  • Exploration of Klingon history/culture.
  • Interaction between the two shows is a way to show that the universe is one continuous story and not two separate things. They affect each other
  • Julian Screen time. (Yes, I am biased). Although his interest in Data could be added to the “Julian is advanced” plot line I’m trying to feel out in the early seasons. Maybe he sees Data as a kindred spirit.
  • Brent Spiner got to play two roles, and I’m sure he was happy not to have to wear the Data make-up the whole time for a change.
  • This is the only episode directed by Dan Curry who was the visual effects supervisor and second unit director.

Cons:

While I’m a little sus of any imprisoned people having children with their captors due to dubious consent issues, overall these two episodes don’t have much for me to call out. That being said, Consent is a big issue and it being iffy is not something I like to see in my scifi.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

Author:

A thirty-something Graphic Designer and writer who likes to blog about books, movies and History.

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