Posted in Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 223: Rightful Heir

Series: TNG
Episode: Rightful Heir (Aired 5/17/93)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Rating:0/20/54

Notable Guest Stars:
Alan Oppenheimer (Koroth) – Oppenheimer is a character and voice actor who will go on to appear on several episodes of Star Trek.
Robert O’Reilly (Goron) – Gowron remains one of my favorite reoccurring characters on TNG. He is no longer actively acting.
Norman Snow (Torin) – Snow has appeared in several sci-fi series, including Quantum Leap. He’s also a Julliard graduate.
Charles Esten (Divok)– One of his more recent roles was in 2012 as Deacon Claybourne on the tv series Nashville. He has also appeared on Voyager, ER, The Mentalist and NCIS: LA.
Kevin Conway (Kahless)- Conway had a mix-media career, with credits on film, Television and Broadway. One of his bigger credits is as the Control Voice on The Outer LImits (1995), Roscoe Martin on JAG, and Jonas Stern in The Good Wife.


This episode is a good episode for anyone who likes to see the background of different cultures develop. To see what makes different cultures different, instead of the mono-culture that Scifi unfortunately seems to provide on the regular. This episode focuses on the spirituality of the Klingons.

Klingons overall are mostly shown to this point to be militant. Their culture is built around a warror code. Almost every character we have met has fit the role of warror. A few exceptions arise, such as the Doctor in Suspicions. In this particular episode we turn towards their religious side. Worf, unsure of his faith anymore after his expierances in the episode “Birthright,” is sent by Picard to figure himself out. He travels to a Klingon Monstary, situated in the local area where Kahless, the Spiritual leader, is meant to return. Kahless, like most klingons, is a warror, but also carries their moral code. Their mythos is the tale of his life.

While Worf is at the monstary, Kahless returns – raising a few concerns in Worf who doesn’t belief it is really Kahless. Still, he helps Kahless get back to the Klingon Homeword. His concerns are well fonded, because this Kahless turns out to be a clone used from ancient blood remains on Kahless sword.

After being facinated by the finding of Richard III, I knew from Tori King that its not that easy to find ancient DNA, let alone make it strong enough for cloning. So I suppose these Klingons are very good at what they do.

I suppose this episode poses 2 questions: 1 -How much truth of the innerworkings of government are people intitlted to have? 2 – Is it ethical to create a clone, use the memories/stories of the dead person who donated with dubious consent (if we want to be generous), and not let them know the truth of their origins?

What are your thoughts?

Important Notes:

  • Directed by Winrich Kolbe
  • Written by James E. Brooks (Story) and Ronald D. Moore (Teleplay)
  • Kahless was first mentioned in the TOS episode The Savage Curtain. Since the Klingons were developed more in the film era and even more deeply in TNG, there are a few differences between the character in that episode. Some consider all the characters in that episode to come from the minds of the crew, therefore not necessarily accurate portrayals. Also some of the development of Kahless was reused from The Birthright‘s cut scenes.


  • Klingon Culture Development
  • Worf character Development
  • Gowron is still being a Badass on behalf of the good guys so He’s still a good element of the episode.


  • There are some ethical issues with making a clone and not telling the clone that he isn’t remembering things, they just messed with his head to have the other dude’s memories. Although how they did that I’m not sure.
  • Not sure how ethical or plausible it is to take Kahless’ blood for donation.


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

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