A Look Back: Star Trek: The Next Generation – “Sins of the Father”


It was 29 years ago today that “Sins of the Father” first aired, placing Worf and the Klingons firmly in the Next Generation spotlight.

Way back when Star Trek: The Next Generation was first announced and the crew was revealed, the fact one of them was going to be a Klingon was met with a healthy dose of skepticism. The alien race had been completely redesigned from their Original Series origins into more of a violent warrior race as seen in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Sure, it was almost 100 years later, but how exactly would this work out?

Turns out, it worked out incredibly well.

Michael Dorn, who was cast as Lieutenant Worf, was perfect for the role. He brought just the right mixture of humor and stoicism to Work to make him relatable and, more importantly, likable. The character proved so popular that once The Next Generation ended, the character showed up on Deep Space Nine as a regular until that show came to a conclusion.

The popularity of Worf and the Klingon race as a whole in The Next Generation Era can be traced back to third season when “Sins of the Father” first aired 29 years ago today.

In “Sins of the Father” we watch as Worf has to return to the Klingon home world to deal with accusations that his father Mogh was a traitor. It’s an intense hour that introduces a brother Worf never knew he had and one that ends with a resolution no one really saw coming.

Due to political infighting on the Klingon High Council and to keep a civil war from breaking out, Worf must accept discommendation, which is effectively the same as admitting guilt. This despite the fact he and Captain Picard have uncovered proof that his father was innocent.

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As episodes go, it was one of the high points of that third season and over the years has been come to be regarded as one of the best of the entire series. But more importantly, it set in motion events that would play a part in the narrative of The Next Generation for years to come.

The plot elements first introduced in “Sins of the Father” would go on to play a key part in episodes such as “Reunion” which introduced Worf’s son and sees him get his revenge on Duras and the two-part “Redemption.”

In “Redemption” the long-simmering Klingon civil war finally breaks out, with some help from the Romulans. Worf, who has had his honor restored, and his brother side with Gowron while others have sided with the Duras sisters Lursa and B’Etor.

As everyone knows, Lursa and B’Etor would go one to play a large part in the Star Trek: Generations feature film. And once Worf relocated to Deep Space Nine the Klingon storylines would soon follow, with Gowron and the Klingon Empire playing a huge role in the Dominion War.

And all those stories got their start on “Sins of the Father.”

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“Sins of the Father” is largely responsible for the Klingons becomming a key element of the larger Star Trek mythos. Much of their culture and society was first introduced in that episode and would go on to affect everything from The Next Generation to the movies to Star Trek: Discovery.

So happy birthday to “Sins of the Father.” Thanks for kicking off hours upon hours of great entertainment.