Michael Dorn here. I’m working on a campaign to bring back Star Trek, and my ulterior reason is to fully flesh out the Worf character (finally).
To do this, I’m helping support this campaign, and you can too: here’s the mini-muffin ordering page, the t-shirt page, and the Full Playlist of Exclusive Videos in case you want to check them out.
And finally a link for our Sweepstakes page, where you can enter by sending in muffins or buying the shirt.
Victoria’s helping me out this evening, as I am traveling. AMA!
Edit: Thank you for your support. With the fans in my corner, I’m sure we will have another Star Trek series on television. And it will be called Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Worf Chronicles.
And in the meantime – go to CinemaSource and look at those videos! You’ll find out as much as you’d like to know about the new series.
In what phase are your plans for the new Star Trek series? And what ideas you have in mind for it?
The script is done. We’ve talked to CBS / Paramount, and they haven’t said no. So that’s a victory in itself.
I think it would spoil it to share now. But don’t worry, they will be out very soon.
Can you tell us what steps need to be done to get the Star Trek back on our TVs?
CBS / Paramount needs to know they can make a pile of money with the series.
And that is part of the reason for the mini-muffins, and the online and social media platforms that are abuzz with the show, is to let them see there is a groundswell of activity, specifically designed to bring Worf back to television.
So please get involved with our campaign. Every little bit helps. The hashtag is #wewantworf
Part of making a pile of money is putting out a quality product. Depending on whom you ask, the quality of ST spin-offs has been uneven since TNG/DS9. With so many groundbreaking, must-see shows on broadcast and cable in the past decade, how do we ensure this Worf series will receive the treatment it deserves?
One of the reasons that I wanted to come back and do this was to have a fair amount of control.
And being a fan of the original, being a fan of Gene Roddenberry, being a fan of science fiction, I have a grasp on what fans want to see, what the public wants to see, and also I wanted to go back to what made the show what it is – not just our show, but the show in general. And that is the stories. Going back to really great stories about the human condition, about what’s going on in our lives right now that everybody can identify with, and bringing it back to more stories, great special effects, and (especially with Worf) action.
To you, does this mean more self-contained stories (like TOS and TNG) or more story arcs (like DS9 and on)? To me, Trek was more fun when I could just watch an episode and everything was wrapped up. Granted, this could have more to do with the fact that TNG hit me in my formative years, but I still go back and watch TNG on Netflix and BBC America and it is easily my favorite Trek to this day. I may be in the minority, but I’d like to see a return to that somewhat simpler story telling method.
Well, I think we’re going to have an overall arc, which is more Worf trying to find his way in the universe, and that will be the overlying arc. Within that arc, we’re going to have a lot of stories. But they will all deal with that particular arc. But you HAVE to have stories tie up. You have to have them wrap up. So that people can watch the show, get the message, and go on with the rest of their lives.
When would it take place in Worf’s timeline and would any other Trek veterans return?
Among your other work, I loved your guest appearances on Regular Show. What was your experience like working on that?
I didn’t understand what I was doing, while I was doing it? And when I saw the show.
Can you tell us your favorite episode in TNG?
I have two favorite ones. One is “The Drumhead,” and the other is “The Offspring.”
Who was the actor/actress you performed best with on TNG or DS9?
Well, on TNG, it was Marina Sirtis, who played Counsellor Troi, and on Deep Space Nine, it was Terry Farrell.
Can you describe what would be the best day in Worf’s life?
The best day in Worf’s life?
When he got married to Jadzia.
If you had to fight the Dominion today, and you got to assemble the dream team to take them on from all Star Trek history, who would be on your team? Also, what is your opinion about what Klingons represented on Star Trek?
Oh gosh. Probably Captain Picard… Data…Odo…and Major Kira…and I think that’s enough.
Well, in the original episode, the Klingons were the Russians. That’s what they represented. And as we discovered over the years, the enemy is really within. It’s not the Russians. The enemy was really within us, ourselves, and that’s what Gene wanted to say when he had a Klingon on the bridge of the Enterprise.
How long did it take to put the face of Worf on? Did you have to put it every day on anew or did you sometimes sleep with it on?
Oh no, it was every day a new face.
And just so you know – we added up that I did a thousand makeups.
It took three hours.
What was working on The Next Generation like compared to Deep Space Nine?
Next Generation was like going to high school every day. There was a lot of good work, but we had a HUGE amount of fun. Deep Space was a quiet, serious set to work on. Until I got there.
Do you like Deep Space Nine or The Next Generation more?
That’s not a good question? It’s a good question, but I don’t think of it as liking one more than the other. They’re two different shows. And Next Generation was the first show, the first spin-off. We were sort of the trailblazers, so we were a tight group because we had to be. Deep Space Nine was a different group altogether. But I enjoyed it because the character was explored even more than on Next Generation.
What are your thoughts on the Star Trek fanbase in general?
I’ve always loved them. I’ve thought of them as loyal, and they’re loyal to this day. 2012 was our 25th anniversary from when we started The Next Generation, and it was like it’s never been gone. The crowds were huge. And even up until last year, when we were doing the reunion shows, the crowds were humongous. So I think they’re probably the loyalest fans ever.
What was your reaction to the episode of South Park with you in it?
I absolutely loved it.
I’m a big fan of South Park, and I was totally blind-sided when I was watching the episode – which was a funny episode – but what really blew me away was that my character in the show was wearing a shirt that said “Pasadena City College.”
And that’s where I went to junior college.
What was your favourite Star Trek episode/movie that you worked on?
There were two favorites, absolute favorites – the movies was “First Contact,” that was my favorite Star Trek movie that I worked on. On the TV show, there were 2 episodes of Deep Space Nine that were my favorites – one was “Once More Into the Breach,” and “Soldiers of the Empire.” The movie I thought was the best Star Trek movie that was made. And I love Star Trek. I’m definitely a big fan of all the movies, but that was my favorite. And “Once More Into The Breach” was a wonderful episode about a Klingon Warrior, and a wonderful actor that I know, John Colicos, he’s not with us anymore, but he was wonderful in that show. And it was an honor, a great episode, and I absolutely loved it. But those episodes from Deep Space really showed the Klingons to their fullest.
How was your cooperation with Seth MacFarlane?
Wonderful. Seth is a big fan of the show, and he’s a good guy.
You’ve been doing conventions for so many years now. I love watching you, you always seem so serene and calm in the midst of the craziness that is Marina and Patrick and Brent and co. (Is that an act or a coping mechanism?) Is there any story that you still love to tell, every time you’re asked, every chance you get? If so, which one?
No, that is not a coping mechanism or an act, that is really who I am.
I’ve been (not to get too woo-woo-woo about it) but I’ve been on a spiritual journey for many, many years. And it’s helped with acting, with life, with everything. And so it’s not an act.
Oh gosh. There’s so many. Just say that there are so many stories. I can’t think of one in particular!
As far as questions, they always want me to say this one line that Worf always says, which is “I’m not a merry man.”
And I’d like to replace that with “How was your day?”
From watching various episodes of various Star Trek series, it is clear many actors playing Klingons had no idea how to properly speak tlhIngan Hol (Klingon). Were you or any of the main cast given lessons by Okrand or others on how to speak the language, or was it entirely self-taught?
It was entirely self-taught. And we had one rule, when it came to alien languages, which is: Whoever said it first, that’s how you say it for the rest of the episode.
Do you ever look at/post in the Star Trek subreddit?
This is my first time on reddit.
Everyone talks about how musical everyone on TNG was. It looks like Frakes would always sing “Volare”. Did anyone else have theme songs or songs they typically sang? What were they for the different cast members, or (if none) whatshould they be?
Oh gosh. What can you say to a question like that?
Jonathan was the only one that had a repertoire of songs. The rest of us were not quite as enthusiastic about our singing ability as he was.
If it was Marina, I’d say “The Bitch Is Back.” Patrick, I think, would be “I’ve gotta be King.” That’s not really a song, but…that’s it. That’s all I can come up with.
DS9 did some fabulous “one-off” episodes in the later seasons, my favorite of which was Far Beyond the Stars. What was your feeling (or the cast and crew’s in general) about going in to film that day, with the makeup and setting being so different from the usual?
It was very interesting for me, just because – it was a wonderful episode – but for me, it was seeing the actors out of makeup. Because you forget how really wonderful they are as actors, outside of Star Trek. Seven years on a show behind makeup, you begin to see them do one thing. BUT every actor on the show, I was re-blown away again by how good they were.
Why’s everyone so down on Klingon opera?
Because they don’t understand it.
What were the differences in group dynamics between casts on TNG and DS9? I thought i read somewhere that there was a lot more goofing around on TNG. What do you like/dislike about the reboot films?
Since we were all together, and we started together, and there was nothing else on television like it, we were all basically very close, and for some reason, the cast is STILL very close. Deep Space Nine was a group of very talented actors whom I get along with extremely well, but they weren’t – for some reason, their chemistry was on-camera, not off-camera, which is normal, I mean, that is the normal thing. Our show was the exception to the rule – usually you come in, do your work, and go home. But we enjoyed each other very much, so we spent more time with each other than with our respective family members.
You’ve said you think you’ve spent over 3000 hours in make up. What was your thought process while you sat there?
I was the smartest person for those 11 years in Los Angeles, because while they did the makeup, I read the LA TIMES from cover-to-cover, and did the crossword puzzle.
You participated in the production of two audiotapes: Conversational Klingon and Power Klingon, but you were given almost no dialogue in Klingon (most of it being supplied by Marc Okrand). How did you feel about this?
I feel fine.
It was – we were doing the show at the time, and to actually learn all of that Klingon was very time consuming. But I thought that what they did with it was actually very funny.
Which is your favorite episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and why?
Well, the one I love the best is “The Drumhead” which, once again, is a story-driven episode where we are on a witchhunt, and it turns from just a “trying to find out who sabotaged the warp drive” into dragging an officer’s name through the mud unnecessarily. And it was wonderful performances. Jean Simmons, the wonderful actress, was in it, and it was powerful.
What is the best part about being an actor?
The art of it. I consider acting an art. And the creating of characters is exciting. Also, going to work and having something different to do every day is the best part.
How much of you and your personality went into playing Worf?
Very little. I do share his honor, and loyalty. But I’m not exactly gruff and surly.
Which Star Trek cast member were you closest to?
Do you like Game of Thrones? Did you like performance of Alexander Siddig in the last season?
I didn’t watch Game of Thrones. I’m a little prudish, because when it first came on, it seemed like it’s soft porn. But Alexander is a wonderful actor, and a good guy. But I have not watched Game of Thrones.
You played a role in Adventure Time not that long ago, a show which has been host to a few different Star Trek alumni. Can you tell us how you got involved in the show? Did Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, and LeVar Burton take parts on the show because they were following your lead?
Nope! I’m sorry, but it’s not very interesting. They called my agent, they said “would you be interested,” I said “yes,” they hired me, and I went there, did the job, and came home.
Which Star Trek series did you enjoy more to work on?
I loved them both, but each was different. I loved The Next Generation, because they were my friends and we were close, but I loved Deep Space because it was really good work. And Worf became a major character in that show.
Did any work on Star Trek help in Mass Effect?
No, video games – the voiceover work is totally different. It’s just acting. There wasn’t anything specific to that that made it easier or harder. Just acting.
Would a Krogan or a Klingon win in a fight?
Klingon would win.
Do you have any good stories of people coming up to you and describing Worf as an inspiration to them?
Oh yes. One guy in Las Vegas, who was dressed in full Klingon makeup and costume, said that I saved his life.
And I said “Why? Why do you say that?”
And he said that he’d gotten to a point in his life where he was doing so many drugs that he had lost his job, he’d lost his family, his home, everything. And at his lowest point he started watching the show, and he took from the character this sense of honor, of loyalty, of stick-to-it-iveness, and somehow he said after he watched the show, and he identified with Worf, that he got his life together. He’s got a great job, he’s got a great family, and he’s back.
And that was incredibly moving. And I’m very happy for that.
I tried to tell him “Look, I appreciate that this character had something to do with it, but you have to realize that came ALL from you. Never forget that.”
It was a great moment. A great moment.
What did you have for breakfast?
What did I have for breakfast?
I’m a vegan, so I had fake coffee and toast.
Would you be interested in bringing Worf back if it were as part of an animated series or web series?
No. Only live-action.
What would be your go-to programs for the holodeck?
It would have to be Top Gun.
What was your favourite role that wasn’t Star Trek?
My favorite up to this point was the reoccurring role I have on CASTLE as the psychiatrist.
Who was the worst and best actor you ever had to work with?
The worst actor, no comment. The best actor? I worked with Dennis Hopper. And he was reallyreally good.
If you did bring back Star Trek, would you be captain Worf? What would your ship be?
It wouldn’t be Captain Worf. But I would be Worf. It would be on a Klingon ship. And it would be a Bird of Prey.
I read you are an accomplished jet pilot. Is it difficult landing a military jet trainer IFR or with substantial crosswind? Seems like the delay of turbine engines would make it difficult.
It was not difficult landing. In fact, the T33, which is an older airplane, it was the lag time for the jet that was significant, but I had great instructors that taught me how to negate that problem. But with the F86, it was not that difficult to land IFR.
I hear your voice in cartoons CONSTANTLY! What animated project did you enjoy the most?
There was one I did for three years called I.M. WEASEL.
That was my favorite.
What was kissing Terry Farrell like on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine? I always thought Terry was so beautiful.
It was one of the best perks of working on Star Trek. Terry and I were great friends before she got on the show, and it was very interesting to kiss your friend like that, and you know, I think we both kind’ve after the first kiss we looked at each other like Huh!
Did you ever feel like Worf was written too two dimensional in many TNG episodes? Even some DS9 episodes feel like the writers had the mantra “Worf is always wrong.” Do you feel like the character can help overcome many of the stereotypes faced by African-American males?
I don’t think they are related. I think that the fans can put anything they want to the characters. But the African-American experience in the United States is much different than Worf’s experience.
Are you a fan of Star Wars?
Yes, I am. Very much.
Could you monologue a scene where you kill Patrick Stewart in his throne?
I can’t monologue it. But my most favorite item that I used was a banana.
Would you bring back any old the composers from past series to perform on the new series?
I hope so. My favorite was Dennis McCarthy. And hopefully, he would be available to do it. He’s just amazinglywonderful. And he created the Worf theme song! It was kind of cool, because every time Worf came on in the latter episodes, you heard this theme, you know? Especially in “First Contact,” when he shows up on the bridge, you hear his theme. So hopefully he will, hopefully he’s available.
How was it reprising your role as Worf for Star Trek Online?
It was really wonderful. Because the story and the dialogue that they wrote for me was really good.
What are your views on the new Abram’s films and your hope for Star Trek in the future (if you have any)?
I think JJ has done an exceptional job of re-inventing the franchise, and also bringing in new fans that weren’t fans of the original or Next Generation or all the spinoffs. I’ve always said there’s always going to be room for Star Trek in movies or television. So that’s my hope for the future.
Which Star Trek villain is your favourite?
Oh my gosh! I’d have to say Khan. He was great.
Do you share any of the beliefs that Worf lives by?
Oh yeah. I think the whole honor and loyalty. But more than that, it’s the idea of always learning. Always taking the best from your shipmates, and your experiences, and incorporating them in your life. But also being true to the journey inside, to YOUR gut reactions. Worf is always – no matter what people say – he has always done what hewanted to do. He’s always been a character that, while everybody says he should do this, he does it kind of on his own.