Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Season 4, Episode 17

Rules of Engagement (8 Apr. 1996)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 445 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

When Worf destroys a civilian shuttle during an engagement with the Klingons, an extradition hearing is held to see if he must face charges.



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Title: Rules of Engagement (08 Apr 1996)

Rules of Engagement (08 Apr 1996) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Episode cast overview:
Jake Sisko (credit only)
Deborah Strang ...
Admiral T'Lara
Helm Officer


The Klingon Empire has asked the Federation to extradite Worf for murder. Worf commanded the Defiant which was guarding a Cardassian convoy offering medical aid to the Pentath colony. The convoy was attacked by the Klingons and in the heat of battle Worf gave the order to fire on a decloaking ship. It was a civilian transport, 441 Klingons died. The Klingon advocate Ch'Pok is trying to prove to admiral T'Lara in a hearing that Worf's bloodlust took over. Ch'Pok has a hidden agenda and he openly admits it. The Klingons see this as the perfect opportunity to gain sympathy and weaken the Federation. Captain Sisko is defending Worf and asks Odo to try to find out why the civilian transport joined the battle. Sisko's defense in the meantime is not going well. With every witness Ch'Pok's reasoning seems more and more plausible. Written by Arnoud Tiele (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

8 April 1996 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode was directed by LeVar Burton, who played Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). See more »


During Worf's trial, Captain Sisko starts with 4 rank pips on his uniform, but in subsequent shots, only 3 pips are present. (This is not only a continuity error, but a factual error too: Sisko is indeed a captain.) See more »


Captain Sisko: 441 people somehow survived a crash on Galorda Prime. And then a few weeks later, they all decide to take another trip - on the same day, on the same transport ship, under the same captain and crew; and then that ship is destroyed, too. This is a very unlucky group of people, wouldn't you say?
Ch'Pok: I am not an expert on luck.
See more »


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Main Title
Written by Dennis McCarthy
Performed by Dennis McCarthy
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User Reviews

Those Klingons can be tricky jerks!
2 January 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In a recent humanitarian mission, Worf commanded the Defiant and was responsible for destroying a Klingon vessel that de-cloaked in the Pentath system. Now a Klingon prosecutor, Ch'Pok (Ron Canada) has arrived on DS9--looking to prosecute Worf for his heinous act. Admiral T'lara will preside over a tribunal, Ch'Pok will prosecute and Captain Sisko will defend Worf. However, there is far more to the case--and Ch'Pok freely admits outside of court that he doesn't care if Worf is guilty or not!

This is an odd episode in that this is the only plot. Usually, shows have two concurrent plots--but not this one. Overall it's well worth seeing and shows a tricky side of the Klingons that seems very unusual to say the least!

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