Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 7, Episode 13

Homeward (15 Jan. 1994)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 525 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 3 critic

In an effort to preserve a race of people on a planet being bombarded by storms that would kill them, Worf's foster brother violates the Prime Directive, leaving the Enterprise crew in a difficult position.

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Title: Homeward (15 Jan 1994)

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The Enterprise answers a distress call from Worf's older, willful foster-brother Dr. Nikolai Rozhenko (cultural observer on Barral 2), about sudden atmospheric dissipation which may render the Enterprise inhabitable in hours. In Picard's failed attempt to stop the apocalyptic phenomenon and save the primitive culture, he broke the Federation's prime directive of non-intervention in natural development. Worf is furious to discover that Nicolai has secretly transported a village to their simulation of caves inside the holodeck, but Picard grudgingly accepts his plan to transport them to a comparable M-class planet as new home. However Gordie has a hard time keeping the holodeck running because of plasmodic interference-caused damage, so Worf joins Nicolai as 'seer' with supernatural powers, and discovers Nicolai has another close tie with a Borallan. Written by KGF Vissers

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15 January 1994 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Paul Sorvino's request to appear on the series came just as the role of Nikolai was set to be cast. Producers immediately felt that Sorvino was an actor who best embodied what they were looking for in the character. See more »

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Lieutenant Worf: You have not changed. You still expect people to solve the problems you create.
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References Star Trek: The Next Generation: Pen Pals (1989) See more »

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Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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Poor writing indeed.
31 January 2014 | by (Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

To add to what ShogaNinja said, Picard expresses a lot of anger at Nikolai for creating this situation and coming up with such a ridiculous solution. Then at the end of the episode Crusher asks Picard if he regrets saving the tribe and he says "No, and our plan worked perfectly." Even though the tribe now believes in a magical Worf and some God called "La Forge" the same way the proto-Vulcans in "Who Watches the Watchers" believed in "The Picard." I thought Nikolai's use of the holodeck was rather brilliant but the line of BS he came up with sell it to the tribe was utter lunacy. "Duck inside your tents and my brother will make the storm disappear!" Won't they be questioning him for the rest of his life about his magical brother? Why not just knock them out with some gas and then later say the storm dissipated while they were asleep?

The episode also entirely avoids the ethical question of letting someone die rather than violate your policy of non-interference. The Prime Directive is supposed to prevent them from negatively impacting another culture. Since the only alternative is the extinction of that culture does it really apply? Wouldn't a culture influenced by alien visitation still be preferable to no culture at all? This episode really makes Picard out to be a puppet of Starfleet dogma. I'm reminded of Jor-El's words in the 1979 movie, "Is it now a crime to cherish life?"


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