"Star Trek: The Next Generation: Homeward (#7.13)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" Homeward (1994)

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20 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

More of Worf's family revealed.

Author: russem31 from United States
3 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

ST:TNG:165 - "Homeward" (Stardate: 47423.9) - this is the 13th episode of the 7th and last season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In another episode that delves into Worf's family, we meet his human brother Nikolai Rozhenko (played by the great actor Paul Sorvino). The Enterprise responds to an emergency distress call from Worf's brother who is stationed on Boraal II, a planet whose atmosphere was rapidly deteriorating and will soon disappear.

While Nikolai pleas with Picard to save the people down there, the captain says they can't do anything because of the Prime Directive. However, the rebellious Nikolai countermands the captain's orders and transport the people to the Holodeck in a bold plan to take them on a "journey" to a new place where they can live (aka, a new hospitable planet), without them ever knowing they left their own planet. It is Nikolai and Worf who will lead them.

The plan seems to work except for one Boraalin who discovers the Holodeck Door and finds himself on the Enterprise. Because Dr. Crusher can't erase his memory, this leaves the Enterprise crew in a conundrum. To top that, Nikolai has another "little" surprise up his sleeve.

Find out what happens in this thought-provoking episode.

Trivia note: Worf hasn't seen his brother in 4 years (presumably since the 4th season episode "Family" when Worf visited his human parents on Earth). Penny Johnson also stars as one of the Boraalins (she will later play Sisko's love interest Kasidy Yates in the "Deep Space Nine" series).

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Unlike Hitchcoc, I actually really liked this one.

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
5 December 2014

I can understand the review by Hitchcoc and his disliking the show. After all, everyone likes different things. As for me, I really liked this one and thought it brought up some interesting points.

Dr. Nikolai Rozhenko (Paul Sorvino) is working on planet as an observer. The locals believe he's one of them and he's become a part of their community. While this is a bit odd and skirts the limits of the Prime Directive, it gets worse. The planet is doomed and will soon be bereft of all life. The Prime Directive calls for non-interference but Rozhenko is determined to do ANYTHING to insure the continuation of these nice people. But they know nothing of space travel and he cannot simply take them aboard a Federation ship to resettle them elsewhere...and the Prime Directive would indicate that he leaves them. However, against Picard's express wishes, Rozhenko beams the few survivors onto a holodeck simulation that LOOKS like their shelter on the planet below and they THINK they are all still there! Now what? Oh, and to complicate things, Roshenko is Worf's step-brother!!

I liked the show because it stretched the limits of the non- interference policy of the Federation. And, as I watched, I thought the Captain and the crew were incredibly callous (annoyingly so) towards the folks on the planet--so I liked seeing Sorvino, who is not a Starfleet officer, throw the policy out the window! Pretty interesting and well written.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Prime Directive Doesn't Apply Here

Author: Jack
14 September 2015

The problem with this episode is that Picard clearly misinterprets what the Prime Directive is all about. The Prime Directive is about non-interference with a planetary society's culture. However, it says nothing about allowing an entire species to become extinct because of forces outside of that society's control (such as the natural disaster threatening to extinguish life from the surface of the planet in this episode). Essentially, his view would be that if a culture hasn't developed space flight capability on its own and a planetary disaster falls upon them, they should be allowed to die off.

Clearly, that view flies in the face of the Original Series episode "All Our Yesterdays" where the Enterprise tried to save some of the people of the planet Sarpeidon when its sun was going supernova. Star Fleet had ordered Kirk to rescue at least some of the people there, people who had not developed space flight capability.

So with the precedent already established in the Original Series, Picard's strained view simply doesn't hold any water especially since Worf's brother came up with a fairly ingenious way to transport the people without impacting their culture.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The flaws in the Prime Directive

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
15 September 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When the Enterprise receives a distress call from Worf's brother Nikolai, who is observing the natives if Boraal II they learn that the planet is about to suffer the total loss of its atmosphere. Nikolai is determined that they must save some of the native population but Captain Picard is adamant that the Federations Prime Directive means that they must be left to die. Nikolai doesn't take no for an answer and beams a group of Boraalan into the holodeck, which he has programmed to simulate the caves they were sheltering in. Picard is furious when he learns of this but as he can't beam them back to a now dead planet he agrees to transport them to similar planet. To avoid the Boraalans learning that they are on a different world they create a program that will enable them the trek from the simulated caves to a simulation of the site of their new village; with gradual changes in the terrain as they go. There are some problems when the holodeck starts to malfunction but Worf, who has been subject to surgical alteration and his brother describes as a seer, makes up excuses that they believe. One problem can't be explained though… one of the Boraalans wanders away from the group and exits the holodeck; no amount of excuses can explain what he sees; will he be able to return to the others; if he does and he tells them what he has seen it will either change their society forever or he will be treated like a madman.

This episode has a good basic idea; I liked the idea that a group of people is to be transported to an entirely different planet without their knowledge and Worf's various excuses for strange goings on were rather amusing. On the other hand Picard's insistence that they must not interfere with the Boraalan's 'natural development' even though that means they would be extinct in a few hours went beyond being officious and cold hearted; it was like watching somebody calmly watching a child drown while saying how sad it was then being furious when somebody else rescued them. This could have been justified if by the end of the story the idea that the rule about non-interference being absolute was questioned… but we just know that if he encountered an identical situation again Picard would have the same reaction. Overall this episode has some good ideas but I can't say I enjoyed it as the actions of major characters made me angry.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Poor writing indeed.

Author: Lunchbox-3 from Oregon, USA
31 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

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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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Inferior Episode

Author: Hitchcoc from United States
12 October 2014

Paul Sorvino guest stars, playing Worf's dangerously careless brother, Nikolai (born of two human parents). He has embedded himself with a group of people whose planet is doomed. They have taken refuge underground, but their days are numbered. Because of the prime directive, Picard refuses Nikolai's request to save them. Brother decides to go it on his own, using the Holodeck as a holding place, causing these people to believe they have not left their planet. To get to the point, he forces Picard, et. al., to search for a planet that can sustain them. They will then be beamed down as they sleep. There is a slip up when one of them escapes the Holodeck and must be dealt with appropriately. This is such a hare-brained scheme to start with that it really pushes the limits of reality (even for science fiction).

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12 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Bad Writing

Author: ShogaNinja from United States
14 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode is full of suppositions, plot holes, and really bad writing.

We meet Nikolai, Worf's foster-brother, the son of his Russian foster parents who we have met before and who also currently raising Alexander. When Nikolai introduces Worf to the village he tells them that Worf is his brother. Yet none of these suspicious people were chiming in with " well, why is your skin different colors then?" Yet later we are to believe the one guy is a little TOO inquisitive and finds his way onto the Enterprise. mmmmhmm. UNLESS they are an alien race that skin color is variable upon birth. There seemed to be wide demographic makeup in the village to support this theory.

Then they come back and get un-surgeried, only to turn around and be ordered back INTO surgery to get facially altered AGAIN within hours. Geez. If it's that easy why doesn't everyone look like supermodels? They could have made Dr. Polaski sexy?

They should have never been tricked by Nikolai in the first place... for many reasons. A:The crew is experienced, they have dealt with ferengi and Q alike. What's this one man compared to that? B. His intent was obvious to anyone and he had a motive which he displayed openly. C. Deanna Troi would detect his intent in about a nanosecond. D. Even through the convenient "interference" they would have detected that the transporters were being used - they have logs for a reason. E. Who operated those transporters? A civilian scientist who doesn't know his way around the ship, or that it had a "new" holodeck, one who failed out of the Academy in the first year. Hardly good enough to make such precise calculations to aim all of them into the holodeck unbeknownst to them. And how would he know when they were all asleep anyway?

Later the Captain is informed that they have to hurry because the holodeck is losing stability. Why not fix the other holodecks and transport them over in their sleep or whatever?

Then they just let him go? Why not make him stand charges as a civilian? They do have laws about that for civilians I'm sure too. It was never even discussed only that "You're career is over!" We can't have civvies going around and changing the universe whenever they feel like can we? Treating the prime directive like a suggestion? Rule of thumb? Wives' tale?

There was one funny moment in this episode and that was when that woman told Worf they should be family because she is pregnant with his brother's baby. His reaction is HILARIOUS.

There was just too many conveniently lined up variables that make up this craptastic episode all created by the writer/s. All to further some really inconsistent and bad writing and squeeze another one out before the finale. You may actually find yourself making fart noises while you watch this episode. (In the end when they pretend they are brothers who reconciled. lol.)

With the series coming to a close you think they wouldn't waste time filming a stinker like this one. 5/10 (hey it's still TNG)

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