Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 3, Episode 17

Sins of the Father (17 Mar. 1990)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 941 users  
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A Klingon commander comes aboard the Enterprise in an officer exchange program initiated by Starfleet, much to the chagrin of the crew.



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Episode cast overview:
Charles Cooper ...
Thelma Lee ...
J. Teddy Davis ...
Transporter Technician (as Teddy Davis)


Commander William T. Riker is charged with hosting Klingon commander Kurn, who takes his place as first officer as part of an exchange program. As expected, his ruthlessly authoritative command style gets on everyone's nerve, but the worst is yet to come: Kurn reveals himself as Lieutenant Worf's younger brother, and demands he joins him in dealing with a blood feud, as their late father's honor is challenged by accusations of treason to the Empire in league with the Romulans during a bloody attack. The Enterprise sets course to the Klingon first city, while Picard fears legal and diplomatic repercussions. Data finds indications the Klingon records were doctored, possibly at Klingon High Council level, so the Enterprise crew sets out to find out the truth... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

17 March 1990 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This takes place in 2366. See more »


When Picard asks Kahlest if Mogh was a traitor, she responds, "No, Mogh was loyal to the Emperor." She should have said "Empire", as it is explained in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Rightful Heir that there had been no Klingon Emperor for three centuries at this time. See more »


Commander William T. Riker: I would like to make one suggestion, sir.
Kurn: A suggestion?
Commander William T. Riker: When I served aboard the Pagh, the hardest part for me was recognizing and adapting to the demands of the crew. They needed an iron hand. I imagine it must be very difficult for you to work with a crew that is... so different. I would be happy to guide you in that regard, if it would be helpful.
Kurn: No, Commander. It wouldn't.
[they leave the turbolift]
Commander William T. Riker: This is not a Klingon ship, sir!
Kurn: No, Commander, it is not. If it were a Klingon ship, I ...
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Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Drumhead (1991) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

The Klingon Empire and its beloved sense of honor....
16 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

'I never kill anyone at the supper table...'--Commander Kurn

When the episode begins, there is another exchange between the Klingon and Federation. In this case, the Klingon, Kurn, is now acting commander. Kurn is very strict and disliked by the crew but things are worst for Worf, as Kurn is extremely nice to him--an obvious insult to a Klingon! Eventually, Worf has had enough and he's ready to rip Kurn's head off--at which point you learn that Kurn was testing him to see if he was indeed a Klingon in spirit. This is because Kurn is actually Worf's brother--and the pair have a huge task ahead of them. It seems that their father was recently blamed for the attack, long ago, on Kitimer and it's up to the family honor for the pair to go before the Klingon High Council and restore his honor...or die trying.

I really enjoyed this episode because it gave wonderful insights into just how dishonorable and dysfunctional the Klingons could be. Their inflated sense of honor is actually just a ruse and Worf's love of everything Klingon is certainly put to the test. Additionally, it was very nice to see Picard act at Worf's second--a very touching scene. Overall, while this plot unfolds very slowly over several episodes, it is exceptional and among the better stories in season three.

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