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This has been an enjoyable episode of ‘Star Trek: TNG’ from Season 7 and it’s one I completely forgot about when I came to re-watch it for this review. I’d only seen this episode once on DVD back in 2005.
This episode features Worf reuniting with his brother. But wait! It’s not Worf’s Klingon brother, Kurn, as we’ve seen in previous episodes. This is actually Worf’s human foster brother when he was adopted.
This is Paul Sorvino as Nikolai Rozhenko. I didn’t know Worf had a human foster brother when he was adopted. We saw Worf’s adoptive human parents before, but there wasn’t mention of a brother too.
Nikolai Rozhenko happens to be a Federation anthropologist who tries to save a small group of natives of an primitive alien culture from a dying planet. It is clear that Worf and Nikolai share different viewpoints.
They also don’t seem to have got on well as they should when growing up together as brothers. Of course, they behave like brothers in this story, but Worf is more bound by duty whereas Nikolai is not.
In the episode, the Enterprise responds to a distress call from Nikolai Rozhenko when he’s posted on Boraal II. The planet is suffering this atmospheric catastrophe. Worf is sent down to meet with Nikolai.
It was surreal to see Worf with surgery on his face to make him appear Boraalan. At first, Worf seem unrecognisable without his Klingon make-up. Even my Mum didn’t recognise him when she saw Worf.
Worf meets up with his brother Nikolai. It turns out Nikolai has set up force-field shields to protect local villagers inside some caverns. Displeased about it, Worf takes Nikolai back to the Enterprise ship.
On the Enterprise, Nikolai explains to Picard and the senior officers that he has a plan to save one village by setting up a concealed artificial biosphere. Picard disapproves because of the Prime Directive.
The Enterprise crew can’t interfere with the natural development of the Boraalan civilization. Therefore, Picard and the others can’t support Nikolai’s plans to save the people of a Boraalan village.
Once the atmosphere of the Boraal II disintegrates, a power drain occurs aboard the Enterprise. Worf tracks this to one of the holodecks where Nikolai has transported the Boraalan village aboard the ship.
Picard and Worf are shocked as Nikolai explains he’s trying to mislead the villagers into thinking they’re still on Boraal II while on the holodeck. He hopes to take them to a new planet to become a new home.
Still dissatisfied with Nikolai’s actions, Picard reluctantly agrees to Nikolai’s new plan. Beverly and Data work together to find a new home planet for the Boraalans. It ends up becoming the planet Vacca VI.
It’s clear that Nikolai considers saving the Boraalan people and their culture more important than following the Prime Directive. This is something he and Worf clash over when working together in this.
However, the plan to move the Boraalans to a new planet as their home under pretence is not easy. For one thing, the holodeck has problems maintaining the illusion the Boraalans are still on the planet.
Nikolai and Worf maintain the illusion that they’re leading the Boraalans to a new home whilst in the holodeck. But it is not an easy task. Soon, one of the Boraalans walks out of the holodeck into the ship.
This happens to be Brian Markinson as Vorin, the village chronicler. It’s sad what happens to Vorin in this episode as he suffers severe culture shock once on board the Enterprise and he can’t take it all in.
It also turns out that Nikolai has mated with one of the Boraalan villagers and she’s about to have his baby. This is something Worf disapproves of. Nikolai makes clear he intends to stay with the Boraalans.
But the way, Penny Johnson guest stars as Dobara, Nikolai’s wife (I presume). If you recognise her, that’s because Penny Johnson would later go on to star as Kassidy Yates, Sisko’s love interest in ‘DS9’.
Eventually, the Enterprise arrives at the new Boraalan home and all the Boraalans are safely beamed down to the planet. Worf makes peace with his brother before leaving Nikolai to remain on the planet.
‘Homeward’ has been a pretty good ‘TNG’ episode to watch again after so long since I first saw it back in 2005. I don’t think the episode left a huge impact on me back then, but I can rate it highly nowadays.
‘Homeward’ (TNG) rating – 8/10
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