55

In reference to this question about the casting of the character "Data" in Star Trek: The Next Generation series, I noticed that there is no mention of the Worf character. Was he even a primary character or added on later?

  • 4
    Afterthoughts have no honour. – Paul D. Waite Feb 28 '16 at 11:25
39

In The Finest Crew in the Fleet: The Next Generation Cast On Screen and Off, Adam Schrager says that Rodenberry wanted to avoid retreading on things from The Original Series, hence Worf was not intended to be a regular character on the series.

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    I haven't seen as much of the original series as I probably should have, but in what way would Worf be a retread from the original series? – Chad Levy Jan 16 '12 at 8:01
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    @Paperjam: Perhaps the fact that Chekov was another example of being from a nation that once was an enemy and is now an ally (Russia). – Kevin Laity Feb 1 '12 at 15:32
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    @Paperjam: As I recall, there was some hesitation in re-using alien species from the original series (including Klingons, but also Vulcans) in TNG. – Keith Thompson Jul 27 '12 at 4:55
  • Indeed, hence the Ferengi. – Lightness Races in Orbit Apr 10 at 12:17
23

This thread from rec.arts.startrek back in 1990 referencing a casting call note from March 1987 was quite interesting at the time. It is apparently a set of casting notes for the series. All the main characters were mentioned in some form except for Worf. Text lifted liberally below:

Seeking the following regulars:

Captain Julian Picard: A Caucasian man in his 50's who is very youthful and in prime physical condition. Born in Paris, his Gallic accent appears only when deep emotions are triggered. He is definitely a 'romantic' and believes strongly in concepts like honor and duty. Captain Picard commands the Enterprise. He should have a mid-Atlantic accent, and a wonderfully rich speaking voice...

Number One (AKA William Ryker): A 30-35 year old Caucasian born in Alaska. He is a pleasant looking man with sex appeal, of medium height, very agile and strong, a natural psychologist. Number One, as he usually is called, is second in command of the Enterprise and has a very strong, solid relationship with the Captain...

Lt. Commander Data: He is an android who has the appearance of a man in his mid 30's. Data should have exotic features and can be any one of the following racial groups: Asian, American Indian, East Indian, South American Indian or similar racial groups. He is in perfect physical condition and should appear very intelligent...

Lt. Tanya Hernandez: 26 year old woman of Ukranian descent who serves as the starship's security chief. She is described as having a new quality of conditioned-body beauty, a fire in her eyes and muscularly well developed and very female body, but keeping in mind that much of her strength comes from attitude. Tanya has an almost obsessive devotion to protecting the ship and its crew and treats Capt. Picard and Number One as if they were saints...

Lt. Deanna Troi: An alien woman who is tall (5'8" - 6') and slender. about 30 years old and quite beautiful. She serves as the starship's Chief Psychologist. Deanna is probably foreign (anywhere from Italian, Greek, Hungarian, Russian, Icelandic, etc.) with looks and accent to match. She and Number One are romantically involved. Her alien 'look' is still to be determined...

Wesley Crusher: A small 18 (or almost 18) year old boy to play 15, his remarkable mind and photographic memory make it seem not unlikely for him to become, at 15, a Star Fleet Acting Ensign. Wesley is more of an intense (not cute) teenager whose energy comes from an inquisitive nature...

Beverly Crusher: Wesley's 35 year old mother. She serves as the chief medical officer on the starship. If it were not for her intelligence, personality, beauty, and the fact that she has the natural walk of a striptease queen, Capt. Picard might not have agreed to her request that Wesley observe bridge activities; therefore letting her son's intelligence carry events further...

Lt. Geordi LaForge: A 20-25 year old black man, blind form birth. With the help of a special prosthetic device he wears, his vision far surpasses anything the human eye can see. Although he is young, he is quite mature and is best friends with Data. Please do not submit any 'street' types, as Geordi has perfect diction and might even have a Jamaican accent. Should also do comedy well...

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    Very interesting to see the types of characters requested and who they got to fill each role. Though a Jamaican LaForge would have simply been bizarre. – YonkeyDonk64 Jun 13 '14 at 20:58
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    Beverly has the "natural walk of a striptease queen". Whoa. – Omegacron Feb 2 '15 at 16:06
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    @trejder The casting call is from 1987 but the fan discussion of it occurred in 1990, as the newsgroup posting date indicates. – Kyle Jones Jul 20 '15 at 14:56
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    "Please do not submit any 'street' types" ??! – ThePopMachine Aug 19 '15 at 14:22
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    "Please do not submit any 'street' types, as Geordi has perfect diction and might even have a Jamaican accent. Should also do comedy well..." Oh, my. – Lightness Races in Orbit Nov 23 '15 at 14:17
15

Worf does not appear in the 1st season "Series Bible.", dated 23 March 1987

The listed crew are:

  • Captain Jean Luc Picard
  • Commander William Riker
  • Lt. Commander Data
  • Lt. Commander Deanna Troi
  • Lt. Natasha "Tasha" Yar
  • Lt.(JG) Geordi La Forge
  • CMO Beverly Crusher
  • Wesley Crusher

(a scan of which is available online at leethomson.myzen.co.uk)

Worf was, however, in the proposal document for the series. (Which I can not find online at the moment.)

So, Worf was to be a recurring character originally, was apparently dropped, and then put back in later.

7

From a vaguely recalled Rodenberry interview. The Worf character was intended all along but kept secret so it would be a surprise in the Next Generation premier. Klingons were an enemy of the Federation in the original series and Rodenberry wanted to show progress - former enemies becoming allies.

  • Seeing the first pictures of the ST:TNG crew in 1987 before the pilot, it was Data and Worf that caught my eye initially - the rest of the human characters seemed blah to me. – RobertF Jul 12 '14 at 19:53

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