When Star Trek: The Next Generation hit TV screens 25 years ago, in 1987, we were all curious as to what type of captain would now be in charge of the brand-new starship Enterprise. Would it be a Kirk-type captain again? Or would they go with someone completely different?
When Patrick Stewart was cast as Jean-Luc Picard, everyone was skeptical. Even actor Michael Dorn.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex, Michael Dorn—who played the ferocious Klingon warrior Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and five Star Trek films (he played his own ancestor in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)—opened up about the studio's decision to go with someone who wasn't going to be a Kirk 2.0 as the new captain of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D.
Enter (Sir) Patrick Stewart, respected English stage actor.
It was good decision, definitely. I was skeptical when I met Patrick [Stewart] and saw him. I thought, "Well, this isn't Kirk. This isn't even near Kirk." But once I started acting with Patrick I knew immediately it was the perfect decision.
Michael Dorn also talked about how his character, Lt. Cmdr. Worf, was almost considered an afterthought by the studio in the early days of the beloved sci-fi series.
With my character, bringing a Klingon on and making him part of the bridge, that was an afterthought. If you ask my buddies on the show, I wasn't even there for the original cast photo and for the first filming and all of that stuff because Worf was an afterthought. It couldn't have been more fun to do this, but when I was cast, nobody knew me on the stage—I wasn't introduced to anybody, there was no "Hey, guys, this is going to be Worf." I just showed up one day, in makeup, and started working.
And the rest, as they say, is history, with Michael Dorn being the Star Trek actor to log in the most hours as his Trek character (175 episodes of TNG and 102 episodes of DS9 along with the four Next Gen films).
As for Patrick Stewart, he went on to become one of the most beloved captains of the whole Star Trek franchise. So, in Picard's own words: ''Make it so.''
(via Hero Complex)