(written from a Production point of view)
The Enterprise crew has to deal with a Klingon sleeper ship whose occupants don't know the Federation and Klingons are at peace. On-board to help them is an emissary, who (coincidentally) is one of Worf's former love interests.
Worf, Data, La Forge, Dr. Pulaski, and Riker are playing poker. When Worf makes a big bet, Data suggests that he doesn't fully understand the nuances of the game. Riker points out that Worf has been the biggest winner that day, implying that Data shouldn't underestimate his poker skills. Data expresses doubt that Worf's success is due to anything other than random chance. Pulaski, being the only one who doesn't fold, calls Worf's hand. Worf wins. On a subsequent hand, Worf once again bets big, and La Forge says he's bluffing. Worf insists that Klingons never bluff.
The crew is informed by Admiral Gromek that they are to pick up a special emissary who will assist them with a very important mission. Captain Picard asks for more information, but is told that utmost secrecy is required and that he will be fully informed of the situation by the emissary.
They later rendezvous with the emissary's shuttle, a specially-converted probe capable of transporting one person at warp 9. Upon opening the probe, the emissary is revealed to be K'Ehleyr, a half Klingon, half Human woman and one of Worf's former love interests. He is not happy to see her.
K'Ehleyr explains in the conference lounge that a Klingon battle cruiser named the IKS T'Ong was launched from the Klingon homeworld over seventy-five years ago, during the Klingon War, on a long-term mission unknown to the Federation. The crew used suspended animation to travel to their target, and are now on the return. Since the crew of the T'Ong are unaware of the peace between the Federation and the Klingons, they will attack any Federation outpost they see when they awaken.
Picard assumes that K'Ehleyr has been sent to talk with the crew, but K'Ehleyr says talking will be a waste of time; she believes there is no way of reasoning with the Klingons, and the only way to prevent loss of innocent lives is to destroy the T'Ong on sight. Picard refuses to accept this and orders her to work with Worf in developing a non-violent alternative.
On the way to her quarters, K'Ehleyr bonds a little with Deanna Troi, also half-Human and forced to experience two often conflicting cultures. K'Ehleyr seems to prefer her Human side and conscious of her temper. K'Ehleyr changes and heads to a research area to work with Worf. Hoping to work through unresolved feelings from their previous relationship from six years prior, K'Ehleyr ignores Picard's request and tries to talk to Worf. Worf, however, is adamant about working the mission. They get into heated emotional conflicts and are unable to properly concentrate on the job at hand.
After a particularly vicious argument with Worf, K'Ehleyr storms back to her quarters and shatters a glass table in rage. Deanna Troi notices the destruction and tactfully suggests that she blow off some steam on the holodeck. Seeing the list of available programs, K'Ehleyr selects Worf's calisthenics routine, entering hand-to-hand combat in a primitive jungle.
Meanwhile, up on the bridge, Picard notices that Worf is taut as a drum, and likewise orders him to relax. Venturing down to the holodeck, Worf sees his program in progress, and realizes K'Ehleyr is running it. Entering the program with her, they fight and defeat holographic enemies, then give in to their desires and engage in a Klingon mating ritual.
Afterwards, Worf initiates a vow of marriage, shouting "tlhIngan jIH" (Klingonese for "I am a Klingon"), but K'Ehleyr refuses to participate, unwilling to commit to the marriage dictated by Klingon tradition.
Despite her disbelief in a peaceful solution, K'Ehleyr goes to run some simulations. Worf joins her with Data, which she interprets as him needing a chaperone with her. They finish and go to the observation lounge, but K'Ehleyr insists the Klingons will have to be destroyed because they will never believe him if he tries to explain that they are no longer at war. During the meeting, they first encounter the T'Ong and the Enterprise is immediately fired upon with no attempt made at communication. It appears K'Ehleyr's prediction is correct; the Enterprise will be forced to destroy the T'Ong. The ship cloaks.
Fortunately, the cloaking devices of the T'Ong's era couldn't conceal gamma ray output efficiently, allowing La Forge to detect. Picard orders an intercept course at warp 2. K'Ehleyr asks to Picard to allow them to die in battle as they wish, but Worf comes up with a cunning plan. Clad in full traditional Klingon command uniforms, he and K'Ehleyr appear on viewscreen as captain and first officer of the Enterprise. Worf introduces himself as "commanding the Enterprise" (which he is, temporarily) and informs Captain K'Temoc of the T'Ong that the war is over, implying with his appearance and (apparently permanent) command of a Federation ship that the Klingons have been victorious. He then orders K'Temoc to lower his shields. K'Temoc hesitates to comply, unsure whether to trust Worf's explanation – but finally agrees, fooled by Worf's well-played bluff. Arrangements are made for K'Ehleyr to beam on board the T'Ong and take command until the arrival of the Klingon ship IKS P'Rang to escort them back to Qo'noS.
Worf and K'Ehleyr discuss their feelings for one another prior to her departure, leaving open the question of whether their paths will cross again.
"nuqneH, qaleghneS" (Greetings; I am honored to see you)
"You speak Klingon!"
- - Riker greeting K'Ehleyr upon her arrival on the Enterprise
"Whoever said getting there was half the fun never rode in a class 8 probe."
- - K'Ehleyr
"Whenever Starfleet gets enigmatic, I know we're about to face a challenge. Engage!"
- - Picard
"Still, I am delighted to be out of that damned coffin!"
- - K'Ehleyr, about her ride inside a class 8 probe
"Looks like it's just us, handsome."
- - Pulaski, to Worf while playing poker
"You are late."
"Sorry. I had to make myself beautiful."
"I fail to understand why."
- - Worf and K'Ehleyr
"Worf, we're alone now. You don't have to act like a Klingon glacier, I don't bite. Well, that's wrong, I do bite."
- - K'Ehleyr to Worf
"You're not even looking at me."
"I am familiar with your appearance."
- - K'Ehleyr and Worf
"Lieutenant, I order you to relax."
"I am relaxed!"
- - Picard and Worf
"It's not much of a program."
"Computer! Level two."
- - K'Ehleyr and Worf
"I've noted that some people use humor as a shield. They talk much, yet say little."
- - Worf
"We are mated."
"Yes, I know! I was there! But..."
- - Worf and K'Ehleyr
"An android chaperone."
"Android, of course, is correct, but I fail to see how 'chaperone' is appropriate."
- - K'Ehleyr and Data
"Poor android. Whose behavior do you find more perplexing? Human? Or Klingon?"
"At the moment... I would find it difficult to choose."
"So would I."
- - K'Ehleyr and Data
"How did you like command?"
"... Comfortable chair."
- - Riker and Worf
"K'Ehleyr, I will not be complete without you."
- - Worf
Production history Edit
- Final draft script: 28 March 1989
- Third revised final draft script: 10 April 1989 
- Premiere airdate: 29 June 1989
- First UK airdate: 18 September 1991
Story and production Edit
- This episode was based on an unpublished story by Thomas H. Calder.
- Suzie Plakson was cast as K'Ehleyr because the production staff were impressed with her performance as Doctor Selar in "The Schizoid Man". Tracy Tormé, who had written "The Schizoid Man", had wanted to develop a romance between Selar and Worf, but the idea was overruled when "The Emissary" was being planned. Tormé complained that the premise was "obvious. Had it been a Vulcan, it would have been a lot more interesting." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Director Cliff Bole devised several of the Klingon customs seen here. He recalled, "I came up with that thing where [K'Ehleyr] digs into [Worf's] hand and there's all that blood. I did that on the set. I was wondering what these people do, and I had the image of bones breaking and felt that's what they do when they get it on." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Worf's son Alexander Rozhenko was conceived during this episode.
- This episode has a very similar title to that of DS9: "Emissary" in which Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard) and Colm Meaney (Chief Miles O'Brien) also appear.
- Worf welcomes K'Temoc after he awakens by saying "Welcome to the 24th century" which is also exactly what Picard told Clare Raymond after she too awoke from a similar cryogenic stasis in the first season episode "The Neutral Zone".
- Footage of the Klingon battle cruiser is reused from Star Trek: The Motion Picture with added disruptor and cloaking device effects. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- A star chart, first seen behind Dexter Remmick in "Conspiracy" makes another appearance in the tactical room in this episode.
- The chief of security's office seen in this episode is a redress of the Starbase 173 court room in TNG: "The Measure Of A Man". The set had previously served as the Enterprise's geology lab in "Pen Pals".
- K'Ehleyr's statement to Worf while leaving the Enterprise at the end of the episode where she says that when their paths cross again, she will not be as easy to get rid of would prove ironic, as in her next appearance in TNG: "Reunion", she is murdered by Duras.
- Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) does not appear in this episode.
- Maurice Hurley remarked, "Great idea and one that worked. Hard for that one not to work, but it worked well all the way through. With the Klingons you're dealing with emotion and passion. You've got somebody who can see something. You need that balance in the show sometimes. The show gets so intellectually smug and self-serving, and you need something like that to break it off; someone willing to storm the barricades. The idea of the half-Klingon was fun." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Cliff Bole commented, "I liked the show and thought Michael Dorn did a real good job in it. I think I let [Suzie Plakson] get overboard a little bit. She was a little too broad, but she's a talented lady. I think the Klingon shows are fun to do, because you can go a little broad with them." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- A mission report for this episode by Will Murray was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 9, pp. 51-54.
- In this episode K'Ehleyr mentions that she and Worf first met six years ago. This event was told in the Starfleet Academy duology Line of Fire/Survival by Peter David.
Video and DVD releasesEdit
- Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 23, catalog number VHR 2506, 7 October 1991
- In the UK video collection Star Trek: The Next Generation - 10th Anniversary Collector's Edition, under the "Worf" section, 29 September 1997
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 2.7, catalog number VHR 4743, 5 July 1999
- As part of the TNG Season 2 DVD collection
- As part of the TNG Season 2 Blu-ray collection
Links and references Edit
Also starring Edit
- LeVar Burton as Lt. Geordi La Forge
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Worf
- Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi
- Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
Special appearance by Edit
Guest stars Edit
- Suzie Plakson as K'Ehleyr
- Lance LeGault as K'Temoc
- Georgann Johnson as Gromek
- Colm Meaney as Miles O'Brien
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Majel Barrett as USS Enterprise-D computer voice
- James G. Becker as Youngblood
- Unknown performers as
Stunt double Edit
- James G. Becker – stand-in for Jonathan Frakes
- Darrell Burris – stand-in for LeVar Burton
- Dexter Clay – stand-in for Michael Dorn
- Jeffrey Deacon – stand-in for Patrick Stewart
- Nora Leonhardt – stand-in for Marina Sirtis
- Tim McCormack – stand-in for Brent Spiner
2290; 2331; 2359; bearing; Boradis III; Boradis system; class 8 probe; class 11 emergency signal; cloaking device; colony; cryogenic stasis; DNA; envoy; evasive maneuvers; fatalism; Federation; gamma ray; Holodeck Two; Ice man; K'Ehleyr's father; K'Ehleyr's mother; Klingon calisthenics program; Klingon High Command; Klingon oath; Klingonese; K't'inga-class; meter; nap; Number one; outpost; parallel course; poker; P'Rang, IKS; probe casing; Qo'noS; sleeper ship; special emissary; standing order; Starbase 153; Starbase 336; Starfleet; Starfleet Command; surrender; T'Ong, IKS; transporter beam; transporter lock; Troi, Ian Andrew; Troi, Lwaxana; yellow alert
Library computer references Edit
- Federation Star Chart ("The Explored Galaxy"): Aldebaran; Alfa 177; Alpha Carinae; Alpha Centauri; Alpha Majoris; Altair VI; Andor; Ariannus; Arret; Babel; Benecia; Berengaria VII; Beta Aurigae; Beta Geminorum; Beta Lyrae; Beta Niobe; Beta Portolan; Camus II; Canopus III; Capella; Daran V; Delta Vega; Deneb; Eminiar; Fabrina; First Federation; Gamma Canaris N; Gamma Trianguli; Holberg 917G; Ingraham B; Janus VI; Kling; Kzin; Lactra VII; Makus III; Marcos XII; Manark IV; Memory Alpha; Mudd; Omega IV; Omega Cygni; Organia; Orion; Pallas 14; Phylos; Pollux IV; Psi 2000; Pyris VII; Regulus; Remus; Rigel; Romulus; Sarpeid; Sirius; Talos; Tau Ceti; Theta III; Tholian Assembly; Vulcan
- Exercise Menu: Carnival; Desert; Dixon Hill; Dixon Hill series; Earth; France; Hanauma Bay; Longchamp; Rio de Janeiro; Rite of Ascension; Scuba Diving; ShiKahr; Vulcan
- "The Emissary" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "The Emissary" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "The Emissary" at Wikipedia
- "The Emissary" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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