Why Star Trek's Michael Dorn Didn't 'Sign On 100%' To Reprise Worf In Picard Season 3 Until Right Before Filming

Michael Dorn on Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Picard episode "Seventeen Seconds." Read at your own risk! 

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 gave viewers some great scenes with Worf in "Seventeen Seconds," after officially bringing back the character in the week prior to save Raffi. Longtime Trek fans who tuned in with their Paramount+ subscription were undoubtedly thrilled to see their favorite Klingon kick some ass, with actor Michael Dorn back in the saddle as his character. It's wild to think that actor might not have joined the series for the final season, given all the teases in past years, but Dorn recently told CinemaBlend that wasn't entirely out of the question. 

I was honored to speak to Michael Dorn ahead of "Seventeen Seconds," and admitted to the actor I've documented his eventual journey to Star Trek: Picard Season 3 quite extensively. I mentioned how some of his past comments made it seem like he wasn't a sure bet to return, and Dorn confirmed he was being earnest and shared why he was hesitant to return as well as unsure if it would actually happen:

I’ll speak for myself, I won’t speak for the other guys. It really was always about what they wanted me to do. It was always about, ‘Is it going to be interesting?’ For me, the call I got to be on Picard was a shock because there were no plans, you know? There wasn’t really anything concrete about coming back on Picard until they made the call to all of us. Even then, when they call, they say, ‘Oh, we’d like you to do this’ you kind of go, ‘Oh, that’d be nice,’ but you let it go because you just don’t know. You just don’t know how real it is.

Michael Dorn was asked to come back as Worf a couple of times during Star Trek: Picard, but as he said above, there were no concrete plans. As he's mentioned in interviews prior to Season 3, he wasn't going to reprise Worf unless he felt the role was worth it, and Picard Season 3 needed to prove that to him first before he would get on board. 

What may shock Star Trek fans is that Michael Dorn wasn't fully sold on returning as Worf until weeks before filming Picard Season 3. Dorn confirmed that he wasn't pulling anyone's leg when he commented on returning, and that he wasn't fully sold on bringing back Worf until a month before filming. He said:

No, it wasn’t being coy. We didn’t know – let me put it this way – I didn’t really sign on 100% until I read the first couple of scripts, and then I signed on… up until then, I had no idea [if I’d return]. That was probably a month before we started filming that we knew we’d do it.

That's a tight window, but luckily it all worked out, and Michael Dorn reunited with the rest of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast for Picard Season 3. He's currently working as Raffi's handler, and the duo is collaborating to try and uncover the dark plot that led to the deaths of over a hundred people. 

This week brought significantly more questions to the table, but unfortunately, we're going to need to wait for more answers. Raffi and Worf's most promising prisoner melted before their very eyes, which might have been his best possible play given all the things Raffi was willing to do for more information. We'll see if the calmer and seasoned Worf can reign her in, though perhaps a little Klingon rage might be what this mission needs to yield results. 

Star Trek: Picard streams new episodes on Thursdays on Paramount+ (opens in new tab). Tune in to get more of Worf, and hopefully, we'll get more news in the coming months that it won't be the last time we see him or other exciting characters

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.