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Wednesday, August 2, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Raise a goblet of blood wine: Klingon-centric DVD set is here

Newhouse News Service

The Klingons have not yet vanquished the Vulcans, Andorians or Romulans, but they conquered "Star Trek" fans long ago.

And if any man knows the alien warrior race, it is Michael Dorn — the Texas-born actor who portrayed Klingon Cmdr. Worf for 13 years on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," its spinoff "Deep Space Nine" and co-starred in five big-screen epics.

Worf's bone-ridged visage dominates the cover of "Star Trek: Fan Collective — Klingon," a four-DVD set from Paramount Home Entertainment ($38.99) that was released yesterday. It contains 11 Klingon-themed episodes selected by online fans from the five live-action "Star Trek" series that aired between 1966 and 2005.

Speaking from his home in Southern California, Dorn, 53, said he understands the appeal of Klingons.

"As people, we like swashbucklers, the soldiers who are devil-may-care," Dorn said. "They have a real joy of life ... live fast and die hard."

Dorn's own life changed when he first donned 3 hours' worth of makeup in 1987 to play Worf.

He credits the writers with much of Worf's appeal, saying they built upon the stoicism and simmering anger he brought to the character.

"I was a fan of the original series. I knew the Klingons," he said. "Klingons are no-nonsense. There is not a 'How are the wife and kids?' [banter]. It's 'What do you want?' "

Dorn is close with his former "Trek" castmates. He considers Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troi) to be his best friend, adding he went to the movies a few days earlier with Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher) and was having lunch that day with Brent Spiner (Lt. Commander Data).

Without his Klingon makeup, most fans fail to recognize Dorn when he is out in public.

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"I've been out with other cast members and they get mobbed. If someone doesn't say, 'This is Worf,' I don't get bothered, which is good because I am a private person."

It is a long shot, Dorn said, that there will be further adventures of the cast of "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Paramount has announced plans for a new film, which is expected to focus on other characters.

"My gut reaction is that Worf is done," Dorn said. "Maybe they might do another TV series, but that is a very far-fetched idea."

In recent years, Dorn has been busy as a voice actor in several cartoon series ("It's easy work. You come in your jeans and a T-shirt"). He will co-star this fall in "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause" with Tim Allen.

Still, he is proudest of his work on "Star Trek."

"It's the most important, and best work, I've done," he said.

The DVD set "Star Trek: Fan Collective — Klingon" is the latest in a series of fan-selected compilations. The box set includes the first appearance of the Klingons from the 1967 episode "Errand of Mercy." Dorn is featured in seven of the 11 episodes.

Some fans may quibble over the choices, including Dorn.

The DVD set contains a "Deep Space Nine" episode, "Trials and Tribble-ations," that Dorn dislikes.

"It had Worf wearing a scarf over his head and it was 'cute,' " said Dorn, adding in a tone reminiscent of his Klingon alter ego, "I don't like 'cute.' "

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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