One of my favourite non-Q TNG episodes, Homeward, showed the trouble and reconciliation between Worf and his rule-breaker brother. To this point in the series, I strongly identified the Worf character as one of my role models but then Nikolai upsets the apple cart (the Prime Directive) and shows reckless disregard by doing the right thing the wrong way. My rebel streak was as conflicted as was Worf’s honour-bound duty (haha duty).
I liked that Nikolai took advantage of the Enterprise’s technological capabilities to help. Bureaucracy (of the Federation) is often the Unspoken Evil in a culture, so it is nice to see people use the tool properly. And… Holodeck. Hello. Aside from Data creating Moriarty, and the VOY Doctor, what a better use for the technology? (Sure, Insurrection showed the “evil” application, but they were evil people and we did get the sight-gag of a bodiless Data running around wantonly killing.)
“This is one of those times when we must face the ramifications of the Prime Directive and honour those lives which we cannot save.”
“I find no honour in this whatsoever captain.”
– Jean-Luc Picard and Nikolai Rozhenko
While Holodeck Follies is not high art (yet), we strive to break the rules when it makes sense — we don’t kill our redshirts (without their permission) and we feature strong female performers every show. But we do follow our Prime Directive: to help everyone laugh long and prosper, and there is plenty of honour in that.