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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old October 10 2012, 12:48 AM   #1
Delta Vega
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The Klingons

I know its probably been done to death, but enlighten me.

Why did the writers, producers, studio, whatever decide that between Star Trek TOS and The Motion Picture, that they should have evolved cranial ridges, or skullplates ?

Is there a definitive or canon explanation for this, as personally, I preferred the old dusky, gold shiny breasted Klingons, who always had a perfectly coiffured hairdo

In later incarnations of Star Trek I actually cringe when the Klingons appear, I just cant get my head round all their warrior psyche, I think its just plain silly.
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Old October 10 2012, 01:01 AM   #2
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: The Klingons

Better make-up budget. Thats it. As for the chage in ethos from slimy villains to proud honor-obsessed warriors, Gene Rodenberry was retconning quite a bit at the time.

The definitive explanation for the smooth/bumpy Klingons is given in the Enterprise episodes "Affliction" and "Divergence"
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Old October 10 2012, 01:09 AM   #3
xortex
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Re: The Klingons

He wanted to distinguish the species to make them different with the larger budget but their heads just kept getting bigger and bigger with more and more ridges and they just got ridiculously stupid in every way.
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Old October 10 2012, 01:10 AM   #4
Delta Vega
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Re: The Klingons

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
Better make-up budget. Thats it. As for the chage in ethos from slimy villains to proud honor-obsessed warriors, Gene Rodenberry was retconning quite a bit at the time.

The definitive explanation for the smooth/bumpy Klingons is given in the Enterprise episodes "Affliction" and "Divergence"
Are these the two Klingon Augment episodes ?
I enjoyed both of them, but couldnt relate those statuesque young villains with the long haired psycho honour obsessives in DS9 eg.
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Old October 10 2012, 01:11 AM   #5
Delta Vega
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Re: The Klingons

xortex wrote: View Post
He wanted to distinguish the species to make them different with the larger budget but their heads just kept getting bigger and bigger with more and more ridges and they just got ridiculously stupid in every way.
Ridiculously stupid is being kind
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Old October 10 2012, 02:37 AM   #6
Mr_Homn
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Re: The Klingons

Delta Vega wrote: View Post
I know its probably been done to death, but enlighten me.

Why did the writers, producers, studio, whatever decide that between Star Trek TOS and The Motion Picture, that they should have evolved cranial ridges, or skullplates ?

Is there a definitive or canon explanation for this, as personally, I preferred the old dusky, gold shiny breasted Klingons, who always had a perfectly coiffured hairdo

In later incarnations of Star Trek I actually cringe when the Klingons appear, I just cant get my head round all their warrior psyche, I think its just plain silly.
Star trek III was supposed to have romulan villains instead of klingon villains, and when they made the change, they hardly altered the script to reflect that change.

Before that, Klingons were devious scheming villains (Kor) , and romulans were the honorable warrior race (Balance of Terror). After STIII switched them around, Klingons became the honorable warrior race and Romulans became the scheming backstabbing villians. They just kept going with that from then on forward.

At least that's how I remember the explanation.
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Old October 10 2012, 02:47 AM   #7
Nerys Myk
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Re: The Klingons

Mr_Homn wrote: View Post
Delta Vega wrote: View Post
I know its probably been done to death, but enlighten me.

Why did the writers, producers, studio, whatever decide that between Star Trek TOS and The Motion Picture, that they should have evolved cranial ridges, or skullplates ?

Is there a definitive or canon explanation for this, as personally, I preferred the old dusky, gold shiny breasted Klingons, who always had a perfectly coiffured hairdo

In later incarnations of Star Trek I actually cringe when the Klingons appear, I just cant get my head round all their warrior psyche, I think its just plain silly.
Star trek III was supposed to have romulan villains instead of klingon villains, and when they made the change, they hardly altered the script to reflect that change.

Before that, Klingons were devious scheming villains (Kor) , and romulans were the honorable warrior race (Balance of Terror). After STIII switched them around, Klingons became the honorable warrior race and Romulans became the scheming backstabbing villians. They just kept going with that from then on forward.

At least that's how I remember the explanation.
What's not devious about stealing Genesis, killing prisoners and blowing up your informants ship?

What's honorable about sneaking into your opponent's territory to test a new weapon in violation of a treaty?
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Old October 10 2012, 02:48 AM   #8
scotpens
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Re: The Klingons

Delta Vega wrote: View Post
. . .Is there a definitive or canon explanation for this, as personally, I preferred the old dusky, gold shiny breasted Klingons, who always had a perfectly coiffured hairdo .
The TOS Klingons with the swarthy greasepaint and gold sashes looked fine on 1960s television screens but would have looked laughably cheesy on the big movie screen. (For example, their belt buckles were made of plastic bubble wrap.) So they got a major redesign for TMP.
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Old October 10 2012, 04:25 AM   #9
Mr_Homn
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Re: The Klingons

Zombie Cheerleader wrote: View Post
Mr_Homn wrote: View Post
Delta Vega wrote: View Post
I know its probably been done to death, but enlighten me.

Why did the writers, producers, studio, whatever decide that between Star Trek TOS and The Motion Picture, that they should have evolved cranial ridges, or skullplates ?

Is there a definitive or canon explanation for this, as personally, I preferred the old dusky, gold shiny breasted Klingons, who always had a perfectly coiffured hairdo

In later incarnations of Star Trek I actually cringe when the Klingons appear, I just cant get my head round all their warrior psyche, I think its just plain silly.
Star trek III was supposed to have romulan villains instead of klingon villains, and when they made the change, they hardly altered the script to reflect that change.

Before that, Klingons were devious scheming villains (Kor) , and romulans were the honorable warrior race (Balance of Terror). After STIII switched them around, Klingons became the honorable warrior race and Romulans became the scheming backstabbing villians. They just kept going with that from then on forward.

At least that's how I remember the explanation.
What's not devious about stealing Genesis, killing prisoners and blowing up your informants ship?

What's honorable about sneaking into your opponent's territory to test a new weapon in violation of a treaty?
Yes yes, and klingons do plenty of dishonorable things afterward in the guise of "honor" as well. Kruge killing his informant was for the empire, and she acted "honorably" when she was killed. Stealing genesis was for the empire so it was honorable in the eyes of a klingon. Is this stuff really honorable? not particularly, but it still fits with the pattern post ST3.

The point remains, st3 was when the switch happened. They are after that generalized as the "honorable warrior race", and romulans the "sneaky bastards". It was the other way around before that.
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Old October 10 2012, 04:47 AM   #10
Nerys Myk
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Re: The Klingons

I feel the idea that Romulans in TOS were "honorable" is fan extrapolation. The Commander in BOT seemed to have qualms about the current state of the Empire, but he still followed his orders and conducted a sneak attack. The Commander in "The Enterprise Incident" didn't seem all that honorable with her attempt to seduce and turn Spock. ( Not that Kirk and Spock were any better ) So I just don't get the Romulans are honorable thing.

The Klingons in TOS are probably more complex than we give them credit for. Kang especially seems more than the scheming backstabber we associate with Klingons. One might say almost honorable. Kruge actually is closer to the scheming backstabber (literally!) than the three main TOS Klingons.
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Old October 10 2012, 05:18 AM   #11
Mr_Homn
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Re: The Klingons

Zombie Cheerleader wrote: View Post
I feel the idea that Romulans in TOS were "honorable" is fan extrapolation. The Commander in BOT seemed to have qualms about the current state of the Empire, but he still followed his orders and conducted a sneak attack. The Commander in "The Enterprise Incident" didn't seem all that honorable with her attempt to seduce and turn Spock. ( Not that Kirk and Spock were any better ) So I just don't get the Romulans are honorable thing.

The Klingons in TOS are probably more complex than we give them credit for. Kang especially seems more than the scheming backstabber we associate with Klingons. One might say almost honorable. Kruge actually is closer to the scheming backstabber (literally!) than the three main TOS Klingons.
I suppose that's true.
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Old October 10 2012, 10:19 AM   #12
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: The Klingons

Delta Vega wrote: View Post
KingDaniel wrote: View Post
Better make-up budget. Thats it. As for the chage in ethos from slimy villains to proud honor-obsessed warriors, Gene Rodenberry was retconning quite a bit at the time.

The definitive explanation for the smooth/bumpy Klingons is given in the Enterprise episodes "Affliction" and "Divergence"
Are these the two Klingon Augment episodes ?
I enjoyed both of them, but couldnt relate those statuesque young villains with the long haired psycho honour obsessives in DS9 eg.
Sounds like you're describing the baddies from the Augment stories (with Brent Spiner as Arik Soong), which leads to the Klingon Augment arc. The baddies in the former were humans, basically more of Khan's enhanced people. The second arc involves Phlox being kidnapped, and Reed being thrown in the brig with a smooth-headed Augment Klingon.
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Old October 14 2012, 01:59 AM   #13
Wingsley
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Re: The Klingons

There was an attempt in John Ford's 1984 novel "The Final Reflection" to describe the Klingons as a multi-racial society, although the details escape me now. Vonda McIntyre also picked up on this concept of a multi-racial Klingon Empire, IIRC. I always assumed that the Klingon Empire was a kind of "Mirror, Mirror" reflection of the Federation, only in the Prime TREK Universe, complete with internal cultural and racial/species diversity. There never was any clear canon guidance on this, however.

In the 1980s, I interpreted the human-like Fu Manchu-style Klingons as being of a race/species that were more anti-Vulcan than the Romulans. Kor, Koloth and Kang struck me as being coldly logical and militaristic in stark contrast the the (relatively) warm and polite Vulcans. When the tire-tread-headed Klingons came on the scene, I recall one fanon publication (an Enterprise officer's manual?) describing an ethnic/factional takeover in the Empire; thus the "new" Klingons became prominently featured.

The Klingons of TNG seemed to be even more of a shift, keeping the same tire-tread prosthetic makeup (didn't Arsenio Hall once describe Worf as looking "like he has a butt on his head"? ) but further exaggerating the behavior until they started reminding me of an overdone caricature of General Urko from the old PLANET OF THE APES series from the 1970's. It never made sense to me that a race so immersed in violence, so conflicted from without and from within, could've made it into space without perishing in their own world wars.

That having been said, the ENT take on the Klingons nearly wiping themselves out with an augment mutation sounded like a lame plot device. I still think the Klingons make more sense if they are a multi-racial organization of worlds. The well-done Klingon costumes in TMP6 suggested to me that with a little effort the Fu Manchu-style TOS Klingons could conceptually make a comeback and not look 1960's-TV cheesy.
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Old October 14 2012, 12:09 PM   #14
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Re: The Klingons

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
The definitive explanation for the smooth/bumpy Klingons is given in the Enterprise episodes "Affliction" and "Divergence"
A stupidly contrived explanation perfectly fitting of a wholly stupid series that is easily ignored. Hardly definitive.

John M. Ford did it much earlier and far better even if it isn't "official."
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Old October 14 2012, 12:29 PM   #15
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: The Klingons

Definitive in terms of the greater Trek tapestry. It is the canon answer, the one future Treks tied into the same continuity will abide by. Sounds pretty definitive to me. (although I too prefer J. M. Ford's take on the Klingon Empire from The Final Reflection)
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