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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old October 2 2014, 08:02 PM   #1
AggieJohn
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TNG if Romulans and Klingons were more TOS

Ok so I had a thought re-watching the TOS and the TNG. Some could argue that in the TOS the Romulans were more the honor bound race and the Klingons were the spies and secretive manipulators. Yes I recognize that there are examples that contradict that however, say that Star Trek 3,4,5,and 6 lead to a Federation Romulan alliance and the Klingons are the ones that become isolated. How would this have impacted the TNG stories.

So first, why? Well I actually love Roddenberry's overall vision. My only beef is that its a little too all ready achieved in TNG. The best episodes are the ones that show how the hard fought freedoms and justice of the 24th century is paid for with blood, sweat and tears, ie the Borg episodes. having the Klingons still bad, but slowly moving toward good could have been more compelling. Especially at the time it air, late 80's early 90's with the collapse of the Soviet Union as a backdrop. We would see a Empire drab and culture-less yearning for a re-connection to its roots and screaming out for freedom. This in fairness is more or less happening in the TNG but it would have been interesting to see happen before us. Star Trek 6 seems a bit forced. Again I appreciate that is opinion based.

So the first I thought of was what about Worf? One of my fav characters in TNG. I think he could exists in this time line as well, but perhaps for different reasons. With the Klingon Empire increasingly isolated. It would likely be experiencing recession and a cultural dark age. Many of its best and brightest might defect to the worlds of the Fed-Romulan alliance. Worf's family might have taken that route. He still struggles with his heritage and he is the first to join Starfleet. But now its with the hope that his people some day enjoy the freedom he enjoys.

I can also see the civil war occur, this time the Romulans instead of the Klingons. In this case it can be the traditional imperials, backed by the Klingons against the new pro Republic Romulans, backed by Spock.

I also think that ultimately a lot of the Cardasian stories would be Klingon as they appear to be a militaristic old guard faction that was collapsing under the weight of civil unrest. They are really good stories that would have been even better had they been a bad guy so much more iconic as the Klingons are.
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Old October 2 2014, 08:07 PM   #2
T'Girl
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Re: TNG if Romulans and Klingons were more TOS

While many have expressed the opinion that the TOS Romulans (the ones we saw anyway) were honorable, personally I've never seen clear signs that this is true.

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Old October 2 2014, 08:24 PM   #3
AggieJohn
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Re: TNG if Romulans and Klingons were more TOS

Well Honorable is always going to be a strong word when one is dealing with the "bad guys".
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Old October 2 2014, 08:27 PM   #4
Green Shirt
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Re: TNG if Romulans and Klingons were more TOS

T'Girl wrote: View Post
While many have expressed the opinion that the TOS Romulans (the ones we saw anyway) were honorable, personally I've never seen clear signs that this is true.

One could argue that Mark Lenard's Romulan commander was honorful, seeing as how he and Kirk interacted - with mutual respect.
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Old October 2 2014, 09:19 PM   #5
dstyer
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Re: TNG if Romulans and Klingons were more TOS

AggieJohn wrote: View Post
Ok so I had a thought re-watching the TOS and the TNG. Some could argue that in the TOS the Romulans were more the honor bound race and the Klingons were the spies and secretive manipulators. Yes I recognize that there are examples that contradict that however, say that Star Trek 3,4,5,and 6 lead to a Federation Romulan alliance and the Klingons are the ones that become isolated. How would this have impacted the TNG stories.

So first, why? Well I actually love Roddenberry's overall vision. My only beef is that its a little too all ready achieved in TNG. The best episodes are the ones that show how the hard fought freedoms and justice of the 24th century is paid for with blood, sweat and tears, ie the Borg episodes. having the Klingons still bad, but slowly moving toward good could have been more compelling. Especially at the time it air, late 80's early 90's with the collapse of the Soviet Union as a backdrop. We would see a Empire drab and culture-less yearning for a re-connection to its roots and screaming out for freedom. This in fairness is more or less happening in the TNG but it would have been interesting to see happen before us. Star Trek 6 seems a bit forced. Again I appreciate that is opinion based.

So the first I thought of was what about Worf? One of my fav characters in TNG. I think he could exists in this time line as well, but perhaps for different reasons. With the Klingon Empire increasingly isolated. It would likely be experiencing recession and a cultural dark age. Many of its best and brightest might defect to the worlds of the Fed-Romulan alliance. Worf's family might have taken that route. He still struggles with his heritage and he is the first to join Starfleet. But now its with the hope that his people some day enjoy the freedom he enjoys.

I can also see the civil war occur, this time the Romulans instead of the Klingons. In this case it can be the traditional imperials, backed by the Klingons against the new pro Republic Romulans, backed by Spock.

I also think that ultimately a lot of the Cardasian stories would be Klingon as they appear to be a militaristic old guard faction that was collapsing under the weight of civil unrest. They are really good stories that would have been even better had they been a bad guy so much more iconic as the Klingons are.
I really dig this idea. I was at college for the first part of TNG and with the birthing of the Internet and chatting worldwide, I really remember getting into the breakup of the Soviet Union. It was astonishing to actually be able to chat with citizens of the USSR and hear in their own words what was going on.

The idea the Worf's family might have defected to the Federation and he was allowed to serve on a Starfleet vessel is rife with possibilities. In addition, being able to pull "ripped from the headlines" stories using all the fodder in international relations at the time might have brought more attention in the media to TNG than it had already gotten.

The one issue with this that I can see is that it only is possible using hindsight. In 1986, when TNG was being developed, no one would have thought all of the changes on the international scene were possible.
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Old October 2 2014, 09:30 PM   #6
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Re: TNG if Romulans and Klingons were more TOS

There was a comic book series that I remember reading back in the mid-1980s. It was set (and produced) directly after TSFS -- call it an alternate timeline since TVH had not been released yet (instead of being assigned to the Enterprise-A, Kirk and company inherited the Excelsior instead.)

One of the new characters created for this series was a Klingon defector named Konom; really fascinating character. (The storyline also featured a Horta crewman, FWIW.)
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Old October 2 2014, 09:48 PM   #7
AggieJohn
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Re: TNG if Romulans and Klingons were more TOS

totally agree. Its too bad that Star Trek often has troubles building excellent arching stories. Excellent single episodes though.

With further reflection..

I was even thinking that the events of Yesteryear could still happen but in this case. Yar actually falls in love with her, in this case Romulan savior. In this time line her daughter might be a neutral character, with questionable loyalties, that come up during the civil war, with each side trying to get her to aid them. Perhaps in the end Spock and Picard are able to convince her to side with the good guys just as all seems lost.

It might also be cool to see Spock grew as a diplomat. I have struggled with him jumping right into in Star Trek VI. I would have preferred to have seen Sarek on the Enterprise as the diplomat. Spock and him reconnect as they work together to hunt down the traitors. In the end Sarek see's that Spock's time on the Enterprise has sharpened his skills and in the end Sarek retires and hands his position over to Spock.

Savak is either there as well or is at least mentioned/ early cameo revealing that she is Spock's love child with the Romulan Commander from the Enterprise incident. The commander has committed suicide having never been able to return home or fit in the Federation, which is a huge motivating factor for Spock. He wants his daughter to be able to embrace her heritage. This creates a level of conflict with Kirk's due to his hatred of the Romulans over the death of David. Makes the exchange of "let them die" become so personal for both.

In the 24th century Savak is now Spock's understudy maybe taking a lead role in helping Klingon defectors. Maybe there is a relationship between Savak and Worf in that she understands what it is like to have to live in a world without any of your own kind. helping him when he was a boy. She might have even been the one to sponsor him into the academy.

Spock has been a key figure in the cultural exchange of Vulcan and Romulan culture. Perhaps Spock uses this to further explore his human side as well. During the civil war he is torn by his duty to the Federation and his love of his daughters home. In the end he resigns like Worf did and joins the struggle.
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Old October 2 2014, 10:07 PM   #8
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Re: TNG if Romulans and Klingons were more TOS

TOS Romulans seemed to make a big deal about duty, and to a lesser degree, tradition. I've always felt TNG Klingons swiped those traits from them, causing the Romulans to be revamped. Then the Cardassians came along and seemed to take some of these new elements away from the revamped Romulans. The three races seemed almost interchangeable at times.
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Old October 2 2014, 11:28 PM   #9
AggieJohn
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Re: TNG if Romulans and Klingons were more TOS

Dr. Sevrin wrote: View Post
TOS Romulans seemed to make a big deal about duty, and to a lesser degree, tradition. I've always felt TNG Klingons swiped those traits from them, causing the Romulans to be revamped. Then the Cardassians came along and seemed to take some of these new elements away from the revamped Romulans. The three races seemed almost interchangeable at times.
I agree. I blame that on poor arching story. Star Trek focused on single episodes or the occasional 2 part-er. Thus things get mixed up, and the races more and more generic. Some of that is really not their fault as in Paramount really failed to support Star Trek over the years.

I guess the question is what could have been? Granite this is done with the benefit of hindsight.

You know with that in mind. I think that the Cardassians are added to correct the mistake. In reality they are the old Klingons returned. Underhanded and brutal conquers. Bajor should have been the Klingon Afghanistan.
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Old October 3 2014, 12:31 AM   #10
Anwar
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Re: TNG if Romulans and Klingons were more TOS

Well, aside from the one Romulan Captain seen in "Balance of Terror" we didn't get much saying the Romulans were honorable. After all, we also had guys like Decius who was implied to be a more underhanded type.

We also had the female Romulan Commander, but not much for her being honorable.

Keep in mind that we only had two on-screen episodes with the Romulans vs the many more in TNG. It was inevitable they'd end up more used up by then.

The Cardassians were more fleshed out than the TOS Klingons, who really only had good actors in their defense.
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Old October 3 2014, 07:57 AM   #11
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Re: TNG if Romulans and Klingons were more TOS

Anwar wrote: View Post
We also had the female Romulan Commander, but not much for her being honorable.
Can't say I agree; if she had not been at least somewhat honorable, Spock never would have made it off their ship, neither would Kirk.

Spock would have been killed or jailed immediately upon being caught and Kirk would have either been cut open for autopsy without knowing what had happened, or woken up, then killed.

Not the strongest of indications but she treated her prisoners well, at least.
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