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General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

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Old December 4 2013, 05:27 AM   #1
LMFAOschwarz
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Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

I was watching some of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and I was looking at the Klingons in the beginning. It's interesting that the more that Klingons appeared in the many years after this, the makeup extremes "exaggerated" more and more. It's almost like looking at a retrospective of a cartoonists work on a comic strip over many years. Think of someone like Charles Schultz, who in the beginning drew Charlie Brown with an oval head, which over time evolved into the iconic round shape. Or better yet, early Bugs Bunny, who in appearance early on had a much more rabbit-based look.

My question is, was this an intentional act, or was it simply an accident of evolution on the part of the makeup artists? I sometimes wonder what would have happened if they'd been slowly evolved-down to a more human look. Seems that alone would have saved a boatload of dough by not buying, over time, a gymnasium-sized load of foam latex!

Actually, I first noticed this when Kang, Kor and Koloth appeared on Deep Space Nine, It was pretty hard not to notice that Kang, for example, looked about as much like Michael Ansara as the Cowardly Lion looked like Ray Bolger! You would think that, at least as these three went, that they would have de-emphasized the makeup extremes.
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Old December 4 2013, 05:59 AM   #2
FormerLurker
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Re: Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

Well, considering that one, Ray Bolger played the Scarecrow, and two, the Cowardly Lion was played by Bert Lahr, that's not much of a comparison.

And the trio of TOS Klingons on DS9 in full Klingon regalia, including foreheads was brilliant. Each one's makeup matched their look from their original appearances, with appropriate allowances for both time, and the realization of their Klingon ridges, which were probably the result of counteracting the Augment virus. I loved it. And for the record, the Klingon makeup on Michael Ansara, John Colicos and William Campbell was the most (!) de-emphasized since the thin appliances applied in STIII. The makeup in TMP was as heavy as anything Michael Westmore did.
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Old December 4 2013, 06:06 AM   #3
LMFAOschwarz
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Re: Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

FormerLurker wrote: View Post
Well, considering that one, Ray Bolger played the Scarecrow, and two, the Cowardly Lion was played by Bert Lahr, that's not much of a comparison.
Sorry, I tend to post late and fatigued. But bear in mind when I was little I was too busy hiding behind the couch when the Wicked Witch appears to remember credits!

I was fine with the appearances. I was just postulating a what-if scenario...
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Old December 4 2013, 07:24 AM   #4
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Re: Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

I was watching some of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and I was looking at the Klingons in the beginning. It's interesting that the more that Klingons appeared in the many years after this, the makeup extremes "exaggerated" more and more. It's almost like looking at a retrospective of a cartoonists work on a comic strip over many years.
I don't agree. The only Klingons that aren't consistent are TOS Klingons. TMP Klingons had near identical uniforms with Klingons all the way up to DS9, season 7. Pluck out a Klingon from TMP, TSFS, any season from TNG or DS9, and they fit right in any of the other eras. Teeth are consistant, as are the ridges. The only uniforms that differ between 1979 and 1999, is TUC, but I chalk that up to those being formal high council uniforms.

Even Enterprise era Klingons are consistent with the 1979-1999 Klingons, in appearance. Their uniforms are different, resembling more the one wore by the Kahless clone, which really doesn't bother me. They were somewhat boxed in, because it WOULD be inconsistent to use the TMP-DS9 uniforms in the Enterprise era, then have the TOS uniforms, and then switch back to the TMP-DS9 look (Like Enterprise was with the Romulans...recycling Nemesis-era Romulan uniforms in the Enterprise era? Shame!).

So, the only thing that is not like the other in the Prime universe, it TOS, and the look has been explained on and off screen, and the uniforms, well chalk that up to the budget.

As to the Abramsverse Klingons, while their ridge look changed some, other than being bald, they don't look so different that they can't be seen as the species. In fact, they are a good "missing link" between the Enterprise era (Affliction), to TOS without ridges, and the return to their normal appearance in the TMP era.

As for their uniforms, except the trench coats and the helmets, while they are noticeably different, to me they are an amalgam of the TOS uniforms and the TMP-DS9 uniforms: they have that armor look, but also are reminiscent of the TOS uniforms. I can explain the trench coats as for hostile environments, but the helmets I have a little hard time explaining why these are the only Klingons we have seen wear them. Perhaps it was a tradition created in between the Enterprise Era, and Abrams Era, as a reaction to many Klingons' loss of ridges? Sort of a toupee, that just became part of the uniform, and remained even after Klingons started getting their ridges back?
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Old December 4 2013, 10:59 AM   #5
F. King Daniel
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Re: Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

The Klingons looked odd in TMP retrospectively (I imagine fans reactions at the time had there been an internet would have made "British Khan" seem like nothing) because their ridges are made to look like extensions of the spinal column and they all have the exact same ones - unlike STIII and beyond, when each Klingon's forehead was made up of a differing pattern and they resemble a crest rather than a spinal cord.

The TMP Klingon look was based on a makeup for another Gene Roddenberry project (it's kind of amazing that what became such an iconic bit of Trek is a recycing)- but I can't remember the name to Google and link a picture!
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Old December 4 2013, 11:08 AM   #6
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Re: Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

The Munchkins were in a criminal conspiracy with Glinda to make Dorothy a patsy and go after the Witch of the West and if need be take the fall for her murder or at least take the punishment from the Witch if their plan screwed up.
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Old December 4 2013, 11:54 AM   #7
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Re: Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

Actually, I just watched Search For Spock last night, and I happened to notice that Kruge doesn't have "Klingon teeth". Maybe Christopher Lloyd couldn't perform in them.
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Old December 4 2013, 11:59 AM   #8
Gov Karnstein
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Re: Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

It's something Klingons don't talk about.
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Old December 4 2013, 01:54 PM   #9
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Re: Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

Am I the only one who read the title of this thread and pictured Klingons sticking their fingers in the barrel of Elmer Fudd's shotgun in order to stop it from firing?
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Old December 4 2013, 02:28 PM   #10
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Re: Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

PicardSpeedo wrote: View Post
Am I the only one who read the title of this thread and pictured Klingons sticking their fingers in the barrel of Elmer Fudd's shotgun in order to stop it from firing?
I pictured Klingon men dressing up in drag.
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Old December 4 2013, 05:20 PM   #11
EvilAgentCoop
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Re: Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

"Klingon season!"

"Romulan season!"

"Klingon season!"

"Romulan season!"
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Old December 4 2013, 09:12 PM   #12
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Re: Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

TheSubCommander wrote: View Post
(Like Enterprise was with the Romulans...recycling Nemesis-era Romulan uniforms in the Enterprise era? Shame!).
Fashion is cyclic. Always has been, always will be.

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
The TMP Klingon look was based on a makeup for another Gene Roddenberry project (it's kind of amazing that what became such an iconic bit of Trek is a recycing)- but I can't remember the name to Google and link a picture!

Genesis II makeup - very Klingonesque! by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

Foam latex (above) was a new innovation at the time, and it became extremely useful for updating the Klingons and Andorians of TMP in brave new ways, plus all those new over-the-head alien masks. Previously, Fred Phillips would have been committing to a nightly ritual of baking new one-use-only crest appliances, just as he had to do for Spock's ear tips during the threee years of TOS.
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Old December 4 2013, 09:19 PM   #13
F. King Daniel
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Re: Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

I never even noticed that the ENT Romulans were wearing Nemesis uniforms. I'm just glad they didn't have those ridiculous shoulder pads from TNG!
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Old December 5 2013, 03:25 AM   #14
Hober Mallow
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Re: Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

TheSubCommander wrote: View Post
I don't agree. The only Klingons that aren't consistent are TOS Klingons. TMP Klingons had near identical uniforms with Klingons all the way up to DS9, season 7. Pluck out a Klingon from TMP, TSFS, any season from TNG or DS9, and they fit right in any of the other eras. Teeth are consistant, as are the ridges. The only uniforms that differ between 1979 and 1999, is TUC, but I chalk that up to those being formal high council uniforms.
They aren't consistent at all.

TMP: nearly identical standardized "spinal" foreheads, short hair, hooked nose (I think), funny teeth.

TSFS: Less extreme, more diverse foreheads, shortish hair; funny teeth (I think) and hooked nose gone. Female Klingons very human in appearance.

TVH/TFF: Forehead once again standardized, less extreme version of TMP; Still no hooked nose or funny teeth.

TUC: Great forehead diversity again; varying hair length; no hooked nose, no funny teeth.

TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT: Bumpy foreheads similar to TSFS, hooked nose and funny teeth. Initially shortish hair, later all Klingons are shown with long hair; female Klingons just as extreme as the male Klingons. The TOS movies produced during TNG's run ignored this look.

An interesting contrast is to check out Michael Dorn's look in TNG vs. his look in TUC.
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Old December 5 2013, 01:49 PM   #15
Lance
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Re: Klingons and the Bugs Bunny effect...

It's worth noting another thing: different make-up designers across different iterations of the franchise.

Michael Westmore effectively boiled Klingon make-up down to a package deal for his TV work from TNG onwards (in other words, he had created a whole department of off-the-shelf facial appliances, wigs and costumes, and he'd pretty much be able to come up with a cheap and effective way to create packaged 'conveyer belt' Klingons that could be made out of any actor with an absolute minimum of time and budget, something that is crucial in series television... this is why we see the so-called 'Duras family' headpiece being worn so often by Klingons who clearly aren't related to Duras).

Westmore brought this expertise to the TNG movies as well, giving everything TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT a kind of focused, uniform look which, yes, did sort of cheapen them a bit, but it's a necessity of ongoing television production.

The TOS movies aren't like that. They are far more ecclectic and individual than some give credit for. Sure, all Klingons within a single movie might look the same... but the TSFS Klingons don't look like the TMP Klingons, and the TFF Klingons don't look like the TSFS Klingons, etc. There are a whole number of subtle differences between them all, which I'd probably chalk up to different makeup designers coming in with their own concepts on whole the Klingons should look.

Westmore kind of brought uniformity to the Klingon design, where previously it had no strict uniformity at all.
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