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

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Old May 5 2014, 04:33 AM   #1
Emperor Norton
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Kahless Mimicking Voices?

So I was rewatching The Savage Curtain, and it reminded me of some canonical issues that need to get excused for that episode. Namely Kahless, who is shown to look exactly like a 23rd century, TOS Klingon and is said to be evil and to be the originator of the Klingons' evil ways. Obviously when this episode was made in the 60s, that was purely the intent. After the Klingons had been revised, the excuse is that it is how Kirk and Spock envision Kahless.

One of the things that is harder to explain is the false Kahless having the ability to perfectly mimic voices. This was nowhere mentioned in any of the later episodes, and so far as I know it does not seem to be explained or brought up anywhere else. One explanation would be the image of Kahless was given that ability by the Excalbians, but that doesn't make sense. This Kahless, if he comes from Kirk's and Spock's head, has to come from some idea that Kahless was capable of that. And the idea may come from Federation propaganda which was totally invented or at least an exaggeration. Or it may have been something real.

So any thoughts on the explanation?
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Old May 5 2014, 04:53 AM   #2
Push The Button
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Re: Kahless Mimicking Voices?

When I was a kid, it seemed that Anon Seven had the same voice imitating talent, but now I realize that he was just using some kind of gizmo to mimic Kirk's voice.

As for Kahless, I just tell myself that it isn't really Kahless, the rock monster is letting the evil team cheat a little by giving faux-Kahless that ability.
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Old May 5 2014, 05:01 AM   #3
albion432
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Re: Kahless Mimicking Voices?

Emperor Norton wrote: View Post
So I was rewatching The Savage Curtain, and it reminded me of some canonical issues that need to get excused for that episode. Namely Kahless, who is shown to look exactly like a 23rd century, TOS Klingon and is said to be evil and to be the originator of the Klingons' evil ways. Obviously when this episode was made in the 60s, that was purely the intent. After the Klingons had been revised, the excuse is that it is how Kirk and Spock envision Kahless.
I just recently rewatched The Savage Curtain too, and used the exact same reasoning mentioned above to explain how different Kahless was than he is later depicted, but had not considered what you wrote below, mainly because I am not as familiar with the TNG era version of Kahless.

Emperor Norton wrote: View Post
One of the things that is harder to explain is the false Kahless having the ability to perfectly mimic voices. This was nowhere mentioned in any of the later episodes, and so far as I know it does not seem to be explained or brought up anywhere else. One explanation would be the image of Kahless was given that ability by the Excalbians, but that doesn't make sense. This Kahless, if he comes from Kirk's and Spock's head, has to come from some idea that Kahless was capable of that. And the idea may come from Federation propaganda which was totally invented or at least an exaggeration. Or it may have been something real.

So any thoughts on the explanation?
I cannot offer an solid explanation for Kahless's mimicking ability. However, thinking over the problem, I turned my attention to Lincoln, the only other historical figure the Excalbians copied that we know much of anything about. I figured we might find a clue there.

I recalled Lincoln had been given knowledge by the Excalbians which, knowing what we know about the real Lincoln, he should clearly no nothing about; the Vulcan concept of Nome, meaning One for example. So, if we know they gave Lincoln "special knowledge" beyond what the original could have possibly known, it would follow they did the same with Kahless. It is consistent.

I hope that is of some help in getting to the bottom of this mystery!
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Old May 5 2014, 05:04 AM   #4
LMFAOschwarz
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Re: Kahless Mimicking Voices?

I suppose there's no reason he couldn't have had that ability, but it seems more the type of skill that leads one to being voted class clown, rather than the model for all men to come!

Or...maybe Kirk once heard something, remembered dimly, about a Kahless quote, talking about 'speaking with many voices' in a figurative sense. The Excalbians just patched this memory fragment onto the character. Like the Talosians, the Excalbians "had no guide for putting these people back together", either.

Just throwing the idea out there...
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Old May 5 2014, 08:44 AM   #5
Timo
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Re: Kahless Mimicking Voices?

It would be rather plausible for Kirk-era humans to have really absurd ideas about Klingons in general, and Kahless specifically. Just think what the good old Victorians "knew" about the Chinese...

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Old May 5 2014, 09:03 AM   #6
Dukhat
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Re: Kahless Mimicking Voices?

Remember, these people weren't really the genuine articles. They were just based on Kirk's idea of them. Kirk may have heard of Kahless but knew nothing about him, so the Excalbians just made a "stock" Kahless from what Kirk did know of the Klingons, which was completely inaccurate to the real person. Maybe Kirk just thought faux-Kahless was your typical devious 23rd century Klingon who could mimic voices?
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Old May 5 2014, 09:14 AM   #7
Timo
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Re: Kahless Mimicking Voices?

The interesting issue here is, if the "data" were pulled from the minds of our two heroes, does this mean that both of them agreed with everything they saw? That Surak was like Spock had always imagined him, even if there were elements of Kirk's misconceptions of Surak included in the character? That Kahless had the attributes both humans and Vulcans felt were the correct ones?

Or should we assume that our heroes felt no need to comment on the authenticity of the characters, or lack thereof? It would have been tactically significant to know whether the adversaries were at least somewhat predictable or completely unpredictable in their thinking and capabilities... But with a trio of them, all bets might be off anyway, and there'd be no point in our heroes speculating that Kahless would use traditional Klingon ways of fighting when he had Green to advise him on completely different tactics.

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Old May 5 2014, 01:46 PM   #8
ssosmcin
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Re: Kahless Mimicking Voices?

I found it more amusing that Kahless was such a shitty mimic. He did Surak okay, but when Green asked him if he could cry like Lincoln...he sounded nothing like him.

Green: "Can you cry like Lincoln?"
Kahless (voice too high) "Help me, Kirk. Hellllp meeee Kirrrrrrrk!"
Green: "Hmm. I guess not."
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Old May 5 2014, 05:27 PM   #9
Armored Saint
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Re: Kahless Mimicking Voices?

Emperor Norton wrote: View Post
One of the things that is harder to explain is the false Kahless having the ability to perfectly mimic voices.
Some humans are pretty good for imitating voice, so why a Klingon couldn't?

I don't think Kirk and Spock were persuaded that Kahless had this specific talent. Spock felt the trap because Surak was out of character, not because Kahless was a well-known imitator. They used were used to meet deceptive Klingons, including Arne Darvin, so they figured the "first" Klingon as treacherous as the others. The Excalbians created a plausible Kahless according to Kirk and Spock's minds, not their accurate and conscious idea of him.
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Old May 5 2014, 06:13 PM   #10
BoredShipCapt'n
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Re: Kahless Mimicking Voices?

Timo wrote: View Post
The interesting issue here is, if the "data" were pulled from the minds of our two heroes, does this mean that both of them agreed with everything they saw? That Surak was like Spock had always imagined him, even if there were elements of Kirk's misconceptions of Surak included in the character? That Kahless had the attributes both humans and Vulcans felt were the correct ones?
Kirk had never heard of Surak, though. When Spock saw him and said his name, Kirk's reaction was "Who??"

As for Kahless, Kirk and Spock must have had vague enough ideas of him that the duplicate could satisfy them both.
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Old May 5 2014, 09:32 PM   #11
Timo
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Re: Kahless Mimicking Voices?

...Which is sort of unsatisfactory to the fans of Final Reflection who feel Vulcans ought to know a lot more about Klingons than humans do, and lately to ENT fans who get the same impression from the pilot episode already.

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Old May 6 2014, 07:20 AM   #12
albion432
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Re: Kahless Mimicking Voices?

Are we all forgetting the recreations of these historical figures were not just from Kirk and Spock's minds? The Excalbians also took information from the ships computer banks:
(The red light on the navigation console flashes, and the lights dim)
KIRK: Alert status.
SPOCK: We're being scanned, Captain. A deep probe, incredibly swift.

Then at the end of the episode:
SPOCK: So they were able to create images of Surak and Lincoln after scanning our minds . . .

This would seem to indicate only the images and personalities of Surak and Lincoln were taken from Kirk and Spock's minds. Nothing is said about were the Excalbians got their data to create the other figures, but it must have been from the ships records.
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Old May 6 2014, 07:40 AM   #13
Timo
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Re: Kahless Mimicking Voices?

For all we know, that information came from their previous victims. It's not as if the Excalbians would have learned anything from their little games this time around, so quite possibly they have done this equally fruitlessly before, and will do it again.

The scan of the ship (or the crew?) doesn't seem to have yielded anything we could nail down. For all we know, this scan was the thing that pulled the Champions of Good from the minds of our heroes.

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Old May 6 2014, 08:13 AM   #14
LMFAOschwarz
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Re: Kahless Mimicking Voices?

The weird thing to me is how this isn't trying to smooth over some later contradiction (i.e. the Klingon devil) or something. It's all right there in The Savage Curtain, that the one who all others patterned themselves after from his day forward...could imitate voices.
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Old May 6 2014, 11:40 AM   #15
Timo
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Re: Kahless Mimicking Voices?

If we want to insert some continuity into this standalone weirdness, we could argue that Klingons are famous of doing voices well. Operatic voices, that is - supposedly every warrior is an accomplished singer who knows all the big parts by heart. Can every hero in a Klingon opera sound the same? If not, then a bit of mimic is built into the average Klingon warrior...

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