Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in TNG?

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Lance, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    The Klingons always struck me as being anything but technologically advanced. Look what happened when Praxis exploded. Not only did the disaster force the Klingons to ask for Federation help, but the accident itself was also something that could've been avoided had they been more careful. What's more, the Klingons only had cloaking technology because the Romulans gave it to them during their brief TOS alliance.

    I've always felt there were a lot of potential Romulan storylines, but the writers were loathe to explore them for one reason or another. I won't even go into the debacle that was Nemesis, which didn't live up to its billing as a Romulan film at all.

    --Sran
     
  2. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    And it's not as though the Federation didn't change during that time. The Starfleet of Kirk's five-year mission was drastically different than the organization served by Picard and Sisko during the twenty fourth century. Kirk's time reminds me of the Old West. Starship captains were left to their own devices when solving a crisis, which meant less debate and posturing and more action.

    Things started to change around the time of the Project Genesis fiasco. Starfleet became much more self-conscious about its public image. Whether this was due to the Klingons saber-rattling or pressure from Federation bureaucrats, I don't know. But Starfleet was a much different organization by the end of Kirk's time aboard Enterprise than it was at the start. Some of the changes were brought about by members of Kirk's own crew and set the stage for The Next Generation, an era dominated by bureaucrats and self-important admirals more concerned with the letter of the law than they were with the welfare of the general public.

    --Sran
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    Rather, they only had it because TSFS was written with Romulan villains and then they crossed out "Romulan" and wrote in "Klingon" without changing anything else. And then the fans rationalized it by assuming that the Romulans gave the Klingons cloaking tech in exchange for getting Klingon ships as seen in "The Enterprise Incident" (which itself was just a passing handwave to rationalize reusing the expensive new Klingon ship miniature they'd just built).
     
  4. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    Good point. :)

    TSFS opened up a real can of worms when they replaced the Romulans with Klingons. The design of the BoP in that movie is clearly a Romulan ship in every way that matters, and it deserved to be a Romulan ship. To this day I still think it was big a mistake to make them Klingons but let them keep that ship.

    EDIT: Am I misremembering, or did I hear somewhere that at least one transitionary draft of the script actually had Kruge stealing his ship from the Romulans? :confused:
     
  5. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    IIRC, there was a draft that mentioned Kruge having Romulan connections of some sort, possibly to the Romulan Commander from "The Enterprise Incident."

    It's also my understanding that the Romulans were dropped in favor of Klingons because the latter were felt to have a more operatic/movie quality to them.

    --Sran
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    I always figured it was because casual viewers would be confused that the villains looked like Spock.
     
  7. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    Never heard that before, but it's an interesting point. Here's what Wikipedia says about it:

    --Sran
     
  8. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    As an aside, had the Romulans been kept in TSFS, I wonder if they'd have been the featured villains for TUC, as well. Imagine if Spock had been able to start his Reunification movement while still a member of the Enterprise crew. It would have been a nice way of making things come full circle in TNG when the TV episode "Reunification" aired that same fall.

    --Sran
     
  9. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    Things change over time, then perhaps add a dash of revisionist history.
     
  10. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    History written by the victors, no doubt.

    --Sran
     
  11. CelticViking

    CelticViking Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    I am going to disagree somewhat with this. The Klingons of Star Trek III are still not Samurai-Biker-Vikings with no brains and an endless need to stop everything to settle honour debts. They are ruthless and vicious, but not idiots... for the most part.

    In Star Trek V we see the TNG Klingon taint in full force... I mean the half naked bare chested Klingon BOP commander, his female body builder officer... etc... Then, thankfully, but Star Trek VI we are back to TOS Klingons, those wonderfully sinister bastards.

    Notice none of them have ragged teeth?

    John M. Ford's Klingons have always been the ones for me.
     
  12. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    I don't know. Boarding the Enterprise not even remotely suspicious of a trap?

    And I never understood that. Shatner should've known better.

    --Sran
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    I never said they were. I just said the movie was the first step in the process of their transformation, the first time we saw them talk about honor. TNG then picked up on that passing reference and expanded on it as part of its redefinition of the Klingons.
     
  14. CelticViking

    CelticViking Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    We are Klingons!

    ;)

    I said "for the most part" lol!
     
  15. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    Yes, you did.

    --Sran
     
  16. blueshirt

    blueshirt Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    Since we're comparing the TOS Romulans and Klingons for traces of honor, let's look at their episodes.

    The Klingons debut in "Errand of Mercy" by occupying a seemingly primitive planet and "executing" hundreds of Organians, all for Organia's strategic location against the Federation.
    The Romulans debut in "Balance of Terror" by destroying several Earth outposts and killing dozens of Starfleet personnel, then attacking the Enterprise to test the Federation's military preparedness.
    Both are evil aggressors. The Romulans have the one virtue of attacking only someone their own size.

    The Klingons, though restricted by the Organian Peace Treaty (Star Trek's Mutual Assured Destruction), continue targeting less-advanced worlds by covert means that the TNG Klingons would call dishonorable. They foment a coup in "Friday's Child," poison grain meant for thousands of UFP colonists in "The Trouble With Tribbles," and they give the North Vietnamese superior firearms in "A Private Little War." Kang faces a little ball of hate instead of primitives in "Day of the Dove," but at least he knows when not to fight.

    In later Romulan episodes, however, it's the Enterprise that violates the Neutral Zone, doing so in "The Enterprise Incident" to steal the cloaking device. The Romulans, though hostile, aren't even villains in these cases.

    The Klingons were meant as the allegory for the Soviet Union, and so obviously it has more meaning if they change and make peace with the Federation. And Ron Moore or any writer can argue correctly that most societies will change over the course of a century, so the Klingons and Romulans can, too.

    However, the portrayal of the 2 empires in TOS to me hinted more at eventual genuine understanding with the Romulans and a peace-through-comeuppance for the Klingons, like they got in James Blish's "Spock Must Die."

    It's easy for me to imagine a Romulan version of Worf in TNG, exploring the martial side of Vulcanoids. He'd agree with the TOS Romulans that there's no honor in defeating the defenseless.
    Instead of plotlines about the Klingon civil war, I suppose we'd have several episodes involving Worf with the Vulcan reunification movement, and episodes where the Klingons try to split the Federation/Star Empire alliance or the Romulans try to push the UFP into joining them in a war to destroy the Klingon Empire. And you still could have all 3 team up against the Dominion in Deep Space Nine.
     
  17. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    I wonder who the Romulan character might've been. Was he or she someone we've already seen in either TNG or DS9? Maybe someone like Subcommander N'Vek, who was part of Spock's underground movement. There was also the Romulan Commander who appeared in "The Chase" and voiced interest in the possiblity of peace between Romulus and Earth. Maybe under different circumstances, he finds his way to Starfleet in a future with a Romulan-Federation alliance.

    --Sran
     
  18. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    I just like to think that generalizations are just that, generalizations.

    Not all Klingons act the same. Some are honorable (Martok, General Chang, Kang) , some are dishonorable (Duras, TOS-Kor). Some Romulans have honor (Balance of Terror Commander, Admiral Jarok, Lady romulan from nemesis), others are deceitful and sly (Tomolak, Sela). Humans are the same. Plenty of good and bad humans who all act very different.

    Sure, there are certain generalizations that may hold true for the majority of each respective race, but I don't mind the different interpretations throughout the franchise. It's more realistic.
     
  19. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Captain Captain

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    You know I have often thought ithat the TOS era Klingons and Romulans roles were flipped in the TNG era, myself. In TOS the Romulans were the honorable adversaries while the Klingons were duplicitous. But upon further thought, I don't think that is exactly what happened.

    When you think of it, TOS Klingons being treacherous and like TNG-Romulans was only true in Errand of Mercy and Trouble with Tribbles. In Day of the Dove, they seemed more like the TNG era Klingons. In TMP we really didn't get a sense of the Klingons being honorable, but they definitely were militaristic. In TSFS, Kruge, though he was a renegade (much like Kirk was as well), Kruge was doing what he thought was honorable for the Klingon Empire and even seemed to treat Kirk with respect (momentarily) when he first found out he had Kirk's son killed. In TFF and TUC, you had both treacherous Klingons, but also honorable ones, too.

    The Romulans were paranoid about the federation in both the TOS and TNG eras. We also have seen both treacherous Romulans, and honorable ones. I don't see much difference in the way they were portrayed in the two eras. Also, one must remember most of the time when someone is referring to Romulans as sneaks, betrayers, and dishonorable, it is usually Worf or some other klingon, and their view is not exactly unbiased (Worf in particular since his parents were killed by Romulans, and he almost had to take the wrap for a Duras\Romulan plot). But when you get down to it, there are as many examples of Klingons acting dishonorably in both TOS and TNG, as there are Romulans. Also, Sela, while one of the most treacherous Romulans, was also half human, and had an ax to grind against the federation and Picard, so she was more willing to get the better of them by any means necessary.


    So, I think Ron Moore only expanded upon the Klingons and Romulans as they had been previously portrayed and did not intend a role reversal.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Did Ron Moore get the Klingons / Romulans the wrong way round in T

    Hmm, I never got that impression. Kruge always struck me as being about as nasty and malicious a Klingon as we ever saw.


    Excellent point. People are often too quick to assume that anything asserted by a character in a story is the absolute truth. But people constantly say things that aren't true or accurate. They have prejudices, they make mistakes, they lie to themselves or others to serve their agendas, or they just have honest differences of interpretation. In fiction, as in real life, one person's unsubstantiated assertions only tell you what that person believes, not what's objectively true. It's always important to question their motives or biases, to be aware of what might be coloring their view.


    As I said before, it's a mistake to define the question as though it were exclusively Moore's responsibility. He didn't even join the writing staff until the third season, by which point TNG's portrayals of both Klingons and Romulans had already been established. And he was never more than a junior staff member on TNG -- he was only a story editor in seasons 3-4 and a co-producer on seasons 5-6, only becoming a full producer in season 7. However much his Klingon-centric scripts may have stood out to the viewers, he was working under several other people, especially Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor.

    It's probably Maurice Hurley, who scripted "Heart of Glory" and was the showrunner of TNG's second season, who deserves the lion's share of the credit for defining TNG-era Klingons, even if Moore is remembered for how he subsequently took that definition and ran with it.
     

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