Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Praetor Baldric, May 30, 2013.
Which is the better Klingon Commander and why?
Both characters were well written and well played. I see from the IMDb that Colicos played Kor in spin-offs, but I have not seen those episodes. (Nor Kang's later appearances.) He played the first of perennial "bad guys" in TOS. The scene where Kirk tells Kor to "go climb a tree" is a favorite.
While I would have loved to see Kor and Kirk knocking heads again, Campbell (as Koloth) and Ansara (as Kang) kept TOS from feeling too "small." All are fine actors, but I must remark on Ansara's "exotic" features. Acting aside, Ansara's face gives him presence in any role.
Kor seemed less overtly threatening (he'd smile while threatening to suck your brain dry), yet dangerously clever, too, and not to be underestimated. Kang looked dangerous. Since Kirk can grip a blade by the sharp edges and not get cut, I will let him shoulder roll with these two. I'm happy to sit back with some popcorn and enjoy the show.
It's a close call, but I'll go with Kor because he seems affable and civilized even while he's being ruthless and brutal. Kang is more of a shouty alpha male who in his youth would have bullied nerdy Star Trek fans in the locker room.
Despite the undeniable presence Kang had I have to go with Kor, who for me set the bar on what a Klingon should be. I always wished they had brought him back on TOS....but I understand the complexities of actor scheduling, etc.
For the record, I was always very fond of Christopher Lloyd's performance as the flawed if committed (and refreshingly ambitious) Kruge from ST:III. Kruge to me was proof that Klingons weren't all straight laced (relatively speaking) hard-ass warriors of pure duty; that a properly experienced and ambitious buffoon could stand to upend the balance of power in the galaxy, and more than up to the task of contending Kirk and the Federation as a whole.
Hmmm... Kor. I hear so many people say the Klingons of TOS were 2D villians, but damn... Just watch Errand of Mercy and it's clearly not true. Every scene with Kirk and Kor is fantastic and infinitely entertaining. The Klingons in TOS obviously had some brutal aspects to them, but they also seemed very patient, calculating, philosophical, and even reasonable at times.
So i'd say "Kor" but i'd also say, either way you're in for a good time. Errand of Mercy and Day of the Dove are both good episodes from either end of the TOS run, and in large part thanks to the guest actors giving stellar performances.
And remember, "Only a fool fights in a burning house!"
John Colicos' Kor set the bar for every other Klingon appearance on the series; it's no wonder the character appeared in the scripts for at least three other episode ("The Trouble with Tribbles," "A Private Little War," and "Day of the Dove") before being written out for various production reasons.
Both grreat (Only Koloth was not convincing). We must remember that they performed two different jobs. Kor was not a ship commander but a base commander, an occupier. Kang was a hands on ship commander.
Kor had some amazing quotes, ultimetely Kand was a bigger bad ass.
Hmm... How old is he in "Day of the Dove"?
Klingons mature awfully fast - physically. Mentally, perhaps not so much. And we don't even know if Kang was the senior Klingon aboard the battle cruiser; for all we know, he was Gunner's Junior Mate 3rd Class before the events of the teaser, and simply ascended rapidly in classic Klingon fashion...
Kor had major resources and failed to accomplish his goal, but he didn't actually lose much of those resources (just some munitions). His failure was not a defeat in the hands of his enemy, but the result of outside interference, and he engaged in glorious personal combat even in face of this overwhelming force.
Kang was thrust in a hopeless situation with the tattered remains of a crew, and improvised several bold and successful moves, ultimately accomplishing at least the goal of survival, but he lost hundreds of men and an entire starship. He, too, engaged in personal combat, but this time the outside interference was what was forcing him to do so.
Fellow Klingons would probably hail Kor and at most give Kang the chance to redeem himself in some degrading and hopeless assignment... Which he obviously did, as he got a ship again for "Flashback", and even had some honor ridges installed. But my vote would still have to go to Kor for the performance a Klingon would appreciate more.
Kor has my vote. Several things; he was the first and that always makes a difference. Also, he had a quieter approach, as someone (or more) indicated, he smiled while being ready to kill - could really throw you off-guard. I think the quieter ones are usually the ones that you have to watch out for. Kang was very good, and yes Michael Ansara had a great look, but I'll go with John Colicos's Kor. As much as I liked William Campbell (loved Trelane), he didn't make a good Klingon. I don't know if it was the way it was written, or directed, or if it was his interpretation - whatever, it didn't work.
I prefer Kor too! He strikes me as being more of a pragmatist and seems to have been less indoctrinated than Kang. This is not to suggest that Kor believes any less in Klingon ways, but he strikes me as having a broader mind about the universe in general.
KOR: You'll talk. Either here, now, voluntarily, or under our mind-scanner. The fact is, Captain, I have a great admiration for your Starfleet. A remarkable instrument. and I must confess to a certain admiration for you. I know, of course, that it was you who destroyed our supplies last night.
KIRK: Something was destroyed? Nothing inconsequential, I hope.
KOR: Hardly. They were quite important to us, but they can be replaced. You of the Federation, you are much like us.
KIRK: We're nothing like you. We're a democratic body.
KOR: Come now. I'm not referring to minor ideological differences. I mean that we are similar as a species. Here we are on a planet of sheep. Two tigers, predators, hunters, killers, and it is precisely that which makes us great. And there is a universe to be taken.
KIRK: It's a very large universe, Commander, full of people who don't like the Klingons.
KOR: Excellent. Then it shall be a matter of testing each other's wills. Of power. Survival must be earned, Captain. Tell me about the dispersal of your Starfleet.
Kor is able to recognize that the two powers are not that different in their aims. Add to that, he recognizes the similarities between both species. This is something that Kirk is not able to begin to comprehend until The Undiscovered Country.
It's just damn cool that we got, even with limited appearances, a great variety of Klingon leaders with Kor and Koloth and Kang.
None a knock-off of another, each very different and great in his own right. TOS
Kor set the example of Klingon 'hardness' for me. Colicos' acting ability brought a great deal of fear to the role. He brought the 'menacing Klingon' to the part. That isn't to say Kang was a 'bad' Klingon. What Ansara brought to the table was just as valuable. He showcased the 'blustering Klingon', and as Star Trek progressed, I think we ended up getting various blends on these two traits in a lot of the Klingons we saw. While I like Campbell, his direction of Koloth was just badly done.
Kang. I think he gives off a far more alien vibe than Kor.
I'd have to go with Kor.
OMO - Kang.
Why? His introduction is beaming down, walking up, and bitch-slapping Kirk to the ground in one smooth move.
I agree with the above. If it had not been for that thing that made you angry and rapey interfering Kang would have won in the first five minutes. People talk about Kang being all bluster but remember that the angry, rapey alien was mesing with them all. Kang was acutally a pretty reasonable guy. I think Ansara's performance in Blood Oath showed his truenagure well.
Separate names with a comma.