The Klingons

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Delta Vega, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I know its probably been done to death, but enlighten me.

    Why did the writers, producers, studio, whatever decide that between Star Trek TOS and The Motion Picture, that they should have evolved cranial ridges, or skullplates ?

    Is there a definitive or canon explanation for this, as personally, I preferred the old dusky, gold shiny breasted Klingons, who always had a perfectly coiffured hairdo :cool:

    In later incarnations of Star Trek I actually cringe when the Klingons appear, I just cant get my head round all their warrior psyche, I think its just plain silly.
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Better make-up budget. Thats it. As for the chage in ethos from slimy villains to proud honor-obsessed warriors, Gene Rodenberry was retconning quite a bit at the time.

    The definitive explanation for the smooth/bumpy Klingons is given in the Enterprise episodes "Affliction" and "Divergence"
     
  3. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    He wanted to distinguish the species to make them different with the larger budget but their heads just kept getting bigger and bigger with more and more ridges and they just got ridiculously stupid in every way.
     
  4. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Are these the two Klingon Augment episodes ?
    I enjoyed both of them, but couldnt relate those statuesque young villains with the long haired psycho honour obsessives in DS9 eg.
     
  5. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Ridiculously stupid is being kind
     
  6. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Star trek III was supposed to have romulan villains instead of klingon villains, and when they made the change, they hardly altered the script to reflect that change.

    Before that, Klingons were devious scheming villains (Kor) , and romulans were the honorable warrior race (Balance of Terror). After STIII switched them around, Klingons became the honorable warrior race and Romulans became the scheming backstabbing villians. They just kept going with that from then on forward.

    At least that's how I remember the explanation.
     
  7. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    What's not devious about stealing Genesis, killing prisoners and blowing up your informants ship?

    What's honorable about sneaking into your opponent's territory to test a new weapon in violation of a treaty?
     
  8. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The TOS Klingons with the swarthy greasepaint and gold sashes looked fine on 1960s television screens but would have looked laughably cheesy on the big movie screen. (For example, their belt buckles were made of plastic bubble wrap.) So they got a major redesign for TMP.
     
  9. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes yes, and klingons do plenty of dishonorable things afterward in the guise of "honor" as well. Kruge killing his informant was for the empire, and she acted "honorably" when she was killed. Stealing genesis was for the empire so it was honorable in the eyes of a klingon. Is this stuff really honorable? not particularly, but it still fits with the pattern post ST3.

    The point remains, st3 was when the switch happened. They are after that generalized as the "honorable warrior race", and romulans the "sneaky bastards". It was the other way around before that.
     
  10. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I feel the idea that Romulans in TOS were "honorable" is fan extrapolation. The Commander in BOT seemed to have qualms about the current state of the Empire, but he still followed his orders and conducted a sneak attack. The Commander in "The Enterprise Incident" didn't seem all that honorable with her attempt to seduce and turn Spock. ( Not that Kirk and Spock were any better ;) ) So I just don't get the Romulans are honorable thing.

    The Klingons in TOS are probably more complex than we give them credit for. Kang especially seems more than the scheming backstabber we associate with Klingons. One might say almost honorable. Kruge actually is closer to the scheming backstabber (literally!) than the three main TOS Klingons.
     
  11. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I suppose that's true.
     
  12. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Sounds like you're describing the baddies from the Augment stories (with Brent Spiner as Arik Soong), which leads to the Klingon Augment arc. The baddies in the former were humans, basically more of Khan's enhanced people. The second arc involves Phlox being kidnapped, and Reed being thrown in the brig with a smooth-headed Augment Klingon.
     
  13. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    There was an attempt in John Ford's 1984 novel "The Final Reflection" to describe the Klingons as a multi-racial society, although the details escape me now. Vonda McIntyre also picked up on this concept of a multi-racial Klingon Empire, IIRC. I always assumed that the Klingon Empire was a kind of "Mirror, Mirror" reflection of the Federation, only in the Prime TREK Universe, complete with internal cultural and racial/species diversity. There never was any clear canon guidance on this, however.

    In the 1980s, I interpreted the human-like Fu Manchu-style Klingons as being of a race/species that were more anti-Vulcan than the Romulans. Kor, Koloth and Kang struck me as being coldly logical and militaristic in stark contrast the the (relatively) warm and polite Vulcans. When the tire-tread-headed Klingons came on the scene, I recall one fanon publication (an Enterprise officer's manual?) describing an ethnic/factional takeover in the Empire; thus the "new" Klingons became prominently featured.

    The Klingons of TNG seemed to be even more of a shift, keeping the same tire-tread prosthetic makeup (didn't Arsenio Hall once describe Worf as looking "like he has a butt on his head"? :rommie:) but further exaggerating the behavior until they started reminding me of an overdone caricature of General Urko from the old PLANET OF THE APES series from the 1970's. It never made sense to me that a race so immersed in violence, so conflicted from without and from within, could've made it into space without perishing in their own world wars.

    That having been said, the ENT take on the Klingons nearly wiping themselves out with an augment mutation sounded like a lame plot device. I still think the Klingons make more sense if they are a multi-racial organization of worlds. The well-done Klingon costumes in TMP6 suggested to me that with a little effort the Fu Manchu-style TOS Klingons could conceptually make a comeback and not look 1960's-TV cheesy.
     
  14. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    A stupidly contrived explanation perfectly fitting of a wholly stupid series that is easily ignored. Hardly definitive.

    John M. Ford did it much earlier and far better even if it isn't "official."
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Definitive in terms of the greater Trek tapestry. It is the canon answer, the one future Treks tied into the same continuity will abide by. Sounds pretty definitive to me. (although I too prefer J. M. Ford's take on the Klingon Empire from The Final Reflection)
     
  16. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I've benn over this ground enough before. I know B.S. when I smell it and nothing has changed. ENT is its own thing and no one is beholden to it including its stupid contrivances.

    Fits in perfectly well with ST09, though, and it's mindlessness.

    And "future generations" can ignore this just as I do the way makers of a lot of current Trek ignored TOS.
     
  17. Revolution

    Revolution Ensign Red Shirt

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    I prefer the TOS style ones personally, but both are effective. Think they went down a bit too 'dirty' route with them from TMP onwards. (Kruge with his steamy bridge and pet dog thing in TSFS)
     
  18. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ford's version of the Klingon empire is the only one I've ever given a damn about.
     
  19. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    While you're entitled to your own opinion about ENTERPRISE (an opinion which I happen to share, lest you think I'm ganging up on you or some such nonsense), no amount of bitching, complaining, and telling "future generations" that they need to follow your personal line of thinking will make the series non-canon. Paramount/CBS produced and sold the show, and many talented Trek production personnel worked on the show and cared about it regardless of what the idiot suits at UPN wanted, and worked very hard to provide a highly-budgeted, quality-produced show every week for free. While I have little love for it, it's not my place or yours to say it should be ignored as if that's some kind of fact that CBS has decreed. And anyway, this rant has nothing to do with the OP anyway.

    So, as far as what the OP asked, I'm almost positive that the change from swarthy cardboard villain to honorable warrior came in TNG, not Star Trek III, where Ron Moore was asked to provide a better background for the Klingons, and read a copy of the aforementioned The Final Reflection, which is what he based the TNG Klingons. While STIII featured the prosthetic and leather-bound Klingons (not counting TMP, which had the new style but zero background), they still acted no different than your typical TOS Klingon in the honor department. In fact they were even more thuggish than TOS.
     
  20. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    No one except the writers of the tie-in novels, comics, videogames and sequels set in that continuity.
    Really, taking the entirety of Trek canon into account (as a prequel is obliged to do, although adittedly Enterprise didn't do it enough, this time they got it right), such a contrived solution was the only possible explanation. They couldn't say Klingons had an integrated multispecies empire when we'd never seen another Klingon race in 40 years of Klingon-centric episodes, or after Kor, Kang and Koloth appeared in Deep Space Nine sporting the TNG Klingon forehead and after "Trials and Tribble-ations" made the change into something more than a real-life makeup upgrade.

    Was it a story that "had" to be told? Not really, but I thought it was fun.