Spoilers Affliction/Divergence ignored by Discovery: Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by King Daniel Beyond, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    The ENT episodes "Affliction" and "Divergence" exist to explain why the Klingons of The Original Series look and act human, and sows the seeds for the Klingons eventual return to bumpy-headed status in the TOS movie era and beyond, with talk of cranial reconstruction surgery and eventually finding a cure. It was a fun two-parter, and I remember totally geeking out when the NX-01 was boarded by TOS-style Klingons.

    Enter Star Trek: Discovery which CBS insist fits perfectly into the Prime Universe (ENT, TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY) of Trek. Set 10 years before TOS, it has re-reimagined Klingons which look more alien than ever before and not once do we see a human-looking Klingon Augment, even when we see representatives of all 24 Klingon houses. One of the key plotlines of season one is Voq, a Klingon who undergoes horrific organ-swapping, bone-grinding, memory-implanting surgery to pass off as the human Ash Tyler - which is impossibly stupid if they could have just injected him with the Augment Virus and had his ridges dissolve in a few hours.

    It's doubly confusing, since DSC directly references events of ENT, including "Broken Bow" (referencing Archer's visit to Kronos) and the USS Defiant from "In a Mirror, Darkly". The only plausible conclusion is that those episodes happened, but "Affliction"/"Divergence" didn't.

    Personally, I've been ignoring CBS's claim that it's the same world as the rest of Trek since day one and see Discovery as it's own thing, where events similar to previous Treks occurred but a little differently. And one of those differences is that "Affliction" and "Divergence" never happened.

    What say fans of Enterprise?
     
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  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm a big fan now, having done my first-ever case of binge watching by starting with S3 (which I never saw before) and then exploring what "early Archer" was like before being thrust into this formative military adventure (I had missed about 50% of those eps originally). I especially love "A Night in Sickbay". Do I qualify?

    I think ignoring the Augment-Lite virus in DSC is consistent and indeed ideal. After all, it is an unknown footnote of history for Julian Bashir, an expert in the field of genetic engineering by virtue of fate and training alike. The sooner it becomes an unknown footnote, then, the better!

    Would the Augment-Virus-That-Doesn't-Actually-Augment have been helpful in the case of Voq? Supposedly, mere surgical altering achieves extremely little, and a tricorder (or a tribble!) can expose Arne Darvin. But it is also established that the Augment-Virus-That-Actually-Augments makes for smooth-headed folks whom Phlox can tell for Klingons at the first glance: their internal organs are not altered in the slightest. The cure that leaves the poor smoothheads ultimately unaugmented is quite unlikely to change that!

    In order for Voq to pass for Tyler, he had to be grafted into a body far more drastically altered than a Klingon body subjected to the Pseudo-Augment treatment. Supposedly, major chunks of the actual Tyler's corpse were used for completing the illusion; the storyline is still unclear on what exactly was done with the respective brains of the two participants, and how much mind transfer tomfoolery was involved. And that is the question relevant to the case: if mind transfer is possible, why not just transfer Voq's complete mind to Tyler's complete body? But the answer is implied: mind transfer of that sort is not possible for the people involved, or it would have been done.

    Indeed, at the bottom line, the more unique the treatment that Voq got, the more plausible that Starfleet would not realize what was going on. And what we saw certainly qualifies for unique!

    Timo Saloniemi

    P.S. "All 24 Klingon houses" isn't quite accurate. It's "All 24 Great Houses" in DSC instead. Being ridgeless may well be the opposite of being great.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
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  3. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    STD ignoring canon? Surely not! :rolleyes:
     
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  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    What makes you think L'Rell had access to a sample of the Qu'Vat virus? What makes you think any still existed? The Klingons saw it as an odious biohazard. The virus was killing millions before it was cured, and though Phlox managed to stabilize it, there's no guarantee it wouldn't mutate back into a lethal form. They probably either destroyed all surviving samples or kept them under strict containment and classified its very existence. L'Rell and Voq were rogues operating without the approval of any Klingon authorities, and thus their resources were limited. There's no reason to expect that they could just casually obtain a forbidden bioweapon that might not even be around anymore.

    What's more, Discovery is not the first Trek story to take this route. IDW Comics' Klingons: Blood Will Tell miniseries explicitly acknowledges the events of "Affliction"/"Divergence" -- it even shows a brief flashback image of Phlox and Antaak -- and its story includes both HemQuch (ridged) and QuchHa' (unridged) Klingons. Yet its version of Arne Darvin's backstory establishes that he was a ridged Klingon who underwent painful surgical alteration to look human, very much like Voq, except without the brainwashing. The possibility of using the Qu'Vat virus on him is never even brought up.
     
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  5. Discofan

    Discofan Fleet Captain Red Shirt

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    I think it can easily be explained: At first, the Klingon overdid it with the cranial reconstruction and ended with the overdone ridges and faces that we see in DSC. They got sick of it and later on removed the whole thing and tried to find a cure for the virus instead. They succeeded at that a few years after TOS's five-year mission.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The remarkable thing about the ENT episodes is that they establish how willing the Klingons are to tamper with their own bodies. (Or with the bodies of test subjects, at any rate.)

    Combining that with the Trek fact that Klingons always look different makes things pretty simple. We should never expect the Klingons not to modify their looks.

    It's a factor built into the studio reality of Trek anyway. Makeup tech evolves, and even the makeup on Worf changed all the time during TNG's run. So changing Klingon faces are a thing, just like people moving inside the transporter beam is a thing, dictated by the fact that the actors shown transporting out of Stage A always fail to assume an identical pose on Stage B.

    The only odd thing here is that the ENT Klingons look similar to the TNG ones. Why should they? Is retro back in fashion?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  7. Discofan

    Discofan Fleet Captain Red Shirt

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    Plus fashion in the Klingon Empire is a dictate and that explains why in both of his apparitions Kahless took the current look of the Klingons of the time.
     
  8. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Might explain why Kor isn't the head of his own house.
     
  9. Discofan

    Discofan Fleet Captain Red Shirt

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    Though according to "Once More Unto The Breach..." he must have been of a great house, even some kind of aristocrat who looked down on the likes of Martok.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I rather suspect the House isn't named after Kirk's opponent, but after some distant founding ancestor named Kor. Clearly the Houses aren't named after their current rulers, either (except perhaps when said rulers start a new dynasty while taking over somebody else's House - see pertinent DS9 eps).

    With Kol out of the way, Kor can now rise to take his place without any dynastic change being involved. And without a name swap being involved, but this may actually be fairly common, as names repeat a lot in Klingon families. Sometimes the repeating name is that of the old founder (Duras), sometimes that of a second son or whatever (Worf). And sometimes the kid named after the founder is but the second son, and the kid named after the second son is the new leader of the House.

    We do have every reason to believe the House of Kor is Great... And we don't have much reason yet to think that such a status could ever change, or that new Houses would rise to Greatness by the late 24th century yet.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The House of Kor has a history of doing things like that. They are so aristocratic and high-minded that they can't help but look down on the "masses". If you'll recall, Kol acted the same way towards Voq in DSC...
     
  12. velour

    velour Commander Red Shirt

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    The look of the Klingons had been consistent from TMP through ENT. There may have been tweaks and refinements along the way, but the basic Klingon template that was established in TMP was used in the rest of the TOS movies and the 4 subsequent Trek series.

    "Affliction" and "Divergence" explained away the TOS Klingons. So from TOS all the way through ENT, there has been a logical continuity about the way the Klingons look.

    Of course, DSC broke with that continuity. Didn't the DSC showrunners say that DSC was in the prime timeline? Since they said that, the onus is on them to explain why DSC Klingons deviated from that continuity.

    I was one of those Trek fans that didn't need an explanation for the difference between TOS and TMP/TNG Klingons. I understood the real reason. Nevertheless since an explanation was offered with "Affliction" and "Divergence", I applauded the writers. The augment virus explanation was very clever. I liked it.

    From what has been shown, I too believe that DSC is in its own universe and time. But if the DSC showrunners keep insisting that it is in the prime time, I think they would do themselves a great service if they offered an explanation for the different look of their DSC Klingons. Make it fun and clever like "Affliction" and "Divergence" were.
     
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  13. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I tried to avoid spoilers or reading too much info on Discovery before it aired, as it I wanted to begin watching the show completely fresh, which I pretty much achieved. But one thing I remember reading was that the show opened with them finding an ancient Klingon vessel. And we'd all seen the set pics of the new look Klingons.

    I remember hoping that the plot was gonna be the crew would awaken some ancient Klingons from their deep slumber (hypersleep like those Klingons in TNG: The Emissary) who would have this new look, basically super Klingons as they were from ancient times. There could be hundreds of them, impervious to the Augment virus, and they then would take over the Empire and run things for a while.
    Then the new show could have its cake and eat it. They could use Klingons, but not have to use the flat-headed ones, which admittedly would be a bit bland looking, and instead the vast majority of the time have these new (or rather old) breed of Klingons.

    Anyway, going into watching the series that's what I thought would happen.... Sadly it didn't...
     
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  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I disagree. The general idea of "aliens with bumpy foreheads" has remained, but the specifics have changed radically from makeup designer to makeup designer. The TMP version was a single row of vertebrae running down the middle of a smooth bald head, identical for every individual. TSFS ditched that and replaced it with the similar but distinct idea of a wide bony cranial plate with a pattern of bumps and ridges that was unique for each individual. It's TSFS's template, rather than TMP's, that has been followed ever since (with distinct variations from designer to designer); we've never seen another TMP-style Klingon since that movie. Indeed, I remember seeing the occasional fanzine article back in the '80s theorizing about why the TMP Klingons were so radically different from the Klingons we saw in later films. One article theorized that they were a genetically engineered offshoot that was more belligerent than the norm, explaining their reckless attack on V'Ger. I think it proposed that they were created to be shock troops or cannon fodder.
     
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  15. ChristopherPike

    ChristopherPike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A shame to admit it after all my years spent wanting the Prime Universe back, only to be not very happy with the result. But I'm hoping this turns out to be a prequel to Star Trek 2009. They've got a couple more years until Nero and the Narada arrive to take out Vulcan... plenty of time to show Pike losing one almost TOS looking Enterprise, only to be rewarded with another.

    Not just the Augment virus, I really liked all the efforts to link Enterprise in with proper prequel elements to the Original. To the point where I just see a disconnect with Discovery on pretty much every level.

    The evolution in make-up design is often pointed out, but it never bothered me moving forward. Any theory or explanation was plausible in a linear gap with not much established before. But not so much now when establishing a missing link... which you can tell isn't even what the new producers want to do. What doesn't work for me, is a discrepancy the redesign to virtually everything bar the Klingon Empire symbol causes with Discovery. Especially when all these things break between consistency in earlier and much later centuries. The ships don't even look like they were made by the same culture which came up with D7, or the Bird of Prey... which Enterprise got right for me, in trying to figure out how to show more primitive stages leading up to those. So now we've got those raider things and other larger vessels, with none of the familiar design configurations suggesting an overall style when lining up the different era ships alongside each other.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
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  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Impossible. Discovery shows a lengthy Federation-Klingon war in 2256-7, whereas Kelvin's Admiral Marcus says in 2259 that the Klingons have only fired on Starfleet ships a half dozen times since they were first encountered. Marcus fears a war is coming, but it obviously hasn't happened yet.

    Besides, the Kelvin Enterprise was under construction in Riverside in 2255 and launched in '58. How would they know they'd need a new one years before the old one was "lost?"

    Plus, the producers have only told us a million times that, yes, this is a Prime show and it fits with Prime continuity even when it doesn't seem to.


    Are you kidding? Discovery's referenced a number of things from Enterprise. Their Mirror Universe storyline was heavily dependent on the events of "In a Mirror, Darkly," and of course the name "Terran Empire" debuted in IaMD. The idea that the Empire was human-dominated and intolerant of aliens is based on the IaMD version as well. The backstory of "the Vulcan hello," with Vulcan making first contact with Klingons 250 years in the past and taking an uncharacteristically aggressive approach, reflects what ENT established about the Vulcan High Command in the pre-UFP era and the fact that Vulcans were already familiar with Klingons at the time of "Broken Bow." Many of the Starfleet ship designs in the show look like intermediate steps between the NX class and the Miranda or Constellation class. The term "Augment" was used in the storyline about Stamets genetically enhancing himself with "tardigrade" DNA.


    I'm not crazy about that choice either, but I recognize that it's just artistic license. It's a more radical design change than we've had since TMP, but it's the creators' prerogative to make that change. Yes, the previous producers tried to keep the look more consistent, but they're not making this show! The people creating a work are the ones who get to decide how they approach it. And their aesthetic philosophy is to update things. I'm not happy with a lot of the results, but I respect that it's their right to make their own creative choices, and to make them differently than other people would. That's what having your own show means.
     
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  17. BobR

    BobR Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I won't harp on it because this isn't an original opinion by far, but STD isn't Star Trek anyway. Just a tool used by CBS to try to get a little market share for an ill-conceived me-too paywalled streaming service as their OTA/Cable ratings plummet.
     
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  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    In the same way that Star Trek: Phase II, the project that evolved into ST:TMP, was meant as a "tool" to attract an audience the fourth network Paramount was trying to create in the late '70s, and the way that Voyager was a "tool" to attract an audience to the network Paramount finally did create, UPN. And in much the same way that TNG was an attempt to create an audience for first-run syndicated drama, such a remarkably successful attempt that it triggered a decade-long first-run syndication boom. There's nothing remotely new about Star Trek being used as the vanguard of a new broadcasting outlet.
     
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  19. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Every single incarnation of Star Trek ever made has been an attempt for a big company to take your money.
     
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  20. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Funnily, this two-parter is the only instance of the virus ever actually being mentioned or alluded to in any fashion, aside from the gag in "Trials and Tribble-ations". Every other incarnation of Trek never plays with the idea that the Klingons ever looked different because Trek had mostly trusted its audiences to suspend their disbelief over the makeup change. The fact that the very first episode of Enterprise opened with a ridge headed Klingon basically said to me "Klingons always looked like this", and that what we saw of them in TOS was simply exclusive to that show.