Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Warp Speed Wednesday: The Klingon Edition.

It's Wednesday! That magical weekday when I share my love of Star Trek with the internet instead of boring my husband (he being a non-Trekkie) to tears by waxing eloquent about anything and everything related to the world of Gene Roddenberry.

This week's topic is inspired by this great sign my uncle emailed me:

Today I'm going to profile the Klingon race.

What Klingons look like:

Thanks to advances in Make-up-ology (aka, the science of make-up) (I just made up that term) the Klingons in The Original Series (late 1960s) look very different from their counterparts in the movies or later series (1979 onward).

The forehead ridges are new. However both later and earlier Klingons favour facial hair and clothing made from metallic-toned fabrics.

Friend or Foe:

In the early days of the franchise, the Klingons were at war with the Federation. Storylines often paralleled relations between the US and Soviet during the time the Original Series was in production. When the Next Generation went on the air in 1987, the Cold War was winding down and the US and USSR were no longer enemies. So it was natural that the Next Generation present the United Federation of Planets and Klingon Empire as allies.

Prominent Klingon characters:

Worf appears on both the Next Generation and Deep Space 9. He's a member of Starfleet, has a son named Alexander, woos Deanna Troi, but marries Jadzia Dax. All the while he blathers on about restoring the honour of the House of Mogh.

B'Elanna Torres is the engineer on Voyager, and is half Klingon, half human. She is one of the rebels brought onto the ship after it reaches the Delta Quadrant. She argues a lot with everyone on the ship all the bloody time. Then she marries Tom Paris and has a baby.

Stereoypical Klingon traits:

They're often angry and violent. They tend to be stubborn with no time for pleasantries. Klingons are preoccupied with honour, and eat disgusting foods. I like to make the analogy that Starfleet officers are Athenians to the Klingons' Spartans.

Best episodes featuring Klingons:

The Original Series' The Trouble With Tribbles, and the Deep Space 9 revisit, Trials and Tribble-ations are both excellent episodes that feature Klingons.

Two of the very few episodes I enjoyed of Star Trek: Enterprise are Affliction and Divergence which help to explain the altered appearance of the Klingons of Kirk's era and the 80s versions.

Voyager's Prophecy is a Klingon-centric episode that held my interest.

My favourite Next Generation episode showcasing Worf is Parallels.

My overall opinion about Klingons:

I'm not a fan. Could you tell? Klingons tend to appear in episodes that are full of violence and devoid of humour. They're just not my cup of prune juice.


  1. I had no idea they'd ever addressed the different looks for the old Klingons vs. the new Klingons. I just assumed we were all supposed to pretend we didn't notice, like when Aunt Viv suddenly became a different person in season 2 of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

    Early TNG Worf episodes I rather enjoyed, but then the shtick got old. It got harder and harder to suspend one's disbelief that Starfleet would ever put someone with obvious anger management issues in charge of weapons & tactics.

    1. "like when Aunt Viv suddenly became a different person in season 2 of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." 90s popculture reference FTW!

      And yes, it's just not plausible that worf is in charge of security. Also Mr Shoot First is a ticking time bomb on away missions.

  2. Klingons aren't my person favorites either. I can't relate to the whole, honor, death, easily angered thing. That said, I do like Worf. He's not my favorite character by any means but he did have some interesting story lines.

    1. You're right -- there are some good Worf episodes (particularly in seasons 6 & 7) when they started to distance him from the Klingon-lore. I did like the romance story between him and Deanna. BTW, I also really like Michael Dorn who is rumoured to be a very nice man.

  3. What is the explanation for the difference in look?

    And I, too, am amazed with the analysis you made to create this actual publish incredible. What fantastic activity!

    1. The backstory is that the Klingons get a hold of some genetic research done by a Earth Scholar interested in Eugenics and they try altering Klingon DNA in order to enhance certain desireable traits, ie extreme physical strength. But a mutation creates an airborne virus that spreads through the Klingon population, erasing their forehead ridges and making them appear more human like for a few generations.

  4. Glad I inspired you! Kling On!! lol