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Thursday, 12 April 2012

Klingon Foreheads - A Short Explanation From "Blood Will Tell"

K is for Klingon!

A lot of people wonder why the TOS Klingons look so different from the others we have come to know. Truthfully, it is because of budget differences. Rumor has it that Gene Roddenberry had always wanted the Klingons to appear as they did from TMP on, but there were a lot of restrictions when it came to the original series.

But the world of the creators should have nothing to do with the story - the fans needed another explanation. In Trials and Tribble-ations, Worf is placed along side the Klingons from "The Trouble with Tribbles". In order to explain the difference,  this was added to the script:
Bashir: "Those are Klingons?"
Waitress: "All right. You boys have had enough."
Odo: "Mister Worf?"
Worf: "They are Klingons, and it is a long story."
O'Brien: "What happened? Some kind genetic engineering?"
Bashir: "A viral mutation?"
Worf: "We do not discuss it with outsiders."
More information is gained while reading the comic IDW comic "Blood Will Tell".


"Blood Will Tell" is actually an amazing comic - the reader experiences the stories of conflict between the Klingons and the Federation from a Klingon point of view. Not only that, but in the collection of Volumes 1-5 the story is repeated in the Klingon Language variant edition. I have scanned a portion of the page dealing with the facial differences in Klingon, below which is the English translation (taken from the English portion of the comic):

"QuchHa', the cowards called us. 'The unhappy ones.' How far from the truth. Generations ago, we were conceived for the glory of the Empire, to take the humans' own plot for genetic superiority and create a new race of augmented Klingon warriors!
Unfortunately, the Humans' science failed, and its genetic mutation spread like wildfire, leaving the Empire with twin Klingon races, one bearing the mark of the humans' treachery. 
Although we may not have had the superior strength that was intended, we retained superior ambition, and soon we had gained control of the High Council itself! 
It was our kind who led the Empire's glorious expansion into deep space and conquered countless worlds."
Much is still unclear, and the comic is not considered canon, but I am glad to take any piece of information I can find in my quest to fill in the gaps.

12 comments:

  1. You may or may not know that Enterprise featured the same explanation in its fourth season, dramatized in "Affliction" and "Divergence." But I agree. Blood Will Tell was a brilliant comic.

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    1. Indeed I did know, but I am glad you brought it up - I had simply forgotten. I do not pay much attention to Enterprise.

      DTHS
      T'Laina

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  2. also a great cheese grater... i know not funny.
    i am ashamed.

    Kudos... to the challenge "K" is for Killer Post!
    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    A to Z Co-Host
    My New Book:
    Retro-Zombie: Art and Words

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  3. Klingons are sexy, with or without the ridges.

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  4. This seems to fit with the version presenting in Enterprise.

    But Kor has been shown with both smooth and ridged foreheads. So I am partial to the virus theory that made them more human for a while. Explains their behavior in TOS as well.

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  5. Always wondered about the forehead thing. Can't say I was ever ambitious enough to go look it up myself. Fun post!

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  6. Yes well, personally I prefer Vulcans. They are cooler.

    Ebby

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    Replies
    1. Myself as well - although that is probably obvious!

      DTHS
      T'Laina

      Delete
  7. Fascinating stuff. I always loved Worf.

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  8. You are quite the expert! I know very little of Star Trek beyond the movies but those I enjoyed and learning a bit here and there is actually interesting. Thanks for that!

    From Diary of a Writer in Progress

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  9. That page is actually depicting a scene from Star Trek: Enterprise. Dr. Phlox is even in the first panel. Also, the Klingon version is written pretty well, but some parts are spotty. The part for "generations ago," uses the word {wen} (which means "months ago") instead of {ret} (which means "time period ago"), so the phrase {puq poHmey} ("generations") doesn't fit in the sentence. {butlh} is what we in English would call "gall," so I'm not sure how appropriate it is that the text equates it with "ambition". It's the same with {nIv} (which means "be superior") being translated here as "augmented," which is a bit of a stretch, but I guess those two are minor points. {QuchHa'} means "They are unhappy," or just "be unhappy;" "The Unhappy Ones" would be "QuchHa'wI'pu'."

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    1. Also, at no point does the Klingon text specify that it is genetic superiority being discussed, but I can't really think of a way to describe it using Klingon, either. I suppose it's something that one needs to infer from the text.

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