Less than two weeks after CBS released a tantalizing glimpse behind the scenes of “Star Trek: Discovery,” we now have a first — if unofficial — look at Klingons from the upcoming television revival. And it’s probably safe to say they’re not what anyone was expecting.
Apparently leaked by an extra, the photo depicts actors in full Klingon makeup and costumes enjoying a break together at Pinewood Toronto Studios. Originally posted to Instagram, and then distributed on Facebook and elsewhere, the snapshot was accompanied by the caption, “Hanging out with my new Klingon Crew today on the set of the new #startrek.”
While the costumes match with those shown in CBS’s teaser trailer, the makeup is certainly something else entirely.
— Trek Radio (@TrekRadio) February 12, 2017
The look, and even the behavior, of the Klingons has changed dramatically since the alien warrior race was introduced in a 1967 episode of “Star Trek,” where they were depicted with bronze skin, facial hair and dramatic eyebrows. They were dramatically redesigned for 1978’s “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” which introduced the ridged foreheads and sharp teeth that have become their signature visual traits in the franchise (the changes were later explained away within “Star Trek” continuity by the introduction of the Klingon augment virus). The appearance of the Klingons has continued to be tweaked over the decades, with 2013’s “Star Trek Into Darkness” offering the most significant design departure — at least before now.
In the leaked photo, the design of the heads of the Klingons seems to draw at least some influence from H.R. Giger’s grotesquely beautiful Xenomorph from the “Alien” franchise. How the producers of “Star Trek: Discovery” reconcile this look with established continuity remains to be seen: The revival is set a decade before the five-year mission of Captain Kirk’s Enterprise crew, which means the Klingons should appear as they did in the original series, when the effects of the augment virus caused them to have a more human appearance. Of course, “Star Trek” has cleverly explained continuity errors before; it can easily do so again.
Debuting in May on CBS before moving to its CBS All Access streaming platform, “Star Trek: Discovery” stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Lt. Commander Rainsford, “Number One” on the USS Discovery; Doug Jones as Lt. Saru; Anthony Rapp as Lt. Stamets; and James Frain as Spock’s father Sarek. They’re joined by Michelle Yeoh as Captain Georgiou of the USS Shenzhou; Shazad Latif as Kol, a Klingon commanding officer; Chris Obi as Klingon leader T’Kuvma; and Mary Chieffo as L’Rell, a battle deck commander on Kol’s ship.
The 13-episode first season will tell one long story that focuses on an event from the franchise’s mythology that’s been mentioned but never explored.
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