SDCC17 Interview: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Showrunners On Why The Klingons Aren’t The Russians Anymore

At San Diego Comic-Con, TrekMovie spoke to co-showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg along with executive producer Heather Kadin about Star Trek: Discovery.

The series is called Discovery for a reason

Gretchen Berg, asked about what allegorical stories from today Discovery will deal with:

I feel like one of the themes we are exploring is universal and is a lesson I feel like as human beings we have to learn over and over again – is you think you know ‘the other,’ but you really don’t. You have to sort of cognitively re-frame or break or deviate from your own point of view to really understand. You have to forget what you knew before.

One of the big steps in that journey is how to understand yourself. You have to understand yourself before you can better see others. The show is called “Discovery” and it is called “Discovery” for a reason, because our characters are on a journey.

Klingons aren’t the Russians anymore

Aaron Harberts chimed in on the subject of allegories to talk about the Klingons, who were originally conceived in the 1960’s as a stand-in for the Soviet Union and gradually evolved into friends by the late 80’s (for Star Trek: The Next Generation) and 90’s (notably in Star Trek VI), as the Cold War ended:

We are also talking about not only war, but something that is really bubbling up in the United States right now, isolationism. Our country has so many different philosophies. Do we extend a hand? Do we shut it down? And that is also two viewpoints that are being expressed. The Klingons are not necessarily the Russians anymore. The Klingons – I think we will see far more in, frankly, people in the United States and different factions in the United States.

And that is not to say they are bad, but what we really wanted to do too is understand two differing points of view and really explore it. And I think when people look at the Klingons – I frankly love what they represent. Not in terms necessarily of all the messaging, but in terms of learning about them and learning why they are who they are and making sure they aren’t just the enemy.

And then finding a way to come together. How do we bring everyone back together? What do we do? What does it take? It is a big challenge for us, but that is what season one is all about.

These aren’t your father’s Klingons

Burnham’s fall from grace

Heather Kadin also chimed in:

And also we get to explore the importance of acceptance too. Because as Michael Burnham has this fall from grace and there are characters around her that are meeting her after the fact. They are making assumptions an assumption about her based on what they heard as opposed to being able to take her at face value

I think Mary Wiseman’s character [Ensign Tilly who revealed to TrekMovie that she is Burnham’s roommate on the U.S.S. Discovery] plays a huge role in that, in just the eagerness to be a friend and accepting. That is the message that we all need.

Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) gets taken away

More TrekMovie SDCC17 interviews

Mary Wiseman on Ensign Tilly in ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

(and more to come)

More TrekMovie SDCC17 coverage

‘The Orville’ panel report and new trailer

‘Discovery’ press conference report

‘Discovery’ panel report

New trailer and images from ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

IDW Panel reveals details for ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and Boldly Go comics

See ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Federation and Starfleet Props and Costumes

See ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Klingon Costumes And Props

Klingon Torchbearer Revealed + Gentle Giant Announces Discovery Collectibles

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Concept Art Details Klingon And Federation Ships

Stay tuned for even more coverage of San Diego Comic-Con.

Star Trek: Discovery premieres on September 24th on CBS with all subsequent episodes on CBS All Access in the US.  Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

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Someone should tell this guy Aaron Harberts that the TV show he’s talking about is called DS9. In that show, they already explore the Klingon in depth, we no longer see them as enemies any longer, a thouse was REAL Klingon, not the horrible generic aliens of Discovery.

Main point of criticism, not just about what he said but the general attitude towards Trek these days from those in charge. We keep hearing similar stuff from the producers of the reboots, talking about the show as if there was nothing after TOS. 18 years of TNG/ENT era addressed those and other issues already, so they really need a different spin here. Like you said, isolationism was a huge topic of DS9 before the war (and with the Romulans, even during the war). Same for Burnham, you’re basically talking Tom Paris here, only that the character is front and center instead of a minor character of the main cast. Yes, they could do it in more detail, but this sounds like they think it’s an innovative idea within the context of Trek, which it isn’t.

Same with Ro Laren..

Yup. They’re doing the Ro Laren story, only they’re putting her Front and Center and they’re making her Spock’s half-sister.


Good point! Some of these stories are sounding like retreads to me especially as a DS9 fan. Which by the way is a show that doesn’t always get a lot of love. After all, was it Kurtzman, who claimed they are going to be the first show to have serialized storytelling in the Star Trek universe.? When they are the second, after DS9.

However having said that I will give the show a chance but they shouldn’t act like they have original ideas when they don’t. They should say instead that they are “planting the seeds” of storylines that will pop again in the Star Trek universe. That could be one of the ways it fits into canon.

Except you have zero context to make that judgement. Give it a couple of months.

@Athuel, since you’ve seen the series already, what else can you tell us?


Nothing in Athuel’s comment required watching ‘Discovery’. They stated facts about DS9 and the handling of the Klingons in that show. And then expressed their own opinion, rightly or wrong, about the new Klingon based on what was shown in the trailers.

I guess it’s perfectly okay for you to keep on cheerleading the show, even though you haven’t seen it yet, but it is intolerable for others to share their own impressions given the same amount of publicly available info.

yes, Ahmed it is okay for me to be cautiously optimistic. Because I dont introduce unknown context or false facts to support a personal bias of negativity.

Try it.


It doesn’t work that way, fanboy.

Aren’t we all fanboys here? I mean, we’re so diehard Trek fans that we regularly visit and comment on a site dedicated specifically to Star Trek. This is the part of the fandom that I don’t like, the part where it turns on itself, where some say they’re “better” or “worse” fans.


Some fans like TUP & few others don’t want to see anything that doesn’t fit with their views. If he feels like supporting the show no matter what, good for him. But when he spams all ‘Discovery’ threads, not just on Trekmovie but elsewhere, with unprovoked attacks against those who have different opinions, demanding them to stop coming to the site..etc that’s when he’s out of line.

As an adult he should have learned by now that not all people share the same views & should live with that fact.

In all fairness, “horrible generic aliens of Discovery” does imply that he has seen something of the show, enough to know that the Klingons aren’t at all like what has come before, and further are “generic” aliens. This is the kind of unfounded, broad claim that TUP, I, and others react to from those who seem to hate the show before having seen it.

Are you blind? Who hasnt saw the Discovery Klingons already? Looool

Athuel: of course we have ‘seen’ the Discovery Klingons, and we have even heard one or two entire lines of dialog! Whether or not they are “generic” aliens depends on more than just their physical appearance (which with some black, wavy hair appliances would look very similar to previous versions) and includes all the things about them that don’t appear in a few seconds of the trailer.

@Athuel, look kid, if you dont know what was wrong with your statement, its time to take a break. Dont get pissy when people react poorly to your nonsense.

You’d have to have your head buried very deeply in the sand (or a particular orifice) not to see that many fans like the look of the Klingons or are intrigued/interested. And many simply dont pass judgement until they’ve seen it.

The truth is there are different kinds of Fans- we like different things from the TOS Purists to the General Sci-Fi fans who don’t even get what made Star Trek unique & can’t understand the uproar & Concern.
We all have a right to an opinion or to voice them even if they are clearly deranged- I hate hearing people say Star Trek should be about war & negativity because its more “Realistic” & “relatable” ect ect

@Ometiklan – exactly. Thank you.

@Ahmed – wrong again, pal. That description perfectly fits YOU and the other few but loud mouthed jerks with a personal negative bias against Discovery.

Make a valid pint. Express a reasonable criticism. That would create wonderful discussion.

But the sweeping general negative statements and silly dismissals are so ridiculous, they are devoid of any substance with which to discuss, which I believe is the intended purpose anyway.

Many of us have had concerns. But you ignore those with the sweeping general false fact that we are fanboys. Well, of course we are. We are fans and some of us are boys (not all though). But we have concerns. We express them in an intelligent and thoughtful way and discuss them with others.

Try it sometime and knock off the jerky behavior. its inappropriate and uncalled for.

@Torch – its possible Ahmed is a fangirl, so lets not be hasty. But its true, wielding “fanboy” like a blunt object is the last bastion of a desperate jerk who can’t keep up with the intelligent discourse.

@ Athuel…. I’ve noticed that you are the most critical and spew the most hatred about Discovery… but you certainly rush to read any new articles on it nd comment first. For someone that has so much disdain for the show, you sure do want to know everything about it.

I wouldn’t call him THE most critical. There are two people worse. 😆 Seriously though, I’m sick to death of the naysayers.

I too am sick to death of all this (and I’m not too sure if I’m going to be watching the show beyond the premiere episode.) Like it or not, this is a show being made in the 2010’s, not the 1960’s, and it has to have a more modern sensibility and outlook, including probing inquiries on what the nature of humanity is. Those that want the same old, same old should stick to watching the previous shows and movies.

What are you talking about? All we said here is that what they claim to be doing new, it was done on DS9 years ago.

DS9 and TNG explore the klingons = Check
DS9 and TNG made the klingons complex and rich = Check

They claim that before, the klingons were the bad guys, the “russians”.. well, its clear that he did not even saw a TNG or DS9 episode.

You also made a sweeping judgement about the “horrible generic aliens”. You have never seen the series. So yu cant make that judgement.

This is where you negative types miss the point and aggravate others. You make definate statements about the quality of a show you have never seen.

If you had reasonable points to make, we could discuss them. But you dont so, so it always ends up the same pointless back and forth arguing because your mind is CLOSED. So why bother? Watch a different show and post on their forums…

Yeah this bothers me too. That said though, most of the writers HAVE written for current Trek. I mean with the exception of Nick Meyers all of them have (who has written for Trek before I mean) so they are definitely aware of it. Maybe he’s just discussing it from that era’s POV. I don’t know, but you’re right obviously the Klingons have been dealt with this manner already in an amazing way. I loved how they were done on DS9 and made me fall in love with them all over again.

But we’ll see what they will do here.

Sad that some view honest criticism as, “spewing hatred.” So many delicate sensibilities out there… spewing their own brand of it towards other fans.

Right. So, because DS9 explore the klingons, they should be off-limit, even if the series is set a century prior. So, by your reasoning, if we have Band of Brothers, we can’t have a series about the american soldiers in the Civil War. We already explored them in depth, right? Makes complete sense. :-P

No, but they should not claim to do something new, when it has already explore a lot for another show.

Athuel, I honestly might have missed it, but did they claim they’re doing something new? I do see this statement: “I feel like one of the themes we are exploring is universal and is a lesson I feel like as human beings we have to learn over and over again – is you think you know ‘the other,’ but you really don’t.” In that one they’re saying it’s not new, it’s just necessary to constantly re-learn.

I’m not sure they can ever truly exhaust most of these topics that Star Trek repeatedly dives into.

“The Klingons are not necessarily the Russians anymore”

Anymore = before they were.

Exactly. Look, I understand why some long time fans might be nonplussed about the Klingons. But lets assume the writers have some new tricks up their sleeves. What we explored about the Klingons was much later in time, when they had to swallow the bitter pill of ramping down their military and ending the cold war with the Federation.

Seeing them at this point when they are still a major power and far too proud to bow down to the Federation could be interesting.

It might suck. But lets wait to find out.

Also, enough with the lame cracks. “horrible generic aliens of Discovery”. have you seen the show? No, so give it a rest with the sweeping judgements. It just defeats your argument right off the bat.

“I lesson I feel like as human beings we have to learn over and over again – is you think you know ‘the other,’ but you really don’t. You have to sort of cognitively re-frame or break or deviate from your own point of view to really understand. You have to forget what you knew before.” In other words, all you fans complaining about the new Klingons and the show as a whole — check yourself.

“And that is not to say they are bad, but what we really wanted to do too is understand two differing points of view and really explore it. And I think when people look at the Klingons – I frankly love what they represent. Not in terms necessarily of all the messaging, but in terms of learning about them and learning why they are who they are and making sure they aren’t just the enemy.

And then finding a way to come together. How do we bring everyone back together? What do we do? What does it take? It is a big challenge for us, but that is what season one is all about.”

…umm…Why?? When we know, from the original series, at this time, they were the bad guys. They just were. They were ruthless and they were deceitful and scheming and ready to double-cross in a moments notice. They were bad dudes. Sorry but there really are bad dudes out there. So then we warmed relations in Trek 6…and almost 100 years later, in TNG’s era, we worked side by side. Why this push and need to make them our not-so-bad-after-all friends almost a century before it really happens?? (in Trek time).
I just don’t know about all this self-induced importance they are trying to project. I hope they don’t get too full of themselves and lose sight of the fact that it’s entertainment…please leave the heavy preaching at the pulpit.

What I always found funny about the TOS Klingons is that there was really no subtle or nuance portrayal with them the way we got in the later shows. They were simply the villains, period. And pretty cliche villains at that. Of course it was the 60s and they were representing the Soviets at the time so I don’t fault them for that, but it is so strange to me how they are basically retconning them but THEN say everything that happens on this show will be canon? I don’t know but you can’t really have both, Which is it, is this a reboot or are they really keeping things in what we know? Based on this statement its pretty confusing.

We know in TOS times the Klingons are the bad guys period. On Enterprise the Klingons were never exactly friends but they weren’t enemies either. It was clear the cold war between them was starting but never made implicit. I always assumed once we heard about Discovery and being about the Klingons thats EXACTLY what we would see, how they essentially just became the villains from that point on.

And maybe thats what we will see. But if they are suggesting they will somehow come together later its kind of strange knowing what we know. But again we have a long show a head of us (here’s hoping) so let’s see what they do with them.

They say the best villains don’t *know* they’re the villains, and that’s how I always saw the Klingons in TOS. They were never *just* villains, but a little more layered. In Errand of Mercy, even though they break out into war, the two sides come to understand each other like they hadn’t before by the end of the episode. In Day of the Dove, Kirk and Kang work together to defeat their alien tormenters. So yeah, they always stood against Starfleet, but they had a little bit of nuance to them. I can see all of DSC fitting in within that canon. If Kirk can come to understand his enemies weren’t just straight evil, why can’t Burnham?

That was the issue with STID. They had a villain in Khan who represented the poor misunderstood terrorist so he wasnt really a villain. He was laughably tugging at our heart strings.

The best villain was Marcus but he was portrayed as a mustache-twirling one-note stereotype.

So neither of the villains were very interesting.

The plot of Star Trek Into Darkness was 9/11 and all that followed, including the need for revenge and using shadily moral people like Harrison/Khan (the real culprit manipulating everybody for his own purposes) to accomplish said ‘revenge’ against an already existing foe by building nastier-looking and heavily armed ships the size of an ISD from Star Wars against said foe (and also accomplish taking over the rest of galaxy as a side bonus, as shown in the novel Battlestations!, which STID was inspired by minus the obvious Mary Sue POV character Piper.)

It was as complex as it was supposed to be, but fans like yourself couldn’t see that, blinded by the homages to Wrath of Khan in the movie (which, IMHO, weren’t such a bad thing.) And both Marcus and Khan were great villains, representing how the Federation can get corrupted by bad events, just like the USA has been due to 9/11 and the pointless wars and underhanded methods to fight said wars like rendition and torture.

Sorry Dusty, I’d say you’ve successfully scratched the surface of the plot, but fans like me werent blinded by WoK. We just looked deeper than you did and saw shallow villains.

If you look at Orci at all, you know his beliefs. He couldnt write the Dick Cheney character as having any plausible believability. Unfortunately, that was one of the glaring issues because Marcus was the most interesting character and should have been more fleshed out.

Khan was just ridiculous. He had nothing in common with the character we know other than the name. Him crying and being sympathetic was terrible.

I didnt find the WoK scenes to be distracting. I actually liked itupon initial viewing though after seeing it once, the gimmick wore off. It didnt help that killing Kirk was lame and unbelievable so the emotional resonance wasnt there for a scene that was being pretty heavy handed about it.

STID had a lot of other issues with the script.

The idea that Cheney-era US foreign policy was bad is worth exploring. But you cannot win a debate or make much of a compelling argument if you only push your agenda and dont address the reasonable perspective of the other side. STID didn’t. And thats why the story wasnt very compelling, unfortunately.

@albatrosity — exactly. Even in our own country we go through periods of dove/hawk/populism/globalism etc. The Klingons have the same propensity, which is why — in order to tell a particular story in the Trek universe — they set a story in a particular era which not only fits with canon, but also expands on the extremely interesting universe created but not expounded upon. And there’s no more perfect way for Trek to hold a mirror up to ourselves than using a third party — the problem with STID was that holding that mirror up directly to ourselves sidestepped that thin veil that kept Starfleet pure and optimistic. The Federation had a lot of problems that reflected our society over the years, but it was always someone else, not the organization of which our heroes were a part.

Errand of Mercy is really the only exception and that was Roddenberry’s way of saying America and the Soviets could one day work out their differences. But all in all they were the bad guys. No one in TOS ever tried to ‘understand’ the Klingons. But thats what made their development great (timeline wise) from TUC through TNG because yes you can see how things simply morphed and changed.

Maybe in Discovery it will be done in a way where they can both work. And again we might just be talking some rogue Klingons, who knows? In Star Trek any time they wanted either a villain or a new friend of an ambiguous enemy or not to start an all out war, they always went rogue lol.

To be fair: It doesn’t appear like they were intent on “nerfing” the Klingons. But still, everyhting about “exploring the Klingons in-depth” has an air of “been there, done that” to it: TNG, DS9, heck even VOY had “Barge of the Dead” and stuff like that. Also the Klingons of ENT were a far cry from “ridge-headed Russians” but weren’t too touchy-feely with the evolving Federation either.

A lot of it seems like Nick Meyer addressing Gene Roddenberry’s criticism of STVI: TUC that an opportunity was missed to develop the Klingons further. Meyer is putting his stone to the foundation.

Plus, Klingon momification was alluded to in STIV: TVH but never actually shown.

I worry about the comments that they do not want to see the Klingons as the Russians – I say the exact opposite in terms of Balance of Power. I want to see the Klingons portrayed as the USSR/Warsaw Pact at its peak (conquests, power, resources, ships, etc) potentially being able to wipe the NATO UFP off the map. I want to see them holding planets and having subject races. I want to see them as aliens who really can conquer the galaxy with such a rich history, culture and tech (perhaps some stolen) that basically only an alliance of Vulcan, Earth and Andora could stop them. That being said hope that the show brings even more to the table, maybe a Klingon cultural advantage to the mix that makes them even more powerful. The problem with DS9, etc is that if the Federation is 1000 worlds with free energy then how could the Klingon race as portrayed (one race, virtually no conquests) ever hope to compete – does not make sense and provides no source of conflict. The biggest opportunity here is the Prime Directive. UFP/Starfleet does not interfere, the Klingons can – who wins.. With the Klingons interfering, so why not have them have a bunch of “uplifted” aliens that believe they owe everything to the Klingons, not realizing that they have become slaves to the Klingons?? It becomes a war over the Prime Directive bringing exploration and the whole frontier concept to the table! Throw in dilithium crystals setting up a Avatar type situations (the Klingons just steam roll over the natives and take the crystals, the UFP tries to negotiate, who wins?!?!?), endless stories!!! Don’t throw that all out – it would be glorious!!!! ST:Discovery has me thinking that we either understand the Klingons and manipulate them into peace or we can kiss the Federation good-bye – PERFECT!

I wouldn’t hold my breath on any of that.

If they had said they were the Russians, I’d be okay with that too. its timely to today. And its timely to that era. Whatever happens in Discovery, they cant overcome the issue and become pals because we know they had a long cold war with many skirmishes by the time of TOS and continuing to the TOS films.

Thats where doing a prequel is dangerous. They will want to resolve the core conflict, but they cant.

Enterprise at least had a clear issue it could focus on as a resolution: founding the Federation (and had it been renewed, the Romulan War).

But Ill give them the benefit of the doubt that they have something to focus on and resolve that wont undermine everything else to come.

My hope is that the “resolution of core conflict” is that some how the Discovery team convinces the Klingon leadership not to attack the Federation (where the Federation would be destroyed) either by removing the “hawkish” Klingon family house, destroying the advanced technology of the “hawkish” Klingon family house, causing a revolution in some of the subject houses or with the promise of a better more honorable fight down the road – setting up TOS and buying the UFP the time needed to survive.

@Cmd.Bremmon – yes that could work. It flares up in Discovery but their resolution is simply bottling the hostilities into a cold war. the only issue is, is that dramatic enough? Can Discovery writers resist the urge to resolve the larger issue?

I think there is more than meets the eye here, some surprises yet to be revealed.

Proxy, guerrilla wars (little wars; original meaning of the Spanish word “guerrilla”), if more drama is needed. Since they chose this era, they need to use the “Cold War’ stuff that goes along with the era. One day maybe they’ll go to the Post DS9/Post-Dominion War era where they can show cooperative relations between Klingon, Romulan, Cardassian, and Federation…I imagined a massive Marshall Plan reconstruction, veterans’ flashbacks to many of the (implied) thousands of campaigns, battles, skirmishes, covert ops, etc…of the Dominion War; with some low-key(taking years to accomplish as everyone is war-weary and not wanting to commit too many assets to it, preferring reconstruction as top priority) “cleanup” operations of rogue WarLords and CrimeLords (Klingon, Cardassian, Jem Hadr[spelling], Orionites, Ferengi, rogue Federation) left over from the tragedy of the Dominion War.

“Thats where doing a prequel is dangerous. They will want to resolve the core conflict, but they cant.”

LOL exactly WHY so many of us hate prequels among other things. This says it right here. In prequels you have to follow whatever already been set down. You can certainly find creative ways to interpret stuff but end of the day you can’t just change whatever you want. If the Klingons are the enemies in TOS they have to be the enemies by the time Discovery is over in some fashion. No ands, ifs or buts.

And for the record, thats fine. It just seems like for them they seem to want to go a different avenue with the Klingons (again, also fine) but know in the end they somehow has to end up back to the Klingons we see (in terms of relationship) in TOS.

I thought when this was going to just show how the Klingons became the bad guys was one thing. And it still could be that but I have a feeling like a lot of things on this show shown thus far they may be doing more retconning than anything which may get them in the same trouble like it got both the Enterprise and the KT people in.

But third time the charm I guess. ;)

Well, I like the Prequel idea. Like I said, Enterprise (which was a terrible execution) had a very focused event it could use as its core conflict – the Federation beginning. Further, the Romulan War.

Discovery needs a core conflict it can resolve that doesnt undermine everything that comes later.

It was the same in the late 80’s and 90’s when TNG was on TV every week and TOS was still making films. We knew the Klingons were our friends but it didnt diminish the drama of Klingon relations in the TOS films. And they were pretty responsible by not completely resolving the issue in TUC, letting the conference be a beginning while TNG established it was the Enterprise C that pushed things over the top.

My concern is using the “war” with the Klingons as the core issue and then resolving it. But you cant. We know by TOS, its a cold war about to flare up until those aliens impose the ceasefire.

The Klingons could compete with the UFP exactly how the USSR/WP could compete with USA/NATO- by pouring an asburdly high amount of their economy into military&military research. Which the UFP couldn’t do due to its democratic&generally unaggressive nature, Starfleet was big enough to dissuade them from overrunning them in a blitzkrieg-style campaign and that’s big enough- they don’t want to conquer Qo’nos after all.

That’s exactly the Cold War situation, every Soviet strategy (ignoring nuclear weapons) hinged on taking Western Europe in a few weeks. If this was not achieved, once the USA would FULLY mobilize and begin pouring troops&material into Europe there was no way the Warsaw Pact could win. Besides the USSR there wasn’t much economic power in the WP, while the NATO had W. Germany, UK, Italy, France, Canada PLUS the USA.

So, Klingons could compete on superpower level, yes, but one disaster (Praxis) was enough to let their house of cards collapse. Or, once the UFP fully mobilizes they’re toast as well. That’s essentially the situation at the end of the Dominion War- the UFP has mobilized everything at the end and they are now more powerful than the Romulans&Klingons combined. See the discussion between Odo and the Female Changeling.

Sounds great.

Harberts might as well be alluding to the factions within Trek fandom. Same thing.

One of the things that kept Trek different was its apparent disinterest of generating drama by exploring relationships between characters. For the most part, I couldn’t have cared less what Riker’s past with Troy was or whether or not Dax and Work were getting together. It added zero value to the story lines. Seems like we’re going to be going full soap opera here with a side of dystopian scifi. Everything is dark and sad and everyone is so flawed. It’s the recipe for all tv today, unfortunately.

I’d argue you are right but only with the human-human standard relationships which you can get on the Young and the Restless (the fatal flaw in TNG I would argue). The impact on the human relationships of stress caused by being on the frontier (i.e. the frontier is stressful!) or dealing with alien scenarios, or alien-alien interactions (Klingon houses) are different and therefore relevant vs other shows.

TNG didn’t have any of that ‘soap opera’ in it-hell, it barely had anything that was like a normal human relationship on the show (and fans were complaining that the main characters were bland and boring at each and every sci-fi convention panel I was at locally in Toronto in the mid-to-late 1980’s.) Having that on DS9 was a great thing for this epoch, and made DS9 better than TNG (having conflict between main characters occasionally is part of good drama.) Where are you people at with this?

Showing character relationships is what makes stories, stories. In TOS, everything was really told in standalone form and why you saw so little relationships outside of Kirk and Spock. But today? Yeah that wouldn’t fly. People WANT both deep character development and stories. No, it doesn’t have devolve into soap opera material and IMO nothing like that ever happened in Star Trek. Ex lovers still having feelings for each other does not automatically mean soap opera territory if handled right and they did a great job with Riker and Troi because it was rarely mentioned outside of one episode a season.

Although I also like this of TNG I don’t think it was a conscious decision of the authors.

TNG had the relationship history between Troi and Riker or history between Picard and Crusher. If they would not like to have relationships they would not have created these story lines.

This means the lack of relationship was not due to disinterest of the authors. They were just not able to bring them to a more emotional level.

Hence why I said what I said. And why this show (and the Kelvinverse movies) are now better than TNG, Voyager, and Enterprise.

Kayla, I love your hair too!

(Disclaimer: I’m a half-full, reserve-judgment kind of guy.)

In this cluster of articles, I see posters who seem to think we know everything we need to know about the Klingons. In a very narrow TV-allegorical sense, maybe (space-USSR and so forth). But in a larger SF/F-worldbuilding sense, remember: this is a species with, presumably, billions of members, which has been interstellar for centuries. *Of course* they’ll have at least as much physical and cultural diversity as humans, including alternative interpretations of their founding myths, and a variety of architectural styles. Once you break free of the restrictive and reductive mold “there’s only one kind of Klingon,” you can use them to tell *new* allegories.

After a few dozen hours of TV we might be adequately familiar with a single ensemble cast; and after a few hundred hours, have exhausted the archetype “Starfleet human-majority long-range exploratory crew.” But a species is something bigger.

Who remembers the “Babylon 5” episode “The Parliament of Dreams”? Each of the major alien powers demonstrates its dominant religious practice — and then Commander Sinclair unveils a receiving line with *dozens* of human religious groups. That highlights the common SF/F failing of narrowly-defined alien races.

And the argument “they’ve already told this story in DS9” — sure, 20 years ago. Twenty. Years. The world has changed, and more importantly, so has the audience — when a studio revives a property, it will try to attract people with only a passing familiarity, because hardcore fans are simply too few. Given a new generation of storytellers and a new audience, you’re going to get new stories, and some of them will retread old themes *precisely because* those themes are important enough to introduce anew to each new generation.

My sentiments exactly, Phillip Thorne.

I think that it’s high time for some self reflection about the USA (and to some extent, Canada, where I come from) on a Star Trek show, rather than have all of the aliens be other cultures (people bitching about this forget the Ferengi, who were a comment on then-current day American-and Terran-capitalism and society, and how people love to be greedy and acquire things.) Now that the producers are making the Klingons be like us, we can see our negative parts and why we are what we are these days.

The concept of exploring why we consider some races “the other” is valid and I hope this version of Trek does it justice. It’s very important in the world today, especially with the banning of refugees fleeing for their life. I had a discussion recently with a family that has even left Paris, fearing for their life. Something I never thought I would see happen. That’s the serious take I hope Star Trek Discovery explores within their adventure structure.

One thing that I feel distracts seriously from the show is making a character “Spock’s adoptive sister”. That is something those who ridicule Trek will latch onto. The awful memory of Star Trek V lingers. I will keep an open mind on that but it will take a while.

Generally what they’re saying is all fine and dandy, mostly because it’s also rather generic (not expecting spoilers here, but seriously, concepts among the lines of “you need to know yourself before you can judge others”, “sometimes things aren’t what they seem” etc. – you can do that in crime drama, family drama, legal drama, heck, even sitcom – nothing too “sci fi”, let alone “Trek” about it).
But do you remember when they said that there would be a focus on “exploration” in DSC? It wasn’t that long ago, I think.
Yet all the keywords I’m hearing now are “war”, “conflict”, “grit”, “Klingons”… I was feeling so optimistic about that show, but it now it sounds more and more like they’re planning on making it a drab and dour one-note affair.
TOS, for which all those “powers that be” keep professing their love, wasn’t about war. TNG, still the most successful spinoff series, even less so (globally – episode arcs like the very restrained “Klingon Civil War” notwithstanding). DS9 wasn’t about war until AFTER the third season, in which the greater story arcs were only being set up – and even then, thanks to 25-episode seasons, there was enough time to give us episodes like “Trials and Tribble-ations”, “Far Beyond the Stars” or other episodes that would take their time and explore some more classic science fiction themes. VOY wasn’t about war (it just loved its Borg episodes) and ENT… well, ENT kept meandering a bit in that regard. But then ENT was probably also the show that caused the most dispute among Trek fans and didn’t make it past S4 – which means that the show’s scope could either have broadened or shrinked in its run but we never got the opportunity to find out.

Anyway, to me having another series based entirely around war and conflict seems like a cheap alternative to making an actual Star Trek series. Of course it IS an “actual” Star Trek series – but this seems to depend on whether one prefers to regard Star Trek as a brand name (which it technically is) or as a set of ideas.

Apparently the Science Officer gets high off space mushrooms on an alien planet. While I have feeling it will start off dour and remain somewhat that way throughout, I expect we’re still going to get plenty of fun moments as well once the story transitions to being on the Discovery. The trailer I suspect is mostly footage from the first three episodes.

Lotta hate in this thread. The ideas sound intriguing. ST Disco will have imperfect people, friction. As for boldly going where another Trek has gone… fine! The themes are timeless and NEED revisiting for each gemeration of viewers. I expect to see interesting variations on Devil in the Dark, The Inner Light, A Taste if Armegeddon, and more. I HOPE we do NOT get stuck with time travel with a reset button, holodeck crap, or captains who hold parties every week (I’m looking at you, Janeway!) Whatever the series holds, I will watch several episodes before making any firm judgements.

Hate?? Do you even know what hate is? If some one disagree with you it means that he hates you??

Lol.. it is clear that you hate a lot of ppl then.

Does Time Travel have any basis in reality anyway? Or is it an invention of human thinking?

I believe it’s theoretically possible. The closer you travel to the speed of light, the slower time moves for those travelling. So you go out into a space ship at very fast speed and travel for 10 years, return to Earth 10 years older but on earth 100 years has passed.

Or something like that. So technically, you could go to the future, but never come back. lol

Star Trek did make it too easy to time travel. I liked the Temporal Cops thing almost as a tongue in cheek acknowledgement of how easy time travel became.

I’m excited. It sounds like they really get Star Trek.

Been feeling pretty good about the work so far, but this is a bit disturbing. I can understand why the ‘Klingons as Soviets’ allegory is dated, but suggesting it’s now ‘isolationists’ within the US is a pretty glaring nod that conservatives are being painted as the bad guys here. Unfortunately, Hollywood’s idea of objectivity when portraying conservatism is pretty much deciding if they are going to be sexists or racists….it’ll remain to be seen if positive attributes can be portrayed without conservative principles being sold out.

Tough luck if you don’t like that-as I said up-thread, it’s high time for (North) American society to be explored in depth like this, instead of just the same old same old East/West thing with the Klingons standing in for the USSR and the PRC. If your tennae doesn’t like conservatives being talked about in this way, maybe it’s a sign for you to realize how being conservative has become corrupted in (North) American society, and work to change the perception of it (as Noam Chomsky once said, the ‘conservatives’ influencing and running the USA aren’t really conservative, but radical statists who believe in a very violent, controlling and socially/technologically backward state.)

The only thing I dislike a is the lack of D-7s or D-7 like designs. Everything else with the Klingons looks fantastic but that detail in particular…like its such a distinct spaceship design in Sci-Fi and Star Trek its bizarre we haven’t seen any. Even the Kelvin Timeline has D-7s

Star Trek has been helping us embrace “the other” since 1966, and I’m thrilled to see that the writers understand that this is an essential Trek feature.

Once you’ve learned to love a person with pointed ears or forehead ridges, once you’ve understood that those people aren’t exactly like you, and that’s okay, it’s a little easier to make common cause with fellow human beings who aren’t exactly like you.

Keep teaching us how to be the best humans we can be, Star Trek! This sorry world needs excellent Trek, now more than ever.

Couldn’t agree more! Different isn’t always bad it’s just different. Anything that can help people see that is a win in my book as well! Which is why I wish they would focus more on those kinds of stories. It’s not “original thinking” and that’s ok! Sometimes what we need is a “rehash.” Done well of course.

AGGGGHHHHH!!!!! The Klingons NEVER WERE the Russians. The Romulans are the Russians. If anything, the Klingons are the Japanese.

Or the Vikings.