Chieffo Talks Redefining Klingons + ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Composer Talks Favorite Trek Jams

The big Discovery news of the day was the reveals from the Variety cover story, but there are a few more Disco Bits to share including a new interview with Klingon actress Mary Chieffo, the show’s composer talking Trek jams, a producer teasing what’s happening this week on the set, and some clarity on the future of Discovery on Netflix around the world.

Chieffo hearts Grilka

From our own interview with Mary Chieffo earlier this month and from her panel at STLV, and her comments on social media, it was clear that Discovery’s Mary Chieffo knows her Klingons. Now the L’Rell actress has a new interview with the official Star Trek site where she reveals more of her deep cuts. For example, here is Chieffo talking about her favorite female Klingons:

Grilka is definitely at the top, first of all, because she’s full Klingon. I love K’Ehleyr and I love B’Elanna, but they’re both half-Klingon. B’Elanna, like we see with anyone who’s half and half, is they have that internal struggle. I love watching that, but certainly for me, since L’Rell is full Klingon, seeing Grilka, I love her story of eventually becoming the leader of her own house.

Chieffo also had something interesting to say about acting in the massive Klingon sarcophagus ship sets:

Oh, my goodness. That first moment of walking on the ship, it’s unreal. It’s a cathedral. It really does help to have it, and they’ve been speaking to it a bit this week about how they wanted as much as possible to be practical. Of course, we can’t actually have space out the oculus, but other than that, to really feel the weight of the bridge and the stairs, it’s so meticulous. Because we’re really redefining the Klingons, there’s real detail, and such a sense of beauty and culture. I think it just helps make you believe it.

See the full interview for more from Mary on her Star Trek research, speaking Klingon and more.

Grilka from DS9 episode “House of Quark” is Chieffo’s favorite female Klingon

Composer talks Trek jams

We haven’t heard much from composer Jeff Russo since he was announced to be doing the music back at Comic-Con. But today he randomly started talking Trek with Discovery actor Anthony Rapp, admitting that TOS and TNG music were his “jam.”  And he also followed up after a fan asked for more of his thoughts on past Trek music.

Ted teases from the set

Discovery co-executive producer Ted Sullivan took to Twitter yesterday just to let everyone know cool stuff was happening on the set, but of course he can’t elaborate. Apparently Doug Jones is making Ted happy through his portrayal of Saru. 

Discovery staying with Netflix in Australia (and elsewhere)

This week it was announced that CBS was buying Australia’s Ten Network, and they would be launching CBS All Access down under. Star Trek: Discovery is set to premiere on Netflix in Australia (and pretty much everywhere outside North America), but some wondered if this new deal might change that. However, Netflix Australia also took to Twitter to confirm they will continue to be the Australian home of Discovery.

TrekMovie already reported earlier this month that even though CBS had announced plans to take All Access global, Netflix would continue to be the home of Discovery outside of of the USA and Canada, even in countries where All Access is introduced. The significant Netflix deal with CBS for Discovery is one of the reasons the show is already considered to have been paid for and clearly the parties involved thought ahead.

Star Trek: Discovery premieres on September 24th on CBS with all subsequent episodes on CBS All Access in the US.  In Canada Star Trek: Discovery will premiere  on Bell Media’s CTV and the Space Channel on the same night. Netflix will launch Star Trek: Discovery on Monday, September 25 to countries outside of the U.S. and Canada.


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So Chieffo is basically saying she doesn’t like half breeds. Definitely a Klingon lol.

“with my faves leaning toward melodic motifs rather than sound design”

YES! Great attitude! The sonic wallpaper approach of the late Berman era is not coming back.

Shame Ron Jones isn’t involved with STD.

@james — it’s a shame Jeff Russo is. He’s probably been fired from more jobs than he’s held at this point.

You beat me too it. I was going to cut and paste that exact thing. Glad to hear that. Hope that’s the case.

Grilka was an attractive klingon woman. L’Rell is an ugly half-Xindi/half-Klingon. I can live with the re-design of the Klingons, but I do not have to love it.

I’m in Australia – When Netflix launches DSC on September 25 here, will it be launched at 00:01am on the 25th? I am new to Netflix (The only reason for my subscription will be Discovery) Does NF release at a certain time or is it available at one minute past midnight on the 25th?

@KevinA Melbourne Australia,

“When Netflix launches DSC on September 25 here, will it be launched at 00:01am on the 25th?”

Not that quick. ‘Discovery’ will be released on Netflix outside North America within 24 hours of its US premiere.

Here in Canada for those who have Bell’s streaming service CraveTV, ‘Discovery’ will be available 24 hours later on the following Mondays at 8:00PM EST.

That 24 hours delay is rather dumb since the show will most likely be on pirate sites right after the premiere. They should have gone with a simultaneous worldwide releases.

Piracy doesnt greatly impact shows. They are likely not overly concerned about it.


Generally speaking that is true, I don’t think it will bother Netflix that much. However, for new service like CBS All Access it’s a different matter.

CBS wants people in the United States to subscribe to their new service, not to get it through piracy. For CraveTV it’s even worse when they allow a long delay between the US release and the Canadian release.

People that have streaming services don’t usually use pirate sites… otherwise they wouldn’t shell out cash for the streaming services. Besides, the picture quality is crap on pirate sites.

@Trek fan 67,

Netflix and other streaming services did help drive piracy down to some extent but remember that not everyone has streaming services. That’s why Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ was the second most pirated show in 2015

And even if they have streaming services, those services don’t provide the same content to all regions like the case with ‘Discovery’ and many other shows.

Funny thing that Netflix is actually using piracy sites to find out what popular shows to add to their own library.

“Besides, the picture quality is crap on pirate sites.”

Mostly for movies that are still in theaters but the video/audio quality of TV shows are usually very good.

In Australia the 25th IS the 24th. That is we are a day ahead of you, so technically releasing it in Australia on the 25th is the same day as America’s September 24.

Wasn’t it established in TNG that klingons don’t care about dead bodies; thst they are empty shells once they send the spirit off to sto vo kor?
Talk about redefining klingons… :/

TNG is a bore, they should ignore it. Star Trek IV actually noted a Klingon Klingon mummification glyph.

That was always the big contradiction for me. For the beliefs that TNG later put on the Klingons, it made no sense that they would just feel that once someone dies the body was a waste of space. When humans die, yes the body is just a shell so to speak but we still hold reverence in how we lay it to rest. Klingons became too wrapped up in honor and their religious beliefs to not have ideals on death and funeral preparations. It just made no sense to me. This, feels much more Klingon


“For the beliefs that TNG later put on the Klingons, it made no sense that they would just feel that once someone dies the body was a waste of space. ”

It made perfect sense; first the Klingons are aliens they don’t need to be following human traditions.

Second, even within the human race there are cultures & religions like the Buddhists who consider a dead body a worthless empty shell & don’t bother with burying the bodies.


As the local religion of Buddhism, in the case of Tibet, believes that the body after death is only an empty shell, there are more practical ways than burial of disposing of a body, such as leaving it for animals to consume.

Buddhists are known for their conquering ways?? I suppose some in the Mongolian Empire Buddhist when taking China and Russia? I’d look more to first Islamic Caliphates which in a few short decades was able to knock off Persia, Byzantine Egypt and almost took out the Eastern Roman Empire (and failing that took most of Spain).

I’d also look to Star Control (any Star Control 2 fans out there)? The big bad guys, the Ur-Quan, were once peaceful but were mind controlled and forced to kill the other members of their peaceful Federation and their own kind. So when they freed themselves through pain (that’s how they escaped the mind control) they decided that the only way to ensure that they never again massacre their peaceful neighbors or get mind controlled again is to conquer everyone to join the Hierarchy or accept being slave shielded. A sect that was genetically modified instead believed that they must destroy all other life. To test the theory every 200 years they would fight a civil war to determine which strategy was the stronger. Made the Ur-Quan that much more exciting that their evil conquering ways made some “historical” sense!!

@PEB — even if one assumes that some Klingons hold this belief, that doesn’t mean ALL Klingons do. In much the same way we’ve been discussing the distinctions between different houses, and the different looks within the Klingon race, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that there is only one religion in all of the Klingon Empire. Especially when one considers the Klingons akin to the former USSR, which conquered adjacent lands of many faiths and backgrounds, all the while imposing official state atheism on the whole. The idea that a world within the Klingon Empire could spread a religious ideology throughout the Klingon Empire is no different than Christianity throughout a world dominated by Jewish and Roman Religions. Even if it’s as simple as the differences between Orthdox Christians and Catholics, that could have a massive impact from one Klingon house to the other.

“Even if it’s as simple as the differences between Orthdox Christians and Catholics, that could have a massive impact from one Klingon house to the other.”

There was actually a DS9 episode where Worf explains to O’Brien that there’s an old Klingon custom of guarding the bodies of fallen warriors “to keep the predators away”. So that did contradict the earlier TNG episode — but as you said, it could simply be due to different Klingon families having different interpretations of Klingon religious beliefs. Realistic and simple explanation, even though Worf’s remarks were obviously a bit of a retcon.

It would be equally realistic for Klingon society to not be as monocultural as it seems. The House of Mogh (Kurn as well as Worf) is shown as much more austere, ascetic and puritanical than the House of Martok, for example.

Yeah an alien race doesn’t think like humans think in cultural matters. That is kind of what makes them alien in the first place.

And my guess is Discovery is aiming to make Klingons a bit more diverse so we may see different sects of them with different ideas. It is funny how far Klingons have come from the one dimensional creepy looking villains in TOS to a race steeped in honor and war with deep religious ties in later shows and films. I am curious how they will be handled on this show but it does look we are going to get another deep dive into what makes them Klingon.

@Cmd. Bremmon — yes evidently the Berman era turned their back on established canon.

You guys always sound like you’re 60 years old. And this is the problem right here. Maybe just maybe other writers wanted to do something different and not rely on every little sentence uttered from a 3 year old TV show from decades ago?

Sure canon is important, but not to the point some of you are obsessed about it. This is why I don’t even understand why anyone wants to make more Star Trek?

The KT films tried to do away with this problem and literally made their movies in another universe and people still moaned it looked and felt too different. Thats because its in another universe.

I have a feeling Discovery is going to be picked to death before the premiere has even finished sadly.

I agree with you and I am 61! There are so many petty comments on these sites. If Gene Roddenbury was a young man today, with the opportunity to use today’s sophisticated effects and makeup, do you really think he would do Klingons with only mustaches and big eyebrows? That he would do cardboard sets, false monitors made out of paper and jubes for switches? Me thinks not. I have enjoyed every incarnation of Star Trek, I keep an open mind, I like the way the writers try to follow a canon but I don’t care if its not perfect. Can’t wait for DSC! – “Young minds, fresh ideas” – now where did I hear that?

@KevinA Melbourne Australia

I think I read somewhere that among other things the original thoughts about the Klingons included their skin being gold in color. But this was abandoned for budgetary reasons. Yes, I think it is safe to assume that if the Trek show runners of the 60’s had access to the tech of today the show would have looked a lot different than it did.


What the hell is “a 3 year old TV show” supposed to mean? Last I checked a show from decades ago would be decades old.

It lasted for 3 years on television. I don’t think that had to be explained.


It needs to be explained because it’s not standard English usage. You just made up an alternative meaning which obfuscates and confuses the standard meaning of “STAR TREK is 50 year old TV show.” for example.

Oh my god. Are you this bored? You want to nit pick something this silly? Got to love the internet.

“so many petty comments…!” I rest my case – roll on Septemeber 24!

>Star Trek IV actually noted a Klingon Klingon mummification glyph.

And remember who noted it: Michael Burnham’s step-brother. ;)

I just wish someone in the production would remember how to go back and loop dialogue so we don’t have to listen to actors slurring their words through badly fit Klingon dentures.

Not sure I’m entirely getting your point. Are you saying if a “real” Klingon had teeth like that and spoke English it wouldn’t sound like that? Or are you just saying it’s hard to understand them?

Real teeth definitively have the advantage over poorly fitted false teeth…on both humans and Klingons.

Really? Why are you here? Is there anything positive about Star Trek you would like to say?

Oh, I have plenty that’s positive to say about Star Trek. Star Trek: Discovery, not so much…we’ll know more in a month or so. But I can say, poorly fitted fake teeth that cause the actor to slur their speech isn’t something to be proud of. I don’t care if the the Duras sisters or some weird Ferengi…you can go back and loop clean dialog or make better fake teeth…letting something go to the screen that is horribly hindered by a make-up effect is just sloppy film making.

I must say from a purely aesthetic standpoint I really don’t care for the androgynous, samey look of these Klingons and preferred the more distinctive likenesses of past shows.

Also, maybe its the eyes or the skin texture but Chieffo kind of reminds me of the mutants from Beneath the Planet of the Apes (minus the ridges of course) in that picture.