‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Makeup Designer Glenn Hetrick Predicts “Freak Out” Over Season 2 Klingons

(Photo: CBS)

Last month it was announced that Star Trek: Discovery was nominated for two Emmys, including one for  Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup. Voting for the Emmys started yesterday and CBS is again ramping up their “For Your Consideration” campaign for the show, including a new interview with the makeup designer where he talked a little bit about season two Klingons, again.

Are you ready for some new Klingons?

Last week we reported on Discovery makeup designer Glenn Hetrick’s panel at Star Trek Las Vegas where he revealed the Klingons were getting a “completely new look” for season two. At that panel Hetrick said that the Klingons we saw in season one were not the whole story and there were more Klingon Houses to reveal. He also noted that the hairless Klingons of season one were inspired by the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Rightful Heir,” which told the story of how Kahless cut off a lock of his hair and threw it into a volcano to make the first bat’leth.

Now in a new FYC Emmy interview with Syfy focusing on work for the first season, Hetrick also spoke a little bit about season two, and specifically about that story of Kahless, saying:

“We’re obsessed with that story,” Hetrick said. “And as we unpack it, we’re going to find tons of other reasons for the Klingon look” — which is going to change in season two, he promised. “I think people are going to freak out when this unfurls in front of them.”

In the Syfy interview Hetrick also again noted how we have only seen six of the twenty-four Klingon Houses, indicating there is more to the Discovery Klingons to reveal. The makeup artist has already developed backstories and designs for other houses.  And in his panel, he made it pretty clear that at least some will be more familiar to fans. He has yet to say definitively that we will see Klingons with hair, but he has come close to it. Hopefully, we will get a real glimpse before early 2019 when the second season premieres. Until then, we always have Photoshop.

Fan altered image of T’Kuvma with traditional Klingon hair

Emmy voting has started, Chieffo lends her support to Makeup team

As noted by Glenn Hetrick himself yesterday on Twitter, voting has started for the Emmys. And today he did a bit more promotion for the team who are nominated.

CBS is also using social media to promote the work of the makeup team who are all nominated, including the time-lapse below, showing the transformation of actor Damon Runyan into the Klingon Ujilli, of House Mo’Kai.

Klingon actress Mary Chieffo also attended a guild event in over the weekend with nominee James MacKinnon. She shared some photos from the event on Twitter.

Red Carpet also caught up with Chieffo and MacKinnon at the event for a quick interview.

Voting for the Emmys ends in August 31st. The winners will be announced at the Creative Arts Awards ceremony on Saturday, September 8.

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.


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I wonder if that’s freak out in a good way or bad way. If in a bad way, maybe he’s aware of the controversy about the Klingon makeup from season one and now they are going even further away from what most people think a Klingon should look like. Bummer.

You just made up an “explanation” of what he meant, then got bummed out about your made up explanation. I personally think he meant the happy version of freak out, why would he go out of his way to mention an expected bad reaction? Maybe we’ll get both human looking Klingons and Trek III type Klingons. I’m excited to see what they’ve come up with.

Michael Ansara type Klingons fight alongside Michael Dorn type Klingons and Discovery Klingons against Romulans who will be soooo confused. “It will be GLORIOUS!!”

@VZX — you mean how Klingons “should” look in TOS? Or how they “should” look in TMP? Or maybe the first season of TNG? Or the later seasons? Or DS9? Or VOY? Or the augment episode of ENT?

Just because they had a long run during a particular period with a different look, doesn’t mean that’s how they “should” look.

Agreed. Berman Trek is not the center of the universe, and it is not the authority on what’s canon. Nor does it deserve to be. The only version of Trek that has that authority is TOS, which is always going to be updated “anyway”. Therefore every new version of ST should be an update with creative liberties taken.

I think people simply didn’t LIKE the look they presented in Discovery. Yes, some clearly want it to look more like what they seen, but what they presented here just felt nothing like Klingons in general in any show. Certainly not TOS lol.

And the TNG Klingons has had that look for over 100 episodes and films for decades so obviously people are use to it. The TOS Klingons were only in 7 episodes and Roddenberry didn’t even want them to look like that, they simply didn’t have the money and technology since the show was more budgeted. Most stuff on that show was.

The Klingons from TOS is almost another species entirely compared to the movie and TNG versions and definitely compared to Discovery.

No. It is not that they simply didn’t like the look. It was that the new look threw away nearly 800 hours and three movies of development for the Klingon culture.

Imagine they suddenly changed the Vulcans into purple people with three noses. It’s no different. It was stupid and it remains stupid to throw out so much lore that so many are invested in. If people don’t care about the Klingon culture why do so many fans turn up to this day at conventions in poorly made Klingon uniforms and make up, trying to speak Okrand’s language? It’s because the culture that was developed substantially after TMP registered with them and meant something.

I agree. It’s not that the new look was disliked. It’s that they seemed to ignore what has come to be the “established” look for Klingons. Yes, Klingons changed from TOS to TMP. Even Worf changed from one season to the next. But after TMP, even with a few changes here and there, they STILL looked like what we have come to expect from Klongons. Even the ones in STID maintained that look.

OK, but I can personally tell you I simply don’t like how they look. Obviously your point is valid and I have said so myself including the post you responded to. But a lot just hate they look like Orcs as well. If they came off better looking I think more people would eventually accept it.


Actually I’d challenge this. People are so desperate to blow smoke you the backsides of Kurtzman and co that they forget that not only was Berman Roddenberry’s hand picked successor, but that Roddenberry was still alive and involved in TNG well into it’s fourth season, but which time the post TMP Klingons has been developed into a race with background.

I mean serious, is this what it has come to? Trashing all of Trek after TOS now?


I’ve always trashed Trek after TOS lol. Except DS9 and Enterprise…I dug some of that. Most was the same drivel born of TNG, but there were some really good episodes buried amid the mediocrity.

I’m only slightly on board with this comment, Jonboc. I don’t “trash” TNG & Voy. But I think TNG gets more praise than it deserves. There were a few gems in their 7 seasons. But they were few and VERY far between. The vast majority of their shows were bad to mediocre with most approaching the mediocre level. For some weird reason I really like Enterprise in spite of Bakula being horribly miscast as Archer. But DS9 was indeed the best of the spin off series’. And TOS remains the gold standard as far as I’m concerned. And no spinoff series has been able to recapture that magic. DS9 did some pretty innovative stuff and was the only one that even came close IMHO, however.

Yes to Tos as gold standard, no to TNG being mediocre (it’s got the heart and soul of Trek and the original vision is intact), no to DS9 (the principle point of Trek was to travel, not to stay put – hint it’s even in the name ‘Trek’… it’s a journey!). DS9 was really just a BB5 knock off that used basically all the same issues it did (how do you keep a lid on all these races/species tensions when you’re living in a tin can that’s going nowhere?) However, each to their own, there is enough Star Trek for everyone and what’s to my taste probably isn’t to your taste either.

Except for the fact the Berman was Gene Roddenberry’s hand picked successor and ST was at its peak during his tenure (TOS itself was a canceled series that only stayed in peoples minds because of the fanbase which CBS craps all over). Lets not let fact’s get in the way thou.

Not only this but Roddenberry was involved in Trek well into the run of TNG before he passed away including all the way back to TMP where the Klingon design was initially “upgraded.” To trash Berman era Klingons and Trek is to trash Roddenberry’s choice for who to carry Trek forward as his health declined as well as Roddenberry’s choices in how Klingons should look from 1979 until his death.

Nobody is “unaware” of, nor has “forgotten” about, Roddenberry’s involvement in TNG. Nor has anybody forgotten Berman was Roddenberry’s hand-picked producer (“successor” is a debatable choice of words).

Neither of these facts implys their version of ST should have creative authority over any other version. If Roddenberry had full control of the franchise, the Harve Bennett movies never would have happened. And a ST production with the texture of the ones Nick Meyer had directed was never likely to be seen again as long as Berman was in charge.

ST remained at it’s “peak” for seven years at the most, if one includes TNG’s early season as falling within that peak. After nine years into Berman’s tenure both spin-off series had settled into ratings that were below even the lowest of TNG’s 1st season episodes, and they never came back up again (But “let’s not let facts get in the way though”).

18 years is far too long a time for one person or team of people to be in control of a franchise.

Nobody on here has “trashed” the Michael Westmore look of the klingons. They were simply due for an update. The production design for ST needed a completely fresh overhaul anyway. Whether the klingon redesign needed to be as radical as it was remains debatable. However there’s no going “all the way” back to the Berman era. And showing Westmore klingons and STD klingons all in the frame at once is artistically and stylistically impossible.

I’ve been part of that fanbase longer than many of the posters here have been alive, and though I ultimately had to judge DSC a disappointment overall, I definitely don’t feel crapped on.

Actually, it kind of does. A species doesn’t change appearance like a person changes a shirt.

I think the conceit will likely be that there is more then one species in the Klingon Empire.

Or that there are many different races of Klingon like there are many different races of humans.

Fictional ones on a TV show do…

I did write “most” people. Tbh, I think the changes made in TMP to Klingons were too drastic to begin with, IMHO. That said, I did like the Klingon designs from Into Darkness. I feel that if you are going to redesign something, at least make it recognizable upon first glance to what came before. The Disco Klingons were over-designed, as were their ships, costumes, and behavior. It seems the Disco production like to overdesign for no good reason other than to just to do it. They didn’t change the Vulcan look, so why Klingons? Maybe it’s a CBS-Paramount feud thing.

I despise Into Darkness, but I never had a problem with their Klingons. All things considered they were pretty faithful. What you don’t see in the film is that all the background Klingons had, variously, hair and beards (search hard enough online and you can find the production photos). So the lead Klingon was essentially a bit of a Chang – and the gold bits were just jewellery, no different from Earth cultures that use jewellery for cultural reasons. I never had a problem with them because they were updated a bit but not to the point of being unrecognisable.

I think that’s what the Discovery apologisers don’t get. Most “haters” are open to updates. It just has to make sense and be recognisable.

Absolutely agree, and I think that is a very good word to describe it. Everything definitely seems “overdesigned” in Discovery. Sometimes you just have to scale back and try to see designs in simpler terms.

Precisely. STD producers felt the need to change nearly EVERYTHING but for no good reason. It was change just because they could. Not because it was needed. El Chup’s comment, “I think that’s what the Discovery apologisers don’t get. Most “haters” are open to updates. It just has to make sense and be recognisable.” is spot on. Change is fine. It just has to be recognizable as a Klingon. Or a Klingon ship. Or even a Star Fleet crewman!

Curious Cadet. Are you stating then that you believe categorically that the Klingons as we’ve known them exist in the Kurtzmanverse?

They should be based on the post TMP look. Why? Because 26 seasons and 10 movies overtook the handful of TOS episodes that featured Klingons and developed them into a proper, developed race. More than any other in Trek. Discovery already knows that because, while changing everything else, the forehead ridges are retained. The Marc Okrand language is retained.

As I have had to say on here many times, it’s between updating the make up a bit to survive modern demands, and totally changing it all for the sake of change. The blue lizards Discovery offers up is the latter.

I’m fairly sure he’s aware. But your conclusion seems implausible.

What evidence do you have that they are “going further away” beyond your obvious attempt to fabricate something in order to cause controversy?

Predicting that the fans are going to freak out is about as prophetic as my predicting that water is wet and the sun will come up.

So, minor tweaks? Everyone looks like Worf now? Or TOS John Colico’s?

Hate to say it, but I don’t really care one way or the other…….

“… in his panel, he made it pretty clear that at least some will be more familiar to fans.”
I think that suggests that some of the houses have a far more different look / ethnical origin (like humans on earth) than we have seen from the 6 houses appearing in season 1. I’m really looking forward to see how they introduce TOS, movie and TNG style Klingons without feeling too different or a separate race to DIS Klingons.

“I think people are going to freak out when this unfurls in front of them.”

I don’t want to freak out. I just want Klingons that look like Klingons and not randomly designed sewer rats.

I think that’s what he’s saying. Some people are reading it negatively but clearly he’s saying the opposite. Going with his other statements he’s all but saying they are trying to make them fit a closer standard from before.

I just find it funny how he keeps bringing up the Kahless story as if it was new. It’s been part of the mythology since TNG, now you are using it to justify the looks in Klingons?

Nothing suggests that he is mentioning the Kahless story as if “it’s new”… when its the fact that it is established cannon and OLD that gives it weight and relevance for him to mention it. So, you make a muddled point. And YES, he is mentioning it now to “justify” the looks of the Klingons. News Flash: Enterprise used TOS Khan-type genetically augmented super humans that were cared for by TNG’s Data’s “grand-father” to “justify” the look of Klingons in TOS. It’s called weaving a story… and he’s picking up a thread. Not sure what pays your bills, but he’s paid to be creative and design a part of this world. Let’s let him continue to do a great job and weave more threads from 50-plus-years of cannon into new stories.

What I’m saying is he’s using the Kahless story to justify any changes in the Klingons. He could’ve done that the FIRST season! Why didn’t they do it then?

He could’ve weaved this thread last season, its clear they are ONLY doing it now because people hated the looks of the new Klingons and they feel they have to change them. I get he can’t just say that but its funny how he acts like this is some big revelation to justify it. Although I give him credit for using an in-canon reason to do it.

WOah I just had deja vu!! Like we already had this conversation before. That is soooo trippy lol.

I know what you mean. Some folks just make the same arguments over and over (yes, I’m probably guilty of it too). You can either let it pass without comment and risk their statements passing unopposed into perceived fact.. or by rote, you continue to respond automaticaly, putting the other side of the argument / facts in a reasoned missive.

No, I mean I REALLY had one. I wasn’t trying to put Luke and his points down. It really did feel like I had that discussion with him before on this. It’s weird how that happens.

But yes, as I been told here SEVERAL times by people I say the same arguments over and over again too lol. We all do it, its a message board so you’re constantly re-engaging with new people and bringing up old points that feel relevant to the discussion. I have tried to stop making some of the older ones, but pretty sure they have come up again. ;)

God, you really do love to blow smoke up the backsides of these people don’t you? I don’t think I’ve ever read a set of comments quite so obsequious as yours. Is there anything they do that you don’t praise them immensely for?

The Kahless thing is a retcon backtrack that is being offered up as a reason why they’re now feature Klingons with hair. Originally they were clear that the Klingons were bald because they had special sensory glands on their head. Clearly that idea has been thrown out.

I think Kahless also appeared in one episode of TOS, but I maybe mistaken, so it dates back to earlier than TNG.

No he was, but the story from Kahless he’s talking about came out of TNG. That’s the only reason Kahless is being brought up and why people suggest they are getting hair.

He does, but his a representation was offered up by and alien being who how accurate it was is open for debate.

He did.

Kahless was in the episode “The Savage Curtain”. Along with Surak. The father of Vulcan logic. Along with Genghis Khan and Colonel Green and Abe Lincoln. The new characters were introduced there but little beyond a very brief historical context was given to them. They were both fleshed out in lore later on.

It’s pretty easy to read between the lines here. They are trying to fix something they don’t want to admit was broken to begin with.

+1 for the sewer rats! This is what happens when hiring is solely informed by “Identity Politics” and not by actual talent and dedication!

I think ‘freak out’ could mean we see TOS Klingons, TMP Klingons and STIII – TNG era Klingons.

That would actually be cool. If they have normal Klingons living with Discovery S1 Klingons I’m all for it.

That wouldn’t be cool. Hopefully no more TOS or TNG klingons. Now that we’re out of Berman Trek I would prefer that stupid fan-service Augment story be ignored altogether (retconned out of existence).

What they did last season, combined with what they’re tweaking this season, should be retroactive, and taken as being the way klingons have always looked. Until another series decides to change them again, and then THAT would be retroactive. That is how it should be.

There are going to have to be TNG Klingons showing up at some point with the new Picard series, whatever that turns out to be. Maybe Discovery will be in a bubble with its own Klingon design. It sounds like that will be changing too though from what this makeup guy is saying.

I don’t think they will change. What I predict is that we will be told that the blue lizards are one species of Klingon that in habit several houses and other species include the more familiar ones we are used to.

In fact, not that they’d likely do it, but I goo way to explain the dominance of the blue lizards right now would be that they have control of the empire due to internal politics and the TOS and TMP ones are currently an underclass (not that I think we’ll see the TOS ones).

My theory is there will be different Klingon races. And we will not only see the TMP Klingons but the TOS ones as well. Which is probably the best way out of the mess they just made.

I’m going with species rather than races, given the notable biological differences between the blue lizards and the others.

Agreed Sam. I think the creators of the augment justification created a bit of a rod for their own backs (and the backs of future writers). Something that was so obviously was just the result of updated production design was given an in-universe explanation (which could have just been a nice touch for avid fans at best/fanservice at worst), and now its like some people need in-universe explanations for everything!

The previous showrunners in the Berman era went to great effort to try and make it all fit together. Some of us appreciate and respect those efforts and prefer not to see it all thrown in the dustbin just for the sake of it.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are ways to introduce new make ups via new species of Klingons and you don’t actually have to show the TOS ones really. A throw away line acknowledging the virus would do it.

What I don’t get is why are people so opposed a tiny but of in universe exposition to make it all fit? It’s like people have a personal grudge against those of us who enjoyed canon and begrudge us a few lines of dialogue or the odd older style Klingon in the background here and there. Is it really going to harm their viewing experience?

Begrudge, no. Partial lack of sympathy on my part, probably, unfortunately. Frustration on my part with a seemingly literal-minded fanbase, almost definitely. I hate to seem petty, I should probably just let it go. Especially since I’m “relatively” confident that the people in charge are already of a similar mind as I am. (Although I could be wrong about that…) I generally think the producers of a franchise should try to avoid listening to their fans as much as possible, especially people who are not overtly creative or seem to lack an appreciation of the creative process. In the specific case of ST, I do not believe in the universal approach. I do not believe in a homogenized portrayal of its material. In fact I’m strongly against it. In particular, I “generally” dislike the Berman era of ST. Now this is a loaded thing to say, since I also grew up on this version. I own three of the four series on physical media, preferably Blu-Ray (three guesses which series I skipped buying entirely). I happen to love TNG up through Season 5. And I “mostly” loved DS9, despite the influence that TNG formula still had over much of it. However I disliked the Berman team’s conformist “vision” for the material, stretching far beyond aesthetics and into their signature (and often uninspired) style of recycled storytelling. I disliked the ever-gradually slow, painful process of watching ST become a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of itself. ST is NOT a single unified canon in which everything neatly and perfectly fits. It wasn’t that way before Berman Trek, and it hasn’t been that in the time since Berman Trek (THANKfully). Not in terms of storytelling, and also not visually either. It’s just not the way this particular franchise works, despite “seeming” evidence of the contrary. ST is rather the combined work of many talented people who re-shaped and re-interpreted it as they saw fit. From Directors such as Robert Wise, Nick Meyer and (yes) JJ Abrams, to writers/producers like Roddenberry, Gene L. Coon, Bob Justman, Harve Bennett, Ron Moore, Ira Steven Behr and Bryan Fuller. And NOT all of their visions coalesce, nor even try to. Nick Meyer’s vision for ST included No Smoking signs and fire extinguishers. It goes without saying someone like him would never have been hired on under the Berman administration (which I can’t help thinking says a LOT about the Berman era of ST, unfortunately). And Bryan Fuller, who worked primarily on VOY, is actually the one who most heavily influenced the direction of STD during its pre-production phase up until the time he left — IF I understand correctly. Much of the creative input that went into updating and redesigning ST’s “visual canon” (including prosthetic makeup for the klingons) is, reportedly, his own. ST’s fifty-year history is one of ongoing revision and change. This is what defines it, this is what should define it. What we have in stark contrast to this picture is an 18-year period in the franchise history during which largely the same group of people were involved, eventually resulting in a natural resistance of change. I don’t claim to know how much of this was intentional, but it was NOT a healthy thing for the long term: from a storytelling standpoint nor a visually creative one. It’s really a phenomenal thing, for a whole community of fans or consumers to have become essentially spoiled by reheated leftovers, to the point of not wanting to eat anything fresh. I apologize for my lack of understanding on this one. I actually LOVE ‘Relics’ and ‘Trials and Tribble-ations’ for being as bold as they were in replicating and integrating the look of TOS (and satirizing it in the process). These episodes were done as homage to the classic series, partly for laughs because viewers at the time wouldn’t normally expect it (TNG prided itself on its high production values, to the point that VERY early TV promos used to depict the series’ title logo “exploding” onto the screen in front of that signature 3D starfield). We even wondered how they were going to deal with the Klingon footage in ‘Tribble-ations’ (and humorously, they both did AND didn’t, which was priceless). But there was always a danger that literal-minded fans would interpret these homages literally, unable to see them as being partly tongue-in-cheek, and instead interpret them as retroactive, adjusting their expectations accordingly. The thing is, EVERY change on ST has been retroactive. To insist otherwise is to undermine the creative efforts of the people involved. Roddenberry and Bob Wise took great pains to update ST for The Motion Picture (Retroactive). Bennett and Meyer did the same in trying to bring more militaristic “realism” to ST (Retroactive). Roddenberry… Read more »

(OK, that last paragraph was an aborted fragment that shouldn’t have still been there, hidden under the margins of the posting window.)

Your huge essay (which I am afraid I stopped reading half way through) was undermined early on by this…

“In particular, I “generally” dislike the Berman era of ST.”

You don’t seem to grasp that there are many fans that value that era. Of course you don’t care if they trash the canon that era built up if you dislike the era in question. Sadly, it is an inherently selfish attitude that caters only to what you want and doesn’t try and be as inclusive as possible for as many fans as possible. I find that attitude very, very sad.

I will agree, it’s silly that people want to avoid canon just because they don’t directly like a show or a film. You see it on boards all the time, they don’t like Enterprise so just avoid the augment thing. They hated the Kelvin films, so just pretend like Romulus never exploded. You can still not like a certain show or even an era of shows but its STILL CANON.

And Berman was responsible for nearly 600 episodes and four films covering two centuries, you have to take at least some of it into account or you are ignoring frankly 80% of the franchise and the MILLIONS Of people who watched and committed to it for DECADES. If you don’t like it, fine, but you don’t speak for the entire fanbase either. It’s not about YOU!!!!

As far as Discovery, the ironic thing is people have mainly complained it doesn’t feel close enough to TOS which last time I checked Berman had nothing to do with. The Klingon issue is more complicated of course, but everyone has said no one really wants the TOS Klingons anyway, so it makes sense to bridge what was done in the films and the later shows. It doesn’t mean DIS can’t do it’s own thing, but going against 30 years of a distinct design was going to ruffle some feathers. They can certainly double down on it if they want, but from a business sense CBS probably determined it’s better to just appease fans.

Something that was so obviously was just the result of updated production design was given an in-universe explanation

Exactly. They were trying to explain something that was merely a production limitation. I actually don’t respect them at all for doing it, because they’re the ones who led the Trek fans down the rabbit hole, and to expect all such production anomalies to have such an explanation.

I respect the DISC producers infinitely more for tying the look of the Klingons to actual Klingon-lore, and really putting some creative thought into it. Some fans keep dismissing this labor of love as a “lazy retcon”, when what they did on ENT was the laziest retcon of all. They took a stupid fan geek convention argument, and gave it life as part of canon, legitimizing such petty, trivial arguments forever. I mean how much effort does it take to say — hey, the TOS Klingons had smooth brows, but the TNG Klingons don’t. Let’s make up a convoluted way to explain it. If it weren’t the official producers of the franchise doing it, that kind of thing would have been called “fan fiction”.

I’ll give you that Enterprise explaining away the Klingon change was not needed nor was it wanted. And was a VERY rare mistake OK’d by Mr. Coto. Fair enough.

But are you really trying to say that you can’t see the forest for the trees here? That you really think the Klingon change in S2 of STD is because they suddenly decided to honor Klingon lore? If that was their intention why didn’t they do it from the beginning? If you really don’t think that fan backlash at the Klingon look was not the primary reason behind this new change then I have a very profitable bridge I’d like to sell you.


Basically they tried to do something new with them, which is fine, but the effort just came off lame and unnecessary to a lot of fans so now they are using the same canon reason why they should change them again lol.

I agree with both of you the Enterprise augment explanation was NOT needed at all but same time it didn’t really matter because we still saw the same Klingons as before (and partly why it was unnecessary).

In DIS case, these Klingons are simply not appealing to a lot of people and they want people to like their show, so they are changing them if they think it will get fans still on the fence with the show a reason to watch it just like putting in TOS uniforms will go a long way for others. All this could’ve been done in first season and it wasn’t because they didn’t think it would bother people that much.

They were clearly wrong.

“They were clearly wrong.”

They were also wrong about a lot of other things.

As others said they are probably only changing these Klingons to make it more in line with TNG and the Picard show. But it sounds like the DIS Klingons won’t be phased out, they may simply exist along side the other Klingons, which all most people wanted in the first place. They can have all of them that way: the TOS Klingons, TNG/Movie Klingons and DIS Klingons. I don’t know why that wouldn’t be cool because it will just make it all canon instead the constants= debates over how these guys should look.

But like I said, if people liked the DIS Klingons more, I doubt any of it would be changed.

I think that TMP/TNG Klingons are fine. The TOS Klingons should be discarded. The reasons they appeared that way in 1960s was budget related, and when given a budget, Roddenberry immediately decided to change the image. Roddenberry was in charge for TOS, TMP, and TNG Klingons – with TMP & TNG Klingons directly replacing the TOS ones. If TMP & TNG Klingons appear along side the 6 Klingon families we have seen now, that would be great I think. And if they are tweeked, that’s fine. I would prefer to see more functional Klingon garb, like TMP & TNG had.

It’s hardly cool any more than making Vulcans purple with 8 fingers on each hand would be.

I think that would be great too. It seems like everyone is on board with that and it would bring ALL the previous Klingon canon together. A lot of people thought they would’ve done that last season when they went on and on about the ‘Houses’. This would make everyone happy, so why not do it this way?

And they can still keep the DIS Klingons exactly as before so L’Rell won’t suddenly look like Worf’s grandmother.

The interesting thing is that he’s alluding to the idea that their heads are purposely shaved so I am beginning to think that even the blue lizards might me about to grow hair. There are images out there of hair photo-shopped onto L’Rell and it’s amazing how much more she looks like some of the female TNG/DS9 era Klingons.

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The interesting thing is that he’s alluding to the idea that their heads are purposely shaved so I am beginning to think that even the blue lizards might me about to grow hair. There are images out there of hair photo-shopped onto L’Rell and it’s amazing how much more she looks like some of the female TNG/DS9 era Klingons.

To be honest, I really thought we would see the two kinds of Klingons in STD when they mentioned they were exploring the Klingon houses. (Which turned out didn’t happen at all). That would have been a nice touch to show they were somewhat knowledgeable of previous Treks. Instead, they decided to do their own thing.

Yeah I think a lot of people were under that impression. I expected to at least see different versions, not necessarily the TNG ones but at least something close to it. To me its like the uniform issue, they don’t have to be seen all the time, but if you just put one or two in the background it would’ve at least told people they are following canon even if they are trying to do their own thing.

I don’t begrudge them of that but I’m going to say it, if you wanted to just change everything then PUT IT IN A DIFFERENT PERIOD! One where you can do whatever you want. Don’t put it in the most famous one, change literally everything and then shocked when the fans you want to appeal to by specifically placing it there calls you out on piratically ignoring it.

This was just common sense. I don’t know what they thought was going to happen? Have they ever met a Star Trek fan? Clearly not.

If they do that they’ll go a long way to appeasing at least me. Then I’ll mostly only need to complain if the writing is still bad. I’ve always said that if they at least give some sort of in universe explanation for the blue lizards I’ll be happy.

Here, too. That and the ship designs and that Discovery looks nothing like a Federation ship of that era. That it actually looks like a Federation ship post Nemesis.

Well, I’m not particularly concerned about the external ship designs to be honest. They haven’t bothered me. It is, after all, the future. There is no reason all the ships need to look like they’re straight out of TOS – and I have to say I disagree that Discovery looks like a post Nemesis ship. Some of the other Starfleet ships in the series do, but I actually think Discovery does look like a pre-TMP ship. With the exception of the warp nacelles it’s more TOS like than most of the post 1979 starships with it’s blocky secondary hull and perfectly round saucer.

Perhaps not in the outside look but inside, it sure looks post Nem to me.

I think he means “freak out” in a good way, in that some of the other houses will look more like traditional Klingons. There’s a photoshopped pic of Kol with hair and he doesn’t look that different from the TNG-era Klingons.

Before Discovery aired, and I think while still filming, he mentioned that different houses would have different looks. I think what happened was they ended up switching up the story (probably by making the Mirror Universe story longer), so they didn’t have the time to get into that. After “Into the Forest We Go,” we only saw a handful of Klingons and they were the leaders of the houses we had seen since the pilot, and some random background Klingons in the finale.

A lot of people on Reddit thinks they will go this direction so when the Picard show come around that show could have the Klingons as before. It’s a clever way to bring DIS into traditional Star Trek canon and to make it more in line with TNG look.

I think they can explain the Klingons we saw were only from certain Houses and we just haven’t seen the others yet. Again, it will make EVERYONE happy if they go this way.

Reminds me of the poster for Star Trek V with the theater chair with the seat belt. That was a major FAIL.

It sounds like people are going to love what they do, not that they are going to be angry. I mean they already did that in season one, I don’t think they want to do that again lol.

It basically sounds like we are going to get different Klingon looks and maybe some will look closer to the TOS films/TNG standard. Honestly, I will just be happy if they give them hair. Just do that and you will get a TON of happy fans with that alone.

Orci was fond of the ‘exploding heads’ comments, too. Unfortunately heads exploded for the wrong reasons. If some of us respond to this stuff with a level of detachment, we’ve heard it before….

Phil I have NO clue what you’re talking about lol. Can you explain the exploding head comment?


In the run-up to the release of ‘Into Darkness’ in 2013 Orci made a few vague comments, on this very site, about STID plot including references to “melting face” and “exploding head”.

OK, thanks but still no idea what that means lol. Is he referring to what happened with Admiral Marcus?

I realized I read that wrong. You mean he meant people would be shocked? Yeah I can see that.

I think everyone running this production in season 1 forgot who exactly is paying the bills for their shenanigans and this is more straightforward than ever before… it’s the audience, stupid! Now the studio has stepped in big time to get this ship back on course, such as with firing Fuller’s two assistant clowns turned wannabe-showrunners and also mandating more consistency with their precious IP, 50 years of prime Trek. I can totally see it. This designer dude can smoke up in-canon explanations as much as he wants (and like everyone i remember their previous ridiculous in-canon explanation of why the heads needed to be bald, so I dont like to be fooled), but it is clear where all this sudden change to canon and fan appeasement is really mandated from!

OK can someone help me out here and tell me where is the explanation of why the DIS Klingons are bald?? People keep bringing it up here and I swear I had no clue about any of that lol. Was it on the actual show or someone just said it in an interview?

I just thought they made them bald, never knew they created a canon reason for it. And if that’s true they can’t even grow hair they are clearly back tracking now if we do get that.

But yes I agree, this was clearly mandated from the top. When Fuller was in charge they obviously gave him a lot room to do what he wanted. Well I guess its now easy to backtrack a lot of it now that it sort of backfired and everyone who approved it has been fired.

Fuller liked the idea of them being bald. He went to designer Neville Page and told him he wanted them bald. It’s not canon (i.e. a reason has never been said on screen), it’s behind the scenes stuff that Page and Hetrick worked out to help it make sense to themselves as they did the redesign.

More details are in our write up of their panel from STLV 2017 here:

Ok, thank you!

That was an interesting read. And it matched my assumption that they were bald because that’s what Fuller wanted. Now that he and the other show runners are gone they can change whatever. They can begin to make things right. ;D

And this line in the article made me lol:

“I was brought on to start redesigning Klingons, which is a dangerous thing to do in general, as I found as I’ve reviewed comments online.”

As I been saying here and another thread, for people who think they are changing them just because are naive. They are well aware of the backlash and that most fans never accepted them. It only makes sense to make them a bit closer to traditional canon if it will get more fans to take a chance on the show.

So the question you gotta ask is why did Fuller want the klingons to be bald?

I’m guessing for no real particular reason than to put his own stamp on it. Creators want to feel like they are doing something different than the other guy and in Fuller’s case he probably just saw Discovery as a reboot to the entire universe and why he wanted such drastic changes. I mean everything about the Klingons have been changed, not just their looks, but how they dress and even the ships. He wanted Star Trek in his own image the way Abrams wanted it in his with the new films. I’m guessing most changes really do come down to ‘it looks cooler’.

It sounds like they made themselves a new canon reason to do it but honestly it just sounds lame. I had no clue them being bald had some kind of biological trait behind it until literally a few days ago. I doubt most people do since it’s never mentioned in the show itself. So they can just avoid that completely because it would feel like a major retcon if that was the case with Fuller’s Klingons and suddenly others now have hair. If they are getting hair I mean.

” in Fuller’s case he probably just saw Discovery as a reboot to the entire universe and why he wanted such drastic changes. ”

That’s as good an explanation as I’ve heard. It’s just that the producers never claimed it was a reboot in any way. Yet everything we’ve seen on screen screams “REBOOT”.

It’s not canon (i.e. a reason has never been said on screen)
–Matt Wright

Thank you. That’s exactly the distinction. So long as the Klingons have not been described as only having hair, then there’s only visual continuity to base our interpretations on. That’s not the same as canon, even though there is a kind of canon applied to the parts of Star Trek which are presented only visually. However, given the wildly fluctuating production design and budgets over 50 years, it really shouldn’t be the basis for any concrete canon.

I for one believe the reason Klingons in Discovery look as they do is because in the process of restoring themselves to their pre-Augment virus “human-looking” forms, they had to regress their genome as far back as they could, which is why they bare a visual similarity with Worf when the Barclay virus regressed him to a primitive state in TNG’s “Genesis”.

Ideally, as the series explores the question of whether VoQ wishes to remain as Tyler or go back to being a Klingon, we’ll learn more about Klingon genetic engineering, the inmediate aftermath of the Augment virus infection, and other things related to that.

Actually I thought Voq was technically in his current form a TOS style klingon. Didn’t they say he can’t be changed in the show?

@alphantrion — I don’t believe so. Unless all the TOS Klingons were altered surgically to look human through an incredibly painful operation, then it’s doubtful Voq is one. I’m sure he could be changed back through a reverse incredibly painful process, involving prosthesis, but why? Voq’s mind is gone now. Also, the body might not actually survive a second major surgery.

@Micahel Sacal — Oh I really hope not, I really hope we never have to hear about the Augment-Klingons again. Voq wasn’t transformed the way the Augments were, assuming they even became the Klingons we saw in TOS, which I don’t believe is stated canon. And if such genetic engineering existed in their practice, L’Rell seemed like she’d know about it given her experience with biological manipulation — yet she chose the most painful way possible to reconstruct Voq.

Given that, I’d vote we never see the Augment-Klingons again as they were an embarrassment likely shipped off to their version of a Leper colony. TOS Klingons therefore always looked like the Klingons we expect today.

Further, there’s no reason for Tyler to alter his appearance anyway since Voq’s mind was killed. Why would a human seek to return his body to that of a Klingon? That said, given the transgender reality in today’s society, who’s to say what surgical opportunities may exist in the future for those who feel like something other than they were born, and want their physicality to match their inner personality?

“He also noted that the hairless Klingons of season one were inspired by the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Rightful Heir,” which told the story of how Kahless cut off a lock of his hair and threw it into a volcano to make the first bat’leth.”

That doesn’t make sense at all. If you don’t have the biological capability to grow hair (and that is how S1 Klingons look), you cannot cut off a lock of your genetically non-existent hair… And that’s the entire problem I have with S1 Klingons. Not that they are bald, but that they look to be hairless by nature…

Also, we HAVE seen the High Council – or at least a huge assembly most likely featuring members of all 24 houses – in the final episode and that scene only displayed hairless Klingon. Still, if they want to fix that, they still can at this point…

Were there that many Klingons in that final scene? I thought there were just a handful

I think there’s a tracking shot at one point that shows more in the background.

He thinks we forgot the official in-canon season 1 explanation for baldness. 50 years later, TPTB still think the audience is stupid, sad! Just now look who’s paying the bills!

This should be Disco’s thang: every season they get a new capitan, redesign the Klingons, and kill (and resurrect) Dr. Kenny! DISCO INFERNO.

Hmm, I wonder if the Klings will no longer have football heads… I AM FREAKING OUT ALREADY.

If I was to do a rewatch, what are the best Klingon TNG episodes? The only thing that bothers me is that the TNG Klingons have no sense of humor. It’s like they were made to order for self-serious Picard. What would have happened if Picard met swashbuckling TOS Klingons? Is there an episode that explains why that never happened?

Do the DIS Klingons have any sense of humor though? These guys are more serious than a heart attack. I don’t think I saw one smile, once. They come off as very intense and brutal killers. Not anyone who can laugh and sing in a moment’s notice.

Yeah. I guess there are “funny” races of Klingons, and Klingons that take themselves too seriously. This seems like a Funny or Die video. “Three Klingons in a bar.”

I was quite amused by the ‘SHH’ on the USS Glenn

I don’t think the changes Discovery made to the Klingons have been good. In fact, I feel that the way Klingons were used in Discovery was the worst part of the show. In addition to not looking right, which I feel was a ridiculous idea, I don’t want to read subtitles for every scene. We get it–they speak Klingon. But when the Klingon language gets annoying, it’s a problem.

And Klingons should look like TOS era Klingons at this stage of the game, not pale and bald.

Agreed. And it’s to the point where I really don’t care much what they look like anymore, and I even care less about their 40-whatever houses, etc. Again I’ll ask, why do we need a recurring Klingon storyline at all in DSC? If the showrunners want to explore the Klingon species so much, just make a separate Klingon show on CBSAA. Then anyone who is interested can tune in.

And Klingons should look like TOS era Klingons at this stage of the game, not pale and bald.

There’s that word “Should” again. Such a petulant post. There’s no “should” about it. That’s your personal opinion. Not only did the Klingons look that way because they didin’t have the production budget to make them look otherwise, but Gene Roddenberry changed them entirely the first chance he got. Moreover, it’s quite clear from the pathetic new canon ENT gave us, that the smooth brow Klingons were not all Klingons, not by a long shot (and I’m not even sure about the Augment-Klingons being the same as the Klingons we saw in TOS despite the ENT producer’s intent). So no, even in your fantasy the Klingons shouldn’t all look like they did in TOS.

You can stamp your feet, and shake your fists all you like about their new look, but frankly I think it’s a brilliant move. For the first time, the Klingons actually look like an alien race to me, and not some metal tribute band from the 1970s. I can’t even watch episodes that feature the Klingons on TNG anymore, but these new DISC Klingons have breathed new life into them for me. I’m actually excited to see stories about them now.

So this could mean a mix of DIS klingons with TOS, TMP and TNG type klingons. Sounds interesting. Are they also going to mix the Klingon Ship designs. I truly miss the D7’s and the birds of prey.

@Robert — I agree. But I also understand that given the background they are giving us now, that the D7s may not exist yet as an iconic battle cruiser of the Klingon Empire, which also does not yet exist.

Unlike the aesthetic changes to the Klingon appearance, my biggest gripe with the Klingon ships we’ve seen so far is that I just don’t like the designs. They’re far too convoluted. It’s hard to imagine how that ship design aesthetic evolved into the sleek uncomplicated design of the D7s. Even if they update the look of the D7s, as they did with the Constitution Class vessels, it’s still hard to imagine it would evolve from what we’ve seen. And unlike the updated Klingon makeup, I would be very unhappy if the D7s get a complete makeover that more closely aligns them with the ships we’ve seen.

But that’s a personal preference. If that’s what they do, that’s what they do. It doesn’t affect canon for me, or the story they’re telling. It’s just art direction.

Can we pause for a second and just say how amazing Mary Chieffo is.

Yeah. From the fan made images it’s amazing to me how much a little facial hair does to make them look more Klingon. Still thing the elongated skulls have to go, though.

Although I didn’t like the choices they made on the new look, I still find is kind of sad that they are apparently letting fan pressure influence them to give us a more human looking Klingon versus a true alien look.

I wish that they would have went with TMP look — those were the best alien-looking Klingons ever done in Trek, and vastly superior to the simple make-up job for the Berman-era Klingons.

They’s better at least keep the subtitles…I am going to be so pissed if they all speak in English this season.

They can do whatever they want. It’s not Star Trek, no matter what name they slap on the show, so who cares.

New Star Trek Crew Flies into Trouble from the Trekkies: https://imgur.com/a/2kmtr

Well you can say whatever YOU want but that doesn’t make it so. I could also say by your own logic that if you say it’s not Trek tht you are not actually a fan, no matter what you call yourself.

Frankly, your statement is ludicrous. It’s more “Star Trek” than most a lot of Enterprise and Voyager, and certainly more than the fan films that fans like you claim are “true Trek.”

I’d love to see how Mary Chieffo/L’Rell would look like in more “traditional” (TMP/TNG) Klingon makeup…

I keep seeing them use the “story of Kahless and the first Bat’leth” to justify their “Hairless Klingons”. But as the article notes, he cut off a LOCK of his hair. Not completely shaved his head. And where’s their justification for not having any FACIAL HAIR or EYEBROWS either?

I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Season one Klingons looked incredible fake-ish so the bar wasn’t really set all that high, it was still touching the ground.
But I guess they can get away with anything on CBSAA

If they meant them to look fake-ish, then they did do their jobs well.

Speaking just for me, I’m totally find with the different look. With such a wide variety for how humans look, I can see a wide variety of Klingon looks. Totally ok with it but again, that’s just me.

I remember when Star Trek was about Science Fiction :)

Star Trek was never about science fiction. Star Trek is science fiction.