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Captain’s Log – Discovery Props & Costumes – Part II

By July 28, 2017 Captain's Log

Sunday July, 23, 2017

Today we look at the Klingon costumes and props at the Star Trek Discovery prop & costume exhibit at Michael Wolf Gallery at San Diego Comic Con.

As I have said before, I am looking forward to Star Trek Discovery, but don’t tell me this is the prime timeline CBS.  It is a re-imagining of Star Trek, and as such, it has to be an alternate timeline just as JJ trek is.  And I am OK with that!   But you can’t keep claiming “canon” when you change everything about the look and feel of the show.  Canon includes all of this, and Discovery is clearly NOT adhering to canon.

Now I don’t disagree with this approach.  While Axanar adheres closely to canon and the way Star Trek should look 10 years before TOS (when Prelude to Axanar is set) or 20 years before TOS (when the Battle of Axanar itself takes place), this simply won’t work for a modern TV audience.  You have to take the re-imagining approach or else you are merely being nostalgic, which appeals to only a very small part of your core audience.

Axanar was meant to appeal to that smaller audience, while also creating a compelling narrative, but Discovery can’t do that as they need to reach a wider audience….millions of people willing to shell over $ 6 a month.

So you have to look at all of these props & costumes with two different views.  One, is it canon as CBS claims, or is it a reimagining, which gives you license to do what you want, as JJ did very well.

Now for the Klingon items, much came down to Neville Page who did work for the JJ Klingons.  I actually love the direction JJ went, especially the costuming, the helmets, and the thick jackets.  One of the Neville Page Klingon make-up concepts for Star Trek 2009 was brilliant in my book, but never made it to the screen.  Neville did the work here for Star Trek: Discovery with Glen Hetrick, who is a judge with Neville on SyFy’s Face-Off.

So while I appreciate the duo’s expertise and artistic work, it simply isn’t canon.  It is a total re-imagining of what Klingons are and doesn’t work in any the Prime timeline. Do I like what they came up with?  Not really.  Just not what I think of when it comes to Klingons. But you now what?  That is my opinion and it doesn’t mean it is not great work, just not what I think is Klingon.

So you judge for yourself!

I hope you all enjoyed the photos, and post your comments!




Join the discussion 16 Comments

  • I agree. This is not klingon. It’s way to insectoid.

  • robert noah says:

    thank you very interesting!

  • Ernie says:

    I can’t agree more. I understand some changes. But the completely overhaul a major element of Star Trek. It leaves me with a bitter taste. Why couldn’t they just keep the Klingons the way they were in ST:TNG. Hell, these Klingons in ST:D would look alien to the Klingons in ST:TNG. If this is prime canon. CBS really F’d it up. Why not just say this is another alternate reality from prime or just say this is based on the JJ universe. The weapons are absolute garbage. Even the JJ Klingons Bat’leth looked very similar to the ones used in TNG. There is no way any continuity with this Star Trek series with the other Star trek series. I only wish I would have got to see AXANAR finished product. What a travesty!!!!!

  • Lee Benjamin says:

    Great photos! Thank you for sharing.

  • Greg Luther says:

    Too much of this looks like props from Star Gate Atlantis. It just shows that CBS just looks at Trek as a cash cow and has no respect for the fans. There should have been a happy medium they could have flound and probably didn’t even look for.

  • You state that “While Axanar adheres closely to canon and the way Star Trek should look 10 years before TOS (when Prelude to Axanar is set) or 20 years before TOS (when the Battle of Axanar itself takes place), this simply won’t work for a modern TV audience. You have to take the re-imagining approach or else you are merely being nostalgic, which appeals to only a very small part of your core audience.”

    and yet, there are plenty of historically-based shows that modern TV audiences accept: Stranger Things takes place in the 1980s…I don’t hear anyone screaming about the lack of PCs or cellphones.

    It may very well be that Discovery is an alternate timeline – but it’s only an excuse to get past changes the producers wanted to make for whatever (bad) reason, instead of writing their way through it.

    And so far as audience is concerned…the big difference as I see it is a “modern audience’s” unfamiliarity with episodic television and seeming preference(s) for season long story arcs. A challenge the producers were apparently not willing to accept, as, instead of figuring out how to do episodic in the modern era – the natural environment for a Trek show, especially one preceding TOS – they chose to try and twist this vehicle to match the current market.

    No ground-breaking here, sadly.

  • ShatFan says:

    I agree, I think a reboot/re-imagine is clearly what “Discovery” is about. I don’t mind either, but yes please stop calling it “canon”. It’s like calling Coke Zero Coca Cola. Both are good but not the same. I hope “Discovery” is good…but it all hinges for me on whether the show is good story telling with realistic moral questions thrown in. If it’s just another action adventure scifi show it will be far less appealing for me. Not too happy having to subscribe to yet ANOTHER streaming service, charge a premium and dole it out to some of the others (Netflix/Hulu).
    P.S. Ship design still hasn’t grown on me….but I took a long time to warm up to the Excelsior as well. (Was initially appalled at the Enterprise B)

  • Daigs says:

    I get what your saying and understand your concern about the looks of the “new” Klingons but I’m still going to wait and see. We’ve heard the people involved say “ancient house” and that T’Kuvma is trying to unite his people. It could be very possible that this house or faction looks this way. We’ve only really seen a handful of Klingons in pictures and trailers. We even saw what appeared to be others but their heads were cut off in the shot: http://trekcore.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/holograms.jpg There seems to be some potential differences there. The outfits and weaponry seem to very ceremonial in nature as well.

    My first reaction when I saw the leaked Klingons way back was “those aren’t Klingons” but a) there may some good explanation for the difference in appearance but b) even if not, is this going to ruin things for me? No. I mean the Eugenics Wars never took place so do we need a new movie or episode to explain that?

    So you do make some valid points but let’s see how things actually play out come September

  • Dr. Image says:

    Nice design work, but too far afield to what we’ve come to know as, “Klingon.” I wish they’d just come out and say that it’s a reimagining. Because it IS.

    • Peking Homunculus says:

      What do you mean the Eugenics Wars never took place? What were you doing in the 1990’s?

  • William says:

    To not look at enemy in the eyes would be dishonorable!

  • Alexander says:

    I tend to look at Discovery just as a new Science Fiction series – and as that, I really like what I see. Just like most of the designs so far they’ve shown, I really love the incredibly detailed design of these armors and weapons.
    I think it would be a mistake to try to make Discovery part of the Prime Timeline. I’d even question why this series needed to be branded Star Trek at all. It is very different and – in a good way – would be very much able to stand on its own, without any need latching onto a big franchises name.

    But just because the Studio seems to be unwilling to make that step and actually dare to create a new franchise, it’s up to the viewer to make that decision. I just think it would make everybody’s life easier to just judge the series on its own without the whole baggage from the rest of the franchise

  • Gilbert says:

    Hate It! It’s not canon no matter what CBS says.

  • Denis Guay says:

    I am with you Alec on what you wrote. I feel the same about canon and what it seem to be jj vers style. For me, Star Trek Discovery is another universe and not Prime.

    I feel that, what they are doing, if it is CBS way of telling us it is prime time, is a disregard of past work and a big miss of respect toward the work done by the crew and actors of the 60’s.

  • Robert says:

    I have to agree. This is a reimagined/rebuttle to core fans and klingon costumers for the last 50 years.
    Their had be a REALLY good story to explain the differences.

  • Richard says:

    Klingon are true warriors !!! not cockroaches!!!

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