Fans are talking about the Klingon redesign for Star Trek: Discovery, and one of those changes includes the warrior race’s bald look.
In a new TrekMovie interview with Neville Page, the reasons for the changes were explained.
Page knew that changing anything about the popular race was bound to cause fan complaints. “I was brought on to start redesigning Klingons,” he said, “which is a dangerous thing to do in general, as I found as I’ve reviewed comments online.”
Bryan Fuller had an idea for what he wanted to do with the Klingons, which survived his departure from the show. “The words that he used,” said Page, “were ‘The Klingons are self-ware estheticians, and I want them to appear less brutish and more conscious.’ He made references [to] baroque and samurai [styles] in terms of armor because there is this whole suit [Torchbearer].”
Different styles and different looks are on account of Klingons not all growing up in the same place. “The empire is very big,” said Page. “They don’t all grow up on Kronos. They don’t all live on the same planets and certainly those different planets would have different environments. So how would the cultures have evolved differently? We tried to come up with cultural axioms for each house so each looks different and they bear a cultural patina like our cultures do here on Earth.”
The Klingon ridges have been part of each Klingon House’s specific look and their helmets reflect that look. Klingons have “extra sensory receptors running from the top of their heads to their backs,” and choose to be bald, said Page, “because of these heightened senses on the top of their heads.”
Actress Mary Chieffo, who plays the Klingon T’Rell spoke about bald Klingons and those heightened senses. “Obviously the hair was the biggest thing people noticed, or the lack thereof,” she said. “And I will attest to the fact there is a reason my ridge goes back the way it does. There are sensors and pheromones. There is a whole reasoning behind it that is adhering to what has always been true in Klingon canon. So I deeply believe we are in line with what has come before but is also adding a new kind of nuance.”