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July 17 2024


An archive of Star Trek News

The Truth About Klingon Foreheads

By Michelle
December 17, 2004 - 7:46 PM

See Also: 'Affliction' Episode Guide

After many years of speculation, the truth about what happened to Klingons foreheads between the era of Kirk and that of Picard will finally be explained as Star Trek: Enterprise faces an "Aflliction" in the fourth season's fifteenth episode.

A production report at discusses the real reason that the appearance of the Klingons changed from Star Trek to the motion pictures and The Next Generation: improvements in prosthetics and a bigger budget made it possible to create the elaborate headpieces. But on the series, Klingons both before and after Kirk's time were shown to have impressive forehead ridges, and in Deep Space Nine's "Trials and Tribbleations", incredulity was expressed that the Klingons on Space Station K-7 could be the same species as Worf.

The production report does not reveal exactly how the transformation occurs, but it gives hints. During "Affliction", we learn, Enterprise visits Earth to witness the launch of the NX-02, but after a visit to the Chinese restaurant in San Francisco that he missed on the last trip back, Phlox is kidnapped by Rigelians and taken to help the Klingons with a terrible crisis. The subsequent episode, "Divergence", will conclude this storyline.

The official site posted the following brief synopsis:

While Enterprise visits Earth for the launch of Columbia, Phlox is kidnapped and forced to help the Klingons deal with a grave threat toward their species.
"Affliction" was written and directed by two Michaels. Michael Grossman, who helmed "Hatchery" and "The Forge", was behind the camera, while the teleplay was written by staffer Michael Sussman - his fifth of the season - from a story by executive producer Manny Coto.

The guest cast list for the episode is as follows:

  • Ada Maris as Captain Erika Hernandez
  • John Schuck as Antaak
  • James Avery as General K'Vagh
  • Eric Pierpoint as Harris
  • Terrell Tilford as Marab
  • Kate McNeil as Lt. Collins
  • Seth MacFarlane as Ensign Rivers
  • Marc Worden as Klingon Prisoner
  • Brad Greenquist as Alien #1
  • Derek Magyar as Kelby
If several of these names are familiar, it's because they've played Klingons before. Schuck played the Klingon Ambassador in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home who called Kirk a renegade and terrorist; Worden was one of four actors who played Worf's son Alexander as the character grew up on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. Maris returns to play Archer's sometime love interest Hernandez, captain of Columbia, while MacFarlane, Pierpoint and Greenquist have each made previous appearances. Stunt doubles were utilized for the Rigelian attack on Phlox and Sato.

Many of Enterprise's sets doubled for Columbia's, while a Klingon laboratory with animal cages was built for the episode, which shot from December 3rd through 13th. Production has begun on "Divergence", which concludes the two-parter, but it will not be completed until after the winter break.

For the original production report and latest scheduling updates, visit this page on the official Star Trek site.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

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