Casting continues on the Bryan Fuller-less Star Trek: Discovery, and today brings news from Deadline that British actor Shazad Latif will be sitting in the captain’s chair of a Klingon warship, taking on the role of Kol, Klingon Commanding officer. Latif was a season three addition to Showtime’s great Penny Dreadful, as a post-modern spin on Dr. Henry Jekyll. If you watched that show, you might agree with this writer that his character arc was a tad, eh, unsatisfying, so hopefully Latif has more to chew on here. (Kol was a character who appeared in the Deep Space Nine comics; as ever, I'll be surprised if a filmed version of this property is dipping into comics for material.)
One thing that was kind of a drag about Star Trek: The Next Generation (and the Cold War ending, I guess) is that the Klingons of Star Trek: The Original Series needed to be redefined for the Trek universe. They became "noble warriors" and, almost as often, comic relief. Heck, younger readers might not even remember that the two-fisted vibe of original flavor Trek had a different approach to Klingons: they were hateful, scuzzy little “others,” nasty, murderous fucks who couldn’t be trusted worth a damn.
That’s all a bit xenophobic for 2016, but on the other hand there’s a canon to adhere to, so I wonder what variety of Klingon we’ll see in the pre-TOS set Star Trek: Discovery. Will they be the ruthless villains with whom Captain Kirk battled? Will they be the ragged bottom feeders of Star Trek III: The Search For Spock? Or will we get a more nuanced take, a la Nicholas Meyer’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country? (As Meyer is on board here as a consultant, that’s the safest bet.) More importantly, will these new Klingons be problematically bronzed all to hell with greasepaint, or will they be covered in the now-more iconic ridged forehead prosthetics? (Probably the latter, but a man can dream.)
Discuss what 21st century political allegories these new Klingons will make possible in the comments below.
UPDATE: yeSuS 'IHrIStoS ngan voDleH! What, is Deadline live-tweeting this casting session? No sooner did we post this news than they broke two more casting announcements of the Klingon variety. As per Deadline, "Chris Obi and Mary Chieffo have signed on for key roles in Star Trek: Discovery...Obi will play T’Kuvma, the Klingon leader seeking to unite the Klingon houses. Chieffo will portray L’Rell, the Battle Deck Commander of the Klingon ship." They go on to say that Latif's character is the protégé of T'Kuvma, so sounds like there's some Klingon political intrigue a' brewin'.