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I was watching an episode of DS9 about a time traveler who was going to set a tribble bomb and kill Kirk. O' Brian & Dr. Bashir ask the question why do the Klingons from that time look different than they do now? I had to leave to pick up my wife and did not hear the explanation. So why do Klingons look different now? Besides the obvious advancements in special effects from the late 60's - 90's.

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The conversation in that DS9 episode is ended by Worf who says he doesn't want to talk about it. Most normal people would be satisfied that it was just an improvement in makeup until Star Trek Enterprise made a two part episode about it. Basically Klingons with ridges are the normal Klingons and the Klingons without ridges are the result of bad Klingon genetic engineering. Go over the Star Trek .com and look up the episode for details.

 

I'm sure sometime in the future, Abrams or some other Star Strek Exec will wrote an entire movie about with the Borg suits in the movies look better that the ones in the original TNG episodes.

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Here's the skinny:

 

After a run-in with the Noonian Eugenics Super-men, the Kligons were pretty much obsessed with their enhanced abilities and sought to add them to their own genetic make-up. Unfortunately, the human genetic profile of these folks was so strong that it began to over-write the DNA of the Klingons, turning them into some kind of faux hybrid. The pairing wasn't stable, and iirc it spread like an contaminant amongst a Klingon population.

The spread was stopped, but it left behind a pretty might price. The Klingons so afflicted would have to wait until their genetics and offspring would weed out the traits over the next few generations.

 

Thus began a two-tiered caste of Klingon society, pure-blood klingons and Klingon human hybrids. Obviously, since they lacked the cranial bone ridges and some other distinctly Klingon attributes the Hybrids were considered to be an embarrassment and a lasting testament to a foolish experiment.

 

THAT is why they are not talked about in later generations, as most of them died off, or the blood taint became so weakened that genetic enhancement treatments could take hold and restore the few remaining to a pureblood state. This is why Kor, Koloth and Kang appeared in TOS as Hybrids, and in the TNG era as purebloods--and also accounts for why the Klingons in ST:TMP had the "new" cranial ridges, when no seen Klingons before had them. The ones in ST:TMP were the first time we had seen purebloods.

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Here's the skinny:

 

After a run-in with the Noonian Eugenics Super-men, the Kligons were pretty much obsessed with their enhanced abilities and sought to add them to their own genetic make-up. Unfortunately, the human genetic profile of these folks was so strong that it began to over-write the DNA of the Klingons, turning them into some kind of faux hybrid. The pairing wasn't stable, and iirc it spread like an contaminant amongst a Klingon population.

The spread was stopped, but it left behind a pretty might price. The Klingons so afflicted would have to wait until their genetics and offspring would weed out the traits over the next few generations.

 

Thus began a two-tiered caste of Klingon society, pure-blood klingons and Klingon human hybrids. Obviously, since they lacked the cranial bone ridges and some other distinctly Klingon attributes the Hybrids were considered to be an embarrassment and a lasting testament to a foolish experiment.

 

THAT is why they are not talked about in later generations, as most of them died off, or the blood taint became so weakened that genetic enhancement treatments could take hold and restore the few remaining to a pureblood state. This is why Kor, Koloth and Kang appeared in TOS as Hybrids, and in the TNG era as purebloods--and also accounts for why the Klingons in ST:TMP had the "new" cranial ridges, when no seen Klingons before had them. The ones in ST:TMP were the first time we had seen purebloods.

 

Interesting... Not really that bad of an explaination. I still think it should have been left to "lack of budget" explainations but I suppose this explaination will work for those who just could not suspend disbelief.

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Personally, I think the Enterprise writers should have had the balls to just leave klingons looking the way they did in TOS. That way the change could have been explained away as some kind of natural eveolution instead of "first they're this way, then they're that way, then they're this way again". The explaination sounds solid, but I think of Klingons as warriors, not genetic engineers. They should have just left it with Worf's comment, "We don't discuss it with outsiders...."

 

But what are ya gonna do.....?

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