Sleeping Dogs
airdate 01-30-02

Bring on the Klingons!

The Enterprise has met some very cool enemies: The Suliban, the Nausicans, the Andorians, and those creepy looking dudes that can neutralize a vessel. Yes, the crew of the Enterprise sure does know how to pick a fight. But the one species they seem to keep mixing it up with is the same species that has created a sub-culture in America -- those Klingons.

By the 24th century the Federation had become pretty chummy with their battle loving neighbors. At times it was easy to forget that the Federation once hated the Klingons. And since the Klingons of the 22nd century look like the ones from the 24th (that is to say they don't look like over-weight white dudes with greasy make-up melting under studio lighting - wait…is Louie Anderson a Klingon?), it's hard to associate Klingons with the bad guys.

Enterprise has been changing our view of the Klingons. Or at least reminding us that once they were the ultimate bad guys.

In this week's episode the Klingons are accurately portrayed as aliens, no easy task. Klingons have embedded themselves into our culture. Even non-trekkers can pick a Worf out of a crowd. For goodness sakes, people have translated Hamlet into the fictitious, yet totally workable language of Klingon. We know all about their culture, their foods and (of course) their mating rituals.

So the task was met quite well when Ensign Hoshi stepped into the galley. It was like meeting them for the first time, all over again. The smell of rotting food knocked her for a loop. Thankfully T'Pol was around, and if there is one thing we know about Vulcans, it's that they are crazy for mind melding.

T'Pol didn't stick her fingers in Hoshi's temples and chant the familiar, "My mind to your mind," but she did use some sort of assisted meditation to calm Hoshi down.

Why are Vulcans always doing that? Spock was quick to use some mental thing to help out, and Tuvok spent countless hours teaching Kes to hone her skills as a telepath. They're probably trying to convert people to their cult, which is really hard, because no one wants to join a cult that preaches no emotions and sex once every seven years. They had to come up with some perk. (But if more Vulcans looked like T'Pol and not T'Pau, every seven years might be worth the wait.)

This week T'Pol was the most "Vulcan" we have ever seen her. She's been very discouraging, and kind of a drag since the series began. And she had next to no mannerisms that have been associated with Vulcans. She's been coming across as simply angry. But this week she had a number of choice moments where you could see Spock delivering the lines. He wouldn't be wearing a skintight suit, of course, saving that for his concert appearances.

Note the episode number this week: 015. Next week's episode Shadows of P'Jem is number 014. This is the first time the airdates haven't run with the production numbers. When this happens its usually means an episode needed more time in post production, so next week we may see a large number of special effects.

And the main bad guy will be the ultra-retro Andorians. But don't get your Targ in a bunch. There will be a Klingon, too, hosting the 22nd Century version of Family Feud.

Kevin Miller

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