|Star Trek Fan Collective: Klingon (2006)
Starring: Scott Bakula, William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Leonard Nimoy
Now that all of the “Star Trek” series are available on DVD and every obsessive-compulsive Trekkie has used the money they’ve earned from their I.T. job to buy every full-season set, what can Paramount possibly do to make money off the franchise until J.J. Abrams gets his new “Trek” movie into theaters? Why, start releasing themed collections of episodes, of course! Actually, truth be told, it’s not such a bad idea. Not everyone who loves “Trek” is willing to work out $50-$75 per season, but if, say, there was a set that contained all of the episodes that featured Q or the Borg, no matter which of the “Trek” series they appeared in, now that might be something worth getting.
In fact, they have released those two sets, along with a collection of the best time-travel episodes and this, a set of the top episodes featuring the gruff but loveable Klingons. Like the time-travel collection, the Klingon Fan Collective is a sprawling affair which covers all the Trek series, from the original all the way up through “Enterprise”…but, in truth, a few of these episodes are really pushing the envelope for inclusion.
Although it really isn’t a Klingon episode in the traditional sense, it’s hard to argue with starting the proceedings with “Broken Bow,” the premiere episode of “Enterprise,” since it details Earth’s first-ever encounter with a Klingon. Additionally, the original series episode, “Errand of Mercy,” is crucial, as it sets up the concept of the Organian Peace Treaty between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire. (Long story short: the belligerent and psychically-powerful Organians threatened to kick both sides in the ass if they didn’t cool their jets.) Having both “The Trouble with Tribbles,” about a species of furry eating and reproducing machines, and its semi-sequel, “Trials and Tribble-ations” (where the crew of Deep Space Nine go back in time and participate in the events of the episode), in the same set is certainly a blessing, though they should’ve gone the extra mile and also included the related episode from the animated “Trek” series, entitled “More Tribbles, More Troubles.” (Don’t worry, fans: the entire animated series is due for release later this year.)
Inevitably, “Star Trek: The Next Generation” pulls the most episodes in this set (four), given that Worf (Michael Dorn) was a regular on the show for its entire run…though “Deep Space Nine” comes in a close second (three episodes), since he joined the cast of that show after “TNG” went off the air. It wasn’t until the “Next Generation” episodes that we really began to learn the intricacies about the Klingon people, and the selections from the series are well-chosen: “A Matter of Honor” (Riker participates in an officer exchange program and is assigned to a Klingon ship), “Sins of the Father” (the officer exchange goes the other way, and the Klingon assigned to the Enterprise turns out to be Worf’s brother), and the two-part “Redemption,” where Worf and his brother set about to clear their father’s name and, in turn, their family reputation.
It’s Discs Three and Four of this four-disc set where things begin to fall apart a bit. “The Way of the Warrior,” the “Deep Space Nine” episode where Worf officially transfers to the station, is solid, as is “The Sword of Kahless,” where Kor – a Klingon who challenged Kirk in the original series – teams with Worf and Dax to retrieve an ancient Klingon artifact, is a good choice…but where is “Blood Oath”? In one of the most enjoyable episodes of “DS9,” three Klingons from the original series (Kang, Koloth, and the aforementioned Kor) join with Dax to fulfill a promise they made years before. It’s about as Klingon as you can get; I realize that fans voted for the inclusions to this set, but this just seems like a given for inclusion, particularly given that there was plenty of room to fit it on the set. Discs One and Two each have four hours’ worth of episodes, but Disc Three only has three hours and Disc Four a mere two; the “Voyager” pick – “Barge of the Dead” – could certainly have been supplemented with “Prophecy,” where Captain Janeway and company encounter a Klingon warship on a quest to find the savior of the Klingon race.
Is this a good sampling of Klingon episodes? Sure. Is it as good as it should’ve and easily could’ve been? No way.