Saturday, April 11, 2015

Robert Justman's "Klingon on the Bridge"

J is for Justman. On the 18 October 1986, Robert Justman sent a memo to Star Trek's Creator, Gene Roddenberry. The memo concerned the use of the show's writers guide/bible in the Star Trek universe. Justman's memo begins with the sentence,

"Despite your aversion to using Klingons in the new series, I think I've thought of something which might just change your mind."


 In case you were wondering, Robert Justman put forward the idea of a resident Klingon serving aboard the Enterprise played by Michael Dorn. Obviously, Justman had a few hurdles to bypass. Some say Roddenberry's optimistic view of the future was preachy and slow. To neutralize this problem, Justman suggested that the military skills and prowess of the Klingon species might cause such a person (like Worf) to be well-suited for a role in the ship's crew.

"These are Klingons! They'll attack!"

When Roddenberry dug his heels in about excluding the Klingons, he said, "Bob, we've passed all that. We don't need Klingons." However, Justman persevered, challenging the Creator's opinion, pointing out that the acceptance of a Klingon in Starfleet would mean that Human attitudes had grown, which happily played ball with Roddenberry's optimistic view of the future.



Do you remember K'Ehleyr? Didn't Susie Plakson make a great Klingon?

Qapla! Long live the Klingon Empire.





11 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My guess was correct. Worf was one of the best characters, so glad we got a Klingon.

planetpailly said...

I knew Roddenberry didn't want to have the Klingons or Romulans on Next Generation. He wanted to create all new species. So I always wondered how Worf slipped into the show.

Tony Laplume said...

And thank goodness Worf managed to get in. He was sort of the reverse Spock in that regard.

Elephant's Child said...

Echoing everyone else. Worf was great. Complex and fascinating.

Birgit said...

Worf was great and loved that he thought prune juice was a "warrior's drink". Susan Plakson was great and I didn't like it when they killed her off

Jo said...

I agree, I liked Worf. I didn't see a lot of Star Treks from that time, my viewing was all a lot earlier.

Spacerguy said...

Klingons looked very different in Star Trek TOS as my Worf's Bumpyhead Secret reveals Jo.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

I loved Worf! The way he'd get exasperated with the humans and want to growl. I can't imagine that leg of the series without him. Him and Data.
Visit me at: Life & Faith in Caneyhead
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Jeffrey Scott said...

I remember K'Ehleyr, loved her. B'ellana Torres was like her in many ways. As for Worf, who didn't like him? Even though Miles was on the Enterprise, he wasn't a main character like Worf was, so to see both on DS9 was a treat. I have to admit, at first I thought adding Worf to DS9 was going to be a jump the shark move, but it worked out. Him marrying Dax only to have her killed off, didn't work in my book. Hated that.

Susan Kane said...

Worf opened the door for more plot lines and other aliens. Loved him.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I love Worf! He was my favorite character. I can't imagine a world without him.

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