In my mind, Klingons were the best possible villains, except for the Borg ofcourse, for Star Trek. Maybe villains is too strong a word – anti-heroes is more appropriate I think. Brutish, courageous, warrior like, proud and honour-minded – they have some good qualities in them. They along with the Romulans were the strongest antagonists in The Original Series. Ofcourse by 1987 and the era of TNG, they were allies and part of the Federation and newer villains took over. However, I always liked the Klingons when they locked horns with Starfleet’s finest.
Today I watched the first episode to feature Klingons – Errand Of Mercy. The Klingon leader in this episode is Commander Kor – played by the late stage & television actor John Colicos. Colicos fashioned the look of the Klingons after Ghengis Khan – long mustaches with an oriental/Mongol look. As you can see here, the famed forehead ridges that we have known to feature on Klingons were not added to the fictional race at this time. But Kor still is menacing with his superiority complex and his rage.
Kos captures the neutral & seemingly primitive planet of Oraganos in Errand of Mercy and clashes with Captain Kirk & Spock. His plans to execute the two of them is spoiled by the Organians, who halt the war between the Klingons and the Federation by use of their superior powers, much to the surprise of Kor & Kirk, who thought that the race was a much technologically inferior one.
Colicos did a fine job then and in 3 episodes of DS9, where he played an older Kor. The Shakespearean actor died in 2000. Ofcourse he was more famous as the evil Balthar who sold humanity to the Cylons in the original Battlestar Galactica. Colicos’s portrayal of Balthar is, in my opinion, miles ahead of the bumbling English man in the new BSG. He was pure evil, greedy and manipulative and thoroughly enjoyable to watch.