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Loving the alien
Being a Star Trek fan is a serious business, Kathleen Morgan discovered when she met a real life Klingon.
and an attitude can do. For one of Scotland‘s most
avid Star Trek fans. there is nothing better than forgetting all your earthly worries and dressing up as a member of the warrior race. the Klingons.
Adopting the costume and mentality of a Klingon is more than a hobby for 22-year-old Lee Close — it is a way of life. He is one of thousands of Trekkies worldwide who attend Star Trek conventions. dressed as characters from the cult television series famed for going where no other dares go.
‘The Klingons belong to a warrior society which holds great honour in the ability to tight and command.’ explains the ex-Navy man who discovered Star Trek at the age of six. ‘The ultimate glory for a Klingon is to die in battle with your hands round your enemy’s neck.‘
Close is a founding member of Klingon fan club
It is amazing what donning a large. rubber forehead
Khemorex Klinzhai. a splinter society of the original Klingon Assault Group which invaded the UK in the late 1980s. As fleet commander of the club. he oversees some of Khemorex Klinzhai‘s six ships and edits its newsletter The Ix’wzcguz/e from his home in Fauldhouse. near Bathgate. lie admits to feeling liberated when dressed as a Klingon ~ it sure beats pulling on a luminous. nylon Star Fleet jersey and a pair of Captain Kirk Tucka boots.
‘As a Star Fleet captain you haye one hand tied behind your back — as a Klingon. you haye two hands and one of them has an axe in it.‘ enthuses ('lose. ‘.»\s a race. Klingons are far superior to others. They haye extra muscles and organs. You don't want to be hurt by a Klingon.
‘l‘mjust an average guy off the street. but there is a big personality change when you become a Klingon. it's a great stress relicyer. You run about conycntious threatening folk and stabbing them with fake kniycs.
Folk like being threatened by us. At conventions. Star
Fleet officers will actually step out of our way.‘ Close is a perfectly respectable looking father of two. He calls himself a second generation Trekkie. but is working on the third — at two months old. his youngest daughter is already a fully signed-up Klingon. 'Iir discover more about the [xii/remix m’ lug/"um K/Ir’nlun’t’ K/I'IIZIIUI'. t‘mlltlr'l l.(’(’ (7031’ (1/ //l/ liar/(HI 'li'rrucr'. l'iil!/(//l()l(.\‘('. Hi’XI [xii/111m. [ill-l7 0/1..
The ultimate Klingon. Michael Oorn as Defence Attorney Wort
Over the past few months the term information super highway has become something of a household phrase. Once up there with trainspotting in the geek ratings, being into computers has suddenly become acceptable, even reasonably cool, and references to
the net, e-mail and on-line shopping now appear in the §
Internet magazine, estimates that 180 million people will have access to the Internet by the year 2000. Those already on ‘the net‘ are linked by way of a global network system designed to survive World War III. They can and do exchange and access information daily on everything from the latest international news to, yes, you guessed it, the inner life of Star Trek. Anyone with an Internet connection has access to a whole host of web sites dedicated to the joys of Trekkiedom. Best of the bunch are those sites
I l l
maintain Star Trek: The Next Generation (http://www. ugcs.caltech.edu.80/werdna/sttngl). Both sites are good for a browse, with excellent graphics, loads of info and trivia on the series and films, and lots of user- friendly graphic links to help you plough through the
; pages. The Viacom site even has an interactive multi-
media kit, containing animations and soundbites which , you can download onto your computer for free
(providing you have the right hardware).
For the dedicated Trekkie though, browsing round a
bunch of pages on the web does not compare with getting down to some hard-core discussion. The real work gets done at the various ‘newsgroups' on the net
maintained by the companies Viacom — Star Trek Generations: Behind The Scenes (http://generations. ! viacom.com/TrekMultimedia.html), and Caltech, who
media almost every day. Over 21 million people are now part of the global traffic surfing back and forth across the information superhighway. net — the
1” "¢' ~ '
Navigating the information super highway
devoted to the Star Trek cause, where Trekkies from all corners of the globe hold hands across cyberspace and
. discuss the finer points of Treksville, such as
Ir verb-noun compounds in the Klingon language,
whether or not ‘Worf’s mood swings indicate a move
2 towards “federation” ideals’ and what to do if someone infiltrates your newsgroup with slanderous
-‘ é postings against the good name of the Star Trek
empire. This last message comes ‘signed’ by one Gym
Quirk, aka retired secret master of rec.arts.startrek, accompanied by his personal slogan — ‘l’ll get a life when someone demonstrates it would be superior to what I have now.’ Star Trek newsgroups can be found at rec.arts.startrek or alt.startrek. (Ellie Carr)
function. For simplicity’s sake, an easily recognisable standard salt shaker was used in the scene, and the futuristic ones were recycled as surgical implements of Or McCoy’s.
In real life James Ooohan is such
a science buff that, when visiting a lab where an ion propulsion engine was being developed, he casually pointed out a flaw that the entire scientific team had overlooked.
After Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols
allegedly found a second career in NASA’s astronaut recruitment programme. She knew three of the astronauts on the doomed Challenger shuttle well.
Theodore Sturgeon, prominent SF
author and writer of the classic Trek episode “Amok Time’, was a dedicated nudist.
10 The List 27 Jan-9 Feb l995
The principal characters went
through a phase of hiding William Shatner’s bike to prevent him being the first to the canteen every lunchtime. For some reason, this 30- year-old story is still considered amusing enough to merit being dragged out at fan conventions.
When Star Trek graduated to the i
big screen, Roddenberry found I himself increasingly disenfranchised : from his creation. Six times, : whenever a new movie was proposed, I he submitted his dream story: the 1 Enterprise crew travel back in time I and, depending on which draft you 1 read, the script either has them ; meeting Hitler and starting World War I II, or ends with Spock standing on i the grassy knoll in Dallas with a rifle : in his hand. The script was turned : down every time. Perhaps he would : have done better to punt it Oliver » (JFK) Stone’s way. i
No more lycra shlrts: Kirk and crew 905 style
There’s a very special place in
Trekkie mythology for the belly- dancing slave girl who, to make her look good and alien, was painted a sumptuous green. When the rushes were watched the next day, she appeared to have normal human flesh tones. So, the scene was shot again, with the dancer painted a more lurid shade. The following morning, there she was again, even pinker than before. The crew tried one more time, with the darkest, deepest green make-up they could possibly concoct. And what did she look like when the film was developed? You’ve guessed. What had happened was that every night, the guy whose job it was to process the film had looked at the day’s rushes and said to himself, ‘My God, this girl is green!’ and proceeded to, er, put her to rights.