TNG's Lieutenant Wolf would end up being the most famous Klingon in all of Star Trek, but he looked a little different in TNG season 1.
Star Trek: The Next Generation's iconic Klingon Lieutenant Wolf looked a little different in Season 1 of the hit show. Wolff, played by Michael Dorn, wasn't supposed to be a central TNG cast, but a recurring character who only appeared in a handful of episodes. However, Donne's performance impressed the show's producers, and Wolfe soon became an important part of the Enterprise-D senior staff.
The appearance of the Klingons has been slowly evolving since Star Trek: The Movie, the first story in which they appear with their now iconic forehead bump and sharp teeth. Their appearance was slightly improved in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Worf's original design borrowed heavily from that film's interpretation. However, between TNG seasons 1 and 2, Worf underwent further cosmetic improvements.
Why Worf's Klingon Makeup Changed After TNG Season 1
In TNG Season 1, the ridge of Worf's head was veined and somewhat ambiguous, not really suggesting any kind of pattern. After TNG season 1 wrapped production, Worf's facial prosthetics were either lost or stolen. This gave TNG's lead makeup artist, Michael Westmore, the opportunity to improve the character's look.
Worf's new season 2 head spine Even more eye-catching, now with a unique triangular pattern. The prosthetics were also more comfortable for Star Trek's Worf actor Michael Donne, and could be applied in less time. Additionally, Worf's gold epaulettes, a prop borrowed from Star Trek: The Original Series, were replaced with new metal designs. Worf's appearance would change a bit over the years, especially his hairstyle, but TNG's season 2 redesign laid the foundation for Worf's overall look for decades.
Worf's TNG Season 2 Makeup Was The Klingon Template Until Discovery
Worf's TNG Season 2 appearance was not only an iconic interpretation of Enterprise-D's security chief, it also served as a template for nearly every Klingon in the franchise until they were cast for Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Complete changes were made. Coming from TNG in Star Trek: Enterprise from the 80s all the way into the early 00s, Klingons reflect Wolf's general aesthetic: patterned ridges, well-trimmed facial hair, and mostly human skin tones. The non-Wolf Klingons also have a galactic bikie fashion sense, with heavy use of leather and silverware.
This look was dropped entirely in Discovery season 1. Discovery's Klingons are hairless, have distinctly inhuman skin tones, and have exaggerated head ridges and teeth. Discovery's Klingon is incredibly divisive, and the warrior race hasn't been featured in Discovery or any other live-action Star Trek show since season 2. Along with the rest of the Enterprise-D crew, Worf will return in Star Trek: Picard Season 3. Production stills and promotional images have confirmed that Worf will still be wearing his classic look, possibly even as a Klingon soft reset , as they're finally able to return to the look that Star Trek: The Next Generation so defined them.