Joining the universe of Star Trek is a lot more than putting on pointy ears or talking into a flip phone. For some, it means getting deep into one of television's most famous alien races: the Klingons.
Having a Klingon forehead pasted onto your face is the easy part. The hard part is learning an entirely new language and pulling it off convincingly for a select group of fans who will scrutinize even the slightest error. The new cast of Star Trek: Discovery, which comes to CBS and CBS All Access on Sunday, appears to have the tongue down pat.
We asked the cast to recite their favorite Klingon phrases at the Star Trek: Discovery premiere party, and what we learned is the language still sounds very alien and that those who play Klingons are very serious about it. Those who don't play Klingons? They have no idea what they're saying.
Kenneth Mitchell, who plays Commander Kol, recited his favorite phrase — which we won't even attempt to transcribe here — which translates to "Wise words, but wise words don't win wars." How very Klingon!
On the other side of the spectrum, Jason Isaacs, who plays Captian Gabriel Lorca, doesn't know any Klingon. But he learned the hard way that the language is not to be disrespected.
"When we have read throughs of the scripts, they read the whole scene," Isaacs told TV Guide. "And I keep looking at [everyone] going, 'Why are waiting 10 minutes when they're all going [unintelligible Klingon]' But it's thought to be very disrespectful, so I was shouted down."
You're gonna have to learn to respect alien culture if you're going to be a Starfleet captain, Isaacs!
Star Trek: Discovery premieres Sunday at 8:30/7:30c on CBS before moving exclusively to CBS All Access.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)