Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Discovery costume designer on making the Klingons ‘a little sexy’ in season 2: ‘I wanted to show L’Rell was a woman’

Warning: Contains spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery season two.

Star Trek: Discovery’s latest episode saw the Klingons make their return in the second season, with a slightly different look in comparison to the first outing.

The show’s first season faced criticism from fans after revising the Klingons design, stripping them of their hair and giving them a different facial structure from past incarnations.

The backlash to their design instigated revisions for their debut in season two, with episode three Point Of Light seeing L’Rell return with added hair.

There were also changes to L’Rell’s costume too to coincide with her newfound chancellor position and the episode’s revelations, having revealed she was secretly a mother to Voq’s child.

Speaking to about L’Rell in the episode, Star Trek: Discovery costume designer, Gersha Phillips, said: ‘We did go a little sexy for season two, episode three.

‘In that episode I particularly wanted to show the fact that L’Rell was a woman. I felt like we’d only ever shown her in armour and because she was becoming the chancellor and uniting all the Klingon forces.’

At the end of the episode, L’Rell decides to give up her romance with Ash Tyler/Voq and child in order to maintain her power over the Klingon empire.

In a speech delivered to the Klingons, as she presents a fake dismembered head of Ash to prove her loyalty, she states: ‘Do not refer to me as chancellor, for I deserve a fiercer title.

‘From this point forth, you may call me mother.’

It was this line Gersha said was crucial to her approach in the costume department, adding: ‘The line at the end about being a woman and being a mother is really kind of important.

‘I really liked the idea of, in the beginning of that episode, of her more female side. We had these really great prosthetics that we designed for her anatomy. I feel like it’s done in a more futuristic and timely way, based on our time rather than that time.’

The fact the Klingon war came to an end in the first season finale also contributed to costume revisions in season two, which led to them embracing L’Rell’s femininity.

‘The Klingons are out of war right now so they wanted to have them in clothing, they wanted them to look like, “this is when they’re not fighting”.

‘The first time we see Mary Chieffo’s character L’Rell, she’s addressing a council of her house leaders. So it had to have a regality to it, but then also I just felt like nullifying her sense of female form was not the best way to go there.

‘I felt like I really wanted to embrace that part of her as well. Maybe it’s something that was really important to me at the time.’

You can check out our review of the latest episode here.

Star Trek: Discovery airs Thursdays on CBS All Access in the US, with episodes releasing Friday on Netflix UK.

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