Update: The source of the photo now claims that the characters shown in the photo may not be Klingons. He only "thought they kinda looked like" Klingons. The original text of the article follows.
Star Trek: Discovery has officially begun production, and a new set photo just gave fans their first glimpse at one of the franchise’s most iconic races as they will appear in the new series.
A photo was taken by an extra on the Star Trek: Discovery set at Pinewood Studios Toronto reveals a group of Klingons behind the scenes. However, they look a bit different than what fans are used to.
The costumes look correct, but the makeup is different, featuring more raised ridges on the back of the head instead of hair.
The Klingons have a history of history of redesigned in the Star Trek franchise. The budgetary limits of Star Trek: The Original Series meant that the Klingons appeared nearly human. Improved effects and a larger budget meant that Star Trek: The Next Generation could make Lieutenant Worf and other Klingons, including returning Klingon characters from the original series, look more alien, as was the original intent. The Klingons that appeared in Star Trek Into Darkness, in J.J. Abrams’ reboot alternate timeline, received yet another facelift.
Within the continuity of the Star Trek universe, the differences in the Klingon’s appearances between Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation was explained in Star Trek: Enterprise, when it was revealed that Klingon physiology had been altered for a long but temporary period of time by the Klingon augment virus, a failed experiment that was part of a perceived augmentation arms race between humans and the Klingon Empire.
However, that same story established that, prior to the Klingon augmentation virus taking hold, Klingons had appeared physically as they did in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Given that Star Trek: Discovery is said to take place a decade prior to the beginning of Star Trek: The Original Series, it is unclear why the Klingons would look so drastically different from Worf and the other Klingons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Whether Star Trek: Discovery will endeavor to provide an in-universe explanation remains to be seen.
Keep in mind that this is an unofficial photo. Perhaps the extra who took the photo is mistaken about what race these actors are representing, or perhaps the special effects team isn’t done working its magic. Fans will have to wait and see.
Star Trek: Discovery will debut on CBS in May. The remainder of its 13-episode first season will be available exclusive via the CBS All Access streaming service.