Star Trek’s Most Controversial Series Could Be Perfect With One Change

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

star trek discovery earth

When Star Trek: Discovery first came out, there was plenty of fan fascination toward Voq, the albino Klingon cultist who served as a Torchbearer who lit the Beacon of Kahless. Later, we get a frankly disappointing plot where Voq’s body is transformed and merged with a human mind so he can be a kind of Klingon double agent. This was an early Discovery disappointment, and now that the series is about to end, I need to get this off my chest: the show would have been infinitely better if Voq was later revealed to be “The Albino” from Deep Space Nine.

The Potential Of Voq

Before we can get to how this Voq should have been connected to the best Star Trek series (yeah, I said it), let’s review some of what we know about this albino Klingon. Due to his unique skin coloration, Voq was an outcast in Klingon society, and he ended up joining a kind of cult centered around T’Kuvma, a Klingon who hated the Federation and wanted to unite the Klingon Empire against them. Because he was an albino, Voq was still an outcast among T’Kuvma’s Klingons, but his unwavering loyalty and faith convinced T’Kuvma to make the strange Klingon the Torchbearer, a role that had great cultural significance.

The Interest Didn’t Last Long

Unfortunately, this was the last time Voq was really interesting. In short order, T’Kuvma kills Captain Georgiou, and Michael Burnham kills the Klingon cultist in retaliation. T’Kuvma and Voq realize their goal of uniting the Klingons against the Federation by kicking off a very costly war between these interstellar groups, but the albino Voq gets left behind while other Klingons seek glory in combat. It’s only with the help of fellow cultist L’Rell that he finds safety with the House of Mo’Kai, and when we next see Voq, he is surgically altered and has the face and mind of a human Starfleet officer.

The Albino

To this day, the whole “Voq the double agent” thing remains one of the stupider Star Trek: Discovery storylines. Back before the reveal that “Ash Tyler” was just a disguised and very confused Voq, there was plenty of fan speculation online about whether we had actually seen this unique Klingon once before. Now that the Discovery final season is nearly upon us, I’m here to tell you the show would have been much cooler if Voq was revealed to be The Albino, a character introduced in the Deep Space Nine episode “Blood Oath.” 

For The Sake Of Argument

Now, before anyone starts swinging their replica Bat’leths at me, I’m aware that the episode never firmly states that The Albino is a Klingon. However, not only does he look very much like a Klingon in appearance, but he knows enough about Klingons and Klingon culture to get revenge on some of the savviest warriors in the history of the Empire. Between these details and the simple fact that I’m just waxing nostalgic about what could have been (oh, and actually saying he’s a Klingon), this argument assumes that The Albino is, in fact, a very unconventional Klingon warrior.

The Warriors Three

In “Blood Oath,” we learn that The Albino is a criminal whose powerful organization was overthrown by three famous Klingons from The Original Series: Kor, Koloth, and Kang. These warriors weren’t able to capture The Albino himself, so the criminal vows vengeance on them. Years later, he delivers on this grim promise by using a genetic virus to ensure that the firstborn sons of his enemies all die.


This resulted in the titular blood oath of vengeance, but it seemed like these Klingons might never find and kill their old foe. However, the plot of “Blood Oath” involves The Albino suddenly issuing a challenge to these Klingons to come to his compound and fight his best warriors before facing The Albino himself. The Klingons accept the challenge and ultimately defeat their foe with the help of Jadzia Dax, whose previous host, Curzon Dax, had been very tight with this trio of warriors.

Dig Two Graves

In case you’re wondering, the blood oath was fulfilled: Kang killed The Albino, but he and Koloth were mortally wounded after these brave Klingons stormed the villain’s compound. It’s almost a perfect Deep Space Nine episode, and one of the only things that could have made it better is a belated revelation that Voq was, in fact, The Albino. Obviously, they have matching skin color, but that’s not the only reason that such a fun plot twist would make perfect sense.

Ash Tyler

Some fans, for example, think The Albino couldn’t be a Klingon because he built himself a criminal empire…basically, the opposite of what an honorable warrior would do. But if Discovery had ditched the Ash Tyler storyline, it would have made sense for Voq, rejected by Klingons his entire life, to begin rejecting Klingon culture altogether and strike out on his own. It would have made even more sense that he, as “The Albino,” would have very intense anger towards the Klingons that defeated him.

Voq’s Hatred

In “Blood Oath,” it’s implied that The Albino simply wanted vengeance on the Klingons that brought his criminal empire tumbling down, but it would make more sense for the Voq from early on in Star Trek: Discovery to hate these guys with a passion. For one thing, they are a symbolic representation of the powerful Klingons who basically left Voq to rot after the death of T’Kuvma. For another thing, one of these Klingons, Kor, was present in “Errand of Mercy” when the Organians prevent a second war between Klingons and the Federation; it’s entirely possible Voq, a follower of T’Kuvma, would have taken such a failure very seriously.

The Evolution Of The Klingons

star trek klingons

Ironically enough, if Voq really had been The Albino, he might have hated these Klingons based on their appearance. While they were later surgically restored to the Klingon look established in The Motion Picture, these Klingon warriors were introduced in The Original Series looking more or less like humans. A later Enterprise episode awkwardly explained why the Klingon look changed, but the important thing is that Voq was a follower of T’Kuvma, someone who wanted all Klingons to join under the “one creed” that was exactly two words: “remain Klingon.”

Voq Should Have Been A Highlight

star trek klingons

If Voq later became a criminal who was defeated by Klingons who looked like the hated humans of the Federation, he might have a special hatred for warriors who had failed to remain Klingon (or at least, Klingon-looking).

If nothing else, it would have been cool for NuTrek flagship show Star Trek: Discovery to tie back to Deep Space Nine in such a cool and tangible way. Sadly, though, that didn’t happen, and we were left with the weird and disappointing Ash Tyler story. To this day, fans debate whether it was Voq’s mind or Ash’s mind in control, but I’m still mulling a more pressing question: what the heck happened to the mind of the Star Trek writer who thought this Ash Tyler storyline would be a good idea in the first place?