While Starfleet has Phasers and Phaser Rifles, the Klingons have Disruptors. And over the past 45 years and five series we have seen a number of different types of Disruptors. The TOS Klingon Disruptor is still a beautiful piece, but an original prop would cost you about $35,000 these days, if you could find one! I have been lucky to amass a number of different Klingon Disruptors over the last few years.
I recently bought a hero resin and metal Klingon Death Sting from a collector friend. This was the version built for Star Trek V and used in Next Generation. What is great is that I own a Death Sting from TMP, which I got thinking it was a replica, but it turned out to be real. So I decided to have my photographer at Propworx take some detailed photos -- and we can start doing some comparisons and matching. I went back and reviewed the previous articles I wrote and thought that since I now have two versions we might be able to get some more detailed info on the history of this weapon.
The Klingon Death Sting is an interesting weapon, as it was seen before, in the middle of, and after the development of the other type of Klingon Disruptor. That type, which we all recognize as THE Klingon Disruptor of the DS9 era, was first seen in Star Trek III. It was later changed to have a "beakie" nose in TNG. The story behind that is that every time an actor pulled the disruptor out of the holster the tip would break off (The tip was actually a bucket seat from a model car kit!).
We first see the Death Sting in Star Trek: TMP, but not really! It is actually stuck in its holster and we only see the butt sticking out of the first officer's holster.
In Star Trek III we see the version we are all so familiar with, but before the "beakie" nose.
In Star Trek VI, we are back to the Death Sting, but now it is a different color and the actual prop is cast off a TMP version. It now has a solid back.
TNG starts off with all Klingons using the Death Sting. However, in "Redemption Part I," Klingons have switched to the Beakie Disruptor. The Beakie was developed because the Star Trek III style kept breaking when actors pulled it from the holster.
And then Deep Space Nine kept the Beakie Disruptor from the outset.
For more information on Klingon and other weapons, check out my Star Trek Prop Blog at www.startrekprops.com.
Alec Peters has been a Star Trek fan since he first watched TOS on TV in the 60's. He started collecting screen-used Star Trek props and costumes at the big Christie's auction in 2006 and then turned his passion into a business, becoming CEO of Propworx, an auction house for Hollywood studios. For additional information about Propworx and their upcoming Star Trek auction, visit www.propworx.com.