Lower Decks Season 3, Episode 2

At the start of “The Least Dangerous Game”, the series’ four protagonists come together to play an elaborate Klingon-themed board game called “Bat’leths & bIHnuchs”. A bat’leth is the long, curved, multi-hilted Klingon sword seen periodically throughout “Trek”. “BIHnuch” is the Klingon word for coward. Cowardice, even casual Trekkies might now, is anathema to the Klingon ethos; death in battle is preferable to a long and peaceful life.

The four main “Lower Decks” characters are, to get into the spirit of the game, dressed in Klingon paraphernalia and drinking from Klingon flasks. Their game is accompanied by a table video screen of Klingon Chancellor Martok (JG Herztler) who dictates the rules of the game and berates players for failure. Trekkies who collected merchandise in 1993 will instantly recognize “Bat’leths & bIHnuchs” as a reference to the real world “Star Trek: The Next Generation VCR Interactive Board Game – A Klingon Challenge” launched by my Milton Bradley. The game’s premise placed players – each of them being Ensigns – on a nearly abandoned Enterprise-D when an evil Klingon named Kavok invaded and took over the ship.

Notably, the game came with a 60-minute VHS tape that was to be played alongside the board game. The tape would sometimes stop and Kavok would ask players to respond (the game came with sticky comm badges you could stick to your shirt) and then draw from a particular deck of cards. Confusingly, Kavok was played by actor Robert O’Reilly, who was already better known as the Klingon character Gowron in “Next Generation.”

To acknowledge this historical confusion, Boimler (Jack Quaid) mentions his desire to get the Gowron expansion.

Alicia R. Rucker