To the casual observer, all the incarnations of STAR TREK may appear campy. Although their sets may be painted flats and styrofoam rocks, NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE NINE, VOYAGER, ENTERPRISE, and even the ultra campy original series had some pretty frightening moments. Here are ten examples of STAR TREK episodes that scared the hell out of us.
The Man Trap (The Original Series)
The first broadcasted episode of the original series, “The Man Trap”, begins with Kirk, McCoy and the expendable Crewman Darnell beaming down to a planet, M-113, to resupply a scientific outpost manned by Doctor Robert Crater and his wife Nancy. Nancy, an old flame of McCoy’s, greets the landing party, but is seen as three separate women by all three members of the crew. Investigating the planet, Kirk finds Darnell dead from salt depravation. The crew quickly learns that they are dealing with a shapeshifter, the last surviving resident of M-113. This shapeshifter is hungry for salt and doesn’t care who he gets it from.
Whispers (DEEP SPACE NINE)
Miles O’Brien returns in a runabout from a meeting with the Paradas where he was discussing security plans for an upcoming peace talk. Upon returning the Deep Space 9 complex, he begins to notice everyone on the ship behaving strangely. Even his daughter Molly is giving him the cold shoulder. Finding himself locked out of security meetings and various parts of the ship, he begins to believe the crew to be under some kind of alien control.
Night Terrors (THE NEXT GENERATION)(COVER PHOTO)
The crew of the Enterprise comes across the missing Starfleet ship the Brittain. Beaming aboard, they find that the crew has been murdered with the exception of a Betazoid, Andrus Hagan, who is catatonic. After finding the Brittain, the crew of the Enterprise begin experiencing an increase in fatigue and violent outbursts. Meanwhile, all propulsion systems on the Enterprise fail leaving her adrift just like the Brittain. Dr. Crusher develops a theory that the crew’s lack of REM sleep and dreams is making them more violent. Troi, the only one who can dream, is experiencing strange nightmares she believes are an attempt by the catatonic Betazoid Hagan to communicate with her. All the while the crew slowly goes insane, Worf tries to kill himself, and Crusher starts to see the dead rise.
The crew of the enterprise encounter the Vulcan ship Seleya dead in the water in the middle of an asteroid belt. The astroids that surround the ship are comprised of Trellium ore, which can be used as an insulating material that can protect against spatial anomalies. Unfortunately, it also has a strange psychoactive effect on Vulcans. As an away team is sent to board the Seleya, T’Pol informs them that another Vulcan ship, the Vaankara, was sent to retrieve the Seleya. However, that mission was scrubbed when the crew of the Vaankara began killing each other and eventually destroyed their own ship. When Reed, T’Pol, and Archer board the Seleya, they are attacked by zombie-fied Vulcans under the influence of Trellium-D. Soon T’Pol begins exhibiting the same symptoms, turning against her captain and threatening to kill him.
Frame of Mind (THE NEXT GENERATION)
Commander Riker shifts between realities. In one, he performs in Dr. Crusher’s play, while in the other he is an inmate in an alien mental asylum where he has been charged with murder. Riker questions his own reality, and thus makes us all question whether the entire series isn’t just a figment of a mad man’s delusion.
Voyager’s holographic doctor begins tampering with his own programing by giving himself the personality traits of several historical figures. However, these historical figures come with a dark side as the doctor begins exhibiting a new more sinister, and possibly homicidal, personality.
Wolf in the Fold (The Original Series)
Scotty has been accused of murdering a woman on a foreign planet. As Kirk and McCoy investigate, they turn up a creature called Redjac. On Earth, he went by the name Jack the Ripper. He turns out to be a creature who feeds on fear, mostly stalking females since they are supposedly the easiest to scare.
Empok Nor (DEEP SPACE NINE)
In need of spare parts, an away team are sent to Deep Space 9’s sister station. Abandoned by the Cardassians years ago, the station still holds quite a few surprises. Cardassian ally, Elim Garak, is brought along to help disarm the booby traps. Unfortunately, he misses a big one. Two doped-up super elite Cardassian soldiers, part of a drug program that makes Cardassians really hate foreigners, come out of stasis and begin hunting the crew. After killing the super soldiers, Garak finds himself infected with the same xenophobic drug. Nog and O’Brien become the hunted and must find their friend before he kills them.
Schisms (THE NEXT GENERATION)
Commander Riker’s inability to sleep has taken a heavy toll on him. Objects around him seem strange and give him a sense of déjà vu. Other crewmembers are also having similar experiences. The all quickly realize that they have all been repeatedly abducted by aliens who have been performing experiments on them.
Q Who (THE NEXT GENERATION)
Galactic trickster Q sends the Enterprise into an uncharted region of space where they encounter the Borg. “Q Who” marks the first appearance of the Borg, arguably the most frightening alien in the galaxy. The Enterprise is no match for this race of part machine part whatever alien they happen to abduct.