By James Nelson
With a series that’s history spans forty-nine years, with five TV series and twelve movies, there’s bound to be a lot of great antagonists and stories, while at the same time having an equal mix of terrible ones. Here are the worst of the worst Star Trek has had to offer.
You probably thought I was going to say the Gorn was bad. In the words of Kirk, “I lied.”
The Suliban (Ent)
For a show that would eventually play with the classic species of Trek and make even the Vulcans deliciously villainous, their first attempt at making a new race failed. What’s worse, is that the Suliban actually had potential. The pilot is completely driven by the threat the Suliban pose to not only the Enterprise, but also the future. This race was central to the “Temporal Cold War” storyline in the first two seasons of Enterprise, and for being so important we know surprisingly little about them. Initially that granted them an air of mystery, but as the show continued to squander every opportunity to flesh out the species and it’s radical offshoot, the more irritating the race was (and the more it exposed the flaws of the first two seasons). Eventually the Suliban are basically dropped from the series as soon as the Xindi story arch began.
The Ferengi (TNG)
Since the writers in the first two seasons of The Next Generation were not allowed to have conflict between the crew, they had to mine encounters for other races to provide the primary tension, and according to Memory Alpha, they were not allowed to use the Klingons as antagonists in the first season, the Ferengi were developed to replace them. Somehow it was believed that essentially “wall street guys” would be a viable recurring threat. The only story anybody wants to see about a wall street guy is watching their world crumble in their pursuit of greed. The Ferengi looked silly and sounded dumb. The only Ferengi that ever worked as a villain was Daimon Bok, and that was because he wasn’t motivated by greed, but revenge against Picard. They did finally make the Ferengi a wonderful cartoonish species in DS9, but as the comedic relief, not as the villains.
Space Hippies (TOS)
You know what sounds like a great story? The Enterprise gets taken over by a group of space hippies who even have their own musical number! Yep. That’s right. Just watch the clip above and revel in its hilarity.
Harry Mudd (TOS)
There are so many things that are wrong with Harry Mudd. That stupid mustache, his “roguish” motivations, and just how much of a cartoon character he is. The Original Series tried three times to make Mudd a villain (or if not a villain a antagonist). First he was selling women. Then he manages to make himself a ruler of planet of androids and tries to get them capture the Enterprise in exchange for his being able to leave the planet. The third time involves a stupid love potion plot. I’m not even going to bore you with the details, but suffice it to say, Mudd is no Khan.
The Goo monster (TNG)
This is one of the great tragedies of TNG. They created a stupid plot about a goo monster, that was supposed to personify all evil, and used it to kill off Tasha Yar. It was a bad story, with bad writing, and even worse effects and acting. It was not intimidating and the idea of a race casting off all of its “evil” nature into an actual being is a story that does not belong in Star Trek. Star Trek is about overcoming our human nature, not shattering it.
The Theme Song from Enterprise
I include this because every time I watch Enterprise I want to turn it off immediately because of that stupid theme song. What were they thinking? Were they really trying that hard to differentiate itself from the franchise that they had to get a cheesy soft rock theme instead of an epic symphonic march? What’s worse is that it’s not even an original song. It was made for the movie Patch Adams. What’s even more insidious about it is that it gets stuck in your head, and then by the end of the opening credits your start really getting into it before you realize “OMG WHAT AM I DOING!!!!” I hate it. Just hate it. It was also responsible making sure that only the hardest of the hard core trekkies continued watching, cause no one else could sit through it.
V’ger (The Motion Picture
Similar to the theme song and the black goo above, V’ger never really materialized as a legitimate threat and as a result undercut the tone of the whole movie. It was a a giant nebulous thing that seemed impossible to stop. There was no way the Enterprise could legitimately stand a chance against it, until of course you found out it was just a NASA probe, then you could get all gushy with it and then everything is okay, right?
The Kazon (VOY)
There’s a theme with early Trek shows. They try and replicate the success of the Klingons by creating a recurring villainous race, and then they fail utterly to do that. In this case they stuck with the Kazon far longer than story logic should have allowed. They were technologically inferior to Voyager, and never really stuck as a legitimate threat. What’s worse is they were responsible for killing the criminally underused Brad Dourif. He was easily the best part about the first two seasons of Voyager.