Saturday, August 27, 2016

Favorite Star Trek Villains Part 1

Next up on this Star Trek frenzy of mine is the topic of villains. With Trek, they tend to vary. You have some that are really good, you have some that are average, and then you have “hippies in space.” Guess what won’t be on this list, “brother!” Today’s list is going to center on 15 of my favorite villains from the franchise. I did something similar to this years ago and I actually included a couple of villains that’ll see today. You’ll probably see some of the regulars like Khan (not the Bennie Cumberbatch variety) and the Borg. You may also see some that don’t get mentioned on the top lists especially since most of those lists center on the movies. First, here are some honorable mentions:
  • Garth of Izar – Yes, I kind of like this guy even though it’s literally being played to the nth degree of cheese. ‘Ole Garth was once a famous captain in Starfleet who was driven mad and sent to Elba II’s asylum for the criminally insane. He quarrelled with Kirk in the episode, "Whom Gods Destroy." While he’s not one of my favorites, I like him. I heard someone say that he’s basically a Batman villain from the 60’s TV show and I see it. What’s even funnier is that Batgirl (Yvonne Craig) is in the episode too! I would have rather had seen Cumberbatch play him than Khan as well.
  • Soran – In Star Trek Generations, Soran was an El-Aurian scientist who wanted to go to a dimension called the Nexus aka “Red Ribbon in the Sky”. Unfortunately, he had to make a sun go nova and kill millions including the crashed Enterprise. Luckily, that dark future was erased because Picard decided to bring James T. Kirk (who then dies…) back from the Nexus at that exact moment and stop it even though he could have used the Nexus to take him to a better vantage point. Yeah, Generations wasn’t that good though it had its moments. Luckily, Malcolm McDowell was pretty good as Soran.
  • T’Pring– That was one mean, logical…woman! T'Pring was Spock's arranged wife from "Amok Time." Unfortunately for "Hot and Bothered" Spock, T'Pring wanted to marry someone else. Now, I get she wanted to marry Ston instead of Spock. It was her right. What makes her a stone cold antagonist is that she picks Kirk to take Ston’s place in the… that battle which name I don’t remember. That’s cold-blooded in my dictionary!
  • Shinzon – I know Star Trek: Nemesis gets a bad rep but I thought Shinzon was fine. It was cool that he was a clone of the Picard. Plus, the guy did some bad stuff like killing Romulan governing officials and ultimately killing Data (sort of). And that ship of his looked pretty cool. Too bad the movie couldn’t be that cool.
  • The aliens from “Conspiracy”– During Seaosn 1 of TNG, these interesting aliens caused Picard and Starfleet quite a scare in a pretty entertaining episode. They had somehow taken control of the higher-ups at Starfleet and were making plans to take over more officers. They and their queen who had taken over an officer named Remmirick were eventually beaten but others like them were still out there waiting in another system. Unfortunately, they kept waiting since this episode was all we got of them. They were never brought back to the show and I heard that they were replaced by the Borg for being the Federation’s big threat.

And now, here's the first part of the list.

15. The Xindi
In Star Trek Enterprise’s Season 2 finale, a group of races called the Xindi sent a probe that destroyed most of Florida. Season 3 pretty much revolved around the Enterprise going into their space and trying to stop an invasion by the Xindi. The Xindi themselves were pretty interesting since they were split up into five different races and all of them weren’t too evil. While that arc may had lasted a little too long, I dug it and the Xindi.

14. The Planet Killer from “The Doomsday Machine”
It's the ice cream cone of death... well, it is! In the TOS episode, “The Doomsday Machine,” the Enterprise ends up facing a large planet-killing machine. Not much is known about the machine but it is surmised that it was created years ago by some unknown race. Since it is only a machine, nothing can stop it from destroying planets. It ended up destroying the crew of the USS Constellation too, so this was a big threat and a nice adversary for the crew to face.

13. Lore
When it comes to evil twins, I think Lore is probably the best of them…well, him and The Crime Syndicate of America. Lore was (possibly) the first android Dr. Noonian Soong created. Unlike Data, the later model, Lore has emotions and a string of lame jokes. He’s also evil for some reason or another. He used the Chrystalline Entity to destroy Data’s original home and almost did the same to the Enterprise-D. He also was the cause behind Dr. Soong’s death and even led a band of Borg who were not connected to the Collective. Being Lore also gave Brent Spiner a chance to do more on the show. He may have been evil for evil’s sake, but Lore was a nice villain for Data on TNG.

12. Terra Prime
In Star Trek Enterprise’s last episodes (barring the dreaded series finale), the crew and Starfleet had to deal with a xenophobic human group called Terra Prime.  Because of the Xindi’s attack a year earlier, they’ve come against the new Coalition of Planets Starfleet and other alien races are trying to form. Led by John F. Paxton (Peter Weller from Robocop!), they provided a credible threat to the creation of the Federation by taking over powerful weapon and threatening Vulcan’s Embassy on Earth.

11. The Cardassians
The Cardassians were introduced on TNG where there was an uneasy alliance. The Federation was at war with them for a few years, so things were just simmering down. They then got more fleshed out on DS9. As I said before, they are probably my favorite alien species. The villains of this race are pretty interesting. Gul Madred from TNG’s “Chain of Command” was pretty memorable. You also had a couple of others people and groups from DS9 that were pretty cool like Damar, Enambren Tain, Crell Moset (his background as a doctor), Garak (he had his dark moments), and the Obsidian Order. There is one other guy who I’ll get to later. You can already guess who that is.

10. The Mirror Universe

In the TOS episode, “Mirror, Mirror,” a transporter mishap teleports Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura to an alternate universe. In this universe, things are switched and the Federation is stratight-up evil. It’s an interesting concept that feels like it came out of a comic book or something: a universe with evil dopplegangers. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine revisited the concept a few times where someone from our universe would end up getting stuck to the Mirror Universe. Not only did we get evil Spock with a cool goatee in this universe, we get Intendent Kira… oh yes.

9. Q
Q is from a race of powerful beings in the galaxy. They can basically do anything they want. He was the first baddie the crew of the Enterprise-D faced as he was trying to judge them and see if they were worthy of existing. Q would continue to have a major presence with the franchise even when he wasn’t really a villain. After the first two seasons of TNG, he because less and less of a threat. He was more of a nuisance to the crews, really. That’s why he at this point on the list. Even though he was less threatening over time, John de Lancie made Q work and even grew the character some. I liked seeing his time with Picard especially towards the end of TNG. I wish he had made to one of the movies in some form.

8. Kai Winn

Winn was part of the religious hierarchy of Bajor. When she became Kai (essentially Bajor's Pope), she got the power and prestige that comes along with it. She was definitely one character people love to hate. It’s like the writers threw everything that’s considered bad about religion and it shows. She’s overly pious but pretty hypocritical especially when it comes to getting her way. Even when her beliefs get in the way, she’ll find a way to get around them. She definitely went down the dark path towards the end of the show. Louise Fletcher was a good choice for Winn and she brought it through all seven seasons of DS9.

Well, that's all for now. I'll come back later with the rest of the list.

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