Thursday, July 28, 2016

Top Ten Most Annoying and/or Useless Aliens in Star Trek

Star Trek introduced us to a wide variety of aliens in the galaxy. Some are fearsome, others are allies, while some provide us with some good laughs. Still, in every galaxy not every species can be seen a good use of space. Here are my picks for the aliens that I really don’t think added a whole lot to the Trek universe and would have been happier if they had never graced my TV screen.

10. The Catullans (Original Series) – From the episode “The Way to Eden” we are introduced to a Catullan, the son of an ambassador, and one of a band of intergalactic hippies. This is their only introduction, so to be fair we do not know for certain that this one wayward son is a true representative of his entire race, but on the offside chance that he is, his is a planet I have no wish to ever visit. Call me “Herbert” if you must. Because they only have the one character representing them, I placed them much lower on the list, but if the whole planet is full of cringe-worthy hippies, then they would shoot right on up (or down, as it may be) this list.

9. Dopterians (Deep Space 9) – These guys are close relatives to the Ferengi, which means Betazoids can’t read them. They were often used in civilian roles and as petty criminals, such as smugglers, thieves, and the like. Not much to them to make them stand out. It was almost as if they were used whenever they needed an unscrupulous character but for some reason the writers didn’t want to have a Ferengi.

8. The Aldeans (Next Generation) – This group of people are so enlightened that they cut off all ties with the rest of the galaxy. Talk about your elitist snobs. They went so far to achieve their perfect isolation that they cloaked their entire planet. Unfortunately, this eventually made the race sterile, to the point where they kidnapped Wes Crusher and a handful of other children to help repopulate their species. This made me scratch my head a little when I first saw it, because even as a teenager I realized that they needed more than a single-digit number of children to repopulate a species. So much for being a highly advanced and intelligent species.

7. The Overlookers (Voyager) – Take the Teletubbies and cross them with bitter potatoes, and you get the Overlookers. Based on how much time some of them spend watching other crews, you could say that this crossing included couch potatoes. They were the Delta Quadrant’s Peeping Toms, spying on passing ships to determine if it was worth it to raid them. Their Hierarchy definitely was a bit OCD on the whole Risk vs Benefit scale. Try as I did, I just could not take these guys seriously, especially considering more impressive alien species that Voyager encountered.

6. Son’a (Star Trek: Insurrection) – The Ba’ku were a highly advanced species of human-looking aliens that gave up their technology to live a simpler life on a planet that basically granted them immortality. At one point, a group of their youth decided to rebel from their parents and kick themselves out of the proverbial Garden of Eden. From them the Son’a were born. They quickly learned that not living forever sucked, so they built their civilization on acquiring riches, slaves, and facelifts (or, more accurately, face stretches). They then conspired with a grumpy old Starfleet Admiral to overtake their home world in exchange for the Fountain of Youth. These guys were supposed to be the Big Bad villains of the movie, and they ended up looking more like spoiled whiners who wanted to be sitting at the adult table again. In all the movies, the Son’a were arguably the most disappointing villain (and yes, I am putting the Whale probe in The Voyage Home ahead of them).

5. The Wadi (Deep Space 9) – From the episode “Move Along Home” these were the first official invited visitors from the Gamma Quadrant. They arrive at Deep Space Nine and immediately…head to Quarks to gamble. After they catch Quark cheating them, they force him to play a game where Sisko and three of his officers are the game pieces. They subject them to poisonous gas, falling off of cliffs, lights that make you disappear, and the ever stuck-in-your-head rhyme song “Allamaraine”. When it was all said and done, it is revealed that Sisko and his crew were never in any real danger, because it was “only a game”. With all that technological power, I guess I expected more than being avid gamers. I bet they’d be awesome at Pokemon Go.

4. Ornithoids (Original Series) – Korob and Sylvia had a lot of potential. They could use magic, create castles, turn into giant scary cats, and turn the Enterprise crew into mindless automatons. While appearing in human form they seemed powerful. Then, at the end of the episode, they are shown in their true form. Having the shape, size, and features of puppets made out of dryer lint. I get that the surprise of seeing these powerful beings as somewhat less than impressive in their true form, but did the producers have to go with the lowest budget creations imaginable?

3. Kazon (Voyager) – The Kazon were intended to be the primary villains for the Janeway and her crew for at least the first few seasons. I could never really wrap my head around them. They looked like some hybrid of a Klingon and a seriously bad case of dreadlocks. The writers tried to infuse some depth into their culture, but after a while the Kazon became a bit boring. To see the crew of Voyager tangle with them for the better part of two seasons took away some of the reality of their journey (I mean, either the Kazon region of space is enormous or Tom couldn’t get the ship much past impulse speed). They only became a threat when Seska betrayed the crew and joined up with them. Of all of Voyager’s adversaries, the Kazon hit very low on the list, if not rock bottom.

2. The Pakleds (Next Generation) – “We look for things. We are not smart.” How a species like the Pakleds ever evolved to become space-faring boggles my mind. Their IQ levels are so low that I think my four year old daughter could best them in a battle of wits. We are introduced to them in “The Samaratin’s Snare” where they take Geordi hostage to acquire technology that will help them “go”. Afterwards we only see them in the background, but they are probably looking for things that will make them strong or smart. Obviously not the brightest bulbs in the galaxy, I am thankful they only had dialogue in the one episode.

1. The Edo (Next Generation) – Taking the term “pleasure planet” to the extreme, these guys personify hedonism. I can only wince when I try to imagine the STDs that must be running rampant in a civilization where people wear barely enough clothing to not enrage the censors and will make out with whatever person they come across. I just did not see how this could have possibly been seen as a great creation by the powers that be. So happy they brought in Risa as the exotic vacation of choice.

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