The 10 Most Disturbing Star Trek Episodes, Ranked By How Horrifying They Are
Star Trekepisodes are a mix of genres within a shell of science fiction. During its six-decade history, the collective shows have given us fantasy, romance, mystery, and humor. Interspersed among those episodes are several dark entries.
These range from thrillers to downright horror. There have been several episodes designed to make viewers cover their eyes or jump out of their seats. For an example of these occurrences, here's a ranked list of the 10 most disturbing Star Trek episodes.
10 Discovery: Battle At The Binary Stars
The concept of Discovery is to return to the early days of the original series. This is when the galaxy was still the equivalent of the Wild West. It's also a time where the Klingons were not humanity's friends.
This is revealed in the episode "Battle at the Binary Stars." The fight isn't the dark part. Rather, it's the amount of destruction that appears on the screen. Where other Star Trek incarnations show the after-effects of battle, this episode revealed how grisly it is.
9 Voyager: Year Of Hell
A lot of horror takes place during this two-part episode. An explosion blinds Tuvok. Another causes serious scarring on Captain Janeway. On top of this, Chakotay and Paris are kidnapped by the people who started this all, the Krenim.
The protagonist's use of time travel that starts the year of hell in the first place. It's a selfish move by their lead scientist Annorax to shore up the might of the Krenim Imperium. Fortunately, the darkness has a silver lining when what remains of the Voyager's crew returns things to normal.
8 TOS: The Enemy Within
The first season of the original series wasn't a happy place. Episodes like "Man Trap," "Charlie X," and "Where No Man Has Gone Before" show a galaxy filled with dark unknowns. Another example is "The Enemy Within."
A transporter malfunction splits Captain Kirk into two entities. One is not as sure as himself, while the other displays a violent and dangerous side. To watch William Shatner portray the evil side of himself can cause eerie chills.
7 Enterprise: Azati Prime
This is one of the darkest episodes of Enterprise. Like "Battle at the Binary Stars," viewers get to see how weak the earliest Starfleet ships were. If Captain Archer was in the command chair, he might have minimized the death and destruction provided by the Xindi.
Unfortunately, he was a "guest" of theirs at the time. It was left to Commander T'Pol to save the Enterprise. However, she was under the influence of drugs when the attack happened. The result is a morbidly fascinating disaster.
6 TNG: Chain of Command, Part II
This classic episode of The Next Generation placed Captain Picard in a situation both enthralling and scary to watch. Captured by the Cardassians after an intelligence mission. Picard is stripped, beaten, and starved by his captors.
He holds on as best as he can. Particularly when his torturer asks him how many lights the captain sees. The most frightening part is viewers get to see Picard break down to the point they know he's going to say the wrong thing to live.
5 Voyager: The Thaw
Add creepy clowns to any show and it ratches up the darkness. In this episode of Voyager, the scary clown is played by Michael McKean. What makes it darker is the whole thing takes place in a virtual reality of the central processor.
B'Elanna Torres and Harry Kim are the two Voyager crew members who volunteer to enter the VR environment. The clown proceeds to torture both officers mentally and physically. Luckily, the Doctor steps in to minimize the blood bath.
4 TNG: Genesis
The Next Generation delved into the horror genre several times during its run. One of the scariest samples of this was the episode "Genesis." The reason it was extra creepy might be due to the writers' experimentation in the last season.
While in sickbay, Barclay is given an inoculation. This triggers an airborne pathogen that turns the staff back to the genetic creatures they came from. The most horrific was Worf. There were some hop off your seat moments when he appeared.
3 TOS: Whom Gods Destroy
Insane asylums are a standard in horror movies. Writers of the original Star Trek use this to their advantage in "Whom Gods Destroy."
Blood wasn't smeared on the walls and body pieces weren't strewn across the floor. It was a sterile type of insane asylum. Nevertheless, the creepiness of the inmates made viewers uncomfortable. The episode was made to feel that Kirk was never going to escape.
2 TNG: The Best of Both Worlds
For this classic storyline, the focus is on Picard's transformation from human to Borg. Though it wasn't as scary as what was shown in the movie First Contact, it made an impression on viewers.
The darkness of this story doesn't come from horror. Instead, it's an uncertainty about the outcome. Is Picard going to be recovered, or is he forever a Borg? Though everything turned out okay, viewers got to see what it could have been like in the seventh season episode "Parallels."
1 TNG: Conspiracy
The Next Generation universe was shaken up in this first season episode. It introduced a new alien race that took examples from 1979's classic sci-fi movie Aliento make themselves known. This race was going to be the newest protagonist for the Federation. However, the Borg overcame them.
The scariest moments don't happen until the last quarter of the show. Yet, producers and SFX professionals went all out to make it as gory as possible. Starfleet officers ate live grub-like creatures. Picard and Riker blew up an officer's head. Also, the alien exploded from the said officer's chest.
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