Inspired by this thread , I’d like to start a discussion on the lamest single-episode Star Trek alien race. It seems that the Enterprise is always running into alien races that we’ve never heard of before or since, whose biology or culture is completely defined by a single characteristic that is directly relevant to our sense of morality and that allows the crew to learn a Very Valuable Lesson. After any degree of reflection, it is difficult to imagine how this race managed to survive this long, much less advance into space.
My nominees include:
The Tamarians – an alien race that speaks entirely in metaphors. I suppose it’s workable when trying to convey “Let’s team up to kill that thing”, but how do you write a warp drive maintenance manual using nothing but mytho-historical allusions?
The J’naii – androgynous aliens with bowl haircuts that believe showing any sexual orientation is WRONG! And they brainwash you if you do! And I think they reproduce by mutually screwing a pod. Could the show have found a less subtle, more heavy handed way to bludgeon home the “intolerance BAD” point?
Yes. They could have depicted two people from the same planet, identical physically except for the fact that one has the right half of his face black and the left side white, while his mortal enemy has the opposite. They hate each other for this seemingly (to us) innocuous difference. I learned a real lesson about myself after seeing this, I can tell you. From that point onward I only hated races whose colors were completely different from my own.
The Pakleds - Who as a race are too stupid to build or fix spacecraft, yet they are sneaky enough to trap Geordie. Him smart, him fix our go-buggy. Riiiiiiiight. Space will kill you faster than any planet will. They should’ve never gotten more than 5 minutes from home before blowing up, hitting a moon, breathing vacuum, or some other mishap.
Heh, that reminds me of an episode of Babylon 5. There’s an alien race called the Drazi, and every few years, the two sides of their race fight for control over their leading party. The fights were rarely deadly, but they fought often, and there were lots of Drazi of both groups on the station, causing lots of chaos. In an effort to solve things diplomatically, the second-in-command of the station brought them together to work out their differences.
There were green and purple Drazi (they themselves were not green or purple, they wore colored sashes.) Ivanova talked with them to see why they were fighting. The dialogue went something like:
Ivanova: So, why do you fight each other.
Purple Drazi: (points to green) Green.
Green Drazi: (points to purple) Purple.
Ivanova: I know there are two factions, but where do you disagree? What’s the underlying conflict?
Ivanova: But who gets to wear the purple or green sash? Is it based on income, caste, or rank?
GD: We put green and purple in great barrel. We reach in, we take. Where there was one people, there is two. The two fight until there is one.
Ivanova: That’s it? It’s completly random? Arbitrary? How do you pick a leader?
PD: One purple sash and one green sash has leader mark. Whoever takes, is leader of those Drazi. Purple follow purple leader, green follow green leader.
Ivanova: I see. So…If I take this purple sash off of him, and put it onto him, then that one thing is enough to-
(Ivanova is interupted as, after she puts a purple sash on a green Drazi, the other green Drazi jump on him and start to fight.)
Really shows you how completly arbitrary hating someone over race/color is, but does so hilariously, rather than beat you over the head with morality like ST does.
I pit the red-headed freak with a full beard and crazy helmet-head hair whose race could only communicate telepathically (with Deanna Troi, of course, maybe her mother was in the epi too?) AND during the episode later tried to rape Troi mentally, if I remember correctly.
The freakin’ actor looked lame, like one of the production peeps was pulled in at the last second, which of course compounds Troi’s general lameness, which made me wander off and play with my ST collectables, if I remember correctly.
still thinking of Faye Dunaway + whip v. Marina Sirtis
lamest single episode?
classic - Lights of Zatar
TNG - i don’t know the title - but the crew caught the same mind altering virus that infected Kirk et al from the same space station - and Yar seduced Data
DS9 - the whole Dominion story arc (it made me stop watching)
Voyager - the one where the alzheimer stricken Kes came back to torture the crew and was miraculously cured
Enterprise - the final episode of the series
:smack: oh - “aliens” :smack: silly me
ok - Classic - the Lights from Lights of Zatar
TNG - the fish people from one of Lwuxana’s episodes
DS9 - the oozy pool of other shapeshifters
Voyager - Kes
Enterprise - the time traveller - what a lousy excuse for a plot twist/expositor