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The Arrow's 10 creepiest Star Trek (Original Series) episodes! #2

06.28.2011by: The Arrow

I’m starting to see a pattern within myself with these editorials that I randomly write for the site. Every time I geek-out hardcore on something in my personal life, boom, it winds up as an editorial on the site. It makes sense if ya think about it. If one writes about something they are passionate about; the write-up has more chances to be solid and fun. So guess what I’ve been killing these days? The OG STAR TREK! Yup, I got sick for a week a while back and started watching them to keep me occupied while bed ridden. After I got healthy again, cracker was hooked and I have been watching every episode of the old TV Show in order since (am at the end of Season 2 now). Why? Cause am freaking loving them! That's why!

The first two seasons were quality Sci Fi! Well written, amusing and acted to a T. If memory serves me right, the third season slipped but was still amusing. Am digging these on so many levels right now! So good it’s good, so good it's ahead of its time, so dated it's funny, and in terms of the third season, I know I will get some so bad its good loving. But what does that have to do with this damn editorial? Well through my trip aboard the USS Enterprise; I noticed that the series often took from horror to spin its tales (it sure helped that genre writers like Richard Matheson and Robert Bloch were often behind the episodes). “Fascinating” as Mr. Spock would say. So with that, here are the 10 Star trek episodes (in no particular order) that I found to be the creepiest! Whip out your communicators and BEAM UP WITH ME!


OBSESSION - Stardate 3619.2

 "Monsters come in many forms. You know the greatest monster of them all, Jim? Guilt." - Dr. McCoy

SYNOPSIS: The Enterprise crew comes phaser to head with a vampire cloud on Argus X and Kirk (driven by past demons) don"t give a f*ck. He'll cloud that cloud to oblivion at all costs!

WHY CREEPY: OBSESSION was a mix of THE FOG, a VAMPIRE opus and MOBY DICK. How’s that for a mix! The crew of the Enterprise has to deal with a thick fog that rolls on in, pollutes its prey and then sucks it dry of its red blood cells. Basically my Ex GF if she was a cloud. Yup, a vampire fog bitches! You don’t hear that one everyday. What about the Moby Dick parallels? Well Captain “suck in that gut mofo” Kirk has encountered that pesky cloud of smoke before; it once wiped out a crew he was part of when younger. So now, he’s obsessed in nipping that fucko in the bud, and his single minded goal teeters on the line of endangering his ship/crew, and jeopardizing an urgent mission (getting medical supplies to to Theta VI). All that in the name of revenge and finding redemption. FANBOY NITPICKING NOTE: Why not just beam those supplies to that planet and let Kirk do his cloud battling thing? END OF NOTE. This episode not only delivered the spooks with that silent, blood sucking, man killing cloud, it also brought in the human drama  in spades (Kirk's obsession, a potential mutiny, Kirk projecting his inner demons on another crew member. Solid all around!

THE LIGHTS OF ZETAR - Stardate 5725.3

"When a man of Scotty's years falls in love, the loneliness of his life is suddenly revealed to him. His whole heart once throbbed only to the ship's engines. He could talk only to the ship. Now he can see nothing but the woman." - Kirk's Log

Synopsis: Lieutenant Romaine gets possessed by a green light i.e. alien life form on the Memory Alpha planet and that ailment winds up giving the crew of the Enterprise a hard time... possessed women...sheesh!

Why Creepy:THE LIGHTS OF ZETAR pulled a THE EXORCIST on our star-asses as it used the horror device of possession to drive its story. But we’re not talking ghosts or demons here; we’re yapping a body-less alien life form (that comes off as an LSD inspired blinking light show…far out dude) doing the body snatching doo. On top of that that big Scottish lug Scotty romanced the dame and in a rare occasion was somewhat the center of the story.  Kind of refreshing as we're usually treated to Kirk pawing the alien bitch of the week (nothing wrong with that btw). This one was spooky, driven by characters hence affecting and staying true to its horror inspiration; it put out a Star-Trek-ish take on a standard exorcism that was unique to say the least. Good stuff!


"Without followers, evil cannot spread." -Spock

Synopis: A group of kids, controlled by some chubby evil alien dude, have killed their parents and now they wanna take over the Enterprise. To that Kirk and Spock say: NO DICE!

Why creepy:  This one was CHILDREN OF THE CORN through and through (its original Airdate was October 11, 1968). And it was aired BEFORE Stephen King’s short story saw life on the page (it was published in March 1977) hence it is possible that STAR TREK did it first (depending as to when King wrote his story). In Corn, kids killed the adults in their lives, pushed by some evil demon. Here, same shit, kids have nixed out the grown ups, influenced by some evil alien (a fat, transparent dude that goes by the name of Gorgon). The only difference was that here the kids had psychic powers (used annoyingly by pumping their fist, man that got on my nerves) and were able to mind control the grown ups. Kids in general give me the willies (unless I know them personally), so evil kids with a taste for murder? Forget about it! Thank God that Spock was in the house to put that nerve-pinch to good use.

THE ENEMY WITHIN - Stardate 1672.1.

"You're too beautiful to ignore. Too much woman. We've both been...pretending too long." - Evil Kirk

Synopsis: Captain Kirk is split in two cause of a transporter malfunction. You got good Kirk losing his balls and bad Kirk causing a ruckus on the ship. Who will be the one and only Kirk? BOTH!

Why creepy: What’s better than one Captain Kirk as played by William Shatner? Two Captain Kirks as played by William Shatner. And what’s even better than that? Two POLAR OPPOSITE Captain Kirks i.e. The Shat going all out acting wise one way and another. And yes that equals good times to me. The Enemy Within (written by I Am Legend scribe Richard Matheson) is one of my favorite Star Trek episodes period. I just always have a blast with it! Horror wise, this one was definitely a take on the JEKYLL AND HIDE thing with evil Kirk being mucho entertaining to watch. He boozes hard, assaults crewmen on a whim, tries to sexually assault Yeoman Rand and when he yells out “I’M CAPTAIN KIRK!”  with eyes bulging out and sweat pouring off him (see here)… I  FREAKING CRACKED THE F*CK UP! Much like the original JEKYLL AND HIDE story; this episode explored the duality of man and in this case went as far as to say that both “good and evil are needed, as they make us whole. Very groovy episode and somewhat thought provoking too. SOLD! PS: I dare ya not spit out your rum and coke when this sucka pops up and starts barking...


 "A thing is not a woman." - Korby

Synopsis: The crew of the Enterprise find long lost archaeologist Dr. Roger Korby on some planet. They also find out that he’s been replacing peeps with robots. A man’s gotta have hobbies yo!

Why creepy: This Star Trek episode (written by the man behind PSYCHO; Robert Bloch) echoed THE STEPFORD WIVES in its “replacing humans with androids” motif. It also tossed a pinch of BLADE RUNNER in there with the whole “Android beginning to feel” spiel. I half expected somebody to name drop “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” in a dialogue exchange at some point…it never happened…it should have. On the fun times level; this one was packed! I mean it had the tall and menacing Android Ruk (played by Ted Cassidy, yes Lurch in Addams Family), sex-bot-pot Andrea (Sherry Jackson) in a pretty revealing costume (note to self: make girl wear that get-up – nail in ass), and we were also treated with yet another doubling of Captain Kirk (was it in Shatner’s contract to have him act with himself every 5 shows…hey…all good… I love it). As a bonus this was also the episode that found Kirk holding a huge penis rock. And you bet he used that rock-dong as a weapon, smacking a baddie in the freaking face with it! Dig in!

WOLF IN THE FOLD - Stardate: 3614.9.

"Now, no one has to tell an old Aberdeen pub crawler how to applaud, Captain!" - Scotty

Synopsis: While on the whorehouse planet of Argelius II (lets face it that’s what is ), good old Scotty becomes the prime suspect in the killings of Argelian hoes. Tell me it aint so Scotty?!

Why creepy: WOLF IN THE FOLD (also penned by genre author Robert Bloch) took the JACK THE RIPPER highway right down to showcasing fog filled London look-a-like streets and of course having THE Jack the Ripper in the house! I found it very clever that they gave real life Jack the Ripper a new raison d’etre! It wound up that he’s truly an alien force that feeds on death and fear. Not only that; but the entity body hopped from body to body (like THE HIDDEN I guess), going from planet to planet, killing their indigenous whores. So that's why the scumbag was never caught! The episode had me by the balls throughout and I really dug the sombre, almost Hammer-ish mood it sported. The ride was also driven by a whodunit, one that was fairly see through to be honest, but it was a still a blast to see Kirk and company think on their toes to get to the bottom of it. Now that I think about it, am starting to see a blueprint here, when Scotty is around pussy, shit goes to shit! Dude should forget the ladies and stick to loving his Ship!

THE MAN TRAP - Stardate 1513.1.

  "This thing becomes wife, lover, best friend, wise man, fool, idol, slave. It isn't a bad life to have everyone in the universe at your beck and call! And you win all the arguments!" - Kirk

Synopsis: The Enterprise crew have to fend off a a vampiric, shape-shifting and salt-sucking creature. Yeah...and how was your weekend?

Why creepy: I know that this episode didn’t get very good reviews back in its hey-days but personally it is one that marked me the most when younger as it creeped me the f*ck out. Once again, Star Trek borrows from the vampire lore to weave its web (namely Dracula, this episode also felt like old school Hammer to me, the story even had its own Renfield  aka the Professor Crater character); but this time it was a creature that not only could take the appearance of loved ones (its way to lure your ass in) but that once in its hairy grasp, absorbed the salt that we have within us. The fact that Dr. McCoy was the character at the center of it all greased me good as well while the tragic love story that came with him was an affecting one. Add to that a pretty nasty looking creature (sure the special effects were dated but for some reason the beastie still gave me the brrrs) and some healthy mugging from captain Kirk as he nearly got killed and you get fun times in the galaxy! It should be noted that this episode was the series premiere; the one they aired after the pilot that aired “Where No Man Has Gone Before" (which almost made this list, reminds me of THE FURY). PS: The Cage, the pilot that never aired should be watched too - pretty strong stuff.

CATSPAW - Stardate: 3018.2.

"Captain Kirk! ... Captain Kirk! ... Captain Kirk! Go back! ... Go back! ... Go back! "Remember the curse! Wind shall rise! And fog descend! So leave here, all, or meet your end!" - Witches that won't STFU

Synopsis: The Enterprise crew hit a planet filled with classic horror imagery! Will Kirk tonsil-hockey is way out of this one?

Why creepy: This episode (again by Robert Bloch, meanwhile the man WAS Star Trek) acted like a ride through a house of horrors, and as it should, being that this was Season 2 Halloween episode and they threw everything in there but the severed head. Am talking a mist-shrouded planet, a creepy castle, skeletons, cobweb-draped hallways, a black cat, quasi Voodoo practices, witches that won’t shut the f*ck up (“Captain Kirk” they yelped over and over again… WE GET IT! SHADDUP!) and it even had Enterprise crew members turned into mindless zombies. Of course at the end of it all, it wound up being about something else, a female alien that craved to experience human feelings and experiences and that’s all that Kirk needed to hear to “Mack” his way out of trouble once again with his irresistible charm and groping hands.

Now granted, there was nothing really scary here, but the horror elements were there and then some and that's why it made this list. I’ll be honest and say that this is NOT one of my top episodes. It annoys me for some reason (the actress that played the evil alien broad didn’t do it for me and her male counterpart was a joke) but I managed to have a blast with it none the less. My fav parts? When the cat became a GIANT CAT and started stalking our heroes. That bit resulted in a random yet powerful series of belly laughs that split me in two. And I couldn't help but keel over when I saw what the aliens truly looked like (i.e. tiny and ugly green puppets pulled by apparent strings). Thank you Star Trek, you know how to entertain me on so many freaking echelons!

OPERATION ANNIHILATE! - Stardate: 3287.2

"Pain is a thing of the mind. The mind can be controlled." - Spock

Synopsis: While visiting the Deneva colony the Enterprise crew is attacked by flying alien Jelly-Fish-ish monsters i.e. neural parasites that attach themselves to its host, inject something in them, which then grows inside, controls and drives them mad.

Why creepy: When I tapped this episode the first thought that came to mind was:  Robert A. Heinlein‘s 1951 novel THE PUPPET MASTERS (which was itself turned into a movie; Stuart Orme's criminally underrated 1994 flick of the same, check it out if ya can). The creatures looked similar (as the ones in the movie that is) and the concept was also pretty much the same thing. Only difference was that in The Puppet Masters the alien leeches were killed by electricity when here they were nipped in the bud via ultraviolet lights. Yes I found this one somewhat unsettling. Not sure about yall, but I always uneasy when a genre story is about some parasite that attaches itself to ya and then controls you like a puppet. And here was no exception. Well paced, brilliantly written (dug how Spock reacted to being leeched, made for some engaging drama) and with a firm handle on its horror scenarios, Operation Annihilate was definitely a “Star Trek” at its best episode!

THE DEVIL IN THE DARK - Stardate 3196.1.

 "I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!" - Dr. McCoy

Synopsis: The Enterprise lands on Janus VI to help out a bunch of grumble-grumble miners who are being killed by a blob like creature with a back filled with mushrooms.

Why creepy: In my book, this was Star Trek's take on THE BLOB (closer to the original version than the more action packed remake). It looked like The Blog, slithering through tunnels and blobbing anyone that got in its way. Except here they took it a tad further; this Blob was actually smart and a bit of a kleptomaniac as it had a taste for stealing nuclear reactors (don't we all). Although the first two acts of the episode were axed towards horror, with suspense laced sequences and a sly capitalization of its subterranean location in tow, the last act, in true Star Trek fashion, wound up humanizing the monster and giving it a valid motive for its miner killing spree. It should be spat that the creature itself made for an hilarious piece of special effects. It was basically some dude crawling under a latex blanket. Although I chuckled at that, it was Spock’s mind meld with the creature that had me fall off my couch rolling on the ground like a fruit roll-up. I dare ya not to bust a nut when Spock screams out "Pain! Pain!" or “Not Kill I” as he join mind with he slap of Jell-O! Priceless! Another very enjoyable episode!





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