So back in the day, actually in the late 1960s, when Star Trek The Original Series struggled with non-existent budgets, grief from the studio, and a plethora of other obstacles, Gene Roddenberry et al did come up with some pretty cool aliens for the time. Sure, most of them were guys dressed up in costumes, but never mind, they were still okay. Well, some were more okay than others.
Here's a collection of aliens from Star Trek The ORiginal Series that I love... my top 6 collection, in no particular order. Oh, and I'll be adding more once I have some more time, because there's lots of 'em!
episode: The Arena
Okay, this really is nothing more than a guy dressed up in a lizard suit, but I remember watching this episode as a youngster and being totally creeped out by Lizard Boy. And who among us could ever forget that epic battle between Kirk and the Gorn when the Metrons first place them on the planet. Kirk's two-handed judo chop... the Gorn in super slo-mo, taking a swipe at the good captain. And so on and so forth.
episode: Devil in the Dark
Oh, those crazy horta, burrowing through rock, depositing their silicon eggs everywhere... these were an interesting life-form because they survived by extracting minerals from rock itself. Turns out, this became a boon to the miners, but not until they'd blasted a bunch, injured the Queen Horta that McCoy had to fix with concrete (I'm a doctor, not a brick layer!), and the famous Spockian mind-meld. Still, for me this was one of the more interesting creatures because it didn't look like a guy dressed up in a suit or have some weird eyebrows or something. Set me on a course to become a geologist!
episode: The Man Trap
Oh my goodness, Nancy, what happened to YOU?
I recall hearing somewhere that Roddenberry didn't want to have a hideous alien on the show because it fed the stereotype of bug-eyed monsters. But the studio insisted that Nancy had to turn into some beast that used its suction cup fingers to suck the blood out of unsuspecting federation crew. The last one of its kind, it turns out, and the point of this show was to determine how far we might go to protect ourselves. Either that or how cool a salt monster could be if we gave it suction cups!
Balok's alter ego (a Dasik)
episode: The Corbomite Maneuver
So this was pretty creepy back in the day too, except even with the visual effects, it still looked stiff like a... wait for it... puppet! Anyway, this did convince Lt. Bailey to freak out more than once, and for Captain Kirk to meet wee Balok and enjoy some tranya. In Christoper L. Bennet's ST novel "The Face of the Unknown", the puppet is actually a representation of a real race of beings called the Dasik. It was an interesting read, and fun to see Lt. Bailey back in business.
episode: Operation: Annihilate!
Okay, these things looked like giant perogies hanging off the ceiling, and when they flew across the room you could make out the string and wires, but nevertheless, they freaked me out especially when Spock took one in the back. Not sure how anyone ever thought these things up, maybe looking at pictures of amoebas and wondering "what if they were giant sized...?"
The BEta XII-A magical swirling thing
episode: DAy of the Dove
Okay, I loved this creature. Remember, this is the one that fed on anger and violence, so it was right at home when Klingons boarded the Enterprise and all hell broke loose. What I found pretty awesome about this thing was it never really interacted with the crew... no dialogue, no touching or anything like that. Just this swirling light, and for me that made it freaking boss.
Hi, I'm David. I'm a science fiction writer, lover of Star Trek, fascinated by alien contact, galactic space battles, and near future dystopia. Want to know the darker details? Click here.
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