Top 10 Star Trek Alien Races

trek aliens As we commence celebrating Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, it’s a good time to start looking at the best of Star Trek through the decades. To begin, let’s look at one of the hallmarks of what made Star Trek (TOS) and its spinoffs so popular: the many diverse alien races that appeared in the shows and films.

tholian10. Tholians: One of the most non-humanoid races ever featured in Star Trek. Crystalline and mysterious, the Tholians could only exist in high temperatures and were known for their punctuality and xenophobic nature. Often mentioned after they first appeared in the original series, the Tholians’ only other onscreen appearance happened decades later in Star Trek: Enterprise. Time for an encore! First Appearance: “The Tholian Web” Star Trek

andorian shran

9. Andorians: One of the founding members of the United Federation of Planets along with Vulcans and humans. These hostile, blue-skinned aliens with antenna weren’t fully explored until Star Trek: Enterprise (ENT) and episodes from that show that featured Andorians were some of ENT’s best. First Appearance: “Journey to Babel” Star Trek

changeling8. Changelings: These enigmatic shape-shifting aliens used their distrust and fear of “Solids” to rule the Gamma Quadrant and conquer any world that dared to defy them. Whether using their shock troops in the Dominion or by simply using their shape-shifting abilities to spread confusion and misdirection, the Changelings were a race to be reckoned with. “Emissary” Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

7. Cardassians: As former oppressors dukat and garekof the Bajorans, the militaristic Cardassians quickly made a lasting impression with their reptilian skin, bony necks and antagonistic but cultured manner. Harshness, nationalism and pride were their defining characteristics which led to many conflicts with other galactic powers.  Their alliance with the Dominion in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9) to regain glory would come back to haunt this proud race. First Appearance: “The Wounded” Star Trek: The Next Generation

Romulan commander

6. Romulans: Distant off-shoots of the Vulcans that never embraced a pacifistic, logical lifestyle, the Romulans while displaying a war-like, calculating demeanor were also seen to have a semblance of honor throughout the spinoffs and films. Plus, they get points for having that delectable Romulan ale. First Appearance: “Balance of Terror” Star Trek

ferengi

5. Ferengi: Donald Trump would fit in nicely with these aliens! With their hideous bat-like ears (they’re yuuuuuge!) and small stature, the Ferengi are a profit-driven alien race with a shallow. unethical nature. Still, they’re humorous and effective foils for Star Trek’s more dull, er, enlightened human society. First Appearance: “The Last Outpost” Star Trek: The Next Generation

kira

4. Bajorans: Conceived in Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) as fugitives and terrorists fighting to liberate their people, the Bajorans were given center stage in DS9. This show allowed a deep exploration of the race as we learned they have a deeply spiritual nature that resonated with viewers. First Appearance: “Ensign Ro” Star Trek: The Next Generation

borg

3. Borg: A cybernetic race made up of different alien species including humans, the Borg are one of the deadliest enemies faced by the Federation. Driven solely by achieving biological and technological perfection, the Borg are relentless and methodical as they assimilate any aliens they encounter including us. First Appearance: “Q Who?” Star Trek: The Next Generation

vulcan spock

2. Vulcans: Pointy eared, cold and logical, but hiding a deep respect for other lifeforms, the Vulcans are one of the most popular aliens in Star Trek lore and part of our popular culture. Best represented by the Enterprise’s first officer, Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), the Vulcans are a founding member of the Federation and one of Earth’s staunchest allies. Forever mystified by our emotionally driven society, and slightly contemptuous of us, nevertheless, Vulcans are a fascinating race even if they are a bit dry. First Appearance: “The Cage” Star Trek

klingons

1. Klingons: Brutal, savage, war-hungry, but with a deep sense of honor, the Klingons are the best alien race showcased on Star Trek. First introduced as bitter enemies in TOS, kangthey were perfect stand-ins for our Cold War rivals. Eventually, the Klingons were given a makeup upgrade and became strong but contentious allies for the Federation as seen in TNG and other shows. The spinoffs and the later Star Trek films presented another, prideful side to the aggressive aliens with their sagittal crested foreheads. Like the Vulcans, Klingons are now part of our popular culture in so many ways. First Appearance: “Errand of Mercy” Star Trek

 

Lewis T. Grove

 

 

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Summer Genre TV Watchlist

It’s very clear that the summer season has become the best time for genre TV shows. Maybe it has to do with there being less competition in the air waves, but in any case this summer has quite a selection of sci-fi, fantasy and horror TV shows either returning or debuting. Leaving out pure garbage like Under The Dome, these are the most anticipated TV shows.

defiance second seasonDefiance (June 19): Syfy’s ambitious TV series about aliens and humans sharing an uneasy peace in the future in the town called Defiance returns for its sophomore season. The first season was uneven in quality, but showed potential as the characters were fleshed out and compelling mysteries were explored. Hopefully Defiance can continue going up in quality.

Doctor Who (August): Peter Capaldi’s turn as the Twelfth Doctor begins this August. The long-running sci-series about a time-traveling alien and his adventures is as popular as it was when it premiered way back in 1963.

Dominion (June 19): A sequel to the 2010 supernatural thriller Legion, Dominion takes place in a future where angels and humanity are at war with each other. Legion was so-so, but based on the trailers and its premise, Dominion warrants a viewing or two.

Extant (July 9): Halle Berry stars in this Steven Spielberg-exec-produced sci-fi mystery. She plays an astronaut who after coming home from a solo mission may have brought back an alien life form. That’s because while in space by herself, she became pregnant. Expect lots of jaw-dropping revelations.

Falling Skies (June 22): The alien invasion saga is back for its fourth season. The ragtag humans continue their desperate war against the spider-like Skitters and now the tired sci-fi trope of young alien/human hybrids that age rapidly. Still Falling Skies in the past has been a generally well-done and exciting TV show, so it should pull it off again.

The Last Ship (June 22): Based on the last shipbook by William Brinkley, this post-apocalyptic drama focuses on a lone U.S. Navy ship and its crew. An important change from the book is that instead of surviving a nuclear war, the ship and its crew grapple in a world where a pandemic wiped out most of humanity. The previews make it look quite exciting and riveting.

The Leftovers (June 29): Former Lost showrunner Damon Lindelof presents this HBO series set in a world where the Rapture caused two percent of its human population to disappear. As expected, people go off the deep end as fringe cults and chaos comes to the fore.

Outlander (Aug 9): Noted showrunner, Ronald D. Moore executive produces this new STARZ  series about a World War II-era British nurse who winds up in Scotland in the year 1743. This romantic time travel drama is based on Diana Gabaldon’s popular books, and it looks like an epic book romance come to life.

strain

The Strain (July 13): This one looks scary! Based on director Guillermo Del Toro’s book trilogy, this FX TV show is about scientists trying to stop a virus that turns people into vicious, deadly vampires. Will this replace our summer vampire fix now that True Blood is ending?

true blood castTrue Blood (June 22): Coming back for its seventh and final season, the HBO vampire drama as expected wraps up its storylines about a world where vampires have come out and struggle to get along in society. Although True Blood isn’t as buzzworthy as in the past, its racy scenes, bloody gore and ever-twisting plotlines still deliver.

Annette DeForrester