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Poll of the Week: Space Is Darkness and Silence

Jo Marshall

Poll of the Week: Space Is Darkness and Silence  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of these episodes gave you the frights, jitters, and jumps?

    • TNG: Frame of Mind - Riker wakes up in n alien insane asylum and all the solipsistic experiences that go with that.
    • DS9: Empok Nor - Abandoned space station, drugged Cardassian killing machines, crew members dying, Murder Garak™. In space, no one can hear you scream in this classic take on a slasher flick.
    • ENT: Dead Stop - A Star Trek fans worst fears - corridors and corridors of white. All it's missing is the lens flare. Unsettling and imposing, a sentient space station with a sinister agenda.
    • TNG: Schisms - Alien abductions, operations, experiments, barber's scissors, and body horror. Not for the faint-hearted.
    • VOY: The Haunting Of Deck Twelve - Combining ghost story and evil alien, a gas nebula accidently transported on board, and a campfire with Neelix in shadows.
    • TOS: The Man Trap - Grizzly mysteries abound in this wonderful classic episode, giving us the very first Salt Vampire shapeshifting.
    • DS9: Distant Voices - When Dr Bashir incurs the wrath of a vengeful telepathic alien, they make him live out his nightmares in his head. From a rapidly ageing body, the his friends dragged away, pulled through bulkheads, or half-melted, it makes for a scary trip.
    • TOS: The Cage - The original pilot episode of Trek, complete with telepathic aliens and mountains of creepiness. "With illusion they can make your crew work the wrong controls or push any button it takes to destroy your ship." Meep.
    • ENT: Impulse - Two things make this perfect: Zombie Vulcans. Keep your Vulcans away from Trellium-D.
    • VOY: The Thaw - Survivors of a disaster linked to a computer simulation, a crazy fiendish clown who is the embodiment of fear itself, unable to wake up from the nightmare. Horrific.
    • Other! Have I not picked your favourite? Is it Sub Rosa? Tell me in the comments!

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Over the years, science fiction has become synonymous with the weird and the wonderful, and the downright spooky. Twinning with the likes of horror and thrillers, such as the X Files and Doctor Who, during its run, each series of the Star Trek franchise has found something creepy and fantastic about exploring the edges of our understanding, our universe, and where the fringes of our reality lie. Week on week, Star Trek explored these ideas in sometimes fun and frolicking episodes, sometimes whimsical, sometimes philosophical, and now and then, we all had to get a cushion ready.

The horror effect is brought to bear in the movies, too. In The Wrath of Khan, parasitic ear bugs are used by Khan to crawl into the victim's brain, wrap around the cerebral cortex, and turn the unwilling host into a compliant slave, going as far to inflict merciless pain on the victim if they fought against the subdermal orders. Frightening to think about. Gross to watch. First Contact ensured many of us developed an adequate fear of the Borg when Lieutenant Hawk became one with the collective, succumbing to the attacking Borg, and returns in Borg form to attack Picard. 

From traditional horror to the more psychological in Voyager's episode "The Haunting of Deck Twelve", as Neelix gives a Halloween campfire-style ghost story to the young Borg kids to feast their fears upon. A strange tale for some, a gas nebula cloud for others, the space alien roams the deck, seeing the next victim. Or there's the Next Generation episode, "Night Terrors", with plenty of the tropes we like to see in a good sci-fi horror, such as Dr Crusher hallucinating the morgue stuffed with corpses all sitting up, the crew of the USS Brattain who murdered one another coming through the communication, and the persistent themes of insomnia.  

Honourable mention: While it didn't make it to the final list of spooktaculars, Voyager's "Scientific Method" is, perhaps, one of the best episodes there is. Aliens doing scientific experiments are all over the ship, all over the crew, and people are dying. If you've not seen it, I won't spoil it for you, because honestly, it's one of my favourite episodes of Voyager, if not Star Trek, ever. Strong acting performances all round make it superb. Go watch it. You won't be disappointed. 

Dishonourable mention: Of course, we can't let this slide past us without mentioning the actual ghost story (kinda), TNG's "Sub Rosa", where Dr Crusher fornicates with a ghost in a candle. There. It's in here, it's had a mention, let's just move on, nothing to see here...

Considering this is the final leg before Halloween, I've selected a couple of my favourites which sent my pulse racing the first time I saw them, so, this week we'd like to know: Which of these episodes gave you the frights, jitters, and jumps?

If you're celebrating, have a fantastic Halloween! 

Jack O Lantern Halloween GIF by adobetrisha

Edited by Jo Marshall
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  • Jo Marshall changed the title to Poll of the Week: Space Is Darkness and Silence

Other: Kinda left out the stereotypical classic from TOS: Catspaw. I mean, come on. Witches, ghosts and a black cat, all set in a castle with bad guys who use magic! 🦇

Edited by Serala
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I agree about "The Thaw" ... but I had to go with "Schisms." Saw that one when I was a kid and it stuck with me, to the point that I haven't wanted to watch it again as an adult. The clicking! The clicking!

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