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Poll of the Month - Most Unsettling Episodes

Jo Marshall

Most Unsettling Episodes  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Trek show left you with the heebie jeebies?

    • TOS - The Tholian Web
    • TNG - Schisms
    • ENT - Impulse
    • VOY - The Haunting of Deck Twelve
    • DS9 - Empok Nor
    • Another one. Let us know in the comments!

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Ever thought the universe of Star Trek was all phaser battles and philosophical ponderings? Well, occasionally it tosses in some eerie tales from the crypt keeper. As we get closer to the chills of Halloween, let's navigate those episodes where Starfleet's bold journeys felt more like spooky detours.

The iconic TOS episode "The Tholian Web" kicks things off. Captain Kirk has gone missing, and now there are eerie doppelgangers aboard?  Here, Captain Kirk's haunting apparitions create a spectral atmosphere after his mysterious disappearance in an alternate dimension. With the Enterprise trapped in the mesmerizing snare of the Tholians, one can't help but feel an impending sense of dread. And, let's face it, a ghost Captain Kirk really gives the Enterprise a haunted mansion vibe!

But, if you thought things got weird there, Star Trek: The Next Generation’s "Schisms" takes the eerie cake. Alien abductions? Check. Creepy examination tables? Double-check. While it's a tad unsettling, it does make you wonder if the Enterprise crew might have benefited from a space neighbourhood watch program. As the crew grapples with memory lapses and the disturbing realization of being abducted and studied by aliens, the episode masterfully constructs a chilling environment where the known universe's boundaries seem to blur.

Our voyage takes a terrifying detour with Star Trek: Enterprise's "Impulse". The discovery of a Vulcan ship with its crew transformed into violent, mindless beings serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable dangers lurking in space's uncharted territories.  Imagine visiting a ship only to find its Vulcan crew has gone full-on zombie mode. If there ever was a "turn the spaceship around" moment, this was it!

But, as if to remind us that not all that's unsettling is necessarily tangible, Star Trek: Voyager presents "The Haunting of Deck Twelve". Our ghostly bard Neelix's recounting of an electromagnetic lifeform's eerie presence aboard the ship merges the essence of a classic ghost tale with the limitless enigma of space, making us question the very nature of the stories that echo through the galaxy's corridors. Ancient mariners would nod in approval.

Lastly, but definitely not least, the abandoned setting of "Empok Nor" in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9) eerily resonates with themes from classic horror narratives. As the crew finds themselves hunted in a desolate Cardassian station, the sense of claustrophobic terror reaches its zenith, culminating our trek through Star Trek's darker episodes. It's all fun and games until the lights go out.

From spooky spectres to zombified Vulcans, Star Trek's brilliance lies in its diverse storytelling, sometimes making us marvel at space's beauty and at other times making us apprehensive of its unpredictable abyss. Join in the fun, cast your vote for the most unsettling-yet-quirky episode, and remember - in space, no one can hear you scream...

Or can they? 🌌🎃🖖


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Before I even read the choices, Schisms was on my mind.

Though Season 2 of Picard gets an honorable mention from me with how sinister and deep the whole assimilation seduction was between the queen and Jurati.

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I would have voted for Scisms because the episode setup and pacing was particularly good. The thing that was a massive let down for me was the reveal of the aliens. They were just a bit too goofy looking to be taken seriously. I think that was a major misstep in the episode. I think that having them in hooded robes or something where you don't see the faces would have been waaaay more unsettling!

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Schisms nearly got my vote, but TNG had so many. Throughout Season 6 especially, they really got into a "Hey, were you thinking of going to sleep ever again? Maybe don't!" kind of groove. Along with Schisms in Season 6, there was Frame of Mind. Earlier in the show, we had Remember Me.

I think my vote goes to SNW, though. If not for the bone-chilling horror of Season 1's All Who Wander, then for the way it feeds into the more creeping kind of horror of Season 2's Lost in Translation.

Edited by Nolen Hobart
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  • 3 weeks later...

It's gotta be SNW all the way for horror. Like every other episode is some horrible Alien remake with Gorn and Lost In Translation was genuinely spooky with poor zombie Hemmer.

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