On September 8, 1966, Star Trek premiered on NBC and gave birth to a unkillable franchise that remains unlike anything else in popular culture. In the 46 years since, audiences have seen numerous movies and sequel series based on the show that have helped keep Gene Roddenberry’s vision alive. An immeasurable part of Trek’s enduring appeal are its wonderful alien races. From the logic-bound Vulcans (epitomized by Mr. Spock) to the cold calculation of Cardassians like Garak, these creatures have shown us how wonderful and diverse the universe could be. That is except when they are completely ridiculous. Yes friends, terrific though they may be, the various Treks have had more than their fair share of poorly designed, ill-advised and just straight up dumb looking extraterrestrials over the years. So for today’s extremely subjective and totally superficial Daily List, I’ll be offering up my picks for the 20 lamest looking aliens in Trek history. I’m sure your mileage may vary, so feel free to mention your least favorite creatures in the comments below. But for now, let’s take a look at some aliens who should boldly go back to wherever the hell they came from.
What series is it from?Star Trek: The Next Generation Why is it so lame? Michael Westmore is the genius responsible for designing the appearance of most of the Star Trek aliens since TNG debuted in 1987. So I’m more than willing to cut him some slack for the look of Data’s android baby/whatever Lal, who appears to be constructed of Silly Putty and half-assedness. 19) The Bringloidi
What series are they from? Star Trek: The Next Generation Why are they so lame? This list is based strictly on looks, which is a good thing because you all will now be spared a lengthy diatribe about how the Bringloidi are little more than offensive Irish stereotypes played for laughs. So much for that whole infinite diversity in infinite combinations thing. Anyway, these folks are dressed like they are extras in Oliver! Which would be fine if Worf joined them for a rousing version of “Oom-Pah-Pah.” This was not to be however, so they’ve squandered away any possible goodwill they might have had with me.
What series is he from? Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Why is he so lame? Because the President of the Federation should never be a cowardly version of McGruff the Crime Dog. For the two of you who probably care, his race is known as the Grazerite. See, you learned something completely pointless today. Whee! Hey, it could come up at quizzo I suppose.
What series are they from? Star Trek: Enterprise. Why are they so lame? ‘Cause they’ve got faith….of the heart! Or because they are low-rent versions of Dune‘s Third Stage Guild Navigator. Take your pick. 16) The Hirogen
What series are they from?Star Trek: Voyager. Why are they so lame? Two words: MORTAL KOMBAT!
15) The Lactrans
What series are they from?Star Trek: The Animated Series. Why are they so lame? The Lactrans are space slugs who kidnap members of the Enterprise to inhabit their intergalactic zoo. But a race of beings who can be trounced by a salt shaker are hardly much of a threat. 14) Amarie
What series is she from? Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Why is she so lame? Unless employed by the Mos Eisley Cantina or Jabba’s Palace, space musicians are lame. Even more so when they look like George Wendt in drag. It was cute when she was running around France being whimsical though.
13) Catullans What series are they from? Star Trek.
Why are they so lame? Are they seriously accessorizing with fried eggs? Go fuck yourself space hippies.
What series is it from? Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Why is it so lame? Coming from an unidentified alien race, Barash here was a lonely alien who pretended to be Riker’s son in “Future Imperfect.” That awesome mindfuck of an episode was nearly derailed when Barash revealed his true appearance — which apparently is that of a dude in a cheap Grey alien costume from Spirit Halloween Superstore.
11) The Kazon
What series are they from? Star Trek: Voyager.
Why are they so lame? The Kazon were the most notable foes of the Voyager crew during the show’s first season. But they received a lukewarm response from the audience. That coupled with the fact that the writing staff could never figure out what to do with them resulted in the race being hastily written off the show. The lesson to be gleaned from all of this for any future sci-fi scribes out there is this: never expect your aliens to be menacing if they have tree bark for hair.
10) Antedeans What series are they from? Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Why are they so lame? As the clip above suggests, Worf may love this fish-like race but they just seem like no-frills Mon Calamari to me.
9) The Wadi What series are they from? Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Why are they so lame? To prove that even DS9 can have an off day. With their cosmic track suits, bad hair and random tribal tattoos, the Wadi have the distinction of being the first — and worst — aliens to ever come through the wormhole.
8) Naglium What series is it from? Sigh. Star Trek: The Next Generation again.
Why is it so lame? An inter-dimensional creature, Naglium here is nothing more than a big ass cupie doll head. It’s too stupid to be either menacing or taken seriously. At least it was the only big floating head ever featured on ST: TNG. Oh wait, fuck.. . 7) Cytherian
What series is it from? Star Trek: The Next Generation, which should really know better.
Why is it so lame? Because it’s the disembodied head of your grandpa on the goddamn bridge of the Enterprise. Between this and the previous entry someone on the writing staff must have had a pretty severe decapitation fetish.
What series is it from? Star Trek: Voyager.
Why is it so lame? Not to be confused with the equally silly-looking doctor of the same name from Star Trek: Enterprise, Phlox — a member of Voyager‘s Hierarchy species — is a Brundelfly-esque fusion of the Beast Rabban and a Sontaran. Also, he really makes me want a Tootsie Roll.
5) The Metrons
What series are they from? Star Trek.
Why are they so lame? Given that they are a race of super advanced beings, you’d think The Metrons would realize that the whole androgynous thing was best left to ’70s glam rockers. (For the record: David Bowie would have no problem taking down a Gorn).
4) Tribbles What series’ are they from? Star Trek, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Why are they so lame? This entry is mainly playing Devil’s Advocate more than anything else because I, like most sane people, love me some tribbles. But let me raise the question for you to analyze in the comments: is their design the perfect example of form meeting function or was it just easier and cheaper for the props department to come up with hundreds of non-descript furballs?
3) Species 8472 What series is it from? Star Trek: Voyager.
Why is it so lame? Nothing dates a show quicker than some poor CGI, as proven by Species 8472. Introduced as part of Voyager‘s series-long quest to keep inventing new shit with hopes that the show could finally become interesting, the race was intended to be to the program what the Borg was to ST:TNG. It didn’t quite pan out that way. Unfortunately, the Species 8472 Playmates action figure was more lifelike than the creatures depicted on the show — though the franchise would have greater success with the CG races on Enterprise.
2) The Dosi
What series is it from?Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Why is it so lame? “Rules of Acquisition” was the first time DS9 viewers got a look at an alien race that was affiliated with the Dominion, and it was in the form of some rejects from New Order’s “True Faith” video. (Seriously, go YouTube it). Producers quickly realized that the Dosi were better suited for Cirque du Soleil than the Gamma Quadrant so they never appeared again. 1) Whatever the Hell Armus WasWhat series is it from?Star Trek: The Next Generation, cementing its reputation as the Trek series with the most crappy aliens Why is it so lame? That’s the type of questions that inspired thesis papers, but to start it is just so extraordinarly cheap looking. If any of you blotted this thing out, let me refresh your memory. Armus is the oil slick/Hefty bag/ocean thing that killed horny teens in Creepshow 2/whatever that was responsible for Tasha Yar’s death in the first season episode “Skin of Evil.” That she ate it at the hands of a Manglor Mountain refugee does a disservice to the character, even if it proved to be a smart move for the series in the long run.The problem is that her death is immediately cheapened by just how laughable Armus looks. He’s not intimidating in the least and I’m fairly certain he made more people remember to get the garbage ready for trash day than invoked scares. Of all the hundreds of Trek aliens featured in the various series over the years, he is clearly the worst — the physical embodiment of the not a single fuck was given that day meme.
Chris Cummins is a pop culture writer and Archie comics historian who has contributed to The Robot's Voice, Den of Geek US, Philebrity, Geekadelphia, Uproxx, and Unicorn Booty. He is the co-producer and co-host of Nerd Nite Philadelphia, and is regularly involved in producing and hosting New York Super Week events. In 2014, Chris began Sci-Fi Explosion, a mix of live performance, trivia and funny clips celebrating the weirdest in science fiction that regularly travels around the United States. He wrote the introductions to the compilations Archie's Favorite Comics From The Vault and (with Paul Castiglia) Archie's Favorite High School Stories. You can find Chris on Twitter at @bionicbigfoot and @scifiexplosion.