The cruelest villains of Star Trek

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by evangelist6589, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. Vger23

    Vger23 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    Location:
    New England
    I've always said that Ron Tracey was the most evil enemy encountered in the Original Series. He not only committed mass murder and violated his most sacred oath as a Starship Captain, but he tried to bring the end down on Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise crew. He killed the security officer in cold blood, almost killed Spock, was cold about the death of his crew, and would have slaughtered Kirk as well.

    Just a ruthless, selfish, evil, man. A lot of the other villains were either comic bookish / mustache twirling or were misunderstod / shades of gray types. Tracey was just evil. And, the fact that this is Kirk's peer, the Captain of a Constitution-class starship...that makes it even scarier.
     
  2. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    ^ Makes one wonder how Tracey managed to graduate from the Academy and attain command of a starship in the first place, if he was so evil...

    Think of what Kruge would have been like with the original actor considered for the role: Edward James Olmos...

    (IIRC, either Harve Bennett or Leonard Nimoy wanted EJO for the role, but was overruled by the other.)
     
  3. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    No matter where you go, there you are.
    Totally. And probably better that what they did with Kor in DS9 in some ways.

    Not really. Tracey's actions actually had a plausible motivation: he was obsessed with trying to salvage something from the loss of his ship and crew -- which had driven him insane -- and his obsession twisted him. Prior to that, Kirk's account suggests he was a model officer.

    A lot of Trek villains (or insane guest stars) were interesting in this way: there was often a kind of there-but-for-the-grace-of-God quality to them, the sense that a lot of what separated them from Kirk and company were simply chance differences of circumstance, and that the Enterprise often benefited from sheer luck in not sharing their fate. The same was true of Commodore Decker in "The Doomsday Machine," or any number of lost crews of crashed and derelict Federation ships they ran across.

    (You know what has always intrigued me, incidentally and admittedly a bit off topic? The story of the crew of the USS Archon. They chanced to run across Landru in a ship that wasn't advanced enough to survive "his" attack, but they still managed to organize a cell-based resistance movement that was a live concern a hundred years later and that saved [a somewhat unappreciative] Captain Kirk's bacon. What an undertaking that would have been.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  4. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Captrek
    How about Jack the Ripper? He was pretty damn cruel.

    However, if the entity in TFF really is responsible for Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and all their derivatives, then He probably takes the cake. :p
     
  5. johcomp

    johcomp Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    Those two albino nasties on The Empath were pretty evil and sadistic!
     
  6. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Location:
    Kobold
    On second thought, Kor doesn't approach being cruel as much as Jack the Ripper (mentioned above) or Rojan (discussed at length earlier). I was really just responding with my fave villain. Kor is absolutely ruthless, yes, but not needlessly cruel. If he had been, he'd have subjected Kirk to the mind-sifter no matter what Kirk did.

    I never thought of it before, but Kirk just forgiving Rojan after he did murder one of his crew in cold--ah--dust--is peculiar. Guess redshirts are redshirts by the end of the ep., no matter their gender. On the other hand, Rojan of the conquering Kelvans just giving in to reason and accommodation at the end also seemed odd, so it's odd all around.

    On the other other hand, Rojan might be considered a soldier in the vanguard of an invading force--he certainly thought of himself that way--and his killing of Yeoman Thompson is then a harsh lesson delivered to prisoners of war, not just a wanton act of cruelty.



    There's also Parmen, a pretty sadistic piece of work; Dr. Adams didn't care how much he blasted anyone's mind to nothingness with the neural neutralizer; and Henoch, who was going to murder Kirk, Spock, Mulhall, and Sargon, and seemed to positively delight in torturing people--consider Uhura's screams as he did whatever mind-torture he was inflicting on her.
     
  7. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    I never thought it was, FWIW. I always just thought it read Kirk's mind and extracted the images from there. It was tricking Kirk into believing that it was God, without actually being God.

    I have the same attitude towards The God Thing, of course.
     
  8. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Quebec City
    According to The Savage Curtain, Kahless was cruel and set the pattern for the Klingon attitude. Of course, Kor used cruel methods in Errand of Mercy, but that was more the Klingon's regime cruelty than his own. He used terror to control the Organians, but wasn't especially sadistic.

    I think Khan was more cruel than Kor. He didn't massacre anybody in Space Seed and treated his followers really weel, but his attitude toward McGivers shown him as abusive and vicious. Kor was fascist, but not megalomaniac.
     
  9. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Captrek
    That's the most obvious interpretation, but perhaps not the most Trekkian. It's a fact in the Trek universe that ancient myths are based on powerful beings from outer space. TOS brought Captain Kirk face to face with Apollo, then TAS introduced him to Lucifer and Quetzalcoatl. So if you can think of Yahweh as just another mythological being, does it not seem likely that in the Trek universe He would be based on a powerful being from space? And if TFF's entity could give visions to Sybok, he seems a plausible candidate for Yahweh, sender of visions to humans that formed the basis of Abrahamic mythology.
     
  10. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    This wasn't the only time in Star Trek that violent crew deaths gets bizarrely forgotten by the end of the episode. In the Apple, IIRC 4 redshirts get dispatched in short order, but at the end of the episode Kirk Spock and McCoy make light banter about Spock's resemblance to the devil.( uh, so no one cares about the 4 dead guys? that's cold, sir... )
     
  11. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Trying to focus....
    I always thought the cruelest villain was the NBC employee who sentenced the show to death by moving it to Friday at 10 pm.
     
  12. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    No matter where you go, there you are.
    Persistent problem in TOS. There had to be light banter at the end of the episode to reassure the audience that all was well, even if the crew were leaving a pile of bodies or a massive sh*t-storm in their wake. Many was the occasion that it really felt... off.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Dr Adams' "cruelty" no doubt stems from the fact that most of his subjects of late must have been among the worst criminals in history. After all, Adams was struggling with perfecting a system of curing the mental illness one calls crime, obviously proceeding from the simple to the demanding - and from "Whom Gods Destroy", we get the distinct impression that "demanding" equals "guilty of horrible crimes". Although this impression, based on the character of Garth, might be wrong, and the hardest cases of all might be the well-intentioned forgers or libelists and the childish pickpockets.

    Was Khan "cruel" with McGivers? It doesn't seem as if Khan were in charge of the scene where McGivers throws herself at his feet. McGivers knows Khan, and has dreamed of an encounter; Khan does not know McGivers, and has never dreamed of an encounter. And the Lieutenant supposedly desires the outcome, while for the Prince of Millions it sort of comes with the scenery. So which one is writing the script there?

    Whenever we see gods in Trek, they rather closely match our view of them: Apollo really manifests as a human in a silly chiton, with all the antics attributed to him, and Quetzalovercoatl is a snake calling for sacrifice. God in TFF might be a generic alien that assumes forms, but that would be different from the precedent; OTOH, if He really is Yahweh, then He is not doing as good an impression as Apollo and pals (even accounting for things lost in translation in the couple of millennia involved in both cases).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. ToddPence

    ToddPence Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Location:
    Fairfax, VA
    Where's the "like" button?
     
  15. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    Maybe. But I think you can understand why I might interpret this scene that way. ;)

    @Timo: Hell yeah, Khan was cruel with McGivers. She may indeed have thrown herself at him, but he basically smacked her around. He's as cruel as any abusive partner has ever been.
     
  16. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Captrek
    Herb Goodman, evil incarnate.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Ah, I'm not going for the "she threw herself at him, and thus can only blame herself for getting smacked around" angle here - given the background, it looks more like the "she threw herself at him in hopes of getting smacked around" case. That's what she'd expect from the Prince of Millions, after all, and she idolizes the guy. Despite or because.

    It sorta follows that Khan might not have been cruel with a woman who had a different agenda. These games have certain unwritten rules which admittedly call for lucky guesses and rapid adjusting, but Khan would have that. We saw Khan's other sides equally well in the episode: the charming man of mystery and means at the dinner table, the forgiving and devoted lover at the moment of banishment. A chameleon like that is currently diagnosed as "psychopath", but my point is that "cruel" is a mode that he didn't necessarily have turned on with McGivers.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Location:
    Kobold
    Van Gelder wasn't. Kirk wasn't. I kind of doubt Lethe was. He seemed way past making any distinctions between really bad criminals and either regular folks or garden-variety mental cases.

    I like reading your takes, Timo (I especially liked your Kironide theory). How would you classify Henoch?
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    But we only know Adams was "cruel" (as in, pursuing an evil agenda without showing emotion) with Kirk. For all we know, he was all in tears for having to mind-mangle his colleague for the sake of much greater good; the camera just didn't catch that. I can totally buy the pushed-past-caring model as well, though.

    Henoch is interesting chiefly in terms of whether he was sadistic when bottled up, or turned that way while inside his bottle. This in turn makes one wonder about the interfaces between the spheres; how much interaction was there between Henoch, Thalassa and Sargon while they were dead, uh, noncorporeal, and conversely, how much privacy were they allowed?

    On the other hand, these people were gods. Sadistic might be a trait applying to Sargonian-mortal interactions only, and Henoch is slightly confused on that issue due to all the transformations. Between Sargonians, political murder might be polite and civilized interaction, and any emotion projected onto that by mortals would be mere misunderstanding.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    Oh, don't misunderstand, I'm not saying she deserved it or anything like that. Nobody deserves that kind of treatment.

    Khan would have done what he'd done regardless of how McGivers had approached him. Abusive partners are usually like that - they act the way they do no matter what. It's just what they do. :shrug: And Khan, as a genetically engineered being, would be even worse, since his kind are genetically designed to be without compassion of any kind - they are made to be ambitious and seek personal power above all else, and such things are - by definition - incompatible with love and compassion.