The scary/creepy moments of TNG

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Strange Citizen, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    One of my favorite creepy moments isn't even a scary episode. The Xeroxed Picard in "Allegiance" singing in Ten-Forward is one of the best WTF act fadeouts. It's just too bad that we as the audience already knew more than the crew did.

    It might be interesting to see a fan-cut where it's only the crew's viewpoint scenes.
     
  2. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Spider Barclay and Monster Worf.
     
  3. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "Where Silence Has Lease" the antagonist alien kills a crew member for no particular reason. It was much better played than Tasha's death because the only answer we got for "why"? was "he was evil." In this case, the death actually furthered the plot and helped advance the first contact situation (albeit at a terrible cost). It does bring to mind Q's admonition that "it's not safe out there."
     
  4. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Mine have all already been mentioned: the one scene in Schisms, Frame of Mind, and (worst) Violations.
     
  5. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    One scene that always had a "creepy factor" for me was from The Lights of Zetar, when that poor woman on the floor on Memory Alpha lifts her head and begins the speak in (I assume) the language of the Zetarians. That posterized (or whatever they call that) effect on her face, combined with the croaking sounds she makes, and lowering her dying head to the floor, frozen in a twisted expression, was always unsettling to me. :wtf:

    (Not Next Generation, I know, but it sprang to mind readily when I read these accounts!)
     
  6. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And this is off topic, too, but resistance was futile... LMFAOschwarz, I love your name!
     
  7. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

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    "Violations" hit my horror trigger. I have a natural revulsion to scenes involving some variation of rape be it body or mind. I suppose that is a good thing but I often reach for the remote when I see scenes like that.
     
  8. Strange Citizen

    Strange Citizen Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Very good responses so far everyone. :)

    I would like to develop the discussion further by going into more detail. To me, it is incredibly fascinating that Star Trek in general has aroused more feelings of eerieness, spookiness and creepiness - in me, that is - than almost anything else on television or film which I have seen.

    If this is the wrong place for more in-depth, psychology based discussion, then that's fine, but if it's ok, I would be very interested to hear some really in-depth reasons from you guys about why you think various scenes might have particularly frightened/disturbed you, or made you feel uneasy.

    Why, for example, does an episode such as Frame of Mind carry a more genuinely creepy atmosphere than a million and one psychological thrillers and horrors out there which ought to be scary, but often simply aren't? Is it because of the focus on psychology? The scene in which Riker partially "re-lives" his apparent murder of a man who followed him down a dark alley at night is, due to nothing more than music and acting, a really eerie, atmospheric and seriously creepy scene - and yet nothing happens! Frakes sells the scene because his acting is so good here - but it's just that. Him, facsimiles of his crewmates acting out how he felt emotionally, and what he's saying. That's all. It's one of the most underrated disturbing scenes in TNG, IMO.

    It seems that any time Star Trek wants to be scary or creepy, it is able to do so with impunity. I can't think of an episode that tried to be scary but failed miserably...the production team, scriptwriters and actors pretty much always managed to pull it off really well.

    I'll never forget Voyager's "One", which managed to be terrifying through nothing more than psychological manipulation and atmosphere, much like Night Terrors. Remember the imaginary alien: "Hasn't it got to you yet?" "What?" "The loneliness..." - and then he offers to spend more time with her. :eek: Again, that's something that really shouldn't have been very creepy...but it was. Could it be the sci-fi setting? Maybe science-fiction does deal with themes such as alienation, being alone (or not so alone) in the depths of space amongst the unfamiliar, etc, better than most other genres...how else could such innocuous conversations seem so menacing and disturbing?

    And again in TNG, there's an episode which deals with body horror...Identity Crisis. Was it meant to be scary? Considering it's not usually remembered as such, perhaps not. But I would say it is.

    Very cool mention, Melakon. That's another episode which has its fair share of scary moments and an eerie atmosphere: just imagine being trapped in a room with three other people, two of which you found it virtually impossible to get along with and one of which was potentially a savage killer? What about the score? Ron Jones used some kind of weird arpeggiated progression made out of Augmented Major Seventh chords (I think) near the beginning of the episode to create tension and a feeling of alienation - what a master composer! His presence really helped to create a believable soundscape for TNG's world in the first four seasons. Shame he was fired...
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  9. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'll try for some details, but it's been several years since I watched either "Frame of Mind" or "Violations."

    What I recall being creepiest about FoM was Riker's not knowing what was reality and what wasn't. I can't of anything more disturbing than the possibility of my mind failing to give me such basic info reliably. Not surprisingly, the diseases I fear most (not that I actually go around thinking about them) are Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

    As for "Violations," the sense of helplessness/powerlessness and the violation of one's physical and emotional boundaries make all rape -- even sci-fi telepathic rape -- scary, creepy and horrifying.
     
  10. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If we're talking other Trek series, I would mention that psycho-holodoc who murders his crew. Or that scene from Equinox where the Doctor has had his ethical subroutines deleted and he makes Seven sing by messing with her brain directly.
     
  11. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    ^ If you're meaning VOY: Revulsion, he was sort of a holo-janitor/maintenance man.
     
  12. Kooz

    Kooz Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    From the title I was thinking "Frame of Mind"--glad to see a couple of people beat me to it. Easily the most unsettling moment in TNG for me.

    I think the DS9 had several as well--involving that Cardassian who lived on the station (can't remember his name), but this is the wrong forum, I suppose.
     
  13. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Garak, played by Andrew J. Robinson, who is also famous for playing the Scorpio Killer in Dirty Harry and one of the creepiest actors ever to grace the screen.
     
  14. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Another kind of spooky scene was in The Mark of Gideon, with the heartbeats beating against the hull of the ship, or even the faces peering in the viewport! :eek:
     
  15. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Andy as Liberace: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB1Pso6Ec1A
     
  16. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    All the creepy stuff that happened in the cavern in Times Arrow totally freaked me out.

    I bet when I get around to rewatching it I'll be like.. wth was my problem?!
     
  17. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

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    There is just something unsettling about soul stealing aliens and the severed head of one of our beloved characters.
     
  18. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought the caricature they made Clemens into was more disturbing.
     
  19. Start Wreck

    Start Wreck Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think with that scene, it's that you don't see the aliens at first. You only hear Data talking about them. The imagination is far greater than any special effects department.

    That's perhaps why a sci-fi TV show from the 80s/90s can often be scarier than a big-budget hollywood "horror" film. Limitations on what can actually be shown force the imagination to fill in the blanks.

    Like the movie Cloverfield, which is far better when you don't see the creature in the first half.

    As for TNG, my favourite 'freaky' moments are two that both relate to similar things, I think. Holodeck reconstructions.

    1.) Identity Crisis. When Georgi is searching through the video footage and recreates it on the holodeck, he sees the shadow that he can't identify, eventually reconstructing the solid outline of what was casting it. This freaked me out I suppose because it suddenly says that there can be things around us that we cannot even see. People walking amongst us undetected. It's also scary because it's literally a blank outline, a person without a face, standing there in the shadows. It's just a really well-made scene, all of it. It's similar to many "investigitive" scenes in TV shows, I suppose ("can you enhance that image?") but it's more effective for being a physical reconstruction of events.

    2). Schisms. The holodeck scene (again!). This gives me goosebumps every time. "We've all been here before". I suppose it's similar to the above, it's the implication of what it means. It's not a scary image in itself, it's the fact that this group of people have separately reconstructed an environment that they now suddenly realise they have been taken to, perhaps repeatedly. Combined with the whispers/clicks from the darkness, it's very effective at letting your imagination fill in the gaps. You're left thinking "what they hell happened to all of you?"

    So, it's that realisation of sinister implications that work their spooky magic on me the best.

    Frame of Mind, while I love that episode, doesn't have the same effect on me. It's totally weird and wonderful, but there was never a point where I genuinely believed Riker was imagining really being a Starfleet officer. Instead you're waiting for the veil to be pulled away / the character to wake up.
     
  20. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    It looked to me like Jerry Hardin was basing his interpretation on Hal Holbrook's "Mark Twain Tonight!"
     

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