By David Beck
*** Warning: This document contains naughty words and "adult"
themes. If my parents are reading this document, they are hereby
asked to note the byline, because this time it's Dave's fault.***
Two types of aliens are listed here: monster and humanoid. The monster aliens can have human-like forms but are, for the
most part, distinctly bizarre. Aliens can be either benevolent
or malevolent. Creativity and imagination is certainly a criterion
for the following ranking, but the primary basis for evaluation
will be how striking the alien is, how strongly it affects us
-- makes our hearts jump into our mouths, our eyes open wide and
our jaws drop. Thus the benevolent and/or more formless aliens
will not be rated as high. The number next to each monster alien
is how far the viewer jumps out of his or her seat at its appearance,
in centimeters. The number next to the humanoid aliens is how
much one's eyebrow is raised, in millimeters.
- Salt Monster (23): This thing was identified as similar to the
buffalo. Yeah, right. This gruesome, hideous vomit-inducer (and
this is one of its more pleasant traits) was featured on the first
episode ever broadcast, and they picked the best monster to catch
everyone's attention. In fact, this one was so good that it made
an encore appearance later as a statue in Trelane's little castle
in "Squire of Gothos." Extraordinarily repulsive.
- Gorn (17): When I was about nine years old I saw a promo for Star Trek that featured Kirk -- strong, fearless captain of the Enterprise -- heaving a huge rock at the Gorn that bounced off his chest
like a ping pong ball. The Gorn then lifted a mountain with his
fingers and flicked it at Kirk, only barely missing crushing his
every cell into Malto-Meal. My mother had to take a crowbar to
release the clutch I had on the back of the living room couch.
- Mugato (15): Is it any wonder that Kirk is really such an idiot?
He already let himself get nearly killed by the first two monsters
mentioned here; he is stupid enough to allow this painfully ugly
apelike thing to give him a quadruple hickey. He probably gets
the worst of it all from this creature, though, because he must
rely on the mako root and Nona's love-blood to save his life.
- Butthead Monster Illusion (14): Kind of a combination between
a warthog and gorilla, only from the Putslort galaxy where everything
is exactly the same as in this galaxy only twice the size and
twice as ugly and people eat Jello with toothpicks there. It is
really too bad this beautifully frightening thing only appears
for the few seconds it does when Captain Pike strangles a Butthead
who in turn makes him think he is strangling this thing.
- Corbomite Spacecraft Dummyhead (5): This is the one they always
show a still of in the closing credits (and in fact it's in the
closing credits of an HBO comedy special featuring Chris Elliot).
Even though in the episode we find it is really a dummy to make
the meek Balok appear fearless, it is, however, bizarre, hostile-looking and very effective.
- Melkotian Head (4): This certainly could be rated much higher
if we were able to get a better look at this brutally vile thing.
But we only see it for a few moments and, at that, only behind
some silly fog.
- Fake Vomits (3): Really not much of monsters as one would usually
think. The only way they can be described is that they look not
unlike the fake vomit you can buy at a gag shop. Seems pretty
harmless, but how would you like to have one of these things dig its tiny teeth-laced tentacles
in to your back and inject some fetid poison through your innards causing you the most torturous anguish imaginable? Not
me, no sir.
- Lethally Ugly Ambassador (2): The normally composed Spock goes
temporarily whacko after laying his eyes upon this hideously ugly
creature. Needless to say, we never get a good chance to see it,
which keeps it from ranking really high on this list, but Spock's
reaction alone is enough to merit it considerable note.
- Monsters that terrorize Galileo 7 (1): These could easily be the
best-looking monsters of them all, but we never get a decent look
at them. Maybe Star Trek's intention was to "allow our own imagination to think about
what they looked like," or something. Bullpoopus. If I wanted
my imagine to work, I'd switch on the radio. This is television;
it is supposed to do everything for us. Did they actually expect us to think while watching TV? Preposterous. Anyway, we et a brief shot of
one bashing a huge boulder on the top of the shuttlecraft trying
to lift off, so that receives some credit here.
- Zeroes from here on because the monsters here are either just
interesting-looking or fail miserably at having any shock-quality
at all. Listed in order of broadcast date.
- Trelane's mom and dad: The kind and sweet neighborly parents.
Formless, too. In this list, both are major strikes against. Too
- Silly creatures in "Catspaw": These two little pigeon/jellyfish-like
things are good for a little chuckle, but that's about it. Besides,
you can see the wires that move them.
- Organians: It is truly a trip to watch these seemingly human guys
turn into brilliant energy light bulbs, but they are the most
benevolent of all creatures in the universe, so they just can't
rank highly here.
- Companion: This is probably the weeniest alien of them all. Not
only is it formless, but it takes two of the most loseresque people
ever to be encountered in the show. Colonel Cochrane is such a
non and Miss Hedfern is such an irritant that nobody gives a crap.
- Honey-sweet cloud: Actually, this is a pretty good monster because
it sucks the very life out of the blood of anyone it envelops.
The effect of this "vampire" cloud, as it is also called, are
also pretty good as its victims gag and choke, their faces becoming
ice-cold pale as they painfully die until they are dead dead dead.
Too bad that it has no form at all, or it would surely rank higher.
- Giant amoeba: An eyebrow-raiser when first seen, but from then
on it's kind of, "Yeah, well?..."
- Tholian commander: It looks like they put against the main viewing
screen the most plain medieval knight face-plate they could find,
and then to make it interesting they put some flames behind it
not unlike those seen in those fake fireplaces every discount
hardware store sells. The high-pitched shrieking metallic voice
is not bad, however.
- Violence ball: After the Enterprise crew and Klingons are terrorized by this thing for an hour, they
finally catch on and run it off the ship. What a weenie monster.
- Lights of Zetar: Scotty's balls are about to explode and I think
that the Zetar lights aliens know he can't cope with it so they
spend the hour having some fun jerking him around.
- Rock Monster: The only good thing about this alien is that it's
got a genuinely sinister voice. Otherwise it's pretty boring --
it's as if the Star Trek art crew got together and said, "Oh, what kind of thing can we
come up with, oh, let's see... hey, how about a rock! How about a moving one! How about we, oh, stick some little claws on it for hands!
How about we put some, oh, bubbles on its head -- with lights!
How about, oh, those lights go on and off when it speaks! Wow
how ingenious!" Uh-huh.
- Horta: A high-ranking monster on most people's list, and granted,
the suspense leading up to its discovery is pretty riveting. It
is a huge disappointment, however, when we see what it looks like
(an old dusty rug slopped together by Loweezy Smith (Snuffy's
wife), that is operated by some guy underneath it scratching uncontrollably
with a bad case of hives), and what it is (a sweet, endearing
mommy who was only protecting her darling babies' eggs when she
incinerated no fewer than a dozen miners into BBQ briquets).
This does not include "regular" aliens, such as Klingons, Romulans,
Andorians, or Orion slave girls.
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