"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not
safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid."
— Q, "Q Who"
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Where No One Has Gone Before
- First, the Traveler's and Kosinski's "warp tests" send the Enterprise to speeds way beyond what warp drive technology can achieve, landing them in a galaxy so far away (2.7 million light years, more specifically) that it would take 300 years for the ship to return home with the technology it has. When they try to return home with the help of the duo, the problem worsens, as they've found themselves exponentially further away from their home galaxy, in what can only be described as an acid trip at the edge of the universe. As if the possibility of never returning home within any reasonable timeframe isn't enough, Your Mind Makes It Real kicks in and anything the crew thinks of, such as old pets, long-deceased mothers, and fires, becomes reality. It's only thanks to thinking hard about returning home that the Enterprise itself gets out of this mess.
Hide and Q
- Wesley Crusher may be a Creator's Pet, but the doctor's teenage son getting impaled and screaming isn't something you see every day.
- That damned Betazoid gift box, especially if you're a little kid the first time you see it.
- Arthur Malencon's blood-curdling screams as he's burned to a crisp by the microbrain-controlled laser drill. We don't actually see this as it happens, only the aftermath when the station crew and Enterprise landing party force open the door to reveal his charred corpse. What's more, considering the multitude of burn marks on his body, and the fact that Data is barely able to avoid a similar fate by virtue of his android reflexes, it's clear that the microbrains could probably have easily killed Malencon with one blast, and that they most likely didn't because they wanted to make him suffer.
Coming Of Age
- The "psych test" Wesley undertakes as part of the Starfleet entrance exam. Everything about the test is terrifying, and it's also notably a rare season 1 instance where the Creator's Pet does not come out on top.
- And the fact that that was precisely the point of the test! Using your psychological profile to tailor-make the scenario that will be most difficult, and therefore most terrifying, for you. And they do this to every, single officer. Even Worf was still visibly shaken by his test, which presumably took place several years ago.
Skin of Evil
- The entire episode, simply because of the eerie behavior of those under control of the parasites, and how strong they make their host bodies, with the only option to remove them being to kill their hosts.
- The ending confrontation with Possessed!Remmick, starting with the squicky way his neck squirms and throb. Then Picard and Riker blast off Remmick's head - complete with burning his skin off a split-second before it explodes - and a big worm-like parasite explodes from the main body, before they too phaser and explode it.
- There's also the confrontation with Admiral Quinn. Despite being a man looking in his early seventies (and, in Star Trek terms, may well be even older), Riker's punches don't even faze him, and then he tosses Geordi and Worf around like rag dolls (This was before The Worf Effect kicked in). It's only Doctor Crusher showing up and using the Starfleet medical phaser on a high setting that knocks him out.
- The end of the episode, where Data reports that the signal that Possessed!Remmick had been sending appeared to be a homing beacon, aimed at an unexplored region of the galaxy, and sent to direct something towards Earth. The final shot of the episode is of empty space, and the unsettling, repeating sound of that transmission.
The Neutral Zone
- Counselor Troi is forcibly impregnated in her sleep by a non-corporeal life form, after which she goes through an accelerated pregnancy, gives birth, and grows attached to an alien child who then dies within a few days. The creepiest part is that the episode seems completely unaware that any of this is unsettling or traumatic, and plays it all as a heartwarming Tear Jerker.
Where Silence Has Lease
Loud As A Whisper
- The disintegration of Rivas's three chorus members, which was sudden and quick, to the point that you saw their skeletons.
- The abrupt destruction of the USS Yamato, the Enterprise's sister ship in "Contagion." Picard is chatting with her captain, in a manner like we have seen in multiple episodes. Then the communication cuts out and the Galaxy class starship, a mirror of the Enterprise, lights up and explodes on the spot. If that's not enough, the Yamato's saucer section floats by on the screen and disintegrates; she was lost with all hands.
- One of the few episodes where Q is not played entirely for laughs. The foppish, vaguely sinister Q is gone and in his place is a Trickster Mentor who sees nothing wrong with abandoning 18 members of the crew to what we will later find out is Star Trek's most profoundly worse-than-death Fate Worse than Death - and is perfectly willing to allow the rest of the crew join them.
- His response to Riker calling him out on the eighteen deaths when the Borg slice out a section of the ship is the truly terrifying thing. "Oh, please." The utter dismissiveness of it... To a being like Q, those eighteen lives were worth less than ants under his boot. And in that moment, you realize that it's not just those nameless faceless unseen characters, but even our heroes who fall under that category.
- The Borg in this episode are far worse than in any subsequent episode save perhaps Best Of Both Worlds. Truly implacable and virtually invincible, they would have run the Enterprise dry of fuel and then taken her (and taken her apart for information and technology) if not for Q relenting at the last second.
- Kevin, the Douwd from the titular episode. The Reveal of what he's done is a major Tear Jerker, but it's also mind-bogglingly horrific. Posing as a human, he fell for a human woman, Rishon, and lived on a Federation colony planet with her. Being a pacifist, Kevin never used his immense power for any harm, nor did Rishon ever learn the truth, until the savage Husnock, after multiple invasion attempts, killed Rishon along with the other 11,000 defenders of their world. Kevin, upon finding the corpse of the women he loved, became enraged, and finally lashed out with his powers: he killed every Husnock in the universe with a thought. Every single one. A race of approximately 50,000,000,000 beings, utterly erased from existence. So immense is the scope of what Kevin has done, that Picard decides to simply leave him to his grief as well as his semi-imaginary wife, and leave the planet quickly. After all, no one in Starfleet, much less Picard and the Enterprise crew, could ever be in a position to judge something of this magnitude.
- And say, is something of that magnitude not enough for you? Add Troi to that horror-pile, as during the episode, thanks to a nervous Kevin, she gets the melody from a music box implanted in her head. It's an admittedly pretty tune, that plays like an Ear Worm with perfect clarity in her head, getting subtly louder with each repetition. Again, and again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. Halfway through the episode, Troi is a crying, screaming mess, pleading for anything to stop it.
- Some more Fridge Horror: the Q apparently stay away from him. Think about it.
- Guinan is actually rather terrifying when she encounters a depowered Q in "Deja Q." She finds him and she is enjoying herself tremendously upon seeing him Brought Down to Normal, even stabbing him with a fork. And then, after he's been attacked by the Calamarain and screaming for help, her reaction is to look down upon him: "How the mighty have fallen." It's such a shift from her usual attitude.
- The conversation that takes place between herself and Q in the episode "Q Who" outright says they've had dealings before, implies that she's not the slightest bit afraid of him and her posture and hand positions when Q makes to snap his fingers suggest that she herself has some kind of power that she can use to counter Q. Q even says something to the effect of "So that's the name you're calling yourself now".
The Most Toys
- The use of a Varon-T disruptor — basically a phaser on steroids — by Kivas Fajo. It boils its victims from the inside out, and Fajo's victim, seen in a full body shot, is in visibly excruciating pain for a number of seconds before she finally disintegrates.
- And also from that episode, some of the BGM is just plain creepy. Appropriate, of course, for the Psychopathic Manchild that Fajo is.
- John Doe's injuries when he's first discovered are nothing short of horrific, especially with part of his face torn off and his brain partially exposed. Thankfully for him, the Enterprise team found him in time and his advanced healing just pulled him from the edge of death as a result.
The Best of Both Worlds (Part I)
- The Borg are back, and they're no less terrifying. When they abduct Picard, they show us once again that they're totally serious about what they do.
The Borg: Captain Jean-Luc Picard, you lead the strongest ship in the Federation fleet. You speak for your people. The Borg: Strength is irrelevant. Resistance Is Futile. We wish to improve ourselves. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service ours.
Picard: Impossible. My culture is based on freedom and self-determination!
The Borg: Freedom is irrelevant. Self-determination is irrelevant. You must comply.
Picard: We would rather die.
The Borg: Death is irrelevant. Your archaic cultures are authority-driven. To facilitate our introduction into your society, it has been decided that a human voice will speak for us in all communications. You have been chosen to be that voice.
- At least 2 Borg drones have both two optical implants and mouth implants.
- Data shows just how terrifying and efficient he can be by taking control of the Enterprise almost effortlessly.
- Keep in mind that this wasn't something Data had planned in advance; he was making it all up as he went along, not being consciously aware of what he's doing. As Starfleet's flagship, Enterprise is implicitly staffed by Starfleet's absolute best and brightest, but all of them working together couldn't stop Data from carrying out a plan that he was improvising.
- Dr. Crusher gets trapped in a pocket universe, a situation that's far scarier than was intended. There's a particular kind of hopeless terror when the borders of reality itself are closing in on all sides. A New Scientist article predicting that this might be what it would actually look like when the universe ends does not help.
- People start vanishing and no one except Dr. Crusher believes they were ever there, not even the ship's computer. Which means they don't just cease to exist, they get the full Ret Gone treatment. At least when the pocket universe started collapsing, you knew what was going on.
- The collapsing universe part almost came as a relief. What would have been far worse was if Crusher had just been left there, completely alone on the Enterprise, with everyone she knew gone, no way of possibly running the ship by herself, and still having no idea what happened.
- And then there's this creepy gem once Dr. Crusher starts to piece together what's going on:
- And a minute or two later, the ship is buffeted. Crusher demands an explanation, and rather than acknowledge the shrinking universe, the computer blames explosive decompression caused by "a flaw in the ship's design"note :
Computer: No ship's structures exist forward of bulkhead three-two-four. Hull integrity now compromised on decks three through fifteen. (Crusher gives an Oh, Crap! look, as she realizes the "universe" is collapsing) Crusher:
How long can life support be maintained? Computer: Four minutes, seventeen seconds.
- There's something creepy about Picard smiling to Dr. Crusher and calmly saying that the two of them were the only people who had ever served on the Enterprise, which the viewer knows to be patently impossible. And then Picard himself vanishes the instant that Crusher looks away while talking to him.
- The amnesia-inducing virus that Riker suffers from in this episode. Imagine an apparently harmless virus getting into your system and lying dormant for years and then coming alive and erasing your entire memory from the intervening period. In Riker's case, 16 years of his life simply vanish from his mind. One minute he's fine, and then he skips forward 16 years without any knowledge of what happened in between. Fortunately, that's not what's actually happening.
- At one point, Dr. Crusher hallucinates that an entire morgue full of sheet-covered bodies are sitting up on their slabs. It's unspeakably unsettling.
- That whole episode is made of nightmare fuel. Noteworthy is Counselor Troi's re-occurring psychedelic vision: A 3-dimensional expanding mass of green fog, where you can't see through it, but still hints at more beyond the view with the bright glow of a crescent moon, which you're involuntarily flying toward to boot. Doesn't sound too bad, until:
- And this mantra drove the one Betazoid on the doomed ship catatonic, and threatened most everyone else with REM sleep deprivationnote — at least it was only an attempt to communicate.
- One of the more subtly creepy moments is when Picard is sitting in his office, and the door chime starts sounding — over and over and over — and you don't know or see what's causing it. Keep in mind, this is before you really start to realize what's going on in the episode, so the fact that no one is activating the door chime is freaky as hell.
- Seeing O'Brien, O'Brien of all people, being deeply suspicious that Keiko is cheating on him. It's just so unsettling to see him so openly hostile towards her.
- Picard imagining the turbolift roof coming down towards him, and screaming in utter terror, helped by the fact it's about the only time we see him that terrified on-screen.
- Geordi, along with a few others, contracts a parasite and is transformed into a bizarre alien creature. And that's how that species reproduces...
The Nth Degree
- The neural interface that Barclay uses to plug himself into the main computer. Not only does he effectively become the Enterprise's main computer - complete with his voice replacing the recognizable female one - he gains knowledge so far advanced that he knows how to bend spacetime on a whim. And for a heaping of Uncanny Valley, Barclay lacks any kind of expression, or seeming ability to blink, while he's hooked up to that thing- at most he just turns his head.
- Insane Admiral Norah Satie shows what happens when patriotism and the desire to protect the state are taken way too far, to where she starts persecuting loyal Starfleet officers to satisfy her own paranoia. What makes it even more significant to modern-day viewers is that we have yet to encounter the usual Trek threats like evil aliens or any kind of Negative Space Wedgie, but patriotism gone wrong is a thing that really happens.
The Mind's Eye
- Geordi is kidnapped by Romulans and subjected to Cold-Blooded Torture to become their Manchurian Agent. He is repeatedly shown a series of horrifying images sent directly to his visual cortex via his VISOR implants. Towards the end of the scene, we zoom in to his face as he screams in agony.
- Geordi while under the mind control is fairly terrifying as well (in part because we've already seen something like this with the Borg). Shown off well when he is made to kill a simulation of O'Brien surrounded by people, then socialize with his other simulated "friends" as if nothing were wrong at all. He remains obsessed with O'Brien for the rest of the episode, with no real cognizance of why - in fact, the rest of the episode is full of tense Dramatic Irony due to Geordi acting entirely normally and nobody - not even Geordi himself - being aware of what he has been programmed to do: he even spearheads the investigations into his own actions, entirely unaware.
- Most of the episode, especially when Wesley goes to talk to Picard about starting an investigation. You see him putting something down as Wesley enters, and then after he leaves, Picard turns around and picks up a copy of the game without a word.
- Wesley and his girlfriend eventually get captured by the entranced crewmembers and forced to play the game. Wesley valiantly tries to resist, but succumbs and becomes blissfully addicted. If Data hadn't shown up when he did, the bad guys would have won.
- Which necessitated them fixing Data in advance of that situation; as an android, he wouldn't become addicted to the game.
- The episode is terrifying enough to watch as a child, but understanding the literal Mind Rape implications of the telepathic attacks pulls it squarely into Adult Fear territory.
- Put simply, the incredibly unsettling notion that the crew's mind could be wiped and the entire crew be turned against a technologically inferior civilization without even realizing it. Just the notion itself is Paranoia Fuel.
Cause and Effect
- Clara's new imaginary friend turned out to not only be real, but an evil alien. So you have a cute little girl telling another cute little girl that if she won't play her way, she can just stay and die with all the others.
- Her creepy expression and line delivery all the way through the episode.
- The worst part? The alien has been watching the way the adults have treated Clara, and has come to the conclusion that they are cruel, uncaring monsters who deserve to die. If Picard hadn't managed to convince her that the adults weren't being malicious by giving Clara rules and expecting her to obey them, the alien would have destroyed the ship and killed everyone aboard.
The Next Phase
- Geordi and Ro, who are trapped in the alternate phase of reality, deal with a Romulan by kicking him out into space through a solid wall. They appeared at their own funeral as ghosts writhing in pain as the Applied Phlebotinum of the episode revealed them to the rest of the crew as well.
- Applying Fridge Logic to this episode makes it even worse. It's established that the people who are out of phase aren't able to interact with matter. This means that the out of phase people don't need air, or else it would have been a very short episode. Given that they don't need air, we can surmise they probably aren't affected by changes in temperature or pressure. Now apply all this to the Romulan who got shoved through the hull of the ship, last seen drifting off into space unable to counter the momentum of the push that sent him through the hull. Instead of dying a relatively quick death from exposure to space, the poor bastard will instead drift through space until he finally dies of dehydration.
- Apparently people out of phase are still affected by gravity and can feel pain. Add into this potential immortality and, well, he's going to have to drift by a star eventually...
- Well... here I am.
- There's some Nightmare Retardant here however. note
Time's Arrow, Pt. I
- The first revealing of Data's head, in a cavern in San Fransisco.
- Later on, time starts to go screwy and we get a glimpse of the energy-draining ghost Devidans. They were so creepy they were picked up for a Halloween-themed arc for Star Trek Online, with plenty of creepy imagery and unnerving scares to go along with them.
Realm of Fear
- The demon worms that Barclay sees inside the transporter beam are creepy enough to the audience, but to someone like him who already has a phobia of transporters, it becomes all the more horrifying as we watch the previously shy, loveable Barclay slowly go insane as he thinks his mind is slipping away. True, at the end he confronts his fear and learns that the worms are actually people trapped in the beam, but it's still scary to watch it all happen. Deanna probably had to put in some serious overtime to handle that one.
- This episode also shows that people are fully conscious during transport. Imagine how scary it must be to be conscious while the transporter disassembles you, converts you to energy, and then reassembles you back into matter... at a target several hundred miles away.
- There's also the autopsy of a horribly burnt body from the other ship. As Crusher and Ogawa perform the autopsy, several 'muscular contractions' occur due to technobabble. First Ogawa picks up a heartbeat, then neural activity, and then the body suddenly gasps for air, all despite the guy being dead.
- The entirety of the episode, where the Enterprise crew are abducted and experimented on while they sleep by creatures from deep subspace. Particularly the scene where the abductees try to reconstruct their nightmares on the holodeck, ending with them standing around a creepy operating table in the dark with strange clicking and buzzing noises in the background. You can even see an abductee's hands climbing toward her face in horror as they get more and more accurate, shortly before:
Geordi: (hand over his mouth, shakily drawing in a rattling breath) I've been in this room before!
Riker: (grim) I think we all have...
- The specific scene where Riker learns that his arm has been severed and reattached while he was asleep.
- And even then, that's not the worst these aliens dish out. One crewman comes back looking on the verge of death, then Crusher scans him and discovers that his blood is turning into liquid polymer, meaning his body can't transport the oxygen he needs. They turned his blood into plastic and we never figure out why.
- Just to make things worse, the creators were disappointed with the episode. They didn't think the villains were scary enough.
Chain of Command, Pt. I + II
- Gul Madred, the Torture Technician. His tortures are chilling, and in the end Picard admits that he was broken, just a few seconds before being released. But that's not the really terrifying thing. No, that's finding out that, with the exception of the pain-inducing implants, all of his methods are taken from Amnesty International's archives. That's right, there's people like him out there. Pray you never find yourself at the mercy of such a person, because they don't have any.
- And the pain implant was only futuristic from a late 80s-early 90s perspective. Such things became feasible around a decade ago; the only reason they don't exist today is because other methods of inflicting pain are just as effective, and far cheaper and easier to use.
- "How many lights do you see?"
- The last scene, Picard reveals to Troi that, just before he finds out that Madred had been lying to him, that he was going to be returned to the Federation... He saw five lights. Madred broke him. And while he might not have given Madred the satisfaction of knowing as much, Picard still has to live with the knowledge that he DID break.
Ship in a Bottle
- Moriarty's line about how he experienced "brief, terrifying moments of consciousness" while he was trapped in the computer memory banks.
- Moriarty's fate as noted in Fridge Horror, since we later discover without regular maintenance holograms can eventually suffer glitches that threaten to destabilise the entire program. In "Ship in a Bottle", Moriarty and his lady love are trapped in a portable holodeck and are able to have their Happily Ever After... until the program starts to degrade! And they have no way of signalling the crew for help when that happens! You Bastards!
- Keep in mind that this is Professor James Moriarty.note He will eventually figure out that he's trapped in a simulation.
- And more possible Nightmare Fuel, remember The Enterprise D was destroyed in Star Trek Generations and Moriarty's fate has never been revealed. Though, Star Trek Online actually has Moriarty's fate as part of the backstory. note
- You can't bring up "Ship in a Bottle" and not mention the most terrifying thing about the ending: Picard's musing that all of them might be simulations in an elaborate ruse sitting in a box on someone's table...and that's exactly what they are! What if that's all we are?!
- Then, just like the show, we'd better do our best to stay entertaining for as long as physically possible. Lest we get cancelled.
- The ship gets cleaned by an energy field slowly sweeping through it that will vaporize any living tissue it touches, and this is a 'routine' procedure. Of course, Picard and some thieves get caught on the ship when the field is activated. (Sattler isn't seen dying, but is certainly heard doing so.)
- Detailed analysis spoiler-tagged for the sensitive among us: The last we see of Sattler, he's just opened the Jeffries-tube hatch to see the field approaching at a pretty good clip. (Assuming a constant rate, and judging by some later scenes with better scaling cues, that'd be somewhere around half a meter per second, give or take a bit.) But when he screams, it lasts for a good few seconds, which wouldn't be the case if it caught him headfirst. So he must've turned and tried to outrun the field, but failed, presumably thanks to the tight quarters of the Jeffries tube — but he did get far enough so that, when the field did catch him, it got his feet first and worked its way up from there. And Picard was still close enough to hear this along with us.
Frame of Mind
- That serious Mind Screw in Frame of Mind, enough to make the page image.
- The fact that near the end of the episode, Riker turned a phaser on himself in order to find out what was real and what wasn't. He was willing to risk suicide in order to get the truth. The fact that Riker of all people was that desperate is terrifying.
- It's glossed over, but when Jo'Bril reveals himself/his Evil Plan at the end, Beverly realizes that he'd been conscious the entire time in the morgue... including when she did an autopsy on his body. Anyone who knows anything about what an autopsy entails would shudder (if not worse) at the thought of not only being conscious during such an ordeal, but having to stay so perfectly unresponsive as to appear dead the entire time.
- Most of the episode, specifically the cellular peptide cake (with mint frosting).
- Watching Data, aka the Nicest of Nice Guys, calmly stabbing Troi in the shoulder over... and over... and over...
- If you never thought Lwaxana Troi could be scary, this will probably change your mind. One of the most powerful telepaths in an entire race of telepaths has devoted an incredible amount of time and resources into turning her mental landscape into a minefield for anyone, including herself, looking to find out her deepest secret.
- Dr. Crusher is seduced by an energy being who claims to be an 800-year old human ghost. It does this by absorbing into her, and she reacts with visible ecstasy. The being ends up taking over her mind and trapping her on his planet, all while claiming to love her and only wanting to make her happy.
- The moment where her grandmother's corpse sits up in its coffin during a lightning storm with demonic, glowing blue eyes.
- Very fitting, as the script for that episode was based on a story written by Anne Rice.
- The scene where the ghost first appears behind Beverly in her mirror could induce a heart-attack.
- When a few hundred alternate-timeline Enterprises pop up in the climax, we get a look at one of the most horrifying Bad Futures in Trek: one where the Borg won, and Riker is reduced to a babbling madman piloting the Enterprise around, trying to run from them.
Crazy!Riker: WE WON'T GO BACK! Please, you don't know what it's like there! The Federation is GONE, the Borg is EVERYWHERE! We're one of the last ships left. Please, you have to help us!
Captain Riker: ...I'm sorry, but we have no choice. If this works everything will go back to-
Crazy!Riker: NO WE WON'T GO BACK!
- "Genesis" is pretty creepy in and of itself, but there is some disturbing Fridge Horror to the episode. Mid-way through the episode, Picard and Data end up finding the corpse of a crewman who had been killed at his post by another member of the de-evolved crew. When the episode ends, the cure has been applied to the ship and everything is back to normal, with little memory if any at all of what they were prior. So how many Enterprise crew members killed—and quite possibly ate—their fellow crew members in their de-evolved state, without even remembering it afterwards?
- "Worf... open your mouth." What follows is perhaps the single-most disturbing injury any one of the main cast is shown to receive. Dr. Crusher gets acidic, paralyzing venom sprayed into her face, causing her to fall screaming to the floor, completely writhing in pain. It takes about four people to hold her down long enough to sedate her and Nurse Ogawa later states that she had to be put into stasis before the venom could paralyze her nervous system and that she would need reconstructive surgery. Thankfully, the episode does not have Picard and Data finding her stasis pod before she's healed.
- The Borg, to start with.
- In The Best of Both Worlds, when the Borg assimilated Picard, he still called Riker Number One.
- The aftermath of Wolf 359: All those ships floating in a Derelict Graveyard, smashed and burning in space. Shelby gives a list of ships that she recognizes and the rest of the crew just cringe at the scale of destruction.
- It's impossible to make out on-screen, but the debris field included a destroyed shuttlecraft from the USS Liberator. The intended implication was probably that the shuttle was being used as a lifeboat by surviving Liberator crew members fleeing their destroyed ship. They didn't make it, as indicated by the visible corpse◊.
- The Borg Queen is introduced as a talking, disembodied head and shoulders being lowered down into the rest of her body (shown being assembled in later appearances; apparently, her body's stored in pieces when not needed.) Part of the spine hangs from the head and wiggles around in the air until it's all put into place. The aroused look on her face in the moments after being put back together doesn't help.
- The Return managed to make the Borg even creepier than we saw in the movies. Vicious assimilated dogs, a giant construction/weapon drone (with a spiderlike "scuttler" that emerged from it), pumping organic parts inside the cube, and a multi-bodied engineered drone (only the first body has a head; when Spock asks what it does, he's told "It feeds the tubes."). If it were actually filmed....Yipes!
- Worse than that, a Borg drone is described as an unknown species having ashen skin and a dark, almond-shaped eye. Yeah, The Borg assimilated a GREY ALIEN!
- You think the Borg are bad in their current form? Here is some lovely concept art that shows what they were considering making the Borg look like, with such lovely little details as visible intestines behind transparent plating,◊ mobile, sea anemone-style hair made out of pipes, and razor-sharp sickles attached to the Borg Queen's frigging wrists.◊ Creepy does not even begin to cover it.
- First Contact makes it a point to show how frighting Borg assimilation is starting with the ensign getting injected with nano-probes and having his skin turn gray and implants sprout from under his skin to the Borg montage where we see sickbay converted in to an assimilation chamber with the implants being installed.
- Several crew members still undergoing assimilation are seen to have missing body parts that are presumably to be replaced eventually with Borg equipment. There's an extremely disturbing closeup of someone whose eye has been removed and replaced with some sort of metal object, and his eyelid is caked with some kind of bloody discharge.
- There's also the fact that Picard flat out executes a crewman taken.
- In their introductory episode, a drone beams into main engineering and scans the ship's computer. It takes two phaser blasts to kill it, but is immediately replaced by another drone, and when Worf fires again it's blocked by the Borg shields. The drone then starts seriously messing with the Enterprise systems while staring very creepily at Picard and crew.
- In Parallels you see a desperate and half-mad Riker◊ begging for help from the alt-uni Enterprise. In his universe, the entire Federation has been overrun by Borg, and he is the only man shown on the bridge. He is so desperate to prevent himself from returning to his own dimension that he tries to kill Worf and by doing so endanger all of the multiverses in the process.
- Worf is with him. You can see him run from his console to try and fix the one that blows while he's talking.
- Which adds a weird element of fridge horror—Worf was probably manning tactical, meaning that when that version of Enterprise was firing on Worf's shuttle, Worf was probably the one actually pulling the trigger.
- Fridge Horror or Fridge Sadness: the Borg were probably able to take over because Locutus was never returned to the Enterprise during that universe's version of the episode "The Best of Both Worlds" and the Borg used the information in Picard's mind to destroy the Federation.
- Just one phrase can send shivers down anyone's spine: "I am Locutus of Borg. Resistance Is Futile. Your life as it has been is over. From this time forward, you will service us."
- And if that doesn't do it, this will: "The knowledge and experience of the human Picard is part of us now. It has prepared us for all possible courses of action. Your resistance is hopeless...Number One."
- After being built up over a year and a half, the Borg make their entrance in true nightmarish fashion in "Best of Both Worlds." Picard is pacing on the bridge as they're heading for a freighter that has likely been destroyed already. Worf reports an unidentified ship entering sensor range. It refuses to respond to their hails, and immediately moves to intercept the Enterprise. Picard orders the ship on screen. The cube appears in the distance when Picard finally says "Magnify." Ron Jones' score swells and sends a chill down your spine as the cube takes up the viewscreen.
- This exchange between Picard and the Collective:
Borg Collective: ...Your culture will adapt to service us.
Captain Picard: Impossible. My culture is based on freedom and self-determination.
Collective: Freedom is irrelevant. Self-determination is irrelevant. You must comply.
Picard: We would rather die.
Collective: Death is irrelevant.
- The last line is especially chilling in its implications.
- What's more chilling, the Borg genuinely think they're doing the universe a favor by doing what they do.
Locutus (In an almost sympathetic tone): Why do you resist? We only wish to raise the quality of life for all species.
- Q's behavior when the Borg where first introduced. At first he seemingly sent them into Borg space out of child-like spite. But then he coldly brushed off the real deaths of eighteen innocent people as a bloody nose.
- It's an unsettling reminder that Q, for all his puckish pranks and amusements, is genuinely a threat on his own, and he is so far above the Federation on the food chain that the lives of a handful of Starfleet officers mean absolutely nothing to him.
- Perhaps worse then that, one of the only rules the Q impose on themselves and enforce with any regularity is this. "Do not. Provoke. The Borg." Which brings up some horrifying implications of its own. What happens if a Q gets injected with nanoprobes? Yes, they can warp reality, but their bodies do seem to be solid given Sisko was able to physically attack him (Q may have allowed that hit to happen, though). Also yes, they can warp reality at will, but they need to do something to make that happen, how long of a reaction time does that require and is it less then it would take for nanites to incapacitate them?
- Alternatively, at the end of the episode Picard remarks that Q may have been doing them a service by preparing them to fight the Borg. It's possible that by killing off eighteen crew members, Q has saved billions or even trillions of lives. Q may be brushing off those deaths as "worth it" without explicitly explaining himself.
- Q in general could be seen as Nightmare Fuel. Though he does have humanity's best interest in mind, for the most part, he is still a jerkish reality-warping alien who will gladly toy with you (mentally and physically) for his own amusement. Not only will he wipe out entire civilizations out of pure boredom, but he can also alter the laws of physics with little-to-no effort. And that's not even getting into how dangerous he can be when he's angry.
- In the best Q episodes, it's impossible to know what his motives are, but every time he has claimed to be operating as an agent of the Continuum, he has been ruthless. Willing to execute Amanda Rogers—after possibly having already executed her parents—or imprison a fellow Q in a comet for eternity, were just...wow.
- Really, Q is very reminiscent of Trelane, the titular Squire of Gothos... except with far greater power, and without two benevolent parental figures to bring him under control. That makes him a lot scarier.
- A popular piece of Fanon (which John de Lancie has voiced support for) is that Q's kid from Voyager is in fact Trelane, which means Q is the benevolent (well, less malevolent) parental figure.
- Lore. When he first appears in "Datalore," he's vaguely creepy. Then you find out that he's a ruthless sociopath, and that's creepier. But it's during the scene when he kicks his deactivated brother in the head, twice, for no practical reason, that he becomes truly terrifying. He isn't merely pragmatically self-centered; he ENJOYS hurting people. And he's strong and fast enough to tear out your femur and stab you with it before you could scream.
Lore: "Are you prepared for the kind of death you've earned, little man?"
- Also of note is that Brent Spiner once said he preferred playing Lore to playing Data, because he and Lore had more in common.
- Incidentally, next time we see Lore is in "Brothers," after he was rescued and reassembled by some wandering Pakleds. He's even wearing one of the Pakled uniforms from "Samaritan Snare." This means that somewhere in Lore's wake, there is probably a pile of hapless Pakled corpses waiting to be discovered.
- Where Data says "I'm" and twitches his eye, after sending Lore into empty space.
- The Crystalline Entity. Yes, it may look like a giant space snowflake, but the thing is pretty damn terrifying when you think about it. You're living on a Federation colony, then one day this thing descends from the sky and begins consuming all life on the planet. It's practically impossible to evade, extremely durable, and there doesn't appear to be any way of tracking it or providing warning of its arrival. On the off chance you survive, the planet you're on will still have been left a barren wasteland. It can and will kill ANYTHING.