Recently in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Spock (Ethan Peck) and James Kirk (Paul Wesley) had their historic first meeting. Such a momentous occasion makes it a good time to look back at some of the classic adventures William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy had in Star Trek: The Original Series.
The crew of the Enterprise often tangled with super-powered beings far beyond any human understanding. Some might think of themselves as gods, others just advanced aliens, not to mention a surprising number of super kids.
Featured in “The Changeling,” Nomad was a space probe created to be the perfect thinking machine. It made it a mission to destroy what it found to be imperfect. This included an entire star system– and its four billion inhabitants– before turning its attention onto the Enterprise.
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While Trek featured many advanced computers, his impressive body count made Nomad stand out. Aside from the star system it wiped out, Nomad killed and resurrected Scotty (James Doohan) and permanently wiped the memory of Uhura (Nichelle Nichols)
9 Guardian of Forever
Created by Harlan Ellison, The Guardian of Forever first appeared in “City on the Edge of Forever.” The talking archway could transport people to any time or place. It sends Kirk, Spock and McCoy (DeForest Kelley) to New York City in the 1930s, where Kirk falls in love with Edith Keeler (Joan Collins), a woman who must die to stop America from losing World War II.
In its first appearance, the Guardian was a powerful but mysterious entity. In Star Trek: Discovery, it was established as a sentient being (Paul Guilfoyle) capable of sending Phillipa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) not only to the past but into the Mirror Universe.
8 The Platonians
Among the most sinister of Kirk’s foes were the Platonians from “Plato’s Stepchildren.” While their machinations did create a historic moment– one of the first interracial kisses on television– it was done under the duress of Kirk and Uhura. The Platonians had the power to control people mentally and they used this for their amusement against Kirk and his crew. This included the monumental kiss between Kirk and Uhura and making Kirk threaten his crew.
The Platonians are horrific decadence, using their powers to make people do things against their will and gain amusement from the discomfort. While they are mighty, they are truly despicable.
7 The Talosians
The original advanced aliens, The Talosians, were the first aliens to appear in Trek, in the pilot “The Cage.” They would not make their canonical debut until the two-part “The Menagerie.” The Talosians possessed amazing mental abilities, including perfect illusions that could grant health to a grievously injured person. Captain Pike (Jeffrey Hunter) dealt with the Talosians wanting to keep him in their menagerie.
The powers of the Talosians were considered so great by the Federation that travel to Talos IV held a death sentence. Spock risked this to bring Pike there after Pike was exposed to delta radiation.
6 The Metrons
The Metrons were responsible for one of the most iconic moments in Trek: the battle between Kirk and the Gorn in “Arena.” The highly advanced aliens could draw the Enterprise and the Gorn ship to them using their mental abilities. They then transported Kirk and the Gorn Captain to a planet to fight to the death.
Only when Kirk wins his battle with the Gorn but refuses to kill him does the Metrons reveal themselves. Deciding both species were more advanced than they’d thought, the Metrons spared both.
The image of Apollo’s (Michael Forest) gigantic green hand reaching out and grabbing the Enterprise is memorable. Apollo claimed to be the source of the Greek myth, having lived for thousands of years. He was the last remaining of the pantheon.
Apollo’s downfall would come from his wish to keep the Enterprise crew- particularly Lt. Palamas (Leslie Parrish)- with him. To escape, the Enterprise destroyed Apollo’s temple. Rejected by Palamas and with his powers diminished, Apollo chose to disperse himself into the wind.
It would take a powerful species to foster peace between the Federation and the Klingons. This is the case with the Organians in “Errand of Mercy.” With the two opposing factions on the brink of war, the Organians used their powers to disarm both fleets, forcing Kirk to negotiate with Kor (John Colicos) on the Treaty of Organia,
As incorporeal beings of pure thought and energy, the Organians were immortal with incredible mental powers. Their later appearance in Star Trek: Enterpriseepisode “Observer Effect” showed them resurrecting the dead and erasing memories.
3 Charlie Evans
Charlie Evans (Robert Walker) would be just as home in an episode of The Twilight Zone as he was in “Charlie X.” an average human granted powers by the Thasians to survive on the harsh world of their home planet. Unfortunately, as a teenage boy, Charlie cannot control his emotions and lacks socialization due to growing up alone. He uses his power to pursue Yeoman Rand (Grace Lee Whitney), who he’d fallen in love with.
Charlie was able to use telepathy and telekinesis. He could also create and destroy matter. His volatile teenage emotions made these powers seem even more impressive, as he used them without thought.
2 Gary Mitchell
Coming up through Starfleet Academy, Gary Mitchell (Gary Lockwood) and Kirk were best friends. That was until “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” when the Enterprise went through the Galactic Barrier and Mitchell was infected by what Star Trek: Lower Decks would later call “strange energies.” He became silver-eyed and possessed a tremendous range of mental abilities, including telepathy, telekinesis, clairvoyance and invulnerability to phasers.
Power corrupts and this was the case with Mitchell. He became cruel to his fellow crew members, thinking he was above them due to his abilities. Despite Mitchell’s powers, he was prone to errors, writing a gravestone for Kirk that read “James R. Kirk,” while Kirk’s middle name is famously Tiberius.
The eponymous character from “The Squire of Gothos,” Trelane (William Campbell) kidnapped members of the Enterprise crew for his enjoyment. He was part of a reality-warping species beyond the comprehension of humans. His immature and irresponsible use of powers is because he is immature and irresponsible, a child member of his race, with Gothos being essentially a playpen for him.
Trelane’s puckish but dangerous attitude with Kirk resembles Captain Picard’s (Patrick Stewart) interactions with Q (John DeLancie). Several Trek books have retroactively made Trelane a member of the Q Continuum, while Mariner (Tawny Newsome) in the Strange New Worlds/Lower Decks crossover reminded Boimler that the crew of the original 1701 has “kind of a Trelane thing going on” rather than Q.
Next: ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Characters, Ranked by Likability