It’s almost Halloween and, if you’re like me, no holiday is going to stop you from watching Paramount‘s Star Trek. So, I’ve put together some episodes that are great to watch during the spooky season, but not because they’re spooky. Instead, they’re perfect because they’re about characters doing what many of us love to do on Halloween: become someone else.
“Mirror, Mirror” Star Trek: The Original Series S2 E4
“Mirror, Mirror” brought to Star Trek: The Original Series a premise that was simple but too fun for subsequent series not to copy: a mirror universe in which all the good guys were bad. A transporter malfunction sends Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura to this dark reflection. Rather than the USS Enterprise of the United Federation of Planets, they find themselves on the ISS Enterprise in the service of the cruel Terran Empire.
In order to survive long enough to escape to their home universe, the Star Trek heroes are forced to have their own little Halloween, pretending to be just as brutal and ruthless as their new crew mates.
“Genesis” Star Trek: The Next Generation S7, E19
Marking the directorial debut of Gates McFadden, the Season 7 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Genesis” has most of the crew having their own Halloween celebration going on while Picard and Data are away. The captain and Data return to a changed Enterprise where everyone has transformed into bizarre and/or monstrous shapes. Riker is a caveman, Barclay is a spider man (but not the crime fighting type), and Troi has become more fish than human or Betazoid.
Only Picard and Data can save the crew, but they soon learn the only way they can do that is if they can survive a devolved Worf. Stronger than ever and armed with poisonous breath, the Klingon is even more dangerous than normal.
“Whispers” Star Trek: Deep Space Nine S2, E14
“Whispers” presents you with as much of a mystery as it gives Miles O’Brien, who returns to the station of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine feeling like he’s the one who wasn’t told there was a Halloween party going on. His wife and daughter treat him like a stranger, Bashir and Sisko are obsessed with him getting a physical, and Kira warns Jake away from even speaking with him. It all leads to O’Brien racing away from the station and a question about whether it’s DS9’s crew who are the ones acting strange or if it’s O’Brien.
“Course: Oblivion” Star Trek: Voyager S5, E18
There is perhaps no bigger Halloween party in the history of the franchise than in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Course: Oblivion.” Things start off happily enough, with Tom Paris and B’Elana finally tying the knot. But not long afterward, B’Elana dies, and no one can figure out how.
More crew members die, and even the ship itself starts suffering before the crew finally figures out that absolutely nothing on board Voyager is what it seems.
“Vanishing Point” Star Trek: Enterprise S2, E10
With the show set a century before the events of The Original Series, the heroes of Star Trek: Enterprise had to face some technological challenges the characters in other series would be spared. In particular, the transporter on board the NX-01 is not the most reliable piece of tech and the heroes tend to only use it if they have absolutely no other choice.
One episode in which the Enterprise heroes’ fears come off as completely valid is “Vanishing Point” when Ensign Hoshi Sato becomes completely undetectable by anyone else on board the Enterprise after a trip through the transporter. At the same time, she winds up being the only person who can see aliens messing with the ship. What better Halloween episode than one in which a Trek hero becomes a living ghost?