Star Trek’s Most Annoying Villain Is About To Return

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

star trek villain
Matt Frewer as Berlinghoff Rasmussen in Star Trek: The Next Generation

If you’re a Star Trek fan that hasn’t been reading the different IDW comics focusing on this iconic franchise, you’re really missing out. The writers have been taking big swings, creating ambitious stories that are populated by fan-favorite heroes and villains. Now, one of Star Trek’s most annoying villains is set to make his own comic book return: ScreenRant reports that Berlinghoff Rasmussen, a time-traveling grifter, will be returning to pester Starfleet once more in the comic Star Trek: Defiant.

Matt Frewer’s time traveling Star Trek: The Next Generation villain Berlinghoff Rasmussen will return in upcoming issues of IDW’s Star Trek: Defiant.

If this Star Trek villain’s name isn’t ringing any bells, you may need to fire up Paramount+ and stream The Next Generation episode “A Matter of Time.” Played by Matt Frewer (though the role was originally written for the late, great Robin Williams), Rasmussen appears and claims to be a time-traveler from the 26th century.

Rasmussen says his only desire is to witness the Enterprise complete a historic mission. Eventually, Captain Picard and Crew discover the truth: that this Star Trek villain actually comes from the 22nd century, and he’s using stolen time-travel technology to try to steal everything from tricorders and phasers to android officer Commander Data.

While we don’t know too many details about his IDW comics appearance, it is clear that some of the movers and shakers in the Star Trek universe consider the villain a major threat.

star trek villain
Matt Frewer and LeVar Burton in Star Trek: The Next Generation

At the end of that episode, Berlinghoff Rasmussen was arrested, and after his time machine disappeared, he was stuck in his future with no way back and a serious chip on his shoulder. While we don’t know too many details about his IDW comics appearance, it is clear that some of the movers and shakers in the Star Trek universe consider the villain a major threat.

After Worf stole the Defiant and populated it with his own rebel crew to stop a power-mad Kahless, Starfleet publicly disavows Worf and his crew. Secretly, though, they keep sending him after high-profile targets, which is what Starfleet considers Rasmussen.

The Threat Of Berlinghoff Rasmussen

We’d definitely forgive you if, at this point, you just have one question: how can a time-traveling grifter and former prisoner who can’t even time travel pose a threat to Starfleet, one of the most powerful organizations in this universe? Our theory is that this villain will focus on regaining his ability to travel back and forth in time, and considering that he has no scruples, he wouldn’t hesitate to change the past in a way that irrevocably breaks the future. 

In the Strange New Worlds episode “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” we recently saw how Romulan attempts to change the past (like killing Khan before he’s an adult) could keep the Federation from forming. Like stepping on a butterfly, all it takes are small changes in the past to create major ripples in the future, so Starfleet may very well see Rasmussen as either a current or potential threat to the timeline. This could, without hyperbole, make him one of the most dangerous characters in the entire universe.

Star Trek: Defiant #1 (IDW 2023)

The only way to discover exactly what makes this Star Trek villain such a threat is to read the comics when they come out. Rasmussen’s storyline will be part of IDW’s ongoing (and always excellent) comic series Star Trek: Defiant, and subscribing now means you won’t miss a single surprise character cameo.

In the meantime, we recommend scoping out some back issues to discover what happens when The Dirty Dozen is mixed with Star Trek. With Spock, Ro Laren, and even Lore returning, there’s never a dull moment, and never a problem Captain Worf isn’t afraid to fix with violence.

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