Star Trek's 10 Most Iconic English Villains

When the Final Frontier of villainy is a British accent...

Star Trek Into Darkness Benedict Cumberbatch

As a major Hollywood presence over the last five decades, it's no surprise that Star Trek has picked up a few traditions along the way, one of which is somewhat ironic. In contrast to international, even interstellar crews working together since the days of the Cold War and the Civil Rights Movement, it now seems as though those who hail from England are seen at the other end of the moral spectrum.

Yes, Patrick Stewart and Simon Pegg have both been unwavering pillars of integrity, but they did so as a Frenchman and a Scot respectively. Meanwhile in Enterprise it was Malcolm Reed, hailing from a strong family line of Royal Navy officers, who was given the dubious back story with the notorious Section 31: a far cry from Dominic Keating's days at Channel 4 sitcom Desmond's.

Not that this is a problem however, as many English actors in fact revel in their performances. As veterans including Charles Dance often note, villains are in fact the most interesting characters to play. In an ad for Jaguar which tries to explain the Hollywood trend, Tom Hiddleston himself states that “we're more focused, more precise”, as well as “obsessed by power.” Pretty much what you'd expect from the English actor du jour who rose to fame in Marvel's Thor & Avengers films.

Here then are those English thespians who have antagonised Starfleet's best and brightest in order to prove Sir Ben Kingsley right when he says that “it's good to be bad.”

10. Idris Elba - Krall

Star Trek Into Darkness Benedict Cumberbatch
Paramount Pictures

Once known as Balthazar M. Edison, Krall was a respected soldier as part of Earth's Military Assault Command Operations, and was eventually given command of the USS Franklin when the MACOs were dissolved into the newly created Federation Starfleet. His captaincy was short lived however, as his ship soon became crashed and stranded on an uncharted planet, leaving just him and two other crew members to survive for a century using only their wits, and deserted alien life extending technology.

Famous on both sides of the Atlantic as an educated drug lord in The Wire, and a cop with questionable methods in Luther, it's no surprise that Star Trek would cast Idris Elba as the lead villain in its 50th anniversary feature film, Star Trek Beyond. With a history of portraying characters who tread the razors edge of morality so convincingly, he was undoubtedly the ideal choice to portray a sympathetic villain who, in the words of co-writer Simon Pegg, was designed to make us seriously consider the possibility of whether Star Trek's utopian United Federation of Planets "was just colonialism, whether it was just like the Borg, whether we’re just assimilating the galaxy"?

But instead of such a brave and bold questioning of Star Trek's core beliefs, all we were given was someone who despite having seen the worst horrors of war, saw adopting peaceful cooperation as a betrayal to all that he was, and vowed to take his vengeance on the Federation for everything which went wrong in his life.

Because what Star Trek movie villain doesn't.


One man fate has made indescribable