10 Most Messed Up Deaths In Star Trek: TOS

Sometimes on Star Trek, setting phasers to kill just isn't gruesome enough...

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There’s a good reason Captain Kirk says “to boldly go where no man has gone before” rather than just “to go”. Indeed, a man (or woman!) would need to have balls of steel to volunteer for a position on the USS Enterprise, on which even the strangest of deaths are all in a day’s work.

Ironically, it’s Q in The Next Generation who best described the wonders and perils of outer space in the Star Trek universe; “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.”

That’s all very well and good for an omnipotent being, but needless to say, the large numbers that comprise the body count in The Original Series would surely take a bloody nose any day compared to the weird and wild fates they suffer in service of the Enterprise.

A good old fashioned and simple death from wayward phaser-fire would be a dream come true next to the array of bizarre and messed up mishaps that are, sadly, part of the job description for Star Trek’s redshirts and miscellaneous crewmen (and women!). Sure, come the next show, Kirk and co may act as though everything’s back to normal, but it’s hard for us to forget the sorry saps that follow.

10. A Pinch Of Salt - The Man Trap

What better way to start off than a gnarly fate seen in "The Man Trap", the very first episode aired in Star Trek’s original run? Clearly, freakish fatalities were to be a mainstay on the show, and they had no issue raising the curtain with among the most grotesque.

The Original Series begins with the Enterprise visiting the planet M-113 to deliver supplies, conduct routine medical exams… the usual. What’s also established as “usual” however, is the doomed fate of whichever poor schmuck happens to accompany any combination of Kirk, Dr McCoy, and Spock on a new planet.

In this case it’s Crewman Darnell, who falls for what he believes to be a beautiful woman, but is in fact a shape-shifting, salt-sucking monster. Standard Star Trek fare. After Darnell is disposed of, the chameleonic killer proceeds to stalk the corridors of the Enterprise, relieving the unlucky crewmen it encounters of both their salt and their lives.

It turns out to be not so much a rampage as it is a simple matter of the creature’s survival, but that’s of little comfort to the salt-devoid corpses of those unlucky enough to come across a pretty woman.


Chest thumping James Bond and Haruki Murakami fanatic living in China. Once had a fever dream about riding a rowboat with Davos Seaworth. He hasn't updated this section since Game of Thrones was cool, and boy does it show.