In the world of sci-fi, there are many outstanding races, species, and cultures. The majestic Klingons, with their frightening dentition and enthusiastic mating rituals. The exotic, beautiful Na’vi. Even the Jedi, with their mixing of cultures, are fascinating in their variety.
However, there are times when you feel the urge to leap to your feet, throw your Mountain Dew to the floor, and demand a refund. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the big screen or small, lame races are the worst kind of let-down in sci-fi.
Here are the top nine most lame alien races and species of all time.
The Ewoks of Endor, Star Wars
George Lucas, shame on you! Sentient teddy bears with spears? Just be honest, George, you wrote yourself into a corner with Wookiees. Instead of fixing this error, let’s just reverse the syllables to create Ewoks, cover them in the same brown fur, make them shorter, and call them a separate species. Just as tiny gymnasts and NBA players are all humans, Ewoks are short Wookiees. Admit it. Technological and height differences aside, this is perhaps the most glaring example of laziness in the sci-fi universe. Laziness is a sin, George. (12 parsecs)
The Skrreea, Deep Space Nine.
This pathetic race of humanoids show up through a wormhole with flaky skin and derelict ships. They whine at length to the local Bajorans, and even attempt to settle on their planet! While it’s obvious that the writers wanted the viewer to feel pity for the poor, refugee Skrreea, all I could feel was itchy. By the end of the episode, all I wanted was a bottle of Jergens lotion and to never see a Skrreean again. Sci-fi is supposed to be fun, not stir up images of harlequin icthyosis. This race blows out the core of the lame-o-meter. Their only purpose is to ingrain the importance of moisturizing. They added nothing but creep to the series, and I was glad never to see them again.
The Cybermen from Doctor Who.
Wearing an asbestos firesuit and making a mask out of a discarded vacuum cleaner doesn’t make for engaging sci-fi cinema. Neither does using a mash-up of Jean Luc Picard and Darth Vader for voice-overs. The Cybermen discuss their evil plots in front of hostages and monologue worse than Captain Kirk with a captive audience and a goblet full of Romulan ale. To make it worse, it is obvious that some of the actors crammed into these suits have potbellies that visibly shake as they move. The lameness is epic for these failed androids.
The Antedeans, Star Trek: the Next Generation.
Put a fish out of water on two legs and add a shower curtain. Spray the entire thing with silver paint. Before you stands an Antedean! Add to this a tendency to slurp from vats of small fish that already look dead, and it’s not so much sci-fi as simply disgusting. I’m all for bizarre, xenophobic species, but creepy kissy-faced silverfish? No thanks. This idea is so lame, I can’t believe it made it out of the writer’s room, let alone through wardrobe and onto the screen. Add to this that their first foray in the Federation involves an improbable murder plot, and the Antedeans become a shop-worn plot device rather than an individual civilization.
The Necrotons from Mork and Mindy.
Speaking of silver shower curtains, the Necrotons were also guilty of this ridiculous fashion statement years earlier. Mork and Mindy was an undoubtedly stupid show, but the Necrotons take the Jimbalian fudge cake. With the exception of Raquel Welch, the actresses portraying them were obviously selected on the basis of cup size over any acting ability. Those not dressed in silver shower curtains wore high-heeled, thigh-high boots with necklines plunging to just above the navel. In one scene, there is almost a nip-slip as one of them awkwardly removes a jacket. Vapid and ineffective, the Necrotons are perhaps the lamest excuse for adding eye-candy to a series ever.
Triffids, from Day of the Triffids.
Imagine pitching this idea as a movie. Large, asparagus-like, alien flowers that can walk are terrorizing the Earth! Amazingly, this idiotic idea spawned two novels, two television series, a movie, and several radio adaptations. We’re supposed to be afraid of flowers? Even for the 1960s, this is lame. Whether it’s whomping willows or Audrey Two from Little Shop of Horrors, homicidal flora is not a serious foe in any type of creative outlet, be it sci-fi or otherwise.
The Tenctonese, from Alien Nation.
Playing the martyred minority seeking asylum from slavery, the crash-landed Tenctonese decide to set up just outside Los Angeles. Hilarity does not ensue. This entire sponge-headed race is a total drag. Every episode plays out like an after-school special about tolerance and acceptance. Funny, the Tenctonese have an unfair hatred of their own sub-culture, the Eenos. If I wanted to watch preaching hypocrisy, there are plenty of news stations to choose from on television. Using thinly-veiled aliens as stand-ins for minorities and then preaching every week is lame. While sci-fi can speak about human issues, it shouldn’t be a platform for fuzzy inclusion ideology.
Giant Leeches, from the movie Attack of the Giant Leeches.
There is no delicate way to put this. At a distance, the giant leeches look exactly like turds. Closer up, they resemble a man trapped inside a Hefty bag, or perhaps a gigantic, black condom. Trash bags are even more lame than shower curtains.
The Vidiians, Star Trek: Voyager.
Falling apart from a leprosy-like disease called The Phage, the Vidiians can transport your organs directly out of your body, change them to work with alien physiology, and implant them seamlessly into their own bodies. They have impressive technology, huge ships, and, amazingly, the exact same kinds of organs as Talaxians, Klingons, and humans! Call me a skeptic, but there are two glaring problems here. First, why can’t they simply grow new organs? Us silly humans have already figured out how to grow new skin for burn victims and ears on the backs of mice. Second, they waste parts. In a society of falling-apart beings, they steal both lungs from Neelix but leave his skin even though they are obviously rotting. The Vidiians are perhaps the most lame and poorly thought out race in the entire Star Trek universe.
So there you have it. You’d have to be freebasing The White or living in a telephone booth to stomach these species. Whether it’s excessive cleavage, plastic clothing, hypocrisy, or simply by being pathetic, these nine races are the worst science fiction has to offer.