Sure, its may be the tagline for Aliens, but horror has long been a component of any sci-fi, including Star Trek. Granted, slasher-horror is rarely the subject, but psychological horror, and even alien/mutant horrors are not unheard of in the Trek universe. Salt vampires, blood-sucking clouds, insanity-inducing parasites, zombie-like assimilating cyborgs, and many more have plagued and terrified crew members of Federation starships in nearly every iteration of Star Trek.
We’ve already had a few of these crop up in our series, and horror is a genre I enjoy, so it was inevitable that it would pop up again, and this time as a central focal point.
The majority of Star Trek episodes also tend to highlight a particular crew member or two, and this one is designed to focus on empathic/telepathic crew members. Of course, every other crew member will have things to contribute and accomplish; this isn’t a one-person show!
We also maintain the season’s sense of discovery (in this case, the horror of the unknown versus the thrill of the unknown) and again showcase the unpredictable effects the Genesis Event had on this entire region of space.
For my group, this was a tense episode with potent moments of terror (as much as can be induced at a well-lit gaming table) and personal touches. In many ways, we continue the trend discussed in our last post about making things personal. Of course, this also serves to heighten the horror.
This was also a good episode to highlight that, sometimes, “victory” can be as simple as surviving.