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There are a lot of Star Trek shows out there, but few come close to the level of acclaim and love that Star Trek: The Next Generation has received. The Patrick Stewart-led series kept audiences captivated for seven seasons, and introduced us to some truly dangerous villains in the Star Trek world along the way.
The Enterprise crew were a tough bunch to beat, so it's hard to say they were put on the ropes a ton during the series, but they did have their struggles. The following are 9 of the most dangerous villains in Star Trek: The Next Generation that I think are worth mentioning, ranked of course from least to most threatening.
9. The Game
In "The Game" the ever-so-cool and trend-setter Riker receives an AR video game while vacationing on the pleasure planet, and even though it looks like he's playing a Windows 95 screensaver, he gets hooked. In fact, a vast majority of the ship soon gets hooked on this impossibly addictive game, and Wesley Crusher is one of the only people around to stop it. If successful, the Ktarians who developed the game could've used their game (actually a mind control device) to use the Enterprise crew to further their ideals, and eventually take control of Starfleet. That makes for a pretty threatening Star Trek: The Next Generation villain, but when Ensigns can collapse your plan, I can only give so much credit.
8. Duras Sisters
Lursa (played by now-departed actress Barbara March) and B'Etor of House Duras were two Klingon characters we saw a decent amount in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and never for noble reasons. The two clashed with the Enterprise crew on a number of occasions, including when Picard's rejection of Toral (as Arbiter of Succession) kept the House of Duras from taking the throne in "Redemption." These shady sisters were ultimately responsible for launching Klingon into Civil War, though their support quickly faded when Picard exposed them for colluding with the Romulans. The two were never really a massive threat to the crew's safety, but certainly a pain in the ass to deal with.
By far one of the most powerful figures in the Star Trek universe, Q often has to be written as more mischievous observer rather than an outright villain. The being appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation several times to test Jean-Luc Picard throughout the series with his ability to warp and distort reality at will. These tests, while often perilous and high stakes, were often things that ultimately made Picard stronger. This is especially true in the series finale "All Good Things", in which Q's tricks end up helping him prevent an anomaly that destroys reality.
Star Trek: The Next Generation fans who wondered what it would be like if Tasha Yar and a Romulan had a baby found out when the actress returned for this unique role. Sela was the love-child of an alternate Tasha and Romulan general, and a key figure in a handful of Romulan plots that happened in the series. She was one of the people aiding the House of Duras in their attempted Civil War, and even tried to use Spock as a way of deceiving The Federation. While a feared adversary, Sela ultimately fell to a Vulcan nerve pinch from Data in "Unification," but that doesn't mean I still don't think what she could've been had she not gone up against one of Starfleet's best.
5. Gul Madred
One of the more notable villains of the Cardassians, Gul Madred is best known for his interrogation of Jean-Luc Picard in "Chain of Command." Madred captures Picard on some false charges, and in an effort to uncover Federation defense systems for Minos Korva, drugged and tortured Picard in an effort to break him and make him give up the information. He takes away Picard's clothes, toys with his mind, and implants him with a device that makes the Captain's whole body feel pain. Picard ultimately wins out, but admits Madred drove him right to the brink of submitting before the Federation demanded his release.
Armus is pure evil, but that's more a description of what it is more than anything. Armus is literally concentrated evil of a race that shed itself of it, and seemingly immortal. The "Skin Of Evil" isn't just notable for showing this fearsome foe, but also because the creature was responsible for the death of Lieutenant Tasha Yar. It was one of the few times a main crew member of The Next Generation was killed, and Armus was declared so dangerous his planet Vagra II was marked off-limits to prevent its escape.
The holodeck is to be used for fun, pleasure, or to practice scenarios without fear of harm or consequences. Sometimes though, the impossible can happen, which is exactly what happened when Geordi LaForge used the machine to create an arch enemy for Data that could be considered his "equal." This led to Moriarty being created in "Elementary, Dear Data" and quickly learned he was not a living being of equal standing. He played to Picard's heart in asking for a way to be made human, but the next time he was brought back in "Ship In A Bottle" tried to make it happen for himself. He was ultimately thwarted but lies dormant within the Enterprise memory banks still plotting his next act of revenge against whoever wakes him again.
Moriarty was bad, but let's talk about Data's evil "brother" Lore who was actually able to influence the real world. After being discovered by his brother, Lore's true malfunction as a malevolent being was discovered by the Enterprise crew, who worked many times to foil Lore's efforts and his attempts to sway Data over to his way of thinking of Synths as a superior being compared to humans. Data eventually had to dismantle his own brother, which frankly, may be the most villainous thing Lore ever made a character do.
1. The Borg
While they later become a more sympathetic group in Star Trek: Picard, The Borg are quite a force to be reckoned with throughout Star Trek: The Next Generation. They're relentless, emotionless, and the only Star Trek enemy to effectively weaponize Jean-Luc Picard against the Federation ("The Best Of Both Worlds"). That alone would be worthy of a top spot on the list, but perhaps what makes the Borg the most terrifying is that their army is entirely comprised of unwilling victims acting merely as vessels. It's a thought that only gets more frightening the longer you think about it, and why without question they're the baddest and most dangerous villains of The Next Generation.
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