She’s on the campy side, like the rest of the mirror universe and its associated plotlines, but she’s still basically Caligula. In her universe, she’s an empress, and she’ll kill and/or sexually exploit anything that crosses her path, including her alternate self. The real fun is watching Nana Visitor pull out all the stops while bouncing off herself as the very rigid, principled main universe Kira.
Politician, zealot, Oscar-winning actress. What part of that combination doesn’t add up to an awesome villain? She’s a terribly unhappy person forever clawing for elusive spiritual and political success, but it’s hard to feel too sorry for her when she’s having one of those Nurse Ratched-style rage fits that so carefully imitate calm, reasonable debating.
Just one more from Deep Space Nine (it really is the best for character drama)! The Cardassians have to come up on any list of Trek villains, and he’s easily the deepest and most thoroughly explored of the evil ones. He’s the perfect slimy, conniving, overthinking, megalomaniacal narcissist who only wants to hear from someone that he’s really not that bad. He just doesn’t want it quite enough to change the fact that he really is that bad.
It’s hard to find a more classic Trek villain or, hell, a more classic sci-fi villain than the Borg collective. They’re the most alien of alien forces, removed by so much more than forehead shape and cultural disagreements. They’re the anti-human, unfeeling and unreasonable. We are the Borg, you will be assimilated, resistance is futile. They’re a contagious plague and a swarm of monsters in one, and something about that just speaks to me somehow.
Oh, right, zombie lover.
He’s a modern day trickster god and the defining first villain from the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which he places humanity on trial for his amusement. True to the warning he gives Picard in the final episode of the same series (“The trial is never over”), he hangs around for the odd episode of Deep Space Nine and Voyager too, and every time he enters, it’s something special.
It’s not like you can exactly tell him to go away. Well, not to any effect, anyway, and Starfleet explorers are some of the best entertainment he’s found in his eternity of dull omnipotence. Oh, and he’s got that great, distinctive introductory sound whenever he materializes that seems to say, “Brace yourself; you’re along for the ride.”
Who are your favorite villains in the Star Trek universe? There are a lot more good ones than I could fit on this list.