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Room 101


Alien Bad Guys: A Sci-Fi Worlds Top Ten

I originally intended to conclude my loose "paranormal trilogy" in this fortnight's Sci-Fi Worlds, but since the first two installments were featured in Room 101 I thought it best to save part III for there too. So instead, since I'm writing this over the Easter holidays, I thought I'd take it easy a little with a Sci-Fi Worlds Top Ten Alien Bad Guys instead. All just my opinion, of course. Maybe people could post their own top 10 on the BoA forum.

Romulans, Sontarans, Cybermen, The Dominion, Davros and the Daleks are just some of the baddies doing battle to claim top prize as our number one villain in the world of science fiction. Read on and find out ...

Check out Richard's list of the additional five aliens that didn't make the cut for his top ten list @ his blog, The Outsider's Edge.

10) The Romulans (Star Trek)

Homeworld - Romulus and Remus

Affiliation - The Romulan Star Empire

Forget the Klingon Empire it was the Romulans who should have been the main protagonists during James T. Kirk's three year reign in the captain's chair. The violent and militaristic Vulcan off-shoots giving the original Enterprise crew one of their very best episodes (if not the best) when they made their début in Balance of Terror.

9) The Minbari (Babylon 5)

Homeworld - Minbar

Affiliation - The Minbari Federation

The Next Generation had its moments but Babylon 5 is the true successor to the original Trek, inheriting some of the best Original Series writers that so obviously influenced B5 creator J. Michael Straczynski.

More casual B5 fans are probably thinking "why are the Minbari in the list? Weren't they good guys?" Yes, for the most part in the series they were, but in the best of the TV movies In The Beginning (which tells the story of the Earth-Minbari War that took place ten years prior to pilot episode The Gathering) they come within a hare's breath of exterminating all humanity in their "Holy war" against the Earth Alliance.

8) The Sontarans (Doctor Who)

Homeworld - Sontar

Affiliation - The Sontaran Empire

Robert Holmes is often celebrated in Doctor Who fandom as the very best of the classic series writers, writing all time greats like The Talons of Weng-Chiang, The Caves of Androzani and even the Master's début story the Terror of the Autons. However, it was Holmes' creation of the Sontarans that arguably had the biggest impact on the show. The cloned warrior race being the only Doctor Who monster to invade (on screen) Gallifrey, the Doctor's Homeworld.

7) The Cylons (Battlestar Galactica)

Homeworld - Cylon Homeworld

Affiliation - The Cylon Empire

Cold and calculating. The war machines ruthlessly wiped out and conquered the Twelve Colonies of Mankind in less than 24 hours. What more could you want. (Read my Battlestar Galactica piece for more of my thoughts on the Cylons.)

6) The Borg (Star Trek)

Homeworld - Unimatrix One, located in the Delta Quadrant

Affiliation - The Borg Collective

One of those moments I was talking about above. The Borg saved The Next Generation and the whole Star Trek franchise from total extinction when they kidnapped and transformed Jean-Luc Picard into Locutus of Borg in The Best of Both Worlds.

Single-minded (quite literally, they have a group or hive consciousness) and utterly relentless in their quest for "perfection," this cyborg collective is the ultimate threat to the United Federation of Planets. In the words of the entity Q: "The Borg are the ultimate user. They're unlike any threat your Federation has ever faced. They're not interested in political conquest, wealth, or power as you know it. They're simply interested in your ship, its technology. They've identified it as something they can consume."

5) The Cybermen (Doctor Who)

Homeworld - Mondas (destroyed)

Other Planets
- Telos
- Planet 14
- Parallel Earth

Affiliation - The Cyber Empire

The original Borg. The Steel Giants from Mondas were assimilating humans before it was cool. Enough said.

4) The Alien, also called the Xenomorph (Alien franchise)

Homeworld - unknown (first encountered by the crew of the commercial towing spaceship Nostromo on LV-426, Zeta Reticuli star system)

Affiliation - none

The most realistic looking extraterrestrial species ever shown on the big screen and perhaps the only truly terrifying one. The "Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility … A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality."

3) The Dominion
(Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

Homeworld - The Founder's home planet, located in the Omarion Nebula, Gamma Quadrant

Other Planets - Cardassia Prime

Important Members & Allies of the Dominion

- The Founders, aka The Changelings (the "Founders" and ultimate heads of the Dominion)

- The Vorta (the Founders' cloned intermediaries acting as Dominion administrators, diplomats, command staff, and scientists)

- The Jem'Hadar (the ultimate warrior race and shock troops of the Dominion)

- The Cardassian Union

- The Breen Confederacy

Kind of the Anti-Federation. The Dominion gave DS9 fans three of the very best Trek villains for the price of one. The xenophobic and paranoid Changelings; the manipulative and scheming Vorta; and last but not the least the genetically engineered Jem'Hadar. Add to this mix the fascistic Cardassians and the mysterious Breen and you have, as one Federation admiral put it, "maybe the greatest danger (Earth's) faced since the last world war."

2) The Shadows (Babylon 5)

Homeworld - Z'ha'dum, aka Alpha Omega 3 (destroyed)

Affiliation - unknown

An ancient force of conflict and chaos, the very essence of evil. Shrouded in mystery and armed with technology a million years ahead of 23rd century Earth (not to mention the coolest looking ships on TV) the Shadows were easily the best alien race in what many consider the best space opera series ever made.

1) Davros and the Daleks
(Doctor Who)

Homeworld - Skaro, aka D5-Gamma-Z-Alpha (destroyed)

Other Planets
- 22nd Century Earth
- Kembel
- The Ogron home planet
- Spiridon
- Necros

Affiliation - The Dalek Empire

The post of supreme alien bad guys has to go to Davros and his ultimate achievement the Daleks. Brilliant but utterly lacking in conscience, without soul or pity, the mutant madman Davros created the Daleks in his own image. Programmed to "conquer and destroy" all other forms of life the metal monsters soon turned on their creator though and thus began their ethnic cleansing of the Universe.

Together, Davros and the Daleks are the ultimate Who allegory for evil. The only two Who villains to consistently have the Doctor on the ropes. The Dalek's conquering Earth not once but twice (at least) and even being responsible for the deaths of two of the Doctor's on screen companions. Not to mention the near extinction of the Doctor's own people the Time Lords.

Richard Thomas, BoA UK Correspondent and Columnist.