By some definitions, Star Trek’s the Borg might themselves be considered parasites, since, with their assimilation nanites, they transform and co-opt organic beings into Borg. But for this post, I’m going to concentrate on some memorable and gruesome biological parasites, rather than mechanical ones.
Once inside the secret community, Spain learns that the strange group is led by hideous alien invaders: horrible crab-like creatures that attach themselves to the human spine and totally control minds. If the joining process goes wrong, humans are rendered deformed and nearly lobotomized.
Gordon attempts to warn government officials about the alien invasion in the offing, but the Invisibles are already onto him, and just waiting to absorb him into their ranks. In an absolutely tense and suspenseful scene near the episode’s climax, a wounded, prone, Spain is unable to escape as a skittering, multi-legged Invisible dashes towards him, attempting to join with him. He pulls himself along, screaming for help, as the thing, in the background, looms ever nearer. The feeling of vulnerability, entrapment and terror generated in that image, and throughout “The Invisibles,” remains incredibly potent fifty years later. Being joined with these huge, inhuman things is indeed a fate worse than death…
Here, a nasty civil servant, Stephen Macy (Laurence Harvey) covets a co-worker's wife (Joanna Pettet) and attempts to off her husband with a parasite called an earwig. The murder scheme goes horribly wrong, however, when Stephen himself is exposed to the wee bug.
The more Judson drinks, the more the worm feeds and the bigger it grows. Now, Judson doesn’t even get the buzz of feeling drunk, no matter how much liquor he consumes! Eventually, if he keeps drinking, the Hellgramite will kill Miley, so the traumatized alcoholic must either starve the tapeworm and stop drinking for good, or let the thing kill him…
In “Conspiracy,” a late first season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) is warned by a friend, Captain Walker (Jonathan Farwell) that some kind of sinister agenda is afoot in Starfleet Command.
After Walker’s ship, The Horatio explodes in an apparent accident, Picard fears there might be some truth behind his friend’s paranoia. He orders the Enterprise back to Earth, and there discovers that the Admiralty itself has been infiltrated by parasitic aliens bent on conquering the Federation from within. These small, crab-like aliens enter human beings through the mouth, and then completely control all higher mental functions. The small parasites also report to a much-larger, dinosaur-like “mother” being that has found a home inside Commander Remmick (Robert Schenkkan). The parasites die without this mother being in close proximity.
Here, Agent Scully (Gillian Anderson), sans partner, visits Utah to investigate a strange death. She soon runs afoul, instead, of a weird cult that believes a worm parasite represents the second coming of Jesus Christ on Earth.