12 Worst Transporter Accidents on "Star Trek"

The transporter is one of the most popular and famous technologies in all of Star Trek. Its beam allows someone to be instantly transported (teleported) from one location to another without having to pass through the space in-between. But it doesn't always work as planned, and transporter accidents are almost as common as holodeck malfunctions. Here's a round-up of the worst.

01
of 12

Tuvix

Tuvix argues his right to exist
Tuvix argues his right to exist. Paramount/CBS

On Star Trek: Voyager, security chief Tuvok and head chef Neelix are transported from an alien planet with some plant samples. The plant causes the transporter to fuse Tuvok and Neelix into a single being. The new lifeform called Tuvix is accepted by the crew and doesn't seem like a bad deal at all. That is until a process is discovered to separate Tuvok and Neelix, essentially destroying Tuvix.

02
of 12

Malfunction

On Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the Enterprise is undergoing a refit which causes some systems to malfunction. While using the transporter to bring new crew aboard, two officers (including the science officer Sonak) are killed by a malfunctioning transporter. According to the transporter, the resulting mass didn't live very long. Thankfully.

03
of 12

Thomas Riker

Thomas Riker and Deanna Troi
Thomas Riker and Deanna Troi. Paramount/CBS

In the episode "Second Chances" of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Commander Riker was shocked to discover he had a duplicate. While serving on the USS Potemkin eight years earlier, Riker had a malfunction while beaming back to the ship from Nervala IV. Atmospheric distortions caused the transporter beam to bounce back to the surface and create a duplicate Riker. The Riker copy was trapped on the planet for eight years until the Enterprise rescued him. He finds himself struggling to rebuild his life, especially with his former (but to him, still current) lover, Troi.

04
of 12

The Two Kirks

In TOS episode "The Enemy Within," a transporter accident creates two Kirks. The problem starts when Kirk is among an away team on a distant planet's mining colony. He beams back to the ship with some magnetic dust on him. The dust creates two copies of anything sent through the teleporter, including an alien dog. The Enterprise finds itself with one "good" Kirk who's incapable of making decisions, and one "evil" Kirk with vicious intent. The crew struggles to find a way to reunite the two in time to rescue an away team on the planet's surface. Evil twins...can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

05
of 12

Transporter-Phobia

Reginald Barclay is one of the few maladjusted members of the Enterprise crew. He's addicted to holodeck programs and is nervous and awkward around real people. But his worst nightmares come true in "Realm of Fear." In this episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, he has a phobia of the transporter beaming a creature into him. To his horror, they discover he's right. It turns out some "energy microbes" trapped in the transporter beam with him infected his body, and they have to find a way to get them out. It's enough to turn anyone off.

06
of 12

Ghosts

In "The Next Phase" on Star Trek: The Next Generation, two crew members are killed and turned into ghosts. Or so it seems. When a faulty generator from a Romulan ship causes the transporter to fail, La Forge and Ensign Laren are thought to be lost and killed. But it turns out La Forge and Laren are still alive, turned into versions of themselves that can't be seen or heard by the rest of the crew. As they watch their own funeral preparations, La Forge and Laren have to try to find a way to go back to normal.

07
of 12

The Tholian Web

In "Past Tense," the two-part episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a transporter accident sends Sisko, Bashir, and Dax into the past. An accident with the "annular confinement beam" (don't you love techno-babble) causes the three of them to end up in 2024 San Francisco. As often happens on Star Trek, they accidentally change history by allowing a prominent homeless activist to be killed. Now the three of them have to find a way to restore history and return home. 

08
of 12

Time Travel

In the Classic Series episode "Mirror, Mirror," a transporter accident with an ion storm sends Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura into an alternate reality. In the so-called Mirror Universe, the benevolent Federation is the ruthless Terran Empire, and the Enterprise is a warship. Crew members are tortured for their failures, and assassination is the standard method promotion. Worst of all, Spock has a wicked beard. Kirk and his team must impersonate their evil duplicates while trying to find a way back home. The episode lead to a number of other episodes on later series set in the Mirror Universe because it's awesome.

09
of 12

The Mirror Universe

On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's "Our Man Bashir," sabotage causes the station's runabout to explode while on its way back. DS9 manages to initiate a teleport off the runabout, but the explosion keeps them from materializing on the station. To save their lives, the transporter chief is forced to download their information and save them in the holodeck. Unfortunately, Bashir is playing a secret agent in a ​holosuite program at the time, and the transporter accident replaces the characters with the physical bodies of the station's staff. Bashir is forced to keep any of the crew members from dying in the game or they'll die in real life. It's a deadly game.

10
of 12

Children

On the "Drone" episode of Star Trek Voyager, Seven of Nine and the holographic Doctor unwittingly create a new lifeform, and it could destroy the Galaxy. During a transport, Seven's nanoprobes fuse with the Doctor's  holoemitter, creating a Borg Drone with advanced technology. If the Borg drone isn't destroyed, it could overwhelm the universe.

11
of 12

The Holosuite

Julian Bashir as a secret agent
Julian Bashir as a secret agent. Paramount Television/CBS Television

On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's "Our Man Bashir," sabotage causes the station's runabout to explode while on its way back. DS9 manages to initiate a teleport off the runabout, but the explosion keeps them from materializing on the station. To save their lives, the transporter chief is forced to download their information and save them in the holodeck. Unfortunately, Bashir is playing a secret agent in a holosuite program at the time, and the transporter accident replaces the characters with the physical bodies of the station's staff. Bashir is forced to keep any of the crew members from dying in the game or they'll die in real life. It's a deadly game.

12
of 12

Borg Drone

On Star Trek Voyager, Seven of Nine and the holographic Doctor unwittingly create a new lifeform, and it could destroy the Galaxy. Seven's nanoprobes fuse with the Doctor's holoemitter, creating a Borg Drone with advanced technology

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Mitchell, Nigel. "12 Worst Transporter Accidents on "Star Trek"." ThoughtCo, May. 16, 2016, thoughtco.com/worst-transporter-accidents-on-star-trek-4046426. Mitchell, Nigel. (2016, May 16). 12 Worst Transporter Accidents on "Star Trek". Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/worst-transporter-accidents-on-star-trek-4046426 Mitchell, Nigel. "12 Worst Transporter Accidents on "Star Trek"." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/worst-transporter-accidents-on-star-trek-4046426 (accessed November 24, 2017).