Halloween became Star Trek canon as far back as TOS’ “Catspaw,” and even though it’s never come up again, Star Trek’s writers sure do love to see the crews of each show playing dress-up. As an update to our previous 10 Favorite Star Trek Characters in Costume list from years ago, we look at more fun times Star Trek characters wore something other than their standard-issue uniforms, often (but not always) because they had to be in disguise. Start taking notes, because some of these could make for some good deep-cut Halloween costumes or cosplay at the next convention.
This list is in no particular order, nor is it comprehensive, but it does cover (almost) every incarnation of the Trek franchise. (And no, “Patterns of Force” will never, ever make the list.)
Kirk and McCoy as 1980s Doctors (“Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”)
With Chekov non-responsive awaiting surgery during the dark ages, aka 1986 San Francisco, Kirk, Bones, and Gillian Taylor attempt to rescue him from 20th-century medicine. with Dr. Taylor stepping in as their patient.
Costume tip: Don’t forget the gurney, and make sure the person in it can give a convincing cramps scream.
Malcolm Reed as a Suliban (Enterprise, “Detained”)
When Archer and Mayweather are detained by an alien race called the Tandarans, Lt. Reed disguises himself as a Suliban to infiltrate the prison and break them out. It’s Prison Break, United Earth Starfleet edition.
To work, this makeup would have to go all over, so get a friend to help. You can help them too, and go as Suliban buddies. Or twins! (Do the Suliban have twins?)
Mariner as an Orion (Lower Decks, “We’ll Always Have Tom Paris”)
Also known as “The Search for T’Ana’s Libido Post,” Mariner is sent with Tendi to Qualor II, disguised in full Orion attire to match her Cerritos crewmate.
This costume is all about attitude. If you really nail it, you can be Mistress of the Winter Constellations!
The TNG crew as 19th-century Royal Navy officers (Star Trek: Generations)
What better way to introduce the cast of the Enterprise-D to a wide audience in their feature film debut than in 19th-century naval uniforms on a sailing ship in the sea? It was just Worf’s promotion from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Commander, complete with high-pitched cheering, plank-walking, and borderline assault. Was every promotion done this way on the Enterprise-D? And if not, why not? I need answers.
No makeup needed for this one, just a very complicated and specific outfit. Nitpickers will judge, but Star Trek fans will push you into the nearest body of water.
Bashir, Garak, and (sort of) Sisko, O’Brien, Kira, Worf, and Dax as 1960s spies (Deep Space Nine, “Our Man Bashir”)
This two-time Emmy-nominated romp in the holosuite features Bashir and Garak in a 1960s-era spy program. A transporter malfunction replaces the original characters with the likenesses of the DS9 crew and they arguably never looked so good. Fun fact: “Our Man Bashir” premiered 10 days after the release of the first Pierce Brosnan James Bond film, “GoldenEye.” Good timing.
Be prepared for people to miss the Star Trek connection, and just think it’s a Bond thing. But if you know, you know.
Janeway, Chakotay, Tuvok, and Paris as 1990s Los Angelenos (Voyager, “Future’s End”)
After one of those pesky graviton fields pulls Voyager back in time to 20th-century earth, the away team dons some pretty hip ’90s threads to blend in with the humans of that time. At one point, Tuvok points out that they could’ve worn their Starfleet uniforms and no one would’ve noticed. At least they didn’t look like a cadet review.
Janeway’s white suit is definitely the way to go on this one, although Tuvok comes in a close second.
Data and Geordi as Holmes and Watson (The Next Generation, “Elementary, Dear Data”)
The holodeck lends itself to being a dress-up wonderland with so many episodes of TNG taking place there. One of the most notable was Data and Geordi’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in “Elementary, Dear Data.” With its two Emmy nominations for costume design and art direction, there’s no way you can leave it out of a Halloween costume list.
Like the Bond costumes, these deep cuts will easily be mistaken by others for being “just” a Sherlock Holmes and Watson costume, so don’t forget the VISOR for Watson and the pale skin & yellow eyes for Sherlock. The chef’s kiss.
Spock as his cousin Selek (The Animated Series, “Yesteryear”)
Arguably the best episode from TAS, a lost-in-time Spock is sent back to his childhood to prevent his own death. Disguised as a distant cousin named Selek, Spock guides his younger self through the kahs-wan, a Vulcan adolescent survival test. It’s a mind-bending episode that predates the Terminator and Back to the Future predestination paradoxes.
If you already have Spock’s blue science shirt (and many of you do), all you’ll need is the robe.
Kirk and McCoy as Nibirans (Star Trek Into Darkness)
In the Kelvin universe, The Enterprise discovers an erupting volcano on the planet Nibiru, which would cause an extinction-level event. Kirk and Bones disguise themselves as natives to avoid violating the Prime Directive, which backfires and ages poorly.
This may not actually be a great costume idea. Just look at his face.
Cadet Tilly as “Captain Killy” (Discovery, “Despite Yourself”)
After an unscheduled jump to the Mirror Universe, Cadet Silvia Tilly is reluctantly thrust into command of the I.S.S. Discovery, disguising herself as her evil counterpart, Captain “Killy.”
This is a popular one, so if you can’t make the outfit yourself, you can find someone on Etsy who will make it for you.
Picard and Rios as we’re still not sure what (Picard, “Stardust City Rag”)
The pursuit of Bruce Maddox brings the crew of the La Sirena to the planet Freecloud in this Jonathan Frakes-directed episode. If you want to see Picard as a Frenchman pretending to be an Englishman speaking English with a bad French accent, complete with an eye patch, fire up that Paramount+ app immediately.
Picard’s costume looks easier, but Rios’ will get you more attention.
Spock as a 1930s Everyman (The Original Series, “The City on the Edge of Forever”)
When Kirk and Spock use the Guardian of Forever to go back in time to save the future, they first steal some clothes and hide out in Edith Keeler’s basement. When discovered, instead of having to listen to Kirk retell the story about the unfortunate accident he had as a child, Spock cleverly dons a blue knit cap to hide his alien ears. You’ve never seen a radio tube hobbyist look this good.
Easiest. Costume. Ever.
What’s your favorite Star Trek character in dress-up?
Do you have a favorite from this list (or our 2008 list)? Or another favorite moment? Have you ever cosplayed using a Star Trek dress-up moment? Let us know in the comments below.
Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.
I like Spock in the hooded black robe in “Return of the Archons,” since he looks stunning in black. Kirk and Spock in “Errand of Mercy” also look cute in those outfits.
Gotta say, I’m still a fan of Sisko, Odo and O’Brien surgically altered to look Klingon… and Michael Dorn’s story about Colm Meaney running around the set complaining about the make-up and that they “effed up” his teeth!
For me, it’s Romulan Kirk from The Enterprise Incident. VERY COOL!
I’m afraid I agree with Spock that they were not aesthetically pleasing on Kirk. :-)
OH!! Yeah, the scene where Kirk is wishing he didn’t have to do it – the disguise thing, that “oh shit’s gonna fly if they find out” look – that look found it’s way onto canvas, I gotta find that DaH!
Definitely miss the Merry Men from Qpid :-)
I love this piece! I’ve started my research on one of the characters featured in this article for next years Trek Con in Vegas!
Very nice write-up! was a nice trip down memory lane! :)
Isn’t this the kinda thing you would want to publish not the very day of Halloween?