Star Trek's Most Underrated Species Is Basically Indestructible

Tholians are one of the most underrated species on Star Trek, and the series has proven them to be nearly indestructible.

Tholians are one of the most underrated species in the Star Trek universe, so fans may be surprised to learn they're nearly indestructible. Despite their short on-screen time, the Tholians proved irresistible to other creators, and throughout IDW Publishing's Star Trek: Year Five, they were one of the main antagonists . In the first issue, the Enterprise encounters a group of Torians, and fans quickly learn that more than a phaser is needed to take them down.

In the original series, Star Trek introduced some hostile races, such as the Klingons and Romulans; the show also featured some more exotic adversaries, including reptilian Gorn- and Tholians. Debuting in the season three episode "Tholian Web," this mysterious species possesses technology that allows them to spin energy-draining "webs" around starships. This will be the only live-action show in the competition until the Enterprise two-part "In a Mirror Darkly" in season four. Despite a few appearances on television, the Torians have proven popular with writers in licensed media, such as novels and comics, and as Star Trek: Fifth Grade "showrunners" Jackson Lansing and Colin Kelly needed a main antagonist for the series and they chose the Tholians.

Star Trek's Tholians Are a Fan-Favorite Species For a Reason

In Star Trek: Year Five Issue 1 - written by Lanzing and Kelly and illustrated by Stephen Thompson - the Enterprise is entering the final stretch of its five-year mission, and as Kirk and company contemplate their future, they take The distress call comes from what appears to be a Tholian colony. Upon arrival, a visiting team found the colony in ruins, with many Torians badly injured - but there was no sign of phaser fire. Spock reminds Kirk that due to their unique biology, Tholians are virtually immune to phasers and have skin of "Andorian diamond" density. Not long after, Kirk and company encountered a lone Torian who attacked them. When it did, Spock gave it a blow that would have stopped the other creatures, but only broke his hand.

The Tholians Deserve a Comeback

Tholians received little development in the original Star Trek series, and were only mentioned in dialogue until the Enterprise - but they have become a fan-favorite species due to their unique appearance and weapons. This on-screen development was actually a blessing to later writers, as it allowed them free rein and made their The imagination runs wild, inferring an entire culture from one 50-minute episode. In this issue, Lansing, Kelly, and Thompson go a step further, revealing that the Torians are one of the toughest species in the galaxy, able to withstand not only phasic fire, but extreme heat as well. Not content with simply making the Tholians invincible, the story explores their culture, revealing that it is not the single entity the Federation assumes. Instead, the reader learns that, like all societies, there are nuances and shades of gray among Tholians.

Newer Star Trek shows, such as Discovery or Strange New Worlds, have not yet used Torians. However, Strange New Worlds revives the aforementioned Gorn, making them truly terrifying and a galactic-level threat. So, it stands to reason that the Tholian could receive a similar treatment, one that would realize its full potential as an indestructible species on Star Trek.

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