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Special Powers



Universe : Prime Timeline
Name : Telepathy [1]

Telepathy refers to the ability to communicate thoughts and ideas from one person to another without the use of conventional biological mechanisms or technology. Many species have telepathic abilities; in some cases, such a Humans, the ability is rare, limited to a few selected individuals. [1] Most Humans have some degree of PSI ability, but it is usually very limited. Miranda Jones, an Earth woman of the 23rd century, was an example of a powerful Human telepath who was part of the project to use Medusans as navigators on Federation Starships. [2] In 2265, two members of the Enterprise crew had their ESP powers vastly increased as a result of an encounter with the energy barrier at the edge of the galaxy. Their powers continued to escalate to astounding and even dangerous levels, and both had to be abandoned on an uninhabited planet by the Enterprise crew. [1]

In other species, such as Betazoids, most or all people have telepathic ability. Betazoid telepathic ability is created by a pattern of neural cells throughout the cerebellum and cerebral cortex. [3] The neurotransmitter psilosynine is also involved in Betazoid telepathy. [4] Most Betazoids are full telepaths, with their abilities developing durind adolescence. However in a few cases a child is born with the telepathic ability already formed. Since such children have no opportunity to develop the mental barriers against the thoughts of others that older Betazoids do, they often experience psychological difficulties as a result. [5] Betazoids are able to cross breed with Humans; in such cases, the offspring is often displays reduced capabilities, often empathic in nature, with telepathy either limited to those with whom the person shares a close mental bond [6], or absent altogether. [7]

The precise nature of telepathic ability varies from species to species. Amongst the more capable are the Melkotians. Encountered in 2268, this non-Human species were capable of transmitting detailed thoughts and images to several members of the Enterprise crew. Indeed the Melkotians were able to ‘interlink’ the minds of these officers so that they existed within the same shared illusion, which appeared to be utterly real and convincing to them. The illusion was only broken when they realised the nature of their situation and convinced themselves of the unreality of the illusion – ironically through another form of telepathy. [8]

The Talosians also had this form of telepathy; they were able to construct and project detailed illusions so convincing that they were impossible to tell from the real thing. The ability had led to the virtual disintegration of Talosian society; most Talosians became so addicted to living vicariously through the memories and experiences of others that they took little interest in the day to day function of their society. The Federation was so concerned with the power of the Talosians that they forbade any further contact with the planet after the original visit of the Enterprise in 2254, with violation of this order carrying an automatic death penalty. [9]

Although most Vulcans have a limited form of telepathy, some individuals have demonstrated much higher order abilities. In particular Sybok, the 23rd century rebel, was able to telepathically scan the minds of others and produce interactive illusions which they could take part in whilst others watched. Sybok used this ability to produce catharctic experiences in order to convince people to join his quest for the mythical planet Sha’ka’ree. [10]

Other variations on this ability include the psychoprojective telepathy which the Halanans posess, that allows them to project the image of an alter-ego personality to others at a distance [11] and the telepathic attacks which can be launched by the Letheans. [12]



Universe : Prime Timeline
Name : Empathy [13]

A more limited form of telepathy, empathy is the ability to sense feelings and emotions in others rather than detailed thoughts or images. An empathic individual would for instance be able to tell that another was upset, but not the specifics of why. Betazoids of mixed race tend to have empathic rather than telepathic abilities, though at least some telepathic ability is often present. [6]


Mind Melds

Universe : Prime Timeline
Name : Mind Melds [14]

Another form of telepathy, the mind meld is a Vulcan method of linking two minds together. The meld is generally established by the Vulcan touching the fingers of his or her hands to the face of the participant; the process could be compared to a linkage between the nerve systems of both individuals. Traditionally the incantation “My mind to your mind, your thoughts to my thoughts” is used when a meld is being established, though this is purely ceremonial and not necessary to the process. The process of melding involves inducing pressure changes in the blood vessels and nerves. [14]

As the name suggests, a mind meld is not a simple transmission of thoughts or images but rather a true merging of the two personalities. It is common for those involved in a meld to either complete one another’s sentences [15] or even speak simultaneously. It is also common for both individuals to refer to themselves as “we” during the meld. [14] Mind Melds can be used by a Vulcan to assist another in overcoming mental damage or blocks, for example retrieving lost memories. [16] Melds have been used by Vulcans with a variety of alien species, including silicon-based life [17] and even a computerised probe. [18]

It is possible for a limited meld to be established without direct contact, and this can be used to influence the actions of others. Commander Spock of the Enterprise was able to accomplish this feat on several occasions, for instance convincing an Eminian guard to open the door of a cell [19], or a Yang woman to open a communicator. [20]



Universe : Prime Timeline
Name : Psychokinesis [1]

Psycokinesis is the ability to use the power of the mind to physically manipulate objects at a distance. The ability is relatively rare compared to telepathy, and few cases have been recorded. Psycokinesis was one of the abilities developed by Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell and Doctor Elizabeth Dehner after their encounter with the energy barrier at the edge of the galaxy in 2265. [1] In 2268 the Enterprise encountered a group of Platonians, members of an alien species who had developed enourmous psychokinetic powers after settling on an alien planet. A Platonian was able to exert influence over the Enterprise in orbit, at a distance of at least hundreds of miles. However, as often seems to be the case, the possession of such power had led the Platonians to neglect other aspects of life badly. [21]

The abilities developed as a result of exposure to kironide, an element of the planet’s environment. Captain Kirk and his senior officers were able to develop psychokinetic powers of their own after ingesting doses of kironide. Although this offers Humans a quick and simple way to become strongly psychokinetic [21], it has apparently not been followed up.

Humanity has flirted with developing these abilities in other ways. The Darwin genetic research project included psychokinetic abilities as one of the supposed improvements in Humanity which they were attempting in the 2360s. The psychokinetic portion of the project was apparently successful, though other aspects were not. [22]



Universe : Prime Timeline
Name : Electroshock [23]

Certain life forms are capable of generating electrical shocks with their own body. This ability is usually used for self defence or offensive attacks, delivered via physical contact with the victim. The ability is very uncommon amongst intelligent life forms, but one recorded case is that of the Brekkians and Ornarans. These humanoids, originating from different planets in the same solar system, were able to generate considerable electrical shocks with their hands, sufficient to paralyse or kill a human being. The could sustain the discharge for at least several tens of seconds. It is possible that their ability is linked to the unusual electromagnetic disturbances which occur on their home star. [23]

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 TOS 1 Where No Man Has Gone Before
2 TOS 3 Is There in Truth no Beauty?
3 TNG 4 The Loss
4 TNG 7 Eye of the Beholder
5 TNG 3 Tin Man
6 TNG 1 Encounter at Farpoint
7 TNG 3 The Price
8 TOS 3 Spectre of the Gun
9 TNG 3 Menage a Troi
10 Star Trek V : The Final Frontier
11 DS9 2 Second Sight
12 DS9 3 Distant Voices
13 TOS 3 The Empath
14 TOS 1 Dagger of the Mind
15 Star Trek III : The Search for Spock
16 TOS 3 The Paradise Syndrome
17 TOS 1 The Devil in the Dark
18 TOS 2 The Changeling
19 TOS 1 A Taste of Armageddon
20 TOS 2 The Omega Glory
21 TOS 3 Plato's Stepchildren
22 TNG 2 Unnatural Selection
23 TNG 1 Symbiosis
Series : TOS Season 1
Episode : Where No Man Has Gone Before
Series : TOS Season 3
Episode : Is There in Truth no Beauty?
Series : TNG Season 4
Episode : The Loss
Series : TNG Season 7
Episode : Eye of the Beholder
Series : TNG Season 3
Episode : Tin Man
Series : TNG Season 1
Episode : Encounter at Farpoint
Series : TNG Season 3
Episode : The Price
Series : TOS Season 3
Episode : Spectre of the Gun
Series : TNG Season 3
Episode : Menage a Troi
Film: Star Trek V : The Final Frontier
Series : DS9 Season 2
Episode : Second Sight
Series : DS9 Season 3
Episode : Distant Voices
Series : TOS Season 3
Episode : The Empath
Series : TOS Season 1
Episode : Dagger of the Mind
Film: Star Trek III : The Search for Spock
Series : TOS Season 3
Episode : The Paradise Syndrome
Series : TOS Season 1
Episode : The Devil in the Dark
Series : TOS Season 2
Episode : The Changeling
Series : TOS Season 1
Episode : A Taste of Armageddon
Series : TOS Season 2
Episode : The Omega Glory
Series : TOS Season 3
Episode : Plato's Stepchildren
Series : TNG Season 2
Episode : Unnatural Selection
Series : TNG Season 1
Episode : Symbiosis

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 40,601 Last updated : 1 Jan 1970