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Starfleet's Most Daring Disguises

Plenty of Starfleet crews needed to alter their appearances and present themselves as other species to embark on covert operations.

This article contains story details and plot points for Star Trek: Discovery's "Lagrange Point."

Collage of Star Trek's most daring disguises

On a mission to infiltrate an enemy dreadnaught in Star Trek: Discovery’s "Lagrange Point," Captain Burnham had an away team outfitted in Breen environmental suits and led them on a daring undercover assignment.

While the Breen's unwavering use of helmets aided this endeavor, plenty of previous Starfleet crews needed to alter their appearances and present themselves as other species to embark on covert operations… 

Kira Nerys Embraces the Breen

Kira Nerys poses as a Breen soldier in 'What You Leave Behind'

"What You Leave Behind"

Captain Burnham and her colleagues weren't the first Starfleet crew to benefit from the concealment offered by Breen uniforms, as Kira Nerys "borrowed" a Breen soldier's attire just prior to the Battle of Cardassia in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's "What You Leave Behind."

Although she used a similar tactic to rescue Gul Dukat's daughter in "Indiscretion," Kira received a Starfleet commission for her time on Cardassia, thus making her eligible for our list. Once she realized that Garak and Damar had been cornered by the Jem'Hadar, Kira posed as a friendly Breen so she could get close to the scene and dispatch the Dominion troops with relative ease.

Chakotay and Tuvok Spy on Species 8472

Chakotay and Tuvok’s excursion to a Species 8472 training facility led to the discovery that they've recreated Starfleet Headquarters in 'In the Flesh'

"In the Flesh"

This entry is a little unique, as Commander Chakotay and Lieutenant Tuvok's excursion to a Species 8472 training facility didn't require any special disguises in Star Trek: Voyager's "In the Flesh." In fact, the officers only discovered the space station after tracking what seemed to be a Federation subspace transmission.

After arriving, they learned that Species 8472 had recreated Starfleet Headquarters in an effort to teach their own operatives how to blend in as Humans, Vulcans, and other Alpha Quadrant species so that they could invade the Federation. Since the members of Species 8472 maintained their humanoid disguises, Chakotay and Tuvok were able to walk among them without any special alterations to their clothing or physical appearance.

Malcolm Reed Becomes a Suliban

Reed disguised as a Suliban converses with Mayweather in 'Detained'


With Captain Archer and Ensign Mayweather confined to a Tandaran prison alongside innocent Suliban in Star Trek: Enterprise's "Detained," Lieutenant Malcolm Reed paid a visit to Dr. Phlox and had his features altered so that he would appear to be yet another Suliban prisoner.

Reed beamed down to the installation, his kit outfitted with phase pistols and other gear necessary to assist with the escape. As the NX-01 distracted the Tandaran defenses, Reed linked up with Mayweather to free Archer from a Tandaran colonel's office and guide the Suliban to nearby ships. In addition to the mission's humanitarian nature, these events made Starfleet aware that the Suliban Cabal did not speak for their entire species.

Neelix Finds the Ferengi

Neelix dons a disguise as a Ferengi in full regalia in a ruse to out two fraudsters in 'False Profits'

"False Profits"

In Star Trek: Voyager's "False Profits," an encounter with the Barzan wormhole propelled two Ferengi into the Delta Quadrant. The U.S.S. Voyager discovered that these Ferengi had taken advantage of their predicament, as they began posing as a pre-warp culture's mythological sages and presiding over the local population.

Unable to simply take the planet's gods away without an explanation, Captain Janeway hoped to trick the Ferengi into voluntarily leaving by sending down an unexpected messenger. Given the task of pretending to be the Grand Proxy, Neelix beamed down in full Ferengi regalia and informed the two fraudulent prophets that they had been recalled by the Grand Nagus. Although Neelix had the lobes for the ruse, a scheme to murder the Grand Proxy ultimately exposed the Talaxian's true nature.

Deanna Troi Takes on the Tal Shiar

Aboard the Romulan warbird Khazara, Subcommander N'Vek and Deanna Troi poses as Major Rakal of the Tal Shiar stand side-by-side in front of Commander Toreth in 'Face of the Enemy'

"Face of the Enemy"

Kidnapped and surgically altered to resemble a Tal Shiar officer in Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Face of the Enemy," Deanna Troi was understandably cautious and confused when she awoke to find herself aboard a Romulan warbird. Brought there by dissidents to facilitate the defections of high-ranking Romulans, Troi had little choice but to forge ahead rather than be exposed as a Federation citizen.

The counselor impersonated an agent named Rakal, adopting the Tal Shiar operative's menacing demeanor and doing her best to cope with the demands of a plan she never agreed to undertake. Troi immersed herself so deeply in the role that she even succeeded in temporarily deposing the Romulan vessel's commanding officer!

Michael Burnham Tests the Terran Empire

In a ruse, Prime Universe Michael Burnham and Ash Tyler pose as their Mirror Universe Terran counterparts, offering up a handcuffed Lorca, in 'Despite Yourself'

"Despite Yourself"

The Mirror Universe's Terran Empire embraced a totalitarian culture that went against everything the United Federation of Planets represented. An aversion to intense light stood as a significant physiological difference between the Terrans and the Humans of the Prime Universe, but similar outward appearances allowed individuals from each realm to exchange places without drawing much attention.

Stranded in the Mirror Universe in Star Trek: Discovery's "Despite Yourself," the U.S.S. Discovery and its crew inherited the mantle of their counterparts aboard the I.S.S. Discovery. Michael Burnham and Ash Tyler embedded themselves to an even greater extent, boarding the I.S.S. Shenzhou in a bid to acquire information which might permit them to return to their own universe.

James T. Kirk Has a Run-in with Romulans

Kirk poses as a Romulan officer with McCoy's assistance as Nurse Chapel looks on in 'The Enterprise Incident'

"The Enterprise Incident"

The Star Trek episode "The Enterprise Incident" chronicled Captain Kirk's pursuit of a Romulan cloaking device. Having fooled the Romulans into believing that Spock had killed him with the nonexistent "Vulcan death grip," Captain Kirk enlisted Dr. McCoy's surgical skills to transform his human features into those of a Romulan officer. Kirk procured a uniform from a Romulan prisoner and beamed over to the Romulan flagship.

The masquerade was designed to absolve the Federation of any blame should the captain's expedition go awry, but Spock's ability to distract the Romulan commander and Kirk's signature combat skills gave the Starfleet crew the upper hand. Kirk obtained the cloaking device, and the U.S.S. Enterprise evaded the enemy vessel long enough for Montgomery Scott to install the equipment and cloak the ship. 

Jean-Luc Picard and Data Search for Spock

With Dr. Crusher's assistance, Jean-Luc Picard poses as a Romulan in order to find Ambassador Spock on Romulus in 'Unification, Part II'

"Unification, Part II"

The centuries-long rivalry between the Federation and Romulan Star Empire clearly supplied Starfleet operatives with numerous chances to pretend to be Romulans, as Captain Picard and Data also assumed Romulan identities in The Next Generation's "Unification" two-parter.

Dr. Crusher fitted the two officers for prosthetics, while Mr. Mott designed their Romulan hairpieces. The U.S.S. Enterprise-D rendezvoused with a Klingon ship that had been dispatched to transport Picard and Data to Romulus, where they were to investigate Ambassador Spock's reasons for being on the planet. Their jaunt into the very heart of Romulan territory involved avoiding the security forces and mingling with suspicious locals, a risky endeavor which eventually brought them into contact with Ambassador Spock and the growing reunification movement.

Benjamin Sisko, Odo, and Miles O'Brien Are Captured by Klingons

Close-up of Ben Sisko disguised as a Klingon in 'Apocalypse Rising'

"Apocalypse Rising"

In the Deep Space Nine installment "Apocalypse Rising," a vital operation to unmask Chancellor Gowron as a Changeling imposter compelled Captain Sisko, Odo, and Chief O'Brien to go undercover as Klingons and infiltrate the most heavily fortified space station in the Klingon Empire. Worf accompanied them to share his knowledge of Klingon culture, and he emphasized the need to look and act like a Klingon.

From speaking proudly to drinking excessive amounts of bloodwine, Worf trained his friends to move seamlessly among an entire room filled with Klingon warriors. Of course, the anti-intoxicant kept the bloodwine from causing them to fall into a drunken stupor. The mission was compromised when General Martok recognized Sisko, but this led to Martok being exposed as the Klingon official who had been replaced by a Changeling.

Kathryn Janeway, Tuvok, and B'Elanna Torres Are Assimilated by the Borg

Janeway poses as a Borg in 'Unimatrix Zero'

"Unimatrix Zero, Part II"

Intent on reaching a Borg ship's central plexus and releasing a nano virus that would liberate the citizens of Unimatrix Zero from the Collective, Captain Janeway beamed aboard a cube alongside Lieutenants Tuvok and Torres in Voyager's "Unimatrix Zero."

The three officers are soon assimilated, but that outcome was part of their plan. Armed with a neural suppressant, they were able to hold off from being fully brought within the Collective… at least until they deployed the virus. The Borg Queen had enough time to confront Janeway and threaten to eliminate all of the Borg who visited Unimatrix Zero, but the U.S.S. Voyager and Borg ship commandeered by rebellious drones intervened. Janeway, Tuvok, and Torres were rescued, and The Doctor was able to extract most of the Borg technology from their bodies.