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Old November 24 2009, 06:30 AM   #1
Austin 3:16
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About the Borg's apperance....

Were the Borg always supposed to look like how they did in First Contact? Or in the storyline of the Star Trek universe did the Borg decide to change their outer appearance from the BOBW episode into what we saw in First Contact?

I've always wondered this, because in the beginning of First Contact when it shows the flashback from a "deleted" scene (it's not really a deleted scene, but you know what I mean) from the BOBW episode, it shows Picard in his uniform from that episode.

If the Borg were always supposed to look like how they did in First Contact in all of the TNG episodes they were in and were constrained by a lower budget of a TV show, then why did they decide to have a storyline reason in Enterprise for why the Klingons changed their appearance?

I guess what I'm saying is that if the Klingons got a storyline reason for their changing appearance, the Borg should have gotten one too. It has always bothered me that we might have to accept that the Borg were always supposed to look like how they did in First Contact with no explanation at all except because TNG didn't have a big budget.
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Old November 24 2009, 06:38 AM   #2
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Re: About the Borg's apperance....

It has always bothered me that we might have to accept that the Borg were always supposed to look like how they did in First Contact with no explanation at all except because TNG didn't have a big budget.
I think that is the only explanation, and we do have to accept it.
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Old November 24 2009, 06:38 AM   #3
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Re: About the Borg's apperance....

Austin 3:16 wrote: View Post
Were the Borg always supposed to look like how they did in First Contact? Or in the storyline of the Star Trek universe did the Borg decide to change their outer appearance from the BOBW episode into what we saw in First Contact?

I've always wondered this, because in the beginning of First Contact when it shows the flashback from a "deleted" scene (it's not really a deleted scene, but you know what I mean) from the BOBW episode, it shows Picard in his uniform from that episode.

If the Borg were always supposed to look like how they did in First Contact in all of the TNG episodes they were in and were constrained by a lower budget of a TV show, then why did they decide to have a storyline reason in Enterprise for why the Klingons changed their appearance?

I guess what I'm saying is that if the Klingons got a storyline reason for their changing appearance, the Borg should have gotten one too. It has always bothered me that we might have to accept that the Borg were always supposed to look like how they did in First Contact with no explanation at all except because TNG didn't have a big budget.
Changing from white colored skin to a mottled looking skin is a lot different than spontaneously sprouting cranial ridges...
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Old November 24 2009, 08:52 AM   #4
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Re: About the Borg's apperance....

The recent TNG novel Greater Than the Sum by Christopher L. Bennett establishes that there are two types of drones -- those assimilated from pre-existing individuals, and those grown by the Collective itself in its maturation chambers. The drones that are grown by the Collective are genetically engineered to be asexual. Greater establishes that the drones aboard the cube encountered by the Enterprise-D in "Q Who?" and "The Best of Both Worlds" were the genetically engineered asexual drones and that the drones encountered in First Contact and later episodes were assimilated from pre-existing individuals.

The novel explains the shift from one type to the other by establishing that during the war with Species 8472, the Collective lost a huge percentage of its asexual drones, and engaged in a large-scale campaign to replace its lost population by assimilating numerous cultures throughout the Delta Quadrant, thus causing a large "demographic shift" in the Collective's population during the 2370s.
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Old November 24 2009, 09:15 AM   #5
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Re: About the Borg's apperance....

This sounds overtly complicated, when one can instead apply good old racial prejudice.

After all, the Borg do consist of different species. Even after assimilation, the characteristics of those species are quite evident: Cardassians have ridges around their eyes (even if the eyes are artificial) and Bolians have a central ridge on their face (even if this face no longer is blue).

The Cube encountered in "Q Who?" had just finished assimilating a planet. Perhaps the people of that planet were of a skin type that looks pale after assimilation? Or perhaps they were an "easy" species that didn't need all that much nanoprobing and thus didn't look quite so necrotic? That is, they got a treatment similar to Picard's, a "soft touch", and would thus only grow mottled later on.

The other Borg vessels encountered in TNG could have been from the same gaggle that assimilated the planet in system J-25, even though obviously they weren't all the same vessel. This task force would loiter in the vicinity of UFP space for a while even after the failed "BoBW" operation. But each vessel in the task force would also include its share of mottled-skin Drones, enough to explain the "deleted scene" from ST:FC.

This would account for the same trend that Christopher observes, but much more easily, because the pool of "palefaces" would be a tiny one to begin with. It would quickly get diluted into the greater pool of assorted "zombiefaces", and a few years after the assimilation of the J-25 planet, one would be really hard pressed to find a "paleface" anywhere.

Which is good, because we won't encounter those folks in Star Trek ever again - unlike the case in Christopher's theory where the pool of cloned Drones should return to full strength at some point.

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Old November 24 2009, 03:16 PM   #6
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Re: About the Borg's apperance....

I just assume the Borg were always supposed to look First Contact style. After all, Locutus is done in that style in the flashback in the beginning of First Contact despite looking like the other drones in TBOBW. Also, the flashback scenes in Voyager's Dark Frontier also depict First Contact style drones.

Austin 3:16 wrote: View Post
If the Borg were always supposed to look like how they did in First Contact in all of the TNG episodes they were in and were constrained by a lower budget of a TV show, then why did they decide to have a storyline reason in Enterprise for why the Klingons changed their appearance?
Because the change in appearance for the Borg wasn't as radical as the Klingons. When you get down to it, we still had the same basic Borg, just done in a different style. When the Klingons grew ridges, everything changed. Their uniforms, their culture, their behaviour, hell they even developed their own language. Something had to be done to acknowledge this.
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Old November 24 2009, 03:49 PM   #7
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Re: About the Borg's apperance....

Maybe they just merely adapted a new technology between TNG and Voyager/FC that made them look the way they do. That and in the 80's compared to today/just a few years ago.... the knowledge of nano technology was more limited.
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Old November 24 2009, 05:28 PM   #8
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Re: About the Borg's apperance....

The Borg aren't based on any "knowledge of nanotech" - they are based on a subtle artistic shift from robomen to zombies...

How many Borg did we see in TNG? In reality, eight per episode, tops - that's how many extras they could afford. But the implied numbers would have been greater. Just two in "Q Who?". Perhaps a few dozen in "BoBW". Just half a dozen in "I, Borg". A few dozen again in "Descent". All of those could easily be of a species that has a skin that retains whiteness at assimilation... And would statistically disappear in a wider view.

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Old November 24 2009, 05:51 PM   #9
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Re: About the Borg's apperance....

Just thought I'd post pics for reference:

TNG TV era Borg:



First Contact film era Borg:

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Old November 24 2009, 05:56 PM   #10
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Re: About the Borg's apperance....

Not much different besides a few less cables and some darker tints of makeup added for skin texture detail, rather then the "Powder" look. (Anybody remember that movie?)
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Old November 24 2009, 06:29 PM   #11
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Re: About the Borg's apperance....

I've never really put too much thought into it. Every detail looks to be "pumped up" in the movies compared to the TV show.

Trisk, thanks for the side by side comparison shots though. I always enjoy those.
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Old November 24 2009, 07:00 PM   #12
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Re: About the Borg's apperance....

^ yup .

You can really see the behavioral differences too, in their posture and attitudes, like how Timo described it, going from robomen to zombies. They're really aggressive in the film.
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Old November 24 2009, 07:31 PM   #13
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Re: About the Borg's apperance....

Sci wrote: View Post
The recent TNG novel Greater Than the Sum by Christopher L. Bennett establishes that there are two types of drones -- those assimilated from pre-existing individuals, and those grown by the Collective itself in its maturation chambers. The drones that are grown by the Collective are genetically engineered to be asexual. Greater establishes that the drones aboard the cube encountered by the Enterprise-D in "Q Who?" and "The Best of Both Worlds" were the genetically engineered asexual drones and that the drones encountered in First Contact and later episodes were assimilated from pre-existing individuals.

The novel explains the shift from one type to the other by establishing that during the war with Species 8472, the Collective lost a huge percentage of its asexual drones, and engaged in a large-scale campaign to replace its lost population by assimilating numerous cultures throughout the Delta Quadrant, thus causing a large "demographic shift" in the Collective's population during the 2370s.
I like it. :thumbsup:
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Old November 24 2009, 09:45 PM   #14
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Re: About the Borg's apperance....

Praxius wrote: View Post
Maybe they just merely adapted a new technology between TNG and Voyager/FC that made them look the way they do. That and in the 80's compared to today/just a few years ago.... the knowledge of nano technology was more limited.
This was basically what I figured. As they assimilate new species, they subtly change to utilize whatever advances they can exploit from those new species.
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Old November 24 2009, 09:47 PM   #15
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Re: About the Borg's apperance....

Praxius wrote: View Post
Not much different besides a few less cables
They went Bluetooth.
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