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Old December 5 2010, 12:52 AM   #16
DarKush
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Anwar wrote: View Post
The Borg were done as an enemy after BOBW, if you ask me. Once an enemy has been shown to be THAT powerful and comes THAT close to victory, there's nowhere to go but down.

If they HAD to use them again then "Scorpion" should've killed them all (and all the 8472 as well). Any other Borg stories after that should've been about the Feds running into folks who're trying to use leftover Borg technology, and the Feds trying to stop them because the tech will assimilate the raiders and re-create the Borg.
Even though I've often thought it would be cool to have had 8472 wipe out the Borg and become the VOY, and I guess, the Trek big bad after that, the idea of both wiping each other out would've been intriguing.

I think the Borg's menace declined each episode they were on VOY, I still enjoyed them on TNG. At least with Hugh and the Lore-Borg the very name Borg meant something, and the writers tried to do something different with them, with varying results of success. I agreed with a previous poster that the Borg Queen was truly the beginning of the defanging, though I liked Alice Krige's performance. The idea of the Queen and such a human acting one at that robbed the Borg of that machine-like quality that made them such interesting and scary villains. It made the Borg more conventional. That continued on VOY, with 7 of 9 and her constant mention of Borg nanoprobes this and that, it made the Borg too ordinary and of course the Borg children.

That being said, I would've probably left the Borg behind after Scorpion. I thought the VOY episode Unity still retained the menace of the Borg.
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Old December 5 2010, 01:18 AM   #17
Anwar
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

It was a bad idea to make the Borg emotionless and robotic in the first place. If the Collective was truly made up of trillions of lifeforms with their minds all linked together as one then the Collective should possess the combined/amplified rages/neuroses/mental problems of all the Collective folks as well with the Collective amplifying them. It should've been just as capable of incredibly insane actions as well as totally logical ones.

If not, then the Borg were never a Collective but a sort of technorganic virus.

The Borg only can be the super-duper-menace they were about once or twice. First encounter and then full-on invasion. If the invasion is repulsed then that's that.

And if constant mentions of an enemy is all it takes to ruin their reputation, they were a lamely made enemy. You don't see the Romulans/Klingons/Cardassians/Dominion being ruined by constant mentions of them do you?

Another problem was that the Borg were made into too much of an enemy and too overpowered to just "Leave behind". You want to leave them behind, then destroy them all and REALLY leave them "Behind".
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Old December 5 2010, 06:12 AM   #18
Tiberius
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Tosk wrote: View Post
That's what makes the Queen boring. The whole 'need a mouthpiece' thing worked once with Locutus, but what do the Borg need to negotiate for?

And besides...if there was a Queen all along, why did they need Locutus anyway?
I doubt that the Borg wanted Picard as a "mouthpiece" at all.

Think about events from the Borg's point of view.

The see the Enterprise at J-25, learn it is the most powerful ship in the Federation. Picard is the captain, so obviously someone of great importance. As far as the Borg are concerned, Picard is the poster boy for the federation.

Then, apparently the enterprise has technology more advanced than the Borg! it just disappears, hurtling back towards federation space! of course, that's Q's doing, but the Borg don't know that.

The Borg Queen is as paradon said. The Collective is one single organism (Picard even says so in I Borg, and he would know), and the Queen is like the conscious mind. Think of the drones as being like brain cells, and the Queen is the mind formed by all the brain cells working together.

Now, the Borg Queen has the power to get what she wants, when she wants it, and no one is going to stop her. In short, she is a spoiled brat.

So she hops a Cube to the Federation, and decides to go after Starfleet's poster boy. After all, Picard represents the Federation. he's the captain of the frigging FLAGSHIP! get him, and it's certainly going to send the rest of the Federation a message.

So assimilate him. Not as a mouthpiece, or a voice to speak for the Borg. I mean really, what do the Borg have to say that is better coming from locutus? Not much.

But assimilating Picard is a rape. And rape is about power. Assimilating Picard, therefore, wasn't about the Borg getting a mouthpiece. it was about them saying, "This is what we can do. We are more powerful than you. You are now my bitch."

And don't forget what Picard said in First Contact. That the queen wanted him to give himself freely. As Garak said, the greatest victory you can win is one where you make your enemy realise that he was wrong. That's exactly what the Borg were trying to do to Picard.

And that's why they assimilated Picard.
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Old December 5 2010, 06:33 AM   #19
Mr Silver
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

I'm one of the many who feel that the Borg were at their collective (Pun intended) best during their sporadic appearances in TNG, the only complaint I have is during "Q-Who" the Borg say to the Enterprise

"If you Resist, you will be Punished"

Which just sounds totally silly, I don't think VOY ruined the Borg as such, I just think they were overused, sure, we can look at it as "Since they were in the Delta Quadrant, they were bound to encounter the Borg more than once" but I think that Voyager encountering the Borg and suffering no real lasting damage each time, is pretty unrealistic

I also think they should have left the Borg Queen out, especially in FC, sure they wanted to personify a villian, but it really went against the whole "Collective Threat" which we had come to understand from where the Borg were concerned
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Old December 5 2010, 07:46 AM   #20
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Anwar wrote: View Post
You don't see the Romulans/Klingons/Cardassians/Dominion being ruined by constant mentions of them do you?
I don't think the comparison is completely fair. Those races are humanoids with their cultures, customs and such, which are interesting to explore.

The Borg were mysterious menace, not fully understood, hovering over the Federation and scaring shit out of everyone. We fear most what we don't know and mysterious, enigmatic Borg was interesting. VOY revealed a lot of things, gave them "dreams" (the need to achieve perfection), the Queen had very human feelings toward Janeway personally and... the Borg were stripped of what was the best in them. They are now just another race...

All of the above is, of course, my personal impression and opinion and I don't expect anyone to share it, but that's how I feel about it. Telling us too much they wasted a great potential of a shadowy collective of drones.
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Old December 5 2010, 08:02 AM   #21
Tiberius
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Captain M wrote: View Post
I also think they should have left the Borg Queen out, especially in FC, sure they wanted to personify a villian, but it really went against the whole "Collective Threat" which we had come to understand from where the Borg were concerned
Do you disagree with my interpretation of the Borg, as I said above? That the drones all connected together act like a giant brain, and this brain has a conscious mind that is the Borg Queen? All she needs to do is to control a body like a puppet.

This has the advantage of explaining how the queen survived the Cube exploding in BoBW. The body was destroyed, but the mind controlling it was left intact.
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Old December 5 2010, 09:40 AM   #22
Arpy
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

They should have come in force after "Best of Both Worlds" with a hundred ships - enough to overtake the entire Federation. They would have been stopped by the UFP doing what it does best: forming alliances. In this case, with all peoples near and far, friend or foe, for the benefit of all. A thread as great as a Borg fleet could only be countered by the combined forces of everyone in this half the galaxy. The story would have both action and purpose.

Really, this is what FC should have been. It was the next logical step for the Borg. Of course, the step after that would have been to send a thousand ships, and that would have been the end of everything.
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Old December 5 2010, 02:45 PM   #23
Anwar
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

BOBW worked...as the LAST Borg story.

If they had it in reverse, with the Borg invasion being small but eventually growing in power that the Alpha Quadrant was being swarmed by them and THEN the Borg reach Earth (I'm guessing this would be a season arc), then Data and Picard do the "Sleep" command it would affect the Entire Collective invasion force. All across the Quadrant all Borg vessels would go to "Sleep" and then all self-destruct at the same time, wiping them out.

There'd be no need to see more Borg then, because it'd be reasonable to assumed that the entirety of the Collective had been destroyed. And if they WERE seen again, the writers had the leeway to say they'd been depowered. After all, most of the Borg were destroyed in BOBW so what remained in the DQ would be only the remnant.

And frankly, if the only way to keep an enemy intimidating and fearsome is to keep them "Mysterious" they're a lamely thought-out enemy.

Last edited by Anwar; December 5 2010 at 03:46 PM.
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Old December 5 2010, 04:55 PM   #24
Saxman1
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Anwar wrote: View Post
BOBW worked...as the LAST Borg story.

If they had it in reverse, with the Borg invasion being small but eventually growing in power that the Alpha Quadrant was being swarmed by them and THEN the Borg reach Earth (I'm guessing this would be a season arc), then Data and Picard do the "Sleep" command it would affect the Entire Collective invasion force. All across the Quadrant all Borg vessels would go to "Sleep" and then all self-destruct at the same time, wiping them out.

There'd be no need to see more Borg then, because it'd be reasonable to assumed that the entirety of the Collective had been destroyed. And if they WERE seen again, the writers had the leeway to say they'd been depowered. After all, most of the Borg were destroyed in BOBW so what remained in the DQ would be only the remnant.

And frankly, if the only way to keep an enemy intimidating and fearsome is to keep them "Mysterious" they're a lamely thought-out enemy.
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Old December 5 2010, 05:06 PM   #25
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

The best episodes with the borg are the ones with horror/thriller accents:
Regeneration, Q, who; BOBW; First contact; Unity; Scorpion.

Notice how in 'Unity' and 'Scorpion' the borg were not presented as near-invincible; indeed, they were taking a serious beating in 'Scorpion'.
Also notice how in 'First contact', 'Unity' and 'Scorpion' they were not presented as unknowns; indeed, starfleet had an ideea about what the borg can do and how.

But in all episodes mentioned in the first paragraph, the borg were presented as impossible to really communicate to, to negociate with, to convince of anything.
Their sole motivation was the single-minded will to conquer; they knew no hesitation, no pity and no remorse.
They were a 'force of nature' in the sense that you could just as well try to reason with a storm; you had to fight them.
And the battless were always brutal, you were always inferior due to the borg's technological superiority.


As 'Scorpion' and 'Regeneration' proved, you could make stories with the borg depicted like this even late in star trek's run.
Of course, these borg were not amenable to in depth sociological analysis, simply because thir motivation was rather simplistic - conquer everything - with no further complexities. This means that you had to use these borg stories sparsely; too much of the same thing becomes boring.


If one wished to make more episodes about the borg, one would have to 'invent' offshoot branches of the borg with motivations different/more complex than single-minded conquest.

'I, borg' tried to do just that, but it erred in making the offshoot branch too 'human'; individuals, naive, in the end, fuly benign, etc. Again, not much potential for follow-up stories.

Make these off-shoot branches adversarial, but not single-minded; let them have collective consciousness, but don't make them slaves of a conquest imperative, give them more complex motivations and societal structures and you'll have material for a variety of stories.
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Old December 5 2010, 06:35 PM   #26
Anwar
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Problem is, the audience had too much of an ingrained idea of what the Borg were to ever accept anything new or different about them. Any attempt at trying something new, like Borg who weren't out to conquer the Galaxy or didn't want to assimilate you, or had ANY sort of complexity to them at all, was doomed to failure from the beginning.

In other words, the Borg weren't well-thought out even from the very beginning.
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Old December 5 2010, 07:15 PM   #27
Elvira
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Why did not the Borg send a overwhelming number of cubes and sphere to conquer the Federations?

This really wasn't a problem until Voyager made clear that the Borg exist in vast numbers, up until then their general size was unknown, and it was better that way. If the Borg had been left with the possibility of being a relatively small force, say a few dozen cubes leading a uncoordinated nomadic existence through the galaxy, that would have been great.

When Voyager show that there were trillions of Borg with thousands of cubes, that a Queen was obsessed with humans, that there was a trans-warp conduit that exited less than lightyears distance of Earth, the Federation's continued presents in the galaxy made no sense.
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Old December 5 2010, 07:18 PM   #28
Anwar
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

I would have just explained that there is no one big "Collective" controlling all Borg. Each Borg Cube would be it's own Collective unto itself, with each "Voice of the Legion" heard from separate Cubes being different enough that it's clear they aren't the same Voice. Thus, that one Cube that attacked in Q Who? and BOBW would've attacked of its own decision and didn't tell the other Collectives (who usually are fighting each other and assimilating one another) about the Alpha Quadrant.

That way, the Borg are pretty much in constant civil war with one another and the difference in power between Collectives would give writers the breathing room to tell different types of stories (One Collective would favor subtle infiltration/intelligence missions, others are just big dumb "Full-on Invasion" types, others don't care about the Feds but want to assimilate other Borg Collectives to raise their own power and numbers, etc).
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Old December 5 2010, 07:38 PM   #29
neozeks
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Captain M wrote: View Post
I think that Voyager encountering the Borg and suffering no real lasting damage each time, is pretty unrealistic
I think this is the crux of the matter, not so much the number of times they appeared. Sure, it'd take some top notch writing to figure out just how Voyager could realistically survive it's meetings with the Borg, but I think it could have been done. Aside from the the 8472 vs Borg thing, I think the idea of a Resistance within the Collective from Unimatrix Zero was a rather good one. An 'arc' of Voyager aiding this Resistance (and receiving their help) and dealing with it's internal issues could have been fascinating. Unfortunately, like many VOY ideas, it was never followed upon. And it came too late.

Of course, being realistic would still require some real guts in showing real consequences - like say, a portion of the crew being permanently and irrevocably assimilated and the ship being almost destroyed and such. Heck, passage through Borg space might have been the year-long Year of Hell they were planning on (with some BSG on-the-run elements).

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
VOY revealed a lot of things, gave them "dreams" (the need to achieve perfection)
Actually, I liked that. Worshiping 'perfection' seems like a very 'machine' thing to do and 'adding other's distinctivness to their own' to achieve this perfection is an interesting twist on the Federation's own goals and ideals. I certainly find the idea that the Borg thinks it's helping those it assimilates to achieve perfection more interesting than if they were purely conquest-driven. Because basically all the other bad guys are just that - imperialistic conquerers; well, aside from the Dominion and their paranoia motivation, but that's why they are an interesting enemy.

EDIT:As for why didn't they invade en masse - well, don't forget the Galaxy is huuuge. The Federation was probably no more than a distant blip on the Borg's radar at that point in time. I bet those thousands of Borg Cubes are busy routinely assimilating entire Federation sized empires located closer to Borg space.

But that conduit opening so close to Earth really was a very stupid thing to include.
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Old December 5 2010, 08:55 PM   #30
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Paradon wrote: View Post
I think without the queen(s) they wouldn't be able to function. They do all the negotiations and stuff like that.... Think of the Borg as a single collective (one being) and the queen is just a central nervous system. I don't think they intelligent enough to adapt to something they don't know. They have to scan you or assimilate you or the information about you in order to adapt. Species 8472 can't be assimilate, so the best they can do is kill them and that was because Janeway was helping them to learn more about them.
All of which were merely excuses written into the Borg's background to justify the Queen's existence in the first place. Especially considering:

They do all the negotiations and stuff like that...
Why would the Borg need to negotiate? They just kill you and TAKE what they want.

Think of the Borg as a single collective (one being) and the queen is just a central nervous system.
Why would the Borg need a central nervous system? The whole point of the Borg is they're completely DEcentralized; the only way to stop the is to stop ALL of them.

I don't think they intelligent enough to adapt to something they don't know.
Why should the combined intelligence of tens of thousands of individuals all linked together in a hive mind be inferior to the intelligence of a single individual?

Returning the Borg to a pure hive would require eliminating all those limitations: the Borg become an incomprehensible unstoppable force, they do not negotiate, they do not reason, they do not threaten, they do not communicate. Nor do they conquer or invade or probe or patrol. Nobody knows what the Borg do or why they do it, and it's nearly impossible to understand them; the best you can do is stay the hell out of their way.
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