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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old January 29 2014, 07:05 PM   #1
USS Triumphant
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Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

Best of Both Worlds 1 & 2 are, obviously, a fan favorite pair of episodes, and certainly a couple of mine. But one thing that nags me and always has about the episode it exactly what worlds are referred to and what the heck is best about them in the NAME of the episodes. It seems to me like everything mostly kind of goes to hell, really.

The only notion I have about it at all is that Picard is the best starship captain in the Starfleet world, turned to the best enemy as Locutus in the Borg world. But that just doesn't sit right with me.

Any ideas? Or better, any definitive statements from showrunners on the subject that anyone here might know about?
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Old January 29 2014, 07:08 PM   #2
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

Maybe in the original script there were two worlds. Kind of like how in the book of Two Towers there is actually a second tower.
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Old January 29 2014, 07:16 PM   #3
dub
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Re: Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

Locutus is "the best of both worlds." The best captain in Starfleet who is now one with the hive mind. I interpreted it as a figure of speech, not taking the word "worlds" literally...except in the sense that the word itself fits nicely in Star Trek.
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Old January 29 2014, 07:16 PM   #4
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Re: Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

It's not exactly esoteric. It means that Locutus represented the best aspects of both humanity and the Borg.
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Old January 29 2014, 07:18 PM   #5
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Re: Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

I guess it's a reference to the Borg themselves. They combine humanoid bodies and technological advancement to create a "superior" lifeform, the best of both worlds.

One thing that really annoys me about the title now - friggin Miley Cyrus. Google the title and half the results are TNG, and the other half are Hannah Montana.
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Old January 29 2014, 07:24 PM   #6
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Re: Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

Best of one World(Picard) Worst of the other World (Locutus)
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Old January 29 2014, 07:25 PM   #7
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Re: Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

jimbotron wrote: View Post
One thing that really annoys me about the title now - friggin Miley Cyrus. Google the title and half the results are TNG, and the other half are Hannah Montana.
And then, of course, there's this horror:



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Old January 29 2014, 07:30 PM   #8
JD5000
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Re: Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

I thought this was an interesting question, as natural interpretation of "Best of Both Worlds" doesn't jive with the meaning of the episode. So I looked up the origin of the idiom, and this is what I found.

(in the) best of both worlds/best of all worlds - ideally (usually impossibly), satisfying or achieving two needs, aims, problems that are difficult or impossible to reconcile (and usually contradictory or mutually exclusive) - this expression represents an unlikely ideal outcome or compromise.

This makes more sense than my individual interpretation of the phrase when applied to the content of those episodes.

EDIT: jimbotron's idea that it directly refers to the Borg as a 'combined' species is pretty valid too.
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Old January 29 2014, 07:50 PM   #9
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Re: Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
And then, of course, there's this horror:
The biggest insult to Trek since TATV.
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Old January 29 2014, 07:53 PM   #10
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Re: Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

I always saw it the same way Timby just explained it.
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Old January 29 2014, 07:57 PM   #11
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Re: Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

Timby wrote: View Post
It's not exactly esoteric. It means that Locutus represented the best aspects of both humanity and the Borg.
Agreed. He was technologically enhance (the best of the Borg) and he retained some sense of individualism (the best of being Human)
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Old January 29 2014, 08:02 PM   #12
JD5000
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Re: Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

I don't think it refers to Picard specifically, although that is definitely as valid an interpretation as any. I think it's about the mutually exclusive natures of the Borg and the rest of the galaxy, but humanity specifically, in terms of the story presented.
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Old January 29 2014, 08:08 PM   #13
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Re: Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

jimbotron wrote: View Post
I guess it's a reference to the Borg themselves. They combine humanoid bodies and technological advancement to create a "superior" lifeform, the best of both worlds.
That's right. It wasn't referring to any specific "worlds" as in planets; it's just a common saying referring to achieving an optimal balance between conflicting things. That's how the Borg see themselves -- as the ideal balance of biology and machine. So there's an irony to the title, in that it's using this upbeat and somewhat banal expression to refer to the philosophy driving the villains of the piece.

It might also be a reference to Riker's personal dilemma, which paralleled that of writer Michael Piller at the time. Both Riker and Piller were debating with themselves whether to stay in their current jobs, where they were content but not advancing, or to move on to a higher-status job which would require leaving behind the people they enjoyed working with. They were wishing for a way to achieve the best of both worlds, the "world" of career ambition and the "world" of personal fulfillment. In that sense it was more a question or an aspiration -- can I find a way to have the best of both worlds?
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Old January 29 2014, 08:25 PM   #14
JD5000
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Re: Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

That's a great observation, Christopher. The Borg part of the storyline is so dominant that it's easy to forget about the choice Riker is forced to face. It's common for a Trek title to refer to (usually) both storylines woven into the plot of an episode, this one is more subtle than most when it comes to the Riker/Shelby part of the story. Good catch.
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Old January 29 2014, 09:01 PM   #15
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Re: Best of What Worlds, Exactly?

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
And then, of course, there's this horror:
Be honest...the real reason you started this thread was to post that video!
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