About the Borg's apperance....

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Austin 3:16, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. Austin 3:16

    Austin 3:16 Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  2. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    I think that is the only explanation, and we do have to accept it.
     
  3. Tom Riley

    Tom Riley Commodore Commodore

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    Changing from white colored skin to a mottled looking skin is a lot different than spontaneously sprouting cranial ridges...
     
  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    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.
     
  7. Praxius

    Praxius Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Triskelion

    Triskelion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just thought I'd post pics for reference:

    TNG TV era Borg:
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    First Contact film era Borg:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. Praxius

    Praxius Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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?)
     
  11. B.C.

    B.C. Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  12. Triskelion

    Triskelion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ yup :bolian:.

    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.
     
  13. NIUPonyBoy

    NIUPonyBoy Captain Captain

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    I like it. :thumbsup:
     
  14. sbk1234

    sbk1234 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  15. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Caped Trek Mod Admiral

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    They went Bluetooth. ;)
     
  16. Praxius

    Praxius Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That there I would attribute to needing to be more aggressive with Humans then with past aliens they encountered.

    Back when Q tossed Picard and crew to meet the first Borg, the teleported to the ship, did their thing, didn't need to get physical all that much, because they felt they had everything under control and would be able to take them all out with little effort.

    Then later on Picard/Locutus, Riker and crew destroyed a cube and screwed up all their plans.... then they screwed them up even more with sending a borg with individuality back to the collective..... then Lore screwed them up even more by getting involved and making them more aggressive..... that probably didn't give the entire collective an incentive of being more aggressive, but the encounters with Janeway in the Delta Q. how much trouble she brought to the table, how many times she tricked them, etc. etc...... I'd say that eventually the Borg lost patience with us and started to get more aggressive with taking out individuals and assimilating them, since these individuals seemed to be pretty crafty and dangerous.

    Just a theory.
     
  17. Tom Riley

    Tom Riley Commodore Commodore

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    That also fits with the recent novels. In the books it got to the point that the Borg were so pissed(so to speak) about getting blocked at every assimilation attempt, that they ended up deciding to forget assimilating and decided to just attempt to eradicate humanity instead. They killed first and assimilated only if it was an advantage.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This really makes the Borg less frightening as enemies. Genocidal maniacs on a rampage are dull; infinitely patient half-machine monsters intent on helping mankind reach a higher plane of existence are a much more sinister threat.

    Also, it sounds rather dimwitted that humans or Feds would be an exceptional threat to the Borg. They've no doubt swallowed bigger catch whole in the preceding millennia; in VOY, we saw them in major assimilation action, establishing their anti-human antics as mere love pats.

    Why would something as old as the Borg change merely because it met a bald human and then a redheaded one?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Perhaps Humans were the only ones who individually went as far to infiltrate Unimatrix 01?
    Also, Janeway destroyed one of their TW hubs which connected to other hubs in the Galaxy and ultimately obliterated the ENTIRE TW network.

    Now, granted, we don't know if any other races that came before them ever did such a thing ... but even if they did have a solution, Humans were the only ones willing to implement risky plans into actions and achieved variable results.

    The destruction of the TW network would not be something minor to the Borg after all.
    While I agree that the whole 'raged queen' approach was rather ... out of character, and I preferred the Borg without the queen concept to begin with, but the books can work with a premise that Janeway's actions (which were more frequent compared to Picard's) rather forced the Borg to implement a new strategy against Humans (translation: extinction).
     
  20. NIUPonyBoy

    NIUPonyBoy Captain Captain

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    Just a point of 'sadness' for me is a Klingon Borg. :(

    I would have liked to have thought that perhaps there was a species out there with a natural biological resistance to or shear power of will ability to not have the Borg tech take them. :(