Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone..

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Infern0, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    In the Reavers' case, they only have to be superior to the Protagonists. That the Alliance Military could still take them in a standup fight doesn't matter much since none of the protagonists work for the alliance.

    Likewise, the Borg need only be superior to the Federation's best ships. That other races out there exist that could clobber them in a fight would make no difference, unless Picard ends up going to them for help for some reason.

    That's kind of my point. Why should the Borg go out of their way to attack humanity? Having them being opportunistic ravagers of anything they stumble across keeps them sufficiently dangerous without elevating them to an existential threat.

    And I'm saying that major overhaul could be accomplished by narrowing their motivations. Say, the Borg have no interest in assimilating whole civilizations, their ships have very narrow and specific needs that they doggedly pursue month by month, year by year. In that sense you'd never have to worry about them trying to conquer Earth; like the Doomsday Machine, you'd merely need to prevent them from tearing up some local population center in a colony somewhere because their ship has a sudden need for palladium.
     
  2. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    They weren't even using nanoprobes at the time, so that's a non-starter.

    Actually, I'd be happier if the Borg never bothered to ASSIMILATE anyone at all. We saw in Q-Who they apparently raise their own young, so why would they need to assimilate people in the first place? As Q said, they're only interested in your technology, raw materials to be consumed. I think the only reason to ever take live captives from the ships and worlds they assimilate would be to eviscerate them for spare parts and organ/tissue replacements for their own drones.
     
  3. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    It didn't really help that by the time of FC and VOY the fandom had this ludicrously overblown idea of the Borg and what they were invulnerable against. They hated the 8472 storyline because they couldn't believe that a species strong enough to defeat the Borg in straight up combat existed.

    I mean seriously, here are some suggestions:

    1) A Fed starship on the run from a Borg ship ends up at some dead world where they find leftover tech, including a device that can teleport objects as big as a Starship but the range isn't super far. They try to use it to get away, but the Borg are still fast enough to catch up since they can still detect them. At the last second they realize the teleport device can be used as a weapon and they teleport the Borg ship into a nearby black hole and/or the Sun where it's instantly destroyed.

    I can guarantee that if a story was done like that, the audience would hate it.

    2) The Feds simply run into/catch the attention of a species like the Voth. They're being chased by the Borg, but the Voth decide to study the Feds and easily destroy the Borg ship.

    I can guarantee that the audience would hate THAT story too.

    and finally 3) An arc story of the Feds looking for some ancient civlization's outpost with it's defense system still operable. They're being chased by a Borg armada to the planet. The away team find the system and activate it, but in the process they all sacrifice their lives. The defense system rips the Borg to shreds.

    If THAT was done, then the audience wouldn't care that the characters had to sacrifice themselves or it was an arc, or that the tech was clearly powerful enough to do that. That the Borg were destroyed by ANYTHING would be enough to infuriate them.

    There really wasn't any point in putting much effort into a smart way of defeating the Borg after TNG, because the audience had become ludicrously unpleasable by then regarding the Borg.

    That works, as does the idea of each Borg ship being its' own collective independent of the other ships. That way there's little chance of there ever being a real Borg attack in force since they don't get along.

    Too bad BOBW already made it clear they DO want entire civilizations and are out to conquer Earth.

    The Borg concept was ill-conceived to begin with. Major thought should've been put in first.
     
  4. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    I can gaurantee you I could write a story based on that precise outline that would make a perfectly respectable episode.

    Considering how much the Voth sucked as a villain species, I would have too.

    Again, I could think of a thousand ways to write a story that would eliminate that problem. Not as much promise as #1 though. What else you got?

    Exactly. Or you would present the Borg "swarm through your system" scenario has a sort of feeding frenzy scenario, something you try to avoid by keeping track of Borg activity in a sector and then taking steps to thin out their population so they won't accidentally go after the same target at once. That could become the basis of many a storyline; for example, five Borg cubes are detected on the edge of Federation space and the Enterprise is assigned to a task force intended to scatter them and lure them into other sectors so they won't suddenly become attracted to nearby populated colonies. The objective being not to destroy those cubes (not possible with the amount of ships they have) but merely to use long range signals, probes, fake transmissions or whatever to get their attention and lure them away. The story would, of course, involve the Borg moving somewhat faster than Starfleet hoped, having one of the task force vessels getting caught and assimilated and the Enterprise having to try to evade another cube that almost catches them.

    Yeah, but I think that could be mitigated using YOUR idea: different cubes with different motivations. It's possible that the quest to conquer Earth was something unique to just that one cube.
     
  5. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    Well, you're the first. I tried to use that idea as the basis for a "Voyager vs the Borg" story that could show how one ship could face off with the Borg and survive. Of course, the response was that since it was Voyager it would suck no matter how well done it was because they just wanted to hate it.

    The point is, I brought up the issues of "Hey, there are species out there who would wipe the floor with the Borg so why not just convince them to do so?"

    The VOY staff did that with the 8472 storyline. Response being "They invented a species that can defeat the Borg in straight up combat, without the use of a plot contrivance! They've RUINED the Borg by showing they aren't invincible!"

    That last one is what Stargate SG-1 did to destroy a Goa'Uld armada attacking Earth. I was just saying that there's a double standard that what was used an epic season finale story to wipe out a long-running enemy. If one show did it, it's a success but if VOY did it, then it sucks and "ruins" the Borg.

    The audience couldn't handle the idea of ANYTHING that VOY could do to survive a Borg attack intact. I thought up those three scenarios just off the top of my head, and it's still all rejected as "ruining" the Borg. Totally unpleasable.

    I'd just have made the Borg like the Goa'uld from the start and "faction" them: Each Cube being the source of its own Collective, with its own identity and methodology based on the combined minds and personalities within it (A Klingon majority Collective would be an aggressive hostile one, for example) with maybe a few other ships in its own Mini-Collective.

    That way, each Collective encountered can vary in strength. Some are single Assimilation Cubes, other are smaller weaker Tactical Cubes that have other smaller spheres to bolster its power, others are Massive Collectives with Assimilation Cubes AND other Borg ships. Some can be nothing but weak Spheres that rely on infiltration and spy missions to avoid or outwit their enemies, or play them against one another.

    Hell, some of the Collectives might not care about the Feds at all and just want to assimilate the other Collectives for more firepower. That would be one way of ending a story: The stronger Collective arrives, defeats and assimilates the attacking Collective, and then departs because it has no interest in assimilating the Feds. The Borg end up SAVING the heroes.
     
  6. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    Voyager in general is hard to write for. Partly because almost any way you could write the story and have it not suck would require it to sharply diverge from everything that is recognizably Voyager. It's a curious sort of series: The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of Deep Space Nine?

    In all seriousness, I think that story would be easier to pull off using the Defiant or even the Enterprise-E. Writing it for Voyager is doable, IF you're doing it as a sort of Voyager Re-imagined concept; for example, the teleportation device transports Voyager halfway across the galaxy, but the Borg simply follow them with a transwarp conduit, so they attach the device to the Borg cube and teleport them into low orbit of a neutron star where the ship is pulled in and crushed.

    You could, but that convincing--or even manipulation--would need to be sort of a plot point in its own right, not just a lame twist contrived just for the hell of it. Sort of like the use of Reavers against the Alliance--and vice versa--at the end of "Serenity."

    AFAIK, the response was that the Borg THEMSELVES were enough of a threat that having to deal with them as an opponent had possibilities in itself. Introducing Species 8472 cheated the viewers out of the long-anticipated Borg confrontation, then conveniently resolved it by the liberal application of [tech], then bypassed it altogether the following episode by having Kes fling them safely out of Borg space.

    It's not just "They made the Borg not-invincible!" It's more "They [the writers] created a race more powerful than the Borg just to create danger, then eliminated the other race, then eliminated the Borg, then went on their merry way." That's like checking into the Bates motel, watching Norman Bates getting murdered by Jason, then watching Jason getting killed by Peter Pan, and then it's over. It's more than a letdown, you come away feeling like your eyeballs have been raped.

    Frankly, I thought it sucked in SG-1 too.

    But you might have your assumptions reversed. People didn't hate the storylines "because Voyager did it means the story sucked." They hated they storylines because THE STORIES sucked and this reflected poorly on Voyager--that is to say, the WRITERS--in general.

    But there's got to be a middle ground between "Totally unstoppable" and "Stopped dead in their tracks by pulling some random technobabble out of my ass and having it work every time." Otherwise you're offering the audience the same warmed-over pile of shit fifty times and then on the fifty first time saying "It appears there is no pleasing you!"

    That makes sense in theory, but I have serious misgivings about anything that makes Star Trek in any way more similar to Stargate SG-1.
     
  7. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    Rats, you're one of those guys who hated VOY for existing?

    Well, the Transwarp network was a stupid idea frankly. Just making the Transwarp Conduit seen in "Descent" be a natural phenoma (a natural group of conduits that the Borg use to go from the DQ to various parts of the Galaxy) would've been better and makes the Borg less overpowered if a way could be found to destroy the Conduits and strand them in the DQ.

    But I think the Teleporter Device could work, in that it only can send them a hundred LY away at maximum and the teleport effect could be projected onto another object by linking the device to the weapons array or something. It would be VOY's answer to Farscape and NuBSG's contrivance teleport devices (Starburst and the BSG FTL engine) that they use to get teleport themselves away from their enemies. And it can be continually used as a temporary escape device or a weapon (if it's too much of a game-breaker then say it can be canceled out by some species' shields and the Borg were just coincidentally vulnerable to it).

    I thought the way it was done in Serenity WAS a lame twist. It came out of nowhere aside from the Reavers being at the start of the film.

    For example, if VOY found out that the 8472 were attracted to a psychic call of a certain magnitude and they built a device that the psychics onboard could "call out" to the 8472 with, and then they attached a Borg energy signature to that call, the 8472 could suddenly swarm in thousands upon the Central Core of the Collective overrunning and destroying it entirely (with the Borg destroying the 8472 attack force in the process) then I don't see the problem.

    Or them just convincing the Voth (once they find out they're related) that the Borg will destroy their ancestral home so the Voth decide "What the Hell" and just annihilate a pathway through Borg space for VOY to go through.

    Hell, even Babylon 5 did it that way. They had the Shadows and Vorlons assemble these massive armadas, but then they just TALKED their way out of fighting and both of them just left the Galaxy. The long-awaited confrontation was a total cop-out. No one complained THERE either.

    It's really just double standard. I mean if TNG or DS9 did the same thing and have the other super-powerful DQ races step in to wipe out the Borg and say "Sorry, we let the infestation spread. Our bad" no one would complain.

    There was no way for VOY by itself to survive the Borg in a way the audience would've enjoyed. So they just as easily made up the 8472 as the Borg themselves were made up to get out of it. One overpowered species to get rid of the problem of another overpowered species. Sounds fair and simple to me.

    We've been arguing here that it really isn't possible for the overpowered Borg that TNG made to be used that often. What VOY did, IMO, was quick, easy, creative. It was certainly just as good as how Crichton was randomly given the knowledge to create a contrivance weapon to scare the Peacekeepers and Scarrans into a peace treaty, or how Stargate SG-1 found contrivance weapons on Earth to destroy the Goa'uld. Or even "sleep".

    I dunno, it just really seems that folks were ready to rip the show to shreds from inception and went in biased already. It didn't have much of a chance.

    Not with the overpowered Borg, it seems. It's just have them be unstoppable or have the heroes find something to blast them away with. Guinan said that eventually there could be co-existence with the Borg but everyone forgot that, and Q said they were just one threat and not even a major one, but everyone forgot THAT too.

    And it's not like you can really run from the Borg successfully. Their sensors and propulsion are too superior for them to not be able to track your warp signature no matter where you go or where you hide ("I, Borg"'s ending made no sense that they could hide in that nebula). Destroying them is the only answer.

    Don't forget, "Sleep" in BOBW was just technobabble as well. Data teched his way into Picard and teched the Collective into shutting itself down.

    I know, I don't like the "Pro-Military, Anti-Civilian" Right-wing tone myself. Didn't like it in NuBSG either. Or TOS.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  8. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    No, I hated it for sucking. Mainly because it had so much potential that it never reached because either the producers or the writers watered it down on the assumption that their audience was too stupid to deal with a sophisticated plot.:confused:

    Yeah, that's another thing that bothered me and is actually a bit of an inconsistency. The transwarp conduit is a FIXED transit network between two points, it was never implied as being artificial, or for that matter even networked to other conduits. Furthermore, it was something even a shuttlecraft could open with its onboard sensor equipment, where the hell did this "transwarp coil" thing come into play?

    Ugh... this has potential to devolve into "Let's modify the phaser array to emit a resonant tetryon burst that'll divert the teleporter's graviton field into a vuvuzela" thing.

    Hell with that. Just leave it as an alien device capable of folding space; Starfleet isn't really sure how it works, and they have a very shaky conception of how to choose the exit coordinates, but they DO know how to activate it, so they attach it to the Borg cube, slap the "on" button and send that bastard who-knows-where.

    I kinda know where you're going with the "link it to weapons" thing, but that has very little dramatic potential unless you come up with some contrived excuse not to use it (or for it to not work) in later episodes. If you only have one, and you can only USE it once, then the next time you run into Borg you have to try something new. Plus it works better as an alternate Voyager story because the loss of the teleport device neatly explains how they got stranded in the first place in a way that doesn't invoke some sort of dubious moral altruism.

    The Reavers were also featured rather prominently in the TV show, directly in one instance, indirectly in a second. I would say it "came out of nowhere" only to the extent that the entire series had a very short run in the first place and a conflict that should have evolved over the course of an entire TV season had to be compressed into a 90 minute feature film. They did pretty well, considering.

    I do. This was one of the recurring problems with Voyager: "Blind them with science."

    How do you find out Species 8472 is attracted to that call? How do you know how to generate a DEVICE that manufactures that call? How do you know that their response to that call is to ATTACK it? How do you prevent the Borg from nullifying those devices? That's jut another deuce ex machina that eliminates conflict by [tech]ing it out of the picture.

    I think it would be more interesting to literally do it Serenity style: fire a bunch of photon torpedoes at a bioship and then run like hell in the direction of the largest Borg fleet. The two sides see each other, get to fighting, Voyager slips through the melee (though not without taking severe damage from stray shots) but manages to escape relatively intact.

    As for mutual annihilation: the less we know about the details of the outcome, the better. It can be implied that the Borg are winning, or loosing, or that they fought to a stalemate, or that the fighting is ongoing, or whatever. But if you try to conclude the story with a line like "Long range sensors detect the absence of Borg or bioship signatures for over three hundred light years. It appears they annihilate each other," then you're fucking up the ending. "We may never know the outcome of this conflict," leaves it open-ended and doesn't beg the question of how in the hell your long range sensors are able to determine the outcome of an interstellar war hundreds of light years in diameter.

    On the contrary, there were PLENTY of ways. It just would have required the application of something other than [tech] to save the day. Here's a thought: why is simply RUNNING FOR IT not a valid option at a time like this? Spend six or seven episodes making a dash through Borg space, avoiding battles between Borg and 8472, playing cat and mouse with Borg cubes (Enterprise did this for a while in BOBW, did it not?) and so on.

    Yes, it was at that... however, being EXECUTED incredibly poorly, robbed the story of its dramatic appeal. Take War of the Worlds, for example: we have an implacable and virtually unstoppable enemy who is ultimately defeated in the mother of all anticlimaxes when the entire invasion force succumbs to bacterial infections. This would be SEVERELY cheapened if the story was modified so that some genius scientist in a basement somewhere got his hands on a sample of martian tissue, tinkered with it for three hours and then from that invented some exotic new bioweapon that would wipe out their entire species and then distributed it to all the armies of the world. For added drama, you want your characters to be escaping from peril and bloodthirsty enemies until they reach safety, not INVENTING safety using a series of convenient props.

    By which you mean "Not good at all"? I agree.

    Hey, apart from the fact that the cube EXPLODED, that one was pretty clever.

    There's never been anything that established their SENSORS were all that impressive. Even as early as Q-Who they still needed to physically send over a drone to analyze Starfleet's defenses; they prefer to gather information up close and personal. In BOBW, Enterprise manages to hide from the Borg for an entire day inside the Paulson Nebula; the Borg don't even bother going in after them, they simply depth-charge the nebula to force Enterprise out of it.

    That's one premise you could use with the Borg: you can hide, but you can't run. It's possible that if you hide long enough and deep enough they'll loose interest and move on, or it might be possible to sneak away from them using nebulas, supernovas, solar flares, neutron stars, asteroids, comets, etc. Either way, it IS evidently possible to escape from them somehow; Guinan's people have been doing it for centuries.

    Indeed, but it stands out for its relative simplicity. The only thing that doesn't make sense there is why the "Everyone regenerate!" command would have actually destroyed the ship.

    Actually I'm referring to the incredibly poor quality of writing, high number of cliches, deus ex machina and plot contrivance that are the pillars of SG-1 storylines.
     
  9. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    I don't get why people think the fans think the Borg were too powerful.

    It's like being annoyed that in every story the man who steps on the ant succeeds in killing it. That's not making a man too powerful, it's taking seriously the parameters of a situation.

    Sure there are stories in which ants reek havoc on humans and some of them work and some of them suck. The problem with the Borg stories isn't that the Borg were just too powerful, it's that the stories sucked.

    If part of the reason the Borg hadn't yet taken over the entire galaxy was that large portions of them were constantly being sent to take over the Delta Quadrant's version of the Metrons or Organians or Vorlons or what have you, ancient super-powerful aliens the Borg were slowly wearing out over thousands of years and countless drones, that'd be pretty darn cool. Sure they were losing mind-boggling amounts of material...it may take another hundred thousand years to complete assimilation of a species - from our perspective the Borg are in check (by then there may not be any humans or Romulans left in the galaxy given how species rise and fall) but still it paints the Borg both in check and really terrifying.

    Instead, what happens:

    - The Borg are defeated by 8472 - whose claim to fame was wrinkly cells.

    - The Borg didn't even use nanoprobes initially. Why not assimilate 8472 by chopping off their limbs and installing microchips in their brains like everybody else? And those rinky-dinky nanoprobes were embarrassing.

    - Other aliens could stay one step ahead of the Borg by being good linguists. Brilliant.

    - Other aliens weren't considered smart enough to be assimilated. WTF? Rip off their heads and use their bodies for manual labor. You're the horrifying BORG for chrissake.

    - The Collective becomes a fickle goth chick with favorites and moods. ...In a little-black-dress and ponytail hair without the ponytail.

    - Spheres and Tactical Cubes are toyed with.

    - Queens killed left and right.

    - Drones liberated or otherwise disconnected from the Collective left and right.

    - Ex drones were not scary at all but hot chicks who moved in with you and went to human charm school.

    The Borg weren't too powerful - they were too popular and the ratings were low. They were de-fanged by crappy writers/producers in an imploding franchise.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  10. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    P.S. Some good stuff that did come out post-TNG:

    - "You think in such three-dimensional terms. How small you've become."

    - Scary: Icheb's people were being farmed by the Borg. They were forced to constantly improve themselves and send the Borg better crops of people/ideas.

    - The queen thought little of destroying whole cubes and hundreds of thousands of drones to weed out miniscule threats.

    - Unicomplexes filled with billions of drones or more. I think that if they had a movie budget, the main queen's unicomplex would have been the size of a Trek nebula and housed trillions of Borg. I wonder if it was made out of all the material of their home planet or solar system. It wasn't shown that big, but it's interesting that their home base was not a planet but a giant construct in open space. These monsters are total masters of their environment.
     
  11. the skullcowboy

    the skullcowboy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    The Borg served their purpose in " Q-Who " and were utilized way too soon again on TNG, they WERE a the powerful,unstoppable force and knowing they were coming should have been played out further before they actually appeared. the whole " borg cival war " was just horrible writing with " hugh " citing the reason for it being his re-assimilation into the collective after having exp life as an individual, or something similar to that para-phrasing,now wouldn't the collective get that same feeling each time a person was assimilated? Voyager just overused them...big time, but Voy could not rely on alpha quadrant " enemies " so I guess they had little choice. I do agree after BOBW's that the FC invasion should have been more than just one cube.
     
  12. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    LOL, now "Best of Both Worlds" was way too soon in TNG. :guffaw:


    The Borg finally lost everything they had when Janeway just got assimilated and re-assimilated without any problems. It was like a big "fuck you" to Picard's problems with being essentially gang raped. That was so utterly ridiculous.
     
  13. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    You mean like how in TOS folks got killed, revived and were okay from the whole experience? And anyways, by VOY they'd been studying the Borg for much longer (and hell, probably studied Locutus as well) so it's silly to think that they wouldn't have tried SOME method of blocking assimilation for future instances. The Feds are unable to try to adapt to the Borg now?

    Personally I think the premise of VOY needed work and was shaky to begin with (The Maquis were a bad idea, and so was letting them know where they were all along). But it simply came too soon and was on a crappy network that kept interfering. I don't blame the Producers or writers for that (well, except Jeri Taylor).

    I agree, the Transwarp conduits should've just been natural things that the Borg found and used to traverse easily from the DQ to other parts of the Galaxy.

    Well, I just mean that the VOY crew find some artifact that can teleport objects as big as a Starship but it doesn't have great range. So instead they use it as a weapon and teleport the attacking ship into a black hole or a star that's nearby. But doing so either fries the device from the size of the Cube or it only had enough power left for a few attempts or something.

    Well, they CAN keep using it if it still has power as an emergency escape device to temporarily fool folks, or it just just only had enough power left for 2-3 attempts (it's alien after all, maybe they just don't know how to recharge it right). Like how Farscape kept using the Starburst.

    [qquote]If you only have one, and you can only USE it once, then the next time you run into Borg you have to try something new.[/quote]

    They just find some way of jamming the teleport engine's energies or something. Or it's just too burned out for usage as a weapon. They never once thought about the "Find a phaser frequency the Borg are vulnerable to and fire a huge blast through the Deflector Dish" thing ever again after BOBW either even though there are still phaser frequencies the Borg aren't invincible against.

    Kes could "hear" them so her telepathy is compatible with theirs. So just get all the Vulcans and Betazoids onboard together with some device that can boost their telepathic powers and channel it into Kes. She "Calls" out to them (if she can receive, then she can send) and VOY makes sure there's a Borg energy signature attached to the call. The 8472 arrive to investigate the call by going for the nearest Borg energy signatures: A Borg armada or a Complex. The Borg attack, they retaliate and the whole place it blown to smithereens in the process while VOY watches. When the fight moves elsewhere they coast on by.

    The 8472 are too superior in weaponry, targeting and speed to not catch them and blast them in seconds for that to work. With the Reavers at leas their tech wasn't stupidly superior to the Serenity, they just had numbers.

    Eh, if they aren't interested in continuing that story and just want a decisive end, then the writers have every right to just say "They all killed each other so don't expect this to be some major arc story with 10 episodes of the Borg and 8472 killing each other."

    You can't run from the Borg, and if this is their space they'll be everywhere including in front of you as well as in back. And they'd also have to deal with the 8472 at the same time since you can't run from THEM either.

    Every Borg story needed technobabble to win when they encountered each other: Q Who? needed Q to contrivance an escape (not technobabble buy you know what I mean), BOBW needed Data to technobabble the Collective Mind, "Descent" needed Crusher to technobabble a solar flare.

    If Farscape and Stargate SG-1 can get away with it, I don't see why Trek can't. Did Kirk escape from the Gorn in "Arena" or did he literally invent safety using convenient minerals around him?

    It works as the LAST Borg story ever told (with the "Sleep" command affecting the entire Collective across the Quadrant).

    But considering how powerful their engines and weapons are...

    With the El-Auriens I think they were still sticking to the "Borg don't care about people" thing. But BOBW showed they DON'T lose interest in you, unless there's a great goal at hand. If a Fed starship was found in the DQ they sure as hell wouldn't just lose interest, they'd want to know how it got there and keep chasing it.

    But in the end, it's still just technobabble. No better than, say, luring the 8472 into a MAD conflict with the Borg. Killing two birds with one stone and saving future writers the "Invincible Foe is out there constantly attacking!" problem. A MAD war with the 8472 would cripple the Borg to such an extent future writers wouldn't have to worry about them anymore.
     
  14. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    See, this is what I'm trying to explain to you about writing yourself into a corner. If you're introducing a plot device that you only intend to work once, then along with the introduction must be a mechanism to terminate that device once it has served its purpose. That mechanism may be explicit (a line of dialog that explains that it will only work once) or implicit (we are told afterwards it's just a one-time thing).

    The teleportation device simply doesn't belong in a storyline where it is not to function as a plot device. You can maybe use it again later and have it fail in the sense that "failure of everything we try" factors in as a plot device itself; otherwise it's like having a character win the lottery at the end of scene one and then telling everyone that he's broke again at the start of scene two.

    And we would have obtained this device from where, exactly?

    Why does she know how to do that?

    Why?

    How exactly do you imprint an ENERGY SIGNATURE on a telepathic signal?:confused: For that matter, what the hell is an "energy signature?"

    Thus accomplishing with five increasingly implausible plot devices--not least is an inexplicable amount of telepathic savvy on the part of Kes--what could just as easily be accomplished with five photon torpedoes and a couple of seconds at maximum warp (would this not be an absolutely PERFECT moment to showcase Voyager's often mentioned but never demonstrated cruising velocity of warp 9.975?).

    What are you talking about? Voyager both shrugs off a direct hit AND outruns them at their very first encounter. When every ship in the universe moves at the speed of plot, just move the hero ship a teeny bit faster.

    The WRITERS can say that, sure. How the hell would anyone on VOYAGER plausibly know the outcome of a battle hundreds of light years behind them? For that matter, how is decisively closing the book on the matter--even if you have no intention of revisiting it--more dramatically pleasing than leaving it open-ended for the viewers to fill in the gaps with their own imaginations?

    Except they can and DO run from Species 8472, so that's a non-issue. Besides, HIDING from the Borg has never been all that difficult, so trying to sneak through their space by simply avoiding them also remains a possibility.

    Perhaps because Farscape and SG-1 sucked?:alienblush:

    Don't forget the premise of the combat scene: he was PROVIDED with those materials by the Metrons, all he had to do was assemble them. The presence of the weapons is established in earlier scenes and finally used in the climax; moreover, the sub-elements are DISCOVERED in the leadup to the final blast.

    He doesn't just crack open the universal translator, pull a crystal out of it and then slice the Gorn in half with a laser beam that suddenly leaps out of it (ahem!).

    So what? You can install a nuclear reactor and a laser cannon on a fishing boat, doesn't mean you can see where the hell you're going.

    Since you've already suggested that this anomalous behavior can be ascribed to only a single cube (they might not all think alike after all) then the general rule may still apply. It certainly did in "I, Borg."

    Unless you simply write them that way, that a single lost Federation starship isn't THAT interesting to the Borg and they'll stop chasing you if you can stay off their radar for a couple of days.

    You forget that "sleep, Data" was a last minute longshot that only Data thought would work, a confluence of plot elements that had been building to a climax and only came together at the last minute (where Riker's plan was to just RAM the fucking thing at maximum warp).

    Is exactly what screwed up Voyager's Borg handling in the first place. They found a really inventive and convenient way of mostly disposing of the Borg threat AND getting Jennifer Lien out of the cast in one fell swoop, and it was lame as hell.

    You start to approach a story premise that has an enormous amount of potential, utterly fail to deliver, then abort the attempt in the middle of the episode so you "Won't have to worry about it" anymore? Really?!

    I mean, if that's the kind of mindset of the show's creative staff it's no wonder it was such a piece of shit. "Gee, the fans keep demanding we do a huge Borg episode. How about we do a two parter where some more powerful race comes along and annihilates them so we can go back to cookie-cutter forehead-alien stories?"
     
  15. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    I thought all of the Borg appearances on TNG were really well done, except "Descent", but that one appears to have been retconned or ignored by "Star Trek: First Contact" (aside from the fact that the Borg Queen refers to herself as "I", I guess), so no lasting damage there.

    I think if the Borg had never been used again after "Q Who", it would feel like something was missing and raise a lot of questions. I bet a lot of Star Trek fans (including ones starting threads here) would be asking, "What was with that Borg thing? Why didn't they ever follow up on that?". I imagine them leading a poll of one-shot villains we would have liked to see again.

    "Q Who" was just the teaser and "The Best of Both Worlds" was the main event. I also think it was the most epic and satisfying story on TNG, so I hate to think of the show without it. The arc changed the Picard character in a profound way and was an asset to the series overall.

    "I, Borg" was a worthy sequel, coming at a Borg story from a different angle and raising new, equally interesting moral and philosophical questions. I never saw their "Voyager" episodes (except "Endgame", which I hated), but I do feel that in the end the Borg made a few too many Star Trek universe appearances, because in my opinion "Star Trek: First Contact" was a good enough send-off for them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  16. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Regina, SK, Canada
    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    I wasn't clear enough. The hypothetical teleport machine, being an ancient alien device, would only have enough energy left to work a few more times before being totally drained. They try at first to use it to escape, and when that fails they use the last charge to teleport the Borg ship into a black hole/the sun where it's instantly destroyed. The Teleporter than goes offline until they can find out how to recharge it.

    Depending on whether or not they can think of a way of using it again like that in a way that isn't lame they can just say they never found out how to repower the thing.


    This is Star Trek, they build crazy sh*t all the time. YEars of co-existence with telepaths would make building an amplifier not too difficult.

    She and all the other telepaths on board just join together in a psychic "call" with images of the 8472 or they scan her brain to see how it reacted when the 8472 "talked" to her and see how it happened and know how to configure the amplifier so the 8472 would hear it. Then they just launch the amplifier into the Borg-infested space for the 8472 to home in on (if the Borg themselves don't make it easier by picking up the amplifier).

    It's like in the video game "Starcraft". The protagonists found out the Zerg aliens were attracted by human psychic emanations and the bad guys had built a device to "call out" to them using these emanations. They stole the plans, built some emitters, planted them on space platforms above the Bad Guy Homeworld and the Zerg came in billions to wipe out the planet.

    And that didn't make sense, if these things could trash Borg Cubes in one shot and even overtake Borg Cubes than VOY shouldn't last a nanosecond. Better to use trickery and their own psychic sensitivity against them to lure them to the Borg rather than risk themselves.

    I mean, have the writers give a podcast/interview where they admit that they wanted to close the book on the Borg and 8472, have no intention of revisiting the story, and say they all died after the episode ended.

    This is the double standard at work again. It was okay for the ENT-D to hide in a nebula (which didn't work since the Borg blew them out anyways) or a Sun's Corona (which also didn't work since the Borg knew where they were and were just waiting for them to fry) but VOY did the same thing the audience would just say it's a lame cop-out that they don't find some way of destroying all the Borg in their path since the ENT-D found a way of destroying the Borg in BOBW and Descent.

    Not ALL the time...

    Finding an ancient device on some planet is a Trek staple, and studying the 8472 and finding out they can be lured out of Fluidic Space and into certain areas through signals doesn't seem too outlandish to me.

    But on Fed ships (and damn every ship) in Trek the sensors are always on par with the engine capacity and weapon capacity. It would make the Borg seem kind of retarded that such a powerful species would let themselves go around borderline myopic.

    Agreed, but that's not what the writers did.

    If guys I was at war with just randomly appeared in my backyard when they're supposed to be tens of thousands of miles away I'd want them for questioning for how they managed such an incredible travel leap when they shouldn't have that power. The Borg would assume that the Feds now had some kind of superior jump drive they'd want for themselves.

    Sure, they could break onboard, scan the databanks and find out it was just a random alien who brought them there and then just leave them, totally losing interest, but that would be a massive cop-out.

    If they did a bunch of stories where they saw the 8472 wiping the floor with other aliens, destroying some planets, and then getting some samples to study BEFORE they ran into the Borg and realized they could use them to get the Borg out of the way, would THAT be a proper "climax"? I can understand why they did it as fast as they did (it was a rushed episode and the 8472 cost too much to use).

    All the writers did was remember what everyone else forgot: Q said the Borg were just ONE dangerous species out there. They decided that, "Hey, if they're just ONE danger why not just show that there's another danger at least as dangerous as them and then have them cancel each other out?" It's sensible, it won't devour the budget (too much) and it won't take over the show. BOBW wiped out the Borg invasion in a two-parter, so VOY did a two-parter that got them past the Borg in a believable manner as well.

    It's better than having the crew be cowards who run from everything, or have them technobabble a weapon to destroy the Borg armada with. Just fly by while two giants smack each other out. They never promised us some big "Voyager vs the Borg" story since they knew it wouldn't go over well with an increasingly unpleasable audience.
     
  17. neozeks

    neozeks Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    Ok, that could work. Though the awful convenience of a superpowerful ancient device falling in your lap just when you need it makes it not fully satisfying. Maybe if they somehow find out the Borg is searching for such a weapon (say it's a prototype built and hidden by a race the Borg just assimilated) and then outrun and outsmart them to it.

    Yeah, but building sh*t out of thin air is part of the problem. It's much better dramatically if you stay within the confines of existing elements and rules and creatively make the already existing and shown technology work than if you just make your characters arbitrarily pull out new elements, rules and abbilities.

    Where's TheGodBen when you need him? (sorry, couldn't resist :D) I can only speak for myself (and so can you) and if it was done realistically and sensibly I certainly wouldn't call it a cop-out.

    Umm, how can you exactly compare sensor capacity and weapon capacity? What criterium do you use? They're different technologies and it's perfectly reasonable they will be developed at different paces by different races.

    But, ok, here's an idea. Say Voyager finds a way to use the Borg transwarp conduits. It's an already existing element so you don't have to make things up. Say you postulate ship sensors just don't work really well inside them. Make the crew risk using some old and derelict or rarely-used part of the network and then let them play cat and mouse with the Borg in an out of it for a few episodes.

    Kind of like the Dominion War devouring the budget and taking over DS9? Cause that's one of the best things that happened to Trek, IMO. But I guess VOY and arcs just don't gel together.

    I don't think running from a superior enemy (and when you have no other option) makes you a coward. Surely the ragtag fleet of BSG weren't cowards. And they don't have to destroy them, they just have to evade them.
     
  18. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Regina, SK, Canada
    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    VOY finding an ancient teleport machine would be no more contrived than Crichton receiving wormhole information in his mind from a random encounter with aliens or the Stargate SG-1 folks finding out that the secret superweapons they search for were on Earth all along.

    TNG and DS9 didn't stay in the confines of existing elements of Trek when they created the Borg and the Dominion. They simply added new elements. VOY would just use their existing psychics and such in a way that the 8472 become their weapon against the Borg.

    When DS9 did the Dominion War they had the entire Trekverse to play with, and lots of cannon fodder to sacrifice to the Dominion. It also didn't cost much since the only new designs they had to make were the Dominion ones, the Breen and the Defiant. Everything else was recycled from TNG and FC. VOY didn't have any cannon fodder to sacrifice, they were always just one tiny insignificant vessel, and their enemies were far stronger and superior to the Dominion. The 8472 were too costly to use as well.

    The BSG folk had the excuse that they only had one warship and too many unarmed vessels to risk a battle. Once they had the Pegasus they started blasting the Cylons to scrap (until the reset button destroyed it). VOY was an armed vessel so running from everything would make them cowards.

    Kirk and Picard never ran, they always triumphed over their foes.

    Evasion never works with the Borg anyways, they couldn't evade them in Q Who? or BOBW. They only answer is to destroy them.
     
  19. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Your Mom
    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    Indeed. It is not, and has never been, one of Star Trek's strong suits.

    They did the same thing in Star Control II. The only difference is the telepathic critters they used for the trick were specifically trained to do exactly that. They didn't just make some shit up at the last minute and pray it would work.

    Let me get this straight: you think "made up technobabble and convenient psychic trick that inexplicably works exactly the way it's supposed to work" is better than "Take a huge personal risk and in the face of desperate odds."

    Are you SURE you weren't on Voyager's writing staff?

    You keep using this "the audience would hate it because it's Voyager" thing as if it's actually based on anything. I repeat again: the audience hated Voyager because it was BADLY WRITTEN. It's not enough to have a good outline if the story is executed in such a way that has the audience rolling their eyes saying "Feh... yeah, right." Even TNG had several of these moments; the technobabble solar flare was one of them, though the metaphasic shield--which had been the subject of an entire episode--was not.

    I don't know if it's laziness or just a bad habit, but one of the most basic rules for screenplay or stage play is "establishment." Every device and every locale must be established before it can be used. Most of the time, you can count on historical context and/or scenery to do that for you; if your protagonist is a cardiologist, you don't really need to explain to the audience that he knows how to perform open-heart surgery. If, on the other hand, you have a scene where the cardiologist throws together some medical equipment to provide his patient with a new artificial heart, you need to somehow establish his ability--or at least, potential--to do this, as the ad-hoc construction of artificial organs is not something cardiologists are known to do.

    Nothing in Trek history has established any general trend or common practice of using mechanical amplifiers for telepathy. The Ocampa might, but the only plausible way of establishing that would be to either display that ability in an earlier episode or (annoying, but acceptable) have them playing around with such a device in the beginning of the episode but not being able to think of a good use for it. The way you're describing it, it sounds like another one of those B'elanna Torres conference room hobbyist moments a la "I could modify a tricorder diode array to emit a resonant tetryon pulse that would amplify your telepathy." That's usually the point where I change the channel.

    To me it sounds like Instant Cognition, another common Voyager trope.

    I'm not sure in what sense "on par" means anything, considering engines, weapons and sensors all do COMPLETELY different things that are not at all comparable. It's true that Romulan sensors are MOSTLY on par with Federation sensors, but it's loosely implied that Klingon sensors are not, though their weapons are freaklishly powerful. Cardassian sensors are supposed to be pretty good, but their engines and weapons are weak. We know next to nothing about Ferengi sensors, but their engines are freakishly powerful and their weapons are a laughable.

    Why not? Sensors are used for gathering information from a distance. The Borg never do ANYTHING from a distance, they walk right up to you and start taking samples. Considering their ability to quickly dismantle almost any known defensive system, their only sensor capability might be detection and ranging, with SOP to close with a target, grab it with a tractor beam, board it, analyze the data, and if it looks interesting, chop it up for further analysis.

    Good for them. I don't care to repeat their mistakes.

    Do the Borg have a concept of "war"? Last time I checked, they do not. If they do, they sure as hell shouldn't.

    Come to think of it, it just might.

    I'll grant that it got them past the Borg. The issue here--as with many things on Voyager--is whether or not it was believable.

    The colonials in Battlestar Galactica (both versions of it) spent almost the entire series running from the cylons and nobody ever accused them of being cowards. Hell, all four of the Terminator movies basically derive from the basic premise "Protagonist being chased by unstoppable killer robot(s)." It turns out that even in the future, the most viable tactic for dealing with Terminators is to set a trap, open fire, then run like hell.

    Cowardice is a state of mind, not a state of action.
     
  20. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Your Mom
    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    True, it wouldn't be. INVENTING one all of a sudden would. That's the main problem with the "telepathy amplifier" thing.

    A way that has NOT been established in any way shape or form. DS9 created the Dominion as a new antagonist and invested in it a series of characteristics that would come into play as the story developed, and TNG (arguably) did the same with the Borg. It would be another thing if they invented the Dominion, invested in them a certain number of known characteristics (expansionist, totalitarian, hostile, uncompromising and amazingly manipulative), then had the Dominion suddenly show up in the Alpha Quadrant and avert the entire conflict over the course of a single episode by saying the only reason they're so hostile is because they have a shortage of coffee and the Federation has plenty to spare (which, IIRC, is basically how Voyager resolved the ongoing threat from 8472).

    Then they shouldn't have used 8472 and should have stuck with the Borg. It otherwise makes no sense whatsoever to introduce totally new story elements at huge expense and dramatic implication, only to be used once, and then specifically for the purpose of nullifying another story element that you don't feel like dealing with.

    It's like investing in a 4 million dollar prop just so you can have a story where your main character cures his cancer with an alien device he found in the desert, just because you don't want to have to write a story about a cancer patient (or, for that matter, aliens). If you don't have the chops for it, you probably shouldn't have given him cancer in the first place, let alone gone and invented some deus ex machina to get rid of it.

    You forget that Galactica and Pegasus only went on the offensive TWICE, once as a way to prevent the Cylons from following them and once as a means to enable them to START RUNNING again.

    OTOH, Voyager spent a considerable amount of time running from INFERIOR enemies for reasons that were never adequately explained (the Kazon, for example). If you can't run from the Borg, who can you run from?

    ROFL! Yes they did! They ran all the time! Even Picard ran from the Borg when his weapons weren't effective, and no one in Trek fandom has EVER accused him of cowardice for it. Kirk ran from the Romulans on two separate occasions, he ran from the Capellans in "Friday's Child," he ran from the Gorn, he ran from Trelane both on foot AND on the Enterprise. He tried to run from the Fesarius, but Balok wouldn't let him.

    That's what people do when they're about to get their asses kicked, they RUN LIKE HELL. Standing your ground against a clearly superior foe when you have nothing to gain in doing so isn't courage, it's incompetence.

    Except when it does, as it did in "I, Borg" and multiple instances even in Voyager. Evading them (not outrunning them) is indeed possible, in fact it doesn't seem overly difficult in the short term.