I liked the Borg more before the Borg Queen and Q before Voyager.

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by urbandk, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. urbandk

    urbandk Commodore Commodore

    Aug 20, 2008
    DFW, Texas
    Just thought I'd throw this out, red meat, you know.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Borg, like Q, in my opinion became less interesting and more banal the more they were on screen.

    I rather liked the idea of an enemy whose existence was totally subsumed into a hive mind. The introduction of some mega-Borg queen seemed to belittle the whole concept.

    Likewise, I also felt that Q became increasingly stupid, especially in Voyager.

    I'm just writing this thread to complain about two of my Star Trek pet peeves.
  2. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 29, 2008
    Go ahead, caller. I'm listening...
    I agree with both of these opinions. :techman:
  3. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

    Aug 23, 2001
    Full of hot air.
    I never liked either.
  4. CaptJimboJones

    CaptJimboJones Vice Admiral Admiral

    Feb 15, 2002
    Probably 98 percent of the folks on this board will agree with you. ;)

    I'm in the (probably small) group that thinks the best Borg episode after BOBW was the Enterprise one. It was a return to the old-school scary Borg, and a lot more fun than the TNG and VOY episodes that completely demystified them.
  5. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 27, 2009
    Thor Damar, God of thunder and monologue..

    I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter. ;) (In all seriousness I agree completely with your statement)
  6. Damask

    Damask Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 26, 2007
    I think though the Borg were never really ever going to work if they appeared all the time. Even TNG's Borg stories got stale and they only had about five of them.

    I'd be interested to hear how people would make the Borg a reoccurring enemy but not Voyagerize them.
  7. Dane_Whitman

    Dane_Whitman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 22, 2007
    Dinner to bug.
    I love Scorpion, but I agree with you. Regeneration was 100% scary Borg like we hadn't seen since BoBW.
  8. WillsBabe

    WillsBabe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 27, 2002
    Often, the more you get to know something the more it can lose its appeal, or its threat. I think the Borg and Q both suffered from this. I actually like the Borg Queen in FC but less so in Voyager.
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 30, 2001
    By doing stories that are deeper than "Resistance is Futile". For all of the flaws Star Trek: Voyager had, it produced the most thought provoking Borg story there is in Unity.
  10. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 18, 2004
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    There are ways to rationalize the Queen away as a literal queen for the most part. I think the greater factor that diminished the Borg was that they seemed like pushovers. Tiny little Voyager escaping them every week? Riiight.

    Q did get a tad overused on VGR (his introduction to VGR being the greater oddity for me), but 'Death Wish' was very good and 'The Q and the Grey' had its moments.
  11. cultcross

    cultcross #NotAllMods Moderator

    Jul 27, 2001
    This other Eden

    Agreed on both.

    There was nothing exactly wrong with the Queen idea, and she worked OK in First Contact - but then she started appearing in every Borg episode in later Voyager, and suddenly it wasn't the Borg themselves that were the threat, it was just the queen, and her drones were basically mindless footsoldiers for our heroes to hack and slash their way through. Never on Voyager after Scorpion were the Borg half as scary as they were in BOBW, the mindless force bent on a single goal. At one point, the very name 'Borg' carried a goosebumps effect in the Star Trek fan - they were the villain that could really hurt us. But by the end of Voyager, it was 'ho hum, Borg again is it?' - they had been beaten too many times by a single ship to be remotely scary anymore.

    As for Q, he never really worked after TNG - his appearence on DS9 sucked as well, imho. Removed from Jean Luc Picard as a foil he was a fairly insipid and irritating character. And Voyager had a habit of playing him as Janeway's intellectual equal, which was annoying. On TNG, even when our characters 'won', he always seemed to have an amused smile on his face as if he was really the puppet master even then - but on DS9 and Voyager, he seemed to have lost his edge, the inferior of the Starfleet crew.
  12. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

    Apr 28, 2007
    Outer Graceland
    A. Full agreement re. Borg.

    B. I could never stand Q. He's smarmy; plus an omnipotent character makes any decisions and actions by mere humans ultimately moot.

    C. Back to Borg - in real life, Roddenberry talked about the possibility of our evolving into a social organism with a collective, greater mind (the internet, anyone?) in Yvonne Fern's Gene Roddenberry: The Last Conversation (U. of Cal. Press, 1994). He is actually ok with the possibility, but acknowledges they had to make such a concept scary for commercial t.v.
  13. WillsBabe

    WillsBabe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 27, 2002
    This is a good point. I liked the Borg best when they were a faceless, homogenous, unreasonable force.

    Another point I agree with. I see the Borg Queen as less of a literal queen and more a focul point of Borg consciousness; an interface. I'm not easy with the idea of a figurehead for the Borg. Although, after having said that, thinking about hives, hive creatures here on earth do have a queen. For some reason I can go with it in First Contact the movie and less so in Voyager.
  14. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 11, 2006
    Moncton, NB
    Problem is, the Borg are fundamentally boring as a recurring evil. They work better as the occasional threat seen every few seasons or one big story in a series and that's it. Maybe if they had the Borg be a plot device driving a conflict and had the characters deal with the situation the Borg had created without really encountering the Borg it would work, but as a real confrontation VOY HAD to weaken the Borg otherwise they'd be destroyed in 10 seconds and the show over.
  15. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 15, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    The problem with the Borg is that they were used improperly after the BoBW. What made the Borg frightening was the fact that it was a malevolent force of nature that could not be negotiated with. The proper way to use that type of villian is to not focus on them. Instead you focus on those impacted by them. Voyager could have told stories about borg created refugees. Conversely they could have had situations where the Voyager crew were simply unable to fight the borg and were forced to withdraw, perhaps leaving innocents behind to perish at the hands of the borg.
  16. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 18, 1999
    The exact same thing happened in Doctor Who in the 1980's, with Davros overshadowing his Dalek soldiers to the point that they became completely irrelevant.
  17. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 18, 2003
    The Digital Garden
    I see the Borg more as a philisophical debate.

    If the collective are of one mind, who's one mind is dominate over the collective? So like in a Bee hive, the Queens one mind rules the collective by sending out commands thru frequency. Just like the Borg.

    So in essance, the Borg are slaves ruled by a slave master, the Borg Queen. They're a threat because they come for you, take you & branwash you into slavery. Her slave, to do her will. She is the Borg, the beginning & the end. Human slavery is a concept that will never die, it's wrong but somewhere in the world and now the galaxy, it's allowed to exist. A Borg vessel is a metaphor for a sweat shop, I believe that's was the implication in "First Contact" of why a Borg Cube is so hot.
    Why would advance computer technology give off heat in cold space? Unless that clue was given up for deeper meaning.
  18. Anika Hanson

    Anika Hanson Captain Captain

    Aug 30, 2008
    I like Q still but VOY ruined the borg for me.
  19. Karnbeln

    Karnbeln Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 7, 2009
    I think the Queen works best if you show her to be not just the one to whom the collective is enslaved, but that the queen is also the slave of the collective. The collective will of the Borg is what drives her entire mind, and the actions of the Borg are driven by the queen. She is the center of the hive mind, not the leader of it. She would not exist with a body except as a Locutus-like mouthpiece.

    The problem came when they didn't depict the queen this way, but as an embodied enemy who commanded drones, as this makes for better drama from a human confrontational standpoint. But this wasn't entirely Voyager's fault, as First Contact also depicted her in this manner, with the talk of the queen needing an equal in Locutus and whatnot. It showed less of the queen acting in this manner, but they set up the precedent.

    People just have better feelings about her portrayal in FC, in my opinion, because First Contact is almost universally considered a great movie, whereas many dislike Voyager as a whole, which causes us to look upon anything from FC with a more forgiving eye. Which is fine, everyone has the right to like something better than something else. However, from a more subjective viewpoint, the actions and characteristics of the queen must be considered a fault of First Contact, not Voyager. Voyager went wrong by not using its ability to expand on the queen and portray her as something that kept the menace of the Borg intact.
  20. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 18, 2004
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    On this point I agree - the Borg are a comparison philosophy. However, on the rest...

    The idea that one person dominates the others goes against the original intent of them being a collective mind. It's not that one dominates, it's that they are all joined together. Their minds are linked into one giant mind that can do greater things. Like networking computers into a big supercomputer. More on the Queen in a moment...

    I think you're so close here to the real truth of it that it could bite you. You are right that it's a metaphor for slavery - but not of the conventional oppressor/oppressed kind. I believe that the Borg were essentially a metaphor to represent 'groupthink' (and perhaps by extension Communism) and the dangers of giving over individuality totally to the common will. They do come and take you and brainwash you into slavery.

    The 'Queen' is best viewed as just a personification of the Collective's mind - a conduit for their consciousness. She directs drones, similar to your bee analogy, but not at her personal whims - instead, at the needs of the Collective itself. Replace 'she' with 'they' and I think you're more on target to the original intent, regardless to what later writers tried to do with the Queen and making her a more traditional 'leader.'

    Regarding the fact that the Queen behaves like an emotional individual - think of her as embodying the collective emotional individuality of the Borg. Consider: the Borg are used to getting what they want. The Borg Queen to some degree behaves like a spoiled little girl. Spoiled little girls are also used to getting what they want. Isn't it only natural and to some extent logical that the embodiment of the collective individuality of countless drones might develop a 'spoiled' and impatient 'personality,' particularly when dealing with what she repeatedly considers 'small' annoyances?