Weird questions about 'The Best of Both Worlds'

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by JesterFace, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. JesterFace

    JesterFace Commodore Commodore

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    I recently watched both parts of 'The Best of Both Worlds' and few questions came to mind, I wonder what others might think about these things.

    There was recently some talk on this forum about why the Enterprise left the nebula they were hiding in so close to the Borg cube. Headcanon answered that question by saying that is was the only safe way out, elsewhere the storm the Borg created was too strong, intentionally. They exited the nebula where the Borg wanted them to appear.

    When rescuing Picard/Locutus from the cube there wasn't much resistance. Few drones tried to prevent Data and Worf from getting to Picard but not very many. Earlier when Shelby's away team tried to rescue Picard there was a forcefield preventing Worf from getting to him. This time there wasn't. I guess our heroes knew to expect a forcefield and found a way around it before going to the cube.

    The shuttle Data and Worf used to get to the cube was ignored by the Borg when they transported to the cube. It wasn't a threat so the Borg didn't bother capturing or destroying it?

    Later when Locutus is on the Enterprise the Borg is apparently unable to break the connection with Picard, Crusher says it would be like cutting off and arm for a leg for us. However, earlier when Locutus was taken from the cube by Data and Worf the Borg destroyed their shuttle, knowing Locutus was onboard the shuttle, so I wonder why it was so difficult to cut Picard off from the collective. Use some self-destruct mechanism to destroy Locutus? On the other hand, when the Borg destroyed the shuttle, did it even know that Locutus was onboard? Or maybe the Borg wanted to know what would happen if Picard was taken back, something new and beneficial for the Borg to learn?

    Headcanon explanations allowed. :)

    After all these questions I must say that I understand TNG is entertainment and things that happen keeps up the tension. Just wondering. :) Also, at that point we didn't know much about the Borg. Also, the Borg is stupid. It seems to take every situation as something completely new to it, no experience on anything?
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I gather having lots of experience is similar to having none: one knows it's futile to expect something when everything is possible.

    That Locutus was less under the control of the heroes than they themselves thought is a good assumption, and that the Borg would be a tad arrogant in not cutting him off outright is only to be expected in light of what we later learn of the Borg. The Borg may appear indifferent, but they are immensely curious, and ready to take risks to learn something new. They may experiment with Omega molecules; they may sacrifice Drones or entire Cubes for intel; it's only natural that they would exploit a rare situation where their victims decide to harbor a Drone in their midst. What's there to lose?

    Well, they lost a Cube. But quite possibly that was an acceptable outcome all along. That Cube may have learned lots and lots of new things about the Federation, its greatest intel victories actually coming from Data's infiltration attempt, a delightfully assimilable all-new defense tactic that will benefit the Collective in the future...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  3. JesterFace

    JesterFace Commodore Commodore

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    Maybe the entire mission in TBOBW was to collect information. Like Data said in 'Q Who' when they first encountered the Borg the first Borg that transported to the Enterprise came onboard just to collect information and Guinan confirmed it. Just like that one drone in engineering this one cube was there to collect information. Basically the Borg didn't attack with all their power.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    VOY and Seven of Nine give us good insight into how the Borg "normally" operate. The piecemeal runs against Earth certainly smack of "Child's Play" - of deliberate goading, of letting the Feds win so that the Collective can learn from that. This in contrast with wholesale assimilation, "Dark Frontier" or "Hope and Fear" style...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Commodore Commodore

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    The problem is if they had the Borg operate like seen in Dark Frontier when attacking Earth, then the Enterprise wouldn't be able to stop them in a Two Parter.
    It would take a multi-season desperate war for survival that makes the Dominon War seem cosy. Or it would even have to be a fundamental part of the whole series.
    That was the problem with the Borg, they were to powerful to really use them fully in the format of a series like TNG.
     
  6. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ... of attacking a planet on the other side of the galaxy, as oppose to one nearby.
     
  7. trekshark

    trekshark Commander Red Shirt

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    Maybe the federation was the first, or at least only current, government entity made of multiple species the Borg had encountered. Maybe they did a small attack in bobw and again in first contact in order to spur on technological advancement that would come from multispecies cooperation. Why get a civilizations advancements once when you can milk them again and again.
     
  8. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    It still strains belief that the Borg would never have encountered this huge gap in security before (by themselves or by actions of any enemy that used it against them). But yeah, that's also looking with a 2020 eye to a 1990 episode -- similar to how the simple "reboot" solution in Contagion seems ridiculous to us now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
  9. Admiral Archer

    Admiral Archer Commander Red Shirt

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    My comment isn't directly related to the discussion, but rather is a bit of head canon that possibly goes against writer's intent. In my head canon the USS Melbourne is the same exact Excelsior-class ship which drops Admiral Hansen and Commander Shelby off on the Enterprise in the beginning of the episode, and is actually Admiral Hansen's flagship, which he hopes Riker will command as his relief. It is also the Melbourne that Hansen is seen on the bridge of in the brief visual communication from Wolf 359, and NOT a random Galaxy-class ship. When Shelby notes the Melbourne onscreen in the graveyard scene, it's definitely NOT the Nebula-class prototype wreck that so many people pin it down to be, nor is it a new ship with the same name (USS Nebula, maybe? IDK) but the REAL Melbourne is just not visible in the scene, for whatever reason.
     
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  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's based on the assumption that the Borg would be somewhere. The assumption appears to be false - the Borg are everywhere. And always have been, what with being "thousands of centuries" old. They just don't believe in conquering and holding territory and expanding, because that would be suicidal: they'd run out of victims to assimilate that way.

    Try "rebooting" an aircraft carrier or a hospital today, and all you ever accomplish is hundreds if not thousands dead. The ridiculous thing about "Contagion" is that the rebooting worked...

    The Borg most probably have encountered everything before. What they go hunting for is nuances: perhaps this species' raygun is somehow .056% more effective than the ones already archived, and perhaps that species' means of guiding their space missiles reveals something new about the way lesser cultures think about geometry? Letting Drones die out of phaser blasts even though everybody in the galaxy has phasers of some sort is already telling. After all, there's no downside to letting a Drone or a Cube die: such things are already backed up in the Collective, per that Vinculum thing, and death or loss no longer exists.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. somebuddyx

    somebuddyx Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Mine are probably a copout but with first and second comments I just say what we see is an interpretation of events, the first so they can use that same special effect shot and the second because they couldn't show swarms of Borg. It's like seeing shots of ships in close proximity to each other when they should appear as dots or something like the Enterprise-C appearing to take forever to enter the time warp again, it's just so we can connect to the scene without looking at two pixels and wondering what's going on.
    The third one is a good one and I wonder if it can be made sense of. The Borg Queen blew up a cube just to kill a bunch of Unimatrix Zero people so presumably they're not always worried about killing parts of the collective. Maybe there was something about Locutus himself that they couldn't get by with but then blowing up the shuttle doesn't make sense there though.
    The first time I watched BOBW, which was after Emissary I believe, I assumed Melbourne was the Excelsior and Hansen's ship. I also assumed that if Riker had taken command of Melbourne he would have ended up at Wolf 359 with her and wound up dead. There's a neat theory about there being two Melbourne's, the Excelsior and it's replacement the Nebula-type, and whether it was true or not I don't care but I love the design of the Nebula-type and wish we'd seen that version for real.
     
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  12. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    Not sure I entirely agree ...

    They'd still be losing the raw materials (such as drones and the cube itself and all equipment ) that get destroyed in blowing up that cube. Now perhaps they can recuperate such losses easily (if needed) by just assimilating a not-so-promising species (or a colony of them) a tad earlier than timetabled, but still. If they are so obsessed with Perfection, one could wonder if they wouldn't be interesting in obtaining such marginal benefits as you describe with even less potential expenditure.

    Assuming that they learned all they wanted to learn from the BOBW encounter the moment Data gave the "sleep" command, why not simply (trans)warp away instead of going into that feedback loop? Or at the very latest, wait till it's clear if the Feds will attempt to stop the feedback loop or not, and then do that?
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I gather giving the victims a false sense of victory, combined with a deep desire to remain victorious, will serve the Collective the best. If the victims don't see their new defenses working at all, they won't bother coming up with better ones later on. Especially if the victims all die / get assimilated at this earliest opportunity! Have them win fifty battles and you get (possibly diminishing) returns; have them win just three and you never learn what they could have come up with; have them not win any and you definitely minimize your gains.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  14. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The raw material is one cube out of billions and hundreds of drones out of trillions. They may have lost a Borg Queen too, but, you know, she got better. It's like losing a couple drops of water on the walk to garden your plants. Completely inconsequential and there's more water where that came from.

    As Timo suggested, they don't lose anything but worthless flesh when a drone dies - their memories already uploaded to a decentralized database. Drones are just tools to assimilate and extend the Collective's search for perfection.

    We know from Voyager that several Starfleet officers were assimilated at Wolf 359. So there may have been another cube or scoutship or something that picked up these guys and transwarped away. Was that the goal, just to poke the anthill and then grab a few stragglers for study?