"The line must be drawn here!"
The introduction of the Borg as an antagonist on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” gave the crew of the Enterprise – and the teams on subsequent shows – one of their greatest villains. Not only are they a terrifying collective, assimilating everyone they come into contact with, but they thematically are the antithesis of everything the franchise has come to represent about technology and the future. Because of all of this, they seemed a natural element to include in the TNG cinematic stories. But the studio wanted them to include a way to personify the villain more than they ever did in the show. The filmmakers also wanted to make a time travel film. With all of these elements, were they able to pull it together to make a cohesive film? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Star Trek series with Jonathan Frakes’ 1996 film Star Trek: First Contact.
We talk about the Borg as a whole, both in the TV shows and this film, and debate how well they’re served with some of their rules and with the addition of the Borg queen. We praise the brilliant performances of the additional actors brought into the fold in this film – Alfre Woodard, James Cromwell and Alice Krige (even Neal McDonough) – and how we relish some of their scenes with our Enterprise crew. (Woodard’s scenes with Patrick Stewart all stand out as 5-star Star Trek.) We go through problems we have with the script, notably the introduction of the Borg queen and the lack of and conflict in the storyline on Earth, and debate what could have improved the movie. We look at what some of the crew, primarily cinematographer Matthew F. Leonetti, composer Jerry Goldsmith and production designer Herman F. Zimmerman, bring to the table. And we run through a list of items in the film – items like Geordi’s ocular implants, the escape pods and Cromwell’s dancing – to find out if we loved it or hated it.
It’s a fun film that makes for an exciting watch, though with more visible problems that we’re seeing now. Still, we have a great time talking about it on this week’s show. So watch the film then tune in! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.