16 January 2011

"Star Trek" Fan Collective - Borg

Star Trek Fan Collective - Borg
Starring: Scott Bakula, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Kate Mulgrew
DVD Release Date: 7 March 2006
List Price: $39.98

"Regeneration" is too contrived to avoid raising too many questions (the Borg never say their name, for instance), but if seen outside the context of the rest of Enterprise it stands as a fairly harmless coda to Star Trek: First Contact. The real meat and potatoes to this collection, though, are the TNG episodes, "The Best of Both Worlds" I & II and "I Borg," which are just as thrilling and poignant as ever. I was never in love with "Descent" I & II (featuring Lore as the leader of a cult of screwed up Borg outcasts).

I was surprised at how much I found myself actually liking the Voyager episodes. Yes, there are all kinds of continuity issues (like Seven of Nine's parents not knowing about Borg children, when that was something that was clearly shown in "Q Who" and should have made its way into the Enterprise's report) and even some retconning*, but I found those things bugged me a lot less this go round.

"Unimatrix Zero" is an especially interesting episode to watch now. Living in the era of Facebook and social networks--and particularly, having my experience connecting with other people with Crohn's around the world to offset how alone I really am in my daily life--that premise resonated a lot more with me now than it did when it aired in 1999. Definitely worth another look for those who might have not responded well to it previously.

I still wish the Voyager series finale had been more original. Being a hybrid of "All Good Things..." and First Contact it just feels like a TNG homage more than an episode to wrap up Voyager. Still, given that they decided to the route they did, I think it turned out well enough. At least their crew got a better wrap-up than the TNG crew got with Nemesis.

The Borg evolved quite a lot from "Q Who" to "Endgame," both within the stories and as a component of Star Trek. This compilation of episodes really traces that growth, and while some stories are weak and the Voyager episodes are quite selective about which previously established information was retained and which was overwritten, it's still a solid 14 episode assortment. Glad I bought it several years ago.

The only real disappointment is the dearth of bonus materials; there are a few text commentary tracks by Michael and Denise Okuda, and they're kind of tedious because they're displayed with TNG monitor graphics that obscure quite a lot of screen unnecessarily and most of what's shared was probably already well known by Trekkies anyway.

*retcon - retroactive continuity, when an established story element is later superseded by a new and  contradictory element.

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