Star Trek: Borg [1996/I]

While hardcore Trekkers may not find a lot of new material in Star Trek Collective: Borg, newcomers experiencing 16 action-packed, fan-selected episodes of the Federation's greatest villains may have to prepare to be assimilated. All the episodes have been previously released on DVD, but there are new text commentaries on three of the episodes, and the per-disc price is significantly less expensive than the full-season Trek sets. It's a great entry point for novices, or for budget-minded fans. The episodes are presented in Stardate order, which means starting with Enterprise, the latest series but also the earliest in chronological order. In "Regeneration," an exploration team finds a pair of apparently dead humanoid-mechanical hybrids that turn out to be members of the Borg, a nearly invincible race whose simple goal is to absorb--"assimilate"--every individual organism it encounters into its collective being. Because the Borg has the ability to adapt itself to resist any threat, resistance is futile. Shift ahead to The Next Generation and a visit by the quirky god Q turns out to have deadly implications when, in a pouty mood, he throws the Enterprise into their first encounter with the Borg. That's followed by the classic two-part cliffhanger (bridging seasons 3 and 4) "The Best of Both Worlds," in which Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) is assimilated into the Borg and a frustrated Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes) has to make a fateful decision. "I, Borg" attempts to give the Borg a humanized aspect, and the two-parter "Descent" has some interesting developments for Data (Brent Spiner). Skip Deep Space Nine in favor of Voyager, the series in which Captain Janeway's (Kate Mulgrew) ship is stranded far from home in the Delta Quadrant. That happens to be home turf for the Borg, so they had a number of run-ins. The first two-parter (which bridged seasons 3 and 4) is "Scorpion," which introduces the Borg's nemesis, Species 8472. By the time of "Drone," the ship had its first Borg crew member, the sexy Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), but her loyalties are tempted by the Borg Queen (Susanna Thompson) in the double-length "Dark Frontier." In the "Unimatrix Zero" two-parter, which bridged seasons 6 and 7, Seven discovers an idyllic haven for members of the Collective that the Queen is determined to find and destroy. That eventually leads to an ultimate confrontation with the Queen (now played by Alice Krige, repeating her role from Star Trek: First Contact) in the series finale, "Endgame." --David Horiuchi

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