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Star trek: Voyager 6.08b - Collective

Stardate around 53500
Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

After the Delta Flyer is intercepted by a Borg Cube, Chakotay (Robert Beltran), Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) and Neelix (Ethan Phillips) find themselves placed in what appears to be an assimilation chamber - however, Kim (Garrett Wang) is not with them. A dead body lies on a table in the centre of the room, its partly borgified and its face and arm are covered with implants that appear crudely inserted.

Meanwhile, Voyager discovers that the Borg Cube's propulsion system is offline. The cube first targets Voyager's warp core and then moves to its impulse engines. While the cube's attack strategy is erratic and inefficient, Voyager capably disables the cube's weapons. Seven (Jeri Ryan) discovers that there are only five Borg signatures, instead of thousands, manning the vessel.

Persons of interest

  • Kate Mulgrew .... Captain Kathryn Janeway
  • Robert Beltran .... Commander Chakotay
  • Roxann Dawson .... Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
  • Robert Duncan McNeill .... Lieutenant Tom Paris
  • Robert Picardo .... the Emergency Medical Hologram
  • Ethan Phillips .... Neelix
  • Tim Russ .... Lieutenant Tuvok
  • Jeri Ryan .... Seven of nine, tertiary adjunct to Unimatrix 01
  • Garrett Wang .... Ensign Harry Kim
  • Majel Barrett .... USS Voyager computer voice
  • Ryan Spahn .... the teenage drone leader/First of Five
  • Manu Intiraymi .... Icheb/Second of five
  • Marley S McClean .... Mezoti/Third of five
  • Kurt Wetherill .... Azan/Fourth of five
  • Cody Wetherill .... Rebi/Fifth of five
  • Andrew Shepard Price .... Storywriter
  • Mark Gaberman .... Storywriter
  • Michael Taylor .... Screenwriter
  • Allison Liddi .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

The Brady Borg. Resistance is groovy in a far out, happening kind of way!

Nah, not really, it was just too good a line to resist.

I saw a low-cal Borg cultural episode vaguely along the lines of Unity and Survival instinct. A cube is separated from the Collective leaving the remaining drones to fend for themselves as best they can. Unable to separate themselves from each other they fall to desperate measures. The distinction between Collective and the other episodes is that this one is mostly about the way pre-adults are assimilated (and what happens when they are left to fend for themselves).

It's always nice to know these things about your greatest enemy, although there don't seem to be many Trekkies who would complain about being assimilated. The only other glimpses of Borg maturation cycles came as a baby in a drawer in The best of both worlds II and the 29th-century-inspired version in Drone, and both of those were operating under relatively normal circumstances. As knowledge is power, these educational experiences give the Federation (in microcosm) more power over the Borg; every meeting empowers the underdog. Thematically that requires a bigger meeting where the two can thrash it out using brute force rather than blackmail, threats, lies or other forms of diplomacy. Having looked into the future (not that I am linear, but you find it easier to understand when I speak that way) this showdown will come at the end of the season with Unimatrix 0 I.

Ummm... what else? The kids are capable actors, that much is certain, but as far as I am concerned, the most interesting neo-natal drones are the ones who talk the least: the twin brothers Azan and Rebi. Twins are a rare occurrence in Star trek (even the Delaney sisters haven't been seen since Bride of Chaotica!) and these are the first twins for the Borg, too, so their story is bound to be fascinating. But, they spend most of their time hovering around in the background looking like twins. What you do get is a big power play between First and Second. It is so not Borg to have disagreement that they are interesting (if not entirely unpredictable) to watch. Third is a precocious brat who could give Naomi Wildman a run for her money.

Erm, that's about it. Interesting, and full of important information for future episodes. Mmm.

Security censorship classification

PG (Low level violence)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental and retail: 8 September 2000

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