Joined by Ria Papageorgiou (co-host, Galaxy Class), Kris Hill and Kyle West begin their build towards a full review of Star Trek: Enterprise “Regeneration” with a close look at The Next Generation’s “Q Who”. Also: a deep dive into the Borg species.
Supporting The Expanse
What is in Episode 24. Q Who and the Borg (Resistance is Futile, Part 1)?
First Show of the Year
Kris Hill introduced listeners to the show and wished them all a Happy New Year.
Kyle West said that he hoped, for the entire world, that 2021 would be a better year than 2020.
Introducing a Special Guest
Ria Papageorgiou joined Kris and Kyle on this episode. Ria is a regular co-host on Star Trek: The Next Generation podcast series, Galaxy Class, which airs at the United Federation of Podcasts.
Ria’s booking came through Amy Nelson, a friend of the show, and one of Ria’s colleagues on Galaxy Class.
She grew up with Star Trek: The Original Series, and watched The Next Generation’s premiere as it aired.
Said that if she could never watch a Star Trek episode ever again, but still get to hang out with Star Trek people, she’d take that deal. Loves her fellow fans.
In Defence of 2020…
Before they went any further, Ria said she had to defend 2020, and that “it was really my year”.
Kyle agreed that there were many positives in 2020, such as getting quality time with his children due to schools being closed.
He took back his criticism of 2020.
The Convention Scene
Ria joked that Amy Nelson was a terrible influence on her, having got her into the Star Trek convention scene.
Both her and Amy will be on the 2022 Star Trek cruise.
Kyle spoke about his first, and only, convention experience. It was Destination Star Trek, in 2019.
It turns out that Ria was also at that convention, although Kyle didn’t remember seeing her (she was dressed as Mirror Lal).
Kyle had been in awe of the cosplay efforts of fellow Trekkies. He could only applaud the time and effort that they put into their work.
Years ago, the Trek community used to get a bad rap for dressing up, but Kyle said that this really started the entire cosplay scene as it is today.
They spoke about which stars they met, and had photos with. Ria’s included Brent Spiner and George Takei.
Kyle had photos with Ethan Peck, Connor Trinneer, and Shazaad Latif.
They agreed to meet at 2021’s Destination Star Trek.
Her First Trek
Kyle discussed his new podcast series, titled Her First Trek, which launched on 1st January 2021.
In two weeks, Kris and Kyle would be discussing Star Trek: Enterprise’s “Regeneration”.
They decided to build up to that, with two special podcasts about the Borg, beforehand.
This week, they would discuss The Next Generation’s “Q Who”, which introduced the Borg. They would also discuss the Borg as a species.
On the next episode, they would be reviewing Star Trek: First Contact (1996).
Why were the Borg introduced?
Ria said that, when TNG first aired, producers wanted “a new scary alien species”, but that the Ferengi were a bust.
The Borg were originally meant to be insectoid aliens, but the budget didn’t allow for it.
Kyle didn’t think that an insectoid villain could be pulled off successfully, at the time TNG was in production.
They agreed that it worked out for the best, as the Borg were an incredibly scary villain, particularly by the time of First Contact.
Not Your Typical Trek Villain
We had seen evil computers, and more, but Kyle said that the Borg were truly a different kind of Star Trek enemy.
He felt that, from First Contact onwards, the Borg felt much different from any other similar concept being used in other sci-fi franchises.
Ria called them “ground-breaking, and one of a kind”.
“They don’t value life,” said Kyle, when they were discussing the second Borg drone to appear [in Q Who], who harvested parts from the dead first drone.
Assimilation Not On The Menu?
They discussed how, in their first appearance, the Borg made no attempt to assimilate.
They were only focused on technology, in this appearance.
The Western Gaze
Ria spoke about how the idea of one collective mindset was presented as a horrible thing, in Star Trek.
Even on Earth, she said, this isn’t always the case. The idea of making completely independent and individual decisions is an idea mostly found in Western countries.
Kyle raised a recent discussion that he witnessed online, where some fans expressed dislike for Captain Archer always explaining that a handshake was an Earth custom when greeting a person.
They wondered how all of these ideas are perceived by viewers who don’t find themselves in mostly English-speaking countries.
Control = The Borg?
Kyle admitted that during Star Trek: Discovery’s second season, he was sure that Control would be sent back in time, and eventually become the Borg.
“Discovery would have never had to deal with it,” but just knowing what caused the creation of the Borg would have been a great easter egg for fans.
He felt it was a missed opportunity.
Ria admitted that she’s never particularly cared about the origins of the Borg. During that second season of Discovery, she even hoped it wasn’t the Borg.
She likes the mystery of not knowing how the Borg came into existence.
Was Q Helping?
Kris felt that this entire episode was Q continuing his test of mankind, which began in “Encounter at Farpoint”.
“I always thought he was stupid and annoying,” said Ria, who didn’t enjoy Q until recently.
She feels that, with decades of development since, Q’s actions in this episode can be taken differently to how they were intended by the writers at the time.
Looking back, Ria thinks that Q knew Picard wasn’t prepared for the challenges that faced him, so she gave him a sneak peek here.
Why Did Starfleet Forget About The Borg?
They discussed how, since “Q Who” aired, a lot of episodes have established that Starfleet knew of the Borg long before Q introduced them to each other in TNG.
Kyle suggested that given Zechram Cochrane himself retracted his story about “alien cyborgs”, it’s possible that Section 31 may have been responsible for erasing Borg information from the public sphere.
He felt it would be within Section 31’s mission to reduce the panic that could be caused by people knowing of the Borg, and the danger they represented.
For him, people finding out about the Borg (Seven of Nine’s family, for example) in the 24th century may have been something Section 31 didn’t bank on happening.
Heirs to the Throne
Ria wasn’t a huge fan of the Borg Queen, who was introduced in Star Trek: First Contact.
Kyle enjoyed her in that film, but became less enamoured with her, the more Star Trek: Voyager used her.
Wondering how there could be more than one Borg Queen, Ria suggested that perhaps the Borg babies seen in “Q Who” could have been the Borg growing queen clones.
This made sense to everyone and became official headcanon.
How Star Trek: Picard Used the Borg
All were very happy with how the Borg were used in CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard.
“We haven’t seen the Borg in 17 years!” said Kyle, in disbelief that people were not happy to hear that the Borg would be in Picard, having labelled them as overdone.
Ria believes that the Borg focus in Star Trek: Picard will shift to Seven of Nine, and the xB’s, rather than the Borg Collective.
Kyle said that now it is based centuries after all other Star Trek, he believes Star Trek: Discovery will find it hard to resist the urge to use the Borg at some time.
Kris was keen to see them again, or at least be given an explanation as to why there weren’t around.
Voyager Didn’t End the Borg
They were all in agreement that “Endgame” was not the end of the Borg, as many fans have suggested over the years.
Final Thoughts on Q Who
Kris enjoyed his rewatch.
Ria confirmed that she does revisit the episode regularly and that any inconsistencies with what has been revealed about the Borg since it aired, is easily explained away.
Kyle said that he likely hadn’t watched this episode for over 10 years before this rewatch.
He says that this was one of Trek’s most successful attempts at introducing a new major villain race.
Music used in this podcast is licenced by Holosuite Media through Epidemic Sound. The theme music is "Heroics" by Boil The Ocean. Other music used includes "Red Red Shoes" by Czar Donic, and "Prescient" by Howard Harper-Barnes.
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