The Borg Episode

Story: Regeneration
Written By: Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong
Series: Star Trek: Enterprise
Year: 2003

“Regeneration” is another continuity problem in Enterprise. It is the Borg episode…a well that had more than run dry by the end of Voyager’s run…the producers and writers decided that one last romp could be done. You see the Borg were great in TNG because in the whole of that series run they had only done 6 episodes. SIX. Somehow after only 6 episodes they had this reputation of being totally badass and the greatest foe in the show. That’s because back then the writers were pretty smart, they knew that having an enemy that really works as a dramatic and scary foe, they had to only show up once in a while. When they are introduced the only way to save the crew of the Enterprise is for Picard to beg Q to send them back home. “Best of Both Worlds” comes up with a really unique and clever way to stop the Borg, and it is pulled off really well. Then we get things like Hugh in “I, Borg”, which doesn’t really have the Borg as a major threat, and then “Descent (1 & 2)” which gives a whole new twist on their story.
So you see the Borg worked well AT FIRST because they were a rare occurrence, definitely scary when they showed up, but rare nonetheless. Voyager milked them for all they were worth in 20 odd episodes that made defeating them seem like child’s play. Then we get all the way to Enterprise…which quite frankly has been limping through most of this season (both in terms of storytelling and audience viewing figures, and they decide to bring back the once big ratings winner. But the Borg threat does not become known to the Federation until TNG season 2, and despite their traveling back in time in “Star Trek: First Contact,” Braga and Moore were actually quite clever in keeping the Borg plotline contained on the Enterprise, as to not really screw-up the timeline too much.

Here we discover that some Borg pod escaped and made it’s way to Earth, frozen in the artic since the events of “First Contact”. That in itself is not a terrible idea; I mean it could happen...I buy it. What I don’t buy is that people in this time keep such shitty records. They met the Ferengi…no visual record from their invasion of their ship? No evidence of what they do or are like? Seriously? Now we meet the Borg, and despite the writers being careful in both episodes to not have our villains expose their names…there is enough evidence for records for Starfleet to eventually be more ready for these races and the potential threat they pose.

I’ll give credit where credit is due; the episode isn’t all that bad. It is actually kind of entertaining. I think it has some decent action, good visual effects and some good ideas…I just don’t think it was entirely necessary.

It is just further proof that Berman and Braga were not the guys to head up a show that is about how TOS came to be. Who should have been in charge? Ronald D. Moore. Seriously, look at his track record in Trek. He is a great writer (one of the best of the franchise) and his work on things like “Trials and Tribble-ations” proves that being a TOS fan through and through would have made him perfect to run a show about how that world came to be. Alas Braga helped shove Moore away from the franchise during Moore’s really brief stint at Voyager, so Moore moved on (and his version of Battlestar Galactica is one of the best things to happen to sci-fi, so I’m kind of glad he did move on from Trek). I just think Moore would have been a better fit for a prequel, he gets TOS, Berman and Braga are a better fit for working on series post-TNG…and that’s why they never really did that good of a job of making this show seem like a prequel, but more of the same.

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