Well, I feel like this would be better with the rest of the scene including the monster popping out of the guys chest right afterward.
"We have defeated this almost insurmountable threat, but it sent a transmission into an unexplored part of space!"
"That sucks. Let us never speak of it again."
It's crap like that which points out how Star Trek (and most sci-fi shows) really needed to plan some stuff out in advance and have a head writer.
Actually, my nerd beard and tendency to read random trivia when bored at work says that this plotline was discarded because they realized that if you start with head-exploding, maggot-eating, insect-down-throating aliens, you're already past the squeamish point of viewers, and continuing it would be a Bad Idea. They should have realized it before they broadcast it, but the "viewer discretion advised" added to only this episode was probably the hint that this wasn't the right path to take.
So, they came up with The Borg as the "mysterious super-powerful interloper from afar" story instead.
Interesting. They still needed a head writer, though, and not the guy who came up with "Hugh the Borg," but that's another topic.
Wasn't this also one of the earlier "slow phasers" episodes, where someone fired a phaser at Picard/Riker, and they just leaned out of the way to dodge it?
No idea on the slow phasers, myself. I guess action choreography on a TV show is more trouble than it's worth, so they just wing it.
As for Hugh and the related stuff, my guess was they made the mistake of making the Borg way too powerful right from the get-go and they needed a hook to fix it. Had they not needed (near)-divine intervention in their first encounter to save them, they could have played up the increasing threat. But at first encounter, all of their normal weapons were already rendered useless, and if every Borg episode relied on a Deus-Ex new weapon, the formula would grow tired quickly. So, enter the new not-so-adapting Borg with post-Hugh.
Any story with an omnipotent hero or villain either gets boring or eventually elicits an "oh for fuck's sake is there Kryptonite for sale at 7-11?!?!?!" eventually. They had to de-fang the Borg just enough to avoid that.
While it's true that an all-powerful enemy gets dull, neutering them in a hamfisted way because the writers are just making it up as they go can be just as bad. I think the real mishandling of the Borg was that they made them nightmarish without there being any more to them: It could be attractive in some ways. See this cartoon:
It's a glib way of looking at it, but they just made them this monolithic, unchanging threat that they eventually screwed up on so many levels. In addition to Hugh, the Borg Queen springs to mind, since Janeway was able to threaten her as one would a person, when all the Queen should have been was an avatar for the collective, and no more important than a single Mario is to a Nintendo player.
They kind of touched on the idea that the collective was something to be desired with 7 of 9, but only as an "I'm alone" sort of thing instead of an "I've just lost my connection to the biggest intellectual high in the cosmos" way.
'Trek should have had an episode where the Enterprise had to intercept a ship of people who wanted to willingly become part of the collective to expand their consciousness or something.
I was thinking a Borg ambassador with an episode where they ask for a planet in exchange for the Borg leaving the Federation alone for a while.
Now, I haven't had much contact with ST after TNG ended, so I don't know much of the Borg queen or Voyager other than the pissed off rantings about it online, but yeah, nuance is not something that comes along very often in the Star Trek universe. Apparently a good example was the Ferrengi planned to be the Federation's "worthy foe" in guile and such, and that crashing and burning after one ep too.
I think the moral is they just plain suck at getting the right balance in their recurring bad guys.
Juice Eggs McKenna
Tracey Torme was the head writer on this season, I read all about it in STARLOG.
Maybe I'm missing a detail here, but doesn't the Voyager finale also have an instant path from Borg central right to Earth, that for some reason the Borg haven't used?
What made the Borg so scary at first was that, besides being so powerful, there was no relating to them. You couldn't bargain with them, you couldn't strike up a conversation with them, you couldn't even grovel at their feet while they gloated like Ming the Merciless. They were a program executing its function.
That wasn't a recipe for a good long-term threat, but the fact that they worked so well that one time, was what made people want them to come back. But you can't do the same story twice, or at least you shouldn't. I say Hugh the Borg, and later the Borg that Lore worked with, were a proper demise for the Borg, where Picard figured out the best way to ruin them was to help them reclaim their individuality. Bam, the Borg are done except for tiny tribes reduced to scavengers.
The Borg as shown in "Voyager" were a stupidification of the original concept. Not only did they become a recurring villain (the surest way to undermine A Threat So Huge We Don't Know How We Can Possibly Survive), they had a queen with her own personality and emotions, who even took to gloating at Janeway. Mind you, this group of Borg were apparently not ravaged by Picard's individuality "virus"; the queen had supposedly been there all along, we'd just never met her. But that inverted everything that had made the Borg work. Eventually the Borg even adopted a Borg insignia (in the form of a stylized hand, presumably designed by a graphic arts major), signifying how the Borg had been reduced to nothing more than an army of bad guys in the end.
As for the neck aliens, I don't know whether the TNG writers were smart enough to pick up on it (probably not), but Alien Parasites Living Inside A Human Host Who Behave Almost Normally But Betray Their Presence With A Single Telltale Physical Sign have been done to death. These were the same geniuses who later brought us Planet Of The Space Irishmen.
... Speak of the devil, here's the current "Wonderella":
|Caminante Nocturno |
Picard and Riker refuse to accept people with bloated necks.
The Sexually Aroused Toad People face great discrimination.
|Jet Bin Fever |
Aww, it cut out the best part, where the little creature in his chest gets all 'sploded.
|Rodents of Unusual Size |
I was always mad at them for not revisiting this species. Where did they come from? Why did they not try to infiltrate the Federation again?
Stargate then took the idea and it became stupendously boring. At least Battlestar took the idea of an undetectable enemy in the midst of a government and took it to an art form.
I really would have liked to have seen an increasingly paranoid Federation, or maybe an alternate Federation where the timeline became totalitarian due to them trying to prevent further threats from the worm parasites.
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