Star Trek: The Next Generation (1992) – I, Borg, and The Next Phase

Captain’s log: stardate 45854.2

Written by Rene Echevarria and airing on 11 May, 1992, I, Borg is a powerful Trek story.

When the Enterprise comes across a lone Borg drone (Jonathan Del Arco) separated from the Collective they bring him on board.

Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) sees the opportunity to return the Borg to the Collective, carrying a virus that could put a stop to the threat once and for all. But as Geordi (LeVar Burton) and Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) begin to work with the drone, called Three of Five, his personality begins to resurface, his individuality is being restored, even taking a name… Hugh.

Can Picard still use a sentient, feeling being as a weapon? Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) points out the dangers of rescuing the Borg, and that they can’t be trusted.

But even Guinan is swayed by the intelligence and the feelings that Hugh is expressing. Picard refuses at all times to interact with the Borg, keeping a distance so that he can use Hugh to destroy the Borg.

There is a commentary on war, and the face of the enemy as well as experimentation on living beings.

Picard has to wrestle with his personal demons and his own prejudices when he finally meets with Hugh, and it is Hugh who makes the final decision, a decision he makes to protect his friends.

It’s a powerful episode that lets Stewart and Burton particularly to turn in some fine Trek moments, and Del Arco’s performance as Hugh is nicely rendered, making his choice at the climax of the episode more poignant.

i-borg-hd-149

Captain’s log: stardate 45892.4

First airing on 18 May, 1992 this episode was written by Ronald D. Moore.

Geordi and Ro (Michelle Forbes) are trapped. They’re no longer phased with the crew of the Enterprise. When a transporter malfunctions, and a damaged Romulan vessel and their cloaking device cause problems, both Starfleet officers are no longer visible to their crew mates.

Ro begins to believe they are dead, and some of the actions of the crew, support that theory. Geordi isn’t one to give up, and soon realises that they may not be the only ones out of phase with the Enterprise…

The Romulans may be up to no good.

As Geordi and Ro attempt to find a way to phase back to their solid selves, they also have to contend with a Romulan officer who is willing to kill them for the discovery of this new technological secret they and the rest of the Enterprise crew uncovered on the Romulan ship.

I like the pairing of Geordi and Ro, and they both get some good moments, together and apart. There are also some nice character beats as the rest of the crew attempt to process the loss of the two officers.

In the end, both Geordi and Ro find their way back, during their memorial celebration, and they are able to stop the rogue Romulan aboard their ship.

The Enterprise continues on its way, coming to the climax of the fifth season next week when the Human Adventure continues…

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