May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Weekend Trek “Star Trek: First Contact”

Picard and his crew travel back in time to ensure the Borg do not prevent First Contact or humanity's first Warp Drive flight.

One thing’s for sure:  the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation made one undeniably great movie.  That would be Star Trek: First Contact, featuring the Borg and the start of what would become the United Federation of Planets.

Yeah, Jimmy and Tom like this one.

Star Trek: First Contact

The Borg travel back in time to prevent Earth’s first contact with an alien race.

jimmy:  I might have a thing for this movie. Here’s a shot of my home office.

tomk:  Is that why you growled “Assimilate this!” at Jenny last week when she suggested she raids your donut stash for your own good? 

jimmy:  I say that to everyone.

tomk:  Would you like this apple pie?

jimmy:  Assimilate this!

tomk:  Hey, I found this check. Looks like it’s your Gabbing Geek Christmas bonus that got misplaced.

jimmy:  Now I can put in that pool!

tomk:  Unless it’s a Borg trap.

jimmy:

 

tomk:  Wrong franchise.

jimmy:

tomk:  Much better. Here’s your key to the executive washroom.

jimmy:  Nice!

tomk:  So why is this one worthy of a framed poster that has a reflection of your home office in the glass?

jimmy:  Because it’s awesome?

tomk:  The poster or the movie?

jimmy:  Both?

tomk:  Did you use the poster because the Ms. won’t let you buy and install a Borg charging station from the movie there?

jimmy:  You learn to pick your battles.

tomk:  That’s a good point. Picard had to remember that one.

jimmy:  He picked his, it was the Borg all the way down.

tomk:  But not before he called the MVP a coward.

jimmy:  Not his finest hour.

tomk:  He apologized later. Plus, Worf really answered to Sisko by then, and Sisko berated Worf far more than Picard did over some of his decisions.

jimmy:  True. Picard was still the ranking officer though.

tomk:  He was. And I think Sisko dressed down Worf, like, twice. He just was a lot harsher in his honest assessments than Picard.

jimmy:  Even the MVP needs to be kept in line now and then.

tomk:  But not this time.

jimmy:  No. This time Picard needed a talking to.

tomk:  That’s why you bring in Alfre Woodard. People don’t mess with her.

jimmy:  I wouldn’t.

tomk:  You also would probably have called in Guinan. But she must not be on this Enterprise.

jimmy:  The E is more military and less family friendly, so they might not have a Ten Forward.

tomk:  Also, then we don’t have to worry about assimilated kids, pets, and stowaways.

jimmy:  Good point.

tomk:  They probably even assimilated your donut stash.

jimmy:  Those sons of bitches!

tomk:  Stop hiding your donuts in the future!

jimmy:  I thought that would be the only place they’d be safe from Jenny.

tomk:  Have you considered sharing?

jimmy:  Share-ing?

tomk:  That’s a “no.”

jimmy:  Getting back to Guinan, I read somewhere that Whoopi was surprised she wasn’t asked back for this one.

tomk:  They had to cut the budget somewhere.

jimmy:  They actually had 10 million more than they did for Generations.

tomk:  That’s because they didn’t bring Whoopi back and only paid Frakes for acting and not directing.

jimmy:  That…seems unlikely.

tomk:  Yeah, it does.  Have a box of chocolates.  You can read the inside of the lid to know exactly what you are going to get.

jimmy:  As for directors, apparently they offered it to Ridley Scott and John McTiernan, who both turned it down.

tomk:  From what I heard, they gave it to Frakes in the end because they were on a tight timetable, and he was known for doing good work quickly.

jimmy:  Plus he “knew Trek” which is why Stewart lobbied for him.

tomk:  He also probably knew the Borg.  Like, personally.

jimmy:  They were his Godfather to Woodard’s Godmother.

tomk:  I thought that was James Cromwell, who was in a lot of Trek.

jimmy:  James Cromwell who looked like a giant next to Riker who is 6’3”.

tomk:  Really?  I’m taller than Riker, but I don’t wear a special hat.

jimmy:  Maybe you should start.

tomk:  But I don’t wanna invent warp speed.

jimmy:  Why not?

tomk:  Because that’s his job.

jimmy:  Apparently in the first draft of the script it was Picard’s job as he took over for Cochrane after the Borg attacked Earth and left him comatose.

tomk:  Is that why Cochrane was a different actor for one episode of TOS?

jimmy:  That and it was 30 years later.

tomk:  Hmm.  You’re pretty smart.  I think that means you can have these chicken wings.

jimmy:  Nice. I haven’t had wings in a while now.

tomk:  That’s a lot of wings too. Must be time for another Jimmy Impossible Dance Party.

jimmy:  He’s all happy and dancing now, but don’t call him an elf.

tomk:  Could the Night King defeat the Borg Queen?

jimmy:  Depends on who was writing it. GRRM?  Possibly. Benioff and Weiss?  He’d probably trip and fall out an airlock.

tomk:  Couldn’t he resurrect dead Borg drones?

jimmy:  I stand by my answer.

tomk:  That you want more chicken wings?

jimmy:  Always.

tomk:  I’ll send the truck.

jimmy:  As mentioned, I’m a big fan of this movie, but a couple of things bug me a little bit.  One of them is Picard’s attitude towards anyone in his crew getting assimilated.  He’s quick to put them out of their misery, but if anyone knows there is coming back from that, it’s him.  In fact, he uses the fact that his crew risked everything to get him back as his reasoning for staying to save Data.

tomk:  Isn’t that part of his character arc, though?  Learning to be less ruthless against the Borg?

jimmy:  For the movie?  Yeah. But to start from that place seems a little off given him being a Borg survivor himself.

tomk:  He probably assumed Data couldn’t be assimilated.

jimmy:  He was right. They were doing the opposite of assimilation to Data.

tomk:  Letting Brent Spiner not get his entire face painted?

jimmy:  For like one scene.

Ok, two.

tomk:  More than he usually gets.

jimmy:  True.

So the other thing that bugged me…although it was a fun side quest, the Dixon Hill scene made no sense.   Either a Tommy Gun shouldn’t be able to kill a Borg, or, if it can, why not replicate a shit load of them for the crew instead of using phasers that they adapt to after one shot?

tomk:  The Borg hadn’t adapted to holograms yet.

They would after they assimilated Neal McDonough.

jimmy:  He was a hologram?

tomk:  No, Robert Picardo was a hologram.

jimmy:  And he wasn’t the only thing borrowed from Voyager. Sick bay itself was the Voyager set.

tomk:  I didn’t recognize it with the lights turned down.

jimmy:  That’s how they saved budget. Reuse the set. Turn down the lights. Don’t put on Neelix’s makeup.

tomk:  Assimilate that guy before he becomes Captain America’s friend.

jimmy:  Is that who that was?!  I thought he looked familiar.

tomk:  That’s Neal McDonough. He’s one of those actors who gets around, you recognize his face, but maybe don’t know his name.

jimmy:  I would but have known his name.

tomk:  Good for you.  Now he’ll come visit you in your house.

jimmy:  …yay?

tomk:  He might bring Malcolm McDowell.

jimmy:  That would have worked better last chat.

tomk:  Why?  Does Malcolm McDowell like to hang out in your mancave?

jimmy:  He never has, but I’m sure he would!

tomk:  Look behind you.

jimmy:

tomk:  Good. Now we can point out Barclay and Nurse Ogawa also survived the Borg attack.

jimmy:  And Barclay’s a Cochrane fanboy.

tomk:  Isn’t everyone?

Ok, maybe not Troi, reduced to comic relief in this movie.

jimmy:  The bar scene was funny though.

tomk:  Actually, I found Troi funny in a number of her scenes.  Intentionally funny. It’s a nice change from her usual helpless, useless, or token hottie.

jimmy:  Apparently she’s tried to make Troi funny before with horrible results.

tomk:  Probably one of the episodes when she was mentally assaulted.

jimmy:  Those are always comical.

tomk:  All I know is I recently tried to explain to my girlfriend why Troi wasn’t very effective on the show when she only vaguely remembered Troi had empathic powers.

jimmy:  She watched TNG?

tomk:  Years ago.

jimmy:

tomk:  I take it the Ms. did not.

jimmy:  No. She’s not much into sci-fi.

tomk:  My girlfriend prefers fantasy, but she remembers watching TNG with her mom.

jimmy:  Nice.

tomk:  Yes, she is nice.

jimmy:  As nice as Geordi’s ocular implants?

tomk:  I suspect Burton preferred them. I think he said the VISOR gave him headaches.

jimmy:  I think he did push to get rid of the VISOR.

tomk:  He was less successful with instituting a reading organization for Borg children.

jimmy:  Are there Borg children?

tomk:  They found Borg babies in the first Borg episode. I know it seems weird since it looks like every drone somehow becomes a large adult man.

jimmy:  I forgot about that baby Borg.

tomk:  It’s in your mancave.

jimmy:  He’s not a baby anymore.

tomk:  Big Borg Baby.  Got it.

jimmy:  Interesting point about the majority of them seeming to be male though.

tomk:  I remember being kinda surprised when Seven of Nine first showed up because I realized I’d never seen a female drone before aside from the newly assimilated.

jimmy:  Yeah, and they obviously assimilate both sexes.

tomk:  They were also kinda scary here.

jimmy:  They had more money.  And they tried to make it look like they got assimilated from the inside out, as opposed to just receiving implants, etc.

tomk:  Though we saw people getting implants too.

jimmy:  Sure, but look at someone like Hawk that was already Borg-like within minutes (seconds?) of being assimilated.

tomk:  The bigger stuff comes later.

jimmy:  One other thing that bugged me, if Picard knew that he could destroy the Borg cube by concentrating all their fire on the cafeteria, why didn’t he bring that up before?

tomk:  He just wasn’t trying hard enough before. Plus he still needed a fleet to do that.

jimmy:  And maybe needed to hear them back in his head.

tomk:  That must be the Borg Queen at work because Hugh couldn’t do that.

jimmy:  True. But also a whole cube was there, not just a single Borg.

tomk:  If he needed a whole cube, how could he hear them in the Enterprise basement?

jimmy:  He was sensitive to it by then. Plus the Queen.

tomk:  

Unless you mean a different Queen.

jimmy:

tomk:  Oh.  Her.

She tried to corrupt Data.

jimmy:  Good thing he had that emotion chip so he could pretend she did. She even foreshadowed it saying he had learned how to lie.

tomk:  That’s a good point, Jimmy.  I think you need a major award.

jimmy:  Those are the best kinds!

tomk:  Here you go then:  the Montgomery Borgs Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Assimilance.

jimmy:  

Thanks?

tomk:  It’s just a name.  It’s mostly a gift card for a steak dinner and a plaque.  Oh, and Malin Ackerman may be delivering them to your house at some point in time when you aren’t there.

jimmy:  I can re-arrange my schedule to be here.

tomk:  Except she delivered it yesterday to the Moose and Beaver.

jimmy:  Dagnabbit!

tomk:  Didn’t they tell you?

jimmy:  No.  Though I did see them heading out to a steakhouse earlier.

tomk:  Aren’t they herbivores?

jimmy:  They have a great all you can eat salad bar.

tomk:  I sense a lawsuit coming for some reason.

jimmy:  Nah. Everyone loves the salad bar.

tomk:  The steaks must not be very good.

jimmy:  Everyone fills up on salad.

tomk:  They might, but it’s a lonely meal.

jimmy:  Nicely done.

tomk:  I have my moments.

jimmy:  Any other First Contact moments to talk about?  Do you feel this was more accessible than Generations, or was it too steeped in Borg-lore?

tomk:  The Borg are pretty simple. They’re basically just Space Zombies.

jimmy:  Fair enough.  And they did try to give viewers the lowdown on Locutus.

tomk:  And all the Borg Queen stuff was new.

jimmy:  And seemed out of place for what we knew about the Borg…but jives with like bees and ants for comparison.

tomk:  What?  That some woman somewhere invented the Borg nanoprobes and started making mindless drones in a warped attempt to find perfection?

jimmy:  That’s how we got wasps when one lady bee got too big for her britches.

tomk:  Or she gets her heartbroken by some man bee who was too good for her anyway. Like an insect Jimmy.

jimmy:  Jimmy’s do that.

tomk:  Only the bad ones.

jimmy:  Those guys have their own table at Jimmycon.

tomk:  I wouldn’t know. Security wouldn’t let me in.

jimmy:  You’re not a Jimmy.

tomk:  Obviously.

jimmy:  As the Junior Vice President, I could make you an honorary Jimmy.

tomk:  Is your name even Jimmy?

jimmy:  Obviously.

tomk:  Well, I was trying to get in to tell you Watson set up a tent in your front yard.

jimmy:  Is he out there playing the jukebox and drinking the “good stuff”?

tomk:  In his underwear, yes.

jimmy:  Is he able to spot a being from another planet whose only distinguishing characteristic is their pointy ears, which are covered by a cloak?

tomk:  No, but they spotted him and made first contact. Then he gave them your name and asked them to pull his finger. Then they left.

jimmy:  It was a good run.

tomk:  Ready to grade then?

jimmy:  Hit me.

tomk:  9.5 out of 10 holographic distractions.

jimmy:  I think I’ll give it the same. 9.5 out of 10 peak Trek movies based on peak Trek episodes.

tomk:  There aren’t many peak Trek movies based on peak Trek episodes.  There’s this and Wrath of Khan.

But hey, how about what may be the most underrated TNG movie?

jimmy:  It’s funny, I can’t tell you anything about what happened in Insurrection.

tomk:  I will say that it was one I didn’t see for the longest time but was surprised how much I enjoyed it.

jimmy:  And since I don’t remember it, like, at all, it’ll be new to me!

tomk:  That’s true.  You probably don’t even remember that apple pie I gave you at the start of the discussion for this movie.

jimmy:  

I do not.

Is it still here?

tomk:  You said “Assimilate this!” at the time.  I assumed you ate it.

jimmy:  Oh right!  I assimil-ate-d it!

tomk:  Well, if you get to the next movie, there may be another pie.

jimmy:  Let’s do it.

tomk:  You got it.

Next:  Star Trek: Insurrection