Unlike the other “Star Trek” shows in the 80s, 90s and 2000s, “Star Trek: Enterprise” didn’t get a full seven seasons to tell all the stories its production team wanted to tell. In fact, it was canceled so abruptly that the writers had to scramble to create an ending that wrapped up the crew’s story.
Though “Enterprise” never got a fifth season, planning for it was well underway when the series was canceled. The production team had a sizeable list of story ideas for the fifth season, which included some expansive overarching storylines.
One of the stories they wanted to take on in the fifth season was a definitive canon explanation for the origin of the infamous Trek villain the Borg Queen.
The Borg Queen’s Origin Story
Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens are a husband-and-wife sci-fi writing team that worked on the last two seasons of “Enterprise.” They wrote five episodes of the show together. They were part of the production team slated to work on “Enterprise’s” fifth season before everyone found out about the cancellation.
In an interview with TrekMovie in 2007, the dynamic duo revealed that they’d pitched a story about the Borg Queen’s origin for season five.
Well we pitched this story to have Alice Krige back as a Starfleet medical technician who made contact with the Borg from Season two, and we would see the birth of the Borg Queen.
Their pitch tied into the season two episode “Regeneration.” In that episode, a team of Starfleet researchers in the Arctic discovered a pair of Borg drones buried under layers of ice. Since first contact with the Borg hadn’t yet occurred, officially, the researchers didn’t know what the drones were. They excavated them and tried to revive them. The Borg’s nanoprobes allowed them to regenerate and they assimilated the researchers.
The episode confirmed that the events depicted in the movie “Star Trek: First Contact” changed the Prime timeline. The Borg drones in the Arctic had been trapped there during the attempted assimilation of Earth, which was shown in that movie.
The Reeves-Stevens’ pitch would have shown the actress who played the Borg Queen in “First Contact” getting assimilated by the Borg drones in “Regeneration.” This would kick off a causality loop that would lead to that drone becoming the Borg Queen and initiating the assimilation of Earth.
They didn’t give any more details about how their story would have explained the Borg Queen’s unique position in the Collective.
The Borg Queen’s Role in the Collective
The Borg Queen was introduced in “First Contact.” However, that movie established that she was present for other familiar events in Trek history, notably Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s assimilation.
The Queen is the only Borg who can think independently of the Collective. She serves as the organizing voice of the Borg, though she isn’t quite their leader.
The “Star Trek: Voyager” episode “Dark Frontier” revealed that the Borg Queen isn’t just one entity. It’s the name given to any entity that serves as the host of the Borg’s collective consciousness. That episode also revealed that there are multiple Borg Queens who all share the same consciousness. Later episodes of “Voyager” established that a new Borg Queen emerges when one dies.
The Borg Queen’s role in the Collective has been hotly debated by fans since she was introduced in “First Contact.” The Borg was always presented as a single consciousness without any defined leader. So, the introduction of an apparent leader of the Collective was hard for fans to accept.
Many fans believe that the Borg Queen is simply a manifestation of the Collective. These fans believe that she is not, in fact, an individual at all. She is simply an embodiment of the will of the Collective that can speak for the Collective. In this interpretation, the Borg Queen isn’t really a special drone at all. Any drone could be the Queen, and that drone wouldn’t have its own distinct consciousness. Its consciousness would be the Collective.
However, many other fans believe that the Borg Queen is an individual with her own thoughts, feelings and motivations separate from the Collective. These thoughts, feelings and motivations are driven by the Collective, but also separate from the Collective. Some argue that this interpretation was confirmed by episode six of “Star Trek: Picard.”
That episode revealed that every Borg ship has a Queencell, from which the Queen can control the ship and the Collective. Some fans believe this means that every Borg ship had a Queen who served as a kind of captain. Others believe that the Queencell was a way for Borg Queens to travel between ships so they could be immediately present where needed and quickly take control of a ship. Either way, according to these fans, the existence of the Queencell seems to confirm that the Queen is an individual with the ability to enact her own will via the Collective.
The exact role of the Borg Queen in the Collective has never been clarified in the Trek canon. If the Reeves-Stevens’ had a chance to tell the story they’d planned in “Enterprise” season five, they might have answered this controversial question once and for all. Unfortunately, they never got the chance.
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