When the Borg were first introduced in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” their appeal was simple — they were a threat that could defeat the mighty Enterprise-D and her captain, Jean-Luc Picard. Sometimes the ship itself seemed too advanced for any rival to touch, as the Enterprise could quickly dispatch any challenge — except for the new Romulan D’deridex class ship and the god-like being, Q.
The Borg’s first appearance was on the episode “Q Who?” when the being spun the Enterprise out hundreds of light-years from where they started. Thanks to Q, the crew encountered the Borg, who outmatched their technology at every level. Q told Picard (Patrick Stewart) that the Federation was now competing at the highest levels. Picard complained about losing 18 members of his crew in the encounter.
“If you can’t take a little bloody nose, maybe you better go back home and crawl under your bed,” Q responded. Q, of course, is played by John de Lancie. “It’s not safe out here. It’s wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it’s not for the timid.”
Q introduces the Borg
The Federation was now on notice. They knew that the Borg would be coming, and they would be hard-pressed to stop this onslaught. And in the two-parter, “The Best of Both Worlds,” fans got to see exactly what kind of destruction the Borg could cause.
Thanks to Starfleet’s defeat at Wolf 359, the minds in the Federation started to work on new ways of battling the Borg. Those ideas included the new Sovereign-class and Defiant-class ships (seen on the TNG-era films and “Deep Space Nine,” respectively).
By the time fans got to see “Star Trek: First Contact,” they were familiar with the mentality of the Borg. Many episodes of Trek tackled how the “collective” worked and how they tried to assimilate those they conquered.
But “First Contact” introduced a new wrinkle into the Borg political hierarchy. Instead of just being a collective, like soulless robots, the Borg transformed into insects, with a queen at the top of their society. The Borg Queen, created by Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore, was a new evil, which could play an exciting role on “First Contact.” Rather than Picard and Data (Brent Spiner) interacting with monotone automatons, they could spar against a more interesting character. The Borg Queen was interesting, influential and she had sexual intentions toward Mr. Data.
Had “Star Trek: Enterprise” gone on into a fifth season, the show’s writers planned to tell the origin story of the Borg Queen. This, of course, did not happen since the show was canceled after Season 4.
Since fans are aware that a new actress has been tabbed to play the Borg Queen, here’s a list of who has portrayed her in the past.
South African actress Alice Krige was cast for “First Contact” to play the Borg Queen. Her performance certainly impacted the character. According to Krige, when she arrived on set in her costume for the first time, the crew “gasped,” and she simply “channeled” the character. While she was the first Borg Queen, she took a break from the role, allowing another actress (Susanna Thompson) to fill her shoes. Krige returned to the part for “Star Trek: Voyager” episode “Endgame.”
A veteran actress in her own right, Susanna Thompson became the Borg Queen for the episodes “Dark Frontier,” “Unimatrix Zero,” and “Unimatrix Zero, Part II.” Thompson actually tried out for the original role of the Borg Queen for “First Contact” but lost out to Krige. She appeared in three other episodes of Trek, most notably, the memorable and controversial “Rejoined.” This DS9 story featured Dax and Kahn, who were married as symbionts with their previous hosts.
Thanks to recent reports and releases, fans know that Annie Wersching will bring the Borg Queen back to life in Season 2 of “Star Trek: Picard.” She is a veteran of such shows as “24,” “Bosch,” “Castle,” “Dallas,” “General Hospital,” “Timeless,” “The Vampire Diaries,” and “Star Trek: Enterprise.” Wersching appeared on a 2002 episode called “Oasis” and fell in love with Trip Tucker.
Yes! That Cher! The iconic musical superstar who has been in the public eye since the 1970s was a name that producers thought could nail the role of the Borg Queen. Many fans think of Cher as just a singer. Still, she’s also an accomplished actress and won an Academy Award for her role in the comedy “Moonstruck” in 1988.
Thanks to an interview appearing in The Hollywood Reporter, we now know that Cher was considered to play the part. Ultimately, the job went to Krige, which was a good choice, according to “First Contact” makeup artist Scott Wheeler.
“That character would not have worked without Alice playing the role,” Wheeler told The Hollywood Reporter. “They were talking about Cher playing the role. And no offense to Cher, she’s had some great moments, but it would have been so gimmicky, and I doubt she would have been willing to sit through the 4 1/2-hour makeup we were putting on Alice.”