are the Borg"
As a Borg cube tries to break through Earth's defences, a
sphere ship leaves the battle and heads towards the planet below. Captain
Jean-Luc Picard (Stewart) and the crew of the newly commissioned Enterprise
E arrive in time to pursue the sphere but just as it is about to approach
Earth a vortex opens up and the Borg ship passes into it. The Enterprise
crew then witnesses the Earth change into a Borg planet as they stuck in
the wake of vortex. Their only option is to pursue and stop the Borg vessel.
The even numbered Star Trek movies are considered the best
of the series but does 'First Contact' live up to the standard set by 'The
Wrath of Khan', 'The Voyage Home' and 'The Undiscovered Country'?
The eighth movie in the 'Star Trek' franchise and the second
to feature the crew of the 'Next Generation' TV series is the best of their
big screen outings. The reason for this is simple, The Borg. By far the
best villain in the Next Generation universe, the cybernetic race of assimilators
make resistance futile when it comes to creating tension, action and suspense.
'First Contact' is also one of the best written of all the Star Trek movies,
advancing characters, especially Data and Picard and making the Borg an
even more terrifying villain than they ever where in the TV series.
This is why the film works so well. While some may argue that
you need a knowledge of the Borg episodes from the TV series (especially
'Best of both Worlds') to get the most out of the film, the script is structured
so that the casual or non fan can still understand the Borg and its connection
to Jean-Luc Picard. The excellent script by Brannon Braga and Ronald D.
Moore serves the Borg, Picard and Data extremely very well, opening up more
of the history and structure of the cybernetic enemy, showing Picard's more
vulnerable side and dealing with Data's quest to become more human.
It is the Borg that takes centre stage however. From the astonishing
opening confrontation with a Borg Cube to the introduction of one of the
great Star Trek villains, The Borg Queen, the Borg show why they are the
most feared adversary in the galaxy. Played to perfection by Alice Krige,
the Borg Queen is one of the best lead villains ever created for Star Trek
and even through out science fiction. From her amazing introduction, to
her banter with Data, through to the final confrontation with Picard, she
is a captivating character and strangely sexy to boot.
Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner are exceptional as Picard
and Data. Each of their characters has the most development of the 'Next
Generation' crew. Here we discover how much the events of 'The Best of Both
Worlds' affected Picard both mentally and physically. For the first time
we see the unflappable Captain been vulnerable and showing his true feeling
about those terrible events. Data also goes through a dramatic change as
he becomes tempted by the Borg Queen and the advances to his quest to become
human she can promise him. Both Stewart and Spiner excel and prove they
are the best actors and characters of the 'Next Generation'.
The rest of the cast also contribute however. With many of
the films, most of the crew don't really have as much screen time as the
now considered leads. 'First Contact' doesn't really change this but they
do have enough to do keep the fans happy. Michael Dorn is as excellent as
ever as Worf. The Klingon warrior gets to take the fight to the Federation's
most feared enemy. Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis and LeVar Burton become
a slightly comedic trio as they try and keep first contact on track. The
only crew members that really suffers from a lack of screen time is Beverley
Crusher but she is probably the worst character in the series anyway. They
are also some noticeable cameos from Star Trek favourite recurring characters
that fans will enjoy.
Joining the established cast are James Cromwell and Alfre
Woodard. Cromwell plays the father of Warp drive technology, Zefram Cochrane.
He plays the reluctant historical figure with his usual skill and brings
even more class to the production. Woodard plays Lilly, Cochrane's assistant
who gets drawn into the conflict between Picard and the Borg. She almost
becomes Picard conscience in the piece in a role that she plays extremely
'Star Trek First Contact' is one of the best movies in the
franchise and easily the best to feature the 'Next Generation' crew. It
is also a great science fiction film that fans of the genre can enjoy, even
if they don't consider themselves Trekkers.
Presented in Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic with Dolby Digital
5.1 and dts soundtracks, the transfer is extremely good.
Audio Commentary by director and actor Jonathan Frakes
Commander William Riker himself provides the commentary for his first Star
Trek film as director. He tries to have some fun with the track, talking
about the cast and crew and the visual effects of the film. The problem
is that he really needs to have someone with him as he struggles to keep
talking for the full duration of the movie, which is a shame as he has some
interesting facts to pass on.
Audio Commentary by screenplay writers Brannon Braga and
Ronald D. Moore
This informative and interesting commentary allows the writes of the film
to reveal how 'First Contact' came to the silver screen. The pair talks
about the development of the story, the time travel elements and how the
film goes back to the true beginning of Star Trek history with Zefram Cochrane's
first flight. They talk about the new Enterprise, the Borg redesign and
the invention of the Borg Queen. This is a fascinating commentary for all
Trekkers and is good listen for fans of the film.
Text Commentary by Michael Okuda and Dennis Okuda
Throughout the movie fascinating facts about the production of the movie
and how it relates to the TV series are displayed in screen. These facts
are every interesting and really enhance your watching of the film if you
are a Trekker.