Saturday, November 24, 2007

Star Trek: The Next Generation Revisited Again

After three days and nights of struggle to save the life of a child suffering from dengue shock syndrome and dengue haemorrhagic disease has left me physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually exhausted. So I decided to treat myself today to a Star Trek: The Next Generation binge. Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered on television twenty years ago. This year, the copyright owners of Star Trek, CBS Studios (it used to be Paramount Studios who owned Star Trek) decided to release a few more novels. I have hoped the change in ownership will bring back new Star Trek television and movies but it has yet to be seen. So I sat down and read three Star Trek: The Next Generation novels in one seating. Though they are written by different authors, they were released a few months ago (2007) in the order in which I read them so there were continuity in the stories. Also it deals with my two favourite antagonists in the Star Trek universe; the Borg and Q.

[The rest of this post contains spoilers so read at your own risk if you want to read these books]

Resistance and Before Dishonor deals with the Borg. However, these Borg were in the alpha quadrant, the survivors of the Borg queen ill fated mission to follow Voyager to earth. They were disconnected from the main Borg Collective in the delta quadrant. However their programming still worked. They proceeded to build a Borg Cube and produce a Borg queen. Borg was programmed to evolve and in the alpha quadrant, they did evolve. J.M.Dillard’s Resistance introduce us to a fascinating idea that the Borg evolved with the sole purpose of destroying humanity. These Borg are not interested in assimilation but in annihilation! Captain Picard has to become Locutus again to destroy the Borg queen and the alpha quadrant’s Borg Collective.

Peter David continued the story started in Resistance. Star Fleet Command assumed that the Borg is dead. Admiral Janeway was not so sure she went herself to see the Borg Cube. However she was assimilated as she arrived on the Cube. I have always enjoyed Peter David’s stories but this one impressed me the most. While Picard has destroyed the drones, no one realise that the Cube itself is also Borg and thus ‘alive.’ After the death of the drones and the queen the Cube evolved. This time, they do not assimilate but absorbs what they need. And the assimilated Janeway became their new queen. It took the combined effort of Captain Picard, Ambassador Spock and Seven of Nine and the use of the doomsday machine (from a Star Trek original episode) to destroy this new Borg. It also resulted in Janeway’s death. I have really enjoyed this new idea of an evolving Borg.

The story of Keith R.A. DeCandido’s Q & A occurs between the above two story and is more of a narrative of why Q has been so interested in humans and Picard. In a way, it answers many of the questions about Q and draws together the many Q featured stories in the 7 years run of Star Trek: The Next Generation television stories.

Being the hard core Star Trek fan that I am, I have collected almost all the Star Trek novels, comics and magazines published in English for the last forty years. More than just collecting them, I have also read and enjoyed them. I have spent many enjoyable hours in the Star Trek universe.

Like today, I am thankful to God for this time of rest for my soul.

soli deo gloria

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