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'Star Trek: Picard' EP Akiva Goldsman on the Borg's scary new upgrade
We are Borg, but different.
SYFY WIRE had the chance to talk with Picard executive producer Akiva Goldsman about how the show approached depicting the Borg this season, including that pivotal scene in the third episode between Alison Pill’s character, Dr. Agnes Jurati, and the Borg Queen.
Spoilers for the first three episodes of Season 2 of Picard lie ahead.
Fans get a new version of the Borg in Season 2’s first episode, when a very different-looking Borg ship comes out of a temporal anomaly with a strong desire to talk to Picard (Patrick Stewart).
According to Goldsman, creating the look of that tendril-like Borg ship was long and complicated. “What we wanted was something that ultimately, when Seven says, ‘That's Borg’ you don't go, ‘Well, no it's not.’ But you also don't want something where you're going 'that's Borg' before she does. So it's a manipulation of familiar grammar, color and light to slow play this idea that, ‘Oh, f—k! That's the Borg.’”
Things get even more complicated with the Borg when Q (John de Lancie) throws Picard and company into an alternative timeline, where Wersching’s Borg Queen is still alive and well aware of the reality Picard comes from. In order to get back to their original timeline, Picard and his friends must travel back to 2024 (we told you it gets complicated) and find the key moment that Q has altered to create this more dystopian reality.
To do so, they need the Queen’s help, and she agrees, mostly because it gives her and the Borg Collective another chance at survival. The Queen gets them back to 2024 Los Angeles, but then she conks out. But the crew still needs the Borg Queen's help in finding the "Watcher", so Agnes decides to get that info from the Queen by entering her mind.
The result is a suspenseful, dynamic scene between the Queen and Agnes, with Picard trying to keep Agnes from getting assimilated. The sequence is not just a nailbiter — it also delves into the burgeoning connection between the Borg Queen and Agnes.
“A lot of this season is about where we go to soothe our isolation,” said Goldsman when asked about the dynamic between the two characters. “Alison's character [Agnes] and Annie's character [the Borg Queen] see something in each other that, for better or for worse, is solving issues for them.”
The Borg Queen and Agnes also serve as foils to each other, something that this mind heist scene also emphasizes.
“A lot of Season 2 turns out to be about relationship and about connectedness,” Goldsman explained. “The world of the Borg is very binary — one is either deeply and intimately connected with all, or not connected at all. And so making the Borg and making the Borg Queen vulnerable by disconnecting her, and then creating the need for connection in her, and then putting that in relief of Alison's character [Agnes], who also is solitary, was for us a real opportunity.”
New episodes of Star Trek: Picard air Thursdays on Paramount+.