[VOY] "Unity": The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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Ashley E. Miller

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Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
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WARNING: The following article contains spoiler information for "Unity".
If you have not yet seen the episode, proceed with caution.

[spoilers]


[VOY] "Unity": The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Written by: Kenneth Biller
Directed by: Robert Duncan McNeill


The long-awaited knock-out punch. "Unity" is easily the best episode of
Voyager yet produced, and can stand proudly and confidently with the best
of the Trek canon. Featuring a brilliant teleplay by Kenneth Biller, a
tour-de-force directing turn from Robert Duncan McNeill and
out-of-this-world production values, this is one for the books. See it
*now*. Then see it again.


The Good:

The Borg are probably the most effective alien threat ever devised for
Star Trek, and there's a good reason why that's true. It's not because
they are both powerful and implacable, but because they are a dark mirror
into the soul of Roddenberry's vision -- a dystopian nightmare of
perverted ideals, lost identity and stolen will. When the Borg have been
used most effectively, it has invariably been because the story in
question chose to focus on that nightmare and make it real.

"Unity" makes that choice from the outset, leaving aside massive space
battles in favor of bringing us inside the Borg collective in a new and
compelling way. While "Best of Both Worlds" and Star Trek: First Contact
managed to capture both the visceral and the intellectual impact of these
most dangerous of foes, this episode chooses instead to focus on the
meaning of the Borg and make understanding itself a visceral experience.
As written by Kenneth Biller, "Unity" makes the Borg deeper, darker and
more disturbing than ever before.

One of the things I love about Biller episodes is that they move in a very
directed and sophisticated way toward a legitimate moral dilemma. He also
manages to capture one of the attributes of the original series which made
it so unique in the SF canon: social relevancy by way of allegory. Here,
he weaves the personal moral choices into his cultural metaphor with such
confidence that the two complement and inform one another with absolute
(ahem) unity.

It would be easy to draw Biller's social allegory as a simple reflection
of the chaotic state in which the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia now
find themselves. And while that comparison would be an apt one, "Unity"
goes far beyond showing us a sketch of a once united people now seething
with dischord. Rather, this is a story of how such dischord can tempt
people with the security and order of the old ways, even as they fool
themselves with promises to keep only the "good" things about their
totalitarian regime. This is "Animal Farm" with Borg instead of
livestock.

Thrust into the middle of all of this is Chakotay, whose personal journey
through the storm forms the emotional core of the episode. Rendered
helpless by circumstance and injury, Chakotay comes to know, respect and
admire the population of disassimilated Borg he finds on a lonely rock in
the Necrid Expanse. Ultimately, he chooses to link with them in a
desperate attempt to save his own life, a mystical and spectacularly
realized scene that evokes some genuine pathos for the much-loathed Borg
drones. Through Chakotay's eyes, we see the lives that were stolen away
from them and experience the Hell they were forced to endure by the power
of their own collective will.

Chakotay's experience with the link changes his outlook profoundly. When
the former Borg -- now calling themselves "the Cooperative" -- approach
Captain Janeway with a risky plan to unite their now dysfunctional society
by reactivating their lifeless ship, it is Chakotay who proves their
strongest advocate. The dilemma then posed to Janeway is a compelling
one: assist the Cooperative and risk the destruction of Voyager, or allow
the Borg ship to remain dead in space and risk the destruction of the
Cooperative. Given Chakotay's relationship with this ad hoc society, and
the fact that the audience has come to sympathize with their
circumstances, Janeway's choice is hardly an academic one. And when she
ultimately chooses to take no chances with the Borg, we can understand her
decision even if we can't completely agree with it.

Had the story gone simply this far, it would have been enough to make
"Unity" a complex and intriguing entry in the series. But Biller takes
the situation further; the Cooperative abuse their residual link with
Chakotay and force him to reactivate the Borg ship against his will. As
Chakotay himself notes later, this new Cooperative thus seems perfectly
willing to impose itself on others when it suits their needs. In other
words, (to paraphrase The Who), meet the new Borg...same as the old Borg.
The fact that the Cooperative acts to protect Voyager by initiating the
active cube's self-destruct sequence does not mitigate the disturbing
sense that a very old cycle has been pushed back into motion.

To its credit, "Unity" stops short of suggesting that the Cooperative is
now as "bad" as the Collective. Instead, it neatly makes the point that
the temptation to commit an "evil" act in the name of a "good" end is a
powerful one; that we are ultimately products of our experiences on an
individual and social level; that traumatic cultural shifts tends to have
"equal and opposite" reactions which cause the repetition of old paradigms
in new forms. What exactly the Cooperative means by their "undying
gratitude" to Chakotay and the Voyager crew is left up in the air, and
whether that particular good intention will pan out in way that produces a
good result is equally unclear. The mind reels with possibilities.

Also to its credit, "Unity" plays in a surprisingly intimate and
understated fashion that manages to be paradoxically epic. Robert Duncan
McNeill's direction is a huge part of this. His style is nothing less
than cinematic, applying very ambitiuos techniques that are seldom
attempted in the television milieu. What makes his style and ambition
special is that they serve the story, and do not amount to art for its own
sake. There were a number of standout scenes, including the initial
attack on Chakotay, Chakotay's "link" with the Cooperative and the brief
Borg attack on the Voyager away team. Considering also that McNeill had a
limited time to prep this episode for production makes his directorial
accomplishment even more impressive.

Beyond the visual cues, McNeill pulls some nice performances out of the
cast. Robert Beltran has never been better, which is to say that he was
perfectly charming, commanding and believeable in his role. Kate Mulgrew
was also outstanding, playing Janeway's attitude against her
circumstances; i.e., the higher the stakes, the calmer she became.
Moreover, the interplay between the two was very natural and even
compelling. "Unity" is one of the few occasions where the entire crew
seemed to "belong" together and exhibited a tangible, unique and engaging
dynamic.

Speaking of dynamic, Foundation Imaging's special effects work continues
to impress me. When given a decent budget, skillful art direction and the
ability to integrate physical models with their computer graphics, these
guys do fantastic work. Voyager's escape from the exploding Borg ship
took less than five seconds to play out, but it was so simple and elegant
that it almost literally burned itself into my imagination. I can't wait
to see what happens when they get an opportunity to do some work on the
scale of "Caretaker" or DS9's "Way of the Warrior".

The rest of the tech credits were collectively superior. Costuming and
make-up were simply fantastic, beating out even "Blood Fever"'s impressive
rock-people in terms of overall effect. The production design was equally
effective, communicating not only the brutal nature of the Cooperative's
everyday existence, but the fact that this world was one the Borg had
visited prior to their deadly encounter with...whatever it was that took
them out.

On that note, I appreciated the fact that the circumstances surrounding
the Borg's defeat were left hazy. Yes, the Cooperative's spokesperson
indicated that they were taken offline by a powerful electrostatic
discharge, but she did *not* specify where that discharge came from. The
briefing room discussion of a force "more powerful" than the Borg did not
play as a red herring -- I got the distinct impression that we are due for
some big surprises down the road.


The Bad:

Very little, and nothing of substantive consequence. There are some
questions, however:

- If some of the members of the Cooperative were taken at Wolf 359, how
did they make it back to the Delta Quadrant? We know (now) that the Borg
can transport individuals across vast distances -- if this is the case,
how many of the drones on Locutus' ship were spared destruction over
Earth?

- We know that the Borg cannot survive if their organic components are
killed, but it seems that the cybernetic implants are capable of
reanimating apparently "dead" flesh. What are the limits of this
capability?

- Twice now, we have seen that people who link with the Borg maintain a
subconscious connection even after their implants are removed. First,
Picard and now Chakotay. How do the Borg accomplish this?

I don't see the existence of these questions as negatives. As a
much-respected professor once told me, "There is a difference between a
mystery and a muddle". This has the feeling of the former rather than the
latter. I strongly suspect that the answers to these and many other
questions await us in future encounters with the Cooperative and the Borg
themselves.


The Ugly:

How about that dude with no eyeball? Or that guy without an arm? How
about that metal plate sticking out of the back of Chakotay's girlfriend's
head? Or what about that dead Borg on which the Doc performed the
autopsy? Or how about...


My Score:

"Unity" is Voyager's best episode to date. Not only is it a great story
on its own merits, it is a story that could only happen on Voyager but
manages to fit our intrepid crew into the larger tapestry of the Star Trek
universe. Written with exceptional intelligence by Ken Biller, "Unity" is
also an apt social allegory, exploring the what-ifs of politics and
culture with the panache that made Star Trek such a special phenomenon in
the first place. In addition, it happens to be the most visually stunning
and stirring Voyager episode since the pilot as a result of Robert Duncan
McNeill's stylish, confident direction and FI's spectacular special
effects. Although "Unity" raises more questions about the Borg than it
answers, it bodes well for future encounters with everyone's favorite race
of cybernetic bogeymen.

UNITY: **** (out of four)

NEXT WEEK: Would you believe Doctor...Jekyll?

"I wonder how long their ideals will stand up in the face of that kind of
power?"
-- Chakotay, musing on the future of the Cooperative he helped
to create

©1997 Ashley Edward Miller. All rights reserved, and most of the lefts too.

Ashley E. Miller

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Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
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Enoch Forrester

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Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
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On Sun, 16 Feb 1997, Ashley E. Miller wrote:

> The long-awaited knock-out punch. "Unity" is easily the best episode of

> Voyager yet produced--

Agreed, without hesitation.

> --and can stand proudly and confidently with the best of the Trek canon.

Let's not get carried away. It was good, but utterly inconsistent with
past Trek. I have yet to see a single Voyager episode that deserves the
label "canon." The writers seem to have this allergy to plot continuity.

/-------------------------------------------------------------------------\
| % Katie opens % ** Kevin Eric Snell ** % the kitchen sash % |
| "Pets are always a great help in times of stress. And in times of |
| starvation, too o' course."--Dibbler ("Voyager! Fools!"--Cap. Braxton) |
\-------------------------------------------------------------------------/


Dave Roy

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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On Sun, 16 Feb 1997 19:08:18 -0500, Enoch Forrester
<kes...@is.nyu.edu> wrote:

>On Sun, 16 Feb 1997, Ashley E. Miller wrote:
>

>> The long-awaited knock-out punch. "Unity" is easily the best episode of

>> Voyager yet produced--
>
>Agreed, without hesitation.
>
>> --and can stand proudly and confidently with the best of the Trek canon.
>
>Let's not get carried away. It was good, but utterly inconsistent with
>past Trek. I have yet to see a single Voyager episode that deserves the
>label "canon." The writers seem to have this allergy to plot continuity.

Other then the Wolf 359 blunder, what was obviously out of continuity?
I haven't had a chance to watch the tape yet, so I'm just wondering
what you're talking about. From the spoilers I've read, it doesn't
sound *that* bad.

Dave Roy


David E. Sluss

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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Enoch Forrester <kes...@is.nyu.edu> wrote:
EF>Let's not get carried away. It was good, but utterly inconsistent with
EF>past Trek. I have yet to see a single Voyager episode that deserves the
EF>label "canon." The writers seem to have this allergy to plot continuity.

hi...@earthlink.net (Dave Roy) wrote:
DR>Other then the Wolf 359 blunder, what was obviously out of continuity?

"Aside from that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" Seriously,
it's a rather significant blunder, don't you think? And yes, it can
be explained away, but still, the reference to Wolf 359 was
completely unnecessary; they should have just said "We were taken
from the Alpha Quadrant and assimilated" and left it at that.
--
\\ David E. Sluss --- A.K.A. Slugenstein SLUGS trivia: \
\\________email: slu...@pitt.edu_________________"Follow the trail"________\
// "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. /
// That will teach you to keep your mouth shut" -- Ernest Hemingway /

Dave Roy

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
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On 18 Feb 97 09:44:06 EDT, sl...@vms.cis.pitt.edu (David E. Sluss)
wrote:

>Enoch Forrester <kes...@is.nyu.edu> wrote:
>EF>Let's not get carried away. It was good, but utterly inconsistent with
>EF>past Trek. I have yet to see a single Voyager episode that deserves the
>EF>label "canon." The writers seem to have this allergy to plot continuity.
>
>hi...@earthlink.net (Dave Roy) wrote:
>DR>Other then the Wolf 359 blunder, what was obviously out of continuity?
>
>"Aside from that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" Seriously,
>it's a rather significant blunder, don't you think? And yes, it can
>be explained away, but still, the reference to Wolf 359 was
>completely unnecessary; they should have just said "We were taken
>from the Alpha Quadrant and assimilated" and left it at that.

Yes, it was a serious blunder, but does that make the episode "utterly
inconsistent with past Trek?" Somehow, that sounds like more then
just the Wolf 359 reference. And having watched it this morning, I
didn't see anything else that was totally against established Trek.
If this was all the original poster was referring to, then that's fine
(though I think a bit overstated). But if that's not all he meant,
I'm wondering what else he had in mind.

Now, if they showed activated Borg handing out flowers at airports,
*that* would be utterly inconsistent. :-)

Dave Roy


Cronan Thomspon

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
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Ashley E. Miller <us01...@mindspring.com> wrote

> [VOY] "Unity": The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

What Good ?


> The long-awaited knock-out punch.

It was bad wasn't it?

"Unity" is easily the best episode of
> Voyager yet produced, and can stand proudly and confidently with the best
> of the Trek canon.

Ooh my god she has not only gone insane but taken Voyager with her.

Featuring a brilliant teleplay by Kenneth Biller, a
> tour-de-force directing turn from Robert Duncan McNeill and
> out-of-this-world production values, this is one for the books. See it
> *now*. Then see it again.

If you call the script brilliant I got these really cool underwear only the
catch is they have handles. How many pairs cany I put you down for? Kenneth
Biller should be shot for this rathe sad caricture of a script it reeks
with the traditonal inconsistencies, poor dialogue and worse science. But
lets go into detail below

> The Good:
>
> The Borg are probably the most effective alien threat ever devised for
> Star Trek, and there's a good reason why that's true.

Boy you were wrong frm the get go. That takes talent kind sir, real talent.
The Borg are combination of bees and George Romero's zombie's. They have
been used to good effect once(BoBW) all other Borg engagemnts have been
silly and contrived. Like this one

It's not because
> they are both powerful and implacable, but because they are a dark mirror
> into the soul of Roddenberry's vision -- a dystopian nightmare of
> perverted ideals, lost identity and stolen will.

Sounds like what the Federation already is. Or haven't you noticed that?

When the Borg have been
> used most effectively, it has invariably been because the story in
> question chose to focus on that nightmare and make it real.

Nightmare my ass. The Borg are about as scary as my grandma's dog( a 23
inch sucker who head takes 25 % of that length) They are weak, easily
defeated and what's worse is how easily tthose who fall into the nightmare
of assimilation are revived. Hell once you are a zombie you are screwed
once you are a Borg you can be cute a lovable again with a coupe of weeks
in the sun.

> "Unity" makes that choice from the outset, leaving aside massive space
> battles in favor of bringing us inside the Borg collective in a new and
> compelling way.

The should have gone with the spce battles. It is the only way to make such
uniteresting and blasing simplistic "enemies" see even slightly
frightening. Take for example when the Borg were reactivated did you notice
how slowly the after that boarding party? Well guess what since they moe so
slow and are incapable of jumping get yourself a long pointy stick. Common
sense preventsthem from being in the slightest bit interesting or scary

While "Best of Both Worlds" and Star Trek: First Contact
> managed to capture both the visceral and the intellectual impact of these
> most dangerous of foes, this episode chooses instead to focus on the
> meaning of the Borg and make understanding itself a visceral experience.

It is no secret that ST: FC was one of the worst movies I have ever seen.
It's rather blatant attempts at ripping off Alien(s) and Every zombie movie
I have ever seen.

> As written by Kenneth Biller, "Unity" makes the Borg deeper, darker and
> more disturbing than ever before.

They never were. Any potential this episode had went to the wayside
insidethe first act.

> One of the things I love about Biller episodes is that they move in a
very
> directed and sophisticated way toward a legitimate moral dilemma.

Sophisticated? Ever played with Lincoln Logs? Well this episodes is
roughlty on that level of complexity

He also
> manages to capture one of the attributes of the original series which
made
> it so unique in the SF canon: social relevancy by way of allegory.
Here,
> he weaves the personal moral choices into his cultural metaphor with such
> confidence that the two complement and inform one another with absolute
> (ahem) unity.

Ahh yes. His allegory is malformed. throughout this peice of puerile dreck
there many failed attempts at weaving something(I wouldn't call it a story
but...). This peice;s only social relveancy is in it terrible
underestimation of my intellecy and willingness to accept glaring plot
holes at face value. Do they consider us that unworthy of quality that we
must be sunjected to this level of "entertainment".I have said it before
and I will say it agian, mindfuck. No better way to describe what the
episode didn't even try to do. Not once did it even convey the slightest
impression understanding its won message lt aone what we were totake from
it.

> It would be easy to draw Biller's social allegory as a simple reflection
> of the chaotic state in which the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia now
> find themselves.

You could also call this episode a reflection of what Voyager's producer's
really think of fans. Appearently not much if they are willing to call this
drama and say, "Buy it. Trust us."

And while that comparison would be an apt one, "Unity"
> goes far beyond showing us a sketch of a once united people now seething
> with dischord.

I could draw a similar comparison tothis newsgroup. Your contrived attempt
to find something is admirable yet misplaced. This story is so hodge podge
and lazily thrown together an allegory could be found for each hair on my
head.

Rather, this is a story of how such dischord can tempt
> people with the security and order of the old ways, even as they fool
> themselves with promises to keep only the "good" things about their
> totalitarian regime. This is "Animal Farm" with Borg instead of
> livestock.

I have a first print of Animal Farm(among the greatest books I have ever
read) and to compare it to this crud is damnation by insufficent revery.

> Thrust into the middle of all of this is Chakotay, whose personal journey
> through the storm forms the emotional core of the episode.

A rotten and worm ridden core.

Rendered
> helpless by circumstance and injury, Chakotay comes to know, respect and
> admire the population of disassimilated Borg he finds on a lonely rock in
> the Necrid Expanse.

Chakotay comes to know and respect everyone. From the Kazon to the Borg he
does more pain feeling than Clinton

Ultimately, he chooses to link with them in a
> desperate attempt to save his own life, a mystical and spectacularly
> realized scene that evokes some genuine pathos for the much-loathed Borg
> drones.

They most certainly are loathed. The scene to which you refer was another
example of them missing the boat.

Through Chakotay's eyes, we see the lives that were stolen away
> from them and experience the Hell they were forced to endure by the power
> of their own collective will.

What the hell did you see? I saw a field and a couple of space battles made
boring..

<<snipped for space>>


> Speaking of dynamic, Foundation Imaging's special effects work continues
> to impress me. When given a decent budget, skillful art direction and
the
> ability to integrate physical models with their computer graphics, these
> guys do fantastic work. Voyager's escape from the exploding Borg ship
> took less than five seconds to play out, but it was so simple and elegant
> that it almost literally burned itself into my imagination. I can't wait
> to see what happens when they get an opportunity to do some work on the
> scale of "Caretaker" or DS9's "Way of the Warrior".

I can. The explsion ofthe BOrg cube would have been better if they used the
footage from FC or BoBW. From the computery look of the cube's explosion I
would say that FOundation needs to pay attnetion to th work on B5.

> The rest of the tech credits were collectively superior. Costuming and
> make-up were simply fantastic, beating out even "Blood Fever"'s
impressive
> rock-people in terms of overall effect.

WHAT????? Are you nuts? Those rock people were straigh out a BUgs
Bunny/Pink Panther Cartoon. You know the onces. The guys paints himself or
gets painted accidently and you can no longer see him. Happens all the
time. Sad that Voyager must look to superior works like the Pink
Panther(who had a much better score ,BTW) for inspiration. Not only that
but their hair looked like KAzons' only less interesting.

The production design was equally
> effective, communicating not only the brutal nature of the Cooperative's
> everyday existence, but the fact that this world was one the Borg had
> visited prior to their deadly encounter with...whatever it was that took
> them out.

They have used that lot twice before. The first comes easily, Fair Trade,
for the episod was equally turgid but the second slips from memory. I will
have it soon however.

<<snipped>>


> The Bad:
>
> Very little, and nothing of substantive consequence.

Shall we forget the inconssitency(not with Wolf 359) but with blowing up
the ship and contacting Chakotay. I already took care of the rest

There are some
> questions, however:
>
> - If some of the members of the Cooperative were taken at Wolf 359, how
> did they make it back to the Delta Quadrant? We know (now) that the Borg
> can transport individuals across vast distances -- if this is the case,
> how many of the drones on Locutus' ship were spared destruction over
> Earth?

We do not know that. There was never a mention of subspace transporter of
any kind. You are overing for them. Perhaps you should have written the
episode. Couldn't have done a worse job

> - Twice now, we have seen that people who link with the Borg maintain a
> subconscious connection even after their implants are removed. First,
> Picard and now Chakotay. How do the Borg accomplish this?

Stupid writers would be my guess.

> I don't see the existence of these questions as negatives. As a
> much-respected professor once told me, "There is a difference between a
> mystery and a muddle".

And this quite clearly muddled

<<snipped>>


> "Unity" is Voyager's best episode to date.

Sad isn't?

Not only is it a great story
> on its own merits, it is a story that could only happen on Voyager but
> manages to fit our intrepid crew into the larger tapestry of the Star
Trek
> universe.

Tranlation: We need them back in the Alpha Quad

Written with exceptional intelligence by Ken Biller, "Unity" is
> also an apt social allegory, exploring the what-ifs of politics and
> culture with the panache that made Star Trek such a special phenomenon in
> the first place.

Written with exceptional lack of profundity by Ken Biller, "Untiy" is also
an apt allegory for anything you wish to apply it to. The episode lacks
focus on a level rivaling only the Democratic National Party. Using ST's
time honored traditions of socail and political commentary to such blinding
bad effect isa crime punishable by death in my book .

In addition, it happens to be the most visually stunning
> and stirring Voyager episode since the pilot as a result of Robert Duncan
> McNeill's stylish, confident direction and FI's spectacular special
> effects.

The direction was adequet but nothing could savethe script

Although "Unity" raises more questions about the Borg than it
> answers, it bodes well for future encounters with everyone's favorite
race
> of cybernetic bogeymen.

Yeah, whatever.

>
> UNITY: **** (out of four)

****(out of three hundred, twenty seven million, four hundred sixty
thousand, two hundred twelve and one sixtienth)

> NEXT WEEK: Would you believe Doctor...Jekyll?

No.

>
> "I wonder how long their ideals will stand up in the face of that kind of
> power?"
> -- Chakotay, musing on the future of the Cooperative he
helped

*Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr*
--Sound of Gene Roddenberry rotating in his grave.


-- Cronan Thompson, general purpose
god and guy among men
XO of the USS Megadittos
Guaranteed offensive material in
10th message. Bring your kids.


PhotoMan

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

Mentioning Wolf359 does not introduce any incontinuity.
For one, the Borg Queen (ST:FC) says she was on that cube and
she escaped. If she had these new human assimilates, I think it
would be a good move to take them with me, as I might need another
human "mouthpiece". Second, if the queen got away with an (unseen)
Borg-ball ship, the time back to the Delta quadrant is fast. Don't
forget, they have the trans-warp conduits they used in "Descent I & II".

VMS-E


Lars Ormberg

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

Cronan Thomspon wrote:
>
> Ashley E. Miller <us01...@mindspring.com> wrote
> > [VOY] "Unity": The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

> What the hell did you see? I saw a field and a couple of space battles made
> boring..

And Klingon ships for no apparent reason.

> We do not know that. There was never a mention of subspace transporter of
> any kind. You are overing for them. Perhaps you should have written the
> episode. Couldn't have done a worse job

It's a nice cover try...compared to the simplicity of the Voyager
errors, they make it hard to even work your way to an answer.

> > - Twice now, we have seen that people who link with the Borg maintain a
> > subconscious connection even after their implants are removed. First,
> > Picard and now Chakotay. How do the Borg accomplish this?
>
> Stupid writers would be my guess.

Picard had a reason. Picard was fully equipped with cybernetic
implants. Crusher could only do so much, and I doubt she would remove
the components from Jean-Luc's brain. Since Picard still had some
implants left, he could hear their "song".

Chakotay was hearing the Borg due to brain chemistry? That's just
stupid.

--
Lars Ormberg
(I don't know where Mr. T lives. Stop phoning my home)
la...@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca
__
The Commodore's webpage is bigger, badder, and more Java-packed than
ever before! Take a tour at http://www.ualberta.ca/~larso/ and have
an experience only categorizable as Lars On-Line!

* The Borg--our most lethal enemy--have begun an invasion of the
Federation. The assimilation continues...STAR TREK:FIRST CONTACT is
still showing in theatres across the country. (Oh, and some Star Wars
thing is supposedly on as well. Like anybody cares).

Hans Bushan

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
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Ashley E. Miller wrote:
(an extremly well written review of "Unity" deleted)

> Speaking of dynamic, Foundation Imaging's special effects work continues
> to impress me. When given a decent budget, skillful art direction and the
> ability to integrate physical models with their computer graphics, these
> guys do fantastic work. Voyager's escape from the exploding Borg ship
> took less than five seconds to play out, but it was so simple and elegant
> that it almost literally burned itself into my imagination. I can't wait
> to see what happens when they get an opportunity to do some work on the
> scale of "Caretaker" or DS9's "Way of the Warrior".

I think you are giving too much credit to FI. They only do
the CGI effects. The effects involving models and the
integration of all the effects are done by Dan Curry and
his staff

Foru...@nycnet.com

unread,
Feb 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/20/97
to

"Cronan Thomspon" <mal...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:

>Ashley E. Miller <us01...@mindspring.com> wrote
>> [VOY] "Unity": The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

>What Good ?

Just what kind of ship do you think you're on, Mister?! This episode was directed by Robert Duncan
mcneil. It has to be good by default. :-)

Seriously, it was a cool episode. I liked how they showed why the Borg sound the way they do.


Gerald Katz
Captain, USS Megadittos
Fan of Tom E. Paris


Todd Horowitz

unread,
Feb 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/20/97
to

In article <330B93...@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca>,
Lars Ormberg <la...@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca> wrote:

[please to avoid reactivating spoilers for "Unity"]


>And Klingon ships for no apparent reason.

There were Klingons in the Coop. Chakotay was seeing their memories.


>Picard had a reason. Picard was fully equipped with cybernetic
>implants. Crusher could only do so much, and I doubt she would remove
>the components from Jean-Luc's brain. Since Picard still had some
>implants left, he could hear their "song".

I seriously doubt that Picard had implants left. no way would
Starfleet let Picard return to duty if he were still fitted with Borg
technology. There was no hint, even in FC, where the topic should have come up,
that Picard had any trace of Borg technology in him which Crusher had not
removed.

>Chakotay was hearing the Borg due to brain chemistry? That's just
>stupid.

It's scientifically silly, but then, so is the transporter. It's not,
however, stupid writing, because "First Contact" clearly set the precedent.


Todd

Greg & Marianne Lubianetzky

unread,
Feb 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/20/97
to

=>>What Good ?
=>
=>Just what kind of ship do you think you're on, Mister?! This episode


was directed by Robert Duncan

=>mcneil. It has to be good by default. :-)

=>Gerald Katz
=>Captain, USS Megadittos
=>Fan of Tom E. Paris

YEAH! so there!!
but, gee, Gerald, at least spell his name right willya????
Robert Duncan McNeill
2 l's in McNeill :)
sheesh!!
;)

Marianne, even more of a Fan of Tom E. Paris than Gerald Katz
lu...@bconnex.net

Emile Edwin Smith

unread,
Feb 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/20/97
to

Hans Bushan wrote:
>
> Ashley E. Miller wrote:
> (an extremly well written review of "Unity" deleted)
>
> > Speaking of dynamic, Foundation Imaging's special effects work continues
> > to impress me. When given a decent budget, skillful art direction and the
> > ability to integrate physical models with their computer graphics, these
> > guys do fantastic work. Voyager's escape from the exploding Borg ship
> > took less than five seconds to play out, but it was so simple and elegant
> > that it almost literally burned itself into my imagination. I can't wait
> > to see what happens when they get an opportunity to do some work on the
> > scale of "Caretaker" or DS9's "Way of the Warrior".
>
> I think you are giving too much credit to FI. They only do
> the CGI effects. The effects involving models and the
> integration of all the effects are done by Dan Curry and
> his staff


Acually it is really the other way around for new effects. They have
created nice stock shots that are repeated throughout the series but
when we do a show we do basically all of the effects except for the
stock shots (ship in space with basic starfield), most phasers and
transporter effects, and a few others. In the episode Unity, I built the
Borg ship, and we animated 90% of all the visual effects, the other 10%
were stock model shots. Of course this varies with each episode, some we
do no work on, but that is typical.
--
Emile Edwin Smith

Animator
Foundation Imaging

Matthew Melmon

unread,
Feb 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/21/97
to

In article <5ehpuv$s...@agate.berkeley.edu>, to...@garnet.berkeley.edu
(Todd Horowitz) wrote:


> I seriously doubt that Picard had implants left. no way would
> Starfleet let Picard return to duty if he were still fitted with Borg
> technology. There was no hint, even in FC, where the topic should have
> come up, that Picard had any trace of Borg technology in him which
> Crusher had not removed.

No. Picard specifically said that they could not get all of
the itsy-bitsy-teensy-weensy gouppe out of his system. He used
that as a rationalization for why he understood the enemy and
why they had to be destroyed at all costs.

It seems likely that the Voyager Borg did a little more than
just attatch some temporary doohickie.

Hans Bushan

unread,
Feb 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/21/97
to

Emile Edwin Smith wrote:

> In the episode Unity, I built the
> Borg ship, and we animated 90% of all the visual effects, the other 10%
> were stock model shots. Of course this varies with each episode, some we
> do no work on, but that is typical.
> --
> Emile Edwin Smith
>
> Animator
> Foundation Imaging

You actually built a Borg ship for this episode? I thought they
used the same model from First Contact. It looked great either
way.

Emile Edwin Smith

unread,
Feb 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/22/97
to
Yes, it was a much different ship than the one in First Contact.

Timo S Saloniemi

unread,
Feb 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/24/97
to

In article <5ehpuv$s...@agate.berkeley.edu> to...@garnet.berkeley.edu (Todd Horowitz) writes:
>In article <330B93...@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca>,
>Lars Ormberg <la...@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca> wrote:
>
>[please to avoid reactivating spoilers for "Unity"]
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>>And Klingon ships for no apparent reason.
>
> There were Klingons in the Coop. Chakotay was seeing their memories.

And it was implied that the Klingons did come to help the UFP in the
battle of Wolf 359. Since we have seen nothing to the contrary (we
only know we DIDn't see Klingon shipwrecks in "BoBWII", bute they may
have been there anyway), we might say that the scenes were from the
Wolf 359 battle. The fact that they were identical to scenes from
"Way of the Warrior" is just coincidental - or then the Klingons
have perfected combat maneuvering algorithms and always move the same
way (and get shot the same way).... :) :)

>>Picard had a reason. Picard was fully equipped with cybernetic
>>implants. Crusher could only do so much, and I doubt she would remove
>>the components from Jean-Luc's brain. Since Picard still had some
>>implants left, he could hear their "song".

>I seriously doubt that Picard had implants left. no way would


>Starfleet let Picard return to duty if he were still fitted with Borg
>technology. There was no hint, even in FC, where the topic should have
>come up, that Picard had any trace of Borg technology in him which Crusher
>had not removed.

But it is implied that Federation medical technology can NOT remove
implants from deep within the brain. Dr Bashir was unable to remove
the "wire" from Garak's midbrain (even the instructions given by Tain
were only to negate the effects of the wire, not to remove it).
And no, this guy is no second-rate frontier doctor - he does BRAIN
PROSTHETICS when required! So it's highly unlikely that Crusher or
anybody else could completely de-Borgify Picard.

Perhaps some implants were simply deactivated chemically or cut off
from others to negate their effect. Starfleet has fielded riskier
men and ships than the partially Borgified Picard - the whole of TOS
seems to prove that Starfleet does not screen its captains too closely.
:)

>>Chakotay was hearing the Borg due to brain chemistry? That's just
>>stupid.
>
> It's scientifically silly, but then, so is the transporter. It's not,
>however, stupid writing, because "First Contact" clearly set the precedent.

So could Chakotay have had nano-implants as well? You could inject those
by touching one's skin, let alone by kissing him.

Timo Saloniemi


.

Todd Yancy

unread,
Feb 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/25/97
to

sl...@vms.cis.pitt.edu (David E. Sluss) wrote:

>"Aside from that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" Seriously,
>it's a rather significant blunder, don't you think? And yes, it can
>be explained away, but still, the reference to Wolf 359 was
>completely unnecessary; they should have just said "We were taken
>from the Alpha Quadrant and assimilated" and left it at that.


It's only a significant blunder to the extremely anal retentive. A
five second snip in the editing room, and there's no problem.

Todd
tod...@lightspeed.net
I tried to add a spambuster to my e-mail
Did it work?


Neil Olsen

unread,
Feb 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/26/97
to

On Fri, 21 Feb 1997 23:55:42 -0800, Hans Bushan <h...@cp10.es.xerox.com>
wrote:

>Emile Edwin Smith wrote:
>
>> In the episode Unity, I built the
>> Borg ship, and we animated 90% of all the visual effects, the other 10%
>> were stock model shots. Of course this varies with each episode, some we
>> do no work on, but that is typical.
>> --
>> Emile Edwin Smith
>>
>> Animator
>> Foundation Imaging
>
>You actually built a Borg ship for this episode? I thought they
>used the same model from First Contact. It looked great either
>way.

Wow! I did not no that...I thought y'all just did some of the cool
effects like the space shots and some of the more interesting alien
insects... Great Job.

Neil


Neil Olsen

unread,
Feb 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/26/97
to

On Wed, 19 Feb 1997 12:25:17 -0800, Hans Bushan <h...@cp10.es.xerox.com>
wrote:

>Ashley E. Miller wrote:


> (an extremly well written review of "Unity" deleted)
>

>> Speaking of dynamic, Foundation Imaging's special effects work continues
>> to impress me. When given a decent budget, skillful art direction and the
>> ability to integrate physical models with their computer graphics, these
>> guys do fantastic work. Voyager's escape from the exploding Borg ship
>> took less than five seconds to play out, but it was so simple and elegant
>> that it almost literally burned itself into my imagination. I can't wait
>> to see what happens when they get an opportunity to do some work on the
>> scale of "Caretaker" or DS9's "Way of the Warrior".
>

>I think you are giving too much credit to FI. They only do
>the CGI effects. The effects involving models and the
>integration of all the effects are done by Dan Curry and
>his staff

That may be true...but it takes a lot of coordination from all parties
to create the really great images that they all do. I personally like
the images of the nebulea and planetary shots in many of Voyager's
episodes. Kudos to all involved.

It is a shame that we don't know more about the work that goes on
behind the scenes : (

Neil


Jeff Schwartz

unread,
Feb 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/26/97
to

Personally, I could care less about the whole wolf 359 tie
in, but I gotta say, if it was just a matter of a 5 second
snip in the editing room, they should've got it right. Fans,
even the anal retentive ones don't usually see the footage
that gets snipped. Therefore, its a lot easier to fix a
mistake before the episode airs.

>==========Todd Yancy, 2/24/97==========

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