Saturday, June 7, 2008

Star Trek: First Contact

(1996; film)
Directed by: Jonathan Frakes; Written by: Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, Ronald D. Moore
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Alfre Woodard, James Cromwell, Alice Krige, Robert Picardo

Jean-Luc Picard and his crew encounter their adversaries the Borg, who are attempting to conquer the Earth through the use of time travel. The Enterprise crew has to restore history, in order to prevent the future from being changed. They materialize on the Earth, mid-21st Century, in a period just following a supposed Third World War.

(**OK – a bit of a spoiler here.**) Picard quickly realizes that the Borg have gone back in time to try to destroy the Phoenix, which was Earth's first warp-drive vessel. It was the Phoenix that led to Earth's first contact with an extraterrestrial species (the Vulcans). In order to save the future, Riker, LaForge and Troi have to locate Zefram Cochrane, the designer and pilot of the Phoenix, and convince him to proceed with the test flight.

(**And here.**) During this film, Data is captured by the Borg Queen who attempts to corrupt him by offering to fulfill his dream of becoming human. When the Queen instructs Data to fire the Enterprise weapons at the Phoenix, he appears to be following orders, but then deliberately misses. Later, when Picard questions him about it, Data says that the Borg Queen brought him closer to humanity than he ever thought possible, and admits that he was tempted by her offer. Picard asks him how long a time he was tempted, and Data replies, "Zero point six eight seconds, sir. For an android, that is nearly an eternity."

This was the second outing on the big screen for the STNG crew; their first without the cast of the original show. And they did themselves proud. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, but if you're not a bona fide Star Trek junkie, you might be a little lost here - probably not the best place to start your exploration of the saga.

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