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(written from a Production point of view)
Star Trek: First Contact
Release date: 22 November 1996
8th of 12 Star Trek films
441st of 728 released in all
First Contact poster.jpg
Screenplay By
Brannon Braga & Ronald D. Moore

Story By
Rick Berman & Brannon Braga & Ronald D. Moore

Directed By
Jonathan Frakes

Produced by
Rick Berman
50893.5 (2373, 2063)
  Arc: Borg and First Contact (1 of 3)
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"Resistance is futile."

Captain Jean-Luc Picard, in command of the new Starship Enterprise-E, must defy orders and come to the rescue of Earth when a new Borg invasion threatens the Federation. But the incursion is a cover for the Borg's real objective: to change Earth's history so the first warp flight, made by Zefram Cochrane, never happens. The Enterprise-E and her crew are tasked with following the Borg to 2063, to ensure that Cochrane's achievement is not interfered with.

Summary

Act One

24th Century

Picard surrounded by Borg

Picard relives his assimlation

Still haunted by memories of his assimilation, Captain Jean-Luc Picard awakes from a nightmare to a communiqué from Starfleet Command. Appearing on his desktop terminal, Starfleet Admiral Hayes relays distressing news: the Borg have crossed into Federation space.

"Captain's log, stardate 50893.5. The moment I have dreaded for nearly six years has finally arrived. The Borg, our most lethal enemy, have begun an invasion of the Federation, and this time, there may be no stopping them."
File:Enterprise-E enters the vortex.jpg

Despite orders relegating them to patrol the Romulan Neutral Zone, Picard and the crew of the new USS Enterprise-E disobey their superiors and set a course for Earth, where they join a fleet of vessels repelling an advancing Borg cube. Rescuing survivors from the badly damaged warship Defiant, Picard takes command of the fleet and quickly dispatches the cube. However, as it explodes, the foundering Borg ship launches a sphere-shaped vessel into orbit of Earth where it disappears into a temporal vortex.

Welcoming aboard Lieutenant Commander Worf from the Defiant, the crew of the Enterprise-E watches the viewscreen as Earth dramatically changes. Now populated entirely by Borg drones, they determine that history has been changed. As the temporal vortex collapses, Captain Picard orders the Enterprise to follow the Borg into the past - to repair whatever damage they've done.

21st Century

LilyCochrane

Lily and Cochrane spot the attackers

In the small shanty town of Bozeman, Montana, Lily Sloane and Zefram Cochrane wander out of a makeshift bar as their town is unexpectedly pulverized by a volley of disruptor fire. Running for cover, Lily and Chochrane are unaware that the Borg sphere is responsible for the destruction raining down upon them.

Emerging from the temporal vortex, the Enterprise destroys the Borg sphere with quantum torpedoes. Scanning the surface, the crew discovers that they have arrived in April of 2063 - one day before Earth's first contact with an alien species. Surmising that the Borg were attempting to prevent the launch of Earth's first warp-powered craft, Picard assembles Lieutenant Commander Data and Doctor Beverly Crusher, leading an away team to locate the warp ship's inventor: Doctor Zefram Cochrane.

Tactile contact

Picard, Data and the Phoenix

Beaming down, Picard's away team enters Cochrane's missile silo where they find the occupants dead, but the prototype warpship, the Phoenix, suffering only minor damage. Inspecting the rocket, Picard and Data are surprised by Lily, who fires at the Enterprise officers with a machine gun. Impervious to bullets however, Data intercepts the 21st century woman before she succumbs to radiation poisoning. Doctor Crusher returns to the Enterprise with Lily in her care, promising to keep her unconscious as Picard calls up to Geordi La Forge, asking the Chief Engineer to bring a repair crew to the silo.

File:Data encrypts the computer.jpg

As the damage control team departs the ship, engineers Porter and Eiger are left to deal with environmental difficulties that have mysteriously cropped up. Crawling into a Jeffries tube, both officers are quietly dispatched by unseen Borg stowaways. Sensing that something is wrong aboard the Enterprise, Picard returns with Data to the ship, leaving Commander Riker and Counselor Troi in charge.

Indeed, something is dreadfully wrong as the Borg infiltrate the Enterprise. Fleeing Borg drones in sickbay, Doctor Crusher is forced to revive Lily and escape into the Jeffries tubes where Lily quietly slips away. On the bridge, Picard orders Data to lockout the main computer with an encryption code as the Borg attempt to take command of the ship. Picard knows that once the Borg have control of the Enterprise, they will assimilate Earth.

Act Two

Cochrane and Troi toast

Troi and Cochrane share a drink

Below decks, Picard briefs Data, Worf and a team of security officers as they arm themselves with phaser rifles. As the Borg have taken control of engineering, Picard explains their objective: puncture the warp plasma coolant tanks. Doing so will release the plasma which will liquify the Borg's organic components. Picard also warns his officers that they should not show mercy to assimilated Enterprise crew members.

On Earth, Commander Riker finds a drunken Counselor Troi at the town's makeshift bar. The counselor introduces Riker to Zefram Cochrane, himself intoxicated, explaining that the scientist doesn't believe their cover story - and that she thinks he's "nuts". As Cochrane activates a rock and roll-spouting jukebox, Troi bemoans her first experience with tequila then finally passes out.

Picard and Data hunt Borg

Picard and Data hunt Borg in the corridors of the Enterprise

Meanwhile, two teams march through the corridors of the Enterprise-E - one led by Worf, the other by Picard and Data. As they head into sections of the ship that show signs of assimilation, an anxious Data deactivates his emotion chip. Elsewhere, Worf and his men encounter Dr. Crusher as she emerges from the Jeffries tubes with her medical staff and patients. She notifies the Klingon that Lily has gone missing and Worf promises to watch out for the woman. Moving on, the two teams meet outside of engineering, in corridors crawling with Borg drones. At first ignoring the Starfleet officers' arrival, the Borg suddenly spring into action as Picard and Data attempt to gain entry to main engineering. A battle ensues, but the Borg quickly adapt to phaser fire and Picard calls for a retreat. Too late, however, for Data who is captured by the Borg and taken into their hive.

Lily captures Picard

Lily captures Picard

Rushing to a Jeffries tube, Picard is forced to kill an assimilated crewman before escaping into a hatch. Inside the access tube, Lily catches Picard by surprise, turning the captain's phaser on him and demanding to be returned home.

Data awakes in engineering held to a Borg operating table and surrounded by drones. He assures them that they cannot gain the Enterprise access codes stored in his neural net, speaking directly to the disembodied voice of the Borg Queen. The Queen tells Data that breaking the code is only a matter of finding the android's weakness.

Riker La Forge and Troi convince Cochrane

Convincing Cochrane to continue his flight

On the surface, Riker, Troi and La Forge attempt to convince Cochrane that the story about the Borg and their mission is true. Adjusting the scientist's telescope, La Forge gives Cochrane a glimpse of the Enterprise-E, orbiting high above Montana. The Enterprise officers urge Cochrane to continue with his plans to launch the Phoenix, telling him of the utopian society that warp travel and first contact will bring to Earth. Grudgingly, Cochrane agrees.

The fight does not go well aboard the Enterprise. The Borg continue their assimilation of the ship and its crew, taking control of seemingly non-vital areas of the ship including deflector control. Still crawling through the bowels of the ship, Picard leads Lily to a porthole looking out over Earth. Shocked to find herself in space, Lily surrenders her phaser and begins to trust the captain.

Borg Queen disembodied

"The beginning, the end, the one who is many..."

Down in engineering, Data continues his conversation with the Borg Queen, who finally shows herself as a head and upper torso descending to a robotic body. Reactivating Data's emotion chip, the Queen reveals a patch of Human flesh grafted onto his android skeleton. With this new skin, Data is able to feel all new sensations.

In a corridor, Picard describes the Federation and the Borg to Lily, who reacts in terror as they enter a section overrun by Borg. As they make their escape, Picard fires his phaser, provoking a response from two drones who pursue them into the holodeck. Activating a holonovel, Picard recreates a scene from The Big Good-Bye, using a holographic Tommy gun to blast the two drones in a fit of rage. Pulling open the chest cavity of one of the drones - formerly Starfleet Ensign Lynch - the captain retrieves a Borg neural processor and uncovers their plans.

On Earth, Cochrane has grown frustrated with the high esteem bestowed upon him by the 24th century officers as they repair the Phoenix. After a run in with Lieutenant Barclay, Cochrane expresses his reservations to La Forge, who admits that he too is experiencing feelings of hero worship. La Forge reveals to Cochrane that the missile silo would eventually become home to a statue in his honor. The scientist quickly escapes into the woods, attempting to flee. Riker and La Forge give chase, ultimately stunning Cochrane to prevent his escape.

Data and the Borg Queen (2063)

The Borg Queen seduces Data

In engineering, the operation to give Data flesh and blood continues. Exploiting a small window of opportunity, Data breaks free of the operating table and attempts to escape his captors. He is stopped however, when a drone slashes at and cuts Data's new Human skin. Confused and experiencing pain for the first time in his life, the android is easily seduced by the Borg Queen and the two soon fall into a passionate embrace.

Hawk Picard and Worf in space

Picard, Worf and Hawk on the hull of the Enterprise

Elsewhere, Picard returns to the bridge to brief his crew on the situation: the Borg plan to use the ship's navigational deflector to contact reinforcements. With no way to gain access to the deflector dish, Picard, Worf and the ship's helmsman Lieutenant Hawk don EV suits and cross the exterior hull of the ship on foot, finding several drones constructing a beacon. Unable to simply destroy the dish, Picard and company work to manually release it into space. Arousing a response from the drones, the Enterprise officers battle the Borg who are able to incapacitate Worf and assimilate Hawk. Left on his own, Picard is able to finish his task and release the deflector into space just before Worf destroys it with his phaser rifle.

Sensing the destruction of the beacon, the Borg Queen announces to Data - still undergoing the operation - that she has changed her plans.

Act Three

Repairs to the Phoenix have finally been completed and Riker joins Cochrane in the warp ship's cockpit. Cochrane admits to the commander that he is not the hero the Enterprise crew makes him out to be, but Riker assures him that he is a more honorable man than even he knows.

Picard as Ahab

"A sum of all the rage and hate..."

Returning to the bridge, Picard and Worf find the situation has worsened. Worf advises evacuating the Enterprise and setting the ship to self-destruct. Picard balks, calling the Klingon a coward and ordering him off the bridge. In the ship's observation lounge, Lily and Picard engage in a heated argument that reveals Picard's true hopes of gaining vengeance against the Borg for his assimilation. Realizing that he is no better than Ahab of Moby Dick, the captain finally relents, ordering the destruction of the Enterprise. Reassembling on the bridge, Picard, Dr. Crusher and Worf activate the self-destruct sequence and begin launching the escape pods. As they evacuate, Picard and Worf reconcile, but as he prepares to depart, the Captain becomes keenly aware of Data's presence in the clutches of the Borg.

From the tight confines of the missile silo in Montana to the remarkable wonder of the stars, the Phoenix is launched, flown by Cochrane, Riker and La Forge. As the Phoenix soars above the Earth's atmosphere, the craft's occupants prepare to engage warp and Cochrane marvels at the experience.

File:Sovereign class escape pod.jpg

Escorting Lily to her escape pod, Picard hands her a PADD containing orders for Commander Riker. Lily realizes that the captain has no intention of leaving the ship and he admits that he must risk his life to save Data. Accepting his decision, Lily boards her pod as dozens of escape craft disengage from the Enterprise and fly towards Earth.

Picard fights off the Queen

Grappling with the Queen

Alone, Picard advances into engineering where he comes face-to-face with the Borg Queen. She recalls the last time they met - during his assimilation - and presents him with a new Data, whose face is now partially Human. Picard attempts to parlay for the android's release, but it is no use. Data stands at the Queen's side as Borg drones take hold of the captain. As the Phoenix prepares to jump to warp, Data targets the warp ship with quantum torpedoes. Picard can only watch as the torpedoes are launched, much to the delight of the Borg Queen. In space, however, the torpedoes narrowly miss the Phoenix and the Queen knows she has been betrayed. Thrusting his fist into a plasma coolant tank, Data is enveloped in the deadly gas as Picard scrambles for cover. Just below him, the Queen grabs hold of his foot impeding his climb to safety. Picard struggles against her grip until Data - his new skin dissolved - emerges from the plasma and pulls the Borg Queen into it. Screaming in pain and rage, the Borg Queen's flesh quickly disintegrates.

Borg Queen dead

The remains of the fallen Borg Queen

As the Phoenix drops out of warp and returns to Earth, Picard vents the plasma from engineering and descends to the deck littered with Borg corpses. Finding the remains of the Borg Queen still clinging to life, Picard breaks her cerebellum and terminates her once and for all. The captain finds Data not far away. The android expresses a sense of sadness at the death of the "unique" Borg Queen and the glimpses of humanity she brought him. He admits that he was - albeit briefly - tempted by her offer.

"Captain's log, April 5, 2063. The voyage of the Phoenix was a success – again. The alien ship detected the warp signature, and is on its way to rendezvous with history."
TPlana hath in crowd

First contact

In Montana, a crowd of observers including Cochrane, Lily, Picard and the other Human members of the Enterprise's senior staff watch the historic landing of the first extraterrestrial craft to visit Earth. In awe and not without a little difficulty, Cochrane welcomes a trio of Vulcans to Earth. Picard bids Lily a brief farewell and returns with his crew to his own ship. By recreating the temporal vortex that brought them there, the crew of the Enterprise-E departs the 21st century, leaving Lily, Cochrane and the Vulcans on Earth as the history of the future begins.

Memorable Quotes

"We've finished our first sensor sweep of the Neutral Zone."
"Oh, fascinating. Twenty particles of space dust per cubic meter, fifty-two ultraviolet radiation spikes, and a class two comet. Well, this is certainly worthy of our attention."

- Riker and Picard


"Captain, I believe I speak for everyone here sir when I say, 'To Hell with our orders'."

- Data


"Main power is off-line, we've lost shields and our weapons are gone!"
(hits a console) "Perhaps today is a good day to die! Prepare for ramming speed!"

- Helm officer and Worf, on the Defiant


"Tough little ship."
"Little?"

- Riker and Worf, speaking about the Defiant


"You do remember how to fire phasers...?"

- Riker, to Worf


"Please state the nature of the medical emergency."
"Twenty Borg are about to break through that door. We need time to get out of here. Create a diversion!"
"This isn't a part of my program. I'm a doctor, not a doorstop."
"Well, do a dance, tell a story, I don't care; just give us a few seconds!"

- Emergency Medical Hologram and Dr. Crusher


"I'm just trying to blend in."
"You're blended, all right."

- Troi and Riker, about Troi's intoxication


"Timeline? This is no time to be arguing about time! We don't have the time!... what was I saying?"

- Troi, to Riker, while intoxicated


"If you want my professional opinion, as ship's counselor... he's nuts!"
"I'll be sure to note that in my log."

- Troi and Riker, about Zefram Cochrane


"Captain, I believe I am beginning to feel...anxiety. It is an intriguing sensation, a most distracting..."
"Data, I'm sure it's a fascinating experience, but perhaps you should deactivate your emotion chip for now."
"Good idea, sir.(twists neck) Done."
"Data, there are times that I envy you."

- Data and Picard, as they encounter the Borg modifications to the Enterprise


"You'd better find a way to make it easy, soldier, or I'm going to start pushing buttons!"

- Lily, holding a hand phaser on Picard


"Your efforts to break the encryption codes will not be successful, nor will your attempts to assimilate me into your collective."
"Brave words. I've heard them before. From thousands of species across thousands of world since long before you were created. But now, they are all Borg." "I am unlike any species you have assimilated"

- "Data" and the "Borg Queen"


"So, you're all... astronauts, on... some kind of star trek?"

- Zefram Cochrane, to Riker, Troi, and La Forge


"What is this?" "Australia. New Guinea. Solomon Islands. Montana will be up soon, but you may want to hold your breath. It's a long way down."

- Lily and Picard, as Picard proves they're aboard the Enterprise


"Maximum setting. If you'd fired this you would have vaporized me."
"It's my first ray gun."

- Picard and Lily


"Borg? Sounds Swedish..."

- Lily Sloane, to Picard


"Definitely not Swedish!"

- Lily Sloane, after she sees Borg drones


"No money? You mean you don't get paid?"
"The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We wish to better ourselves and the rest of humanity."

- Lily and Picard


"AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! AAAAHH..."
"HEY! (stopping Picard) I think you got him..."

- Picard and Lily, while Picard uses a Tommy Gun to attack a Borg drone


"Tell your men to stand their ground. Fight hand to hand if they have to."

- Picard, to Daniels


"I gotta take a leak."
"Leak? I'm not detecting any leak."
"Don't people from the 24th century ever pee?"
"Oh. Right. That's pretty funny."

- Zefram Cochrane and La Forge


"I don't want to be a statue!"

- Zefram Cochrane, to Riker and La Forge


"You told him about the statue?"

- Riker, to La Forge


"Assimilate THIS!"

- Worf, before blowing up the interplexing beacon floating off the Enterprise's deflector dish


"I don't know jack about the 24th century, but everyone out there thinks that fighting the Borg is suicide"

-Lily Sloane, to Picard


"Humans no longer seek revenge. We in the 24th century have an evolved sensibility.
"Oh bullshit!"

- Picard and Lily Sloane


"Jean-Luc, blow up the damned ship!"
"No! Nooooo!"
(smashes glass and model ships with his phaser rifle)
"I will not sacrifice the Enterprise. We've made too many compromises already; too many retreats. They invade our space, and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds, and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further! And I will make them pay for what they've done!"
(a brief silence) "You broke your little ships. See you around, Ahab."

- Lily Sloane and Picard


"Let's rock 'n' roll!!!"

- Zefram Cochrane, just before he plays a recording of Magic Carpet Ride seconds before the Phoenix launches


"Engage."

- Zefram Cochrane, unintentionally mirroring Jean-Luc Picard's famous order


"Watch your future's end."

- Borg Queen to Picard, having ordered the destruction of the Phoenix


"Resistance is futile."

- Data, to the Borg Queen before destroying a plasma coolant tank


"Mr. Data, lay in a course for the 24th century. I suspect our future is there waiting for us."
"Course laid in, sir."
"Make it so."

- Picard and Data as the Enterprise leaves the 21st century

Background Information

Development

ST-VIII head

The teaser poster for Star Trek: First Contact

With the success of Star Trek Generations and its worldwide gross of US$120,000,000 [1], Paramount Pictures development executives approached producer Rick Berman in February 1995 to ready the next installment in the Star Trek franchise. During an impromptu meeting with writers Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga, Berman revealed his interest in a time travel story.

"All of the Star Trek films and episodes I have been most impressed with – Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, "Yesterday's Enterprise", "The City on the Edge of Forever", and I could give you half a dozen more – have all been stories that deal with time travel. In a way, Star Trek Generations dealt with time travel. Nick Meyer's wonderful movie Time After Time, dealt with time travel. The paradoxes that occur in writing, as well as in the reality of what the characters are doing and what the consequences are, have always been fascinating to me. I don't think I've ever had as much fun as being involved with "Yesterday's Enterprise," and having to tackle all the logical, paradoxical problems that we would run into and figure out ways to solve them."

The Moore/Braga writing team, however, wanted to tell a story focusing on the Borg. Moore recalled the first meeting:

"We were standing outside on the Hart Building steps. Rick had just come back from that studio meeting, and stopped us and he said, 'I really want you guys to think about it... I want to do a time travel piece.' Brannon and I added, 'We want to do something with the Borg.' And right on the spot, we said maybe we can do both, the Borg and time travel."

Brainstorming sessions began between the writer/producers day jobs on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. Again, Moore recalled:

"...We started talking about the places and times that had been done on screen or had not been done on screen. Certain things we just crossed off, because they would be took hokey. We could go to the Roman Empire which would be cool in a lot of ways. But Picard in a toga? You don't want to do that. Put him in a spacesuit."

Other time periods in history including the American Civil War were bandied about, eventually the Italian Renaissance time period was seized upon. An early story draft entitled Star Trek Renaissance expanded upon this idea. According to Moore, the story would have found Picard and company searching history for a group of time-traveling Borg. Happening upon a Renaissance village, the crew would hear stories about strange creatures taking over neighboring villages:

"We begin to realize that these horrific monsters... were the Borg. We track them down to a castle near the village where a nobleman runs a feudal society. We suspect the Borg are working in there, but no one can get in. So Data becomes our spy, impersonating an artist's apprentice... Data became friends with Leonardo da Vinci, who at the time, was working for the nobleman as a military engineer... you would have sword fights and phaser fights mixed together, in fifteenth-century Europe... it risked becoming really campy and over-the-top."

According to some reports, Patrick Stewart nixed the idea upon first mention, objecting to the prospect of wearing tights throughout production. Additionally, the producers realized that the time period was expensive to realize on screen, with audience knowledge of and identification with the period very low. [2]

Ultimately, a time period after modern history was selected: The birth of the Federation. According to Brannon Braga:

"The one image that I brought to the table is the image of the Vulcans coming out of the ship. I wanted to see the birth of Star Trek. We ended up coming back to that moment. That, to me, is what made the time travel story fresh. We get to see what happened when humans shook hands with their first aliens."

A revised storyline was constructed, this time called Star Trek Resurrection. Utilizing elements laid into place by Gene Roddenberry's original concepts for the Star Trek universe and the The Original Series episode "Metamorphosis", Resurrection closely resembled the final film. In the story, the Borg attack Zefram Cochrane's Montana laboratory, severely injuring the scientist. With Doctor Crusher fighting to save Cochrane's life, Captain Picard assumes his place in history, rallying a town around reconstructing the damaged warp ship. As the action unfolded, Picard would have become romantically involved with a local photographer and X-ray technician named Ruby, who helps the captain reconstruct a key element of the ship. Aboard the Enterprise, Commander Riker would be engaged in combat with invading Borg drones. The Borg, in Resurrection would remain faceless automatons.

With a draft of Resurrection sent to studio executives, generally positive notes were returned. However, one Paramount executive pointed out the weakness of the Borg as being that they were "basically zombies." Despite the Borg's inception as a faceless swarm, the writers chose to incorporate a figurehead into the Collective. The Borg Queen was created, a logical extension of the insect-like qualities incorporated into the Borg's characterization. Having read the early script pages too, Patrick Stewart, however, was dissatisfied with the film. Stewart suggested that the Picard and Riker stories be switched. Thus, the focus of the film was transferred to the action aboard the Enterprise with a B-story on the planet's surface. Elements like Ruby the photographer and an injured Cochrane were ultimately scrapped. As was any prospect of a love affair for Picard. Ronald D. Moore described the thought process:

"Let's get simple. Bring Cochrane into the story. Let's make him an interesting fellow, and it could say something about the birth of the Federation. The future that Gene Roddenberry envisioned is born out of this very flawed man, who is not larger than life but an ordinary flawed human being."

With that adjustment in the structure of the film, Berman suggested the addition of a holodeck sequence: The "cocktail party". In August 1995 an early draft of the script, still titled Resurrection, was circulated to key members of the production staff, headed by Martin Hornstein and Peter Lauritson. Using this script, the production heads would budget the film, ultimately falling into the US$45,000,000 range. [3]

Key positions were filled as preproduction began. With several members of the cast volunteering for the director's chair, Jonathan Frakes won out. According to Frakes, the film was offered to A-list directors who had little interest in the franchise; as a result he was offered the job "a month later than would have been ideal." Frakes appointed Jerry Fleck, [4] a veteran of TNG, as first assistant director and John W. Wheeler as editor. [5] Veteran costume designer Deborah Everton was assigned the task of creating all non-Starfleet clothing, plus redesigning the Borg with Michael Westmore. Everton's credits at the time included The Abyss and The X-Files TV series; she later costumed Ronald D. Moore's Battlestar Galactica miniseries. [6] Robert Blackman returned to once again redesign the Starfleet uniforms, this time to compliment Frakes' darker color palette and stand up better to big screen scrutiny.

Preproduction

The New Enterprise

Enterprise-E design sketch

John Eaves' infamous "chicken in a pan" design

Upon delivery of the script to production designer Herman Zimmerman, the art department's first task was the creation of a new Enterprise. Having been retained from his work on Generations, illustrator John Eaves operated in conjunction with Zimmerman to develop the Enterprise-E, based upon direction by Berman and the writers. According to Ronald D. Moore, "We described the new Enterprise in some detail. We said we want a sleeker look, with more of a muscular, almost warship kind of a look to it."

According to illustrator Eaves, the process began by reviewing what came before, specifically Bill George's Excelsior from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Over twenty or thirty sketches, the designer honed the look of the ship into an even sleeker design, rotating the oval-shaped saucer of the Enterprise-D to fit the new concept.

"I wanted to carry some of the Enterprise-D lines into the E – not with the saucer or body, but where the nacelles connected. At this point, the nacelles were almost a third longer than in the finished product. But I had the struts holding the nacelles up; they branched off the body and returned forward , making a little horseshoe, the way the D does. But instead of having them angled back, I had them angled forward."

By October 1995, Eaves and Zimmerman proceeded with their design with approval from Rick Berman. Featuring the same basic shape that appears in the finished film, this version of the Enterprise-E included movable warp pylons recalling the starship Voyager. Showing a dorsal-view sketch to a member of the production staff, Eaves received negative feedback that compared the ship to a chicken. "...From the moment he said that, the design was cursed. Every time I looked at it, I saw not a starship, but a chicken in a pan. Sadly, Herman saw it, too, so we had to (pardon the pun) scratch that one."

Over the next several months, the ship was again refined. In sketched dated January 1996, the Enterprise-E had finally been settled upon. Now distinguished by back-swept engine pylons, the ship was almost ready to be constructed. Eaves described the next steps:

Enterprise-E final design sketch

Eaves' finalized overview drawings for the Enterprise-E

"So now it's January 1996, and we're just officially starting on the feature. Things were extremely hectic, as I was splitting my time between Deep Space Nine and the movie. Herman and I started presenting the last of the Enterprise-E drawings to Mr. Berman, and he loved all our efforts. This gave Rick [Sternbach] the time he needed to do his blueprints. Just when I thought I was finished with the E, Mr. Berman told Herman, 'You know, I love the shape we've got right now – but let's make sure. Let's do some more passes on the E, some different variations.' "

With several days of sketching alternatives behind him, Eaves returned to his original design to focus on the smaller details that allowed Sternbach to complete his plans. By the spring of 1996, the ship's blueprints were turned over to Industrial Light & Magic's model building team under John Goodson. The ten-foot model was fabricated under extreme time constraint (about half the normal time period); with photographs of rooms and people inserted into the ship's windows. A computer-generated model was also constructed (with almost indistinguishable differences between the two). [7]

Interiors

Working simultaneously on the exterior Enterprise-E, Eaves and Zimmerman focused inward, generating drawings of the Enterprise bridge as early as November 1995. First designing a smaller space to fit with the smaller, sleeker direction of the Enterprise, the art department eventually opened the set up, creating a space that was larger than the bridge of the Enterprise-D. Eaves described the decision:

"We thought it would be a bad thing, because we'd decided the E's bridge should be sleeker and therefore smaller. But it wound up being a great thing; it was a beautiful set, with warmth and depth, and the colors Herman chose gave the bridge a sense of ballistic beauty and great function... we left the framework, but removed the walls, so that you could see other stations beyond those walls. The major players are in the main bridge, and off in the alcoves you have secondary crew members working, which adds a lot of scope and function to the bridge."
Sovereign class bridge

The bridge of the Enterprise-E as seen on film

A collaborative process, Eaves received input from Doug Drexler regarding his new bridge:

"Doug Drexler, who is quite the Star Trek expert, took a look at one of my sketches for the bridge and said 'Hey, you've got to have a row of blinkies – blinking running lights – under the viewscreen. It's a tradition on every Enterprise, those lights simply MUST be there.' We wound up designing a detailed area on the floor that acted like a holographic projector array – and we attached the blinking lights to that. So when the viewscreen came on, the lights on the back of the bridge would go down, and an image would appear on our new, viewscreen – with, of course, Doug's running blinkies."

The final details of the bridge were honed through early 1996, alongside other new sets including new corridors and an expanded engineering. Again designed by Eaves and Zimmerman, Enterprise-E corridor sets were constructed in a basic horseshoe shape with built-in handrails, back-lit monitors and removable panels that could be easily swapped for "Borgified" parts. Two lighting schemes were created for the corridor sets for normal and "red alert" conditions, though the former was not seen until Star Trek: Insurrection. For the evacuation sequence, set decorator John Dwyer created vacuum-formed pieces molded from the hood of a Camaro, to be used as escape pod hatches. Paramount's Stages 14 and 15 housed the vast corridor complex which connected to Herman Zimmerman's and Nancy Mickleberry's main engineering. Eaves recalled the experience:

Sovereign class corridor (set)

Corridor sets under construction

"We... wound up designing a lot of 'ends', which are pieces that you can put at the back of a particular set, to create different areas of the ship. We could take a corridor and put a Jefferies tube end piece on it, or a hatchway. And we had a lot of corridor - two full quarter-circles of it, with a couple of T-intersections and walkways. You could walk for a good five minutes from the engine room set through Jefferies tubes without ever walking out of the set. There was also this big main door to engineering that Nancy Mickleberry had come up with. She put a second level of corridor above that, and you still had another story-and-a-half of warp core going up. The set was immense! Nancy and Herman worked together for a long time designing it (after all, it had to seem "Federation-style" and "Borgified"). The set had many neat areas, many of which never made it into the finished film."

Despite the number of new sets created for the film, the production once again reused old material, including turbolift wall sections dating back to 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Sections of the starship Voyager from Star Trek: Voyager were cannibalized for the film, with that series' sickbay repainted and redressed for use as Doctor Crusher's sickbay; the Voyager cargo bay set became the Enterprise weapons locker with relatively little modification. Having been saved from the wrecking crews following the completion of Generations, the Enterprise-D observation lounge, first built in 1987 for TNG was put into service, overhauled and expanded, then connected to the bridge set. For the first time in the Star Trek film series, the transporter room did not appear. Also omitted from the finished picture, a large, cylindrical fish tank constructed for Picard's new ready room was replaced with nondescript objet d'art before the cameras rolled.

The Borg

Borg behind-the-scenes

A little less menacing: the Borg relax off camera

Assigned to refresh the Borg make up that had previously consisted of simple pale faces and cobbled together bodysuits, Deborah Everton and Michael Westmore cooperated with Herman Zimmerman and his team. As late as January of '96, pages of Borg designs flowed from the art department, with contributions by Alex Delgado of DS9. Working for Disney in addition to Star Trek, Delgado often worked on his time off, generating complex and sometimes grotesque images of the Borg, heavily influenced by insect life and ancient Egyptian culture. While many of Delgado's ideas (including exposed organs and obelisk-shaped vessels) were ultimately rejected, much of his work was integrated into Everton's and Westmore's final designs. According to Westmore:

"I wanted it to look like they were Borgified from the inside out rather than the outside in, it was very difficult. We didn't want somebody to come along and say, 'Oh that looks like Alien.'"

What resulted were eight Borg body-suits that would be combined with individually molded pieces to be swapped into various configurations representing different drones.

"Instead of having an entire helmet, now we have these individual pieces that are on the head, so you get this bald look. That way the pieces look like they're clamped into the head individually, instead of being a full cap that pulls over the top."

Electronics built into the Borg suits often included blinking lights that spelled out production members' names in Morse code. Makeup effects were achieved by airbrushing tiny "wires" that would appear to be just below the surface of the Borg drones' skin; a wide variety of humanoid and alien drones were created, including Klingons, Cardassians and Romulans, though the latter two never appeared in the theatrical cut. With days beginning as early as 2am, it took the makeup department thirty minutes to get the eight Borg actors into their costumes, another five hours to apply makeup, and ninety minutes to remove the makeup at the end of the day. According to Westmore:

"As they bettered their prep times, they were using two tubes, and then they were using three tubes, and then they were sticking tubes in the ears and up the nose. And we were using a very gooey caramel coloring, maybe using a little bit of it, but by the time we got to the end of the movie we had the stuff dripping down the side of their faces – it looked like they were leaking oil! So, at the very end, they're more ferocious."
Borg Queen behind-the-scenes

Alice Krige as the Queen's torso, lowered on a crane

As the leader of the hoard of eight, Alice Krige's Borg Queen costume was unique. A tight-fitting, one piece bodysuit, combined with a large headpiece and integrated lighting systems, the first of the Queen's costumes was built out of hard rubber. After the first of Krige's ten-day shoot, the actress suffered from blisters raised by the tight rubber. A second, soft foam suit was fabricated overnight. Despite the relative comfort of the new suit, Krige was still required to wear painful silver contact lenses that could be worn for only four minutes at a time. According to Jerry Fleck, the actress never complained.

Borg vessels were handled by John Eaves, based upon script pages, referring to a "tetragon", or rectangular-shaped vessel. Eaves generated drawings in January of 1996, labeled "Borg teragon":

"The first one I did had beveled edges and deep canyons throughout; I was trying to get away from the familiar Next Generation series cube... I did three or four passes in the rectangular shape. As time went on, Rick Berman, Ron Moore and Brannon Braga rewrote the scenes, returning to the original cube style of the Borg ship."

Unable to reuse the Borg cube built for the television series, created out of inexpensive pieces from model kits, a new cube had to be designed. Described by Eaves as "nonsensical", a distinctly new surface was designed, distinguished by interlocking shapes and angles, with a hidden hatchway for Eaves' Borg sphere. Intricate details of ILM's Borg cube model were achieved through the use of recycled paper clips.

The Phoenix

In their original concept of Zefram Cochrane's warp ship, the Phoenix, Moore and Braga's script referred to a space shuttle-type lander, constructed on a large, outdoor platform. Difficult to realize without the aid of extensive digital effects, the production searched for more practical methods. Rick Berman ultimately seized upon the idea of utilizing a real nuclear missile, inspiring the writers to adjust the script to accommodate the "irony" of a weapon of mass destruction used to "inaugurate an era of peace."

With the cooperation of the United States military, the production gained permission to shoot within a real missile silo in Green Valley, Arizona, near Tucson. Utilizing the real, though hollowed out Titan V missile still in its silo, the team resolved to construct a new nose to sit atop the missile, acting as the cockpit of the Phoenix. John Eaves:

Logo Kris phoenix

Eaves' approved Phoenix logo

"I started out by drawing a standard space capsule cone; I figured they had used whatever pre-existing technology they could find, then added to it whatever was needed... I wanted something that had a double window on the front and two side windows – bubbled, so that you could look out and around. However, construction-wise, a flat window was easiest, so that's what we did."

Completing his design for the full-size cockpit facade, Eaves next began conceptualizing the second-stage Phoenix, basing his drawings on designs appearing in Michael Okuda's Star Trek Chronology. Incorporating TOS-style warp nacelles into his drawings, Eaves refined the Phoenix from rough drawings to finalized designs over months. Turning over the plans to ILM and John Goodson's team, Eaves was stunned by the finished product:

"...They all worked so hard; I've never seen a drawing translate so accurately into a finished model. They came up with a beautiful color scheme for it – a gold capsule with a lot of silver framework on the rocket, with silver, white and black graphics."

Though mostly invisible on screen, a logo for Cochrane's warp ship was also designed by Eaves on the fly.

"One beautiful morning, Herman [Zimmerman] ran into my office and said, 'Stop what you're doing! We need a logo for the Phoenix, and we need it approved by eleven o'clock. This morning!' ...I'm from Phoenix [Arizona] originally, and immediately my mind was filled with images of phoenix birds. I especially remember this one beautiful large abstract sculpture of a phoenix outside the Town and Country Mall, right in the heart of the city."

Calling a number of gift shops in the area, Eaves was finally able to locate a postcard with an appropriate picture of the phoenix he remembered. Taking the postcard to a local store, the gift shop owner faxed a picture of the phoenix to the Paramount production offices where Eaves went to work. With only a single pass, the logo was approved by Rick Berman.

Production

In the spring of 1996, newly-recruited director Jonathan Frakes and producer Rick Berman cast their three "guest stars". The role of Zefram Cochrane went to James Cromwell, a veteran of TNG and DS9, and recent Oscar nominee for his role in the 1995 movie Babe. According to Jonathan Frakes: "In spite of having been nominated for an Academy Award, he actually came in and read for the part... He nailed it. He left Berman and me with our jaws in our laps." Cromwell later reprised his role as Cochrane in 2001's Enterprise pilot, "Broken Bow".

File:Doctor not a doorstop.jpg

For the role of Lily, Frakes' immediate inclination after reading the script was to cast actress Alfre Woodard. Woodard, an Oscar nominee herself and multiple Emmy Award winner, was Frakes' self-proclaimed "godmother": "The first time we got through the script, I think everyone's first words were 'Alfre Woodard'." A challenge for Frakes and Berman, though, was ultimately solved in the casting of South African-born actress Alice Krige as the Borg Queen. Both Frakes and the Moore/Braga writing duo would later recall a sense of uneasy sexiness in Krige's portrayal of the Queen, aided by the application of a wet sheen to her skin by the make up department. Other guest players were added to the Resurrection call sheets as they were added to the script, including Trek vets Dwight Schultz as Barclay, Ethan Phillips as the holographic Maitre'D, and Robert Picardo as The Doctor. Phillips' role went uncredited, a request made by the actor to confuse fans who may or may not recognize him from his role as Neelix. Robert Picardo's appearance in the film was equally notable, inserted into one of the few sickbay scenes despite protestations by Gates McFadden.

Other cast additions included Patti Yasutake's final appearance as Nurse Alyssa Ogawa, having first appeared back in TNG's fourth season. Don Stark was cast as Nicky the Nose, most memorable in his role as Bob Pinciotti in TV's That '70s Show – he also appeared in the DS9 episode "Melora" as Ashrock the Yridian. Jack Shearer appears as Admiral Hayes, later reprising the role (apparently not dead) in Voyager episodes "Hope and Fear" and "Life Line". Michael Zaslow was the first person ever to be pronounced "He's dead, Jim" by Doctor McCoy in The Original Series episode ("The Man Trap"), appears as Eddy, Zefram Cochrane's bartender. Actor Eric Steinberg portrayed Paul Porter, taken early in the film but appearing throughout as a partially assimilated Borg drone in engineering.

Brannon Braga is clearly visible as an extra in the holodeck nightclub as the Borg enter the scene, though writing partner Moore's appearance was never shot – despite sixteen hours of waiting with his then wife Ruby, an anniversary present. Rumors persist that both Nichelle Nichols and Kelsey Grammer (captain of the USS Bozeman from "Cause and Effect") have uncredited "voice cameos", though they are as unsubstantiated as those indicating that actor Tom Hanks was up for the role of Zefram Cochrane.

Production on Star Trek Resurrection began on 8 April 1996, but within a month, a new title had been chosen. Mere weeks prior, 20th Century Fox had announced the title of the fourth installment in their Alien film franchise: Alien Resurrection. A number of new titles were proposed for the film including Star Trek Destinies, Star Trek: Future Generations, and Star Trek Regenerations. The titles Star Trek: Borg and Star Trek Generations II were even chosen as working titles for the film until Star Trek: First Contact was finally selected, made official in a 3 May 1996 fourth draft script. (Star Trek: Borg went on to become the title of a video game, released not long after.)

File:The line must be drawn here!.jpg

Minor details in the script, even as shooting was under way, continued to evolve. Early drafts were vague regarding the fate of the Defiant, DS9's resident warship. Having read the script, Deep Space Nine producer Ira Steven Behr's only note was an objection to the apparent destruction of the Defiant. The writers added the clarification "adrift but salvageable" and no mention of the ship's near annihilation was made in the TV series. Minor details in the script's pages included the ill-fated Enterprise crew member Ensign Lynch, named for Internet critic Timothy W. Lynch, who reviewed every episode of TNG and DS9. Gravett Island was not a real Earth location, but a fictional one named after Jacques Gravett, Ronald D. Moore's then assistant. Rumors circulated during production, even reported by some GLBT publications, that another ill-fated Enterprise crewman, Neal McDonough's Lieutenant Hawk was homosexual. No reference is made in the finished film to this fact; the producers have denied the rumors. [8] Regarding the film's emotional battle played out between Picard and Lily, Brannon Braga recalled: "I'd have to say that scene was nailed and perfect only about a week before it was filmed."

Location shooting dominated the early schedule for the Star Trek: First Contact production team. First up were scenes set in Bozeman, Montana, shot in the Titan Missile Museum outside Tuscan, Arizona for a duration of four days. The production then moved to the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains not far from Los Angeles. Two weeks of nighttime shooting followed, with a large village constructed by Herman Zimmerman's art department to represent exterior Bozeman. Minor details in the sets included the 52-star American flag referencing an early TNG episode, "The Royale". A full-size section of the Vulcan lander was brought to this location for the film's finale. The film then moved to Los Angeles Union Station's art deco restaurant where the Dixon Hill holonovel sequence played out, including over 120 extras in period costumes and two Borg drones.

Production finally moved to Paramount Pictures studios in Hollywood on May 3 for a half day of shooting on the three story Enterprise-E engine room set. Cameras were then moved from Stage 14 to Stage 15 where scenes were shot on the bridge, observation lounge and ready room sets. Jonathan Frakes recalled:

"It was as if we had gone back in time. It was the same sort of fantastic, cynical, fearless, take-no-prisoners abuse your fellow cast member that has kept us together all these long years."

The next two months were dubbed by the crew, "Borg Hell", with scenes shot on stages 14, 15 and 8 that included heavily made-up Borg extras, stunts, pyrotechnics and one large, deflector dish. Likely the film's most labor intensive sequence to shoot was the battle on the Enterprise hull, on the film's largest set. The deflector dish itself, while massive was shot at angles intended to exaggerate its size – the manual input computers were labeled "AE35", a subtle reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey. The sequence also required Patrick Stewart as Picard, Michael Dorn as Worf, and Neal McDonough as Hawk to wear restrictive environmental suits that incorporated internal lighting and cooling systems. With the addition of flying rigs and complex stunts, tempers on the set were pushed, as was Patrick Stewart's endurance; the actor suffered breathing problems in his spacesuit, halting production for an entire day. Problems also arose in the realism of the sequence, with smoke rising from the set, then quickly falling, contrary to the physics of real life zero-G. This required Frakes to shoot around the smoke, or shoot takes short enough to prevent the falling smoke to be seen. Writers Moore and Braga agreed that, had the film been produced only a few years later, the entire sequence was likely to have been less complicated if shot with computer-generated sets.

Despite the complications, Star Trek: First Contact wrapped production on 2 July 1996 (two days over schedule), with the flashback that opened the film. Fittingly, the sequence required Patrick Stewart to don the Starfleet uniform he had worn for seven seasons on Star Trek: The Next Generation. According to Ronald D. Moore, everyone involved with the film knew it was going to be a hit.

Post Production

Visual Effects

As described by visual effects supervisor John Knoll, time allotted for post production visual effects and model building resulted in a "brutal effort". Not only did ILM's team have to construct the Enterprise-E, large models representing the Borg sphere, the new Borg cube, and the Phoenix were also required.

Akira and Millennium Falcon

The Millennium Falcon appears below an Akira-class starship

Even more so than the previous film, the First Contact visual effects team also utilized computer-generated imagery, lending itself to sequences that required large numbers of starships. To stand up to the Borg cube alongside the new Enterprise and the old Defiant, ILM art director Alex Jaeger designed sixteen new Starfleet vessels, four of them rendered digitally and appearing in the massive opening battle sequence. The new starships included Template:ShipClass, Template:ShipClass, Template:ShipClass, and Template:ShipClass vessels; the latter starship was lost after production due to a computer glitch, never to appear in Star Trek again. Also included in the melee were a Template:ShipClass starship, a Template:ShipClass vessel, and an Template:ShipClass science ship in its final use. As a joke, the Millennium Falcon CG model (created for the Star Wars Special Editions) was inserted into the Borg attack, though generally indistinguishable.

Other computer-generated vessels included the John Eaves' designed Enterprise lifeboats and the Vulcan lander, constructed by the VisionArt company. At that time, First Contact included more complex visual effects shots than any Star Trek film before; low-tech methods, however, were still utilized. Close-up shots of La Forge's new ocular implants were achieved through the use of of a sprocket-shaped shower handle, matted against black contact lenses.

Music

See also: Star Trek: First Contact (Soundtrack)

Jerry Goldsmith, who composed the music for Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, returned to score First Contact and the remaining two TNG films after it. Because of his hectic schedule, Goldsmith shared much of the work with his son, Joel Goldsmith; as a result much of the music in First Contact does not appear on the commercial soundtrack. Among the two Goldsmiths' work, a theme established in The Final Frontier, referred to as the "A Busy Man" theme, was used throughout First Contact, likely as a theme for Picard. It can be heard just after the opening fanfare at the beginning of the film. It can also be heard only briefly in Insurrection, but is used quite heavily in Star Trek Nemesis. Also repeated in First Contact was the Klingon theme, originally introduced in The Motion Picture and used in this film to represent Worf.

The opera that Picard listens to in his ready room is Berlioz' Les Troyens – "Hylas' Song" from the beginning of Act V. (Hylas is a homesick young sailor being rocked to sleep by the sea as he dreams of the homeland he will never see again.) This is the first and only Star Trek movie to have rock and roll in the soundtrack (though Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home did feature late '80s jazz by the Yellowjackets, as well as a punk song). In their joint audio commentary on the Special Edition DVD, Ron Moore and Brannon Braga credited Peter Lauritson with the selection of Steppenwolf's original recording of "Magic Carpet Ride" (and not "some cheap cover"). They criticized, however, the choice of Roy Orbison's "Ooby Dooby" as being "too goofy".

Promotion and Merchandising

File:First-contact-trailer-cap.jpg
Borg drones First Contact trailer

Borg from a cut scene appearing in the trailer

The teaser trailer for Star Trek: First Contact premiered with Paramount movies in early summer 1996. As much of the film had yet to be shot when the advertisements were assembled, footage from Star Trek Generations and episodes from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was included. Inter-cut with sequences from the film, the reused footage included snippets of "The Best of Both Worlds" and "Emissary". The trailer utilized score from "The Best of Both Worlds", Generations and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, most notably, however, from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

The theatrical trailer included footage unique only to it, with some visual effects created specifically for the trailer. Unique shots included the USS Voyager firing phasers at a Borg cube, cut takes of various Borg drones, and an alternate version of Picard's soon-to-be infamous speech, "The line must be drawn here!" This appears to be the only evidence of cut material; no deleted scenes have surfaced or been officially released. [9]

As with the previous film and TNG, Playmates Toys released a line of action figures and accessories in conjunction with the premiere of the film. Among the toys was a model of the Enterprise-E, apparently based upon early sketches of the ship and not the finalized version - featuring several key structural differences from the finalized designed. Out of scale to their previous lines, the larger First Contact action figures were made in the likenesses of the entire Enterprise-E crew, Lily, Zefram Cochrane, Picard in an environmental suit, and a Borg drone – also based on production drawings. [10] In recent years, Art Asylum has released a detailed action figure in the likeness of Captain Picard from First Contact, complete with the skull of the Borg Queen.

Marvel Comics released both a comic adaptation of the movie, and a sequel comic book that crossed the crew with the X-Men in "Second Contact". This had a later sequel novel by Michael Jan Friedman, called Planet X.

First Contact novelizations and soundtracks were also released, as were updated version of the Star Trek Chronology and Star Trek Encyclopedia.

Reaction

Star Trek: First Contact premiered in American cinemas on 22 November 1996, number one at the box office. With a budget of around US$45,000,000, it opened on 2,812 screens and went on to garner around US$150,000,000 worldwide. By comparison, Star Trek Generations, with a budget of US$35,000,000, opened at US$23,100,000 and grossed US$120,000,000 worldwide. It was the second highest grossing Star Trek film ever, falling just behind 1986's Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. The film, however, was considered by most to be not only a financial success, but a critical one as well.

The film review website Rotten Tomatoes calculated a 91% overall approval rate for First Contact, with 40 of 44 reviews giving positive remarks. [11] Giving the film "Two thumbs up!", Siskel & Ebert host Roger Ebert elaborated in his Chicago Sun Times review:

"...The story gives us yet another intriguing test of the differences among humans, aliens and artificial intelligence. And the paradoxes of time travel are handled less murkily than sometimes in the past... STFC was directed by Frakes, who did some of the The Next Generation shows for television, and here achieves great energy and clarity. In all of the shuffling of timelines and plotlines, I always knew where we were. He also gets some genial humor out of Cromwell... There is such intriguing chemistry between Picard and the Woodard character that I hope a way is found to bring her on board in the next film. Star Trek movies in the past have occasionally gone where no movie had gone, or wanted to go, before. This one is on the right beam."

While often negative in his reviews of other Trek films, Ebert elaborated, "how I love the Star Trek jargon!" and even expressed his fondness for the Borg Queen:

"I also admired the interiors of the Borg probe, and the peculiar makeup work creating the Borg Queen, who looks like no notion of sexy I have ever heard of, but inspires me to keep an open mind." [12]

BBC Films' Emily Carlisle, however, was less enamored:

"While some quality dark humour comes from the dominatrix-outfitted Borg Queen's attempts to seduce android Data, other attempts at lightening the tone seem forced and stiff in comparison... Patrick Stewart believably plays Captain Picard... and he and Brent Spiner are clearly the most talented actors on display. While others try hard (Alfre Woodard in particular), their energies are dissipated in the broad storyline which switches uncomfortably between a running battle on board the Enterprise and an effort on the surface of the Earth to ensure that first contact is made on schedule. Focusing more on action sequences than characterisation, the breakneck pace gives an unsatisfying result." [13]

In his 18 November 1996 review, Daily Variety magazine writer Joe Leydon expressed his approval:

"Frakes makes an auspicious debut as a feature filmmaker, sustaining excitement and maintaining clarity as he dashes through a two-track storyline... Stewart once again comports himself with all the gravity and panache you would expect from a Shakespearean-trained actor. He is at his best playing opposite Woodard in a scene that has their characters arguing over the best way to battle the Borg... It is a credit to both actors that their emotion-charged conversation is genuinely compelling. Purists who recall Gene Roddenberry's original vision of a less blood-soaked Star Trek universe may be put off by the rough stuff. But mainstream audiences will be more approving of the greater emphasis on high-voltage shocks and action-movie heroics."

Leydon concluded, "If First Contact is indicative of what the next generation of Star Trek movies will be like, the franchise is certain to live long and prosper." [14]

Star Trek: First Contact was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Makeup, Michael Westmore, ultimately losing to Rick Baker's The Nutty Professor. Despite an effort by the producers, the film failed to receive a nomination for the Data/Borg Queen kiss at the 1996 MTV Movie Awards. The film, however, received numerous other nominations including Best Dramatic Presentation, Hugo Awards; Best Science Fiction Film, Saturn Awards; and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, Alfre Woodard, Image Awards.

Wins included a BMI Film Music Award for Jerry Goldsmith at the BMI Film & TV Awards; and Best Costumes for Deborah Everton, Best Supporting Actor for Brent Spiner, and Best Supporting Actress for Alice Krige at the 1996 Saturn Awards. [15]

Notes

  • Despite the use of the television series uniforms in the previous film, Star Trek Generations, this is the only movie starring The Next Generation cast where the television series combadge is seen, as visible on Picard's uniform in the "Best of Both Worlds" flashback in the opening of the film.
  • The reference that Data makes about using his "fully functional organs" seemingly references the time he used them with Tasha in TNG: "The Naked Now", eight years before the Borg invasion.
  • First Contact references and even explicitly quotes Moby Dick. Despite the story parallels, the producers hesitated using it, as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was also heavy in Moby Dick references. Two years after First Contact premiered, Patrick Stewart played Captain Ahab in a 1998 TV mini-series.
  • Early in the movie, Zefram Cochrane points out the constellation Leo, the constellation in which Wolf 359 is located.
  • First Contact marked the first time the words "Star Trek" were ever uttered in the franchise. In the TNG finale "All Good Things...", however, Q tells Picard "It's time to put an end to your trek through the stars."
Holosuite program display on Enterprise E

The different holosuite programs on the Enterprise-E

  • During the end of the Dominion War, Quark would speak, in DS9: "The Dogs of War", the same words ("The line must be drawn here! This far and no further!") as Picard does during Star Trek: First Contact.
  • Riker calls the Defiant a "tough little ship." In the DS9 episode "Defiant", Thomas Riker called it the same thing.
  • According to the (apocryphal) Customizable Card Game by Decipher, the Vulcan who greeted Zefram Cochrane was named Solkar, the grandfather of Sarek and the great-grandfather of Spock. This was later confirmed in ENT: "The Catwalk".
  • According to the ENT episode "Carbon Creek", though this movie records the first official contact between Earth and Vulcan, contact was actually made in 1957 in a place called Carbon Creek, Pennsylvania, nearly 110 years prior.
  • The partial flesh in Data's face resembles the mask of the Phantom of the Opera.
  • Lily says that "Borg" sounds Swedish. In Swedish, "borg" actually means "castle", although it would be pronounced as "borj". "Borg" is also a Swedish surname. In addition, the word is spelt and means the same in Norwegian and Danish, and in these cases is pronounced very similar to the English word.
  • Besides making references to Moby Dick, this film is also similar to The Wrath of Khan in that they're both sequels to classic episodes of their respective series; TWOK follows "Space Seed" while FC follows "The Best of Both Worlds" parts I and II.

Merchandise gallery

Links and References

Cast

Starfleet Personnel

Nightclub

Missile Complex

Borg

Uncredited

Named characters
Unnamed characters

Stunt performers

Stunt Borg

Crew

References

Ahab; Template:ShipClass; antiproton; Appalachia, USS; assimilation; atomic weapon; authorization code; auto-destruct; Battle of Sector 001; Berlioz, Louis Hector; "Big Good-Bye, The"; Bizet, Georges; Borg; Borg cube; Borg drone; Borg sphere; Borg Queen; Bozeman, USS; Budapest, USS; chronometric particle; Deep Space 5; Defiant, USS; deflector control; deflector dish; Dixon Hill; Dyson; Earth; ECON; economics; Emergency Medical Hologram; emotion chip; Endeavour, USS; Enterprise-E, USS; escape pod; First Contact; fractal encryption code; Gravett Island; high school; holodeck; holodeck safety protocol; hydroponics; interplexing beacon; Ivor Prime; Kaplan (Crewman); kilopascal; Lake Armstrong; Lexington, USS; Luna; Lynch; Madison, USS; "Magic Carpet Ride"; main engineering; maglock; mek'leth; Template:ShipClass; Moby Dick; Montana; "Moonlight Becomes You"; Template:ShipClass; neuroprocessor; New Berlin; Template:ShipClass; Template:ShipClass; "Ooby Dooby"; opera; ocular implant; Orbison, Roy; phaser rifle; Phoenix; plasma coolant; quantum torpedo; Romulan Neutral Zone; Romulan Star Empire; Template:ShipClass; sickbay; Smithsonian Institution; Template:ShipClass; Starfleet Academy; Template:ShipClass; stellar cartography; Steppenwolf; T'plana-Hath; tequila; temporal vortex; theta radiation; throttle assembly; Thunderchild, USS; Titan V; tricorder; Tycho City; Typhon sector; vice admiral; Vulcan; warp drive; whiskey; World War III; Yeager, USS; Zefram Cochrane High School; zero-gravity combat training

Media

Sources

External links


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