‘STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
“You will be assimilated! Resistance is futile!”
This is by far the best ‘Star Trek’ film that I’ve ever seen and is my most favourite!
‘Star Trek: First Contact’ is the eighth film made in the ‘Star Trek’ movie series. It is also the second film to feature ‘The Next Generation’ team of ‘Star Trek’. It is a highly rated, action-packed adventure with Captain Picard of the starship Enterprise fighting against the Borg to save the future!
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting three stars from this ‘Star Trek’ film at conventions. They were Brent Spiner who played Data; Gates McFadden who played Beverly and Alice Krige who played the Borg Queen. I’ve had the original DVD cover of ‘Star Trek: First Contact’ signed by Brent Spiner at the ‘London Film & Comic Con’ in July 2011, by Gates McFadden and Alice Krige at ‘Destination Star Trek Birmingham’ in October 2018, and by Marina Sirtis at the ‘Collectormania 27 – Film & Comic Con Birmingham’ in September 2022.
This film was made in 1996 and was produced by Rick Berman. It was also directed by Jonathan Frakes, who plays Commander Riker in the movie. Jonathan Frakes has directed many ‘Star Trek’ TV episodes before in ‘The Next Generation’ and ‘Deep Space Nine’. This is the first ‘Star Trek’ film he’s directed in the movie series.
I had this film on the original DVD for my birthday in 2005 when I was getting into ‘Star Trek’ through ‘The Original Series’ and ‘The Next Generation’ series. It was a lovely birthday treat whilst I was studying my GCSEs at the time. I now have ‘Star Trek: First Contact’ on the 2-disc special edition DVD.
The 2-disc special edition DVD has the following contents. The movie is on Disc 1 with the bonus features on Disc 2. There aren’t any ‘Original Series’ characters like Captain Kirk featured in this movie. This is the first pure ‘Next Generation’ film following their first one, ‘Star Trek: Generations’.
One of the biggest highlights of this movie for me is the Borg. They are the scariest villains in ‘Star Trek’ history and are well suited for a movie audience. The Borg are a cybernetic race of advanced humanoids that roam the galaxy, seeking perfection and assimilating species in their hive collective.
The Borg are monsters that are unstoppable and you can’t reason with them. They’ll take you and turn you into one of them, essentially saying that it’s best for you and that ‘resistance is futile’. The Borg are like another cybernetic race that want you to be like them – the Cybermen in ‘Doctor Who’!
The Borg first appeared in ‘The Next Generation’ in an episode called ‘Q Who’. But it was in the two-part story ‘The Best of Both Worlds’ that they got their peak of interest. The Borg kidnapped and assimilated Picard and he became Locutus of Borg, a human voice for their collective.
Picard was raped and mutilated by the Borg, before he was eventually rescued by the Enterprise crew and restored back to his old self. But the scaring of the Borg was left on him and he could see them in his nightmares and hear their voices at times. Now, they’ve returned to haunt Picard again.
Six years later, the Borg have returned to invade the Earth and the United Federation of Planets. Picard has been ordered by Starfleet to patrol the Romulan Neutral Zone, whilst they take on the Borg in full force. But Picard disregards those orders and he and the Enterprise crew join in the fight.
Picard and the crew of the new Enterprise-E arrive just in time, before the Borg travel back in time and attempt to change Earth’s history. The Enterprise follows the Borg back in time to stop them from changing history, after seeing what happened to their future with the Earth getting ‘Borg-ified’.
The Enterprise arrives back on Earth during the 21st century. The date is April the 4th, 2063. It is a day before a significant event in Earth’s history called ‘First Contact’. This is an event where Zefram Cochrane does his test-flight of a nuclear missile turned vessel with the first newly-fitted warp drive.
This event is significant as once Cochrane takes this test flight into space; Earth will be spotted and recognised by an alien race that will come to make first contact with them. I won’t tell you what alien race that is, but if you’re a ‘Star Trek’ fan like me, then you’ll be so surprised and pleased by it.
However, the Borg have come to change that and prevent ‘First Contact’ from ever happening. They start by attacking the Earth in their spherical spaceship, until the Enterprise arrives to destroy it. But Picard and the Enterprise crew have a fight on their hands to prevent the Borg with changing history.
This movie contains an exciting set of two plotlines. The first is where Captain Picard, Data, Worf and Beverly fight the Borg aboard the Enterprise, as they try to take over the ship. The second is where Riker, Geordi and Troi are down on the Earth, as they help Cochrane with his warp-drive test-flight.
The writing for this movie is remarkable as it’s a good rollicking adventure with the Borg and time travel thrown into the mix. This film appeals to audiences that are both non-‘Star Trek’ and hard-core fans. The film is standalone and it doesn’t require you to be a ‘Star Trek’ expert before seeing it.
It’s a good space adventure with evil robot-like monsters invading the Earth. Despite its reference to ‘The Best of Both Worlds’, it hardly requires you to know the characters and the setting of ‘Star Trek’. It is a well-paced and well-structured movie and doesn’t baffle you with much technical jargon.
The film has been well-directed by Jonathan Frakes, who does a wonderful job both as director and playing Riker. He’s created an action-packed atmosphere with this film, that’s rather delicious. It creates a grim context when the Borg comes into play and he balances the directing and acting well.
Patrick Stewart delivers his best performance as Captain Picard in this ‘Star Trek’ movie. He plays the part of the tormented captain who’s fighting the Borg remarkably well. Picard’s confrontation with Worf and him smashing a glass cabinet containing gold models of Enterprise ships were sensational.
I’m sure Patrick enjoyed it when he as Picard played Dixon Hill in the holodeck novel ‘The Big Goodbye’ to evade the Borg. I’m sure he also enjoyed it when Picard, Worf and the ill-fated Lt. Hawk go to stop the Borg sending an interplexing beacon signal by going on the Enterprise’s deflector dish.
Picard is in the heart of the action of this film and I really like it when he goes to rescue Data from the Borg Queen in the heart of the ship. It’s a strong story for Picard, especially where the Borg are concerned. It’s one of the most strongly powerful emotional stories for Picard with superb scenes.
Brent Spiner is remarkable as Data the android in this movie. When I first met Brent at the London convention, seeing him on a stage and meeting him during a signing, I found him really fun and a joy to watch and meet. I told Brent this was my favourite ‘Star Trek’ movie and it’s also his favourite too.
Data finds himself in the action, fighting against the Borg with Picard and Worf in this movie. He also gets captured when the Borg take him prisoner. Data gets seduced by the Borg Queen, as she has her Borg drones plant flesh skins on parts of his body, to give him the sensation of becoming human.
I enjoyed it when Data gets to show emotion in this movie. I enjoyed the ‘gags’ when he feels anxiety and Picard tells to switch off his emotion chip. I also like it when Data was tempted by the Borg Queen’s offer for about 0.68 seconds. Data is definitely my favourite character from the ‘TNG’ series.
I enjoyed the rest of the regular cast in this movie. It was so nice to see the likes of Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher; Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi; LeVar Burton as Geordi; Michael Dorn as Worf; and Jonathan Frakes as Riker. Many of them have small roles, but they are significant for this movie.
I liked it when Worf gets to use his Klingon dagger to fight a Borg whilst on the deflector dish in outer space. I also liked it when Marina Sirtis gets to demonstrate her comedic skills as Deanna Troi, when she gets drunked by Cochrane and she shares a scene with Riker, showing her drunkenness.
It was also interesting to see Geordi LaForge without his visor and having these eye implants that are almost android-like to enhance his sight, considering he’s blind. I enjoyed it when Beverly Crusher was frustrated to use the EMI program aboard the Enterprise and she tells him to distract the Borg.
I first met Alice Krige, who played the Borg Queen in this movie, at the ‘Memorabilia Birmingham’ convention in November 2011. She was a joy to meet and chat to. We chatted about her role as the Borg Queen; Shakespeare; Ian Holm and her role from the TV movie of ‘Persuasion’ by Jane Austen.
Alice Krige was cast for her creepy sexiness as the Borg Queen. She lives up to the part, as she plays a very seductive and creepy leader who is in control of the Borg collective. I liked it when the Borg Queen seduces Data. The Queen was also there when Picard was assimilated the Borg, six years ago.
It comes full circle when Picard confronts the Borg Queen at the end when trying to rescue Data. I enjoyed Alice’s performance as the Borg Queen. It is true British actors/actresses are good to play villains in American films. Alice returned to play the Borg Queen in the ‘Voyager’ episode ‘Endgame’.
James Cromwell guest stars as Zefram Cochrane. This version of the character is a complete contrast to the one that appeared in ‘The Original Series’ episode ‘Metamorphosis’. Cochrane is a drunkard and a jerk. He doesn’t care about the future of humanity compared to how history has depicted him.
I loved those moments when Cochrane gets Deanna Troi drunk and he enjoys tingy 60s rock music. There’s a moment I like when Geordi tells Cochrane that he’s going to be a statue someday and he runs away scared. I liked it when Cochrane doesn’t see himself as a legend and Riker reassures him.
Alfre Woodard guest stars as Lily, a woman from the 21st century that Picard makes friends with. Lily is a character for the audience perspective who don’t know what ‘Star Trek’ is. She asks the questions about what ‘Star Trek’ is, as she asks Picard where he comes from and asks about the 24th century.
Lily gradually trusts Picard on who he is during the movie. She’s also the one who stands up to Picard as she challenges his ideals when he refuses to blow up the Enterprise to destroy the Borg. It’s a friendship between two characters from different centuries and is rather moving throughout in this.
The rest of the cast are as follows. There’s Neal McDonough as Lt. Hawk, Robert Picardo (who regularly stars as in ‘Voyager’) as the Holographic Doctor, Dwight Schultz as Lt. Barclay, Patti Yasutake as Nurse Ogawa, and Majel Barret who voices the ship’s computer aboard the Enterprise. There’s also Ethan Phillips (who regularly plays Neelix in ‘Voyager’) as the Maitre’d in the holodeck.
The musical score for ‘First Contact’ is provided by Jerry Goldsmith. I really enjoyed Goldsmith’s music, especially the melody for ‘First Contact’ heard during the opening and closing credits of the movie. It’s also good to hear the classic ‘Star Trek’ theme music by Goldsmith during the end credits.
The DVD special features on the 2-disc special edition are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s a commentary with director Jonathan Frakes. There’s also a commentary with screenwriters Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore. There’s also a text commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda to enjoy.
On Disc 2, there’s a ‘Production’ section that contains ‘Making First Contact’, ‘The Art of First Contact’, ‘The Story’, ‘The Missile Silo’, ‘The Deflector Dish’ and ‘From ‘A’ to ‘E”. There’s also a ‘Scene Deconstruction’ section with three scenes from the movie and the making of those scenes. There’s ‘The Star Trek Universe’ section containing the documentaries ‘Jerry Goldsmith: A Tribute’, ‘The Legacy of Zefram Cochrane’ and ‘First Contact: The Possibilities’. There’s also ‘The Borg Collective’ section containing the documentaries ‘Unimatrix Zero’, ‘The Borg Queen’ and ‘Design Matrix’. There’s also an ‘Archives’ section that contains a storyboards and a photo gallery. There is also a ‘Trailers’ section including a teaser trailer and a theatrical trailer for ‘First Contact’ and a ‘Borg Invasion’ trailer, which was a ride that was running during ‘The Star Trek Experience’ exhibition in Los Angeles.
The special features on the 2009 DVD of ‘Star Trek: First Contact’ are as follows. There’s a commentary by Damon Lindelof and Anthony Pascale, ‘Industrial Light & Magic – The Next Generation’, ‘Greetings from the International Space Station’, ‘SpaceShipOne’s Historic Flight’, ‘Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond Part 2’, ‘Trek Roundtable: First Contact’ and ‘Starfleet Academy: Temporal Vortex’.
I have plenty more to say about ‘Star Trek: First Contact’, but I think it’s now time to stop. This is an action-drama movie that I’m sure everyone will enjoy. I love the performances of Patrick Stewart; Brent Spiner and Alice Krige and it’s a great film with the Borg as my favourite ‘Star Trek’ monsters!
From seeing ‘First Contact’ on my birthday in 2005, I was looking forward to seeing the next film with ‘The Next Generation’ team. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long as I also had the third film for my birthday to enjoy. I was very keen to see the ‘TNG’ team in the fight for paradise in ‘Insurrection’.
‘Star Trek: First Contact’ rating – 10/10
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