Star Trek First Contact 1996. My journey into Science-Fiction Part 5.

Thank you for reading as I reach part five of my journey into science-fiction. Last time I went down the fantasy route and watched the film Legend, directed by Ridley Scott in 1985. If you would like to read that and my previous posts then just follow this link.

The connection between both Legend and Star Trek First Contact comes from Roberto Picardo who played Meg Mucklebones in Legend and the Emergency Medical Hologram in Star Trek First Contact. Roberto also played the Hologram on seven seasons of Star Trek Voyager from 1995 to 2001. Star Trek First Contact, released is 1996 is the first stand-alone film for the cast of Star Trek the Next Generation and is widely regarded as the most successful film of the TNG era. We did have Star Trek Generations but that had the cast from the original series involved. Directed by Jonathan Frakes and written by Brannon Braga and Ronald D Moore the film with a budget of $45 million went on to make over $146 million at the box office. Anyway, let’s get this started, resistance is futile! 

So, the crew of the Enterprise finds themselves in pursuit of a Borg’s sphere after ignoring strict instructions from Starfleet. Those strict instructions are the set-in motion because of the assimilation of Captain Picard which resulted in the creation of Locutus of Borg. Not only are they in pursuit of the sphere but they have also traveled back in time from the 24th century to the mid 21st century where the Borg intends disrupting Earth’s history. First contact is the result of Zefram Cochrane’s historic warp drive flight that draws the attention of the Vulcan’s, leading to humanity’s first official contact with an alien race. The crew must do anything and everything possible to make sure the Borg don’t destroy the timeline.  For Captain Picard, the story is about what sacrifices he would make to achieve that.

Now, before I start looking at some of the things I like about this 22yr old film! I really can’t believe it’s that old? Well, there will be spoilers from now on, so I suggest you go watch it before I get started. I think the main reason that this film was so successful was that they had such a wonderful story. A wonderful story in the fact it had all the right ingredients that anyone could follow it, it’s not limited to Star Trek fans. Why? It’s not rocket-science, well it is from a certain point of view but it’s that question we ask ourselves, what would our reaction be if someone said they had come from the future? You have the character Sloane who ends up on board the Enterprise and is looking at all this future technology, furthermore; she has to battle against an enemy that is far more superior than anything she has ever witnessed before. That can be both terrifying and amazing at the same time. On the flip side of that you have the story of Zefram Cochrane, he not only has to believe these visitors have come from the future but he learns he is somehow a figure of great importance in that future resulting in some enjoyable results. One that comes to mind is when Geordi La Forge is explaining to him that they are in the same place where the statue is of Zefram Cochrane is placed.  

You have the story of Picard and his hatred for the Borg after his assimilation. What lengths will this man go to save his shipit is the character Sloane who makes him realise what sacrifices he will go to make to save his ship? One of the greatest moments in the film for me involves Data and the Borg Queen. Data in the TV show was always trying to find a way to become more human, on board the Enterprise the Borg Queen actually grafts some human skin onto his body. When the Borg Queen gives Data goosebumps you realise this is as close to human than he has ever been, it’s such a great scene for me personallySo yeah, if you have all those elements in your story then you get a well-written film with highly effective results. I just don’t think this is a good Star Trek film but a great film in general. If you look at Star Trek The Voyage Home, it has the same elements as Star Trek First Contact and that was highly successful at the box office also. Spock giving a Punk a Vulcan nerve pinch is one of my best cinema memories ever. Finish that off with some great work by Jonathon Frakes directing the film, wonderful performances by the cast and an amazing soundtrack and you have a film that stands up shoulder to shoulder with some the original series filmography. The cast of the Star Trek Next Generation never did emulate the success of this film with their later releases. Don’t get me wrong, I love this cast but in the end, all good things must pass. It was a great time while it lasted and I was happy to be along for the ride. 

So where will Star Trek First Contact lead me to next? I had three choices to choose from. First was Guardians of the Galaxy, the reason was that Jonathan Frakes actually voiced one of the characters in the animated series based on that film. Next was Dune because of Patrick Stewart’s role in that film as Gurney Halleck. The winning choice is a simple choice but I am just going to stick with the theme of first contact and what better film looks at that; The black and white 1951 film, The Day the Earth stood still. See you soon for my journey into science-fiction part 6.


So what did you think of Star Trek First Contact? It would be great to hear some of your stories. Please leave me a comment below.