Monday, July 22, 2013

TWITrek Character Insight No. 59: The Borg Cube

This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe.  An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
Welcome back to Character Insight!  This week, we profile The Borg Cube from TNG and Voyager.


In this segment we have profiled characters stemming from pets to holograms, and aliens to gods. But for the 100th episode, we need to do something different and special. Thus, the Borg Cube becomes the first ship to be profiled on Character Insight. If you don't think a ship can be a character, just look at how the Enterprise is treated in the movies.

And that ship design is one of the things that makes the Borg such a distinctive enemy. The cube-shaped vessel looks imposing and impenetrable, with all the sharp edges bringing a contrast to the normally aerodynamic designs of Alpha Quadrant spacecraft. The design fits the Borg well, standing as a beacon of space efficiency and redundancy that makes the vessel difficult to defeat.

In addition to missile weapons, Borg cubes typically use tractor beams and cutting laser beams to hold opposing ships, drain shields, and cut into or destroy hulls. Borg cubes also have great defensive capabilities, including transwarp drive and highly adaptive shields. That keeps opposing forces on their toes against this formidable foe, as proven when 39 of 40 Federation ships were destroyed in the battle of Wolf 359.

Commander Shelby, who we profiled last week, estimated that 78% of a Borg cube could be destroyed before the entire cube becomes inoperable. The cube measures 28 cubic kilometers in volume, enough space to house hundreds of thousands of drones. The highly decentralized design enables the Borg to assimilate more races and incorporate them into the crew without any redesign of the ship. The Borg cube is utilitarian and mechanical, fitting the Borg personality like a glove.

Although the original foam core concept model for the Borg Cube was sold at auction for $900 back in 2010, the studio model used during TNG is still in the possession of Paramount Pictures and still makes public appearances. The model was scratch built layer by layer and covered with acid etch brassthat was and drawn and etched to form the distinctive exterior appearance.

Instead of a quote from the ship, here's a quote from the Borg at large:
"Resistance is Futile."
Actor: N/A

Until next time, live long and prosper...

Special Outro - Thanks for listening. Special congratulations to Mike and Darrell on reaching 100 episodes, and thank you for continuing to make Character Insight a part of your show. I can't wait to see where we Boldly Go on the next 100 episodes.

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