“The Best of Both Worlds” is the 26th episode of the third season and the first episode of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. It comprises the 74th and 75th episodes of the series overall.
The first part was originally aired on 18 June 1990, and the second on September 24, 1990 in broadcast syndication television.
Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D. In this two part episode, the Enterprise must battle the Borg who are intent on conquering Earth, with a captured and assimilated Captain Picard as their emissary. Part 1 was the finale to season three, while Part 2 was the premiere of season four. It is considered one of the most popular TNG episodes.
In April 2013, “The Best of Both Worlds” was re-released as a single feature in 1080p (1.33:1 ratio), edited together as a single film on Blu-ray disc. In this version, the short summary of Part I at the start of Part II is removed and there is no second opening credits montage. The 90-minute single also has some special features and audio commentary available for the episode. One reviewer said it was better than some of the Star Trek theatrical films.
The Starship Enterprise responds to a distress call from a Federation colony and arrives to discover the colony gone. The Federation suspect the Borg – cybernetic humanoids that assimilate individuals into their hive mind.
Starfleet Admiral Hanson arrives on Enterprise with Lt. Commander Shelby, an expert on the Borg, who assists the crew in determining the cause of the colony’s disappearance. Hanson informs Captain Picard that Commander Riker has been offered the command of a starship and suggests that Riker take the position, having turned it down twice previously. Although there is tension between Riker and the ambitious Shelby – who wants to take over his position of first officer – they confirm that the colony was assimilated by the Borg. Hanson advises Picard that another Federation vessel encountered a strange “cube-like” vessel before sending a distress call that ended abruptly. Enterprise moves to intercept and confronts a Borg cube.
The Borg demand that Picard surrender himself, which he refuses. Although initially deterred by Enterprise’s shield modulation, the Borg lock the vessel in a tractor beam and begin cutting open the hull. Shelby suggests randomly changing the frequency of the ship’s phasers to prevent the Borg from adapting to the attack, which frees the vessel. The Enterprise escapes to a nebula, where Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge and Ensign Wesley Crusher adapt a technique suggested by Shelby to modify the deflector dish to fire a massive energy discharge capable of destroying the Borg cube. The Borg flush Enterprise from the nebula, board the ship, and abduct Picard. The Borg Cube moves at high warp speed towards Earth, with Enterprise in pursuit.
Riker, now in command of the ship, prepares to join an away team to transport to the cube to rescue Picard, but Counsellor Troi reminds him his place is now on the bridge. Shelby leads the away team onto the Borg cube, where they are ignored by the Borg drones. The team locate Picard’s uniform and communicator and then destroy power nodes inside the cube, forcing it out of warp. As the team prepares to transport to Enterprise, they see an assimilated Picard. The Borg contact Enterprise, with Picard stating that he is “Locutus of Borg” and to prepare for assimilation. Riker orders Worf to fire the deflector dish.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Cliff Bole.
- Writer(s): Michael Piller.
- Release Date: 18 June 1990.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.