“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 deflector dish discharge has no effect on the Borg cube; Locutus reveals that the Borg had prepared for the attack using Picard’s knowledge. The Borg cube continues at warp speed towards Earth, with the crippled Enterprise unable to follow. Upon reporting their failure to Hanson, Riker is promoted to Captain and makes Shelby his first officer. The crew learns that a fleet of starships is massing at Wolf 359 to stop the Borg. Enterprise arrives at Wolf 359 to find that the fleet has been destroyed.
The Enterprise follows the cube’s warp trail and offers to negotiate with Locutus. The request is denied, but the communication reveals Locutus’s location within the cube. The Enterprise locates the Borg cube, and separates into saucer and stardrive sections. Although Shelby suggested attacking with the stardrive section, Riker does the reverse and orders the saucer section to fire an antimatter spread near the cube, disrupting its sensors and allowing a shuttlecraft piloted by Lieutenant Commander Data and Lt. Worf to pass the Borg shields and beam aboard the Borg cube. They kidnap Locutus, although the Borg ignore this and continue to Earth.
Data and Dr. Crusher create a neural link with Locutus to gain access to the Borg’s collective consciousness. Data attempts to use the link to disable the Borg’s weapons and defensive systems, but cannot, as they are protected by security protocols. Picard breaks free from Borg control and mutters, “sleep”. Dr. Crusher comments that Picard must be exhausted from this ordeal, but Data realises that Picard is suggesting accessing the Borg regeneration subroutines, which are less protected than key systems like weapons or power. Data issues a command to the Borg to enter sleep mode, causing their weapons and shields to deactivate. A feedback loop builds in the Borg cube, which destroys the vessel. Dr. Crusher and Data remove the Borg implants and augmentations from Picard.
The Enterprise is repaired in an orbital shipyard, and Riker, although offered command of his own ship, insists on remaining as first officer. Shelby is reassigned to a task force dedicated to rebuilding the fleet. Picard recovers, but is still disturbed by his ordeal.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Cliff Bole.
- Writer(s): Michael Piller.
- Release Date: 24 September 1990.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.