“Collective” is the 136th episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the 16th episode of the sixth season.
Chakotay, Harry Kim, Tom Paris and Neelix are taken hostage when the Delta Flyer is captured by a Borg cube.
However, the cube is littered with dead drones and controlled solely by a small group of unmatured Borg children who were left behind, unworthy of re-assimilation.
The underdeveloped drones attempt to assimilate their captives, while Captain Janeway sends Seven of Nine to negotiate.
During an away mission, the Delta Flyer is intercepted by a Borg cube. Chakotay, Paris and Neelix find themselves in what appears to be an assimilation chamber. A partially assimilated body with crude Borg implants lies on a table in the centre of the room. Harry Kim, who was knocked unconscious during the initial encounter, is still aboard the Delta Flyer.
Meanwhile, Voyager locates the Delta Flyer and the disabled Borg cube. The Borg’s erratic attack strategy allows Voyager to disable the cube’s weapons array, and Seven detects only five Borg signatures aboard the cube.
The Borg agree to return the captured crew members in exchange for Voyager’s navigational deflector, which would leave Voyager without warp propulsion. Seven surmises the Borg want the deflector to contact the Collective.
While stalling the Borg, Janeway sends Seven to their ship to confirm that the captured crew members are unharmed. Seven discovers the Borg crew is dead except for five neonatal drone children who are insufficiently matured. The children believe the Borg will rescue them once their link is re-established.
Seven returns to Voyager with a dead adult drone. The Doctor discovers that a space-borne virus killed it. The immature drones were unaffected by the virus because they were protected while inside the maturation chambers. Mechanical malfunctions later opened their chambers prematurely. The Doctor also discovers that if the pathogen is revived, it could be used to neutralise the drone children. Janeway considers weaponising the virus against other Borg, an idea the Doctor opposes.
Because Voyager cannot give up its deflector, Janeway offers Seven’s technical services in repairing the cube’s technology. A Borg child threatens Janeway, saying the repairs must be completed in two hours or else a hostage will be killed. Meanwhile, Kim regains consciousness inside the Delta Flyer and contacts Voyager. Seven attempts to break the Borg children away from the Collective and persuade them to join Voyager’s crew.
While working on the cube’s repairs, Seven discovers that the Collective deliberately ignored the drones’ distress call, considering them irrelevant and damaged. Their link to the Collective was permanently severed. The drone children were unable to decrypt the Collective’s reply that they were unworthy of re-assimilation. Meanwhile, Kim is captured and awakens to raw-looking implants on his face.
“First” (the unnamed leader of the Borg children) grows frustrated and demands that Voyager turn over their deflector immediately. Seven tells the drone children that the Collective will never return for them and that their distress call was purposely ignored.
Meanwhile, Voyager successfully beams Chakotay, Paris and Neelix back onto Voyager, but Seven and Kim are held in a shielded area. Angered, First violently attacks Seven. However, his Second pulls him away. As the cube’s transwarp core destabilises, Seven orders evacuation. However, First refuses to leave and is lethally shocked and knocked off his feet. Seven comforts him as he dies, though he remains defiant, proclaiming, “We are Borg.”
Back aboard Voyager, the Doctor successfully removes Kim’s and the children’s Borg implants. Seven partially salvages the cube’s database, including the surviving children’s original assimilation profiles. The children discover their real names are Icheb, Mezoti, Azan, and Rebi.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Allison Liddi.
- Writer(s): Andrew Shepard Price and Mark Gaberman.
- Release Date: 16 February 2000.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.