Unimatrix Zero

Summary

"Unimatrix Zero"
Star Trek: Voyager episodes
Episode nos.Season 6 and 7
Episodes 26 and 1
Directed byAllan Kroeker (part I)
Mike Vejar (part II)
Story byMike Sussman (parts I&II)
Brannon Braga (part II)
Joe Menosky (part II)
Teleplay byBrannon Braga
Joe Menosky
Featured musicDennis McCarthy
Production codes246 and 247
Original air datesMay 24, 2000 (2000-05-24)
October 4, 2000 (2000-10-04)
Guest appearances
  • Susanna Thompson - Borg Queen
  • Mark Deakins - Axum
  • Jerome Butler - General Korok
  • Joanna Heimbold - Laura
  • Ryan Sparks - Alien Child
  • Tony Sears - Borg Drone
  • Andrew Palmer - Errant Drone
  • Clay Storseth - Alien Man
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Haunting of Deck Twelve"
Next →
"Imperfection"
List of episodes

"Unimatrix Zero" is a two-part episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the cliffhanger between 26th episode of the sixth season and the first episode of the seventh season. Starfleet's USS Voyager stranded on the other side of the Galaxy, once again encounters a race of cybernetic organisms called the Borg as the ship journeys back to Earth.

This was a two-part episode, aired separately; it features the Borg Queen played by actress Susanna Thompson.

Plot

Part I

Seven of Nine dreams of a beautiful forest, which in reality is subconscious realm inhabited by the minds of certain Borg drones during their regeneration periods. Only a few drones possess the recessive gene required to experience the realm called Unimatrix Zero.

In the utopian Unimatrix Zero, Borg of various species and ages (including children) exist as their individual, unassimilated selves while regenerating on their Borg ships; when not regenerating, they revert to normal drones with no memory of time spent there. The Borg Queen is aware of Unimatrix Zero, considering it a disease, and destroys drones discovered capable of visiting there. However, the process of detecting affected drones is time consuming and she is eager to find a faster method of finding and deactivating them. Those who are detected are deactivated, dismembered, and studied in an effort to speed up the search.

Seven of Nine journeys with Captain Janeway to Unimatrix Zero and reverts to Annika Hansen, her human identity before assimilation. She discovers she used to visit Unimatrix Zero when she belonged to the Borg Collective. Her forgotten lover Axum made contact with her so she may help them; the inhabitants of Unimatrix Zero have developed a masking nanovirus to inoculate them from detection by the Queen, but it can only be administered from the corporeal world. Seven is overwhelmed by her new-found emotions and denies them but eventually finds acceptance. If Unimatrix Zero cannot be stopped in the real world, the Queen plans to destroy it from within by sending drones to kill the subconscious, unassimilated drones.

As Voyager plans to help the Unimatrix drones, the Borg Queen makes contact to offer Janeway transwarp technology if Janeway ceases to help the Unimatrix drones. Janeway refuses and plans to infiltrate a Borg ship on her own and release a version of the nanovirus, now modified to allow the Unimatrix Zero drones to retain their memories and stage a resistance. After being blackmailed by Chakotay (he threatens to have the Doctor remove her from command if she insists on going alone), she, Tuvok and B'Elanna penetrate the Borg cube to reach the central plexus and administer the nanovirus but are caught. Voyager leaves them to be assimilated.

Part II

The Janeway, Tuvok, and Torres drones proceed with their plan to help Unimatrix Zero. They are not connected to the Borg Collective as the Doctor had inoculated them with a neural inhibitor, protecting their individuality. Tuvok's inhibitor wears off and the Collective eventually overcomes his mind.

The Borg Queen confronts Janeway to demand the drones of Unimatrix Zero submit themselves for reassimilation. The Queen destroys several of her own ships because only a handful of crew are "offline" and suspected of being the newly sentient drones from the dream realm. Janeway calls her bluff, pointing out that such a tactic would essentially require her to destroy the entire Collective. Having discovered a means of sending Borg as drones into Unimatrix Zero, the Queen threatens to release a Borg-modified form of the nanovirus from within Unimatrix Zero to kill every affected inhabitant's corporeal drone, unless Janeway agrees to speak with them.

Janeway informs her crew that Unimatrix Zero can no longer exist. Chakotay realizes this means destroying the matrix so the Queen cannot spread the nanovirus. Seven is forced to say goodbye to her lover, who is on a Borg ship in the Beta Quadrant. Voyager, aided by a Borg sphere crewed by liberated drones, rescues the away team. Independent Borg who now, like the Queen, have the advantage of being self-aware, take command of some vessels, rebel, and start a civil war with the Collective.

Background

The Borg are a Star Trek villain species famous for their phrase, "resistance is futile." TV Guide named the Borg at number 4 in its 2013 list of the 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time.[1] The Borg was introduced on Star Trek: The Next Generation in the episode "Q Who?" (S2E16) and also featured in the critically acclaimed episode "The Best of Both Worlds".[2] They made a major influence on Voyager starting with "Scorpion", which introduced the ex-Borg character Seven of Nine to the main cast, and there was many Borg-centric episodes since that time in the show; they return with a major story once again in Unimatrix.[3]

Releases

"Unimatrix Zero" was included as part of the DVD collection, Star Trek: Fan Collective – Borg released on March 7, 2006.[4]

This episode was also released as part of a season 6 DVD boxset on December 7, 2004.[5]

"Unimatrix Zero, Part I" was released on VHS cassette paired with "Dark Frontier".[6] "Unimatrix, Part II" was paired with "Imperfection" when released on VHS.[7]

Reception

Ian Grey at RogertEbert.com noted this episode in 2013 in their feature on Star Trek: Voyager, commenting that "Unimatrix Zero" offered a "revolution fought in the safety of dreams."[8]

IGN rated the Borg Queen as the 24th best character of Star Trek overall, and her story running from the film Star Trek: First Contact and into her encounters with Captain Janeway of the USS Voyager and Seven of Nine are noted as is the events at the Unimatrix.[9] IGN notes she was played by two different actresses, Alice Krige and Susanna Thompson.[9] The Borg cubes are rated as the 2nd best spacecraft of Star Trek by Space.com in 2017.[10]

SyFy recommend this episode for their Seven of Nine binge-watching guide.[11]

In 2019, Nerdist suggested watching "Unimatrix" as part of an abbreviated binge-watching guide featuring USS Voyager's confrontations with the Borg.[12]

In 2020, SyFy Wire ranked "Unimatrix Zero" as one of the seven essential episodes about Borg to watch as background for Star Trek: Picard.[13]

In 2020, Space.com recommended watching this episode as background for Star Trek: Picard.[14]

See also

References

  1. ^ Bretts, Bruce; Roush, Matt; (March 25, 2013). "Baddies to the Bone: The 60 nastiest villains of all time". TV Guide. pp. 14 - 15.
  2. ^ Britt, Ryan (2020-06-18). "30 years ago, Star Trek's Borg canon was rewritten for the scarier". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  3. ^ Britt, Ryan (2020-01-20). "The Best of Borg worlds: The 7 essential Borg episodes to watch before Star Trek: Picard". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  4. ^ Douglass Jr., Todd (March 7, 2006). "Star Trek Fan Collective – Borg". DVD Talk. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  5. ^ "DVD Talk". www.dvdtalk.com. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  6. ^ "Star Trek: Voyager - Dark Frontier/Unimatrix Zero". www.videocollector.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  7. ^ "Star Trek: Voyager 7.1 - Unimatrix Zero Part II/Imperfection". www.videocollector.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  8. ^ Grey, Ian. "Now, "Voyager": in praise of the Trekkiest "Trek" of all | Features | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com/. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  9. ^ a b IGN Movies (8 May 2009). "Top 25 Star Trek Characters".
  10. ^ Entertainment, Elizabeth Howell 2017-09-22T12:02:15Z. "The 15 Best Ships on Star Trek, from V-ger to the Vengeance". Space.com. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  11. ^ Fleenor, S. E. (2019-04-16). "The Seven of Nine binge guide". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  12. ^ "A Guide to Binge Watching 7 Great STAR TREK Arcs". Nerdist. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  13. ^ Britt, Ryan (2020-01-20). "The Best of Borg worlds: The 7 essential Borg episodes to watch before Star Trek: Picard". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  14. ^ Snowden 2020-01-23T13:39:29Z, Scott. "A complete guide to what 'Star Trek' to watch before 'Star Trek: Picard'". Space.com. Retrieved 2020-01-23.

External links