Star Trek Reveals A Terrifying New Borg Update

Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3, Episode 3 – “Mining The Mind’s Mines”A terrifying new Borg variation has been introduced in Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3, episode 3, which delivers on the creative freedom enabled by the show’s animated format. The USS Cerritos is sent to assist with the relocation of Federation scientists after a fragile peace is negotiated with the indigenous species, the Scrubble. The Lower Deckers are tasked with the removal of dangerous psychic mines that can summon up seductive apparitions of a person’s deepest fantasies, which leads to a tongue-in-cheek cameo by Leah Brahms from TNG‘s controversial Geordi storyline.


When Boimler, Marriner, and Rutherford’s clean-up mission predictably goes terribly wrong, the psychic mines are shattered and unleash terrifying nightmarish visions instead. One of these visions is the Mayan god Kukulkan from Star Trek: The Animated Series season 2, episode 5, “How Sharper Than A Serpent’s Tooth”, which terrorizes Stevens, turning him into a stone statue. Other visions include two Klingon clowns with bat’leths for hands and a werewolf version of Marriner’s Andorian girlfriend Jennifer. The nightmares that terrorize the Lower Deckers also includes a terrifying new type of Borg.

After the Kukulkan drops the stone Stevens back to earth, Boimler realizes that the shattered mines are reading their nightmares, rather than their fantasies. It’s then that a giant snake curls itself around some nearby rocks, covered in Borg armor, complete with eyepiece and red laser sight. Terrified by this change to the Borg, the Lower Deckers run for their lives in the direction of the nearest cave from the assembled forces of the Borg snake and the Klingon clowns. It’s a ridiculous sight, but there’s something chilling about the Borg snake, because it tackles something that Star Trek never has previously, what happens when the Borg assimilate a non-humanoid species.

Lower Decks’ Animation Allows It To Show New Borg Variations

Historically, Star Trek has only shown the results of Borg assimilation on humanoid species, most notably through characters like Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan). When the Borg were first introduced in one of Q’s tests of the Enterprise crew, he referred to them as “Not a he. Not a she. Not like anything you’ve ever seen. An enhanced humanoid.” The Borg drones are therefore more often than not, humanoid species like Klingons, Romulans, or humans that have fallen to the Collective.

In Star Trek: Voyager season 3, episode 26, “Scorpion”, it was revealed that the Collective once tried and failed to assimilate the non-humanoid Species 8472, who were superior in strength to the Borg. Aside from Species 8472, Star Trek rarely shows non-humanoid assimilation, failed or otherwise. This is presumably because from a logistical, television production perspective, it’s harder to realize on-screen.

As an animated series, Lower Decks doesn’t have that problem and is only limited creatively in terms of the animators’ imaginations. The Borg snake is a good example of this, especially in the surreal moment where it begins vomiting basketballs due to the conflicting nightmares of the USS Cerritos’ crew. Despite the surreal nature of the basketballs, the giant Borg snake is still terrifying on a visceral level, combining the fear of snakes, with the terrifying, unstoppable might of the Borg and their quest to remove individuality. While it’s a comedy show that focuses on smaller-scale threats to Starfleet and the Federation, there’s clearly still creative scope for Star Trek: Lower Decks to explore some more terrifying non-humanoid Borg variations in future episodes.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.

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