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Same Borg Plot, Same Borg Place: "Regeneration" Takes Road Well-Trampled, Says Deus

PROMENADE





Posted: 06:38:04 on May 08 2003
By: Steve Krutzler
Dept: ENTERPRISE Reviews
Reviews Ex Deus

Written by O. Deus, edited by Steve Krutzler

"Regeneration"

Summary: The Borg make a comeback as Enterprise goes where just about every Star Trek series has gone before.

There's nothing precisely wrong with "Regeneration." Unlike some of the more mediocre NEXT GENERATION and VOYAGER efforts, it manages to let the Borg keep their dignity while portraying them as ominous and menacing. It doesn't reduce them to a single oversexed Borg queen and even gives them back some of their mystery. But at the same time there's nothing precisely right about "Regeneration" either. Maybe over the past decade the potential of the Borg has been thoroughly tapped out by various STAR TREK spinoffs or maybe any future Borg episodes or movies need to break new ground to be effective. Either way, despite striking work by David Livingston, particularly in the arctic scenes, and an adequate enough script, "Regeneration" ends up regenerating all the cliches resulting in an episode that just doesn't add up to much of anything.

Like FIRST CONTACT, the movie that the episode serves as a pseudo-sequel to, "Regeneration" plays as a horror movie with the Borg as the monsters. Beginning with the arctic discovery scene that suggests a homage to the classic Sci-Fi monster film, THE THING, the Borg appear as monsters safely buried until somebody foolish enough digs them up resulting in the usual havoc horror movies are made of. Substitute mummies or vampires for Borg and you could have pretty much the same episode, and there is a case to be made for arguing that the Borg are indeed space-age vampires. After all, they're nearly invincible to ordinary unmodified weapons. They infect their victims, making them one of their kind with double-fanged incisions causing them to lose their humanity. They rest in special alcoves analogous to vampire coffins. And like all vampires the final confrontation with them, in any number of the Borg episodes, from their first appearance to this one where Archer plays Van Helsing, involves a trip to their lair.

What has elevated the best Borg episodes above mere space fright has been the examination of the borderline between human being and Borg in episodes like "The Best of Both Worlds," "I, Borg" or "Dark Frontier" rather than reducing the Borg to shambling monsters. "Regeneration" makes some attempt towards incorporating such a storyline with Phlox's infection, which also results in some of the episode's best scenes including a memorable exchange with Hoshi. But it never really explores the boundary between individuality and collectivism as the above mentioned episodes did, instead it mainly features Phlox being sick. Archer's storyline that deals with his realization that he can't save the research team is plausible enough, though never really gripping. It might have been more gripping if Enterprise crewmembers had been on that transport forcing Archer to sacrifice the lives of his own people. But as it is Archer is once again coming to realize something the audience already knows, which may make for some character development but not for interesting viewing.

"Regeneration"'s resolution also comes a little too unbelievably easy considering what a challenge the Borg were for Picard and Co. in the 24th century while Archer and Co. experience much less trouble disposing of them in the 22nd century. Admittedly they are facing weaker and smaller numbers of Borg but the key Borg strategy in this story is a timed shutdown of Enterprise's power systems at a critical moment, which is a bit too cunning for the more literal-minded Borg, who traditionally utilize direct smash and grab tactics.

But mostly "Regeneration" is an episode-scale reworking of FIRST CONTACT without a revenge motive for the captain or a master plan for the Borg. And without a significant motive on either side, it's is reduced to another 'Borg as Monsters' plot that could have been done with any number of monsters or races. There's no real risk for the Enterprise because "Regeneration" is a stand alone episode with no future repercussions despite its ending since we know that it's Q who will bring the Enterprise-D into contact with the Borg well ahead of schedule. And there's no new ground being broken because "Regeneration" offers nothing in the way of a plot that we haven't seen before. With those factors eliminated the only justification for the episode seems to be the need to exploit the Borg one more time in the hope of boosting ENTERPRISE's ratings. So instead of the Borg assimilating the series to add to its perfection, ENTERPRISE assimilates the Borg to add them to its mediocrity.

Next week: Can the show do better with two chances on one night?

ENTERPRISE "Regeneration" Poll
Rate the episode in comparison to the best and the worst of all previous STAR TREK episodes:
10: Excellent 5: Average
9: Great 4: Below Average
8: Very Good 3: Mediocre
7: Good 2: Poor
6: Above Average 1: Bad
Current Results
About the Author
O. Deus has been a TrekWeb visitor since the site's 1996 inception. Along with being an ardent poster, he is a freelance journalist based in New York City. Deus has written reviews and columns for TrekWeb for over two years.

Past Reviews
  • "Regeneration"
  • "Cogenitor"
  • "The Breach" (Williams)
  • "Horizon" (Williams)
  • "Judgment"
  • "The Crossing"
  • "Canamar"
  • "Future Tense"
  • "Cease Fire"
  • "Stigma"
  • "Dawn"
  • "The Catwalk"
  • "Precious Cargo"
  • "Vanishing Point"
  • "Singularity"
  • "The Communicator"
  • "The Seventh"
  • "Marauders"
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    TREKWEB TALKBACK
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    Way too much time on my hands...
    By Noxmagic ( ) at 23:06:05 on May 12 2003
    URL: | User Info
    I think part of the problem many Trekkers are having with Ent. is how we choose to percieve the impact this series is having on the grander Trek universe. By this I mean, most Trekkers seem to be falling into one of two camps. To horribly generalize matters, Camp A holds that Ent. is suppossed to be a prequel to the rest of Trek. By this I mean, it is merely suppossed to show the world how events took place in the Trek universe a hundred years before Kirk's time. Camp B, however, views Ent. as being, despite its setting many years before Kirk's time, every bit as dynamic and relivant to "current" Trek as Voy. or TNG. In other words, Camp A Ent. fans want Ent. to be what it was touted as being before it aired...simply a historical look at StarFleet before the Federation (at least, this is the impression I was left with before Ent. aired...does anyone else feel this way?), while Camp B Ent. fans view Ent. as having just as much of an impact on the current Trek universe (by this I mean Voy., TNG, and Ds9's era) as it would have if the show had of been set 200 plus years further into the future than it currently is. After Regeneration, I think its apparent TPTB want Ent. to be percieved the way Camp B Trekkers view the show. Which is fine with me (I'd actually fallen into Camp A...oh well), but I just hope that, while they currently aren't explaining apparent mistakes with Trek history, that they will do so at least during the show's series finale. I guess this hope will help to keep me watching (despite my negative feelings towards Regeneration, I actually really enjoy Ent.).

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    I know I'll probably get torn apart for this... but...
    By lemmiwinks ( ) at 15:07:08 on May 12 2003
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    I've been thinking about this particular episode a lot this weekend, and I even watched the rerun of it on Sunday evening (a rare occasion for me, even if I really like the episode as I did this one) and it occoured to me; What if this particular Borg encounter sparked the foundation of Section 31? It would certainly explain why there isn't known information about them in the 24th century. (It would also be a neat arc for the writers to explore, in my opinion.) Okay, let the bashing begin, I can take it. :)

    -w

    "If you were any other man I would kill you!"
    -Worf

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Borg Babies
    By lemmiwinks ( ) at 14:16:50 on May 12 2003
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    FOR ALL YOU CONTINUITY-BASHING FOLKS OUT THERE. In Q Who, there was a "nursery" on the cube, and it was explained that the Borg reproduced by having babies and then adding cybernetic implants right after birth (Riker speculated about it). We all now know this to not be true. While it's not completely out of the imagination that the Borg would assimilate babies, I don't think that that was what they were trying to convey in that FIRST Borg episode. Only in later episodes did the Borg assimilate individuals (let alone even mention the word "assimilation.") Just goes to show you that even back when Trek could "do no wrong," things changed.

    -w

    "Kill all the Lawyers"
    -Picard (Encounter at Farpoint)

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Here here Deus!
    By Noxmagic ( ) at 13:20:13 on May 12 2003
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    Right on Deus! I agree with your review 100%. While Regeneration wasn't a bad episode, it was certainly a throw away one, where nothing new is really discovered or established, except perhaps for Ent.'s most significant altering of established Trek canon to date. I guess from now on, we're all suppossed to just assume that when Ent. changes something that has been established in Trek history, the new Ent. version is the way events really took place. So, for example, after Regeneration, lets all close our eyes and try really hard to imagine what really happened aboard the Enterprise D when it was hurled into Borg space by Q. Certainly, after Regeneration, Picard and company had to have known exactely who the Borg were, considering all of the information gathered on them back in Archer's time. You know, as a Trekker, I've got to say B/B's altering of Trek history is the worst thing they could possibly do. It seems to me episodes like Regeneration are created to try and pull in new viewers, i.e. non Trekkers, but they've got to remember that we Trekkers are the ones who buy all of the Trek merchandise and go to see the movies. I have no problem with B/B wanting to draw in fresh viewers, but don't spit in the faces of your long time fans. How can they expect Trekkers to remain loyal to Trek when, through Ent., they're telling us that all of the years spent following Trek have been a waste of time? Afterall, now that Ent. is changing Trek history, everything that comes after it within the Trek universe (all the rest of Trek) may or may not have happened. There is no future for Trek if TPTB, namely B/B, decide to leave us Trekkers behind.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Good Episode
    By Kane121975 ( ) at 22:51:31 on May 10 2003
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    I think this was one of the best Enterprise episodes I have ever seen, Archer and Crew never found out the identity of the Borg and no one was assimilated so I think the historical aspect of the series was kept in line. Yes these were weaker Borg and no they didnt stand a chance because they were using inferior technology. My main complaint about this series is Archer has no balls, he did on Regeneration but before that he didnt. I want to see some fistfights, gunfights and by god destroy some klingon ships or something. Cmon you guys got torpedos use them. If we have more episodes like Regeneration I will be tuning in, but if it goes back to boring drabble with the same boring scenes that seem to plague this series then Im sorry I will be watching West Wing.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    My review of Regeneration was not harsh
    By O. Deus ( odeus@concentric.net) at 22:44:46 on May 10 2003
    URL: http://www.concentric.net/~odeus/ | User Info
    In response to all the criticism, I have to point out that first of all my review of Regeneration was not harsh. There have been harsh reviews of Regeneration out there like Television Without Pity's review

    link

    "Seriously? Why did they do it? I cannot understand their reasoning for retreading a plot and an arc and a story and a denouement and all the other literary jargon out there when these people, these writers are paid to BE CREATIVE! After Voyager, the Borg does not scare. The Borg bores, and yes, Bermaga, there actually IS a difference."

    My review didn't condemn Regeneration so much as to point out that the episode was unoriginal and fell into the mediocre category by default. Yes it had great production values but production values enhance an episode, they don't make an episode. It's the idea behind an episode and its interpretation in the script that makes an episode.

    And let's be honest, the idea behind 'Regeneration' was 'Let's Bring Back the Borg to Boost the Ratings.' I won't even nitpick the continuity because that's a rather pointless and thankless task on Enterprise but the most elementary view of the episode still leaves you with the inescapable fact that there's nothing on Regeneration that hasn't been done on Star Trek over and over again. Nor does the episode even try to make the cliches new again. Cut and paste a few species names and technobabble and you can replace the Borg with any number of threats without making much of a difference.



    ---

    "Predators of the 21st century will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons...There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein's Iraq."
    President Clinton

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    my review of Regeneration (and other episodes)
    By sebimeyer ( ) at 13:14:45 on May 10 2003
    URL: www.sebimeyer.com | User Info
    The cry for other people to write reviews has been pretty loud on this board. Well, I have been writing reviews for my own web page for some time now.

    You can read them, including a Regeneration review, at

    www.sebimeyer.com

    You might even want to bookmark this page as I usually write the reviews the night the episode airs.

    ---

    _____________
    http://www.sebimeyer.com

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Genuine perspectives
    By Merlin ( ) at 04:08:56 on May 10 2003
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    To say it right away - I liked Regeneration.

    Most people continue quibbling about inconcistencies in story line, borg behaviour etc.
    If you are able to accept that this might have been a sequel to First Contact I find these inconcistencies perfectly acceptable.

    The big part for old Trek viewers is to accept that if Archer and Enterprise run into the Borg now and Starfleet gathers knowledge about them The Classics, Next Gen, DS9 and Voyager might very well never happen! SO WHAT? I perfectly understand that it might be a hard time to accept that all we have seen so far will never happen but I find the plot twist very cunning - if it is intended.
    There was nothing to tell after the Voyager finale. Voyager beeing the mightiest ship in the fleet, able to destroy about everything in its way. What after that? Now they can start again!
    A different Federation, a different future whole new Trek for ages.

    As for the loose ends:
    Archer encountered a few borg sired by one repaired by nanoprobes. (by the way: there is one Voyager episode where Neelix gets returned from the dead by nanoprobes. In that episode Seven says that the longest time the Borg where able to resussitate dead Borg was 84 hours!) You can not expect the probes to carry all Borg technology within so that may explain their relative weakness. Though we saw how fast they where able to adapt the ship.
    For the unusual tactics: Who DID say the Borg are unflexible? I think in First Contact they showed that they are very well able to come up with new tactics. Going into the past to assimilate them is not uncreative. So why assume that seting up Enterprise is not a Borg tactic? All along we have seen them fighting with the technical superiority on their side. This time they were dealing with equals!

    And finally: Why could it not be possible, that Reed came up with a genuine idea when he modified the phasers?
    If this storyline is pursued and Federation retains information about the Borg 200 years earlier I think it is going to bee very interesting. Federation will develop new technology to kick Borg asses! Q might even be brought in and explain a few things.

    If you are able to accept a different timeline I find the perspectives for Enterprise much better now!



    P.S.: I found a glitch, too!
    Odd that the subspace signal the Borg are sending needs 200 years to reach the delta quadrant quote to T`Pal.
    Voyager need 70 years for that travel!

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Forgotten History or Just a Bad Memory ?
    By HomerTKirk ( draegon@hotmail.com) at 18:37:47 on May 09 2003
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    I'm awaiting the explanation as to how this encounter, a fairly signifigant event, one would think, in the annals of Star Fleet, was not something that Picard would have been aware of years later. There were reems of data collected at the artic site and the encounter on Enterprise must have been required study for future Cadets and potential Captains. Especially since they were aware of the transmission the Borg made directed toward the delta quadrant, giving the location of Earth, just before the transport was destroyed.
    In the episode "Q Who", season 2, star date 42761.3, Picard turns to Guinan for advice after being sent 1000s of light years away into Borg territory and having what appears to be the first known encounter with them. In fact Guinan reminds him that since the "Borg now know of the Federation, they will be coming... ". Have I missed something??

    Homer T Kirk

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    O Deus:
    By timmer33 ( ) at 14:21:10 on May 09 2003
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    Why criticize this ep for not "trying anything new?" Why not just accept it as what it was: good, entertaining fun? Not every ep has to be "about" somethng. Even TNG or TOS just had entertaining episodes, you know. You were too harsh on this episode, dude.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Borg: The TechnoVamps
    By lightstar ( lightstar) at 02:05:47 on May 09 2003
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    I had never thought of the Borg as vampiric in nature, but you're right they do share an erie number of similarities. TechnoVampires would be cool!
    (Hey, I'm already suffering Buffy withdrawal symptoms!)

    "Regeneration" does capture the essence of a horror movie. I know this suggestion might not be Trek-like, but a really scary ENTERPRISE encounter with horrific aliens could be interesting. Think "Alien". In "Alien", the audience only gets brief glimpses of the Alien-usually during an attack-until the finale. "Alien" relies on mystery, suspense and the UNKNOWN. A greater sense of the Unknown would be a welcome addition to ENTERPRISE.




    ---

    "The Force will be with you...Always."
    Obi-Wan Kenobi

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Give it an A for effort
    By Steve Krutzler ( s_krutzler@trekweb.com) at 18:58:26 on May 08 2003
    URL: http://trekweb.com/brittandsteve | User Info
    Well I just watched my "Regen" tape and you can definitely count me in the satisfied category. I thought the episode--while certainly not breaking any new sci-fi ground in particular with regard to the Borg--was the most entertaining hour of ENTERPRISE I've seen in a great long time. Perhaps even more interesting than "Future Tense" because of all the continuity. There are plenty of viewers who criticize the show for the fact that Picard should obviously know about the Borg encounter or all other sorts of reasons, and Deus pointed out that mostly the plot was the same Borg direct space/hand-to-hand confrontation plot that we usually get from the Borg.

    But I think this episode really accomplished what it set out to do in its premise. ENT is often lambasted for shallow stories and many are bashing "Regeneration" because it doesn't fit into the linear chronology of past series. But from my standpoint, the episode is a great addition to the STAR TREK mythos and firmly builds upon the events in FIRST CONTACT. There is no reason to expect that the "Q Who"-era obliviousness about the Borg still exists post-"Regeneration." The thing that makes this episode really cool in my eyes is that it basically posits what "All Good Things..." suggested. That the universe and that time is not simply a linear collection of phenomena or events and occurrences. Indeed, the events in FIRST CONTACT and now "Regeneration" suggest that time is cirucular and it is every bit as "right" for Archer to have had the encounter he did while Picard et al have the encounter they do 200 years later. The mention of Zephram Cochran's accidential truth-telling is just good fun and it really all ties in neatly with the fact that we know the Borg were coming into Federation space in season one and that we know the Hansens went out searching for Borg sometime before "Q Who?"

    Others have criticized the execution and going into it I thought it was going to a completely paint-by-numbers story with the crew beating the Borg incredulously and Phlox's immunity coming off unbelieveable. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover neither, as the way in which Phlox treated himself eventually and the way in which the crew finally defeated the Borg ship was very believeable. Archer and Reed had a couple hand-to-hand encounters with a drone or two and were about to get their clocks cleaned when they beamed out (and don't you just love that TOS-sounding beam effect?!), so I think it was certainly no cake walk for the crew in this episode.

    The only thing that I think stretches imagination--and this is not ENT's fault, it's a running problem I've had with the rapid assimilating-era Borg since FIRST CONTACT--is the speed with which Borg technology can seemingly increase its mass out of nowhere. When the Borgified Tarkelean stuck her tubules into the panel and magically Borg nodes just appeared out of nowhere I had a bit of a "yeah, right" moment but that's something that has always been incredulous about post-FC Borg. I don't care how technologically advanced the Borg nanoprobes are, they have to get the MASS from somewhere, although in that case you could argue it converted ENTERPRISE's own systems and like a transporter it just came out in a different configuration.

    Another complaint was that the "plan" to disable the Enterprise wasn't Borg-ish but I never got the impression that it was a "plan" at all. The Borg simply knew that they had been trying to assimilate Enterprise and so when it posed a threat they tried to see if any of their modifications worked and lucky for them, they did.

    "Regeneration" leaves lots of interesting questions, like will Trip decipher some of the remaining Borg technology? Will we ever learn more about the wreckage on Earth? Presumeably most of it remains. Will Archer et al ever learn that Picard etc came back in time and met Cochran? All of that has really cool implications, especially since the main running arc of the series involves time travel and the whole idea that "what you think you've seen isn't necessarily true," and I think that's the most compelling thing ENT has going for it. As a prequel, I expect cool stories that bridge off of loose ends from established stories and so forth and in that respect--and in an entertainment/action respect--"Regeneration" most certainly fit the bill.

    There is probably more that I'm forgetting but that is pretty much how I feel about the show. I might actually want to watch it again, which is a first for an ENT episode I think. The music was good but not as present as I was hoping for. Certainly an improvement on the VOY days but not near as exciting as "Best of Both Worlds" or some early TNG. All in all, "Regeneration" was a great Sweeps entry that entertained and expanded the confines of the STAR TREK mythology in a really interesting way.



    ---

    -Steve Krutzler
    ==V/-/== Rocks

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    We are The Tribbles! You will be assimilated!
    By TaterBoss ( ) at 18:34:02 on May 08 2003
    URL: | User Info
    There have been two very minor occurances in Enterprise that have insulted me, and I'm a normal Trek fan. I don't memorize every episode or dress in a costume, I just watch for entertainment.
    I'll get right too it.

    Last week, Phlox introduced us to a Tribble, by name. He revealed that they eat a lot and breed a lot and they also get eaten to keep the population down on their homeworld. Tribbles.

    Uhm, I'm no expert, but if Phlox is part of some multi-alien doctor group, and they share their databases with each other, wouldn't Dr. McCoy know what the hell a tribble was in a hundred years? Even if he didn't know them by name, the computer would know, as part of this multi-alien doctor group thingy. Right?

    Moving on to the Borg. As far as I can recall, the Borg ALWAYS introduced themselves first, then make their threat. "WE ARE THE BORG... INSERT OUR THREAT HERE." With this week's episode, the writers convenintly left out the introduction that the Borg ALWAYS give. Oh shut up, Hoshi did not hit the button too late to hear it. The writers put in a convenient reason that future Captain's don't know who the Borg are... they didn't give their name. Sigh. "WE ARE THE BORG!" They ALWAYS say that. What the....!!!

    My only hope is that at the end of this series, their is a huge war and Starfleet is nearly crippled, all records are lost and ships are destroyed, basically forcing Earth to start over, with bulkier white ships (1701), less fancy computers and less knowledge of the universe around them.

    Of course, I have a problem with the new direction the show is apparently taking also... Earth is devistated and a single ship is sent out to save it. STAR BLAZERS anyone?

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    I give it a B
    By Spot ( ) at 18:22:57 on May 08 2003
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    I, too, hadn't seen an episode since early in the season

    I need to point out something

    1. The infected individuals are capable of generating personal shields.

    These infected individuals, without equipping a transmitter, are capable of generating shield? Give me a break. There is some limit to the power of nanoprobes.

    2. A transport ship turning into a warp 5 Enterprise class ship with powerful weapons

    The Borgs have no materials. How are they able to build machinery out of nothing? Also, the speed of progression is way too fast.

    Plant a bomb in the transport ship. Why didn't Picard thought about that in the Best of Both World?

    Picard could have done that. Borgs have no shield what so ever. I wonder why Borgs weren't destroyed by other races long time ago. Their defense suck. The crews of the Enterprise have done a better job realizing that.

    the crews of the Enterprise aren't surprised by the Borgs. Never once do they ask, "Where are the aliens come from?" It sounds obvious to them that there should be some strange aliens buried underground of Earth

    I don't see fear in their (the crews) eyes

    Pretty lousy job of portraying the Borgs as the villains.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Nagus Says, "Good Program!"
    By Edzo ( lordedzo@hotmail.com) at 17:53:51 on May 08 2003
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    "Regeneration" features one of ENTERPRISE's best qualities — it was fast-paced, frenetic and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants.

    When the 22nd century crew is in over their heads, when they don't know what the hell is going on, and when they're just "making it up as they go along," you get a terrific ENTERPRISE episode. Look how well it worked in such other episodes as "Fight or Flight," "Fallen Hero," "Silent Enemy" and "Future Tense."

    The story picked up nicely from STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT, but it was a little too "convenient" for the Borg to head straight for Enterprise's location in deep space. If there was a logical reason given for this rendezvous, I missed it.

    So, the Sphere that crashed in the Arctic Circle — the same one Enterprise-E destroyed in orbit, right? And the chunks simply fell to Earth?

    I think Deus noted that, despite having to work with the "stone knives and bearskins" of the 22nd century, the powerful Borg were still too easily defeated by the supposedly primitive Enterprise. The crew's beefed up phase pistols got off *way* more shots than they should have before the Borg adapted.

    Also, since when has Enterprise sported multiple phase cannons pointing in all directions away the saucer section? I've noticed this a lot this season. Many more angles of firing, torpedo tubes pointing in every direction — if Reed has been updating Enterprise's armament, then somebody in the writing department forgot to clue in the viewers, too. It just seems inconsistent — especially after "Silent Enemy," when only three phase cannons had been installed.

    Nice touch, however, with the communication signal taking 200 years to reach the Delta Quadrant, effectively postponing the "war" until the 24th century. From this, we can infer that the Borg were already on their way to the Alpha Quadrant by the time TNG began. Q simply "moved up" their introduction. But this also explains the earlier attacks against Romulan and Federation targets in "The Neutral Zone."

    The ending sets up an ominous indication of things to come, a la "Q Who?" But since the encounter won't be for two centuries, Starfleet undoubtedly locks away the information on the Borg and forgets about it — possibly until the El-Aurians are rescued in 2293. Interest is renewed, and eventually the Hansens ask to go in search of the Borg in the early-to-mid-24th century.

    Nice episode, great action.

    ---

    Lord Edzo!

    "Have you been drinking?"

    -- T'Pol to Reed, "The Crossing"

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Enterprise-E crew would NEVER be so sloppy
    By dropdeadnelix ( ) at 17:24:02 on May 08 2003
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    As if Picard et al would leave a giant debris field of Borg technology on Ancient Earth...its beyond inconceivable to me. Reagardless of their senors being down, or some such hogwaash. They NEVER would have broken the temporal prime directive in such a haphazzard manner.

    A single drone or a small piece of technology, maybe...but a debris field of that size?

    Give me a break...

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    music, oh music
    By jayUK ( ) at 15:56:52 on May 08 2003
    URL: | User Info
    might be bit of the topic

    but does any one remember the music in First Contact when you first see the enterprise after Picard get his message?

    Well in Regeneration, was it just me, but when you first see enterprise the music sounds like it was going to be the same music from First Contact!

    That was a nice touch too

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Phlox
    By timmer33 ( ) at 14:29:14 on May 08 2003
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    I have just read some of the posts below regarding how unbelievable it was that Phlox eliminated the nanoprobes from his body.

    Has it ever occured to any of you that Picard was once not only infected, but FULLY ASSIMILATED? How did Crusher save him? How did she remove the Borg technology? How did she get rid of the MILLIONS of nanoprobes that would have been in his body?

    No one ever thinks about that, because that's older trek and those things don't have to be explained.

    Did I just become an ENT defender? I can't believe it!

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    O Deus has lost perspective
    By timmer33 ( ) at 14:07:32 on May 08 2003
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    I have been a constant critic of this series. This season has been weak. Carbon Creek was a great episode. Other than that, there's not much to say about this season.

    That being said, Last night's episode kicked my ass. Wow. I was stunned with the quality of the episode.

    Where O Deus goes on about how it is familiar territory for Trek, I on the other hand couldn't help but notice the change in quality in the show. You see, the last episode I saw was the "Sunrise" one with Trip and an Alien trapped on a planet. I haven't watched trek since (especially after A Night in Sickbay).

    So I turn on the tv last night and literally got my ass kicked by the episode. Here are my thoughts:

    1. Good teaser for a change. None of the crew are involved, but it sets up a good story. Sets up a real feeling of danger and adventure.

    2. The Borg reviving was believable.

    3. The fact that the Borg were fairly weak was believable. You see, they stole a simple cargo transport and had to modify it. As the ep. went on, the ship got faster and more powerful. It makes sense that eventually it would be very powerful; indeed, Archer realized this and he knew there was a deadlline to destroy it by.

    4. The timeline questions were resolved nicely. Obviously the reason the Borg attacked the Federation outposts by the end of Season 2 of TNG was because of this message by the Borg from the 22nd Century! A time loop was caused by First Contact. In a sense, Picard caused the Borg's invasion by going back in time to destroy the sphere! Like all time travel stories, there is a loop established now that does make sense.

    5. The two borg that were sucked out of the corridor are obviously not dead. We'll see them again.

    6. Their name was never said. During the transmission, they said "You will be assimilated." They actually never said "We are the Borg."

    7. There was a real sense of dread and horror in the episode. Simply put, the Borg were scary again. That's more than I can say about the Borg on Voyager.

    8. The directing was fabulous. Some scenes stood out in particular ... long shots of Borg walking down a corridor as the camera sped toward them, then began backtracking to keep up with their advance. Awesome.

    9. Reed's football tackle. Nice one.

    10. The Doctor's solution was innovative. It makes sense, actually. In fact, I just read Michael Crichton's novel PREY which used a similar strategy, though in that the nanomachines could be disabled by a strong magnetic field, in this case in an MRI. I think maybe the writer of the EP got the idea from PREY. In any case, it was believable. It probably wouldn't work again ... you'd have to do it very quickly after being infected. Nanomachines might be able to assimilate different species at different rates. Phlox's race takes more time, so there was a "grace period" in which to use the omnicron radiation. Phlox might have used too much; perhaps he'd never be able to use the same treatment again. It might kill him.

    11. Finally, THE MUSIC KICKED ASS. Simply put, the music in this episode was the BEST trek music I have heard on an episode EVER. Did you guys listen to it? It enhanced the story and created a real sense of dread and forboding. Man has it really improved, and by doing so, it helped the tone and quality of the show.

    I say thet O Deus doesn't have a perspective like I do because I haven't seen the show in months. By doing that, I realized REGENERATION was a serious improvement over the rest of the ENT's episodes. It was also just a freaking good episode. Keep in mind that we're still in the second season here. For an episode like this to come along this early ... wow. I'm blown away. I have been a constant critic of the show but I have to admit now that it has definitely gotten better. I actually agree with one_2_three about this one, but I'd give it even a higher mark than him. I wonder what scorned and cooper2000 think about it.

    I'm still a little bit stunned by the high quality and good storytelling of the episode. It all made sense and had a great story and good action and also put Archer in a tough position where he had to make a difficult choice.

    I can't believe I'm saying this, but Kudos to all involved in this episode, especially the writers, director and the person who wrote the incredible music (I hope we hear that music again!!!) Also, I hate to say this, but Kudos to Berman and Braga. This truly was an outstanding episode. I hope it's a sign of more things to come.

    I'm definitely going to watch the next few episodes. You got me guys ... I was originally going to wait for the season finale to watch, but I'm hooked now. Just don't let me down with more shitty episodes. Oh, and whoever hired that music writer, keep using him. Sweet Jesus was that excellent music. You know, it blew away the music by Goldsmith on NEMESIS, which was just so dull and boring. Good job.

    Congratulations all.

    Timmer33

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    it didn't add anything new to the Borg, but goddamn was it done with s
    By Bucky ( ) at 13:56:14 on May 08 2003
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    I see this episode as a pure stylstic exercise using an old Trek standby. And I think, on that level, it really worked. The direction and music were great and I think that, along with using my favorite Trek baddies ever, helped elevate this above your standard mediocire ENTERPRISE episode and made it a really entertaining, if not that deep, hour of TV.

    ---

    An elephant never forgets . . .TO KILL!

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    Regeneration Dockers
    By sid ( ) at 12:07:16 on May 08 2003
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    Nice Episode. Nice review. Don't see what all the fuss is about in the feedbacks. It's as if most read a different review than I did. And anyway it's just this throw away - stand alone episode with some old 'friends', reasonably done; not worth getting over-emotional about.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Credible First Contact Follow-Up
    By Beefies ( ) at 12:04:05 on May 08 2003
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    As I've mentioned in other threads elsewhere, my enjoyment of "Enterprise" has been greatly enhanced by watching it with my teenage girls, for whom the series is their first real exposure to Star Trek (and for whom *TNG* is ancient history, which makes a TOS fan like me feel *really* old. They actually think Archer is a better captain than Kirk....). In that spirit, I rented "First Contact" and watched it with them the night before "Regeneration." It made for a very nice package, as they caught all the continuity references and the re-viewing refreshed my memory as well. I thought "Regeneration" was a credible follow-up to "First Contact" and that, together, the two kind of reminded me of "Generations," where a single plot thread spanned two groups of familiar heroes in two eras.

    O. Deus's review is fair, and his evocation of both "The Thing" and vampire lore is apt. My first impression of the episode was that, while some mystery has been restored to the Borg, their post-Voyager emasculation is now complete. My kids--who have never seen "Q Who" or "Best of Both Worlds," and thus never knew the Borg when they were *really* scary--said pretty much the same thing: that Archer handled them much easier than Picard did; that Phlox's miracle Borgification cure was pretty improbable, especially since it eluded the apparently incompetent Crusher and EMH centuries later; and that assimilation has lost most of its dread. My kids were horrified when Phlox was injected, certain that their favorite character was doomed, Archer would now have to kill him, and poor John Billingsly would be out of a job. And, indeed, in the good old days before Voyager, that's what assimilation meant: the worst rape of mind and body imaginable. These days it is apparently little worse than a bout with SARS.

    Still, I saw no real continuity violations and enjoyed the last-minute Borg transmission home, so reminiscent of the Bug-Creatures' final message in TNG's "Conspiracy"--except this time, we know the call will be answered. It made sense to me, since we know the Borg will be poking around the Romulan Neutral Zone before Q sends Picard to meet them. In my mind, it also cast new light on Q's motives in "Q Who"--maybe Q knew the Borg were on the way, that Starfleet was unprepared, and Earth needed a heads-up. Maybe he did the Federation a favor in a way Picard never appreciated. Food for thought that added an enjoyable level to the episode for me.

    In summary: not a tremendous or terrible episode, a fair sequel to "First Contact" that the franchise doesn't need to be ashamed of. I also hope we have seen the Borg for the last time since, if current trends continue, the next time they show up we should be able to defeat them with pop guns and fluffy pillows.

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    Great Stuff
    By NAFF ( NATHANGSHARP@HOTMAIL.COM) at 11:44:13 on May 08 2003
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    You are being a bit harsh, O. Deus. This was actually a good episode. A nice tie-up of continuity... and here's a first for Enterprise for a long while... it was exciting.

    And the special effects... they will surely win an award for these. I was just amazed at the quality of the opening scenes.

    Okay, it annoyed me slighly that THREE times Borg/Borg-infested people were left guarded by just one person. In fact, who did they put to guard Phlox but the same Enterprise 'Red Shirt' who screwed-up and let the last guys escape!

    It annoyed me that once again, T'Pol had her catchprase line to Archer of "You did the right thing".

    And it annoyed me that nobody seemed to help Phlox investigate his condition (okay, Hoshi did feed his creatures - she was doing her best, I guess). Surely, T'Pol could have tried instead of hanging out in the Mess Hall!?

    But we have had two good episodes in a row now. Things are looking up for this show.

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    I have to disagree
    By Tbar ( tbar@divertigo.com) at 10:41:17 on May 08 2003
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    I have to say that this episode brought out some excitement and enjoyment in watching Trek that I have missed in the last season or so on an average. Dues is right, this may be a retread, but it was exciting and it was good television. The crew of Enterprise got lucky in this encounter, but what made it really enjoyable was the feeling of mystery they had, when you as a viewer knew what was going to happen. In fact it was the very nature of the "retreading" that in my mind made this episode so great. Knowing that they would adapt to the phase pistols, that they would awake from the ice.. And how dangerous they were, made the suspense all the better.

    This may not be a ground breaking episode in any way, but I agree with the last poster. It definitely makes me want to come back for more. It was a good hour of TV and a lot of fun to watch. And that line at the end about the 24th century and the Cochran speech, was just excellent.

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    O'Deus, I (respectfully) gotta disagree.....
    By tazym ( ) at 09:58:18 on May 08 2003
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    I have been discouraged at the way this show was going for a long time...To many bad episodes, to many storyline retreads....
    But I gotta admit .. watching this episode...
    This was good, real good. Makes you want to watch next week. And ENTERPRISE has not done that in a long time.

    I agree with some of your points in the review - as always well thought out and written. But REGENERATION definitely had some spark to it. The kind of Spark ENTERPRISE hasn't seen in a long time.

    (I Just hope the BORG don't become a "sweeps" event in the future -- too much to ask though YOU KNOW they are going to bring them back again!!!! -- ....)

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    Took 'em long enough? (Spoilers)
    By MikeNinNH ( ) at 09:34:49 on May 08 2003
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    I was jarred late in the episode by two observations. I noticed that, on the Enterprise, It only took one or maybe two of the Borg to get shot before the rest adapted with shields, while Reed and Archer were able to go on a veritable rampage through the Borgified transport before they FINALLY adapted.

    And second, why did the Borg, who hadn't been stopped yet and looked set to have their way on Enterprise, transport off the Enterprise to their doomed transport near the end of the episode? That's exactly the opposite of what happened in First Contact, and it made no sense to me. The only answer I can think of is that the episode was running out of time so they wrote that in to put a stop to that action thread.

    ---

    -----
    "How did you get in here??"
    "I'm a locksmith, and... I'm a locksmith".
    - "Police Squad"

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    I disagree
    By Captain Chris ( ) at 09:07:09 on May 08 2003
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    Sure, this episode seemed to be a standard "vampire" flick, but I didn't notice that until I read your review. I was gripped by the tension throughout, and thoroughly enjoyed the entire show. Just because it used a basic formula to tell a story, does not, in any way detract from the quality of the episode. If you put aside your impatience for rehashed aliens and story lines, just for a moment, you might agree that this was one of the best episodes, yet.

    As a Star Trek episode, it paid homage to continuity, both past and future by referencing Cochran's experiences and the time for the Borg's message to reach home.

    As far as character development, this ep shows a continuing growth in Archer's strength over the last few weeks. He seems to be much more sure of himself, lately, and is more prepared to accept the consequences of his actions. In some scenes, he appeared hesitant, but made the tough decisions, anyway. This suggests that he is still growing.

    As far as your reviews are concerned, I don't always agree, but I certainly don't always disagree. Unfortunately, I think you were way off base on this one. The calls for "unbiased" reviewers, or "pro" and "con" reviewers, however, are rediculous. If sombody wants an opposing view to yours, they should just scan down the posts below and they're sure to find one or two.

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    The good, the bad and the ramble
    By dropdeadnelix ( ) at 08:56:49 on May 08 2003
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    I thought the pacing of this ep was great, as was the GCI work and the music.

    As Deus mentioned, it was a small scale horror movie in nearly every respect. Unlike Deus, I felt like there wasn't anything really wrong with that. A coherent, well timed and interesting ep from ENT is a cause for celebration given some of the earlier efforts.

    I felt a little more invested with this ep when Phlox got "infected." Despite the fact that I knew he'd make it, my disbelief was suspended, unlike VOY Borg encounter eps. When Phlox said, "Don't let them touch you," I was right there with them. "Yes, don't." Natutrally, reality sets in and when Archer tells Reed that they've "adapted" my disbelief came roaring back. The well is a getting a little empty there...

    Anyway, it seems like Archer getting over the disdain at using force may be foreshadowing for season 3. Like many of us after 9/11, he is coming to realization that sometimes you have to fight...

    *Watching the promo for next week's Pon Far ep I felt sorry for Jolene Blalock. I like to see her in the decon chamber too, but really? How degrading...

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    Continuity
    By Sector001 ( ) at 08:43:12 on May 08 2003
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    I happen to think that the continuity in "Regeneration" made perfect sense. Except for there being no records of Phlox's "treatment". The Borg leave Earth to do what they were trying to do in FC, which is to send a message to the collective. It was silly that they were not so resistant to 22nd century phase pistols, but oh well. The Borg get the message and start showing up before Q introduced them to Picard (1st season finale "The Neutral Zone" in which Romulan and Federation outposts are destroyed by a mystierous alien force, ie: The Borg). And the Hanson's go looking for Borg before "The Neutral Zone". Maybe they were sent on a special advance mission by Section 31, knowing that the 200 years before Borg invasion was about to run out.

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    Fair Review
    By LarenRo ( ) at 08:20:44 on May 08 2003
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    I felt exactly the same about Enterprise's showcase of the Borg. And that's what it ultimately amounted to - merely a showcase.

    Nothing new... no repercussions... Just Archer and crew going through the motions where many a crew has gone before. Everything was handsomely achieved and was competently put together, but save for Phloxx's personal dilemma, nothing resonated in this above a few scares and thrills. Expanding Phloxx's predicament - perhaps even adding more of Hoshi's concern might have paid off, but we all know that too much exposure and knowledge of the race would shatter an already threadbare 'proper continuity timeline'

    The only potential future narrative branch I can see is Phloxx's temporary Borg nanoprobe compromised state. We know that like in the case of Picard and others that merely ridding oneself of the nanoprobes, does not deprive that individual of a 'Borg awareness' - a Borg inner voice that responds and is aware of the collective. Will the Borg have to make a true reappearance in Enterprise to explore this possibility? Not necessarily. In Voyager, the crew stumbled on the 'good collective' of former drones who brought Chakotay briefly into their ranks. Or the remotely influenced "Uni-Matrix Zero" scenario where long distance carrier waves induced Borg playtime.

    I really hope we don't revisit the Borg on Enterprise - at least in this ho-hum way - however, Phloxx and the actor who play him continue to deliver surprises and delights in even unremarkable stories. The scene when he is irradiating himself to destroy the probes was very effective thanks to sharp acting. Ultimately, I look upon 'Regeneration' as just another dimension to the Denobulian that helps to flesh out a character that is slowly becoming one of the most fascinating in Star Trek - due in large part to the actor's portrayal.


    ---

    Laren Ro

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    Yawn, another pessimistic wrong review by Deus
    By Trekker121 ( westonclark@networld.com) at 07:35:52 on May 08 2003
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    Ya know, some criticisms are grounded, some aren't.

    This one isn't

    As has been talked about MULTITUDES of times

    This was a handful of borg, a SMALL handful racing back to their mother hive. OF COURSE they were not as powerful as the ones Picard and crew have become in contact with. I think that is painfully obvious.

    As to its cliché of a story line compared to vampires and monsters of the 24th century. Well, what else have they ever been?

    COMPLAINT: This series does nothing to follow continuity, it screws everything up!

    COMPLAINT: This series can't help but reuse and rehash everything else already done in every other series!

    To me, I find those horribly contradictory and very tiring.

    Sorry Deus, nothing personal, but your reviews are becoming repetitive and pessimistic.

    Steve, maybe we need something who hasn't lost their burning desire for Trek (whether or not they hate ENT) begin reviewing these episodes. It isn't ENT that is boring me, it is the critics.

    ---

    "Yes, madam, I am drunk. But in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.
    -- Winston Churchill

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