My gut feeling is that, while they were eager to put a "face" on the swedes, they were even more excited about sexing up Data. It's something the TV broadcast wanted, they love the goddamn emo chip, and to take it a step further on film had to be very tempting. That emphasized the perceived need for the Queen even more -- you kill two subplot birds with one character stone.
This is entirely hypothetical, but had a Seven-type character occurred to them back then, they might've included her as a rogue Borg/smarter Hugh to pursue Data as a mate and forgotten about the need for a Queen (as a face of the Borg) entirely. JLP certainly could've held that B story if it were just about monomania and genocide.
That being said, I understand the decision (i.e. "movie" vs. "film"), and the performance for the queen is good. I just resent the borg because it's such an obvious choice in an otherwise fun flick. So to reiterate others, ingenious scifi isn't the success of the movie. In just about every scene with the crew, they've got that laid-back chemistry going on that the broadcasts usually reserved for the last 5 minutes (e.g. poker game) of very special episodes. That's where it succeeds, they were able to give us that feeling for nearly ALL of its running time. It's 100% TNG comfort food:
- Riker's extra smirky;
- Geordi's vogue-ing statue poses;
- Data's hot to trot with Emotion Chip 2.0 and forearm foreplay;
- Troi's drunk;
- Worf's kicking ass and administering Borg-arm tourniquets;
- JLP's got a hardon full of borg hate (plus Dixon holofun!);
- Even Barclay's up in this piece with awkwardness.
Only Beverly's left out of the action. (Or maybe she isn't, am I forgetting something?) Anyhow, that's some expertly played fan service.
I can see how people cut down First Contact (a friend sent me a link of the Phantom Menace guy going after First Contact), and I don't disagree with a lot of it. But to me it's the only TNG movie that feels true to broadcast. Everything else with the TNG cast feels like a shitty generic action movie with TNG plastering.
Also, back on the swedish menace, blandstalker's on the point, I think. The execution of the borg story lines was always sloppy IMO, whether it's TNG or VOY. It was always hard to reconcile the existence of the borg, the federation's position, and just the mechanics of assimilation. That's one of the automatic benefits of DS9: as far as I can recall, the borg aren't featured in any episode. Good on 'em!
Bland, you're well informed on a lot of the behind the scenes/production stuff: isn't there a story about how the borg were to be used? I recall reading somewhere that the "Great War" concept used in DS9 was originally intended to play out in TNG with the borg. I'm probably off, I just need to google this for myself.
Edited by dothog, 05 July 2012 - 03:53 PM.