Monday, September 28, 2009

106. Seaborgium


The Sea Borg

Prepare to be assimilated! The biggest hit of the 2089 television season is absolutely guaranteed to be Star Trek: The Sea Borg.

A little background, first. The Star Trek franchise began, humbly enough, with a television show that ran for three seasons before being canceled. It went immediately into reruns which, though accountants assure us that the show has yet to turn a profit, continue to this very day. Indeed, the show's popularity was so great that eventually the original cast members, by then a little long in the tooth, were brought back to make Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It was a success, and the sequels continued until the advancing age of its principals became an outright embarrassment.

Thus was born Star Trek: The Next Generation, a new television series designed to be the breeding ground for another series of movies. While its characters grew and prospered (and got older), other shows were spun off from the franchise's hardy root stock: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, known affectionately to its fans as "Star Trek: The Mall," and Star Trek: Voyager, known less affectionately as "Star Trek: Lost in Space." A sort of prequel to the original series, Star Trek: Enterprise, shortly ensued.

Once begun, there was no end to the proliferation of Star Treks. Because the shows were being commissioned by studio executives who were not particularly receptive to innovation, the new series were often based on sci-fi of the past. Thus were born Star Trek: Solaris, Star Trek: Dark Star, and Star Trek: 1984, all of which proved far more successful than anybody could have reasonably expected and encouraged further spin-offs, leading ultimately to such fiascos as Star Trek: Black Hole, Star Trek: Tron, and (ironically enough) Star Trek: Lost in Space. Most regrettable of the lot was Star Trek: Plan 9 From Outer Space, a series so disastrously misconceived as to throw the future of the entire franchise in doubt.

The problem was that though a successful show could last a decade or so, inevitably the cast would age to the degree that their heroics became laughable. A solution had to be found. And it was—in one of the most popular recurrent villains of the franchise universe, the Borg. The Borg, as everybody knows, were a collective consciousness that traveled the universe in giant cubical ships, looking for new cultures to assimilate—a mission only slightly different in emphasis from that of the original Star Trek!

Best of all, the Borg were so heavily cyborged and covered with makeup and machinery that an actor's aging features could be completely hidden. And if an actor died, he could simply be replaced—under all that hardware, who could tell the difference? So, in an inspired plot twist, the cast and crew of the Enterprise LXVII were assimilated by the Borg and—because of their inherent decency—transformed their former enemies into good guys!

Thus was born the Star Trek: Borg franchise.

Star Trek: The Sea Borg, however, is good enough in its own right to make you forget about every ST:B series you've ever seen. It's better than Star Trek: Borg the Vampire Slayer and Star Trek: The Borg Files put together! This puppy has got everything: hurricanes, giant squids, and lots and lots of hot Borg babes in tiny little bikinis. It is—mark my words—going straight to the top!

So great is the anticipation that Star Trek: CNN has announced that the date of its premier will almost certainly be declared a national holiday by Star Trek: The American Congress.

© 2002 by Michael Swanwick and SCIFI.COM.

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