Janeway versteht nicht, warum Seven die Voyager verlassen wollte. Bei den Nachforschungen findet sie Sensorenwerte, die keine zufälligen Energiefluktuationen sind, sondern Kommunikationssignale, die die Borg an Sevens Implantate geschickt hatten.
Janeway ist nun überzeugt, daß Seven von der Borgqueen gezwungen wurde, ins Kollektiv zurückzukehren. Torres soll den Antrieb der Delta Flyer mit der Transwarpspule ausstatten, damit ein Außenteam die Borgkugel, auf der sich Seven befindet, anhand der zurückgeblieben Transwarpspuren aufspüren kann. Die Aufzeichnungen der Hansons enthalten Anweisungen für den Bau eines wirkungsvollen Tarnschilds gegen die Borg.
Seven empfängt eine Nachricht von Janeway. Doch nun weiß auch die Borgqueen, daß sich die Delta Flyer mit den von den Hansons entwickelten Schilden dem Borgschiff nähert.
Janeway erscheint und bedroht die Borgqueen, daß man mit der Delta Flyer direkt auf die Kammer ziele. Es wäre der Tod der Borgqueen, wenn man sie nicht gehen ließe. Seven hilft, die Schutzschilde des Borgschiffes zu deaktivieren, Janeway und Seven können auf die Delta Flyer beamen.
Die Delta Flyer flieht mit Transwarpgeschwindigkeit, zwei Borgwürfel und das Schiff der Borgqueen nehmen die Verfolgung auf. Die Borg eröffnen das Feuer auf die Delta Flyer. Als die Delta Flyer den Transwarpraum verläßt, befeuert die Voyager die Öffnung des Feldes, wodurch die Borgverfolger in Stücke gerissen werden.
Die Transwarpspule kann noch verwendet werden, um die Voyager 15 Jahre näher zur Erde zu bringen.
Der zweite Teil steht dem ersten an Spannung und Tempo in nichts nach. Besonders eindrucksvoll und erstaunlich gruselig ist eine Szene, in der Seven mit ansieht, wie ein ganzes Volk assimiliert wird.
Erneut gelingt es der Voyager in dieser Episode, mehrere Jahre Wegstrecke zu überspringen. Mit anderen Worten: Bislang kommt die Voyager in der fünften Staffel ganz schön flott voran. In "Night" schaffte die Crew einen Sprung von zwei Jahren Flug, in "Timeless" war es dank der Slipstreamtechnik sogar gelungen, die Heimreise um zehn Jahre zu verkürzen. Und jetzt kam noch einmal eine Ersparnis von fünfzehn Jahren hinzu. Addiert man hierzu noch die zehn Jahre, die dank der Hilfe von Kes in "The Gift" (dt.: Das Geschenk) wegfielen, sind von den 70 Jahren Heimflug nur noch etwa 30 Jahre übrig.
"There are three things to remember about being a starship captain: Keep your shirt tucked in; go down with the ship; and never abandon a member of your crew." (Janeway to Naomi) (Dt.: Es gibt drei Dinge, an die ein Captain der Sternenflotte immer denken muß. Stets das Hemd in der Hose lassen, mit dem Schiff untergehen, und niemals ein Mitglied der Crew aufgeben!)
"The Borg - how I prefer them the most - in pieces!" (Janeway) (Dt.: Die Borg, wie sie mir am liebsten sind - zerstückelt!)
Folgender Artikel von Edward Gross stand im EON-Magazin:
The February 17th airing of the two-hour STAR TREK: VOYAGER telefilm, Dark Frontier, is the latest example of how the series has gone a long way in reinvigorating itself since the addition of Jeri Ryan as Borg crewmember, Seven of Nine.
Janeway and Seven of Nine prepare to confront the Borg Queen in the new telefilm Dark Frontier.
At its outset, VOYAGER was a series firing on all thrusters, with an excellent two-hour kick-off in the form of The Caretaker and a cast that instantly gelled in front of the camera. Unfortunately, throughout its first few seasons the series lost much of its edge; an edge gradually weathered away along with the conflict between Starfleet and Maquis crewmembers, who realized that they had to work together toward the common goal of getting home.
In essence, Voyager was getting soft - until year four, when Ryan joined the show as Seven, gradually reassimilated into humanity. Suddenly there was the constant feeling that all hell could break loose at any moment; and the characters around her were creatively recharged, particularly Janeway. Since then, Janeway and Seven have captured the elusive Kirk/Spock dynamic of the original Star Trek.
"I had a midnight inspiration to put a Borg on the ship as a character and Rick Berman dimensionalized the character," says executive producer Brannon Braga, " We began to talk about the fact that Picard had Data, Kirk had Spock - who does Janeway have? There was no larger than life, Star Trek sci-fi character on the show and that's what it needed. It was like a missing ingredient. B'Elanna and Seven are good together, Harry Kim and Seven are good together in a different way - he's intimidated by her. All of the characters have a unique relationship with her, which is nice. Tuvok and Seven are more alike; the Doctor is the one who has taken Seven under his wing and is giving her social lessons. So they have a more humorous dynamic. One of the things we tried to do last year was make sure that every character had a special relationship with Seven that was different.
Most importantly, taking one of Next Generation's most frightening creations and assimilating one of them into the very fabric of Voyager has been a gamble that has paid off gloriously according to Braga.
"Seven of Nine has paid off for us beyond our wildest expectations," Braga says. "We created this character to juice up the show, add some sex appeal and conflict and give Janeway her Spock or Data, as it were. Little did we know that Jeri Ryan herself would break into mainstream pop culture in ways that very few Star Trek characters have. That was an unexpected surprise, and her character has worked out exactly the way we wanted. It's given us a lot of story material and a foil to Janeway. Certainly the sex appeal, for what it's worth, has paid off as well. Jeri is beautiful and she's an excellent actress. We really lucked out in finding her. It was entirely possible that we might have introduced this character and not much would have changed."
Producer Joe Menosky, who was equally involved in the development of Seven of Nine, concurs.
The one, the only -- Borg Queen.
"One of the things that we were very conscious of was the way that Gene Roddenberry created characters that were very simple, but somehow rich with potential. Data - what could be simpler than Pinocchio, a little wooden puppet who wants to be a boy?," says Menosky. "That was Data and that was a very rich source of story material. In this case, we wondered what the proper metaphor for this character should be. We had someone who had left the Borg, this powerful, very dangerous alien who had resumed or taken up where her humanity had left off. I think we were looking for something that would inspire the writing. Whether we ever came up with it explicitly in dialogue or description or not, one of the things we kicked around was whether or not she was an ex-junkie. Is she someone who has been taken away from her fix and this is essentially a withdrawal? The other metaphor we played with was, 'Is this an ex-cult member? Is this someone taken away from a huge religious cult who has to be given back her individuality; reprogrammed in that sense?' But both of those metaphors, for us, were negative. We played with them and wondered if kids would want to watch someone you think of as being an ex-junkie. That was certainly NOT Pinocchio. Instead, we came up with the intriguing notion of a wolf child; a child raised by a wolf pack and eventually returned to humanity. Despite the fact that wolves are considered very dangerous and evil creatures in fairy tales and are merciless, there is still something very elevated about the notion that you once lived among the wolves and survived."
Well, in Dark Frontier (airing February 17th, 1999 UPN, check your local listings for air time) the wolfpack is back, demanding the return of its child.
The premise of the telefilm has Voyager coming upon a damaged Borg Sphere that, according to Braga, is "limping" home. Aware that the vessel is equipped with a transwarp drive that could shave at least 20 years off of their journey, Janeway is determined to get her hands on the technology. Unfortunately, the new Borg Queen is aware of what's going on and contacts Seven, stating that she will spare the starship crew if Seven allows herself to be reassimilated.
"The idea of a Seven who is reassimilated by a Borg and is captured by the Borg Queen, and a Janeway who must go rescue her adopted daughter from the birthmother, had a wonderful, Oedipal Triangle to it," offers Braga. "We thought that would be fun. But what's the story? How do we get into it without the Borg just sort of showing up? I remember we were talking late one night and thought it might be cool if Janeway turned the tables on the Borg. Every one of our two-parters has a great Janeway driving force behind it. We thought it would be cool to use the idea of the damaged Borg sphere and Janeway determined to do a little assimilating of her own. I won't give it all away, but ultimately Seven is reassimilated because the Queen has set her sights on humanity and Seven holds the key. She's the only Borg to truly rejoin humanity. Unlike Locutus/Picard, who was only a Borg briefly, Seven spent her entire life as a Borg and was with humanity briefly. Thus begins what we feel is an exciting adventure in which Janeway must infiltrate the heart of Borg space, and where the Queen lives, to find and retrieve Seven."
Actress Susanna Thompson, who takes over the role of the newly-minted Borg Queen (played in the feature film Star Trek: First Contact by Ghost Story's Alice Krige), notes that Krige's portrayal was quite seductive.
"This Queen is seductive in a different way," she says of her Dark Frontier role. "They're both seductive in getting what they want, and she REALLY wants Seven of Nine back. There's a whole issue of free will being played here, with the Queen trying to get a sense of free will and realizing that Seven, and who she is, is the key to achieving that. What's interesting is that at a certain point in the film, we pose the question: was this all originally designed to happen this way? Did the events of this story happen by mistake or did the Borg originally intend it this way? It really comes to a point where you need to find out one way or the other."
Beyond this, Braga is pleased with another level of story that he worked into the script. He admits to being curious as to how Seven was assimilated when she was six years old; what events transpired to allow this to happen.
Seven of Nine comes to grips with the Borg Queen.
"I had seen a documentary called Wolves At Our Door about a married couple who spent a large portion of their adult life studying wolves up close in the wild, and really breaking a lot of misconceptions about wolves" notes Braga. "I thought, 'Maybe that's who her parents were. They were true explorers, true scientists, and maybe they were the first people to get to the Delta Quadrant by following in the wake of a Borg cube; to study them up close. But things went terribly wrong and they got assimilated.' How interesting it would be to follow their adventures - the first encounter with the Borg and the perspective they would have on them. We tend to think of the Borg as faceless, mindless automatons, but they might have had a little bit of a different perspective which we explore by following their back story - which Seven is investigating because she has the logs that she retrieved from her parents' vessel last year. Not only is it a fascinating little back story in which you get to see Seven as a little girl and how everything went wrong, but she begins to discover they developed very clever defensive capabilities against the Borg that we begin to use ourselves. Ultimately, even though Seven is reassimilated again, and is very bitter about her parents - after all, if it wasn't for them, she would have lived a normal life - there's redemption for the long-dead parents in a way because it is, in part, their achievements that allow us to save Seven. So there are really three stories in this episode: the heist, the Oedipal triangle and the parents. It makes, I hope, a very rich two-hour.
Another factor that Braga is really proud of is the amount of action Dark Frontier contains even moreso that the First Contactmovie itself.
"As I was writing the script with Joe Menosky I began to realize that it had more action than First Contact," reveals Braga. "I really don't know how we produced it on our budget. It certainly helps that a lot of the Borg elements had been constructed for First Contact, but in addition to that there were hundreds of opticals. Let's face it: when you say a two-hour Voyager telefilm, the return of the Borg Queen, the Queen versus Janeway in a battle for Seven of Nine - you damn well better deliver."
The biggest question hanging over Voyager, and a subject that has been discussed endlessly on the Internet, is not whether Kate Mulgrew will leave the series early ("That's just a rumor," says Braga) but if Voyager will reach the Alpha Quadrant at the end of this season. Some would argue that such a development would represent an abandonment of the show's premise and make it like any other Trek series.
"People do seem tantalized by the possibility," offers Braga. "Let me put it to you this way: if we did end up bringing them home, we would only do it if we felt it was going to give us an incredible result. We would not do it hastily and just plop them home. They would have to earn it. Secondly, if we felt it was to the detriment of the series, we wouldn't do it. We would only do it if it was going to give us a dynamic sixth and seventh year. If it's going to deflate the franchise and it's just going to be business as usual, of course we don't want to do it. Would we get big ratings for the episode where they reach earth? Yeah, there'd be a curiosity factor. But we're thinking about all of the episodes after that, and that's the thing we talk about.
And keeping Voyager unique will always be the prime directive according to Braga especially with Deep Space Nine leaving the air after this season making Voyager the only TV Trek fix in town.
"We talk about how will Voyager remain unique?" Braga concludes. "Is this to our benefit in the long run or the short term? The conversations continue daily. We've got a few tricks up our sleeve. We have the very same concerns that fans of the show and its premise have. If we do it, it will not feel like giving up on the premise, but rather a perfectly natural thing to have done. It will be an extrapolation of the premise, rather than an abandonment of the premise. I'll say that much. But I really don't know what's going to happen. I wish I did, because the damn show goes into prep in a month."