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The Borg Queen is back! Susanna Thompson tells James E Brooks about her role as the Borg leader in Voyager's eagerly awaited Dark Frontier

selected from Starburst #246

Borg QueenFOR FANS of recent Star Trek, the universe has presented a myriad of new and fascinating alien races to the crews of Captains Picard, Sisko and Janeway, but none have been as dangerous or as determined as the Borg. With each new appearance, we learned more about their hive mind, but the movie First Contact revealed another frightening facet of Borg social structure - a Queen. Played by respected South African actress Alice Krige, this heretofore unseen creature exhibited several of the familiar Borg trappings with a sleekness and sexuality that made her the most deadly member of her race. Although Picard and his crew finally destroyed her, the Borg Queen would turn up again... this time on Star Trek: Voyager, in a special two-hour TV movie called Dark Frontier.

For the Queen's newest incarnation, producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga turned to someone already familiar with the Star Trek universe - actress Susanna Thompson. A California native, Thompson started working on stage before plunging into television six or seven years ago where she has worked steadily doing guest roles on several series, including Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

Given the hardiness of the Borg, does this mean that the queen in Dark Frontier is the same one destroyed in First Contact? Thompson quickly corrects any potential misconceptions.

"No, it's not," she reveals. "The producers told me from the beginning that we were not trying to duplicate Alice's Queen. That Queen was destroyed, but when I was creating this character I had the sense that - even though this isn't part of any episode or the history of the Borg - there might be a seed of something that survives from one Queen to another.

"Of course, if the producers decide otherwise, I still think that whatever created that original Queen is still intact since the mind and heart of the Borg are still alive. So from that is raised a new Queen.

Borg Sexuality

Mother wants her child back... In First Contact, the Borg Queen emanated a strong sexual aura. Thompson recognizes that something similar - but non-sexual - goes on between her Queen and Seven of Nine. "There is a seduction in this one," she says. "Not in the same way as with Alice's Queen, of course, but with the same force. That was a sensual thing, whereas this is more maternal. In fact, maternal was a term that came up in the script as well as in discussions I had with the director and Brannon Braga. Brannon also mentioned that my character wants Seven to come back of her own free will. And she's certain she'll be successful because she taps into Seven's feeling of displacement; the Queen's power is that of a parent luring back a lost child.

All Star Trek images © Paramount
Read the full interview with Susanna Thompson by getting Starburst 246 - plus interviews with Gates McFadden and Michael Dorn from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
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