Why The Borg Don’t Appear In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Despite being a huge part of the backstory for Commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), the Borg Collective never appeared in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and there are many real-world and in-universe explanations for why. Sisko lost his wife Jennifer (Felecia M. Bell) to the Borg Collective’s devastating attack on the Federation at the Battle of Wolf 359. The loss of the USS Saratoga forced Sisko to reconsider his career in Starfleet, but he found a new purpose when he became the Bajoran Emissary aboard Deep Space Nine.

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Sisko’s Borg story was a smart way to differentiate DS9 from Star Trek: The Next Generation and establish the show’s darker tone. The enmity shown toward Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) – formerly Locutus of Borg – by Commander Benjamin Sisko established the latter as a very different type of Star Trek protagonist. As Star Trek: Deep Space Nine continued its complex story of religion and warfare, it’s hard to see where the Borg Collective would have fit in.



Why The Borg Don’t Appear In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Captain Benjamin Sisko and the Borg

In a 1997 AOL chat with Star Trek fans (archived at Memory Alpha) Co-Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore revealed the reason why the Borg didn’t appear in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He said that the DS9 writers’ room “pretty much decided to keep away from the Borg on DS9 and [let] Voyager deal with them exclusively.Star Trek: Voyager began in 1995, and with a central premise of a Starfleet vessel stranded in the Borg’s home turf of the Delta Quadrant, it was inevitable that the Collective would heavily feature, which they did from season 3 onward.

In universe, it makes sense for the Borg not to appear in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as their attacks in “The Best of Both Worlds”, Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Picard season 3 are focused squarely on Earth. DS9 was located far away from Earth, deep on the fringes of Cardassian space, orbiting Bajor and the gateway to the Gamma Quadrant. The battle against the Borg in First Contact heavily impacted Starfleet at a crucial point in the Dominion War, but this was the only time – aside from DS9‘s pilot – that they made a substantial impact on the show.

What Would Have Happened If Sisko & DS9 Faced The Borg?

The cast of Star Trek: DS9 and a Borg cube

Jeff Ayers’ Star Trek reference book Voyages of Imagination revealed that writers Robert Simpson and Marco Palmieri pitched an episode in which Sisko discovered that his wife Jennifer had been assimilated by the Borg. The episode remained undeveloped, likely due to Voyager‘s Borg exclusivity, but it’s a hint of the type of Borg story that Star Trek: Deep Space Nine might have done. DS9 was a more morally complex and character-driven show than any Trek show before it. It would make sense for the show to go down a more individual Borg route with something akin to TNG‘s “I, Borg” episode.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine crew did face the Borg in Star Trek: First Contact, but they had to be rescued by the crew of the USS Enterprise-E. Lt. Cmdr Worf led the USS Defiant into battle, but the ship was badly damaged in the fight against the Borg. With a “tough little ship” like the Defiant unable to beat the Borg, and Deep Space Nine being a partial civilian space station, the odds would be stacked high against Sisko and the crew. However, Sisko’s Borg trauma, and his status as one of Starfleet’s most decorated military officers suggest that it would be foolish to bet against him in a battle with the Borg.

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