Star Trek: First Contact
Year Region Certificate Running Time Screen Ratios Screen Format Sides Layers
1996 2 12 106 minutes 2.35:1 Anamorphic PAL 1 Dual

Soundtracks Subtitles Similar Releases
English and German Dolby Digital 5.1
Czech, Hungarian and Polish Dolby Digital 2.0
English, Bulgarian, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Norwegian, Swedish, Turkish Star Trek: Insurrection

The Film

"They call themselves the Borg - a half organic, half machine collective with a sole purpose: to conquer and assimilate all races". That is how the Borg are described on the DVD case and it sums them up well.

Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise have encountered the Borg on several occassions in the seven year run of the Next Generation TV series, most notably in the episode "The Best of Both Worlds". Picard was assimilated into the collective as part of their attempt to assimilate Earth, before eventually being rescued by his crew.

After failing in their attempt to assimilate Earth on their first visit, the Borg launch another attack. This time they plan to travel back in time and prevent humans from making First Contact with alien races, therefore preventing the birth of the Federation. This will leave Earth and other surrounding systems an easy target for assimilation.

During the initial attack, the Enterprise gets caught in the vortex which allows the Borg to travel through time. The crew get a brief glimpse of the assimilated Earth and realising what the Borg are going to do Picard orders the Enterprise to follow into the vortex.

The opening ten minutes of this film is an special effects extraveganza with the introduction of the new Enterprise 1701-E, a space battle involving Starfleet and the Borg and the journey back in time. Once the opening sequence ends, the story settles to a more reasonable pace, with the action split into two areas - on the ship Picard must try to prevent the Borg from taking over the Enterprise and on Earths surface Riker and Geordi have to ensure that the first faster than light space flight is made, which will then lead to First Contact.

History

There are lots of events in this film which tie in nicely with Trek history. The character of Zefrane Cochrane who makes the first warp speed space flight and subsequent meeting with another race, has appeared in Trek before, albeit, played by a different actor 30 years beforehand in the original series.

The alien race whom First Contact is made with is infact the Vulcans. It is interesting to note when watching their ship arrive that it appears through the mist as a triangular shaped object slowly hovering and then landing. This is vaguely reminisent of supposed alien sightings, such as those seen in the X-Files and other programmes.

The introduction of the Borg Queen is an interesting addition to the already established foe. It ties in nicely with the events in the TV series and explains why Picard was assimilated and also why he was given the name Locutus, when normally drones are given numerical designations. She personifies the Borg and allows and interesting storyline to develop regarding Data and his quest for humanity.

Result

The end result is an action packed and exciting film and in my opinion, the best Trek movie to date. There are lots of little references for Trek fans to pick up on such as Cochranes order to "...engage", which the average non-trek fan may not recognise, but would not detract from their enjoyment.

The special effects are excellent, most of which come in the intial battle sequences. The new Enterprise was designed specially for movies and so was not restricted to a TV budget as with it's predecessor. The sets are impressive, especially the engine room, which acts as the central Borg hive for most of the film.

Most Trek fans probably already own this either on VHS or Region 1, but if not, then this film is definately one I would recommend.

The DVD

The picture is good throughout most of the film and is complimented well by the soundtrack which is excellent. The battle sequences are a good example with lots of sub-woofer action. However, it is not as impressive in either way as the recently released Star Trek: Insurrection - perhaps an indication of the relative age of the film.

The only thing that lets this disc down is the lack of extras. Paramount have included two trailers on this disc. There is not even a featurette as there was with Insurrection - I know that there are some, as I have seen them!

All things considered, this is a good film which is well worth a look whether a Trek fan or not.

Mike Rolfe

Film Details
Distributor:
Paramount

Director:
Jonathan Frakes

Starring:
Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Alfre Woodard, James Cromwell, Alice Krige

Extras
Teaser Trailer
Theatrical Trailer

Ratings
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