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TrekToday - Susanna Thompson Interview

Susanna Thompson Interview

By Christian
May 15, 2000 - 12:49 PM

Anna L. Kaplan at Fandom has put up an interview with with Susanna Thompson, the second actress to play the Borg Queen, after Alice Krige in 'First Contact'. After playing this role in last year's 'Dark Frontier' telefilm, she'll be returning to it again for 'Unimatrix Zero', this year's season finale.

As previously reported, the episode deals with a cybernetic dreamscape, which about one in a million Borg drones are able to access during their regenerative cycle. When they go there, they exist as individuals, seeing themselves in the way they were before assimilation (except, one would assume, in the case of Annika Hansen). In 'Unimatrix Zero', the Borg Queen finds out about this, says Thompson:

"She has discovered that there are a mutant strain of Borgs that are somehow finding their way to a place, a mind place, [where] they find individuality. She knows this is happening. She doesn't know how it is happening, and she is on a mission to find out. Because it was just given to me as such a last minute thing, a lot of the script was not written, so I don't know their through line. This is mainly my story, in terms of the Borg Queen.

There are some lovely images of her really trying to get to the root of this. The way she is doing it is taking apart different drones' cortical arrays. She's dissecting brains, trying to get to the core of it. So there's this, in some ways, mad scientist feel to it, at least in the laboratory. There's a wonderful [shot] - I hope it was shot well - of her holding up just a head, a bloody head, staring at this head saying, 'What am I not seeing? Where are you? You are so close.' Also, another element that is really wonderful, depending on how they shoot it, is that once she finds out where this place is, she's sending Borg in there. She's sending drones in there, and they start battling in that Unimatrix Zero space. Individuals that used to be drones are now battling with drones, and that's where some of the Voyager crew gets into battles. The whole time the Borg Queen is watching through the eyes of the drones that she sent over. That to me is interesting."

In the full interview, Thompson mentions that she shot most of the scenes on her own, without the 'Voyager' crew. This does not prevent her from having several great moments in the episode - apparently the Queen's descent into her costume has been enhanced, so that not only her head joins into her body, but also her arms, and then the legs.

Storywise, however, several important things will also be happening during the episode, mentions the article. Tom Paris will finally get his rank of lieutenant back, after losing it in 'Thirty Days'. Seven of Nine will get her first romance, in Unimatrix Zero, and some Voyager crew members will be assimilated.

Though much is already known about the first part of 'Unimatrix Zero', Part Two, which will be next year's season opener, hasn't even begun being written yet. However, Brannon Braga did remark that "You never know-we might even get a glimpse of this Borg Queen coming unglued, and maybe even a glimpse of her as an individual".

More of Thompson's thoughts on working on Trek, as well as a brief word on her regular role on ABC's 'Once and Again', can be found in the full interview. Thanks go out to Elaine Butler for this!

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