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'Unimatrix Zero' Scribe Writes Article

By Christian
May 17, 2000 - 9:05 AM

Teleplay by Mike Sussman is the official web site of Mike Sussman, one of the writers for both 'The Haunting Of Deck Twelve' and 'Unimatrix Zero', the final two Voyager episodes of the season. Available now at the site is an essay by Sussman, in which he writes on his experience pitching ideas to the Trek producers, and how he came up with the story for the season finale.

Sussman started on Star Trek in the same way that 'Voyager' executive producer Brannon Braga did, with a six-week internship with the writing staff and the opportunity to pitch stories. In the article, Sussman describes the various story ideas he suggested, including 'Connections', a story on Seven of Nine discovering a sort of 'Cosmic Internet' allowing instantaneous communications with species from all over the universe, with one member of which Seven would even fall in love. His other two pitches were "Virtual Away Mission", in which Seven would become trapped in a virtual realm, and "Sim Voyager", in which aliens would send commandos via the holodeck to take over Voyager.

Fearing that these last two pitches would not be bought, Sussman thought a Borg story just a short while before the pitch meeting:

"They haven't really done anything about the Borg and cyberspace."


The Borg... and cyberspace. It seemed like a natural fit. The Borg are jacked in to a giant network. It'd be easy to imaging some Drones living an interior fantasy life in cyberspace, as their bodies march about doing the bidding of the Collective. Maybe it could be much more than a fantasy life... a cyberspace environment that the Collective doesn't know about. A staging ground, maybe, for some kind of resistance movement. Seven jacks in to a galactic network (maybe more akin to a cosmic chat room) and she's talking to aliens... and finds out later they're really Borg Drones. Now that's a cool twist.

In the end, as we know, this is the story that was bought, though it still underwent some major changes in the development process: for a while 'Unimatrix Zero' was going to be a Tom Paris story, as it would mostly be set on his domain, the holodeck, but when the holodeck angle was eliminated it became a Seven of Nine story again. More details on this development process, plus several photos of 'Unimatrix Zero', can be found in the full article. In it, we also get a hint that 'Unimatrix Zero' might not be the last Borg episode yet - Sussman actually sold another Borg story to 'Voyager', but after some development that story got put on the backburner, though Sussman notes it may be produced next season. Again, click here for the full article.

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