In the Best of Both Worlds story arc, the story sequence is
The Best of Both Worlds Part 1 : The Best of Both Worlds Part 2 : Family.



Lt. Cmdr. Shelby joins the crew to examine the disappearance of the Federation colony New Providence, apparently caused by the Borg. A Borg cube appears and they demand that Picard personally surrender to them. Thanks to Shelby's quick-witted strategy, the Enterprise breaks away and hides in a nebula where Geordi modifies the deflector to serve as a weapon. When the Borg attack again, they abduct and assimilate Picard who now acts as their speaker, Locutus. Riker takes command of the ship, while a team led by Shelby beams aboard the Borg ship. They can do some damage, but don't manage to retrieve Picard. Back on the Enterprise, Riker orders Geordi's weapon to be fired


The deflector dish discharge has no effect on the Borg cube; Thanks to Locutus the Borg have all of Picard's knowledge about Federation technology and strategy. The Enterprise is not able to follow the Borg cube, which has resumed a course straight to Earth. A fleet of 40 Federation ships is going to engage them at Wolf 359. When the Enterprise arrives at the battle site, the whole fleet is lost. The Enterprise catches up with the cube again, and thanks to Riker's unusual and unexpected maneuvers Picard can be freed, while the cube is approaching Earth. Data is trying to get in contact with the Borg through Picard's implants. He finally gets a hint by Picard himself who says "sleep", just when Riker is about to give the command to ram the Borg ship. With a "sleep" command, Data disables the cube, which destroys itself by a power feedback.

Errors and Explanations

Internet Movie Database


  1. In the final scene, though there's been enough time for Picard's restorative micro-surgery, it appears Riker is still wearing the 4 pips that indicate captain rank. Riker may not have formally returned command to Picard at that point. [N 1]

Character error

  1. Early in the show, when the crew are reporting to Admiral Hanson over subspace from the Ready Room, Admiral Hanson calls Lieutenant Commander Shelby 'Lieutenant'. The proper abbreviation for her rank is Commander or the rank is said in full. Probably done on purpose to emphasise his seniority.[N 2]

Ex Astris Scientia

  1. Why don't the Borg destroy the totally defenseless Enterprise or assimilate everyone after Riker's unsuccessful attempt of firing of the deflector? The Enterprise is no longer a threat to the borg following the use of the deflecctor weapon.
    And once again after the rescue of Picard? That would prevent them from possibly recovering Locutus in the future.
  2. When the Borg cube approaches the Terran system, it drops out of warp. And so does the Enterprise. In numerous other episodes warp speed inside a solar system is possible or is at least considered an option, so why not in this extreme emergency? They can't risk overstressing the warp drive so soon after such an extensive rebuild!

Nit Central

  1. Mike L. on Sunday, August 06, 2000 - 3:27 pm: Guinan explains to Riker in the ready room that he should try to get over Picard's loss, that she has already gotten over it. Of course she has. In Time's Arrow we see that Picard met Guinan when he went back to 19th century San Francisco. At the time of "Both Worlds," Picard has not yet gone back in time to meet her. (Of course, at the time of "Both Worlds," the creators hadn't come up with the idea for "Time's Arrow" yet... ;) In this episode, Guinan must know that Picard will be fine because, if not, she would have never met him. In that case, she'd suddenly no longer be on the Enterprise in the middle of the episode due to alternate timeline problems. In Yesterday's Enterprise, Data mentioned the possibility of Guinan's species having a perception that goes beyond linear time. This could be especially true for those, like Guinan, who were rescued from the Nexus by the Enterprise-B in Star Trek Generations.
  2. LUIGI NOVI on Saturday, June 02, 2001 - 12:54 am: Admiral Hanson’s refusal to believe Picard would "assist" the Borg in the beginning of Act 1 is based on overt emotionalism and lack of professional objectivity. The crew knows what assimilation means, and what has been done to Picard. Why doesn’t someone chime up and explain this to Hanson? He’s not being realistic or reasonable. Picard is not assisting the Borg, but they do have access to all of his memories and knowledge of Starfleet. They don't want to make him any angrier, especially in light of his reaction th Shelby's remarks.
  3. Crusher tells Riker in Act 1 that she and Data came up with the idea of introducing a destructive strain of nanites into the Borg, but that unfortunately, it would take 2 or 3 weeks to implement. Why? In Evolution, Wesley left a container with just two nanites open overnight, and by morning, they had already begun to disable the ship’s systems, and that was by accident. The new nanites need to be engineered with safeguards, to prevent the Borg using them against Starfleet.
  4. In Act 4, after Locutus tells the crew he will remain on the Enterprise to speak for the Borg, Crusher, Data and Riker discuss the Borg subspace signals on the bridge, and Data mentions that they have observed Borg drones removing mechnanical parts from injured drones on "several" occasions. In fact, they’ve observed this on exactly one occasion, in Q Who. What about the drones that were disabled when the Borg kidnapped Picard in Part 1?
  5. Riker asks during this scene if the signals can be blocked. Data points out that drones have known to remove key circuits from injured fellow Borg, adding, "no doubt separating them from the group consciousness." Riker than adds that the injured Borg self destruct, and Crusher conjectures that cutting the link might be fatal to Picard. First of all, on what basis does Data form the conclusion that the circuits that the Borg remove from injured fellow drones separate them from the group consciousness? There’s no proof of this. It seems that the writers simply wanted to establish this, and simply had Data magically come up with this notion out of thin air. Second, we know that the circuits in question do not necessarily have anything to do with drones’ subspace link to the Collective, and that cutting drones off from the Collective is not what causes them to self-destruct, because Hugh becomes separated from the Collective when the crew block the signals from him in I, Borg, and Seven of Nine is separated from the Borg at the end of Scorpion part II (VOY), and neither one of them dies.Hugh and Seven are still 'concious' when they were seperated from the collective - the drones mentioned above were not..
  6. During the Enterprise-Borg battle in Act 5, the Borg try to lock onto the Enterprise with their tractor beam. Geordi soon notes that the shields have failed, and that the Borg have locked on. Riker then orders Wesley to lay in a collission course with the Borg cube. But how can they do this? The Borg has the Enterprise in a tractor beam. Doesn’t that mean it can’t move? Perhaps Riker is hoping the pressure from the Enterprise attempting to move forward will overload the tractor beam emitter, thus releasing Enterprise long enough for them to ram the cube.
  7. At the end of the episode, Picard and Riker are in the ready room. Some time has obviously passed since Picard’s separation from the Collective, and he has bandages on his head were the cranial prosthetics were implanted. At first I thought this was a good way to show how massive the injuries that he suffered were. But now I’m wondering, with dermal regenerators, why are bandages even necessary? They look too solid to be bandages. Maybe they are specialised regenerators, designed to repair damage under the outer skin.
  8. At the end of the episode, right before Riker leaves Picard’s ready room, he tells him the course has been laid in for Station McKinley, and Picard tells him to make it so. First of all, Picard has bandages on his head, and Riker talks about the repair estimates that have been made for the Enterprise, so obviously, some time has passed since the destruction of the Borg cube, during which Picard was treated. Shouldn’t the Enterprise already be at the station? What have they been doing in orbit all this time? Where was the Enterprise when these estimates were being made? Wouldn’t they have been made at the station? When you have a problem with your car, you don’t ask the mechanic to make a house call. You bring the car to him, and then he makes the estimate. The engineering staff had to make sure it was safe for the ship to move to the repair station using it's own engines, as well as making a prelimary evaluation of the ship's systems.
  9. Given that Starfleet has just lost tens of thousands of crewmen, and Riker and Shelby recieved field promotions to captain and commander respectively, how can they be demoted back to their original ranks? Isn’t Starfleet going to need good officers now? Shouldn’t they simply keep Riker as captain, stick him on his own ship whether he likes it or not, and be done with it? Riker may have insisted on remaining aboard Enterprise, as a Commander, in order to help Picard's recovery, be eliminating the need for Picard to break in a new First Officer!
  10. By Keith Alan Morgan (Kmorgan) on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 6:17 am: On page 254 of the NextGen Guide II, Phil is surprised that Saturn & the Borg cube have the sun's light coming at them from the right and assumes the cube is not heading toward Earth. Apparently Phil forgot that Saturn & Earth orbit the sun at different speeds. It is possible for Saturn and the Sun to be between the Earth and Wolf 359.
    Wolf :) 359
    :) Saturn :) Sun
    Earth :)
    However, now that we know the approximate locations of Earth, Saturn, The Sun & Wolf 359 it is easy to estimate when this takes place. (Assuming the Borg took a straight line course from Wolf 359 to Earth, of course.)
    Using the Astronomy program Distant Suns 2.0 I figure this happened in early to mid-September 2361.
    This date does conflict with the years given in the series. Possibly after one or more of those world wars someone miscalculated & came up with the wrong number, or, even less likely, Saturn's orbit has been speeded up a tad.
    Now the question is, if you extended the, more or less, straight line from Earth to Wolf 359 further into the constellation of Leo, would you find a nebula like the one that the Enterprise hid in Part I? By The Chronicler on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 5:41 pm: Warp travel may not always be in a straight line. Spatial anomalies and other phenomena may require ships to plot curved or indirect flight paths to certain systems and planets. Considerations such as variations in the density of our system's Oort cloud may have required the Borg to approach Earth from an angle rather than in a straight line from Wolf 359. All we really know is that the Borg entered the system from such an angle that it passed Saturn and a Jupiter orbital station on its way to Earth. (This does not even require an Earth-Saturn alignment since the Borg were not heading directly toward the sun.)
  11. Admiral of the Fleet on Saturday, July 14, 2001 - 9:29 pm: This one gets me every time I watch part II - when Data and Worf leave on the shuttlecraft, they leave a shuttle bay and then they pass the stardrive section, which of course implies that they left the main shuttlebay in the separated saucer. No problem there. The problem is that their course appears to be straight, so the saucer has to be facing away from the Borg cube. Yet the external shots in the sequences immediately before and after the launch show the saucer more or less facing the cube...The course does have a curve – it's just not very apparent.
  12. Keith Alan Morgan (Kmorgan) on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 3:07 am: On page 253 of the NextGen Guide II, Phil wondered how the fleet can be rebuilt within a year when it took years just to build the Enterprise. Does he think the shipbuilders just sit around twiddling their thumbs, waiting for a ship to be destroyed so they can build a replacement? Obviously, they have to be at work building new ships in the event of a decommission or destruction, but also so they can send out more ships for exploration and possible defense. Not to mention experimental craft with improvements to various systems. Plus the fact that the Federation would – logically – have more that one starship construction yard - or at the very least multiple componant construction facilities.
  13. Hanson tells the Enterprise that they will have an armada of 40 ships at Wolf 359, 24 hours before the battle. Don't you think that would be more than enough time to evacuate the non-essential people from these ships, but no, as revealed in the DS9 episode Emissary civilians like Jennifer and Jake Sisko were on board waiting for the attack. Any evacuation may have delayed the ships, and the civilians may have refused to leave.
  14. In the NextGen Guide II, Phil wondered why Wes doesn't call the Terran system the Solar system since our star is named Sol. Actually our sun doesn't have an official name. Sol is just a Latin word which means `sun,' like Terra is a Latin word which means `earth' and Luna is Latin name for the Moon. I believe it has been Science Fiction authors who popularized the use of Sol as the name of our sun, but it is not official. (Neither is Luna the official name of the Moon.) Brian Fitzgerald on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 2:17 pm: When part of a multi-planatary governemnt it would seem rather egotistical to call your star "the" sun or "the" solar system as though it is the most important one out of all planets and solar systems. Presumably they changed the name of the solar system.
  15. They sedate Locutus and take him to Data's lab, but then they lower Locutus from the ceiling, why? It would seem to be easier to hook up Locutus in the room and if he is sedated then there is little worry of him trying to get away. So why did they lower him from the ceiling? Trying to get Picard to remember his birth perhaps? More likely there was equipment in the upper compartment to remove the non integrated coverings.
  16. So was the Defiant still under construction at this point? Construction of the Defiant probably hadn't even started yet!
  17. John A. Lang on Friday, September 06, 2002 - 7:21 pm: I found Picard's unseen surgery a little too unbelievable...I mean..Crusher removed EVERYTHING that was "Borg"?..including any internal alterations? Perhaps there WERN'T any internal alterations (The processor chip could have been included in the external circuity as standard at this point, and only placed internaly when the Borg revised the assimilation process.)
  18. John A. Lang on Sunday, July 13, 2003 - 10:00 pm: When Riker is speaking to Locutus from the Battle Bridge, note the computer displays in the background...they show that the Saucer Section is detached from the Stardrive section...the problem is: the Saucer Separation hasn't happened yet! The Saucer Separation happens after Riker says, "Take your best shot..." (E.S.P. Computers?)LUIGI NOVI on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 2:03 am: Perhaps someone inputed the sequence into the computer (though having not initiated it yet), and that image is simply what comes up with the computer is awaiting the initiation command.Seniram Either that or the Battle Bridge monitors are programmed to only show the Battle Section by default.
  19. Anwarm on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - 12:04 pm: Has it ever been explained why only 40 ships showed up to defend Earth in BOBW, but in DS9 we see Fleets of hundreds of ships with the implication that Starfleet has thousands of vessels? inblackestnight on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - 2:27 pm: I believe it was simply because that was as many ships, in good working order, that could make it to Wolf 359 by the time the cube passed through. There weren't very many ships in Reunification either, but it is unwise to put all your resources into one event anyway.


  1. This point about Riker's rank insignia is listed on Nit Central (See entry 9).
  2. See Encounter at Farpoint for another example.

The Next Generation Season 4
The Best of Both Worlds Part 2 I Family I Brothers I Suddenly Human I Remember Me I Legacy I Reunion I Future Imperfect I Final Mission I The Loss I Data's Day I The Wounded I Devil's Due I Clues I First Contact I Galaxy's Child I Night Terrors I Identity Crisis I The Nth Degree I Qpid I The Drumhead I Half a Life I The Host I The Mind's Eye I In Theory I Redemption Part 1
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