In Best of Both World's Picard is shown to have a prosthetic arm.

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Was his real arm removed, or was the prosthetic simply ontop of his real arm/hand? If his hand/arm was removed, does he then have a fake hand/arm for the rest of the series?

NOTE This is not a dupe, the other question does not answer what happened to his arm, and looking at the answer I received they clearly did have an idea to replace his arm.

  • It is probably a prosthetic. The prop is almost certainly a prosthetic (I don't think they had the budget to do this with CGI at the time).
    – zipquincy
    Jan 8, 2016 at 20:39
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  • @Wikis close, but that has no answers in relation to the arm, while vanja shows they did consider removing it, and ended up not. and my question is specifically about the arm.
    – Himarm
    Jan 8, 2016 at 20:58
  • Indeed, it's a fair question and the answer is great. However, I consciously selected possible duplicate (of course, I can't select definite duplicate :) ) to give the community an opportunity to decide. Jan 8, 2016 at 21:20
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    In retrospect I think you're right... this great answer could not have appeared via the "duplicate" question. I withdraw my close vote. Jan 8, 2016 at 21:27

3 Answers 3


On AOL chat with Ronald D. Moore from 1997 he is talking about this

Ron, I was looking through some of the sketches from "Best of Both Worlds." They mentioned something about Picard having to have a bionic arm because the Borg cut off his (like in FC). It showed that Data was orginally supposed to break the whole arm off of Locutus. But from what I saw in "BOBW II" it didn't seem like he had one and it was never mentioned. So my question is, does Picard have a bionic arm or did they save his?

"I lobbied for giving Picard a permanent bionic arm, but Rick and Michael wouldn't go for it. Picard's arm is his own.

So I would assume that prosthetic was on top of his real arm

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    I lobbied for giving Picard a permanent bionic arm ... that would've been awesome! Too bad they nixxed it.
    – Mar
    Jan 8, 2016 at 21:31
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    AOL chat from almost 20 years ago... talk about a blast from the past Jan 8, 2016 at 21:44
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    If Picard lost his real arm to the Borg, couldn't Dr. Crusher have replicated an organic replacement for him after his de-assimilation (instead of sticking with the bionic arm)? -- But I guess that's impossible due to the limited "resolution" of replicators vs. transporters...
    – tmh
    Jan 9, 2016 at 11:00

He still has his original arm and hand.

At the end of Part 1, Picard's assimilation has already begun, but has not been completed yet. When the crew of the Enterprise first sees him in this state on the Borg cube, we can clearly see that he still has an arm and hand (albeit covered with a glove and sleeve) before the prosthetic has been added:

image1 image2

During Part 2, we see the Borg continue their assimilation, including a shot of his (uncovered) arm and hand as they are slipping the prosthetic onto him:





At the end of the episode, we see the prosthetic has been removed:


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    That's an interesting observation. Yet, in First Contact there was a scene where we could see a half-assimilated crewman having his forearm removed before getting a cybernetic replacement attached. (Can't find a screencap right now.) I wonder why it was done differently for Picard?
    – tmh
    Jan 9, 2016 at 10:56
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    Come to think of it, that scene in First Contact also contradicts Seven of Nine's de-assimilation -- she also got both of her arms back (or maybe retained them during her life as a drone).
    – tmh
    Jan 9, 2016 at 11:13
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    @tmh: There is a wide variety of hardware for drones, and not all drones are alike. It stands to reason that not all drones needed that particular appendage, and that not all drones need any appendage at all, and that not all Borg appendages require prior amputation. Jan 9, 2016 at 12:15
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    @tmh because the writers knew they would have to unborg Picard at one point ;)
    – Vahx
    Jan 9, 2016 at 16:21
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    @Vahx I guess, in addition to that, they probably didn't have the budget to show Picard being assimilated like the crewman in First Contact.
    – tmh
    Jan 9, 2016 at 16:51

In the season 6 episode "Timescape" that takes place well after his assimilation by the Borg, the fingernails on his right hand (same side that was shown to have the prosthetic arm) grow rapidly when he reaches for the temporally disturbed bowl of fruit. Troi tells him that the "cells (in his hand) are metabolizing at an incredible speed" so it must be his real arm.

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    Or one that was cloned from his own tissue
    – Valorum
    Aug 11, 2017 at 20:35

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