After his Borg assimilation, Captain Picard appeared to be 100% restored to his original human self. But was that the case? (This question is purely about his physical restoration, I'm not interested here in e.g. any psychological damage).

Specifically, I'd like to know:

  1. Did the Borg (eeeek) remove any of Picard's body?
  2. Was Picard left with any Borg implants?

I remember him (after being restored to human) being recognized by a Borg as one of them. And I seem to remember him still being able to hear their voices, but can't be sure of that.

  • 4
    I just watched "Best of Both Worlds" part 2 for the first time a few nights ago, so this question is incredibly relevant to my interests! Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 14:02

5 Answers 5


I searched the Memory Alpha entry on Locutus of Borg and the only thing that was said was:

Though his implants were removed and his wounds were allowed to heal, Picard's assimilation continued to haunt him. He returned to Earth, paying a visit to his family in La Barre, France, where he eventually came to terms with the ordeal.

Which I assume, since he wasn't assimilated for long, they were able to remove all the implants without damaging Picard. Unlike Seven of Nine, where her implants were with her for 20 years.

But that brings up the question of why they couldn't repair/replace his heart if they could de-borg him.

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    Great point about his artificial heart. And why didn't the Borg upgrade it?! Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 14:27
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    Well, Picard did get an upgrade on his artificial ticker in the episode "Samaritan Snare".
    – gnovice
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 14:59
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    Picard's heart was a different situation. He was given what they had to keep him alive and he was reluctant, out of pride, to admit he had a problem, and to get the replacement fixed.
    – Tango
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 15:40
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    I can only guess it is because his assimilation was 'light' by comparison to some, since he was supposed to be Borg in a symbolic sense, and not so much a typical drone so as such, he lacked many of the same implants that seven of nine would have. Therefore, they didn't replace his heart and they didn't do the whole works on him.
    – Neil
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 9:23
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    Even after being de-Borged he could still "hear" the collective. For example, he was seen "listening" to them before giving very specific targeting information. I think in First Contact, but I could be wrong about that.
    – erdiede
    Commented Oct 9, 2011 at 2:23

This is complete speculation, but it is possible that his assimilation left him sterile. There is a scene in "Star Trek: Generations" where, after learning about the death of his brother Robert and his only son Renee, Picard mentions that he will be the last of his family line. I always wondered why that was necessarily the case unless the Borg did more to him than we were told.

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    Statements made in both the series and books (a lot more heavily in the books) tell us that Picard is not a family mad, and has no need or want to start a family.
    – dkuntz2
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 17:29
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    Eeeek! What happened to him on the Borg ship?! "We are the Borg! We don't reproduce. We don't need that!" CHOP! Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 17:56
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    @DKuntz2: No, I totally agree. Hence the reason my answer was "complete speculation". :) Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 19:26
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    @ChrisB.Behrens Eew, the geriatric fertility clinic.
    – cmc
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 20:01
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    I just figured it was down to age and career. He was not married, not getting any younger, and had no immediate plans of fatherhood. Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 13:47

It would appear that despite Crusher removing the 'Micro-implants' that were grafted onto Picard's body in TNG: Best of Both Worlds, Part 1 that some elements of Borg Technology have remained in his system. These re-activate during the film Star Trek: First Contact and allow him to identify that the Borg have entered Federation space and later, to hear the "voice of the Collective".

“Longrange sensors have picked up—”

“I know,” Picard said, interrupting, causing Hayes to subtly recoil and narrow his eyes in surprise. “The Borg.”

Star Trek: First Contact - Novelisation

Interestingly, it would appear that the Borg were initially unaware that he had retained this ability, then subsequently took steps to remove him from the Collective's communication network.

Without thinking, he rose, entranced, and moved toward the viewscreen where the image of the massive and unlovely vessel hung. They were there; he could sense them, hear them speak. For an instant, he felt as though he had only to reach toward the screen, and he would touch them.

The whisper of the one and the multitude grew briefly louder.

...critical damage to shields at power sector one-oneone. All drones coordinate repair immediately....

The mental whisper died abruptly, as if the speakers had realized he was listening. But it was too late; he had already experienced a revelation beyond the mere words he had detected.

As to what tech remained in Picard's system (or how it remained undetected), we never really find out but it can be assumed that it was some kind of nanoprobe-based technology.


If you recall in the Star Trek "First Contact" Movie, in the opening scene, we see Picard, he is dreaming he is on the Borg Ship, he can hear all the voices.

He then opens his eyes, walks to the bathroom sink, where he splashes water on his face. We see a bubble form in his cheek, and then a Borg implant pops out of his cheek. He is freaked out! He awakens from what he believes was a dream, yet, the subspace communication that awakens him is very real. Before the Admiral can tell Picard the Borg have attacked, Picard cuts the admiral off, and quips, "Yes Admiral, the Borg."

He knew the Borg attacked without ANY information from anyone! I would argue that although the implants were removed, much of the technology laid dormant in his brain. When the Borg were within range, he could hear the voices of the Borg, and knew they were close.

We all know that the Enterprise is ordered to patrol the Neutral Zone, while the Borg attacked the Federation. Riker interrupts Picard, where he is in his quarters listening to opera very, very loud. Was this to drown out the voices in his head? Riker says, "We have completed our first survey..." Riker continues, "what are we doing out here in the Neutral Zone anyway?" Picard responds, "It would seem that Starfleet has every confidence in the Enterprise, yet they believe introducing a person who was once assimilated by the Borg into a conflict against the Borg, would represent a potential danger to the Federation." We all know what happens from there, as Worf is saved and Picard and the Enterprise save the human race.

Jumping back a few seasons to when Picard was assimilated. If you recall Picard was aboard the Enterprise, as Locutus. Where we see Picard raise his artificial Borg arm, which was not amputated, but added to the end of his hand. Riker and Worf step back, and Locutus says, "There is no need for apprehension as I intend to cause no harm to anyone." He then pauses, looks right into the camera and says a second time, "No harm," clearly indicating that Picard was fighting against the Borg commands.

Crusher discusses returning Locutus back to Picard. "It would be just a matter of microsurgery, and I could do it, however, with the implants active, it is impossible." This suggests that once he is removed from the Borg Collective, all of his physical implant" were removed, yet the implants were operating on a potentially different level (perhaps a fourth dimension)?"

Crusher and Data summarize the physical connection between the Borg and Locutus operates very similarly to that of how the Enterprise uses its transporters. If that theory holds true, then the Borg can add or subtract information and components as easily as O'Brien can deactivate a phaser that is armed and potentially discharged, and render it inactive.

The Borg Queen is seen at the end of the "First Contact" movie speaking to Picard. Picard seems stunned as he tells her, "but all the Borg and that ship were destroyed?" The Borg Queen responds, "How 3 dimensional you are to think the Borg only operate on the same quantitative (three) dimensions as humans," and how she expected so much more from Picard. Picard then offers himself, without resistance to take his side next to her as her equal. However, The Borg Queen responds, "I have found an equal in Data, as he understands the nature of the Borg." Data, who is deceiving her (with the exception of the 0.80 milliseconds whereby he was tempted to join her), commenting on how Picard "will make an excellent drone."

I apologize if I am jumping all over the place, and or confusing anyone. I will be happy to clarify anything that I wrote to anyone who desires it?

In answer to the two question's asked regarding Picard and the Borg.

As to Question 1; did the Borg remove any of Picard's body?

That question is nonsensical as clearly some part of Picard's brain had to be removed in order for the implants to take the space in his head. Since we only use roughly 15% of our brain, I would guess that the parts removed were not essential to Picard's functionality, but most likely were closely tied to aspects of the brain's ability to control and dominate Picard. As Picard could not stop Locutus from destroying half of Starfleet at Wolf 359 and the Borg were able to download every thought, tactic, strategy, and knowledge which Picard possessed, as if his brain was a giant computer. Yes, I believe the Borg did remove some of Picard's body parts, most primarily the space needed to put effectively rewrite Picard's DNA, and force Picard to commit unspeakable atrocity's against Starfleet (which we never got to see). I believe we didn't see this because it would have created resentment amongst Picard fans. That even though he wasn't in control, it was his knowledge and skills that made the Borg so lethal against Starfleet. I don't believe any other body parts were removed, as with his arm, they put the implant at the end of his fist, rather than amputating his arm (which would have provided a direct connection to his right extremity).

Question 2., Was Picard's body left with any implants? Most definitely! I believe there were dormant area's where Borg implants remained. Particularly the area's connected to where Picard's DNA was being overwritten.

As it pertains to Picard's ability to have children. I believe that episode was flawed. As in one of my favorite episodes, Episode 25, Season 5, "The Inner Light" Picard lives a complete life, spanning in excess of 50 to 60 years. Whereby he has a family, children, and grandchildren. And Picard's own statement, upon regaining consciousness, "I never believed I needed a family to complete my life, yet after this experience, I cannot imagine living a life without them."

Therefore, once Picard completes his career as captain, and or moves on to being an Admiral (where he isn't flying all over the galaxy). I believe a family would be something of a priority for him.

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    There's the germ of a good answer in here, but you're absolutely right that this is far too "rambly". I would suggest editing this with an axe, removing anything that isn't central to your main thesis; e.g. that Picard still clearly had some link to the Borg.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 20:33
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    "Since we only use roughly 15% of our brain" [citation needed]
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 3:54
  • There are misquotes too. Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 13:49
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    That factoid about using 15% of our brain always annoys me. Only about 15% of our brain is active at any one time, but that's not surprising. Some of your brain remembers how to walk, another bit governs bodily functions like monitoring whether you're hungry, another bit processes music, another bit stores your memories of childhood... using "100% of your brain" would entail simultaneously remembering everything you've ever seen, heard, felt or learned, whilst also using every skill and physical ability you have, all at once. It's all there for a reason; there's no "wasted" brain matter. Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 10:30
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    Relevant skeptics.se question: Do we only use 10% of our brain? (Spoilers: no)
    – user28394
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 15:10

There are spoilers in this answer for Star Trek: Picard

Specifically, Season 3.

As mentioned in other answers, Picard retains the ability to receive some signals from the collective, as shown in Star Trek: First Contact. The reasons for this are explained in Star Trek: Picard.

It is explained in Season 3 Episode 9 Vox, that in addition to the physical implants, and the nanoprobes, assimilation involves changing the DNA of the drone, to make it more receptive to the implants, and otherwise improve their capabilities. This change was not reversed, and Starfleet was not aware of it.

It's further explained that the changes have caused changes in his brain that were misdiagnosed as Irumodic syndrome, first mentioned in the TNG finale All Good Things…, and which he is shown to suffer from and eventually die from in the finale of Picard Season 1.

The changes to his DNA and his brain were used by the changelings, who stole his original biological body from a secure vault at Daystrom Station, to make changes to the transporters aboard Starfleet ships to secretly edit the DNA of Starfleet officers.

The changes to his DNA were also passed on to his son, Jack Crusher, who in addition to receiving signals, is able to send signals and take control of people whose DNA has been edited in the transporter. (Provided they are young enough that their frontal lobe was not fully developed.)

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