When I look at the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "I, Borg", I notice that that Borg reacts differently than the Borg in Star Trek: Voyager.

Is there a specific reason for this?

  • 10
    What changes in behaviour are you referring to?
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 21:09
  • Well, for one thing: In Star Trek Voyager, the Borg seem much more advanced.
    – Peter
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 21:10
  • 6
    There's no major in-universe explanation for that. The out-of-universe reason is that the borg tech you see in ST:V was developed for the ST:First Contact film, hence it was made to a much higher specification and with a multi-million pound budget. This also explains the uniform changes in DS9, for example.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 21:12
  • scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/60348/…
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 21:28
  • You may have noticed that Starfleet acts different between shows set at different times.
    – Lexible
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 17:34

3 Answers 3


A couple of points:

  • The Enterprise D first encountered the Borg in Q Who which was stardate 42761.3 (~2365 AD) when Q throws the Enterprise 7,000 light years from its current position (but I'd guess that'd still put it in the Alpha quadrant).
  • The Enterprise D meets Hugh ~2368AD going by the season number (no star date given)
  • Voyager - although aware of them from Starfleet history, doesn't encounter them in person until Scorpion Pt 1 which is stardate 50984.3 (~2373 AD) - 8 year later or 5 years later after Hugh. Also note that Voyager is 75,000 light years away in the Delta quadrant which is where we learn the Borg originate, seem to have vast fleets and hyperspace technology and most likely have been quite happily assimilating huge amounts of species / technology in that time - there was some quite advanced technology and species that Voyager encounters that the Borg certainly would have loved.

So a possible in-universe explanation could be:

It's likely the Borg in Voyager, 8 (or 5) years in the future, in their home quadrant and in vast quantities etc... would be somewhat different than a single Borg cube that Q introduced to Picard and the Enterprise D. Also, the Borg vessel in I, Borg had suffered significant damage and was cut off from the collective.

  • 3
    Q didn't pop that cube into existence, he moved the Enterprise through space to it
    – Izkata
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 23:19
  • @Izkata ahh good point - my bad... better check how far they said the ship had moved... Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 23:21
  • 1
    @Izkata I believe my updates are now accurate - thanks for pointing that out Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 23:27
  • "most likely have been quite happily assimilating huge amounts of species" Borg can be happy? o_O
    – RichS
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 3:12

Essentially any differences that you see from the borg in the episode "i, Borg" stem from the fact that the borg on the enterprise is young, damaged, and most importantly cut off from the collective. The separation from the collective seems to affect each borg slightly differently as instead of relying on the hive mind, they are having to think for themselves, something they haven't done in a long time. the episode is also considering humanitarian rights of the borg, and whether giving the borg essentially a virus, which would infect all of the other borg, is acceptable in war or not. This is why the crew are interacting with the borg "Hugh" more so then usual. As to your final question about the looks and appearance, this is simply due to the time between shows, late 80s, to late 90s. Also for some in universe answer to this, it is somewhere between 5-10 years later, when voyager is encountering the borg, and at the borgs extreme rate of assimilation/ upgrading themselves its expected for them to look slightly different as newer and better tech becomes available to them.


Even upgrading themselves frequently, it is unlikely that Borg Cubes as distant from their home as the ones encountered by the Enterprise (7,000ly) would be as technologically advanced as the ones encountered by Voyager (75,000ly).

While the collective have the ability to communicate over such vast distances, it does not mean they have the materials to constantly upgrade to the technology level present in their home territory. So, a Borg Cube so far from home probably places a low priority on spending resources to upgrade the exoplating and accessories of their drones.

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