'Star Trek: Discovery' Designers Want to Bring the Borg to the Show

Star Trek: Discovery's designers already have left their marks on several classic Star Trek races, including the Klingons, the Tellarites, and the Andorians. However, if they have their way, they’ll get to redesign another of the most iconic races in Star Trek history, the Borg.

Star Trek: Discovery creature designer Neville Page and makeup designer Glenn Hetrick sat down for a Facebook live discussion about designing the CBS All Access series. They took questions from fans, including one asking how they would go about redesigning the Borg for Star Trek: Discovery.

First, Page and Hetrick revealed that the Borg is at the top of their list of alien races they’d like to work on. It sounds like they’ve actually been thinking about it for a while too because they then went into detail about how redesigning the Borg might go.

“It’s got to look like a Borg, and that was established,” Page said. “There’s a particular aesthetic choice that was made by I believe Mr. [Michael] Westmore, but for me, I think the coolest challenge, because I like to do this with any design that I do, is to make sense of those choices. It’s kind of reverse engineering why there’s tubes and stuff going in and out of things. It would be to try and make sense of that and then contemporize that aesthetic with what audiences demand today and expect.”

Hetrick adds, “I also think that there’s, again, it's me, so there’s got to be a little room for a little steampunk in there. A little antediluvian something. So not too retro, and not a gear, but there is a biomech feel to the the whole thing, so to go to [HR] Geiger and steampunk and find a new way to combine it and maybe play with the colors and bring the palette out of the greys and the blacks and find some rusty and cool metallic tones, then also start defining the flesh in a different way. If some of those limbs are necrotic, is the tube pumping life back into them? Do they change color depending on how long they’ve been in the collective? How does the body stay alive?

“There are so many things to play with. It’s sort of just taking what’s there and playing with it. Michael Westmore Jr. did all the lasers and lights inside of all the little LED components. That’s something today with 3D printing we can push infinitely further. We can do a lot more lighting and more moving parts.”

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Bringing the Borg to Star Trek: Discovery would be a tricky proposition since the United Federation of Planets made the first contact with the Borg in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Q Who?,” the events of which took place more than a century after the events of Star Trek: Discovery. That said, the Borg did travel back in time in the film Star Trek: First Contact, which was then followed up on in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Regeneration,” all of which took place approximately a century before the events of Star Trek: Discovery. This is all to say that in science fiction, anything is possible.

The first season of Star Trek: Discovery is available to stream in its entirety on CBS All Access in the United States, through CraveTV in Canada, and through Netflix in other international markets. Star Trek: Discovery Season Two is now filming in Toronto.