"I originally said 'no' to doing it," Patrick Stewart told The Hollywood Reporter about his character being assimilated by the Borg.
One of the greatest Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, "Best of Both Worlds," helped change both the series and franchise for the better. With ratings going back and forth during the early initial seasons of TNG, it wasn't until the season-three finale when the series really took off.
Ending with the dramatic cliffhanger of Picard joining the Borg, fans were anxious for more in the following season. While the episode saw some of the show's highest ratings, not everyone was on board for the dramatic twist.
When first approached about the series storyline of Captain Picard's assimilation, Stewart initially refused the plot. Thinking the storyline wouldn't lead to a satisfying conclusion, Stewart challenged the season-three finale.
"I remember questioning whether that storyline was a good one to follow," he said.
Eventually, the writers convinced him to jump on board with the episode. Stewart would even find inspiration for his character when having his Borg makeup and attachments applied, describing the process to be quite painful.
"The best part about [playing] Locutus was that I have something to reference, the drama Picard had to endure, the makeup process for me, which was extremely unpleasant and painful and unsettling. No experience is wasted," he explained.
Channeling the actual pain from the makeup process, Stewart puts on a stunning and emotional performance of Picard's assimilation. The story would be remembered as TNG's best and would go on to influence numerous episodes — and the motion picture Star Trek: First Contact.
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