Unimatrix Zero

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"Unimatrix Zero"
Star Trek: Voyager episode
Episode no.Season 6 & 7
Episode 26 & 1
Directed byAllan Kroeker (part I)
Mike Vejar (part II)
Story byMike Sussman (parts I&II)
Brannon Braga (part II)
Joe Menosky (part II)
Teleplay byBrannon Braga
Joe Menosky
Featured musicDennis McCarthy
Production code246 & 247
Original air dateMay 24, 2000 (2000-05-24)
October 4, 2000 (2000-10-04)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Haunting of Deck Twelve"
Next →
List of Star Trek: Voyager episodes

"Unimatrix Zero" is a two-part episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the cliffhanger between seasons six and seven. Starfleet's USS Voyager stranded on the other side of the Galaxy, once again encounters a race of cybernetic organisms called the Borg as the ship journeys back to Earth.

These two episodes were broadcast on the United Paramount Network (UPN) in the year 2000, and later released on DVD.


Part I[edit]

Seven of Nine dreams of a beautiful forest. However, she finds that the forest in her dream is a real subconscious realm inhabited by the minds of certain Borg drones during regeneration periods. Few drones possess the recessive gene required to experience the realm called Unimatrix Zero.

In the surreal, utopian Unimatrix Zero, Borg of various species and ages (including children) from throughout the massive geography of the Collective exist as their individual, unassimilated selves and interact with one another as such. While out of regeneration, they revert to normal drones and have no memory of their time spent together there. The Borg Queen knows about Unimatrix Zero, considering it a disease, and destroys drones discovered capable of visiting it. However, the process of detecting affected drones is time consuming, and she is eager to find a faster method of finding and deactivating them. Those who are detected are deactivated, dismembered, and studied in an effort to speed up the search.

Seven of Nine journeys with Captain Janeway to the subconscious realm and reverts to acting more like an individual. It turns out that she used to visit Unimatrix Zero when she was still part of the collective. Her forgotten lover Axum has made contact with her so that she may help them; the inhabitants of Unimatrix Zero have developed a masking nanovirus which would inoculate them against being detected by the queen, but it can only be administered from the corporeal world. Seven soon becomes overwhelmed and discouraged by her new-found emotions and denies them at first, although she eventually comes to terms with them. If Unimatrix Zero cannot be stopped in the real world, the Queen plans to destroy it from within. Assimilated drones attack the subconscious "unassimilated" drones constantly.

As Voyager plans to help the Unimatrix-drones, the Borg Queen contacts the ship. She knows of Voyager's recent communications with the Federation and offers Janeway transwarp technology, if Voyager is accommodating and ceases helping the Unimatrix-drones. Janeway refuses. After being blackmailed by Chakotay (he promises to have the Doctor remove her from command), Captain Janeway, Tuvok and B'Elanna penetrate the Borg cube to reach the central plexus and administer the nanovirus. Voyager distracts the Cube while they infiltrate the cube but are caught. Voyager leaves them to be assimilated.

Part II[edit]

The Janeway, Tuvok, and Torres drones are un-connected to the Collective as the Doctor had inoculated them with a neural inhibitor, protecting their individuality. They proceed with their plan to help Unimatrix Zero. However, Tuvok's inhibitor wears off, and the Collective eventually overcomes his mind.

The Borg Queen confronts Janeway, demanding that the drones of Unimatrix Zero submit themselves for reassimilation. The Queen destroys several of her own ships, each housing thousands of lives, because only a handful within are "offline" and therefore suspected of being the newly sentient drones from the dream realm. Janeway calls her bluff, pointing out that such a tactic would essentially require her to destroy the entire Collective. Having discovered a means of sending Borg as drones into Unimatrix Zero, she then threatens to release a Borg-modified form of the nanovirus from within Unimatrix Zero which would kill every affected inhabitant's corporeal drone, unless Janeway agrees to speak with them.

The captain thus informs her crew that Unimatrix Zero can no longer exist. Chakotay realizes that she means destroying the matrix so the Queen cannot reach the affected drones as easily, as well as cutting the Queen's only way to spread the nanovirus. The drones within are informed beforehand. Seven is forced to say goodbye to her lover, who is on a Borg ship far away in the Beta Quadrant. Meanwhile, Voyager, aided by a Borg sphere crewed by liberated drones, manages to rescue the away team. The episode ends as the independent Borg, who now, like the Queen, have the advantage of being self-aware, take command of any vessels they can, rebel, and start a civil war with the Collective.


The Borg are a Star Trek villain species that are famous for their line "resistance is futile." TV Guide named the Borg #4 in their 2013 list of the 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time.[1] The Borg were introduced in 1989 in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Q Who" (S2E16) and went on to be a recurring narrative in many Star Trek television shows and feature films. One famous Borg-centric television episode was The Best of Both Worlds, also a two-part showing which was one of the most popular TNG episodes.[2][3] The Borg become a bigger part of Voyager in 1997, during season three culminating in the two part 3-4 season cliffhanger "Scorpion" which leads to actress Jeri Ryan joining the prime cast of Voyager from then on, playing the recovering ex-Borg character Seven of Nine


"Unimatrix Zero" was included as part of the DVD collection, Star Trek: Fan Collective – Borg released on March 7, 2006.[4]


IGN rated the Borg Queen as the 24th best character of Star Trek overall, and her story running from the film Star Trek: First Contact and into her encounters with Captain Janeway of the USS Voyager and Seven of Nine are noted as is the events at the Unimatrix.[5] IGN notes she was played by two different actresses, Alice Krige and Susanna Thompson.[5] The Borg cubes are rated as the 2nd best spacecraft of Star Trek by Space.com in 2017.[6]

SyFy recommend this episode for their Seven of Nine binge-watching guide.[7]

In 2019, Nerdist suggested watching "Unimatrix" as part of an abbreviated binge-watching guide featuring USS Voyager's confrontations with the Borg.[8]

In 2020, SyFy Wire ranked "Unimatrix Zero" as one of the seven essential episodes about Borg to watch as background for Star Trek: Picard.[9]

In 2020, Space.com recommended watching this episode as background for Star Trek: Picard.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bretts, Bruce; Roush, Matt; (March 25, 2013). "Baddies to the Bone: The 60 nastiest villains of all time". TV Guide. pp. 14 - 15.
  2. ^ "Jammer's Review: "The Inner Light"". Jammersreviews.com. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  3. ^ Handlen, Zack (2011-05-12). ""The Inner Light"/"Time's Arrow, Part I" | Star Trek: The Next Generation | TV Club | TV". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  4. ^ Douglass Jr., Todd (March 7, 2006). "Star Trek Fan Collective – Borg". DVD Talk. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Movies, I. G. N. (8 May 2009). "Top 25 Star Trek Characters".
  6. ^ Entertainment, Elizabeth Howell 2017-09-22T12:02:15Z. "The 15 Best Ships on Star Trek, from V-ger to the Vengeance". Space.com. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  7. ^ Fleenor, S. E. (2019-04-16). "The Seven of Nine binge guide". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  8. ^ "A Guide to Binge Watching 7 Great STAR TREK Arcs". Nerdist. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  9. ^ Britt, Ryan (2020-01-20). "The Best of Borg worlds: The 7 essential Borg episodes to watch before Star Trek: Picard". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  10. ^ Snowden 2020-01-23T13:39:29Z, Scott. "A complete guide to what 'Star Trek' to watch before 'Star Trek: Picard'". Space.com. Retrieved 2020-01-23.

External links[edit]