122 – Survival Instinct

Grade: C+

Survival Instinct (1999) on IMDb


A Borg ship crashes onto a jungle planet and leaves only four survivors. Seven of Nine is one of those. Does this mean Seven is back with the Borg?

After the commercial, we are now back on Voyager. The ship has finally met some friendly aliens and is docked at an enormous space station. Janeway has agreed to shore leave and has even invited many of the station’s visitors to tour Voyager.


This episode takes a really long time to get to the point. After seeing the episode’s teaser, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Could Seven really be back with the Borg? Then we saw all this ridiculousness on Voyager with all these strange aliens running around and all these weird gifts that they left on the ship – that we will never see again, I might add – and even saw Janeway get attacked by a plant. This thing is really all over the board.

Eventually, we find out why these three former Borg drones are on the ship, and it has to do with what happened 8 years before. So apparently, the opening scene was just a flashback. Anyway, these former Borg are still somehow linked together so they finish each other’s sentences and they share each other’s dreams. They’re not sure why, but they think it has to do with Seven.

This episode suffers from some really poor acting, in my opinion. The scene when the four Borg are standing around a campfire is just abysmal. Horrible writing and really poorly acted.

When we finally find out what happened, it’s not at all surprising what the solution will be. Seven has to decide between two unpleasant outcomes. I was never surprised what would happen, and I don’t think you will be either if you see this episode. But I wish it didn’t take so long to get there, and I also wish there weren’t so many ridiculous scenes before this thing turned serious.

In my opinion, this episode really adds nothing to the series, even though it does have a few thoughtful scenes near the end.

Of Note

A couple of seasons ago Janeway agreed to set up some Borg alcoves in Cargo Bay 2 for their temporary alliance against Species 8472. Once that was over, they left four regeneration alcoves active in the Cargo Bay, even though Seven was the only Borg on board. This episode is the first one to prove how convenient that decision was, since three other former Borg join the ship temporarily. It’s a little too convenient for my taste.

In this episode, not only does Seven say “Naomi Wildman”, but she says it twice. It’s pretty annoying that she can’t call her by her first name only.

Vaughn Armstrong plays one of the former Borg drones. He also appears as Admiral Forrest in Enterprise and in several other TNG and Voyager episodes. Actually, Memory Alpha says he holds the record for portraying the most aliens in all of the Star Trek series of any actor.