“Brave words. I've heard them before, from thousands of species across thousands of worlds, since long before you were created. But, now... they are all Borg.” The Borg Queen to Data, Star Trek: First Contact
In 1996, South African actress Alice Krige (Sleepwalkers) fleshed out her electric performance as lady leader of the cybernetic bad guys with the assistance of Oscar nominated makeup and prosthetics. That it lost an FX Oscar to Eddie Murphy’s super obese, latex makeup in, The Nutty Professor, says volumes about the unpredictability of Hollywood’s creative industry. Nevertheless, the complex make-up lends her an otherworldly vibe, and also gives her one of the most disturbingly sexy looks ever seen in a sci-fi movie. In short: The bad, bizarre Borg Queen is a cosmic hottie.
The film remains a unique Star Trek landmark in several ways: it was The Next Generation’s 2nd feature film - though arguably it’s first wholly original, since its previous entry, Star Trek: Generation, still used original series cast members like William Shatner as Captain Kirk. First Contact also showcased a brand new and truly beefy starship - the Enterprise E - after Counselor Troi’s less than stellar piloting skills. However, most entertaining and important of all, the movie directed by Jonathan Frakes (Commander Riker) boasted the first female villain - The Borg Queen.
Star Trek had dabbled in bad girl antagonists before. T’Pring, Spock’s arranged mate, from Amok Time, or the Romulan Commander from "The Enterprise Incident," but Krige’s Queen would be the first feature film baddie who seduced her male opponents, instead of merely kicking their ass ala Khan from Space Seed or Kruge (Christopher Lloyd) from "Search For Spock."
The Borg Queen exemplifies the bad, though sexy female villain in sci-fi. These girls know just how powerful their allure is to us mere common folk. They are the female villains who scare you, thrill you, and even, fulfill you. We always love those fiery folk who were born to be bad, but not all of them attract us on every imaginable level. Some are cool, real weird, or just plain alien - while the others are so beautifully bad in every way, they’re overwhelmingly sexy.
Pop vocalist Cyndi Lauper sang, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" - for this brazen bunch, she should have added "Bad." These villainous gals love to top the bad boys in extreme naughtiness, and all along the way, they look more than hot doing their eye popping, and thoroughly nasty deeds.
The Borg Queen - 'Star Trek: First Contact'
In 1987, Paramount Pictures launched the syndicated television program Star Trek: The Next Generation. Visually lavish and boasting a per budget episode far above anything for a drama in syndication, the space opera soon become a wildly popular favorite with bold old and new fans. Gene Roddenberry created both a spin-off show and sequel series to his legendary 1966 show, and familiar alien races returned, along with new allies enemies. Of all of TNG’s new contributions to Trek lore, The Borg remain the most compelling.
By the time of First Contact’s 1996 release, Trekkies and Trekkers had seen the Borg race on television as a kind of faceless, rampaging collective of high tech zombies. The Borg’s foot soldiers are called drones, and though they can make for a fierce solo appearance, they rarely do anything individually - preferring to bind together and accomplish tasks like thousands of humanoid insects sporting tech implants.
One Borg drone viewers did encounter in the two part episode, "Best Of Both Worlds," was Locutus of Borg. This was Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) hijacked and hacked into a shambling, kind of walking dead cyber zombie. Though Locutus was a Borg, he spoke and had an appearance of free will or autonomy - he was being used as a human spokesperson. To his former Enterprise crewmates, Locutus appeared as a commanding leader with power - or even as a King.
Director Jonathan Frakes would crown us a cinematic Borg Queen. Frakes, who had played Cmdr. William T. Riker on TNG, helmed the blockbuster Borg epic and his leading lady, Alice Krige, would redefine just who or what the Borg were and how they strategically operated against their enemies.
Krige’s film entrance scene as queen borg bee is both shocking and awe inspiring. For a few seconds, we only see half her body - since she’s, essentially, a segmented cybernetic lifeform. As her top half is lowered into her body proper - completely with a writhing, snake-like connective spine, our sense of reality is blown completely off kilter. What is she? How can she exist?
The queen’s minions have Data (Brent Spiner) locked down, and it isn’t long before her royal badness seduces the less than sexually experienced artificial lifeform. As an android, Data is uniquely susceptible to her predatory charms - after all, he’s a humanoid construct in search of becoming more human - or just going all the way to humanity’s sphere. The Borg Queen promises Data she’ll fulfill his fondest wish. She gives him human like skin. She stimulates him in all sorts of motivating ways. Finally, she kisses him, and we’re all taken away with the notion that many lesser creatures would be even more putty in the Borg Queen’s supremely seductive hands.
Sil - 'Species'
Sigourney Weaver as Lt. Ripley in the Alien movie franchise is one of sci-fi’s most iconic characters. Ripley is more than simply a human female battling those creepy, bug like alien creatures. She’s become our own species like surrogate fighting against the enemy; like an arch enemy, a futuristic Van Helsing warrior to the alien vampire hoard. Artist H.R. Giger is another indispensable component of the Alien legacy. His out of this world design propelled the movie series to global box office gold, and his work is still seen as the most popular and ground breaking look for a threatening alien species.
Giger’s other alien species came to sexually charged life in the 1995 feature film, Species - starring Natasha Henstridge. Although the actress only appeared in three of the installments, it’s hard to imagine Sil being played by anyone else. Her alluring performance, boosted by the incredible makeup and digital effects from Giger’s artistry, is a heady mixture of extra-terrestrial speculation, poignant tragedy and shocking sci-fi horror. Species poses the disturbing question: What if a more powerful and sexually mature alien species attacked humanity? We may be able to survive a rampaging E.T. army’s tech and artillery, but how would we fare against a creature which could seduce us into procreating more of its savage kind?
When Sil gets going on her genetically motivating quest for the perfect mate to fulfill her procreation directive, it’s about all anyone can do to get out of her ruthlessly destructive way.
Female Changeling - 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine'
We proceed throughout our lives as fixed, solid creatures. We may lose or gain weight or muscle mass, become crazed gym rats, and certainly Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Lee and Lou Ferrigno are examples of body sculpting to the point of true transformation. But imagine becoming anyone or anything you desire? And doing so instantly. On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, an alien race called The Founders - aka Changelings - can do exactly that.
Similar to the Borg, Changelings are a massive collective of unified beings. Yet they don’t rely on the bonding hardware of tech unification, but are an oozing, biological goo like one. They exist in The Great Link - a kind of bubbling lake of biological matter - their jelly like bodies merged together. From time to time, however, a leader - a commanding voice and presence takes form and goes forth to represent her race.
Actress Salome Jens (The Outer Limits) plays the enigmatic Female Changeling. The actress is covered in the same kind of detail free and expressionless latex which was used to create DS9’s resident Changeling, Constable Odo played by Rene Auberjonois. Throughout the series, the Female Changeling tries to lure back Odo to the family fold, finally culminating in a sexual like joining of the two characters. When this happens, Odo realizes how much he needs to reunite with his biological race, while still trying to fulfill the loyalty to his human friends - most of all, his love of Bajoran Kira Nerys.
Queen Ardala - 'Buck Rogers'
Created in 1928 and first appearing in the novel, Armageddon 2419 by Philip Francis Nowlan, Buck Rogers is one of sci-fi’s early heroes. It can be argued that without Buck, there would be no Captain Kirk or Han Solo - at least as we know them today.
Launched as a theatrical film in 1979, the TV show, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, based upon the character, stars Gil Gerard as the valiant space ace, who was cryogenically suspended and woke up to an Earth he barely recognized. Buck would tangle with many villains, but the most memorable was also the sexiest - Princess Ardala.
Played by Pamela Hensley, Ardala wore the most outrageous costumes, and always oozed a fiery sex appeal. She was a spoiled royal from the planet Draconia who did anything to win. Ardala desperately went after anything she really wanted - and she wanted Buck Rogers. She wanted to rule over Earth with Buck by her side as her consort.