Patrick Stewart wasn’t interested in his character’s assimilation at first
One of the most powerful scenes in the entire Star Trek: The Next Generation series is Captain Picard’s (Patrick Stewart) assimilation in the season three finale, The Best of Both Worlds. When he addresses Commander Riker as Locutus of Borg and announces that resistance is futile, it’s a spine-chilling moment that left fans holding their breaths and eager to see what the first episode of season four would bring. As great as this scene was, it almost didn’t happen as Patrick Stewart wasn’t keen on the storyline.
Stewart told The Hollywood Reporter that he originally said no when he was presented with the idea. The Shakespearean actor questioned whether the plot bringing Captain Picard into the Borg fold was a good one, and he wasn’t altogether convinced that it was.
Patrick Stewart parlayed his pain into playing Locutus
Eventually, Stewart capitulated, although it took some convincing, and as he began playing the part, he began to appreciate it, especially since the makeup process gave him something to reference when it came to the trauma Picard endured. He described the entire procedure, including getting into the Borg appliances, as “extremely unpleasant, painful, and unsettling.” But he went on to say that no experience was wasted so he was able to use his own pain to help play the drama for Picard.
Fans didn’t know what Stewart had to endure to become Locutus of Borg, but we did see the aftereffects of his actions as a drone on Captain Picard in the episode “Family,” where he had to come to terms with his time with the Borg and what he’d been forced to do.
Though being assimilated was horrific for Captain Picard, this storyline played out as one of the best in the entire series and led to the events in Star Trek: First Contact, a movie that still ranks as one of the finest in Star Trek history.