Having just re-watched the first three episodes involving the Borg back-to-back-to-back recently, I discovered that the music, especially in “Q Who” and “The Best of Both Worlds: Part 1” really sold solidified the Borg as something truly beyond the Federation’s capabilities. Due to the fact that the Borg weren’t really going to help carry scenes with their dialogue, as most of it was just repeating the same basic ideas, the crew clearly decided to focus on the music.
The music essentially stood in for the Borg in a lot of scenes and acted almost as a character onto itself, making it clear that this wasn’t your normal episode of Star Trek. While we got a little levity in “Q Who” at the start, that was it for the rest of the first three-Borg centric episodes.
The music evoked classic horror movies and really built tension through the score, hammering home that the heroes were facing something they never knew they’d ever run into. They even sampled and bastardized the classic Trek theme in the song “Captain Borg”, as a way to tell you that the Star Trek you knew was over. The Borg had already won, even if it was just in song form, you felt it. You knew that these weren’t the run-of-the-mill villains of decades past.
This all helped cement the mood when Jean-Luc Picard was Trek-napped by the Borg and turned into their mouthpiece, Locutus. At that moment, when the music and the writing met for a shocking moment, you knew this was no ordinary villain.
That helped set the moment for the final scene of season three, when Will Riker was looking down his mentor and former captain now a member of The Borg, giving the command to fire on his friend potentially killing him.
That moment was in itself well done, but the music that accompanied it really made you know that this was a new level of intensity and that predicting what happened next was futile.