Famous Sci-fi Ideas That (You Never Knew) Doctor Who Did First – The Borg

Borg Mothership

(This post is first in a series. Stay tuned for more!)

Doctor Who has been around for a long time. When we say “a long time” we don’t mean it in the same way as, say, The Simpsons, we mean it in the way that it’s probably responsible for the invention of the radio [citation needed]. In fact, Doctor Who has been doing sci-fi since before sci-fi was cool, back when it was still called science fiction. Ok, so sci-fi never really became cool, but you get the point. When a program has been exploring a genre for that long, they’re bound to come up with more than a few good ideas, and either because it’s British or because nobody seems to care, other writers that have followed often “borrow” ideas from this classic series.

Case in point:

“The Borg” from Star Trek: The Next Generation

The story: The Borg, aside from being one of the biggest boner-inducing badass villains ever to give Trekkies a squeal, are an assimilating race of cybernetic/organic beings (aka, cyborgs) with a hive mind that assimilate other species they come across by making them part of their Borg collective. Resisting this assimilation is, as they say, futile. Once converted you no longer have any human (or whatever type of alien species you were before the Borg) emotion, lose your individual identity, and live only to serve the hive. Serving the hive consists of collecting raw materials, being pale, and coming up with new and interesting ways to look badass by covering half your body with cybernetics. It also means trying to convert all beings you come across into Borg, in what we can only assume is an attempt to get the largest Groupon discount in the universe.

Group of Borg drones

Captain Picard and the Enterprise come across the Borg after Q gets pissed at them for not letting him play dress up, and transports them across the galaxy. Of course, now that the Borg are aware of the Federation, they’re on their way to wreak more havoc. Of course the crew of The Enterprise realizes they must stop them from completely assimilating Earth, which those of us that don’t have a cybernetic fetish generally agree would be a bad thing.

The Borg originally appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation in the episode “Q Who?” in 1989, and were subsequently featured in many other episodes and other incarnations of the series, as well as in the film Star Trek: First Contact.

Why it’s familiar: The Cybermen are a race of organic/cybernetic beings with really cool stereo earphones. “Wait,” you may be saying, “no they’re not! They’re robots!” No… They look like robots at first, but this is just their outer armor. They actually have a living brain and heart,which makes them by all definitions, cyborgs. It also makes them the envy of both the Scarecrow and the Tin Man.


The Cybermen conquer other humanoid races and “upgrade” them, converting them into Cybermen as well, thus increasing their ranks faster than followers of a hot celebrity on Twitter. They have also been shown to share a singular objective, and it has been noted repeatedly that their emotions have been removed, much like an NPR host.

They originally appeared on Doctor Who in 1966 in the episode “The Tenth Planet” but have since reappeared numerous times through the series, encountering all regenerations of the good Doctor with the exception of the 9th.

Also, they notably used the phrases: “You shall be like us.”  And “To struggle is futile.” In the 1967 episode “The Tomb of the Cyberman.” Ring any bells?

(Look for our next post in this series tomorrow, where we discuss Stargate!)

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About Stella Inchaurregui Kennedy

Geeky girl.
Passionate lover of life, food, books, movies, comics, photography, music, and art.
Mother of three: one teenage girl and two baby twin boys.
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