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03.11.03 Assimilating into the 22nd Century

SCHEDULING UPDATE: UPN has slated repeats of Enterprise throughout March. New episodes will resume April 2 with "The Crossing." The current airdates are listed below.

The Enterprise-E should've stuck around for a more thorough clean-up operation. The aftermath of "what really happened" during the events of April 2063 are explored in an episode that brought out set pieces and costumes not seen since the end of Star Trek: Voyager, and features John Billingsley's wife in one of the key guest roles.

Remember in "Star Trek: First Contact," Captain Picard's crew followed a small Borg sphere through time and blew it to bits over 21st-century Earth. Well, what happened to all that debris? That's the premise behind "Regeneration." In the story, written by Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong, an arctic research team in 2152 discovers fragments of an alien ship buried in the glacial terrain, along with the frozen corpses of two cybernetically enhanced humanoids. Except they aren't really corpses — once they're allowed to thaw they come back to life and put their nanoprobes to work. They abduct the scientists and hijack their transport ship, modifying it for higher warp speeds. That's where the NX-01 comes in. Captain Archer's crew gives chase, and learns what an insidious threat these cybernetic beings pose.

Bonita Friedericy, the real-life (and only) spouse of the actor behind "Dr. Phlox," plays "Rooney," one of the researchers investigating the debris who gets abducted (i.e., assimilated). Friedericy's previous credits include guest spots on such dramatic shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Practice, Judging Amy, Boston Public and the new Dragnet, and sitcoms including Mad About You, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Becker, Malcolm in the Middle and Scrubs, along with a distinguished stage career.

Regeneration alcoves and other artifacts of "Borgification" re-appeared on the lot during the last couple of weeks after a nearly two-year absence, and people in Borg costumes were once again seen walking between the makeup trailers and the soundstages. Some fairly extensive sets were constructed to depict the Borgified transport ship as well as the arctic research station and its surroundings. A lot of fake ice and blowing snow were used for the "Glacial Terrain" in which the debris field is discovered. The debris itself included some repurposed set pieces — one semi-elliptical ship fragment you'll see in the show is actually part of the saucer section of an Enterprise-E model used in the movies (ironically enough).

Production commenced on Thursday, February 27, with scenes on the Bridge and other standard ship sets with the principal cast. On Monday and Tuesday, most of the action took place in Sickbay, where Phlox dealt with two Tarkaleans who had their own unfortunate encounter with the fugitive cyborgs (sadly, Billingsley and Friedericy had no scenes together, and in fact didn't even work the same days). On Wednesday production moved next door into the arctic "Habitat Module/Research Lab" sets and the guest cast took over, including the initial two Borg drones. Thursday, the exterior scenes of the Glacial Terrain environment were shot in the same soundstage. That day Vaughn Armstrong and Jim Fitzpatrick reported to work as "Admiral Forrest" and "Commander Williams" respectively, first to shoot a scene in Forrest's office, then to visit the arctic site. Principal photography concluded Friday with scenes on the Borgified transport ship, involving Scott Bakula, Dominic Keating, and several "Stunt Borg." But "B Unit" photography continued the following Monday (yesterday) for more action and effects shots, even as the next episode commenced production simultaneously (under the direction of LeVar Burton — more about that later).

Besides the guest cast of speaking roles (listed in Cast & Crew), a number of stunt people were involved, most of whom are seasoned Trek veterans. They include Eddie Matthews, Eric Norris, Shawn Crowder, Brian Avery, Craig Baxley Jr., Louis Ortiz and Marty Murray, with Vince Deadrick Jr. supervising as usual. There were four main "Stunt Borg," sometimes playing more than one drone, but also there were as many as four other extras in Borg makeup and costumes filling in the background.

"Regeneration" is tentatively scheduled to air May 7. It was directed by David Livingston, one of the most prolific Star Trek directors of the last 12 years. Livingston's recent Enterprise episodes include last month's "Stigma" and next month's "The Crossing."

The current Wednesday-night schedule of new episodes airing on UPN is as follows:

4/02 "The Crossing"
4/09 "Judgment"
4/16 "Horizon"
4/23 "The Breach"
4/30 "Cogenitor"
5/07 "Regeneration"
5/14 Episode 50 (directed by LeVar Burton)
5/21 Episode 51 (directed by Roxann Dawson) & Episode 52 (directed by Allan Kroeker)

As noted above, on May 21 two new episodes will air back-to-back, the second being the season finale. As always, even this schedule is subject to change.

For more information about the second-season episodes, visit the Synopses and Cast & Crew sections of Production News.

Please note: All production information is subject to change.

Discuss Season Two at the Star Trek message boards!