Netflix released some stats about the most-viewed Star Trek episodes as part of “Star Trek Day” and the promo campaign for Discovery. They are...something.
Some of the stats are common sense: premieres, time-travel episodes, and landmark episodes introducing key races are among the most popular. Encouragingly, they also reveal that while The Original Series and The Next Generation have the expected largest audiences, Deep Space Nine and Voyager have more loyal viewers.
Then, they threw in this list of the most-viewed episodes of all five shows and, um...
Eight of the top ten episodes are Borg-themed. No Klingons, no Romulans, no Cardassians, no Dominion. Borg. Lots of them. You will be assimilated.
I’m a bit surprised that “Endgame” ended up in the top spot. Maybe there are a lot of viewers who didn’t see Voyager all the way through and just skipped to the end? Also, “Clues”? “Time and Again”? I guess people really like to watch Troi break Worf’s wrist and Janeway wander around a water reclamation plant.
Now that I think about it more, I’m not particularly surprised. Of all the “big bads” on Star Trek, the Borg speak more to modern sensibilities and fears than any other. An entire generation has grown up without the specter of nuclear war hanging over our heads (well, until now), and fear of technology (e.g. automation eliminating jobs, killer AI, lack of privacy, identify theft, etc.) has come to the forefront. Black Mirror is a good example of this.
So take note, Paramount and CBS. Klingons and Romulans are fun, but if you want to future-proof Trek, bring back the Borg. Oh, and FFS, make sure you do it right. The Borg are terrifying, but very easy to screw up.