Before Voyаɡer, A Borɡ Queen Aсtor Romаnсed Stаr Trek: DS9’s Dаx

2nd Borg Queen Susanna Thompson was a regular guest actor across all three of Star Trek’s 90s shows, from TNG to Voyager via a controversial DS9 role.

Alice Krige as the Borg Queen and Terry Farrell as Jadzia Dax


  • Susanna Thompson played multiple roles in the Star Trek franchise, including the Borg Queen in Star Trek: Voyager.
  • Thompson’s portrayal of a same-sex relationship on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine caused controversy in 1995.
  • Thompson’s role as the Borg Queen in Star Trek: Voyager was physically demanding but fulfilled her ambition.

Before joining Star Trek: Voyager as the Borg Queen, Susanna Thompson played the love interest of Lt. Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Thompson was no stranger to Star Trek, having appeared in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. All four of Thompson’s Star Trek characters were easily distinguishable from each other, due to the alien prosthetics that she was required to wear for three out of the four roles.

Susanna Thompson played the role of the Borg Queen when Alice Krige was unavailable for the Star Trek: Voyager episodes “Dark Frontier” and “Unimatrix Zero.” The Borg Queen and Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) became nemeses during Voyager, as they battled for the future of former Borg drone Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan). Playing the role of the Borg Queen in Star Trek fulfilled a dashed ambition for Thompson, following an earlier casting disappointment.

Susanna Thompson Romanced Dax In A Controversial DS9 Episode

Two Trill Women Kiss in Star Trek DS9

In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 4, episode 6, “Rejoined”, Susanna Thompson played Dr. Lenara Kahn, a Trill scientist, and the new host for one of the previous Dax symbiont’s wives. Dax and Kahn find themselves drawn to one another, with Jadzia and Lenara picking up where Torias and Nilani left off. This was a taboo subject on the Trill home world, not because Jadzia and Lenara were both women, but because it is forbidden for symbionts to rekindle their relationships in new host bodies. The process is known as “reassociation” and “Rejoined” reveals that reassociated Trills were exiled from society, and both host and symbiont would later die, ostracized from their community.

Sadly, and predictably, “Rejoined” caused controversy for featuring a same-sex kiss between Terry Farell and Susanna Thompson, leading to complaints from certain corners of the USA. Viewers objected to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine depicting a same-sex relationship between two women, with the usual suspects begging the DS9 team to think of the children. According to producer Steve Oster, a production assistant took a call from an angry viewer who claimed that seeing two women kiss would mess up his kids.

It’s depressing to think of how negatively viewers reacted to a same-sex kiss on network television in 1995. It proves that Rick Berman’s squeamishness about presenting a same-sex relationship in Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s notorious unmade episode “Blood and Fire” wasn’t completely without merit. However, the fact that LGBTQ+ representation on TV was so taboo at the latter end of the 20th century made Star Trek: DS9‘s Trill love story far more allegorical than had ever been intended.

Susanna Thompson Was Cast As Star Trek: Voyager’s Borg Queen

An image of Captain Janeway and the Borg Queen is shown.

Susanna Thompson first auditioned for the role of the Borg Queen when Star Trek: First Contact was being cast. While Thompson lost out to Alice Krige, it wasn’t the end of the road for her aspirations for assimilation. While preparing to bring the Borg Queen back in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Dark Frontier”, the producers reached out to Krige to see if she would reprise her memorable movie role. When Krige declined due to availability, the producers remembered Susanna Thompson’s original First Contact audition and brought her into read for the part of the Borg Queen in Voyager.

Rather than completely reinvent the wheel, Susanna Thompson instead built on what Alice Krige had done in Star Trek: First Contact. In a special feature on the Star Trek: Voyager season 5 DVD collection, Thompson reflected on how there could be different Borg Queens in Star Trek. Creating her own rationale for the Borg Queen’s ability to regenerate and rebuild herself, Thompson said that:

“…genetically there was a strain of her that still exists in the hive, in the collective. And, so I wanted to infuse my queen with her, but also allow the fact that I was going to interpret her slightly different.”

Thompson also revealed that the role was physically demanding, due to the heavy make-up, restrictive costume, and uncomfortable contact lenses. As a result, she found the full-on shooting schedule incredibly grueling, and considered not returning to the role. However, her request that the shooting schedule be adjusted for these conditions was granted, and so she returned to the role for “Unimatrix Zero” in Star Trek: Voyager season 6.

Susanna Thompson’s Other Star Trek: TNG Roles

Before Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Susanna Thompson appeared twice as two different alien characters in Star Trek: The Next Generation. In TNG season 5, episode 24, “The Next Phase”, Thompson played Varel, a member of the Romulan military. When the USS Enterprise-D offered assistance to a stricken Romulan science ship, she was keen that the truth about their experiments in interphase cloaking were kept a secret from the Federation.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation season 6, episode 21, “Frame of Mind”, Commander William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) was subjected to psychological torture and interrogation. He was led to believe that he was not a Starfleet officer, but a patient in a mental health facility. One of his fellow patients was Jaya, played by Susanna Thompson, who believed that she was the commanding officer of the USS Yorktown. With roles in TNGStar Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, Susanna Thompson was a regular and reliable guest star throughout the Berman era.

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