Despite multiple assimilations throughout the “Star Trek” timeline, and many elaborate descriptions of how horrible it felt. No Trek show had ever really visualized a dream-like first-person perspective of what it was like inside the hive mind. “Star Trek: Discovery” recently featured a psychic dreamspace between a Trill and their lover, and “Picard” featured a similar dreamspace shared by Data (Brent Spiner) and his evil twin Lore, so it was high time for Picard to try.
Nichols was tasked by showrunner Terry Matalas with what the assimilation rescue might look like, and he immediately began mentally accruing Borg moments from older Trek shows hoping to construct a montage.
“One of the cooler things I think, was probably in the finale, where Jean-Luc goes back into the Borg cube. He plugs himself back into the collective to go rescue his son. And that was in the script. Terry was like, ‘We got to see this journey.’ What’s it like going into the Collective? So it was just a question that he put out there. And he’s like, ‘Why don’t you just try to figure something out?’ So me and my assistant editor, Justin Block, we pored through some of the shows and the movies to see if there’s anything with Locutus that we could possibly use, and some stock footage bits.”
Locutus was Picard’s name when he was assimilated. The Locutus story appeared in the two-part “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “The Best of Both Worlds.” Picard also experienced flashbacks to being locutus in the 1996 feature film “Star Trek: First Contact.” That was plenty for Nichols and Block to start with.