We've been watching ST:TNG episodes lately, and, since we broke through the first season and it started getting good, we've been inhaling a lot of them (it's been a while since I've seen some of these, especially in order). We just finished with the two first Locutus episodes
, and they made me wonder a bit about a couple of things.
First, the creation of a 'speaker' by the Borg, as an intermediary between them and a soon-to-be-Borged race, makes vague sense on the surface. This wiki
says that the role was (at least) retconned in an in-universe Shatner novel (shudder) to be for the purpose of 'less waste' in the assimilation. This is cute, but I don't really think we see any evidence of this from Locutus. He doesn't exactly appeal to the Enterprise on any particularly human basis; he pretty much just hits the 'resistance is futile' button. The most personal he gets is to name people, and to speak directly to Riker. So I'm not really seeing the benefit for the Borg here. Maybe they just have a really bad sense of what people need in order to feel convinced. Maybe Shatner is just not a very good writer.
Second, he has a name. Supposedly this is normal for a speaker (and there is a Romulan in Shatner's book who has the same role, but that means exactly nothing). The funny thing is, 'Locutus' is clearly Latin-derived. Did Picard name himself? He'd know enough Latin to do this, probably, whereas the Borg sure shouldn't. This is a cute idea, that he was their first speaker and therefore they took ideas about how this should be done from his brain. However, the Shatner-book
ruins it again by mentioning that the Borg had made a speaker for the Romulan worlds, named 'Vox.' This is just annoying, because what do Romulans care for Latin? Unless the stupid progenitor-race that made all the Star Trek sentient species humanoid also seeded a latinate root-language, but, honestly, that's even too stupid for me to consider. So, again, I must conclude that Shatner ruins everything. But in a hilarious way