So, I just watched the Star Trek: Discovery episode "Perpetual Infinity" (S02E11). Control is a pure mechanical AI. But I had a suspicion.

When Control took over Leland's body, the scene seemed to be very reminiscent of Borg. Struggling is pointless... Resistance is futile... even nanites with even a very similiar flooding and blood colour change, even mechanical parts spreading themselves out, though only afterwards.

Though, Control is a time travelling pure mechanical AI, it only achieved its goal through the Sphere's data... As we saw, it gained a portion of it. Maybe it's a bad guess, but I could see that DSC will use the lack of a data as the reason why Control decided to merge with the universal biosphere to achieve its end goal of what seems to be universal order, rather than killing everything...

Is this scene just a happy easter egg... or are we seeing DSC trying to use Control as a origin story to the Borg? Or is there just too much differences in Borg Lore that couldn't allow for Discovery to make such a, in my opinion, bad origin story?

  • 2
    i think the Borg predate Star Trek Discovery by at least a thousand years. mainly because if i recall Guinan was only on earth during ye olde days of the US because the Borg had already displaced her people by "assimilating" their civilisation
    – Memor-X
    Mar 30, 2019 at 11:30

1 Answer 1


Control is not the only "non-organic" entity in the canon. This season, you've also seen the sphere (whose data was passed to Discovery), another similar "singularity-like" entity.

The timeline doesn't match up for Control to be the origin of the Borg (as commented by Memor-X-).
It's not impossible for this to be retconned (e.g. if Control get access to time travel and somehow decides to travel to the past instead of the future), but that has not been established so it's just a wildly unfounded idea.

However, the Borg and Control seem to be variations of the same "machine singularity" trope that is pervasive in scifi. Almost always, a plot containing robotic life ends up in a singularity attempt (whether through corruption, misguidance, or willful intent).

A great example of this are the Cybermen from Doctor Who. They represent the machine singularity, and they have been (separately) invented countless times, always leading to the same result: an attempted maching singularity.
The fact that they always look the same can be attributed to it being made clear to the viewer that this is another variation on the Cybermen. In theory, there's no reason for the machines to look the same other than recognizability to the viewer.

In that sense, it seems that the Borg's existence and that of Control follows the same general progression, whereby they assumption is made that a singular universal mind is better than a universe with many divided minds.

  • The sphere was a mix of organic and non-organic, and I would guess that, unlike Control, it wasn't an Artificial Intelligence. The Borg are also not A.I.s, they are cyborgs, so "A.I. singularity" doesn't apply to them. - I have only seen a couple of Dr.Who episodes, but as far as I know, Cybermen have organic brains, so they wouldn't be A.I.s either.
    – Oliver_C
    Apr 24, 2019 at 19:51
  • @Oliver_C: Part of the Cybermen storyline is that it is claimed the suit is only an augmentation of the human (hence the "you will be upgraded" catchphrase and the general "why wouldn't you?" attitude portrayed by them), but in reality there is nothing left of the original human and the resulting Cyberman's only goal is to make more Cybermen.
    – Flater
    Apr 24, 2019 at 23:57
  • @Oliver_C The Borg, while they are physically cyborgs made up as an amalgam of their organic conquests, are a hive mind (the Collective) and speak as a single entity. Following assimilation the connection to the hive mind however typically revokes the individuality of those individuals to serve the purpose of the entire Collective as a whole.. Pretty much exactly like the Cybermen in this regard.
    – Flater
    Apr 24, 2019 at 23:58
  • Your answer seems to suggest that the Borg aim to reach "machine singularity", like Control. But since the Borg aren't machines it's a bit unclear to me what you mean by that.
    – Oliver_C
    Apr 25, 2019 at 19:20

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