November 22, 1996. It's a date that remains as memorable as ever in the hearts and minds of Star Trek fans across the globe. Star Trek: First Contact opened on that day, meaning it's been 19 years since the second Star Trek: The Next Generation feature debuted in theaters and captured the imaginations of both Trek fans and mainstream moviegoers. Jonathan Frakes took his maiden voyage as a film director after previously having put his TNG co-stars and friends through their paces for several episodes of the series. The screenplay, by Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore, checked all the necessary boxes: great character interaction, time travel, a memorable villain, and every other detail -- from the terrific score to winning supporting performances by Alice Krige, James Cromwell and Alfre Woodard to top-notch visual effects -- complemented Frakes' lively direction.
Here are a few factoids about First Contact:
Can you name the pair of classic pop songs heard during the adventure? "Ooby Dooby" by Roy Orbison and "Magic Carpet Ride" by Steppenwolf.
First Contact beamed up $30.7 million its opening weekend in the U.S. and went on to gross $92 million domestically and another $54 million overseas.
Susanna Thompson later played the Borg Queen on Star Trek: Voyager, but Krige reprised the character in the Voyager series finale, "Endgame."
Michael Westmore, Scott Wheeler and Jake Garber were jointly nominated for an Academy Award for Best Makeup, but lost to Rick Baker and David LeRoy Anderson. Anderson later worked on Star Trek Into Darkness, which also featured a brief in-makeup appearance by his wife, Heather Langenkamp, best known for starring in several of the Nightmare on Elm Street horror films. Anderson and Langenkamp own AFX Studio, a makeup company that worked on Star Trek Into Darkness and devised many of the film's creatures.
The Cochrane role, pre-Cromwell, had been portrayed on The Original Series by Glenn Corbett. And, First Contact, Paramount Pictures offered the part to Tom Hanks, an avowed Trek fan, who passed because he was set to direct and co-star in That Thing You Do!
Cromwell was no stranger to Trek. He'd guest starred on other Trek series. And, likewise, the First Contact casting director, Frakes and producers called upon other familiar faces in old or new roles: Patti Yasutake as Nurse Ogawa, Dwight Schultz as Lt. Barclay, Robert Picardo as the EMH, and Ethan Phillips as the Holodeck Nightclub Maitre'd.
Jerry Goldsmith, the beloved and prolific composer, crafted the score for First Contact, with an assist from his son Joel Goldsmith. Sadly, Jerry died in 2004 and Joel passed away in 2012, the latter succumbing to cancer at the very young age of 54.
What do YOU recall most about seeing First Contact for the first time?