(written from a Production point of view)
Archaeologist Vash arrives from the Gamma Quadrant as Q plagues the station and an unknown force threatens to destroy it.
In the Replimat on Deep Space 9, Dr. Julian Bashir recalls when he fought the "toughest battle of my life" to an attractive Bajoran woman, while Chief Miles O'Brien sits in the background, listening and occasionally rolling his eyes. Bashir remembers that during his Starfleet Medical exam, he was the last person in the room and there was no one else he could turn to for help. Bashir says that he considered quitting the exam, as he could feel the seconds ticking away. Then, he says he closed his eyes, took a deep breath and he remembered the answer, a pericardial membrane. He entered the answer in just before it was too late. He tells her that it is the stuff that salutatorians are made of. The Bajoran woman wonders why he only made salutatorian. In response, Bashir tells her that during the exam, he mistook a pre-ganglionic fiber for a post-ganglionic nerve. If not for that trick question, Bashir tells her he would have been valedictorian. Bashir begins to tell her more, but then Commander Benjamin Sisko calls both Bashir and O'Brien to landing pad five. At the docking hatch, Sisko and Major Kira Nerys are desperately trying to open the door to the runabout USS Ganges. The Ganges has lost all power and oxygen levels have dropped dangerously low since the ship emerged from the Bajoran wormhole. Inside the Ganges are Lieutenant Jadzia Dax and Ensign Pauley. Bashir scans with his medical tricorder and asks Sisko how many people are supposed to be inside the runabout. Sisko tells him that there are supposed to be two, but Bashir tells him that he is reading three. Kira suggests firing her Bajoran phaser at the door, but Sisko tells her the door hatch is made of duranium composite; it will take her an hour to burn through. O'Brien then tells Kira to hand him an EPI capacitor, which will re-energize the servos and thus open the door hatch. The hatch opens, with assistance from Sisko and Kira. The crew enters the Ganges. O'Brien helps a woman get to her feet and realizes it is Vash, whom he knew from the USS Enterprise-D. O'Brien asks how she got on board. Dax replies that they found her in the Gamma Quadrant, where she has been residing for the last two years. Sisko advises Bashir to take everyone to the infirmary. O'Brien asks Vash how she got to the Gamma Quadrant by herself. She replies that a friend brought her there. As everyone leaves for the infirmary, Q turns around and grins.
In the infirmary, Bashir scans Vash and finds her to be in perfect health for someone who has been in the Gamma Quadrant for two years and has not had touch with civilization for that long. Vash tells Bashir that the Gamma Quadrant is hardly uncivilized, as there are cultures that have been around for millions of years. In Sisko's office, Sisko discusses with Dax how Vash got to the Gamma Quadrant, as she knew nothing about the wormhole and did not use it to get there. Sisko orders Dax to look into it. In the station's assay office, Vash brings in valuable objects she acquired from the Gamma Quadrant for safe keeping, as she is leaving the next day. Sisko walks to the office and begins talking to Vash. They walk out of the assay office into the Promenade. Sisko tells Vash that the Daystrom Institute will be disappointed not to hear from her, as they are anxious to hear what life is like in the Gamma Quadrant. Sisko also discreetly tries to inquire how Vash ended up in the Gamma Quadrant, but she tells him it is a personal matter and she does not want to talk about it. One of Vash's old professors, Woo, wants to speak with her again, which Vash finds ironic, since Woo suspended her membership, twice. Sisko hopes she'll make an exception in this case. Vash replies that it has been twelve years since she has been on Earth and she thinks she may go back. Sisko promises to arrange passage for her.
While conducting repairs on the Ganges, O'Brien cannot find out why the ship lost power so suddenly. The runabout is now in perfect condition, despite what happened to it earlier. O'Brien replies that once new power reserves are put into the Ganges, it should be fully operational. O'Brien tells Sisko that it is like something drained the ship dry. Sisko asks O'Brien how well he knows Vash. O'Brien replies that he hardly knows her at all, apart from the one time she was on board the Enterprise. Sisko asks what she was doing there. O'Brien tells Sisko that Vash and Captain Jean-Luc Picard were very, very close on the Enterprise, ever since they first met on Risa a few years back. Sisko tells O'Brien that Vash does not seem to be Picard's type, but O'Brien tells him that the captain likes a good challenge. Suddenly, the power goes down in the corridor O'Brien and Sisko are standing in. The power returns. Sisko and O'Brien make their way to Ops, where Sisko asks for a status report. Kira tells him that power has drained. Dax tells the crew that the station's power drain is exactly what happened to the Ganges.
O'Brien escorts Vash to her quarters. Vash asks O'Brien how Picard is doing. O'Brien tells her that the last time he saw him, he seemed fine. Vash tells him that now she is back in the Alpha Quadrant, she will have to look him up. Vash enters her quarters and finds Q there, who cannot believe that she is still pining for Picard, whom he still believes to be a "self-righteous do-gooder".
Vash wants to part ways with Q, but Q does not want to leave her. He suggests they still explore the galaxy, as there is still the Delta Quadrant and many other exotic planets to see. Then, Vash's door opens to Quark, the Ferengi bar owner on the station. Q tells him to go away and makes him disappear. Vash makes Q return Quark, which he does. Quark tells Vash that he has heard that she has several items from the Gamma Quadrant that may have enormous financial value. Quark believes he may be able to arrange an auction for Vash's items, for a fifty-fifty split of the profits. Vash, unsatisfied, goes over to Quark and performs oo-mox on him. As she does so, he lowers his cut of the profits in gold-pressed latinum to twenty-two percent. Q reappears, telling Vash that if Quark was the kind of man she was with before, it is no wonder she was attracted to Picard. The doorbell rings and Q disappears again. Vash answers. Dr. Bashir enters and asks Vash out to dinner at Quark's. She accepts, but asks Bashir to wait for her, so she can freshen up. While Bashir is waiting for Vash in the Replimat, Q, disguised as a Bajoran waiter, tells Bashir not to meet with Vash. Bashir takes offense to this and tells Q that it is none of his business and he will be seeing her soon. Q tells Bashir that he looks tired and makes him yawn. Bashir, now very tired, leaves and goes to bed. O'Brien sees Q walking away and exclaims "Bloody hell."
At Ops, O'Brien tells Sisko that Q is on board the station. When Kira asks what Q is, Sisko replies that he is a powerful and extremely unpredictable lifeform. Dax asks what Q wants with them, and Sisko responds that whatever it is, they can be sure they won't like it. O'Brien suggests Vash might know, and when Sisko asks if Q and Vash would know each other from the Enterprise, O'Brien responds that they met in Sherwood Forest. O'Brien tells them it was one of the jokes Q played with the Enterprise crew. Then, the station's power drains, yet again. O'Brien suggests, since the there has been nothing wrong with the systems for the first time in a month, that Q must be playing a game with them. At Quark's, Vash and Quark inspect one of Vash's items, a large crystalline jewel. Vash and Quark discuss what the crystal will be worth at the auction, until Sisko enters Quark's demanding to talk to Vash. Sisko wants her to tell him about Q. However, Q is already in Quark's and asks Sisko if Starfleet is punishing Sisko or if he actually requested command of Deep Space 9.
Commander Sisko orders Q to vacate DS9, but Q intends to bring excitement to the droll Cardassian construct. Q then notices the new uniforms that the station crew wear, accordingly altering his own attire looking identical to Sisko's uniform. But Sisko isn't impressed by Q's abilities and demands the cessation of power outages afflicting DS9. Q accepts blame for this if it makes the commander feel better, subtly hinting that he is not responsible. In the course of their conversation Q causes every person on the space station to disappear with the exception of himself and the station commander. In a fit of alarm, Sisko violently grabs hold of Q demanding the immediate return of everyone. Entertained and seeking to further antagonize Sisko, Q suggests they settle the matter "mano a mano."
Temporarily transforming Quark's Bar into a boxing arena, he begins bouncing about Sisko and landing blows. Humorously, Quark and Vash wager on the sideline. Q keeps insisting that his opponent fight back, ultimately an annoyed Sisko knocks him down. Upon being struck to the ground a seemingly bewildered Q says, "You hit me. Picard never hit me."; Sisko answers, "I'm not Picard." Q is very pleased to find a command-level Starfleet officer who is much easier to provoke than the USS Enterprise-D's captain, and he vanishes in a flash.
Arriving at Deep Space 9, numerous aliens who are attending Vash's auction head towards Quark's, which catches the suspicious eye of Constable Odo. Yet again station power levels drop and the atmosphere in Ops begins to vent, fortunately though O'Brien is able to activate shielding. Investigating one of the hull breaches that happened, Dax scans with her tricorder and finds that the damage was caused by a focused graviton pulse, concluding that Q is the cause although Sisko thinks otherwise.
As per Odo's request Quark arrives at the station security office, where the constable informs the bartender that he is aware concerning the upcoming auction of Gamma Quadrant artifacts. Quark reacts with surprise to this and is a bit angered at being spied on by the local law enforcement, surmising that Odo had shapeshifted into an article of furniture or perhaps the liquor bottle. Odo remarks that the devious Quark cannot keep secrets from him. Quark defends his business venture, but Odo is actually interested in the clientele. In their conversation Odo mentions that he fails to fathom the logic of materialism and greed; the Ferengi then proceeds to tempt the ever spartan Odo with material desire: a suit made of Andorian silk, a ring made of surax, a latinum-plated regeneration bucket. Odo momentarily considers the bucket, but rejects it.
On the Promenade, Q walks with Vash and again attempts to persuade her to stay with him, pointing out the safety she's had due to him. Vash tells Q that she does not require him or his protection in a dangerous universe. Q thus painfully reminds her of a harmful insect bite she received on Erabus Prime which he cured, then causing Vash to physically react as if bitten again. First she experiences irregular balding and her remaining hair becomes lighter in coloration, then something like hives appear on various areas of her body, finally her skin becomes pale and her hair greys as she collapses to the floor from weakness shaking and moaning. Q departs from Vash and allows her to reconsider their so-called friendship, restoring her to health. A man helps the woman up and she continues to Quark's as onlookers gawk.
In Sisko's station log, he notes that the station's power is continuing to be drained and is being converted into gravitons. If the drain continues, Deep Space 9's life support system will go offline in less than fourteen hours. The station's Cardassian sensors are not sensitive enough to detect where the power outages are coming from, according to O'Brien. Dax suggests that if they flood the station with ionized tritium gas, they could trace the particle flow to the source of the power outages. Not seeing another choice, Sisko orders it done. Then, Q appears on Ops and remarks that Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-D would have solved this problem ages ago. O'Brien tells Q to go do something constructive, like tormenting Cardassians. Q asks if he knows O'Brien. O'Brien tells him he was from the Enterprise. Q remarks that he must have been one of the little people. Q gives Sisko a hint of where the power outages are coming from and tells the crew that Vash is far more dangerous to DS9 than Q is.
In Quark's, Kolos, one of the alien bidders, walks up to Quark. He remarks that the Gamma Quadrant merchandise had better be legitimate, or else he will throw Quark out of the nearest airlock. Quark assures him that each item has been authenticated by Vash, who is the Federation's expert on the Gamma Quadrant. Since that is now out of the way, Kolos asks Quark for a synthale. Quark talks more with Vash and proposes a lucrative business venture with her. Vash insists to Quark that she has slept in her last tent, as she is looking forward to living on Earth again. Then, the station shakes. At Ops, Kira, at her station, is reading that DS9 is being pulled out of its normal position. Sisko orders that thrusters be used to stabilize the station, but that does nothing to stop it from moving. O'Brien suggests that the station's reactors be shut down in order to stop the feeding of the station's power to the graviton field. Sisko orders it be done. This, however, does nothing to stop the movement of DS9. Sisko asks Dax to ascertain where the station is headed. The coordinates have Deep Space 9 heading straight for the Bajoran wormhole.
At Quark's, the alien bidders are unaware of the station approaching its impending destruction. Quark reminds everyone that payment must be in gold-pressed latinum and that all transactions are final. Vash then holds up a statue of Drohlak from the Verathan civilization in the Gamma Quadrant. She proceeds to go into a long discussion about the history of the Verathan civilization, which begins to bore the bidders. Quark tells Vash that this is not the Daystrom Institute, she does not need to put the statue in its proper historical context, rather Quark tells the bidders that it is rare, beautiful and it is an original Gamma Quadrant piece. The bidding begins. O'Brien starts to flood DS9 with tritium gas and Dax begins a sensor sweep. The first part of the station to be cleared is the docking ring. The tritium gas is draining toward the central core of the station, but O'Brien cannot pinpoint its exact location. Kira notes that the station will collide with the wormhole in eighteen minutes. During the bidding, Kolos has won the statue of Drohlak for thirty six bars of gold-pressed latinum. Bidding continues with a dagger. Q, sitting casually behind the bidders, tells them that the station is hurtling toward the Bajoran wormhole and that they will not live long enough to enjoy their purchases. Quark attempts to calm the bidders down by assuring them that everything is under control. The bidding resumes, with Quark's cousin Stol winning the dagger for a hundred and five bars of gold-pressed latinum.
With the situation getting worse, Dax suggests returning the station to full power, so they will generate enough energy to create a power drain to trace the source of the station's problems. Seeing no other choice, Sisko orders O'Brien to bring the station to full power. Quark brings out the final auction item, the large crystalline jewel. The starting bid is two hundred bars of gold-pressed latinum. Soon, the bidding reaches six hundred bars of latinum. At Ops, the crew is desperately trying to find the source of the station's power drains. Dax finally locates it, on the Promenade. Kira and Dax leave, Sisko accompanies them and leaves O'Brien in charge. At Quark's, the bidding has reached 2,500 bars, which astonishes Quark. Q then proceeds to bid 2,501 bars. Sisko, Kira and Dax reach the Promenade and scan with tricorders. Dax locates the item in Quark's. Kolos makes a final bid with three thousand bars. Q then bids a million bars on the item. Sisko, Kira and Dax head over to the item up for sale. Sisko removes his combadge and places it on the jewel. He orders O'Brien to shut down the reactors and beam the object into space, five hundred meters off of the docking ring. The object is beamed five hundred meters away from the docking ring and begins to transform. Sisko, Kira, Dax, and Vash look outside the Promenade's windows as the creature they have just released heads into the wormhole and back to the Gamma Quadrant.
Vash is preparing to leave DS9 for Earth. While she sits at the bar and has a drink, Quark entices her with news that a Rokai provincial capital has just been uncovered at Tartaras V. Vash decides not to go, as she has her mind set on Earth. Q appears again, calling Earth an abysmal place, although he notes that Earth once had a lot of character a thousand years ago, with the crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and Watergate. Q tells her she would be much happier exploring Tartaras V instead of being on Earth. Q then decides to leave Vash and admits he is going to miss her. Q vanishes again. Vash grabs Quark's lobe and asks him what the quickest way is to Tartaras V. Quark leads her away, just as Bashir awakes from a long sleep induced by Q. He walks up to Dax in the bar and asks "Did I miss something"?
- "Station log, stardate 46531.2. The station's power is continuing to be drained and converted into gravitons. At this rate, our life support systems will fail in fourteen hours."
- "Station log, stardate 46532.3. With the embryonic lifeform off the station, graviton levels have returned to normal. We've used the control thrusters to return the station to its original position."
"How did you end up in the Gamma Quadrant?"
"A friend dropped me off."
- - O'Brien and Vash, declining to explain how she arrived in the Gamma Quadrant before the wormhole was discovered
- - Miles O'Brien, upon spotting Q on DS9
"What does he want with us?"
"Whatever it is, you can be sure we won't like it."
"You might ask Vash…"
"They know each other…"
"From the Enterprise…"
"I believe they actually met in Sherwood Forest…(Sisko and Dax's faces suggest they don't believe him)…it was one of the little jokes he played on the Enterprise crew."
- - Dax, Sisko and O'Brien, alerted to Q's presence
"I'll never understand this obsession with accumulating material wealth. You spend your entire life plotting and scheming to acquire more and more possessions until your living areas are bursting with useless junk. Then you die, your relatives sell everything, and start the cycle all over again."
- - Odo
"Starfleet medical finals. Gets them every time."
- - Julian Bashir, to Miles O'Brien, after leaving a date with an impressed Bajoran woman
"It's got to be Q, another one of his stupid jokes."
"I'm not laughing."
- - Miles O'Brien and Benjamin Sisko
"I must admit, I, I like your new tailor…"
- - Q, to Sisko, before changing from a TNG- to DS9-style uniform
"Why don't you do something constructive for a change, like torment Cardassians!"
- - Miles O'Brien, to Q
"You hit me… Picard never hit me."
"I'm not Picard."
"Indeed not. You're much easier to provoke. How fortunate for me."
- - Q and Benjamin Sisko
"Enterprise? Oh yes, weren't you one of the little people?"
- - Q, to Miles O'Brien, on their last meeting
"Mr. Quark, I believe you are trying to take advantage of me."
- - Vash, to Quark
"They're honest collectors of antiquities, every one. "
"How honest? "
"As honest as you and I. "
"Then we'd better keep a close eye on them. "
- - Vash and Quark
"An abysmal place, Earth. Oh, don't get me wrong. A thousand years ago it had character: the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, Watergate. Now it's just mind-numbingly dull."
- - Q
"These mating rituals you Humans indulge in are really quite disgusting."
- - Q
"My God, you're an impertinent waiter!"
- - Bashir, to Q after the latter tells him to stay away from Vash while Q is posing as a waiter at the Replimat
"It's over Q! I want you out of my life! You're arrogant, you're overbearing, and you think you know everything!"
"But… I do know everything."
"That makes it even worse."
- - Vash and Q
"Still chasing your own tail? Picard and his lackeys would have solved all this techno-babble hours ago. No wonder you're not commanding a starship."
- - Q, to Sisko, who is trying to figure out what converts DS9's energy to gravitons
"But it's not going to be the same without you. When I look at a gas nebula, all I see is a cloud of dust, but seeing the universe through your eyes I was able to experience… wonder. I'm going to miss that."
- - Q, to Vash
Story and script
- Hannah Louise Shearer's original pitch for this episode involved Vash, but not Q. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) Michael Piller elaborated, "It was a Vash episode to begin with. We go in and find Vash and bring her back and were struggling to find some focus for it." (The Deep Space Log Book: A First Season Companion, p. 62)
- Michael Piller and Robert Hewitt Wolfe decided to bring the character of Q into the episode and tied in with the events of "Captain's Holiday" and "Qpid". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) Piller recollected, "I said, 'If you're going to make it Vash, why not bring Q along?', because it's a natural way to get Q onto DS9. We wanted to do a Q show and yet we were very serious about doing it in a credible way. If you just have him come on and say 'Look, is this the new show?' it's silly, but this seemed to be a justifiable way. It gave us an opportunity to have Q play some games with some of the new characters and to see how Sisko would react." (The Deep Space Log Book: A First Season Companion, p. 62)
- Robert Hewitt Wolfe made his writing debut on Deep Space Nine with this episode. He wrote the episode after he sold "A Fistful of Datas" to TNG but before he joined the DS9 writing staff. Wolfe commented, "What happened with Deep Space Nine is they had an outline, or a story doc, for 'Q-Less', and it didn't work. There were a lot of issues with it [….] So they showed it to me and asked me what I thought. I sort of said that the whole final ten minutes as proposed wasn't necessary. The story ends with this alien egg going into the wormhole. There was a whole second half of an adventure when they were off the station, and Q was less involved. I was, like, 'No, this is about this segment. This is the sweet spot of the story.' They thought that was smart. I think Ira and Michael liked that and they brought me in to write the script and then they liked the first draft and hired me onto staff." (The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years, p. 423) Wolfe added, "I did the rewrite while they were negotiating my contract." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion p. 30)
- According to the Deep Space Nine Companion, the scene in which Q is surprised that Sisko has hit him is a sign of the writers' attempts to differentiate Sisko's character from Jean-Luc Picard. Robert Hewitt Wolfe said, of the difference between the two characters, "Picard is an explorer, and in some ways, very much an intellectual. Sisko is a builder, a different kind of guy. He wears his heart a little more on his sleeve, and he acts on emotion, on instinct, more than Picard." Furthermore, de Lancie himself pointed out, "Q's relationship with Picard has always been a battle of wits, but I come into Deep Space Nine, and Sisko just bopped me on the nose! From a character point of view, that's a very big difference." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 45)
- Quark's line "bid high and bid often" is a reference to a quote attributed to the late Richard J. Daley: "Vote early and vote often." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Although Director Paul Lynch had previously directed five episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, he found directing Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to be more daunting. "Shooting TNG was never as complex as this. Those shows were a breeze by comparison. I mean, we might have had some special effects makeup and the odd beam on or beam off, but on DS9, it's endless. There was one scene in 'Q-Less' where Q not only appeared and disappeared from one chair to another chair to a third chair, but he also changed costumes as he went. It looks effortless on film, but it took a great deal of time to shoot John de Lancie in different costumes, changing all the way around the bar. It's because Rick Berman wants everything to be the absolute best and that's why the quality is so high. Everything has been planned to the last given point when we come in to shoot. It's just incredibly complex." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion p. 30)
- Armin Shimerman enjoyed watching Avery Brooks and John de Lancie film, as de Lancie had been playing Q for five years at the time of the episode and "Q-Less" was just the fifth Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode after the pilot "Emissary". Shimerman commented, "It was interesting to watch the two of them together. It was an interesting dynamic because Avery is the lead and so he has the responsibility and that recognition in himself. Yet John de Lancie came on the set with his own agenda, which is that he has played Q quite often and is very familiar with his end and thought of us sort of as the new kids. We were the regulars, he was the guest star, but he felt like he was the regular and we were the visitors." de Lancie replied to this, "I love that Armin quote. I think that one of the things I had to be careful about is I couldn't be so chameleon like as to be a different character just because I was on a different set. I had to carry on in the way that I know works for The Next Generation and carry it into the new show so it would be seamless in a way. There would be kind of a bigness about Q that maybe permeates the tide pool." (The Deep Space Log Book: A First Season Companion, p. 63)
- The scene where Q makes Vash experience the results of an insect bite on Erabus Prime was very memorable for Jennifer Hetrick. Hetrick commented, "There was a moment, and it maybe lasted ten seconds on film, where Q is reminding me of how important he was to me and how necessary he was in my life because he had saved my life several times on some planet and they had these quick shots of me reliving what had happened on this planet. I went through probably a total of, I don't know, eight hours of prosthetic makeup, going from from as-is to slowly losing my hair and my face getting all covered in boils and warts and all this kind of stuff. I really was so glad Vash was Human. I kept thanking my lucky stars I hadn't been cast as an alien just because they have to go through an awful lot." (Section 31 hidden file 10, DS9 Season 1 DVD)
- In an outtake from the fight scene between Sisko and Q, John de Lancie replied to Avery Brooks' order to bring back the Deep Space 9 inhabitants with the alternate, "Or what? What? You'll ravish me?" de Lancie started to laugh and apologized, and Avery Brooks replied, "I might." The filming crew laughed and applauded. (Ultimate Trek: Star Trek's Greatest Moments)
- Michael Piller noted about this episode, "It was fun." (The Deep Space Log Book: A First Season Companion, p. 62)
- Robert Hewitt Wolfe commented, "Looking back on it, I would say the story had some problems that I didn't see when I came in. Almost no one had written a Deep Space Nine episode before that time. 'Q-Less' just didn't have enough emotional impact for our characters. Because Q was familiar to me from The Next Generation and he was so fun to write, I concentrated a little too much on him and not enough on our regular characters. That's the show's flaw." Wolfe also felt Sisko's scene with Q did not go far enough in the episode: "That was important for us to do but I don't think it was enough. Sure, Sisko is not Picard, but Sisko is Sisko. The episode didn't show enough of who Sisko is, or any of the others for that matter, with the exception of Quark. But Quark's pretty easy to figure out." ("Robert Hewitt Wolfe – Writer/story editor", The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 5)
- Director Paul Lynch enjoyed filming scenes with Q and Vash due to Q's acerbic comments. Lynch elaborated, "That's Q's modus operandi and that's why it's fun to do. They really did get down that fast paced, fun stuff I like. There was a real push in order to do it in the time we had because comedy takes time to make it work. If the timing doesn't work exactly, it doesn't work at all and that takes take after take. We were always running against production conflicts because of that. To a degree, it's a little like Moonlighting, except that the reason Moonlighting sometimes took between twelve and eighteen days to do a one-hour episode was that the amount of time it took to work out the timing in long sustained scenes, which is what you want. You want the scene to play without cuts and that goes back to Howards Hawks where you would just play a scene right through and let the camera watch it. That's what makes it funny. That takes a lot of time to rehearse, to stage and to shoot because if you're a beat off at any given point, you have to go back and do the whole thing over again. That was a hard show, but comedy, as they say, is always the toughest thing to do." (The Deep Space Log Book: A First Season Companion, pp. 63-64)
- John de Lancie has expressed some disappointment with this episode, and agrees with the fans who felt that Q is acting out of character. According to de Lancie, "Q is best used when he deals with large philosophical issues. And skirt-chasing just isn't one of them." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- However, de Lancie did enjoy working with Jennifer Hetrick in the episode. He commented, "[Jennifer] and I have worked a couple of times together other than Star Trek. We just spent a lot of time together trying to get our lines down for which there were a lot. While it was a nice show, the urgency of my involvement and the kind of motivation behind it that I'm in love wasn't explored in a substantial way, which leaves you with a thin thing to play. As a result, the style, the quips and the panache in which things are done become very important." (The Deep Space Log Book: A First Season Companion, p. 63)
- Jennifer Hetrick enjoyed the episode, commenting, "It was only their fifth episode so it was a little different than working on The Next Generation in terms of working with new people. The environment was also very different in terms of the whole storyline where you have many more different aliens and characters. It was very colorful and I kind of think of Quark's as the Star Wars cantina. The characters are also a lot of fun and I liked working with John again and continuing the relationship between those two characters." (The Deep Space Log Book: A First Season Companion, p. 63)
- Ira Steven Behr commented, "I worked a lot on that episode. Michael [Piller] likes to give challenges out to the staff and the challenge in 'Q-Less' was to write a scene which took place entirely in Vash's quarters: 'I want to take that as long as you can go. Make it as funny as you can and keep people coming in'. I think it worked extremely well." (The Deep Space Log Book: A First Season Companion, p. 64)
- Behr also commented, "John de Lancie said it was the funniest and best material he's had as Q." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 45)
- Ira Behr enjoyed writing Q's line about technobabble, commenting, "It was a line we wrote with great glee, because at that point we hated the goddamned technobabble." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 45)
- Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross rated "Q-Less" as "good". Altman commented, "Q has never been more scathing or outrageous, and his verbal jousts with Sisko are unmatched by anything since Kirk fenced with Harry Mudd." (Trek Navigator: The Ultimate Guide to the Entire Trek Saga)
- This is the only episode of the entire DS9 series in which John de Lancie (Q) appears. Q also never summons his powers with the traditional snap of his fingers. It also marks the last appearance of Vash.
- This episode makes several references to TNG: "Captain's Holiday", where Picard first met Vash on Risa; and TNG: "Qpid", where Q took Vash to travel the galaxy.
- This is the second of John de Lancie's three appearances on Star Trek during the first season of DS9. He previously appeared in TNG: "True Q" and appeared again in TNG: "Tapestry", just one week later.
- This episode contains Deep Space Nine's third reference to the animated television series Ren and Stimpy. The name of the planet Hoek IV in the episode is named after the main character Ren Höek. The first two Ren and Stimpy references are found in "Babel", where the Ren and Stimpy-inspired names "Surmak Ren" and "Spumco" are referenced.
- Julian Bashir relates the story about his final exam when he confused a pre-ganglionic fiber with a post-ganglionic nerve for the first time. The story had been originally featured in "Emissary", but the scene was cut.
- Miles O'Brien recognizes both Vash and Q, although he did not share screen time with either character in any of their appearances on The Next Generation. Colm Meaney did not appear in either "Captain's Holiday" or "Qpid", the two previous appearances of Vash; he did appear in two episodes which featured Q, "Encounter at Farpoint" and "Q Who", but Q and O'Brien did not appear together in any scenes. Q's failure to recognize O'Brien, and subsequent reference to him as "one of the little people," may refer to this slight discontinuity.
- Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) does not appear in this episode.
- This episode features six characters who also appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Chief O'Brien, Dr. Bashir, Quark, Q, Vash, and Morn (although only O'Brien, Q, and Vash originated on TNG). This episode also features three of the four characters who appeared in The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager: Quark, Q and Morn. Gul Evek is the only one who does not appear.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4, 6 September 1993
- As part of the DS9 Season 1 DVD collection
- As part of the Star Trek: Fan Collective - Q collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Constable Odo
- Siddig El Fadil as Doctor Julian Bashir
- Terry Farrell as Lieutenant Jadzia Dax
- Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira Nerys
- Robert Coffee as Bajoran officer
- Brian Demonbreun as sciences officer
- Holiday Freeman as civilian
- Randy James as Jones
- David Jeffries as Stol
- Mark Lentry as command lieutenant
- David B. Levinson as
- Dyanna Lynn as boxing spectator
- Chad McCord as operations ensign
- Robin Morselli as Bajoran officer
- Stan Petier as Rul the Obscure
- Spiro Razatos as boxing spectator
- Jane Razzano as Rul's associate
- Milan Ruba as Rul's associate
- Mark Allen Sheperd as Morn
- Michael Zurich as Bajoran security deputy
- Unknown performers as
- John Lendale Bennett as stunt double for Avery Brooks
- Chuck Borden as stunt double for John de Lancie
14th century; 2367; 30,000 years ago; airlock; Andoran; Andorian silk; archaeologist; artifact; assay office; atmosphere; auction; authorization code; auxiliary power; background check; Bajoran; Bajoran wormhole; bar; barbaric; bearing; bed; Betazed; "bloody"; book; boxer; boxing; boxing ring; Brax (planet); broad spectrum power drain; bronze; bucket; bulkhead; buyer; buzzer; captain; Cardassians; cartilage; centimeter; central core; central power linkage; chair; clientele; collector; combadge; confinement shield; containment field; control thruster; couscous; crossover bridge; crown; Crown of the First Mother; Crusades; cup; cycle; dagger; damage report; damping field; day; Daystrom Institute; Daystrom Institute Archaeological Council; decompression protocol; deflector; Delta Quadrant; density; dinner; docking bay; docking ring; Drohlak; duranium; earring; Earth; eavesdropping; embryonic lifeform; Enterprise-D, USS; entity; EPI capacitor; Epsilon Hydra VII; Erabus Prime; Erabus Prime insect infection; Errikang VII; ethics; exam; expert; Federation; fisticuffs; force field; fusion reactor; galaxy; Gamma Quadrant; Gamzian wine; Ganges, USS; gem; Gentleman Jim; god; God of Lies; gold-pressed latinum (aka gold-press latinum; gold latinum; latinum); graviton; graviton field; gulag; habitat ring; hand-held clamp; hatch; hatch servo; hip; Hoek IV; holosuite; hour; hull breach; hull fracture; Human; infirmary; insect; internal sensor; "Joined at the hip"; kilogram; kilometer; Klingon scout ship; lackey; landing pad; Lantar Nebula; Latin language; level 1 diagnostic; life support system; living quarters; luxury; main power grid; malnutrition; Marquess of Queensberry Rules; mating ritual; mattress; medical tricorder; membership; meter; Milky Way Galaxy; mint tea; minute; MK-7 scanner; MK-12 scanner; molecular density; month; motley crew; Mulzirak transport; Mundahla; museum; mustache; Myrmidon; nebula; necklace; Nineteenth Dynasty; oo-mox; ops; oxygen; parasitic infection; parts per million; pericardial membrane; Picard, Jean-Luc; plating; podium; postganglionic nerve; power recalibration; preganglionic fiber; prime ossemite; profit; Promethean quartz; pugilism; pylon; Q (species); Quark's; reactor core; refraction; repair crew; repartee; replicator; replimat; resolution filter; retinal print; retinal scanner; ring; Risa; Rokai; Rokain; Royal Museum of Epsilon Hydra VII; runabout; salutatorian; Sampalo relic; scientist; self-defense; sensor; sensor sweep; sentient race; Sherwood Forest; Spanish Inquisition; star dancers; Starfleet; starship; statement of authenticity; station log; statue; status report; storage locker; student; subspace emission; suit; surax; synthale; table; tailor; Tanesh pottery; Tartaras V; technobabble; Teleris Cluster; tent; toad; tridium; trinket; troll; upper core; Vadris III; Vadris III native; valedictorian; Verath system; Verathan; wager; waiter; warp drive; Watergate; whipping boy; wine bottle; wit; Woo; wormhole; yawn
|TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint" • "Hide and Q" • "Q Who" • "Deja Q" • "Qpid" • "True Q" • "Tapestry" • "All Good Things..."|
|DS9: "Q-Less"||VOY: "Death Wish" • "The Q and the Grey" • "Q2"||LD: "Veritas"|
- "Q-Less" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Q-Less" at Wikipedia
- "Q-Less" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Q-Less" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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