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Q picks up on romantic tensions between Captain Picard and an old flame, transporting them and the senior officers into a representation of Robin Hood.



"Captain's log, Stardate 44741.9. We have arrived at Tagus III where the Enterprise is to serve for host of the Federation Archaeology Council's annual symposium. I look forward to giving tomorrow's keynote address with great anticipation."

The entire senior staff of the USS Enterprise-D is attending a lecture on archaeology, presented by Jean-Luc Picard. It is being held in orbit over Tagus III, a planet with extensive archeological ruins that have been closed off to any excavations or study for the last century. Picard is nervously reviewing his speech at his desk in his ready room when Counselor Troi walks in and reassures him that his speech is fine, and he should get some sleep. When Picard returns to his quarters and dims the lights, one light remains on, shining on a horga'hn sitting on his table. When he picks it up, Vash reveals herself in the doorway to Picard's bedroom and they passionately kiss.

Act One[]

Vash and the captain discuss why she is at Tagus III over tea the next morning. Vash's responses are vague, not admitting to being a member of the archeology council, but Picard is pleased to see her. Then, Doctor Crusher arrives unexpectedly. Picard is caught off-guard and stammers when introducing Vash. Beverly is surprised that Jean-Luc never mentioned that he met Vash while on vacation on Risa the year before. Crusher offers to give her a tour of the Enterprise while Picard is busy. Picard reluctantly agrees, and Vash promises the captain that she will "behave herself."

Crusher takes her to Ten Forward and, while getting them drinks, Commander Riker sees Vash from the bar while he is having a drink. Riker walks over and tries to make a pass at her. She turns the tables on him completely and introduces herself but is disturbed that neither Riker nor Crusher knew of her or of the captain meeting her on Risa. Riker agrees to continue her tour, which takes them to the bridge, where she runs into Picard again and promises to see him at the reception later.

Vash in Picard's chair

"Is this where Jean-Luc sits?"

At the reception, it is obvious that no one in Picard's crew knew of her or her previous involvement with the captain, particularly when even the ship's counselor knew nothing about Vash. She confronts Picard about this. He insists that it wasn't appropriate for him to discuss their involvement, but she accuses him of being embarrassed by her presence. Picard returns to the bridge and angrily goes straight to his ready room, where Q is waiting for him, sitting at his chair reading his speech on a PADD.

Q Returns

"Jean-Luc, it's wonderful to see you again. How about a big hug?"

Act Two[]

Q reveals that he has come to repay his debt to Picard for helping him when he was stripped of his powers the year prior. Picard tells Q that leaving would be repayment enough, but Q insists that he has to do something to actually help the captain. After refusing Q's offers to help him with his speech, take him to the Taguan ruins, and take him to the ruins back before the official sanctions were in place billions of years before, Q vanishes. Picard informs Riker that Q is around and wants to do something 'nice'. Riker tells Picard he'll alert the crew.

Picard goes to visit Vash and apologize, but when he enters her quarters, he finds maps of the ruins on a PADD and mining equipment in the next room. When he confronts her about her habit of robbing archaeological sites, Vash states it's simply who she is, and she can't change that. Picard agrees with the sentiment and they say they have nothing more to say to each other. Picard leaves and Vash sits down in a chair, unaware of Q sticking his head in through the wall.

Q confronts Picard in his quarters while he is trying to sleep, gloating because he finally figured out why he noticed something different about Picard, then reveals that he observed Picard's "spat" with Vash and regrets not appearing as a female to him initially. He warns Picard that love is dangerous and offers to get rid of Vash for him. Picard reacts strongly and Q brings up his debt again, which Picard dismisses. Q vanishes.

At the speech the next day, the senior staff are all sitting in the back row as Picard starts speaking. Something is wrong however: Dr. Crusher and Troi acquire triangular hats, Commander Riker suddenly is holding a quarterstaff, and Data acquires a monastic robe. The changes cause a buzz in the audience and when Picard stops speaking, he is suddenly wearing a period costume and they all vanish and reappear in a woodland. The senior staff quickly recognize that they've been cast in the guise of Robin Hood and his Merry Men and identify Q as the culprit. Before they can guess further, a noble figure arrives with troops and confronts them.

Act Three[]

Worf attacks him and is wounded, while the others retreat into the forest. After eluding their attackers, Q arrives on a horse in the guise of the High Sheriff of Nottingham and explains that he set all of this up and it is quite real and beyond his control, except that Maid Marian will be executed unless Robin comes to save her. Picard realizes that Vash has been drafted by Q to play the role of Marian.

In the castle, Vash is angry and confused, ignoring her lady in waiting who assumes she is ill and insulting Sir Guy of Gisbourne. He asks once again if she will marry him, and she slaps him hard across the face. Sir Guy is about to storm out of the room but mentions her execution. After that revelation, she becomes more amiable to him.

Data with an arrow in him

"Do not be concerned, Counselor. I believe your aim is improving."

Back in the forest, some of the crew try to fit into their roles with mixed success, including Worf accidentally breaking La Forge's mandolin in a fit of annoyance, and Data being accidentally shot at with an arrow by Troi at his sixth intercostal support, penetrating his secondary processor. Frustrated, the captain tells Riker that he will attempt to rescue Vash on his own, despite Riker's protests.

Act Four[]

At the castle, Q is surprised and frustrated at Vash and Sir Guy being so agreeable to each other. When Sir Guy dismisses her back to her chamber, Picard is standing in the shadows, disguised as a hooded worker in the castle. Back in her room, Picard climbs in through Vash's window and briefly explains the situation. However, Vash is reluctant to escape with him when she hears he has come alone. She says she will stay and marry Sir Guy if it comes to it, but Picard picks her up to carry her. When guards burst in, she pulls his sword on him, causing his capture. Q looks on in amusement.

That night, Vash calls her maid in and tells her to deliver a letter to Robin's men in Sherwood Forest. The maid is reluctant and stalls until Q interrupts and reveals that he is intrigued by Vash's actions, leading her to deduce his identity. Then he reads her letter to Picard's crew and compliments her for her duplicity, admitting she fooled him. Despite saying she's worth further study, he calls the guards and declares Vash will be executed.

Act Five[]

On the morning of the execution, Vash and Picard go to the block arguing about who was more foolish in their actions. Q asks Picard if he's learned anything, and Picard demands Q set Vash free. While all of this is going on, it is revealed that Data, La Forge, and Riker have disguised themselves in robes and are in the watching crowd. La Forge declares that there are too many guards and Riker asks Data for a diversion. Data removes a component from his wrist and tosses it into a nearby torch.

Meanwhile, Sir Guy calls for the execution to proceed. Momentarily shocked that Q is going to allow it to go on, Picard places his head on the block. Just as the headsman is going to bring the axe down, however, the torch explodes and the Enterprise crew attacks. Picard gets drawn into a duel with Sir Guy, eventually defeating him and going to the tower to find Vash. Picard calls for an end to the charade and Q appears and congratulates him on his performance, assuring him that his crew are all fine, but berates him for allowing Vash (the metaphor for love in Picard's case) to expose negative qualities in him. Vash disagrees, saying it brought out the best in the captain. Q dismisses them back to the Enterprise, though Vash is nowhere to be found on the ship when Picard asks the Enterprise's computer for her whereabouts.

Returning to his ready room, Vash appears in safari garb and explains to Picard that she and Q had things to discuss, and that Q had proved he still cared about her. When Picard asks where she's going next, Q appears and reveals that they've decided to partner with each other. Picard objects, listing Q's negative qualities, then realizes that Q and Vash are more alike than he'd realized. Picard tells Q that he can repay his debt by guaranteeing Vash's safety. Q agrees, then leaves to give them a moment to say goodbye (although he briefly reappears, claiming to have forgotten his hat). Vash and the captain kiss, say goodbye, and Vash vanishes.

Log entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"Bring back any memories?"

- Vash, when Picard examines a horga'hn calling back to their last adventure together

"Nice legs… for a Human."

- Worf, of Vash

"Jean-Luc, it's wonderful to see you again. How about a big hug?"

- Q, when he appears in Picard's ready room

"Well, don't just stand there. Say something."
"Get out of my chair!"
"And I was hoping for something along the lines of 'welcome back, Q. It's nice to see you again my old friend.'"
"We're not friends."
"You wound me, mon capitaine." (Q snaps his fingers and they switch places) "There, perhaps now your manners will show some improvement."

- Q and Picard

"I suppose we could travel back in time. You could see what Tagus was like two billion years ago. They really knew how to party back in those days."

- Q, proposing to Picard that they visit the sealed off ruins of Tagus III

"Without your assistance on our last encounter I would never have survived. I would have taken my own life but for you."
"We all make mistakes."

- Q and Picard

"Tell me what is it you wish, and I'll be gone."
"Just be gone. That'll do nicely."
"No, no, no, no, no. It has to be something more, more… constructive! That's my new word for the day."

- Q and Picard

"Some other time Q, right now, I have other matters to attend to."
"Oh yes, your speech. I read it, it's dull, plodding, pedantic, much like yourself."

- Picard and Q

"I've just been paid a visit from Q."
"Q? Any idea what he's up to?"
"He wants to do something nice for me."
"I'll alert the crew."

- Picard and Riker

"I knew there was something different about you. You seem tense, preoccupied, somewhat smaller. At first, I thought it was that horrible lecture of yours, but I was mistaken."

- Q, to Picard

"I had such high hopes for you, Picard. I thought that you were a bit more… evolved than the rest of your species but now I realize you're just as weak as all the others. Still it pains me, to see the great Jean-Luc Picard brought down… by a woman."

- Q, to Picard

"She's found a vulnerability in you… a vulnerability I've been looking for years. If I had known sooner, I would have appeared as a female."

- Q, to Picard

"Sir, I protest! I am not a merry man!"

- Worf

"I will not play the fool for Q's amusement!"

- Worf


- Worf, after purposely smashing La Forge's mandolin.

"I'll have you know I'm the greatest swordsman in all of Nottingham!"
"Very impressive. There's something you should know."
"And what would that be?"
"I'm not from Nottingham!"

- Sir Guy and Picard

"He's devious, and amoral, and unreliable, and irresponsible, and--and definitely not to be trusted!"
"Remind you of anyone you know?"
"As a matter of fact, it does."

- Picard and Vash, on Q

Background information[]

Production history[]

Story and script[]

Rehearsing Qpid

Michael Dorn and LeVar Burton rehearse


Burton filming qpid

LeVar Burton on set

Cast and characters[]

Stewart and Hetrick

Patrick Stewart and Jennifer Hetrick



  • Director Cliff Bole remarked, "It had everything that I liked as a director. It had Q, who's a very entertaining guy and character. What more would I love to do than Robin Hood: The Movie? Here I was able to do that. I stepped back in time, there was sword fighting, some boisterous 12th century characters and also the spaceship. What more can you get? That's the ultimate as a director. Some guys like to do the man in the gray flannel suit, and I like to do fantasy. It was a show where Picard falls out of character a little bit. He's not as stoic as he usually is and falls for a beautiful woman, who was raised to do that." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 219)
  • Patrick Stewart commented, "I think that episode probably gave us as a group more fun than any other. We got to dress up for one thing. And the whole Robin Hood myth and the way the familiar characters of Robin Hood were divided among the regular characters was very entertaining…It was light-hearted and romantic and sexy and we got to wear these fancy costumes." (Mission Overview: Year Four, TNG Season 4 DVD special features)
  • Marina Sirtis remarked, "Any time a woman sees a man in tights, all bets are off. We just had such a blast. I loved some of the one-liners in that show from Michael [Dorn]. Just brilliant. The writing was really good on that show." (Mission Overview: Year Four, TNG Season 4 DVD special features)
  • This episode was accused of sexism. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 17)
  • A mission report for this episode by John Sayers was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 17, pp. 7-12.

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Also starring[]

Guest stars[]


Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt doubles[]

Stand-ins and photo doubles[]


47; Two billion years ago; 22,000 years ago; 12th century; 23rd century; 2366; "a bit"; Achilles' heel; adventure; adversary; advice; air; Alan-a-Dale; "all right"; amateur; anguish; answer; anticipation; archaeological expedition; archaeological excavation (excavation); archaeology; argument (arguing); arrow; artifact; "as a matter of fact": As You Like It; "as you wish"; "at first"; "at last"; "at least"; "at stake"; banishment; benevolence; Betazoid; bewitched; "big chair"; bleeding; blood; bow and arrow; brain; brain sickness; bridge clearance; "by all means"; bycocket; castle; chair; character; charge; choice; "come on"; computer; confession; confiscation; costume; counselor; courage; cowl; "damn it"; dandy; day; death penalty (execution); debt; decapitation; deduction; destruction; detective story; "don't worry"; Earth; emotion; England; environment; eternity; ethics; evolution; "excuse me"; executioner's block; existence; eye; face; fantasy; feather; Federation; Federation Archaeology Council; feeling; feigning madness; female; fever; fiction; fool; foolishness; "for one thing"; "for sure"; "for that matter"; forest; French language; friend; Friar Tuck; game; gesture; gift; glade; greenwood; guard; guest; guilty; hat; head; hedge robber; hell; "hello"; High Sheriff of Nottingham; homework; horga'hn; horse (illusory black horse; illusory white horse); host; hug; Human; hundred; husband; "I don't understand"; "I see"; idea; imagination; imitation; "in league with"; "in love with"; information; insanity; insect; intention; intercostal support; jackal; jerkin; keynote address; kiss; Klabnian eel; Klarc-Tarn-Droth; lamb; lecture; leech; leg; letter; liar; lie; Lincoln green; list; Little John; location; London; long sword; longbow; love; Maid Marian; maiden; mandolin; manners; map; "mark my words"; marriage; McFarland; memory; Merry Men; milady; mind; misery; mission; mistake; mood; "more or less"; morning tea; mystery; name; night; "no thank you"; "not at all"; Nottingham; Nottingham Castle; Number one; oak; "of course"; offer; "on board"; "on the contrary"; "once and for all"; order; "out of the question"; outlaw; outsider; pain; partner; pith helmet; place; plan; poison; poverty; prisoner; profit; puncture; Q Continuum; quarterstaff; reason; reception; religion; Risa; rob; Robin Hood; rogue; room; ruins; safari jacket; Sarthong V; Scarlet, Will; secondary subprocessor; sector containing Tagus III; self-sacrifice; sentence; Sherwood Forest; shorts; shovel; slap; sleep; snare; sociology; speculation; speech; spell; sorcery; spirits; staff; star; Starfleet regulation; strategy; stubborn; suicide; suffering; suggestion; surface; Switzer; sword; swordsman; symposium; Taguans; Taguan law; Tagus III; "tell me"; "that's all right"; "that's right": theft; theory; thing; throw rug; toast; tour; tower; traitor; treason; truth; universe; vacation; victory; visit; Vulcans; vulnerability; "wait a minute"; wedding gift (wedding present); "well done"; "welcome aboard"; welcoming reception; "what the hell"; "who the hell"; wife; wimple; window; word; year; "you know"

Other references[]

Unused production references[]

microfusion cell

External links[]

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