(written from a Production point of view)
Q once again graces the Enterprise with a visit, claiming that a young intern aboard is really a Q.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Memorable quotes
- 3 Background information
- 4 Links and references
- "Captain's log, stardate 46192.3. We have arrived at Starbase 112 and are loading relief supplies destined for Tagra IV, an ecologically devastated planet in the Argolis Cluster. We have also taken on a rather unusual passenger."
A female intern has come aboard the USS Enterprise-D, while the crew are helping Tagra IV with its worsening ecological state. The intern, whose name is Amanda Rogers, is speaking with Captain Picard and Dr. Crusher in the captain's ready room about assisting with some medical experiments, and how she eventually wants to go to Starfleet Academy. She explains she feels very lucky she was accepted as intern out of hundreds of other applicants. Commander Riker enters and leads Rogers to her quarters, but she unexpectedly seems to know much about the ship's layout already. In her quarters, she explains she wishes her three pet dogs were present, and displays an unmistakable attraction to the commander. After Riker leaves, several puppies appear in her quarters. She is dismayed and tells them that they have to go. The dogs gradually disappear.
Rogers and Dr. Crusher are talking in a medical lab about her desires for the future and Crusher's family history while she is testing tricorders. Rogers mentions she is actually adopted and her biological mother and father were killed when she was very young. Crusher mentions her son Wesley being at the Academy and the fact that her husband had died many years previous.
In the cargo bay, Rogers delivers the tricorders to Geordi La Forge and they discuss how the Tagrans have polluted their atmosphere and are now using a thousand barystatic filters rather than cleaning up their industrial base. Commander Riker arrives with a message for La Forge, and as he is reading information off a PADD, a container falls from above him. Rogers moves her hand and the container shifts, just barely missing Riker. No one notices that Rogers' actions saved Riker's life.
La Forge then escorts Rogers to engineering and shows her around, though she has some familiarity already. While they talk, a completely bizarre warp core breach occurs. They try to contain the explosion and eject the core but the breach proceeds too quickly. The warp core explodes toward Rogers, who puts out her hands, somehow managing to stop the explosion and miraculously repair the breach. Everyone is stunned by these actions.
Later in the observation lounge, Picard, Crusher, La Forge, and Counselor Troi discuss the issue cautiously. Picard reports that Rogers is medically fine without bringing up what she did. Picard asks La Forge for an explanation for the breach but he has none – but when he claims that the laws of physics "went out the window," Q appears, wonders why such "inconvenient" things shouldn't be discarded, and admits that "of course" the core breach was his doing. He then reveals that Rogers is a Q, shocking everyone else. When Crusher claims Rogers' birth parents were Human, Q reveals they were members of the Q Continuum who had assumed Human form. They died in an accident and the Q were unsure if Amanda had inherited their powers, but they have begun to manifest, so, as an "expert in Humanity," Q was sent to oversee them. He warns that if Rogers doesn't control her powers, she could destroy the entire galaxy. Picard is dubious of Q wanting to help and Q admits he wouldn't care but (to his annoyance), others in the Continuum feel it's their responsibility to oversee Rogers. He says he is there to evaluate her and take her back to the Continuum. Crusher objects to his intentions and he teleports himself and Picard to the ready room. There he explains that he is there to evaluate the girl and make sure she isn't dangerous to herself or others. Picard doubts Q's abilities, but agrees to introduce them. After he leaves, Picard goes out to the bridge and asks Data to research Rogers' parents' death. They both agree that it doesn't make sense for a Q to die in an "accident."
In Rogers' quarters, Crusher breaks the news as gently as possible. When Rogers agrees to meet Q, he walks straight through the wall and starts uncomfortably examining her while Picard rushes to make introductions. Q declares she has potential and tries to take her to the Continuum immediately, but Rogers throws him across the room with her powers. Q and Picard leave to the ready room and Q complains to Picard about her behavior. Picard suggests that Q try a less abrasive approach. Q admits it is worth a try and leaves to attempt it. Meanwhile, Crusher stays with Rogers. She admits much fear and insecurity about what is currently happening to her. Crusher tells her that she can see Rogers is distraught, but she can't ignore what she is, despite wanting a normal Human life. Furthermore, Q is really the only one who can help her through this. Rogers reluctantly agrees to meet with him again, but makes Doctor Crusher promise that she won't treat Rogers any differently.
As Q is walking in a corridor, a shadow appears and asks him for a progress report. Q admits there are problems, but says they may not have to "terminate the girl."
Q visits Rogers again and behaves much less forward. They discuss the Q and what is possible, to which Q replies "anything we want." She asks if they use their power for good, and he bluntly says she is missing the point, that she can have anything she desires. When she says she wants to see her biological parents, he then leads her through an exercise where she evokes their image.
She meets with Doctor Crusher in the medical lab and she gives her an experiment to perform while she is working elsewhere. Crusher sees Rogers is disturbed by the potential of the abilities she has and listens to her. Rogers asks her if she would bring her husband back, but she says she probably couldn't make that decision unless she was actually faced with it. She recommends focusing on work for the moment and leaves. Q arrives after she leaves and tells Rogers she can use her powers to perform the experiment much faster.
Meanwhile, on the bridge, Picard has Riker make the arrangements for Crusher's experiment. When he leaves, the Enterprise receives a message from Orn Lote on Tagra IV, who indicates that they are having problems with one of the reactors. Picard offers having La Forge help him, and he agrees. After, Data reports that Rogers' parents were killed by a tornado in Topeka, Kansas, something Picard finds unbelievable due to the Weather Modification Net in place to dissipate such events. Data has no explanation, but Picard has a suspicion of his own.
Commander Riker visits shortly afterward and asks for Doctor Crusher. Rogers asks him to stay, but he goes to the shuttle bay. Q accuses Rogers of being attracted to him and is repulsed by what he sees. Doctor Crusher then walks in and is amazed that Rogers is done with the experiment. When Crusher explains that by cutting corners she has actually ruined the experiment, Q accuses her of wasting Rogers' time. Crusher and Q argue about this and then Q briefly turns her into a dog, but Rogers turns her back.
Data reports more about the tornado. It was unusually compact, three times stronger than normal for its size. Picard leaves to study the data in his ready room. Meanwhile, Q asks Rogers about her teleportation abilities and Rogers admits to ending up in the wrong place a lot. She and Q play "hide and seek" in different parts of the ship, first in the cargo bay, then in engineering where La Forge and Data work on the Tagran's problem, and eventually ending up on the hull of the Enterprise near the supports for the ship's nacelles.
Back in her quarters, Q leaves so she can go to eat dinner with Counselor Troi and Dr. Crusher in Ten Forward. Riker enters and Rogers invites him to join, but he goes to sit with another female crewmate instead. Rogers looks despondent about this until she abducts Riker to a 19th century romantic setting. Riker is annoyed and tells her he has no real feelings for her. Rogers responds by giving him some, but quickly becomes disillusioned by the farce and sends him back.
Q appears in Picard's ready room at his request, where Picard confronts him with the facts of Rogers' parents' death. He eventually gets Q to admit that they were executed by the Q for disobeying a mandate placed on them, and the real reason for his examination was to determine if Rogers was actually a Q or some sort of hybrid that would have to be exterminated. Picard is appalled at Q's callousness, but Q explains that the Continuum has no other choice, as allowing omnipotent beings to roam freely would be dangerous. Picard asks whether he will kill her, and he says he hasn't decided yet.
- "Captain's log, stardate 46193.8. We have arrived at Tagra IV and have begun delivering supplies. In the meantime, I am faced with a crisis of a different nature."
Picard consults with Crusher and Troi, who eventually agree that Rogers should be told about Q's ultimatum. Picard offers to break the news to her himself. Meanwhile in the cargo bay, Orn Lote is consulting with Riker and is impressed with the solution they came up with for fixing the reactor with a field modulator and is eager to see it in place. They head down to the surface to commence repairs.
Picard meets with Rogers in his ready room and explains Q's real purpose, to which Rogers becomes angry and demands Q face her. After a lecture from Picard about Q's laughable credentials as a moral judge, Q reveals that they have decided not to kill Rogers, and are willing to offer her a choice: return with Q to the Continuum or live as a Human and refrain from using her powers. He tells her that it will not be easy: her parents were given the same choice but were unable to live as just Humans. Rogers immediately chooses to stay on the Enterprise, just before an emergency call for Captain Picard comes through.
Riker, on the surface, tells Captain Picard that the damage to the Tagrans' reactor was worse than they let on and there's the possibility of an overload. He and La Forge try to stay and repair the damage. Picard accuses Q of manufacturing the crisis, but Q pleads innocence. The reactor looks like it is about to go critical but then miraculously starts repairing itself, and then the entire atmosphere of the planet clears. Picard realizes Rogers did it just as Q reappears and says "I told you it would be harder to resist than you thought." Rogers says she couldn't let all those people die.
Rogers brings Dr. Crusher to the bridge and says she has accepted that she's a Q and agrees to go to the Continuum, after traveling to Earth to explain things to her adoptive parents. Rogers tells Dr. Crusher she hopes she can come back and see her someday. Dr. Crusher says, "You're a Q. You can do anything you want." Rogers smiles, and she and Q vanish.
"Everything was normal and then, suddenly it's like the laws of physics went right out the window."
(A bright flash of light)
"And why shouldn't they? They're so inconvenient."
- - La Forge and Q
"Are you responsible for this incident in engineering?"
"Of course! I needed to find out if what I suspected about the girl were true."
"That she's Q."
- - Picard and Q, revealing the truth about Amanda Rogers
"Crusher gets more shrill with each passing year."
- - Q
"You don't have to eat, you know. It's a nasty Human habit you could easily do without."
- - Q to Rogers, as she leaves for dinner
"What is it about these squirming little infants that you find so appealing?"
"I'm sure that's beyond your comprehension, Q."
"I desperately hope so."
- - Q and Dr. Crusher
"None of us knew whether she had inherited the capacities of the Q, but recently they've begun to emerge, and uh, as an expert in Humanity, I was sent to investigate."
"You? An expert in Humanity."
"Not a very challenging field of study, I grant you."
- - Q and Riker
"I find it hard to believe that you're here to do us a favor."
"You're quite right, I wouldn't. But there are those in the Continuum…"
[Q rolls his eyes upward with annoyance]
"… who have an over-exaggerated sense of responsibility."
- - Picard and Q
"Wait a minute. You can't just come in here and take her away from everything she's ever known."
"I assure you, I can."
- - Crusher and Q
"Very well, I will introduce you. But… we cannot argue like this in front of her. We must at least appear to be…"
[Q puts his arm on Picard's shoulder] "Pals?"
- - Picard and Q
"Very impressive the way you contained that explosion. What else have you done?"
"I don't understand."
[Q looks at Picard]
"Spontaneous combustion of someone you don't like?"
- - Q and Rogers, when they first meet
"Don't worry. With time, you'll overcome the disadvantages you suffered as a child. No one will hold it against you for having been Human."
- - Q, to Amanda Rogers on joining the Q Continuum
"Leave me alone! I'm not going anywhere with you!"
"[…] She's so impetuous – she'll just have to start behaving like a Q."
"If I'm not mistaken, she just did."
- - Rogers, Q, and Picard
"Well, if it isn't Number Two."
- - Q, when Riker enters the room
"You're attracted to him."
"I am not."
"I think you are. How repulsive! How do you stand that hair all over his face?"
- - Q and Rogers, about Riker after it became obvious that Rogers is attracted to him
"… and I don't think it's asking too much that you do the same WOOF W-W-WOOF WOOF WOOF…"
- - Dr. Crusher, during an argument in which Q turns her into an Irish Setter
"She has no choice. She never did. If she's truly Q then she must return to the Continuum where she belongs. But if she were some sort of hybrid – neither Human nor Q, then…"
[Q mutely snaps his fingers while he raises his eyebrow]
- - Q, on Rogers' future
"With unlimited power comes responsibility."
- - Q
"Jean-Luc… sometimes I think the only reason I come here is to listen to these wonderful speeches of yours…"
- - Q, after Picard lectures him on morality
"The heat has fused the injectors shut – we're losing containment!"
"How long till meltdown?"
"A few minutes at most – we're going to have to…"
"Commander, look at this!!!"
"This is impossible!"
"Captain, I don't know what's happening but the reaction is stabilizing on its own!"
- - La Forge, Picard, Orn Lote, and Riker
"I told you it would be harder to resist than you thought!"
- - Q, after Rogers saves Targa
"Ever since I got here, I've been fighting this… I've been denying the truth… denying what I am. I am Q."
- - Rogers, accepting who she really is
- Spec script : 25 June 1992 
- First draft script: 14 August 1992 
- Final draft script: 26 August 1992 
- Final draft script: 4 September 1992 
- First UK airdate: 16 August 1995
Story and script
- The story originated in a spec script submitted by Matthew Corey, who was then only seventeen years old. The premise was championed by René Echevarria, who discovered an intern reading the script. "I thought it was charming when she told me the nugget that a young kid finds out he's a Q." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 262)
- Corey's script included Wesley Crusher, a teenage romance, and an unwanted pregnancy. While these elements were not used, Echevarria thought the script was "quite good". (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 222))
- Q had not appeared at all during TNG's fifth season. Two potential Q stories were developed during the fifth and early sixth seasons, but they didn't work out. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 222)) Jeri Taylor recalled that one of these stories, "Q Makes Two", was a "debacle" which contributed to "Man of the People" being rushed into production. Accordingly, she was initially hesitant to consider another Q story. However, she found it to be a "high concept, wonderful idea", and bought the premise. (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 262-263)
- This was the first episode Echevarria contributed to as a staff writer. He was thrilled with having the opportunity to inform Corey of the sale. "It was kind of the mirror of three years ago, when Michael Piller called me one day – after more than a year of sending scripts to Star Trek and having them rejected – and them saying they wanted it." (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 222); Star Trek: The Next Generation 365, p. 279)
- Corey's script featured a male teenager, which Taylor assumed was so he could play the character. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 222))
- Corey had titled his script "Q Me?". According to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 222), the episode title was only changed well after filming had completed. The previous title appeared in Paramount's syndication bible. .
- Echevarria saw similarities to the television series Bewitched. (Star Trek: The Next Generation 365, p. 278) As an in-joke, the young Q was named "Samantha" in early drafts of the script, after the main character of that series. Rick Berman insisted that this be changed. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 222))
- The subplot that Q might have to kill Amanda was added by Michael Piller after many key scenes had been filmed, including the fantasy scene with Riker. Piller felt that it was necessary to add tension. Accordingly, he created the scene where Q encounters a shadow in the corridor. Echevarria noted that had the writing staff thought of this earlier, it was likely that Act Four would have been written very differently, with more sinister undertones. However, he was not displeased with the final result. "It was pretty heinous of [Q] to be willing to kill this girl, but I think in a strange way it worked very nicely to have the audience have that knowledge and in the meantime they're seeing a very light, romantic story and are saying, 'Doesn't she realize what's at stake here?'" (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 263; Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 222)-223)
- The warp core breach was created using liquid nitrogen and specially-coated flashing lights. The effect was enhanced in postproduction with animation from Digital Magic. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 222))
- A deleted scene featured Deanna Troi bringing Amanda a dog named Henry to look after while its owner was away. While the scene was deleted, the dog can still be briefly seen in the final episode. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 223))
Cast and characters
- This is the first of John de Lancie's record three appearances as Q during the 1992-1993 season. The next appearance would be in DS9: "Q-Less" and the third would be in TNG: "Tapestry".
- Michael Piller hoped that this episode brought back Q's malevolent tone from early episodes "so he's just not there for the jokes." (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (2nd ed., p. 222)) de Lancie was also keen to have the character return to being "mad, bad, and dangerous to know", but felt that this episode fell short. "I tried to put malevolence in places there, but that didn't really lend itself again […] I can't do it within the context of birthday parties and babysitting and stuff like that. It's something you need to have the set-up for. I would have liked to have taken it one step further where [Amanda] was killed." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 263)
- Amanda's temptation to use the powers of the Q is reminiscent of William Riker's temptation to use the powers of the Q in the first season episode "Hide and Q". According to Echevarria, "The premise was similar, but a lot of first season stuff we try not to feel bound by because a lot of it wasn't well executed and this was just a much better story. Her reaction to it was more believable and it was deliberate choice not to raise the question of Riker's situation since some of those choices and things he went through were so strange that it was better to just hope a lot of people didn't see it." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 262-263)
- Q states that "the jury is still out on that", with regard to Q's trial of Humanity. This is contrary to Q's claim in "Q Who" that "[they] were exonerated". In the later "All Good Things...", the trial continued.
- This is the last Q episode where the rest of the crew see Q; his subsequent appearances on the Enterprise feature him appearing only to Picard.
- This episode appears to contradict the Star Trek: Voyager episode "The Q and the Grey", as Amanda Rogers is technically the first known child born of the Q species, not Q Junior (to whom Q instantly feels the emotional attachment he hoped never to understand in this episode). However, Rogers was born on Earth to Q parents who were in Human form, doing things the Human way and refraining from using their powers, while Q junior was born in the Continuum itself.
- Doctor Beverly Crusher debuts a new hairstyle here which she keeps for the rest of the series. Gone is the long, curly wig, replaced by actress Gates McFadden's own straight, shorter hair. This is the first time since the first season where McFadden hasn't worn a hairpiece, with the possible exception of third season's "The Enemy".
- René Echevarria remarked, "Q was not my thing. I didn't live and breathe it like I did other elements of the show. But I liked this particular episode because it had a different spin to it. The character Q had a mischievous and maleficent presence, but it was more about the girl and her journey. It had elements of Bewitched and an adolescent coming into her own and becoming empowered and all that good stuff. And a really lovely performance from Olivia d'Abo." (Star Trek: The Next Generation 365, p. 278)
- In the Star Trek: Voyager novel, The Eternal Tide, Amanda Rogers is recognized as a child of the Q, but not the first full Q child, because she was born outside the Continuum to Q who had given up their powers, despite the fact Q says, in this episode, that they were allowed to leave if they didn't use their power, but still had them, but they were unable to refrain from doing so. During the same book, Rogers is also killed helping Q Junior figure out what is going on.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 66, 17 May 1993
- As part of the UK VHS collection Star Trek: The Next Generation - Q Continuum: 5 December 1994
- As part of the TNG Season 6 DVD collection
- As part of the Star Trek: Fan Collective - Q collection
Links and references
- LeVar Burton as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
- Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf
- Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher
- Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi
- Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
- David Keith Anderson as Armstrong
- Lena Banks as operations division ensign
- Joe Bauman as Garvey
- Michael Braveheart as Martinez
- Carl David Burks as Russell
- Cullen Chambers as command division officer
- Tracee Lee Cocco as Jae
- Shannon Fox as Riker's date
- Goldie Ann Gareza as command division officer
- Kai as science division officer
- Arvo Katajisto as Torigan
- Mark Lentry as civilian
- Michael Moorehead as science division ensign
- Kim Max Pemberton as Amanda Rogers' mother
- Brandy Pickett as science division officer
- Joycelyn Robinson as Gates
- Victor Sein as command division officer
- Noriko Suzuki as operations division ensign
- Talbot as Ten Forward waitress
- John Tampoya as operations division ensign
- Mikki Val as operations division officer
- Christina Wegler Miles as command division ensign
- Unknown performers as
- David Keith Anderson – stand-in for LeVar Burton
- Carl David Burks – stand-in for Brent Spiner
- Michael Echols – stand-in for Michael Dorn
- Nora Leonhardt – stand-in for Marina Sirtis
- Lorine Mendell – stand-in for Gates McFadden
- Richard Sarstedt – stand-in for Jonathan Frakes
- Dennis Tracy – stand-in for Patrick Stewart
- Guy Vardaman – stand-in for John de Lancie
ability; adoption; Amanda Rogers' dogs; amusement; Argolis Cluster; atmosphere; bacillus; barystatic filter; beard; Bilaren system; blood pressure; career; conception; Continent (Southern continent of Tagra IV); Crusher, Jack; Crusher, Wesley; culture; department; diagnostic; dinner; dog; dozen; Earth; eco-regeneration; family; field of study; Fermi; gesture; gigawatt; heart; heart rate; hide and seek; honor student; Human; idea; injector coupling; internship; ionization; Irish Setter; isolation door; Jefferies tube; jewel; Kansas; marine biologist; meltdown; microscope; Milky Way Galaxy; mitosis; morality; neurobiology; number one; nurse; nutrient solution; Ogawa, Alyssa; omnipotent (omnipotence); omnipotent being; painting; parlor trick; parts per trillion; phase buffer; physics; plasma dynamics; playground; pollution; Q (species); Q Continuum; reaction chamber; ring system; shuttlebay; spec; spontaneous combustion; Starbase 112; Starbase 112 planet; Starfleet; Starfleet Academy; stasis; storm front; Tagra IV; Tagran; Tautine; telekinesis; teleportation; temperature; tissue sample; tornado; transcript; tricorder; Type 15 shuttlepod (unnamed); Type 6 shuttlecraft; vital sign; warp core breach; Weather Modification Net; yap; zoo
- "True Q" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "True Q" at Wikipedia
- "True Q" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "True Q" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
|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"|
|Star Trek: The Next Generation