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Topic: Should Q Have Appeared In TOS? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 15 September 2017 at 6:23am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Bear in mind that this topic is Robbie's personal preferences being expressed. Fully aware of "The first story you'd do as a fan should be the last story you'd do as a pro" and "Never give the fans what they THINK they want." This is merely me indulging myself due to being a fan of John de Lancie and Q.

Q made his debut in the pilot episode of TNG, some 18 years after the last episode of TOS aired. So, of course, he could not have made an appearance in that series. However, TOS did continue in two forms after "Encounter at Farpoint": in the fifth/sixth theatrical movies - and in various comics. 

From 1989-1996, Kirk and crew appeared in 80 issues of a monthly title published by DC Comics. So it wouldn't have been impossible for Q to appear in either a TOS-era movie or the DC Comics series. I do know Paramount and Gene Roddenberry kept a tight leash on the comics (the editors often mentioned the "rules" they had to stick to). I believe Roddenberry and the Paramount liaison wanted the comics to explore as much new ground as possible, introducing new races and worlds. The likes of the Klingons kept appearing, but the 1989-1996 comic focused mainly on new worlds. I also believe there was a directive that both the TOS and TNG comics keep away from earth as often as possible. So if an editor had wanted Q to appear in a TOS comic or annual, I doubt Paramount/Roddenberry would have approved. 

As for the films, I guess Q could have appeared in either the fifth or sixth Star Trek films, but what need would there have been? No, I'd have loved (being a big Q fan!) to see him appear in one of the TOS issues published between 1989-96. I know it might have presented continuity problems - surely Kirk would have mentioned Q in his logs - but I would have loved to have seen at least one Kirk/Q encounter. 

Thoughts?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 September 2017 at 7:27am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Some have suggested -- not unreasonably -- that Trelane was a member of Q's species.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 15 September 2017 at 7:31am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Hmmm, interesting. Wonder if the TNG writers were thinking of that character when they created Q?
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 15 September 2017 at 8:39am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

GENERATIONS would have been immensely better if Q had been there offering both Kirk and Picard a way out... Kirk's experience with Trelane and Picard's brushes with Q (especially after what happened in TAPESTRY) would likely cause them to reject Q's easy solution.  

Plus, it would be great having Kirk punch Q a bit. 
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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 15 September 2017 at 8:42am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

From IMDB:
In an interview on the Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) Season 7 DVD, 'John de Lancie said he believed that Gene Roddenberry, whether consciously or subconsciously, was channeling Trelane when he created Q.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 15 September 2017 at 8:52am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Love that response, Rob.

And, Tim, thanks for that. Not surprised.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 15 September 2017 at 12:06pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Having Q be Picard's way out of the Nexus would have made more sense than Guinan's "ghost" or whatever. Nobody just leaves the Nexus of their own accord. Granted, Guinan has some kind of nebulous cosmic abilities (holding Q at bay with a gesture??), but still...

And it fits with Q's motif: stay here and live all your dreams, or return to the real world (with someone who can help) and fulfill your duty, knowing the risks. Perhaps it would have echoed Tapestry too much...
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 15 September 2017 at 12:13pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

And it fits with Q's motif: stay here and live all your dreams, or return to the real world (with someone who can help) and fulfill your duty, knowing the risks. 

***

That would have been satisfying.

I was always disappointed John de Lancie hadn't appeared in a TNG movie. I was lobbying for it many years ago (via letters sent to STAR TREK MAGAZINE, although none got published). 
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 15 September 2017 at 3:43pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

"Q Squared", a novel by Peter David, delves into a crossover between Q and Trelane. I enjoyed it quite a lot, and if you're into Star Trek novels, it's quite a bit of fun.

I can't tell a lot about it without giving away a lot, but it does involve parallel universes, and legitimately used the word "Datas" (well, a proper noun, yeah, but...)

I have absolutely no issue with Trelane being a member of the Continuum. Maybe he was the scarecrow during the TNG era...?

But I was also gladder than glad that he only appeared once. How often can one expect humanoids to legitimately occupy a (relatively :) all-powerful entity? After Q's second appearance, I always dreaded that any crisis involving the Enterprise would be addressed with a snap and that smarmy, "REALLY, Picard. Do I have to save you AGAIN?"
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 15 September 2017 at 4:00pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I'll check out the novel, thanks.

I know what you mean with your last paragraph. Although, and this isn't a criticism, a mindset like that could be akin to "Where were the Avengers when Galactus invaded?" or "Why doesn't Superman help out when Gotham City is suffering a crisis?"

Maybe Q was otherwise occupied at times. Shame he couldn't have intervened during "The Best Of Both Worlds", though...
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 15 September 2017 at 7:26pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

 Shame he couldn't have intervened during "The Best Of Both Worlds", though...

That's one case where I think his intervention would have hurt the Federation in the long run.   For good or ill the *lone Borg cube* attack at Wolf 359 was an eye-opening wake up call to the Federation and Starfleet, It forced them to radically re-evaluate their philosophy of ship design, and the (new) Defiant was a direct result of this paradigm shift.   If Starfleet had not been (literally!) decimated by one Borg ship they would have been unprepared for the (arguably worse) onslaught of the Dominion only a few years later. 

Q likely is aware of how future events played out, and he's not usually into overt manipulation of the timelines -- with TAPESTRY being an exception, and in that case he had a point to prove.  He's more into stirring up the anthill and getting his jollies watching the ants scurry around.

Besides, if Q had handwaved the Borg cube away that would have made the Borg more curious and determined to squash the Federation.  So now you have 100 Borg cubes dropping out of transwarp portals instead of one.

(yes, I'm aware that the writers of TBoBW had no inkling of the future for Star Trek at the time of writing, but I like to think this is one of the better 'happy accidents')


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 15 September 2017 at 7:27pm
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Marten van Wier
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Posted: 15 September 2017 at 9:22pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Regarding the Best of Both Worlds, I also don't think Q is really into the "hand holding" bit, going around the universe saving civilizations like the Federation from threats such as the Borg or other powerful species to natural disasters.

I think it is more for him like "here is a possible species or civilization that has promise to make it far, but they need some poking to be pushed in the right direction."
And if humanity or the Federation had failed he might have been like "Oh well, guess I am mistaken, lets try another species."

I think Q and only the one we know (played by John DeLancie) only occasionally helps out the people in the Federation as long as we interest him.
The moment we stop being so he simply moves on or may even decide that the Federation may be in the way of beings he considers more worthwhile.

Some people in forums have compared Q to the Norse God Loki or Native American Coyote, a "trickster" who can be both benevolent but also malevolent when it strikes his mood. That is probably a pretty apt comparison.

As for the OP's question. Truth be told, no.
Problem with Q was that he went from a very advanced alien being (the Clarke comparison) to really being a godlike being who can just change reality whenever it suits him.

I also think pulled the Kirk trope to the maximum, "Kirk is so awesome he can even defeat Q"

I would not have minded if Trelane had returned though.
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Jason Scott
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Posted: 15 September 2017 at 10:27pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

As I mentioned in another thread, Patrick Stewart once said something about the proposed next TNG movie involving Q and lots of characters from the various shows. A shame Nemesis's box office failure torpedoed the possibilty.

And yeah, I remember the Q Squared novel with the links between Trelane and Q. That was a fun read.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 16 September 2017 at 4:11am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I remain angry to this day that NEMESIS and its director Stuart Baird fucked up the theatrical franchise.

In an issue of STAR TREK MAGAZINE, around 2004/05, Michael Dorn talked about how the TNG crew were definitely interested in doing one more movie. NEMESIS should not have been the final word. For many reasons. I mean, it'd have been great to see how Picard and his new first officer interacted.

Damn you, Paramount! 
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