Eruditorum Press

Christmas and Easter nihilists

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.

6 Comments

  1. K. Jones
    February 18, 2015 @ 10:19 am

    I loved this episode as a kid but loathe it now. I think I dislike it because it's so watchable. It's not as if De Lancie doesn't sell the material he's given, so this never goes on the skip list.

    But yeah, it's essentially character assassination … particularly distressing because it's one of their sort of "Top Ten" characters or interesting elements.

    Bonus points though, to Whoopi Goldberg who actually plays Guinan here as kind of nefarious, right?

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  2. Daru
    February 20, 2015 @ 12:52 am

    It's been ages since I saw this, and John De Lancie is wonderful to watch. I agree it's a shame that Roddenberry got in the way of a better script (as we could still have had masses of the humour I mention below), it still bugs me that he is given so much adulation whilst so many other figures in the history of the show are less acknowledged.

    I'll be honest, whatever goes on with him I always like Q. I don't really have one way I want him to be, which maybe is easier for me to sit in my place of complacency as I'm not writing a massive blog where he could have been a much more important player if he'd been written more consistently. So yes I do take on board and actually agree with everything you are saying.

    Just for me though, Q whatever he's up to is pretty much one of my guilty pleasures.

    Whether he is the voice that demands we better ourselves, or the zany trickster I don't really mind. What I like is that whatever form he appears in he upends the tone or seriousness of the show. I'm focussing on the character here as that's what was engaging always for me (as yes some of the episodes like this could be improved as the script you mention would be better), as I love the injection of humour the De Lancie as Q brings to the at times too serious crew.

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  3. Froborr
    February 20, 2015 @ 5:57 am

    I like all three versions of Q: the omnipotent trickster, the guy who annoys you into bettering yourself, AND the guy who gets himself into trouble by antagonizing everyone. I see no problem with one character being all three in different stories, because Anansi.

    But I think watching this as a Q episode is the wrong approach. It's a DATA episode, shown in a mirror.

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  4. Froborr
    February 20, 2015 @ 5:58 am

    Dammit "Notify Me" should be checked by default.

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  5. Stardust
    February 20, 2015 @ 8:47 pm

    I also see no reason Q can't be someone who annoys you and tricks you into learning something and gets himself into trouble with his own arrogance.

    However, I do wish they'd gone with 'Q is just tricking them to try and get what he wants' deal, as that would be a potentially interesting exploration of character and as said give him more menace.

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  6. Daru
    February 20, 2015 @ 8:56 pm

    "I like all three versions of Q: the omnipotent trickster, the guy who annoys you into bettering yourself, AND the guy who gets himself into trouble by antagonizing everyone. I see no problem with one character being all three in different stories, because Anansi."

    I'm with you on this Froborr, as many of the deities of old had many aspects, often too that were apparently contradictory. Anansi is a great example, especially as he believes that all stories are his, which is a nice link to Q as he distorts any TNG narrative he appears in.

    Agreed about the Data story idea, maybe Q hijacked that script and inserted himself into it?

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