Some sort of samizdat wind effect

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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.


  1. K. Jones
    May 15, 2015 @ 5:47 am

    So Qpid could be worse. I'd watched it this time around knowing that I normally enjoy it for being rompish, but also knowing that under a critical eye, any follow-up to Captain's Holiday, and any continuation of Q as "Puck" (or would it be Puq?) just wasn't going to be blowing down any doors.

    My ultimate decision was that it could be worse. It's surprisingly not bad, though it's pretty rote at the same time. The early bits especially, where Stewart gets to play Picard in a different kind of conundrum, at least serve to showcase just how damn funny Patrick Stewart can be, going from his excitement about archaeology and his own comparing it to detective stories – bridging his hobbies and motivations – to looking like he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar when Doctor Beverly walks in. How often do we get to see him stammer?

    How often do we get to see him pretty much break the fourth wall? When Vash leaves for her tour with Beverly, he pretty much gives us the look of a man out of his depth and who knows it, and asks us for our sympathies.

    So is it we who summon Q? When he breaks the fourth wall is he breaking time and space itself and setting himself up for adventure? Maybe.

    But the recursive artifice and performativity at least hardly begins when Q sends them to his Nottingham playground. And the actors at least seem to be having fun. This is possibly Q at his single most "Trelane" moment.


  2. Ross
    May 15, 2015 @ 5:55 am

    I think a big issue with Qpid vis-a-vis Q is that sometimes, they just want to do a slightly goofy, lighthearted episode, the way TOS would, but this being the '90s, Sci-Fi was SRS BSNS, so you could only do goofy if you had an 'excuse', hence the shoehorning of Q into "Picard's Wacky Omnipotent Uncle Who Causes Hijinks Twice A Season"


  3. tom harries
    May 15, 2015 @ 6:02 am

    That bit about McFadden and Sirtis at the start has pretty much killed this episode for me; I don't think I'll ever be able to watch it again.

    "But this also overlooks the reality of what Robin Hood actually is: Much like oral history, it's a folk tale that originates out of a fluid, living interaction with the past meant to help send a message in the present."

    There's a theory that the original ballad, or a ballad anyway, was commissioned by members of the local dye industry to advertise their business; I've never read it, but it's supposed to be full of references to colours: Will Scarlet, the band all wear Lincoln Green … In other words, it's a commercial.


  4. Josh Marsfelder
    May 15, 2015 @ 6:25 am

    Even commercials can be reappropriated by the tide of history and the generative forces of anti-capitalism.


  5. Dustin
    May 16, 2015 @ 1:57 am

    Josh, you've been absolutely killing it with the post titles.


  6. Josh Marsfelder
    May 16, 2015 @ 6:06 am

    It's been fun lately, I'll admit 🙂


  7. Adam Riggio
    May 17, 2015 @ 12:09 pm

    I'd call that the best possible use for a commercial.


  8. Daru
    May 29, 2015 @ 7:54 pm

    Hi Josh, great essay. It's worth looking up some of the first Robin Hood texts as they have nothing to do with anything like King John or the Sheriff – in fact none of those characters appear at all in the early Robin Hood plays. It is kind of appropriate that the earliest texts were may plays held in villages across England, as this ties nicely into the knowing performativity if this story. Just a shame how Vash, Troi and Dr Crusher were treated.

    The original Band of Robin Hood were also sort of a utopian thinking band seeking to ignore authority and like many of the really wonderful Next Generation episodes they were able to travel between worlds as they lived in the Greenwood in the fair seasons and then melted and shapeshifted back into peasant garb and vanished as a part of the local populace during the winter – that's why it's always sunny in the Robin tales/movies now.

    For all its problems I still find this a fun story, but yes I get the problems.


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