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True Q (episode)

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(written from a Production point of view)
"True Q"
TNG, Episode 6x06
Production number: 40276-232
First aired: 26 October 1992
131st of 176 produced in TNG
131st of 176 released in TNG
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 176 released in TNG Remastered  
239th of 728 released in all
Amanda rogers
Written By
René Echevarria

Directed By
Robert Scheerer
46192.3 (2369)
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Q once again graces the Enterprise with a visit, claiming that a young intern aboard is really a Q.

Summary

Teaser

"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 ecological state. The intern, whose name is Amanda Rogers, is speaking with Captain Picard and Dr. Crusher 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 Amanda to her quarters, she unexpectedly seems to know the ship already. In her quarters, she explains she wishes her three pet dogs were present, and displays an unmistakable attraction to the Commander. When Riker leaves, several puppies appear in her quarters. She is dismayed and tells them that they have to go. The dogs gradually disappear.

Act One

Amanda and Dr Crusher are talking in sickbay about her desires for the future and Doctor Crusher's family history while she is testing tricorders. Amanda mentions she is actually adopted and her biological parents were killed when she was young. Crusher mentions Wesley being at the Academy and the fact that her husband is dead.

In the cargo bay, Amanda delivers the tricorders to Geordi and they discuss how the Tagrans have polluted their atmosphere and are now using many baristatic filters rather than cleaning up their industrial base. Commander Riker arrives with a message for Geordi and then begins talking to other crewmen when a container falls from a height. Amanda moves her hand and the container shifts and barely misses Riker. No one notices Amanda's actions.

The Enterprise receives a message from Orn Lote on Tagra IV, who indicates that they are having problems with a field modulator on one of the reactors. Captain Picard says they can try to come up with a solution. Geordi and Data are in engineering working on a way to fix the Tagrans' reactor when Amanda comes to visit. Just as she arrives a completely bizarre warp core breach occurs. They try to contain the explosion but the breach proceeds too quickly. The warp core explodes toward Amanda who puts out her hands, somehow managing to stop the explosion and repair the breach. Everyone is stunned by these actions.

Act Two

Later in the conference room, Picard, Crusher, Geordi, and Counselor Troi discuss the issue cautiously. Picard reports that Amanda is medically fine without bringing up what she did. Picard asks Geordi for an explanation for the breach. Geordi 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 Amanda is a Q, shocking everyone else. When Crusher claims Amanda's 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 Amanda doesn't control her powers, she could destroy the entire galaxy. Picard is dubious at 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 Amanda. He says he is there to evaluate her and take her back to the Q 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.

In Amanda's quarters, Crusher breaks the news as gently as possible. When Amanda 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 Amanda throws him across the room. Q later 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. After he leaves, Picard goes out and asks Data to research Amanda's parents' death, both agreeing it doesn't make sense for a Q to die in an "accident."

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."

Act Three

Doctor Crusher talks to Amanda in her quarters again, where Amanda admits much fear and insecurity about what is happening to her. Doctor Crusher tells her that she can see Amanda's distraught, but Q is really the only one who can help her. Amanda reluctantly agrees to meet with him again, but makes Doctor Crusher promise that she won't treat Amanda any differently.

Q visits Amanda again and behaves much less forward. They discuss the Q and what is possible, to which Q replies "anything we want." He then leads her through an exercise where she evokes the image of her parents.

She meets with Doctor Crusher in the medical lab and she gives her an experiment to perform while she is working elsewhere. Q arrives after she leaves and tells Amanda she can use her powers to perform the experiment faster.

Commander Riker visits shortly afterward and asks for Doctor Crusher. Amanda asks him to stay, but he goes to the cargo bay. Q accuses Amanda of being attracted to him and is repulsed. Doctor Crusher then walks in and is amazed that Amanda is done with the experiment. When Crusher explains that cutting corners ruined the experiment, Q accuses her of wasting Amanda's time. They argue and Q briefly turns her into a dog, but Amanda turns her back.

Act Four

Q asks Amanda about her teleportation and Amanda admits to ending up in the wrong place a lot. She and Q play "hide and seek" in different parts of the ship, eventually ending up on the hull of the Enterprise.

On the bridge, Data informs Picard that Amanda's parents were killed by a tornado in Kansas, something Picard finds unbelievable due to the weather modification network in place to dissipate such events. Data has no explanation, but Picard has a suspicion of his own.

Amanda goes to eat with Counselor Troi and Dr. Crusher in Ten Forward. Riker enters and Amanda invites him to join, but he goes to sit with another female crewmate instead. Amanda 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. Amanda responds by giving him some, but quickly becomes disillusioned by the farce and sends him back.

Act Five

Q appears in Picard's ready room at his request, where Picard confronts him with the facts of Amanda's 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 Amanda 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.

"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."

Meanwhile in the cargo bay, Orn Lote is consulting with Geordi and is impressed with the solution they came up with for fixing the reactor. They head down to the surface to commence repairs.

Picard consults with Crusher and Troi, who eventually agree that Amanda should be told about Q's ultimatum. Picard offers to break the news to her himself. He meets with her in his ready room and explains Q's real purpose, to which Amanda 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 Amanda, and are willing to offer her a choice: return to the Continuum or live as a Human and refrain from using her powers. Amanda immediately chooses the latter, just before an emergency call for Captain Picard comes through.

On the bridge, Riker is on the surface and 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 Geordi 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 Amanda did it just as Q reappears and tells her it wasn't as easy as she thought. Amanda brings Dr. Crusher to the bridge and says she has accepted that she's a Q and agrees to go to the Continuum after explaining it to her parents. After saying goodbye and thanking Doctor Crusher, the two Qs vanish.

Memorable Quotes

"It's like the laws of physics just 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 being..."
"That she's Q."

- Picard and Q, revealing the truth about Amanda


"You don't have to eat, you know. It's a nasty human habit you could easily do without."

-Q to Amanda, 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."

- Dr. Crusher and Q


"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."

- Q and Dr. Crusher


"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?"
"...Civil."

- Picard and Q


"Very impressive the way you containted that explosion. What else have you done?"
"I don't understand."
"Telekinesis? Teleportation?"
[Q looks at Picard]
"Spontaneous combustion of someone you don't like?"

- Q and Amanda, when they first meet


"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."

- Amanda, 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 Amanda, about Riker after it became obvious that Amanda 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 a dog


"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 Amanda's 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 Amanda 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."

- Amanda, accepting who she really is

Background information

Production

  • Matthew Corey wrote the original material for this episode.
  • First UK airdate: 16 August 1995

Continuity

  • 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". Q did not appear at all during TNG's fifth season. Several potential Q stories were developed for the fifth season, but they didn't work out and Q did not reappear until this episode. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
  • 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".
  • Q's line "With unlimited power comes responsibility" is a paraphrase of the famous quote from the popular comic book series Spider-Man, "With great power comes great responsibility."
  • Q states that "the jury is still out on that", with regard to Q's trial of humanity. This is perhaps foreshadowing to "All Good Things...", where that trial continues.
  • Amanda's parents were killed in a Kansas tornado, a tip of the hat to The Wizard of Oz.
  • 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, Amanda was born on Earth to human parents formerly of the Q Continuum while Q junior was born in the Continuum itself.

Apocrypha

  • In the Star Trek Voyager novel, "The Eternal Tide", Amanda is recognized as a child of the Q, but not the first full Q child, because she was born outside the Continuum to Q's who had given up their powers. During the same book, Amanda is also killed helping Q Junior figure out what is going on.

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also starring

Guest stars

Uncredited co-stars

Stunt double

Stand-ins

References

Argolis Cluster; Bilaren system; Crusher, Jack; Crusher, Wesley; dog; Earth; eco-regeneration; Fermi; gigawatt; Irish Setter; Jefferies tube; Kansas; microscope; neurobiology; painting; plasma dynamics; Q (species); Q Continuum; shuttlebay; shuttlepod; Starbase 112; Starfleet Academy; Tagra IV; Tagran; tornado; tricorder; warp core breach; Weather modification network


Previous episode:
"Schisms"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 6
Next episode:
"Rascals"

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