Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) – The Battle, and Hide and Q

Captain’s log: stardate 41723.9

The Ferengi are back. The Battle, penned by Herbert Wright from a story by Larry Forrester, see the little aliens getting a bit of a better deal this time around than their first appearance, but it’s the learning about Captain Picard’s (Patrick Stewart) earlier service aboard the Stargazer, and his legendary maneuver that saved the crew, that makes this one a fairly solid tale.

Airing on 16 November, 1987, the crew of the Enterprise are stunned when a Ferengi captain, or daimon, Bok (Frank Corsentino) delivers Picard’s old ship to him, at no charge. This move upsets the Ferengi, and arouses the suspicions of the Enterprise crew.

While Picard explores his old ship, he has a trunk of material he thought lost moved to his quarters. Hidden within it is a device that disrupts the captain’s brainwaves, and causes him to relive the experience.

Wesley (Wil Wheaton) notices some strange waves emanating from the captain’s quarters and investigates, but before they can put a stop to things, Picard takes control of the Stargazer. Under the influence of the device, he attacks the Enterprise, believing it to be a Ferengi vessel he destroyed so long ago.

Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Data (Brent Spiner) must find a way to stop the Picard Maneuver and learn the truth of Bok’s motivations.

Picard-The-Battle

Captain’s log: stardate 41590.5

Hide and Q was written by Maurice Hurley and series creator, Gene Roddenberry. It first aired on 23 November, 1987.

Continuity! I love it.

We get the return of Q (John de Lancie) who returns to the Enterprise to court Riker to join the the Q Continuum. Referencing the events of Encounter at Farpoint, when Q first noticed Riker. The episode instituted the occasional, and often very enjoyable return of the entity.

To tempt Riker, he imbues the First Officer with the power of the Q, and like the old saying, absolute power corrupts absolutely. But before that happens, Riker faces the loss of life on a Federation outpost that he could have saved, and Q throws he and his bridge companions, except for Picard, in a game to the death.

We learn of Picard’s love of Shakespeare, and we get to see some of the fantastic chemistry between Stewart and de Lancie – they are a lot of fun to watch together.

Riker gets some nice moments and seeing him slowly succumb to the power before realising what he’s doing illustrates the character nicely. Having said that, Riker realises that the Q need something from him, or at least humanity. Despite that, Picard carries the bulk of the show, though Riker gets some solid screen time.

Riker tries to gift his friends with their dearest wish and finally clues in.

It’s not a bad episode and you can see that the writing is improving as they slowly begin writing to the actors.

The Human Adventure continues…

Picard_Q_Ready_Room

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