Star Trek: The Next Generation (1990) – Deja Q, and A Matter of Perspective

Captain’s log: stardate 43539.1

It’s time for the seemingly annual season visit with that omnipotent rogue, Q (John de Lancie). Written by Richard Danus, the episode debuted on 5 February, 1990.

Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the crew of the Enterprise are trying to save the people of Brial IV. It seems their moon has become unstable and seems to be close to falling down the planet’s gravity well and wiping out a portion of the planet and its inhabitants.

As they try to figure out what is going on, Q arrives, and it is revealed that he is no longer a member of the Q Continuum and has been stripped of his powers.

Unfortunately for Q, no one believes he is telling the truth, and they think that he may in fact be involved with the threat that now faces the planet. In an attempt to prove himself, Q agrees to work with Data (Brent Spiner) and Geordi (LeVar Burton) – will the trio be able to come up with a way to save the threatened planet.

Q is given an opportunity to redeem himself, extended by a member of the Continuum who is on his side (Corbin Bernsen).

I rather like this episode, all of the Q episodes tend to be pretty fun, but seeing Q languishing as a human being is rather enjoyable, and seeing him try to prove himself to Picard and the rest is good fun. Pairing him with Data, who longs to be human, is a nice touch as Q is human as punishment.

It also established the idea that different Q exist, something that would be revisited in other series, as well as this one.

And I love that ending when Q gives his thanks to the crew…

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Captain’s log: stardate 43610.4

Airing on 12 February, 1990, this episode, following on the tail of the previous episode isn’t quite as good as it could be, even if it introduces the idea of art classes on the Enterprise.

This episode, penned by Ed Zuckerman finds Riker (Jonathan Frakes) accused of murder. Since we know the character cannot have possibly committed the crime, we are left without a real hook into the episode.

A scientist, Nel Apgar (Mark Margolis) who is working in a space station (a reuse of the ST:TMP space dock model, which was used as Regula I in ST:TWOK) is the victim, killed when the station blows up.

Trouble really gets underway when Apgar’s widow, Manua (Gina Hecht) arrives aboard laying the accusations of murdering her husband upon Riker as well as accusing him of attempting to seduce her.

A trial is set up, using the holodeck to help demonstrate testimonies, and Riker must find a way to prove his innocence. As mentioned, since it is never, truly, in doubt the only real hook is seeing how his innocence is proven.

I do like the different presentations of the witnesses’ perspectives, showing how everyone sees, and remembers events differently.

The Human Adventure continues Thursday…

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