The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Q (Star Trek)

In the Star Trek fictional universe, the Q are a race of near-omnipotent, immortal and near-omniscient god-like beings from a parallel existence called the Q Continuum. They are largely indifferent to the affairs of the non-Q beings living in normal space, with a few exceptions. The most notable of these is Q as played by John de Lancie, a mischievous Q who periodically harasses the crews of starships and space stations.

Other members of the Continuum featured on the series are Q's wife Q, their son q (called Junior by his father, and signified by a lower-case q in writing), Q2 who is a friend of Q, Quinn - a rogue Q who demands to be allowed to commit suicide, and Amanda Rogers who was raised like a human but eventually discovered her true identity. Fans have speculated that Trelane from the original series episode "The Squire of Gothos" was also a Q (see below).

Some episodes have suggested that the Q had evolved to their current state over time, that possibly they were much like humans. (One member of the Q once referred to a "New Era" among his people, during which an important change occurred in the species. No further details were given, although the New Era may have been the time at which the ancient Q finally abandoned their material bodies and became incorporeal.) Q once suggested that eventually the humans might even advance beyond the Q.

Q is one of the most beloved recurring characters on Star Trek: The Next Generation, in large part due to the comedic and dramatic chemistry between actors de Lancie and Patrick Stewart (who plays Picard, captain of the Enterprise). Q's later Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager appearances were less appreciated by many people.

The episode "Death Wish" (of Star Trek: Voyager) featured the first recorded visit by outsiders to the Q Continuum - the Q were surprised at this, as they usually don't get visitors. The native appearance of the Continuum is completely unknown, as most non-Q would be unable to perceive or understand it; it was decided that a re-interpretation would typically be used to make it comprehensible. In later episodes, the Q Continuum would appear in many forms, such as a truck stop on a desert road, a Civil War battlefield, and many other forms.

In his portrayal of Q, John de Lancie used as his inspiration a description attributed to Lord Byron: "Mad, bad and dangerous to know."

The letter Q was chosen for the character/race name by Gene Roddenberry, in honour of his friend Janet Quarton.

Episodes featuring one or more Q

† Note: Many fans have speculated that Squire Trelane was a Q; this formed the basis for Peter David's book Q-Squared. However, this link is only speculation, not canon.

External links

Last updated: 05-07-2005 16:25:31
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04