Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Q-Less   Rewatch 
May 13, 2015 7:14 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Campy, omnipotent prankster god Q visits DS9 to spar with Sisko, accompanied by Vash.

Q: "Still chasing your own tail? Picard and his lackeys would have solved all this technobabble hours ago.
No wonder you're not commanding a starship."

Notes (Cribbed from here)
* According to the Deep Space Nine Companion, the scene in which Q is surprised that Sisko has hit him, is a sign of the writers' attempts to differentiate Sisko's character from Jean-Luc Picard. Robert Hewitt Wolfe says of the difference between the two characters "Picard is an explorer, and in some ways, very much an intellectual. Sisko is a builder, a different kind of guy. He wears his heart a little more on his sleeve, and he acts on emotion, on instinct, more than Picard." Furthermore, de Lancie himself points out, "Q's relationship with Picard has always been a battle of wits, but I come into Deep Space Nine, and Sisko just bopped me on the nose! From a character point of view, that's a very big difference."
* Armin Shimerman enjoyed watching Avery Brooks and John de Lancie film as de Lancie had been playing Q for five years at the time of the episode and "Q-Less" was just the fifth Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode after the pilot "Emissary". Shimerman commented: "It was interesting to watch the two of them together. It was an interesting dynamic because Avery is the lead and so he has the responsibility and that recognition in himself. Yet John de Lancie came on the set with his own agenda, which is that he has played Q quite often and is very familiar with his end and thought of us sort of as the new kids. We were the regulars, he was the guest star, but he felt like he was the regular and we were the visitors". de Lancie replied to this: "I love that Armin quote. I think that one of the things I had to be careful about is I couldn't be so chameleon like as to be a different character just because I was on a different set. I had to carry on in the way that I know works for The Next Generation and carry it into the new show so it would be seamless in a way. There would be kind of a bigness about Q that maybe permeates the tide pool".
* Ira Behr enjoyed writing Q's line about technobabble, commenting "it was a line we wrote with great glee, because at that point we hated the goddamned technobabble".
* This episode contains Deep Space Nine's third reference to the animated television series Ren and Stimpy. The name of the planet Hoek IV in the episode is named after the main character "Ren Höek." The first two Ren and Stimpy references are found in "Babel", where the Ren and Stimpy inspired names Surmak Ren and Spumco are referenced.
* This episode features six characters who also appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Chief O'Brien, Dr. Bashir, Quark, Q, Vash, and Morn (although only O'Brien, Q, and Vash originated on TNG).

Odo: [channeling George Carlin]: "I'll never understand this obsession with accumulating material wealth. You spend your entire life plotting and scheming to acquire more and more possessions until your living areas are bursting with useless junk. Then you die, your relatives sell everything, and start the cycle all over again."
posted by zarq (10 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I like to think that Vash adds to Sisko's negative opinion of Picard.
posted by drezdn at 7:28 AM on May 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

I like this one. They managed to come up with a plausible reason for Q to visit the spinoff I mean station, they handled the auction stuff and the Vash storyline plausibly, and perhaps best of all, they never brought Q back to the show; to do otherwise would've been, well, implausible. And, in the Prophets, they've got more than enough deus ex, deuses... dei ex machinae? Whatever.

Too bad Vash never took the time to warn the Alpha Quadrant about the Dominion ;)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 9:57 AM on May 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

This was an alright episode, but for a Q episode it wasn't very memorable.

Plus, I really want to see how Q would handle and interact with the Prophets.
posted by 2ht at 10:48 AM on May 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

"Weren't you one of the little people?" may be my favourite Q dialogue ever.
posted by dry white toast at 11:57 AM on May 13, 2015

First - I agree with the above; decent enough reason for Q to come, and though there's a bit of missed potential, it's a fun episode.

Some thoughts, though admittedly it's hard to parse any part of the early episodes into the later canon of the show outside of main-character-development... the gamma quadrant is a who-needs-to-explain-it plot device for the first few seasons, so the show gets a pass there:

The biggest issue I have with the early seasons still plagues them here: too long between lines. If it's banter, then the ::line:: ::pause:: ::rebuttal:: formula doesn't quite work... the initial back-and-forth between Bashir and Vash is a particularly notable example. Seems like there's no charisma between actors when they do that.

The assayer's a perfect snob, but ... did he just skip Vash's "holy shit that's the most awesome thing of things!", or is the (otherwise easily confused) computer parsing their dialogue about "Well it's a something" "Noooooot quite..."

"The Captain likes... uh ... a good challenge, sir..." That's what was missing from the TNG episode Lower Decks... JO/NCO gossip.

Quick poll: what's harder: technobabble with made up technology or rattling off Q's "random-sight-from-madeup-civilization" bit?

Heh. Love disappearing-reappearing Quark. Would have loved for a ::blink:: Picard: what the hell- Q! ::blink:: moment.

Love all the contrasts between styles of Picard and Sisko. And that Sisko just punches him. Never really understood why - - omnipotence doesn't dick with your perception of time, I guess. ... unless of course it's convenient to the plot. Nice that Sisko quickly starts thinking "so... Q's an ass, but ... he's not really one that just kicks your lights out then claims "didn't do it"."

I'll be curious over the course of the re-watch to see when they start lighting Quark's. I'd forgotten how dark the bar started.

Listening to O'Brien's description about Tritium levels, I pulled up an interesting paper on measuring its mass. There goes my evening.

Not for nothing, but "This is weird, and exactly what happened on the runabout" wouldn't lead you to a study of the passengers, cargo, and personal effects that were on both pieces of equipment? Especially if you could pull up next to the random-exploding-space-squid-thing and your tricorder went nuts? Ah well.

The Watergate joke seems somewhat dated. That's the most interesting political scandal in Earth's history? ahhhhh...

I honestly don't know what Dax's smirk was about. Did she know Bashir'd been asleep? Did she care? Did anyone?

That was great.
posted by Seeba at 5:56 PM on May 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think Dax was smirking because she realized that Bashir didn't know he actually had been asleep a really long time.
posted by drezdn at 9:50 PM on May 13, 2015

I did like this episode, but Q was kind of a strange fit for DS9 and I always thought Sisko's punch was just plain foolhardy and didn't square with the Sisko we came to know. Sure, Sisko isn't Picard and he probably wouldn't enjoy verbally sparring with Q the way Picard did. But you just don't punch a trickster god in the face. Sisko's damn lucky he didn't get handwaved out of existence then and there!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:39 PM on May 13, 2015

I liked the episode too, but I don't get why Sisko doesn't have the ability to look up a file on Vash. All we get on her is the info from O'Brien. Someone who is wanted on as many planets as her has to have some info available about her on the padds.
posted by drezdn at 5:01 AM on May 14, 2015

oh, technobabble.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:58 PM on May 14, 2015

Q was the Star Trek version of the Great Gazoo.
posted by zadcat at 6:48 PM on July 20, 2015

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