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Star Trek The Next Generation: Hide and Q

Picard: “I know Hamlet. And what he might have said with irony, I say with conviction. What a piece of work is man.”

One of the things that I really appreciate about Star Trek in all its forms is the belief in the goodness and rightness of humanity (given that we have the time to figure ourselves out). I find this refreshing in the face of so many shows that, particularly recently, revel in the uglier side of us.

The interactions with Q have a strong thread of “go humans” weaved through them. Here we have a member of a supposedly vastly superior race that continues to be one-upped by Jean-Luc and the crew. Q is one of my favourite aliens on Star Trek: TNG. Although all powerful, he is just like a kid playing with the ants on the sidewalk. He is curious, capricious and sometimes cruel but not in any intentional or thoughtful way. And he loves costumes. In this episode he was an Aldebarran serpent, a Starfleet admiral, a French Field Marshal and a monk.

Sure, the dialogue is a bit contrived, the defence of humanity a bit over the top but all in all this episode was fun. Even Riker got to smile and laugh, a big improvement over serious, dramatic Riker. There was some good character development. Picard is smarter than an all-powerful being and thoroughly understands his crew. His moment with Tasha crying was sweet and his judgement of Riker was spot-on. We found out that Riker is a bit looser and more daring than the captain but not really ready for power yet.

My ongoing complaint about this series and this episode in particular are the bits of racism, sexism etc. that continue to thread through what claimed to be a ground breaking series. You can see that the writers are struggling to make Tasha Yar strong yet feminine but then they conjure up a Klingon woman that Worf has no trouble back-handing. It was probably too much to ask at the time, but wouldn’t it have been cool if Tasha was gay or Geordi was the one who was crying on the bridge?

Bits and Pieces

The mine tragedy was just stuck into the story in an awkward way. All it served to do was to show Riker keeping his promise and allowing a child to die. Then all of a sudden he is giving out people’s greatest desires. That sequence could have used some development.

Riker and Wesley are friends. This is in direct contrast to Picard who tends to be awkward around children.

I appreciated Data's refusal of Riker's gift. A very astute observation for an android.

Wil Wheaton did not grow up to look like that.

Geordi's first comment on gaining full sight was how beautiful Tasha Yar was. Do they have a thing going on?

The Q Continuum must be pretty boring if Q has to keep popping into our dimension for fun.

Klingons don’t drink with their enemies. At least Worf sticks to his morals.


Q: “Your species is always suffering and dying.”

Q: “Macro head with a micro brain.”

Q: “Seized my vessel. These are the complaints of a closed mind accustomed to military privileges.”

Picard: “Don’t worry. There’s a new ship's standing order on the Bridge. When one is in the penalty box, tears are permitted.”
Tasha: “Captain. Oh, if you weren’t a captain.”

Riker: “No one has ever offered to turn me into a god before.”

Q: "Let us pray for understanding and compassion.”
Captain: “Let us do no such damned thing! What is this need of yours for costumes, Q? Have you no identity of your own?”


  1. Again, very Original series, with a rocky empty planet and a green sky, plus a god-like alien. Although Q is a lot more interesting and fun here than he was in "Encounter at Farpoint".

    Did you notice that during the Last Temptation of Riker, Q's starfleet uniform had three pips, like Riker's? Nice touch. It's usually four, like Picard.

    I liked Worf for the first time here, when he deliberately spilled the drink on the ground and tossed the glass to the side. But then he blew it by hitting his "wife". I don't care that it was supposedly according to their cultural customs. Like you said, Doc, they're so obviously feeling their way around the sexism.

    Patrick doing Shakespeare, even briefly. Sigh.

  2. I totally agree about how awkward the disaster sequence is, though I was kind of amazed (not entirely in a good way) that Star Trek allowed a child to die. And according to Voyager much later, the Q Continuum is indeed very, very boring!

  3. I always find it interesting, the way I feel about a show/episode and how it can be very different from the reviewer. Here's my take on this episode. I like it. I think it has issues. The parts like enjoyed were the interactions between Picard and Q. I like when Worf poured out his drink. I actually laughed because no you don't drink with or from your enemy. The parts I did not care for all took place towards the end on the bridge. I was surprised that the Reviewer mentioned the racism and sexism, but I don't quite agree their take on it. Geordi gaining his sight, we all knew Riker would be predicable and he was. Geordi's take on Tasha's looks was kinda cringe. The dark skin blind man ogling his blond co-worker, especially because there has never been any hint of romance between the two. Yes, I know things like that don't matter in Roddenberry's future. it would have been more interesting if he asked to see his own face.

    The other part I didn't like was Worf and the female Klingon. The violence between them wasn't shocking, although him hitting her was jarring on the eyes. It would have been nice to have Worf have a secret desire to be a singer, or governor. No, they had him be a violent sexual beast. I just wish there had been more imagination.

  4. "What is a man but a miserable pile of secrets?" Perfect place for that Castelvania quote!

    Again, I feel very much the same as the reviewer and commentors here; it had TOS vibes, could have handled things better (like Worf and Tasha), but was a decent one overall, and Q was quite on form here.

    You can tell the new show is still struggling to climb out of the shadow of the original, but it's getting there.


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