Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Less Q Results In A Dud With "Q-Less"

The Good: Ties up loose ends, Good use of ensemble
The Bad: Relying on allusions to Star Trek The Next Generation, Overdone plot
The Basics: A dud of an episode relying heavily on knowledge of Star Trek The Next Generation. Not for anyone but die-hard Trek fans.

Q is one of the Star Trek The Next Generation concept villains that was cool when the show began but somewhere along the way he got lost. It's pretty common in Star Trek The Next Generation where the writers (many of whom later went on to ruin Star Trek Voyager) will create something cool and in the terms of villains, menacing and often downright scary, and then they go and they ruin it. Q is a victim of overuse and resulting degradation. He loses his edge and goes from being supervillain to lame duck of the galaxy, loosely posing as an annoying trickster god.

The problem is, for an episode, Star Trek Deep Space Nine bought Q in. That episode is "Q-Less" and it has very little redeeming value.

The supposedly omnipotent Q appears on the station shortly after Vash, archaeologist and friend of Captain Picard (whose name is dropped throughout the episode) from the Star Trek The Next Generation episodes "Captain's Holiday" and "Q-Pid." A lot of what Jennifer Hetrick (Vash) had going for her on the earlier show was costuming. Here she becomes one of the few mistakes Deep Space Nine made. It's an adult show. So, they dressed Vash up as an adult instead of like some teenager's fantasy. It didn't help.

Vash comes aboard and flirts with Bashir and Quark and Commander Sisko is only mildly interested in the artifacts she has collected from the Gamma Quadrant until his station begins to fall apart for no reason and then Q is spotted. All of a sudden he cares because he figures Q is behind everything and he wastes no time confronting and blaming Q.

Anyone with half a brain can figure out that it is, of course, not Q's fault and that there's something more going on. And if you can't guess whose to blame, that's just sad.

The redeeming facet of this episode is the use of the whole cast. This is the first episode following the pilot that everyone plays a part and it's representative of the future of Deep Space Nine where it becomes the story of the crew as opposed to just its leader.

"Q-Less" is a lame franchise-inspired episode attempting to sell the new series to fans of Star Trek The Next Generation. Odds are, they're the only ones who will enjoy it. One of the bottom ten Star Trek Deep Space Nine episodes of all time!

[Knowing that VHS is essentially a dead medium, it's worth looking into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Complete First Season on DVD, which is also a better economical choice than buying the VHS. Read my review of the first season by clicking here!


For other Star Trek episodes I have reviewed, please check out the index page!

© 2001, 2007, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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