Q Continuum: Wikis

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The Q
Base of operations Q Continuum
Affiliation none

In the fictional Star Trek universe, the Q Continuum is an extradimensional plane of existence inhabited by a race of extremely powerful, hyper-intelligent beings known as the Q. They claim to be largely indifferent to the affairs of the non-Q beings living in normal space, or in the many dimensions parallel to their own, considering them to be insignificant and childlike, though sometimes amusing as only children can be. However, they are clearly very interested in human beings in particular, subjecting the human race to various tests. These tests often imply that they feel somewhat threatened by humanity's potential, but are intrigued by it as well. The Q have appeared in episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. One of the Q is known as Quinn to the Voyager crew.

Contents

Overview

The Q have the ability to warp reality at a whim, ranging from appearing in any place they choose to rearranging the cosmos themselves. They claim omniscience, which at least in a limited area proves to be true, but several examples in the show disprove this (Q didn't know the name of the 1969 concert known as Woodstock, for example). Quinn also states explicitly that they are not omnipotent, just beyond the comprehension of some beings of lesser knowledge and intelligence. They are invulnerable and immortal except when faced with weapons designed by others of their kind: in sufficient numbers, Q can strip other Q of their powers and make them mortal, as well as any lifeform they wish. They also are concerned that humans, with their drive and desire to improve themselves, could eventually surpass them, and for this reason, Commander William Riker was offered Q Continuum membership, in order for them to understand it, but ultimately he refused.

The Q are apparently all individually named Q, and while this would be very confusing for humans, the Q themselves don't seem to have a problem with it — they always know which of them is being named, even when non-Q name them. The most notable of the Q is played by John de Lancie, a mischievous Q who, having taken an interest in humans, periodically harasses the crews of the titular starships and space stations. He also has a flair for the dramatic, whisking away the crew to exotic locations, engaging in elaborate speeches, and snapping his fingers to engender many of his manifestations. He has a highly mercurial personality, switching rapidly between a joking, campy style and a much more ominous and even dangerous manner. While he is very boastful, condescending and occasionally threatening, he ultimately seems to have humanity's best interests at heart. This Q was apparently something of a rebel within the Q race, and his antics occasionally got him into trouble with his fellow Q and served as an inspiration for the Q that the Voyager crew would know as Quinn, who admired his restlessness and inquisitiveness. Quinn eventually became a rogue Q who demanded to be allowed to commit suicide, because as a Q, the only thing left in the universe to experience is death. Some other members of the Continuum featured in Star Trek are Q2 and Amanda Rogers who was raised like a human but eventually discovered her true identity.

Some episodes have suggested that the Q evolved since the Big Bang to their current state, and that possibly they were like humans very early on. One member of the Q once referred to a "New Era" among the Continuum, during which an important change occurred in the species. No further details were given. The Continuum is on a separate plane of existence and thus not subject to linear time as normal space is. It has been suggested by Quinn that when the Q gave up their physicality and achieved their godlike powers, they also gave up any chance of growth or evolution since change was unnecessary. They usually appear as human simply because they can assume any form they wish, and when interacting with humans they usually appear as one of them to make the humans feel more comfortable. In the episode "All Good Things..." Q mentions that Picard is destined to explore existence itself. Q's meaning of that statement has never been explained in any episode or movie of Star Trek.

In episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, the Continuum is portrayed first as a sleepy town, and subsequently as a battlefield. It is made clear in these episodes that this is a concession to the human characters' limited perceptions, and that the Continuum's true nature is inconceivable to "lesser" races. In the non-canonical novel I, Q, Picard sees the Continuum (which is awaiting the end of the universe) as Times Square on New Year's Eve. Data, who is equally unable to comprehend its true nature yet cannot make the necessary leap of imagination, simply collapses into catatonia until Q filters his perceptions. However in the Greg Cox novels, it is depicted as 1940s era San Francisco on Earth. Picard and Data are seen as their familiar, 'Dixon Hill' pulp fictional characters. The other non-canon "Q-in-Law" novel has Q explain the nature of it and the muti-verse as a simple fruit he has appear before Lwaxana Troi.

Known members of the Q Continuum

Suzie Plakson as the Female Q in Star Trek: Voyager
  • Q (John de Lancie) - the most frequently-appearing representative of the Continuum during the various Star Trek series from The Next Generation onwards.
  • Q (Corbin Bernsen), also known as Q2 or Q2 - manifested as a blond man in the Next Generation episode "Déjà Q", and was responsible for getting Q (John de Lancie) kicked out and stripped of his powers, and his subsequent reinstatement; he once misplaced the Deltived asteroid belt. (In non-canon novels, Q2 helped Lwaxana retain Q power to thrash Q in Q-In-Law, and he helped the Q put down 0, Gorgan, The One and <*> in the novel trilogy Q Continuum (#47, 48, 49 by Pocket Books). He also assisted Q (in a way) in the hardback I, Q.)
  • Amanda Rogers (Olivia D'Abo) appeared in the Next Generation episode "True Q" - born to two Q who took human appearance and, living in Kansas on Earth, conceived her in the "vulgar" human fashion; her parents, who were also members of the continuum, were killed by a powerful Q-created tornado that specifically targeted only their house. While she longs to live as a normal human, eventually this proves to be impractical and she leaves to explore her powers with the other Q.
  • In the Next Generation episode "True Q", an unknown Q representative, or composite of several Q, queried Q (De Lancie) on his progress with Amanda. This Q was represented as a shadowy form. This Q was voiced by veteran Star Trek actor Michael Ansara, who played the Klingon captain Kang in the classic Star Trek episode "Day of the Dove."
  • Lady Q (Suzie Plakson) appeared in the Voyager episode "The Q and the Grey" She has had a long relationship with Q, and they finally had a child circa 2373. Like all her race she introduced herself merely as "Q". (She is called "Lady Q" in the non-canon novel "I, Q" by DeLancie and Peter David.)
  • q (Keegan de Lancie), aka "Junior" — son of Q and Lady Q appears in the Voyager episodes, "Q2" and "The Q and the Grey". (In the novels, usually rendered as a lower-case 'q' rather than upper-case 'Q')
  • Q (Gerrit Graham), appears in the Voyager episode "Death Wish", manifesting as an elderly human, actually one of the Continuum's philosopher-writers who felt that the Q had become stagnant in their quest for development of their species, desiring to leave the Continuum and end his immortal life. After his request was grudgingly granted, he was made human and given the name Quinn, thereafter committing suicide by poison.
  • William Riker, who was offered membership in the Q Continuum and briefly had all the powers of a Q in the episode "Hide and Q".
  • 0, who appears in the Star Trek: The Q Continuum books, was at one time the mentor of Q. Q discovered 0 on the ice of a desolate planet and helped him into our universe; in return, 0 promised that he would help Q find new uses for his power. 0 is crippled and unable to move at superluminal speeds (i.e. faster than light). 0 is currently banished outside the galaxy for causing the sun at the heart of the Tkon Empire to go supernova and wipe out all but a few small outposts, among other things.
  • Several other Q appeared in "The Q and the Grey", although only the "Confederate" colonel (Harve Presnell) and Lady Q had speaking roles. Several non-speaking Q also appear in "Death Wish". In dialog, any Q character will address another Q merely as "Q", with no distinction made between them.

Episodes featuring one or more Q

See also

References

External links

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