A maverick member of the mysterious and powerful Q continuum, boasting
an IQ of 2005 and God-like powers, Q first appeared in the Next
Generation pilot episode 'Encounter at Farpoint'.
Q, as played by John DeLancie, went on to become a popular semi-regular
character in the series, appearing on the Enterprise to test the resolve
of the crew by placing them in situations both whimsical and dangerous.
Q introduced Picard and his crew to the Borg, and also to the legend of
Robin Hood. And he was responsible for pitting Picard against a deeply
unhelpful anti-time phenomenon in the classic farewell episode of the
Next Generation, 'All Good Things'.
As much impish troublemaker as obsessive omnipotent, Q has a fondness
for Picard which he tries to bury amid their angry moral squabbling.
Their exchanges have highlighted the key role Q plays in Star Trek as
the resident iconoclast, scoffing at but ultimately being used to
validate Gene Roddenberry's super-positive vision of humanity.
Roddenberry named the character of Q after Janet Quarton, an English fan
of the series. But many fans believe Roddenberry based Q on Trelane, a
character with very similar powers who appeared in the original series
episode 'The Squire of Gothos'. Q has appeared in episodes of Deep Space
Nine and Voyager, and it has long been rumoured that John DeLancie would
reprise the role in one of the Star Trek films, but he has sadly yet to
materialise on the big screen.
Key Q Episodes: The Squire of Gothos (The Original Series), Encounter at
Farpoint (The Next Generation), Q Who (The Next Generation), Tapestry
(The Next Generation), All Good Things (The Next Generation), Q-Less
(Deep Space Nine), The Q and the Grey (Voyager).