The Enterprise encounters Q again, and he tempts Riker by endowing him with the powers of the Q.



(created by), (teleplay by) (as C.J. Holland) | 3 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Counselor Deanna Troi (credit only)
Female Survivor
William A. Wallace ...


The indefatigable Q appears again, still not convinced that humans are a race worth saving and wanting to test them yet again. This time he focuses on Commander Riker and sets out to prove that mankind will not do the right thing when the opportunity presents itself. To prove his point, he vests in Riker all of his powers convinced that the old adage about absolute power corrupting absolutely will prove to be true. Riker is obviously tempted to play God but his assumptions about giving people the opportunity to be whatever they want doesn't go over quite well. Picard knew that the experiment would fail and wins his wager with Q. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

21 November 1987 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode marks the first appearance of a Starfleet admiral's uniform in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), although the dress uniform worn by Q was never seen again. An actual uniformed admiral did not appear until Star Trek: The Next Generation: Too Short a Season (1988), although Leonard McCoy did appear as a retired admiral in the pilot episode. See more »


After she is given the order to raise the shields, Yar says, "Shields and deflectors up." The Deflectors would already be up, as they are used to keep particulate matter from striking the ship at warp (faster than light) speed. The shields are the much more powerful force fields used to protect the ship from attack. See more »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Whatever it is, why do you demonstrate it through this confrontation? Why not a simple, direct explanation, a statement of what you seek? Why these games?
Q: Why these games? Why, the play is the thing. And I'm surprised you have to ask when your human, Shakespeare, explained it all so well.
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Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: True Q (1992) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Q, the Continuum, and Other Things
27 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have to say I never cared much for the "Q" episodes. If there is such a thing as the "Continuum," don't we suddenly get into issues of religion or the purpose of life. Q seems to be playing games, but he isn't even a corporeal being unless he chooses to be so. Why does the Enterprise even matter to him. Being at one with the universe, he must have other fish to fry. In this episode, he decides to test the human's morality by giving them powers (at least he does to Riker) and then goes about doing nasty things to other crew members. If he can do whatever he wants, what does he matter? Why does anything else matter? Get my drift. This is the same argument I have with religions, especially those that take away human self direction. Of course, we don't have to think too much to see that our gang will somehow overcome all this, or at least appease our intergalactic pest. There's nothing inherently wrong with the episode and it is entertaining, but there are too many fundamental questions here.

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