The Great Star Trek Voyager Rewatch: The Q and the Grey

Q arrives on Voyager with a very forward proposition for Janeway – that the two of them have a child together. Naturally, Janeway is unmoved by Q’s advances, but in due course, she finds out his motivations. Ever since the Q known as Quinn took his life, the Continuum has been at war, and Q hopes that the first child born there might be the harbinger of a new era of peace.

I think we all know by now that, in my opinion, Q has outstayed his welcome, and this episode does nothing to change that. I was never looking forward to rewatching The Q and the Grey – it may not be an out and out awful episode like Threshold, but I still dislike it.

First up, we have Q courting Janeway, which, as I said in my review of Death Wish, is made somewhat creepy by the fact that, at any point, he could force her to submit to him. Fortunately, he seems keen to have her willing consent, which makes this segment of the episode ever so slightly less cringeworthy than it might have been.

As the story unfolds, things go from bad to worse. We’re introduced to a female Q – seriously, omnipotent beings still follow the gender binary – who has been involved with Q for billions of years, and embodies all the worst tropes of the haughty superior being and jealous lover. I loved Susie Plakson as Dr Selar and K’Ehleyr, but whilst she’s still nice to look at here, I can’t help but dislike her character.

Then we’re whisked off to the Q Continuum itself, for a war between Q which is represented to as the American Civil war. Not only do I have little interest in seeing this era portrayed on screen, but having Voyager swoop in and save the day at the end is just plain silly.

Finally, I don’t get how Q having a child even makes sense as a device to end the war. I can imagine that it might give the Continuum a new direction and hope after letting one of their number die, but can the existence of Q Junior really bring peace? The argument is about whether or not the status quo is best, so having the Continuum’s first ever infant is hardly going to win over the sticklers for keeping things as they are. It’s not like the child is the offspring of a political marriage, and thus a stabilising force that could unite two factions into a single family.

Bits and Pieces

  • Do the Q really have gender? Let’s assume that they took those forms to satisfy the heteronormativity of the Voyager crew, and that really such things are meaningless to them. Q and Q look like a man and a woman to us, but of course that’s just our limited brains perceiving their greatness as something less.
  • Why did the Q bother creating weapons with which to kill each other, when their intrinsic powers would not only do the job equally well, but wouldn’t be usable by mere bipedal lifeforms?
  • Q talks only about ‘the galaxy’ – does the Continuum not allow them access to the entire universe?
  • The female Q comments on both the temperaments of both Klingons and Vulcans – actress Suzie Plakson having previously portrayed a member of each of those races on TNG.
  • Voyager claims to be only the third Starfleet crew to witness a supernova – the last two having been those of the original Enterprise and the Enterprise-D. Supernovae never happen off screen, it seems.
  • According to Q, there was once an empress of the Romulan Empire. Presumably this is historical, as we know that the Romulans are now ruled by their Praetor.
  • Although Amanda Rogers was also the child of two Q, she was conceived and born whilst they were living as humans, and so presumably does not count as the first true Q offpsring.

Lost shuttlecraft running total: 5

Possibly salvageable shuttlecraft running total: 4

Number of times Voyager gets destroyed: 1

Summary – The Q and the Grey: Thank god that’s over with.

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