It’s not uncommon for a new show, particularly one that is a spin-off of another, very successful show, to pull out a guest appearance from popular characters from the original series onto the new one to help the new show get a bit of a boost as the new series is setting itself up.
That’s what seems to be the case here, and we got John De Lancie’s Q on Deep Space Nine. I know I won’t be complaining.
To be fair, Q is hardly the only guest this time as he brought Vash with him, and the whole shadow of Jean-Luc Picard. Given the nature of Q’s being, it isn’t exactly out of the question for Q to pop up on other Trek series. True, this is his only appearance on Deep Space Nine, but I believe he does become something of a reoccurring pain in the ass to Captain Janeway over on Voyager.
Here, he keeps referencing Picard as Sisko and the others try to figure out what he wants and why the station’s power is dropping. Though Q is the first suspect, Sisko realizes rather quickly that Q isn’t responsible. Q is doing other things, like putting Dr. Bashir asleep for what may or may not be a couple days.
No, Q is there for Vash, and he had taken Vash to the Gamma Quadrant to explore where no human had ever gone before. Vash, being an archaeologist for profit, twists Quark around her little finger to set up an auction, and one of her artifacts is what’s causing all the problems because, it turns out, the item in question is alive.
So, what do we make of all this? For one thing, the episode does make the most of Q and Vash. Jimmy and I haven’t gotten to Vash in out Next Gen rewatch yet, but I remember her well enough, and O’Brien apparently knows about the bridge crew’s trip to Sherwood Forest. Why does he know this? Beats me. He just does. Maybe I’ll be reminded when Jimmy and I get to that episode, but I was a bit amused when O’Brien addresses both Vash and Q and has to remind both why they might know who he is since neither really recognize him.
Truthfully, though, aside from Q realizing he can irritate Sisko much more effectively than he can Jean-Luc , including a memorable scene where Q sets up a bare-knuckled boxing match against Sisko only to realize in shock that, well, Sisko will punch back if you pop him in the face enough times. It’s a fairly cathartic moment to see someone lay Q out, even if Q ultimately gets the victory out of it by simply pointing out how much easier it is to bother Sisko.
Still, it really comes down to the fact Q wants to keep traveling with Vash, and she’s tired of going places with him. Q states that, well, he actually enjoyed his time with Vash as seeing the universe through her eyes was a nice change of pace for someone who’s, well, experienced everything.
That’s…an interesting perspective.
So, do Q and Vash seem like the sort of characters who should come back to the station? Not really. They’re good for cameos, and I’m not sure anyone really cares that much about Vash. Q does suggest they see the Delta Quadrant sometime, and while Vash declines, well, Q can certainly pop over there at any time. This was, ultimately, a good sort of filler episode to try and bring in an audience with a popular character, and in that, the episode succeeds. Q is such a fun character, De Lancie seems to be enjoying himself, and he had some new characters to play with, Heck, his actions at Quark’s auction probably helped save the station. So, really, good to have him around, but he shouldn’t be someone who makes a habit out it.
Just as well. Deep Space Nine will have enough on its hands without adding more godlike beings to the regular series rotation.