Star Trek - The Next Generation, Episode 132: True Q [VHS]
Unlike Ashley Judd, Olivia d'Abo never quite made the transition from television to indie films to becoming a glamorous Hollywood actress, but both of them served on the Enterprise early in their careers. Here, d'Abo guest stars as Amanda Rogers, a bright young intern working for Dr. Crusher. She is an honor student who hasn't quite figured out what she wants to do with her life. What she has come to realize is that she can do things like summon puppies at will and help people with a thought. This attracts the attention of Q (John de Lancie), who informs her she's the daughter of two members of the Q continuum who decided to become human. Along with training her in her abilities, Q has been assigned to convince her to renounce her human upbringing and join the continuum. Having taken an immediate dislike to Q and his lack of a moral center, she's not sure if she wants to. Her choice is between accepting her powers or being human and renouncing her powers forever. Once again, Q is given all the best lines ("Crusher gets more shrill with each passing year," he tells Picard with relish), once again proving that amoral villains have the most fun. --Andy Spletzer
From the Back Cover
En route to Tagra IV, an ecologically devastated planet, the crew welcomes (Olivia d'Abo), a young honor student chosen to serve aboard the Enterprise. Amanda single-handedly saves the ship from destruction, revealing that she possesses miraculous Q-like powers. When the senior staff meets to discuss the situation, Q (John de Lancie) appears and announces that Amanda is a Q and he has come to escort her back to the Q Continuum. At first she refuses, but Q is not easily put off and begins to tempt her with the true scope of her powers. Ultimately, she will be forced to choose: be human or be a Q - and the wrong decision could cost Amanda her life.
Top customer reviews
In this one, a young lady from the academy wins the chance to spend time on board the Enterprise and work in various parts of the ship. This is some sort of program where the best get the feel of hands-on action in several different jobs aboard, to help him/her decide what they most want to train for. This lady seems to be torn between lab/medical and engineering.
However, recently she has found out that she is different. She has the powers of the race known as "The Q." Her real parents had been killed when she was little, so she had no way of understanding what was going on.
Q shows up to teach her. She believes she has the choice of (1)staying as a human or (2) going to join the Q race. But that is not true. Q is under orders to test her powers. If she proves to be a true Q, she is to be brought back to be with her own kind, whether she wants to or not. If she does not prove to be fully Q, she is to be eliminated!
Reminded me a bit of the shows "Bewitched" and "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch". I feel as though age teens through mid-twenties will like this episode most. Hmmm, I'm in my early thirties. Wonder what my excuse is. :)
Eighteen year-old Amanda has won an internship to study on the Enterprise, so that she has some idea which field she wants to specialise in when she joins Starfleet. But her life is turned upside down when she learns that she is one of the omnipotent Q. Now she has the choice of renouncing her powers and remaing human, or joining the Q continuum - and her assessor and advisor in this vital choice is the Q who has visited the Enterprise in the past.
Olivia D'Abo was a good choice for the role of Amanda. She is appealing, and conveys Amanda's adolescent confusion well. John de Lancie puts in his usual strong performance as Q. The ending is no real surprise, but that isn't the point - it's how Amanda comes to make her decision that counts.
I do think the writers chose a less than satisfactory character set-up for "True Q", though. As it stands, Amanda bonded with Crusher and developed a crush on Riker. Yet Riker would have been the perfect choice for her to bond with; after all, he would know exactly what she's going through, because he's been in the same situation himself. The crush on Riker could then have been replaced with a crush on some junior crewman or medical technician, and we would have been spared the unedifying sight of an eighteen year-old trying to seduce a man twice her age.
Amanda's age is a problem in its own right. Would an eighteen year-old who hasn't even been to university have such narrow specialities (and so many of them) and be given such a position? The crew of the Enterprise are busy people after all, and in a dangerous business. It makes about as much sense as eight year-old Harry in "When the Bough Breaks" complaining about having to learn calculus; or someone who's just graduated from high school being posted on an aircraft carrier to make up their mind what they want to do with their lives.
Picard is perhaps the greatest problem in this episode. His instinctive rejection of everything Q says is becoming very tired by this point, and one could truly believe that he is a bigot. He honestly seems to think that humans are superior to every other life-form in existence.
Watch this episode for another perspective on the Q and be moved by Amanda's troubles. Just try to ignore the captain of the Enterprise.
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