Q (John de Lancie) is an acquired taste, as proved by the two Star Trek heroes who had no time for the cosmic trickster’s shenanigans. While the character was created for Star Trek: The Next Generation and is generally associated with Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), many other Starfleet officers have crossed Q’s path. Q was so enchanted by Star Trek: Voyager‘s Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) that he proposed mating with her to save the Q Continuum from destruction.
Q once observed that Picard may have been more amenable to him if he’d appeared in female form, however Janeway’s horror at the suggestion of mating with Q suggests the omnipotent being’s personality may be the true barrier between him and Jean-Luc. For all Picard and Janeway’s frustrations with Q, they undoubtedly humored him due to their fascination with the cosmic mischief-maker and his species. The same couldn’t be said for Commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), who once encountered Q aboard Deep Space Nine, and Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome), who appeared to have had several run-ins with Q over the years.
Star Trek’s Sisko And Mariner Have Zero Tolerance For Q
In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 1, episode 7, “Q-Less” the omnipotent trickster arrived aboard the titular space station seeking a reunion with Picard’s former lover, Vash (Jennifer Hetrick). Q’s arrival and his disappearing of everyone on the station did not go down well with Commander Sisko, who demanded he leave DS9. Q instead challenged Sisko to a fight, by creating a giant boxing ring and sporting an old time mustache. Sisko immediately grew tired of Q’s games and floored the cosmic trickster with a single punch, stating to a surprised Q that he was “not Picard“. Q hated Sisko because he was too easy to provoke, and never returned to DS9.
In Star Trek: Lower Decks, Mariner didn’t even need to resort to violence to show Q how little she tolerated his games. When Q appeared aboard the USS Cerritos in Lower Decks season 2, he attempted to engage Mariner and the Lower Deckers in one of his games. Ever a fan of a cutting put-down, Mariner simply told Q that she didn’t have time for him, and walked away. A disappointed Q lamented that he was starting to tire of tormenting Picard. If the examples of Sisko and Mariner are anything to go by, Picard may be the only Starfleet officer willing to give Q the time of day.
Q’s Rejection Proves His Bond With Picard Is Unique
Except for Captain Janeway – who still maintained her distance – no other Starfleet officer has humored Q on the level that Jean-Luc Picard did. The relationship between the Starfleet captain and the trickster god is so fascinating that Star Trek continues to return to it over 30 years later. Star Trek: Picard season 2’s Q story revealed what viewers had always suspected, that Jean-Luc and Q loved each other. Many of Q’s lessons were about making Jean-Luc Picard into a better Starfleet officer, and a better man. In allowing him to confront his childhood trauma, Q prepared Jean-Luc for the revelations about his son Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers).
For Jean-Luc Picard, Q was a means to understand more about himself and the universe but for everyone else, he could be an irritating distraction from the matters at hand. Sisko punching Q was a strong demonstration of how Star Trek: Deep Space Nine would differentiate itself from its hugely popular parent show. Sisko’s zero tolerance of Q’s games was a metaphor for how DS9 would push the Star Trek franchise in a new direction. A cosmic trickster like Q would never have fitted into DS9‘s tale of mythology, religion and nation building.
This story originally appeared on Screenrant