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Hide and Q (episode)

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"Hide and Q"
TNG, Episode 1x10
Production number: 40271-111
First aired: 23 November 1987
10th of 176 produced in TNG
9th of 176 released in TNG
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 176 released in TNG Remastered  
114th of 728 released in all
Riker laughs at Q's plan
Teleplay By
C.J. Holland and Gene Roddenberry

Story By
C.J. Holland

Directed By
Cliff Bole
41590.5 (2364)
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Q returns to the Enterprise, testing Commander Riker by giving him the power of the Q.



Q admiral

Q returns to the Enterprise

Having dropped off Troi's shuttlecraft at Starbase G-6, the USS Enterprise-D is fortunately close to the Sigma III system, when its Federation colony transmits an urgent call for medical help. An accidental explosion has devastated a mining operation there. There are 504 colonists at the site.

En route to the mining colony at warp 9.1, the Enterprise is trapped in Q's force field grid. Q appears on the bridge of the Enterprise, informing the bridge crew that the Q Continuum, after studying their recent contact with Humanity, are mostly impressed by them.

Act One

Hide and Q planet set, remastered

Transported to a barren world of Q's creation

Q offers them the realization of "impossible dreams". Picard says that he will listen to Q's offer, following their rescue mission. Q, however, disagrees, and turns himself towards Riker, asking what he finds of Q's offer. Riker says that they do not have time for Q's "games." Q transports Riker, Data, La Forge, Yar, and Worf to a class M planetoid, appearing before them in the uniform of a Napoleonic marshal.

The point of Q's game will be to stay alive, and the game will be completely unfair. Yar resists, and Q transports her back to the Enterprise, putting her in a "penalty box". He says, that if anyone else violates the rules of the game, he will be put in the penalty box, displacing Tasha into nothingness.

Act Two

Q, however, then appears before Yar and Picard on the Enterprise bridge, saying Yar's penalty is now over. While seated in the captain's chair, he makes a Starlog entry, explaining that the real intent of his game is to test whether the ship's first officer is worthy of the greatest gift the Q can offer. They make a bet: Picard's command against Q's keeping out of Humanity's path forever.

Picard Q Ready Room

Debating philosophy

Picard then confronts Q in his ready room. Q sits in his chair, reading one of Shakespeare's works. Picard asks why Q is demonstrating a "need" for Humans through this confrontation, instead of providing a simple, direct explanation, a statement of what he seeks. Q replies it is a pity Picard doesn't know the content of his own library. Because, as Q explains, how Humans respond to a game tells him more about them. Q proposes to quote some Hamlet for him. Picard refuses, and quotes him instead: "What a piece of work is man? How noble in reason? How infinite in faculty, in form, in moving, how express and admirable. In action, how like an angel; in apprehension, how like a god..." Q stands up from his chair, and responds that surely Picard doesn't see Humanity like that. Picard answers that he sees Humanity as one day becoming like that, and perhaps that is what the Q fear. Q, obviously irritated by Picard, then disappears.

Meanwhile, down on the planetoid, Riker, Data and La Forge discuss the situation. Apparently, aliens dressed in 18th century French uniforms are heading their way, armed with ancient muskets. Data explains that muskets are inferior to their phasers. The muskets, however, turn out to have phaser power. Q, appearing as Data before Riker, tells him that he now has the power of the Q, and is able to transport his crewmates back to the ship.

Act Three

Wesley Crusher stabbed, 2364

Wesley gets the point

Back aboard Enterprise, all systems are again functioning, and the Q grid has disappeared. There is no sign anything happened, and no others noticed anything. Data, La Forge and Worf appear back on the bridge, where Picard explains to them Q has shown interest in their first officer.

Back on the planetoid, Riker and Q discuss the powers Q has granted Riker. Interestingly, the rank insignia that Q now carries on his uniform is that of a Starfleet commander, implying they are now equals. Riker asks what Q wants from him. Q replies that the Continuum has granted them a gift, beyond all other gifts. He explains that, before Farpoint Station, they saw Humanity as savages only. However, they discovered instead that Humans are unusual creatures, in their own limited ways. He also states that since Humans are constantly evolving, they may become stronger than the Q one day.

Riker rejects Q's powers, and Q disappears. The bridge crew, including Wesley Crusher, appear on the planetoid's surface again, while they are approached by the soldier creatures Q created. Only Riker's powers can save the crew now. Worf is stabbed by one of the animal soldiers, and after Wesley runs to his rescue, the acting ensign is killed as well. Frustrated and angry, Riker uses his newfound powers to create a Q-style force field around the soldiers, and transports the crew back to the Enterprise, healing Worf and Wesley in the process.

Act Four

Bridge crew listening to Riker

"Perhaps they're all remembering that old saying, 'power corrupts.' "

The Enterprise, meanwhile, has arrived at the mining colony. In Picard's ready room, Riker guarantees Picard that he will be strong enough to not use the power of the Q. An away team beams down to the mining colony, and they find a small group of people seriously injured. They find a young child underneath some rocks. Dr. Crusher says it is too late, and that the child has died. Riker is faced with the dilemma of either bringing the child back to life or not. He says that he is prevented from doing so by a promise.

Upon Riker's request, the senior staff, including Wesley, meets on the bridge. He explains that even though he has been granted unusual powers, he is not a monster, that he is still the same William Riker they know. Riker doubts that his decision not to save the child was right. Picard tries to convince Riker that the Q do not admire Humans, but that they have muddled Riker's mind.

Q appears as a medieval monk on the bridge, claiming that Q can offer Riker a gift that goes beyond anything that his friends can offer him.

Act Five

Wesley Crusher, age 25

"Hey, Wes - not bad!"

Picard furiously asks Q why he takes on so many guises, "Have you no identity of your own!". Q retorts in a medieval way, "I forgive your blasphemy." Riker asks to give each of the senior staff something they'd most like. Dr. Crusher asks Wesley to leave with her. Riker, however, knowing that his young friend wishes he was older, turns Wesley into an adult, aging him ten years in an instant. He offers to make Data human, but the android declines, saying that it will never feel real to him.

Riker then walks to La Forge, granting him his vision. After taking in the view of Quadra Sigma III (and taking a long look at Tasha Yar's "beautiful" face), La Forge also declines Riker's gift, telling the commander that "the price is too high." Riker then creates a Klingon female as a mate for Worf. Worf, however; says that there is no place for the female in his life. Wesley also asks Riker to make him young again. It isn't until Q says "But it's easier, boy! Listen to Riker!" that Riker realizes his mistake. He admits he feels like a fool, and Picard comforts him by confirming that he should.

Q called back

"I strongly suspect it's some explaining you have to do now."

Picard then walks up to Q, pulls off his hood and tells him to uphold their wager. Q stomps around the bridge, recalling no wager. Picard replies that his fellow Q will remember that because he failed to turn Riker, he'll promise to stay out of humanity's way forever. Thunder sounds on the Enterprise bridge, and Q is abruptly called back to the Continuum, screaming for a second chance.

For the Enterprise crew, it is as if they had just returned from their rescue mission, like no time had passed in between. Data asks the captain how the Q can handle space and time so well, while they handle interactions with Humans so badly. Picard answers that they may one day learn that space and time are easier to handle.

Log Entries

Memorable Quotes

"Those aren't muskets!"

- Riker

"I feel like such an idiot."
"Quite right, so you should."

- Riker and Picard

"Macrohead... with a microbrain!"

- Q, to Worf

"You're no Starfleet Admiral, Q!"

- Picard, when Q appears on the Enterprise dressed as an Admiral

"Oh, your species is always suffering and dying."

- Q

"No one has ever offered to turn me into a god before."

- Riker

"Oh for shame, Worf. Fairness is such a Human concept, think imaginatively! This game shall, in fact, be completely unfair!"
"You've gone too far!"
"Game penalty!"

- Q and Tasha Yar

"I'm offering you a bright future."

- Q

"Incredible, Worf! You came out of nowhere."
"A warrior's reaction."

- Geordi La Forge and Worf

"There's a new ship's standing order: when one is in the penalty box, tears are permitted."

- Picard, to Tasha Yar

"A marshall of France... ridiculous!"

- Picard, upon seeing Q dressed as an 18th century French military officer

"Hear this, Picard, and reflect: 'All the galaxy's a stage.' "
" 'World', not 'galaxy'; 'all the world's a stage.' "
"Oh, you know that one... well, if he was living now, he would have said 'galaxy.' "

- Q and Captain Picard

"Let us pray...for understanding and for compassion."
"Let us do no such damn thing!"

- Q (disguised as a monk) and Captain Picard

"Worf, is this your idea of sex?"
"This is sex. But I have no place for it in my life now!"
" 'No place for it', Microbrain? What possesses you!"

- Geordi La Forge, Worf and Q

"Oh, thank you very much I'm glad you enjoyed it. Perhaps maybe a little... Hamlet?"
"No. I know Hamlet. And what he might say with irony I say with conviction. "What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty. In form, in moving, how express and admirable. In action, how like an angel. In apprehension, how like a god...""
"Surely you don't see your species like that do you?!"
"I see us one day becoming that, Q. Is that what concerns you?"

- Q and Picard

"But it's what you've always wanted Data, to become human."
"Yes, sir. That is true. But I never wanted to compound one... illusion with another. It might be real to Q,... perhaps even you, sir. But it would never be so to me. Was it not one of the Captain's favourite authors who wrote, "This above all: to thine own self be true?" Sorry, Commander, I must decline."

- Riker and Data

Background information


Q dressed as a French marshal

  • Q is wearing a French marshal uniform. Many marshal costume versions existed, so this version seems plausible. His bicorne (hat introduced in the 1770s and popularized after the 1790s across Europe) holds a tricolour cockade from French Empire era (blue in center, red in middle, and white outwards, a colour order used until 1812).
France Modern


  • Q's tent shows french royal arms with three fleurs-de-lis, which was the French national flag from 1376 until the French Revolution, when it was replaced by the tricolor (blue, white, red) of modern-day France. It was an emblematic symbol of the old French monarchy. Further monarchy restorations attempts even temporarily reintroduced the fleur-de-lis.
  • Picard's French origin may be one of the reasons Q has chosen to recreate this setting. But Q using different aspects of the French history also aligns with the goals he exposed for his new game, "Of all the species, yours cannot abide stagnation. Change is the heart of what you are. But into what? That's the question."
  • In this era, France underwent many transformations, from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy, through totalitarianism to a republic.
Alien, Hide and Q

One of the aliens seen in this episode

  • The music, played during the fight scenes between the Enterprise crew and the illusory aliens, is the revolution song La Marseillaise, which is the French Republic's National Anthem since its adoption in 1792. There are no indications if this music was intended (by Q) to be heard by the characters or not. Its canonicity in-universe is uncertain, and should be regarded as simple soundtrack of the episode like The Star-Spangled Banner heard in TOS: "The Omega Glory".
  • The musket-wielding aliens who attacked the crew of the USS Enterprise-D wear uniforms which seem a mixed version of an old British red coat and/or French royal army (these nations sharing the same colors, blue being predominant in France and red in UK). Furthermore their uniforms even show a typical British crown on their hat. British empire was partisan of statu quo (monarchy stagnation) and was a well-known opponent of France in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, Data states that "muskets are appropriate to the 1790-1800 French uniform."
  • Q's force field grid is stock footage from "Encounter at Farpoint". This episode is the last time it appears in Star Trek, although it was mentioned in the finale "All Good Things...".
  • This episode marks the first appearance of a Starfleet Admiral's uniform in Star Trek: The Next Generation although the dress uniform worn by Q was never seen again. An actual uniformed Admiral would not appear until "Too Short a Season", although Leonard McCoy did appear as a retired admiral in the pilot episode.
  • Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi) does not appear in this episode. This is her first non-appearance.
  • The revised final draft screenplay (submitted only three days prior to filming) featured Deanna Troi which suggests that Marina Sirtis' sudden unavailability was the reason for her non-appearance. Her lines were eventually cut from the episode or transferred to other characters (mostly Tasha Yar) and Picard's log entry explaining her absence (a trip home) was written for the beginning of the teaser. The next episode to be broadcast, however, was "Haven", in which Deanna's mother would visit the ship. Since the broadcast order is not always the production order, this odd redundancy was probably not noticed during writing.
  • The ready room conversation between Q and Picard references William Shakespeare's plays As You Like It, Hamlet, and Macbeth.
  • This is the first appearance of Q since "Encounter at Farpoint".
  • The command-division Starfleet uniform Q wears while talking with Riker on the planet has the rank pips of a commander, the only time Q ever appears in a command-division Starfleet uniform without the rank of captain, aside from his admiral's uniform at the start of this episode.
  • Q also appears in Data's operations-division Starfleet uniform, marking the only instance that Q wears either the rank pips of lieutenant commander or a gold operations uniform. This is also the only time that John de Lancie wears the makeup and appearance of another character while playing Q.
  • The illusionary female Klingon seen in this episode is both the first Klingon besides Worf and the first female Klingon to appear on TNG.
  • The episode's score, composed by Dennis McCarthy, was recorded on 16 November 1987 at Paramount Stage M. ([1]) Cues M51, M51A and M52 from the score (the first three cues from Act Five), totalling 5 minutes 24 seconds, appear on Disc One of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Collection, Volume One.

Remastered version

In the original episode, the desolate planet set was extended through use of video compositing, a difficult effect to recreate using the original components. CBS Digital created a new set extension using matte paintings for the episode's release as part of the TNG Season 1 Blu-ray collection. [2]



  • The novel Q&A establishes that Q was sent by the Continuum to give Picard the power of the Q, as a test of humanity's ability to save the universe eventually, but Q disregarded their directive and gave the Q power to Riker.

Production history

Video and DVD releases

Links and references


Also starring

Guest Star


Uncredited co-stars

Stunt doubles



18th century; 1790; 20th century; Aldebaran serpent; amber; All's Well That Ends Well; As You Like It; bayonet; Betazed; cannon; Cargo Bay 6; Class M; Constitution-class; Earth; Farpoint Station; force field; France; Hamlet; Hartley, David; Human history; Human philosophy; Klingon mating rituals; lemonade; Macbeth; "macrohead"; marshal; methane; Milky Way Galaxy; musket; Napoléon; Order of the Golden Fleece; penalty box; Q Continuum; Q (species); Quadra Sigma III; Qo'noS; sex; Shakespeare, William; Sigma III system; signal horn; Starbase G-6; tent; The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare: The Complete Works; tricorder; turbolift; turbolift control; Twelfth Night, or What You Will

External links

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Star Trek: The Next Generation
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