(written from a Production point of view)
Q picks up on romantic tensions between Captain Picard and an old flame, transporting them and the senior officers into a representation of Robin Hood.
The entire senior staff of the USS Enterprise-D is attending a lecture on archaeology, presented by Jean-Luc Picard. It is held in orbit over Tagus III, a planet with extensive archeological ruins that have been closed off to any excavations or study for a number of years. Picard is nervously reviewing his speech when Counselor Troi walks in and reassures him that his speech is fine and he should get some sleep. When Picard returns to his quarters and dims the lights, one light remains on, shining on a horga'hn sitting on his table. When he picks it up, Vash reveals herself and they passionately kiss.
Vash and the captain discuss why she is at Tagus III over tea the next morning. Vash's responses are vague, not admitting to being a member of the archeology council, but Picard is pleased to see her. Then, Doctor Crusher arrives unexpectedly. Picard is caught off-guard and stammers when introducing Vash. Beverly is surprised that Jean-Luc never mentioned that he met Vash while on vacation on Risa. (TNG: "Captain's Holiday") Crusher offers to give her a tour while Picard is busy. Picard reluctantly agrees, and Vash promises to "behave herself."
Crusher takes her to Ten Forward and, while getting them drinks, Commander Riker tries to make a pass at her. She turns the tables on him completely and introduces herself, but is disturbed that neither Riker nor Crusher knew of her or of the captain meeting her on Risa. Riker agrees to continue her tour, which takes them to the bridge, where she runs into Picard again and promises to see him at the reception later.
At the reception, it is obvious that no one in Picard's crew knew of her or her involvement with the captain, particularly when even the ship's counselor knew nothing about Vash. She confronts Picard about this. He insists that it wasn't appropriate for him to discuss their involvement, but she accuses him of being embarrassed by her presence. Picard returns to the bridge and angrily goes straight to his ready room, where Q is waiting for him, sitting at his chair reading his speech on a PADD.
Q reveals that he has come to repay his debt to Picard for helping him when he was stripped of his powers a year prior. Picard tells Q that leaving would be repayment enough, but Q insists that he has to do something to actually help the captain. After refusing Q's offers to help him with his speech, take him to the Taguan ruins, and take him to the ruins back before the official sanctions were in place billions of years before, Q vanishes. Picard informs Riker that Q is around and wants to do something 'nice'. Riker tells Picard he'll alert the crew.
Picard goes to visit Vash and apologize, but when he enters her quarters he finds maps of the ruins and mining equipment. When he confronts her about her habit of robbing archaeological sites, Vash states it's simply who she is and she can't change that. Picard agrees with the sentiment and they say they have nothing more to say to each other. Picard leaves, but we see Q stick his head in through the wall.
Q confronts Picard in his quarters while he is trying to sleep, gloating because he finally figured out why he noticed something different about Picard, then reveals that he observed Picard's "spat" with Vash and regrets not appearing as a female initially. He warns Picard that love is dangerous and offers to get rid of Vash for him. Picard reacts strongly and Q brings up his debt again, which Picard dismisses. Q vanishes.
At the speech the next day, the senior staff are all sitting in the back row as Picard starts speaking. Something is wrong however: Dr. Crusher and Troi acquire triangular hats, Commander Riker suddenly is holding a quarterstaff, and Data acquires a monastic robe. The changes cause a buzz in the audience and when Picard stops speaking, he is suddenly wearing a period costume and they all vanish and reappear in a woodland. The senior staff quickly recognize that they've been cast in the guise of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, and identify Q as the culprit. Before they can guess further, a noble figure arrives with troops and confronts them.
Worf attacks him and is wounded, while the others retreat into the forest. After eluding their attackers, Q arrives in the guise of the Sheriff of Nottingham and explains that he set all of this up and it is quite real and beyond his control, except that Maid Marian will be executed unless Robin comes to save her. Picard realizes that Vash has been drafted by Q to play the role of Marian.
In the castle, Vash is angry and confused, ignoring her lady in waiting who assumes she is ill and insulting Sir Guy of Gisbourne. He asks once again if she will marry him, and she slaps him hard across the face. Sir Guy is about to storm out of the room but mentions her execution. After that revelation, she becomes more amiable to him.
Back in the forest, some of the crew try to fit into their roles with mixed success, including Data being accidentally shot with an arrow by Troi. The captain tells Riker that he will attempt to rescue Vash on his own, despite Riker's protests.
At the castle, Q is surprised and frustrated at Vash and Sir Guy being so agreeable to each other. When Sir Guy dismisses her back to her chamber, we see Captain Picard disguised as a hooded worker in the castle. Back in her room, Picard climbs in through Vash's window and briefly explains the situation. However, Vash is reluctant to escape with him when she hears he has come alone. She says she will stay and marry Sir Guy if it comes to it, but Picard picks her up to carry her. When guards burst in, she pulls his sword on him, causing his capture. Q looks on in amusement.
That night, Vash calls her maid in and tells her to deliver a letter to Robin's men in Sherwood forest. The maid is reluctant and stalls until Q interrupts and reveals that he is intrigued by Vash's actions, leading her to deduce his identity. Then he reads her letter to Picard's crew and compliments her for her duplicity, admitting she fooled him. Despite saying she's worth further study, he calls the guards and declares Vash will be executed.
On the morning of the execution, Vash and Picard go to the block arguing about who was more foolish in their actions. Q asks Picard if he's learned anything and Picard demands Q set Vash free. While all of this is going on, it is revealed that Data, La Forge, and Riker have disguised themselves and are in the watching crowd. La Forge declares that there are too many guards and Riker asks Data for a diversion. Data removes a component from his wrist and tosses it into a nearby torch.
Meanwhile, Sir Guy calls for the execution to proceed. Momentarily shocked that Q is going to allow it to go on, Picard places his head on the block. Just as the headsman is going to bring the axe down, however, the torch explodes and the Enterprise crew attacks. Picard gets drawn into a duel with Sir Guy, eventually defeating him and going to the tower to find Vash. Picard calls for an end to the charade and Q appears and congratulates him on his performance, assuring him that his crew are all fine, but berates him for allowing Vash (the metaphor for love in Picard's case) to expose negative qualities in him. Vash disagrees, saying it brought out the best in the captain. Q dismisses them back to the Enterprise, though Vash is nowhere to be found on the ship.
Returning to his ready room, Vash appears in safari garb and explains to Picard that she and Q had things to discuss and that Q had proved he still cared about her. When Picard asks where she's going next, Q appears and reveals that they've decided to partner with each other. Picard objects, listing Q's negative qualities, then realizes that Q and Vash are more alike than he'd realized. Picard tells Q that he can repay his debt by guaranteeing Vash's safety. Q agrees, then leaves to give them a moment to say goodbye (although he briefly reappears, claiming to have forgotten his hat). Vash and the captain kiss, say goodbye, and Vash vanishes.
Memorable quotes Edit
"Bring back any memories?"
"Nice legs... for a Human."
- - Worf, of Vash
"Jean-Luc, it's wonderful to see you again. How about a big hug?"
- - Q, when he appears in Picard's ready room
"I suppose we could travel back in time. You could see what Tagus was like two billion years ago. They really knew how to party back in those days."
- - Q, proposing to Picard that they visit the sealed off ruins of Tagus III
"Well, don't just stand there. Say something."
"Get out of my chair!"
- - Q and Picard
"Without your assistance on our last encounter I would never have survived. I would have taken my own life but for you."
"We all make mistakes."
- - Q and Picard
"Tell me what is it you wish, and I'll be gone."
"Just be gone. That'll do nicely."
- - Q and Picard
"Some other time Q, right now, I have other matters to attend to."
"Oh yes, your speech. I read it, it's dull, plodding, pedantic, much like yourself."
- - Picard and Q
"I've just been paid a visit from Q."
"Q? Any idea what he's up to?"
"He wants to do something nice for me."
"I'll alert the crew."
- - Picard and Riker
"I knew there was something different about you. You seem tense, preoccupied, somewhat smaller. At first, I thought it was that horrible lecture of yours, but I was mistaken."
- - Q, to Picard
"I had such high hopes for you, Picard. I thought that you were a bit more... evolved than the rest of your species but now I realize you're just as weak as all the others. Still it pains me, to see the great Jean-Luc Picard brought down... by a woman."
- - Q, to Picard
"She's found a vulnerability in you... a vulnerability I've been looking for years. If I had known sooner, I would have appeared as a female."
- - Q, to Picard
"Sir, I protest! I am not a merry man!"
- - Worf
"I will not play the fool for Q's amusement!"
- - Worf
- - Worf, after purposely smashing La Forge's mandolin.
"I'll have you know I'm the greatest swordsman in all of Nottingham!"
"Very impressive. There's something you should know."
"And what would that be?"
"I'm not from Nottingham!"
- - Sir Guy and Picard
"He's devious, and amoral, and unreliable, and irresponsible, and--and definitely not to be trusted!"
"Remind you of anyone you know?"
"As a matter of fact, it does."
- - Picard and Vash, on Q
Production history Edit
- Final draft script: 31 January 1991 
- Filmed: 6 February 1991 – 15 February 1991
- Second-unit insert shot filmed: 10 April 1991
- Premiere airdate: 22 April 1991
- First UK airdate: 2 November 1994
- The idea for the Picard-Vash-Q love triangle was proposed by Randee Russell. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- According to Piller, "While we were trying to break it, someone said let's throw these characters into one of the classic love stories." Behr had initially proposed setting this episode at Camelot. On Ira Steven Behr's suggestion, Michael Piller changed it to Sherwood Forest to capitalize on the popularity of Robin Hood at the time, thanks to the release of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, in which Christian Slater performed. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion; Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Behr thought that the Camelot idea would have been boring. (Star Trek: The Next Generation 365)
- Piller gave the idea to Ira Steven Behr to develop, as Behr was a huge fan of Robin Hood and in particular the Errol Flynn film, The Adventures of Robin Hood. (Mission Overview: Year Four, TNG Season 4 DVD special features)
- Piller elaborated, "It just seemed to be that Robin Hood and his band of merry men was a very nice group to put our guys into, and then we just played it for fun. That was what was so great about the fourth season and wasn't so great about the fifth season. Each week you were never quite sure what was going to come on." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Behr wrote Worf's smashing of La Forge's mandolin, and subsequent non-sequitur apology, as an homage to National Lampoon's Animal House. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- "Qpid" was filmed between Wednesday 6 February 1991 and Friday 15 February 1991 on Paramount Stage 8, 9, and 16, as well as on location. A second unit insert shot with Brent Spiner's photo double Guy Vardaman was filmed on Wednesday 10 April 1991 on Paramount Stage 8.
- The scenes of Sherwood Forest were filmed with one day location shooting on Tuesday 12 February 1991 in the Descanso Gardens, northeast of northeastern Los Angeles suburb Glendale. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion) Several close-ups of the actors were later filmed outside Paramount Stage 16.
- On the call sheets for this episode are several notes. On Thursday 14 February 1991 Merri Howard wished everyone a "Happy Valentine's Day". The call sheet for the last day of filming, Friday 15 February 1991 reminded everyone about the long weekend, being Monday 18 February 1991 company holiday due to the President's Day Weekend. Also on 15 February 1991 actress Jean Simmons had her wardrobe fitting and the transportation department was informed to drive her to her 8:00 a.m. appointment.
- During the filming of this episode, Jonathan Frakes suffered a cut eye when his prop quarterstaff broke after being hit by a sword, and had to be taken to the hospital by Merri Howard. However, due to the rush, he was taken in his Robin Hood-era clothes. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion; Selected Crew Analysis: Year Four – Profile: Vash, TNG Season 4 DVD special features)
- While filming one scene where Vash paces back and forth, Jennifer Hetrick tripped over her dress. According to Hetrick, the shot was kept as the producers figured that Vash would not be comfortable in a period costume. (Mission Overview: Year Four, TNG Season 4 DVD special features)
- Ironically, Marina Sirtis and Gates McFadden were the only members of the cast that were trained in sword fighting, but only the men were allowed to use swords. (Mission Overview: Year Four, TNG Season 4 DVD special features)
- McFadden commented, "Marina and I have always laughed about the fact that both of us can do fencing and that sort of thing. We're the ones who bash pots over warrior's heads, instead of doing karate or whatever." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Director Cliff Bole noted, "I got a few letters about 'Qpid' that the women who wrote asked why weren't the ladies involved in a more modern way with the fighting. It was my feeling that we went back to the 12th century and we were doing the 12th century, and I can't change history." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
Cast and characters Edit
- Jennifer Hetrick made her second of three appearances as Vash. She appears again in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, "Q-Less". In "Q-Less", O'Brien refers to "Qpid" when Commander Sisko asks him how Vash knows Picard. O'Brien tells him: "I believe they actually met in Sherwood Forest".
- Clive Revill (Sir Guy of Gisbourne) appeared in both an episode of Star Trek and a Star Wars film. He supplied the voice of Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, although in the DVD release he was replaced by Ian McDiarmid, who played the emperor in all the other movies.
- Patrick Stewart later portrayed King Richard in the film Robin Hood: Men in Tights as a parody of Sean Connery's portrayal in the aforementioned Prince of Thieves. On the call sheets of "Qpid" he was listed as "Picard/Tinker".
- Background actor John Copage made his second Star Trek appearance after 24 years following his role as Elliott in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Doomsday Machine" in 1967.
- Patrick Stewart was engaged to Jennifer Hetrick during filming of this episode. Stuntman John Nowak remembered how he and Stewart fooled Hetrick due to their likeness.
- Several costumes were re-used and worn by various members of the Federation Archaeology Council. One member wears Palor Toff's robe while the Vulcan delegate wears Ki Mendrossen's Vulcan outfit. John Copage wears Reittan Grax's Betazoid outfit combined with Sovereign Marouk's sash. Two Tanugan outfits were also re-used: A Human wearing Krag's outfit sits next to a Bolian, played by Buddy Daniels Friedman, in Doctor Nel Apgar's suit. Finally, there's one delegate in an Angosian suit, complete with the Angosian badge.
- Q's statement to Vash that she's "...good. Really good" is very similar to something Quark said about her in DS9: "Q-Less".
- Picard's skills and experience in fencing, first shown in TNG: "We'll Always Have Paris", holds him in good stead.
- Director Cliff Bole remarked, "It had everything that I liked as a director. It had Q, who's a very entertaining guy and character. What more would I love to do than Robin Hood: The Movie? Here I was able to do that. I stepped back in time, there was sword fighting, some boisterous 12th century characters and also the spaceship. What more can you get? That's the ultimate as a director. Some guys like to do the man in the gray flannel suit, and I like to do fantasy. It was a show where Picard falls out of character a little bit. He's not as stoic as he usually is and falls for a beautiful women, who was raised to do that." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Patrick Stewart commented, "I think that episode probably gave us as a group more fun than any other. We got to dress up for one thing. And the whole Robin Hood myth and the way the familiar characters of Robin Hood were divided among the regular characters was very entertaining...It was light-hearted and romantic and sexy and we got to wear these fancy costumes." (Mission Overview: Year Four, TNG Season 4 DVD special features)
- Marina Sirtis remarked, "Any time a woman sees a man in tights, all bets are off. We just had such a blast. I loved some of the one-liners in that show from Michael [Dorn]. Just brilliant. The writing was really good on that show." (Mission Overview: Year Four, TNG Season 4 DVD special features)
- A mission report for this episode by John Sayers was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine Vol. 17, pp. 7-12.
Video and DVD releasesEdit
- Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 47, May 1992
- As part of the UK VHS collection Star Trek: The Next Generation - Q Continuum: 5 December 1994
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 4.7, 3 September 2001
- As part of the TNG Season 4 DVD collection
- As part of the Star Trek: Fan Collective - Q collection
Links and references Edit
Also starring Edit
- LeVar Burton as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
- Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf
- Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher
- Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi
- Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
Guest stars Edit
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Rachen Assapiomonwait as Nelson
- Auman as servant
- Auriano as Medieval guard
- Majel Barrett as USS Enterprise-D computer voice
- Karen Baxter as operations division ensign
- Berle as servant
- Thomas J. Booth as operations division officer
- R. Bruce as Federation Archaeology Council member
- Carl David Burks as Russell
- Kelly Burris as Federation Archaeology Council member
- Byron as Vulcan archaeologist
- Cameron as Kellogg
- Mike Cassidy as Medieval guard
- Max Cervantes as operations division officer
- Larry Clardy as Medieval guard
- John Copage as Federation Archaeology Council member
- Crow as Federation Archaeology Council member
- Curry as Algolian archaeologist
- Buddy Daniels Friedman as Bolian archaeologist
- Mitchell Danton as Medieval guard
- B.J. Davis as Medieval guard
- Denise Deuschle as science division officer
- Christopher Doyle as Medieval guard
- Michele Gerren as science division officer
- Grace Harrell as operations division officer
- Hawthorne as science division officer
- Arvo Katajisto as Nottingham Castle courtier
- Ken Lesco as Medieval guard
- David B. Maccabee as Federation Archaeology Council member
- Betty Matsushita as Federation Archaeology Council member
- Mazzy as Medieval guard
- Terry Noel as operations division officer
- Perceval as Medieval guard
- Randy Pflug as Jones
- Rex Pierson as executioner
- Rivolier as Nottingham Castle courtier
- Seals as Medieval guard
- Steele as Medieval guard
- Talbot as Ten Forward waitress
- Tim Trella as Medieval guard
- Guy Vardaman as Darien Wallace
- Dru Wagner as Nottingham Castle courtier
- Williams as Federation Archaeology Council member
- Anne Woodberry as Nottingham Castle courtier
- Harry Young as science division officer
- Unknown performers as
Stunt doubles Edit
- Ken Lesco as stunt double for Clive Revill
- Dennis Madalone as stunt double for Clive Revill
- Rusty McClennon as stunt double for Michael Dorn
- John Nowak as stunt double for Patrick Stewart
Stand-ins and photo doubles Edit
- Karen Baxter – stand-in for Jennifer Hetrick
- Bernie – stand-in for Clive Revill
- Brett – stand-in for LeVar Burton
- Michael Echols – stand-in for Michael Dorn
- Margaret Flores – stand-in for Marina Sirtis
- Nora Leonhardt – stand-in for Marina Sirtis & Jennifer Hetrick
- Tim McCormack – stand-in for Brent Spiner & John de Lancie
- Lorine Mendell – stand-in for Gates McFadden & Jennifer Hetrick
- Randy Pflug – utility stand-in
- Richard Sarstedt – stand-in for Jonathan Frakes & John de Lancie
- Dennis Tracy – stand-in for Patrick Stewart
- Guy Vardaman – stand-in for John de Lancie & photo double for Brent Spiner
- James Washington – stand-in for Michael Dorn
- James Williams – stand-in for Clive Revill
47; Achilles' heel; Alan-a-Dale; archaeology; bow and arrow; death penalty; Earth; England; ethics; Federation; Federation Archaeology Council; fiction; Friar Tuck; gesture; High Sheriff of Nottingham; horga'hn; jackal; kiss; Klabnian eel; Klarc-Tarn-Droth; Little John; long sword; Maid Marian; maiden; McFarland; Merry Men; Nottingham; Nottingham Castle; Number one; oak; Robin Hood; Sarthong V; Scarlet, Will; Sherwood Forest; shorts; Switzer; symposium; Tagus III; toast; Vulcans; wedding gift
Other references Edit
- Tagus III Archaeological Notes: American Continent Institute; Arnold Era; Daboub-Magdaleno Excavation; Jacobson Excavation; Memory Alpha Cultural Institute; Palinski Excavation; Post-Ramirez Era; Pre-Neskoromny Era; Sepulveda Period; Sordal-Palka Excavation; Speckman Excavation; University of Alpha Centauri; University of Betazed; University of Hawaii; Vulcan Science Academy; Y'zjete H'ieh City
- 22,000 years ago
- Beginning of archaeological study of the ancient ruins of Tagus III
- Medieval era
- The milieu of Robin Hood, summoned by Q's power
- Vash and Picard meet on Risa for the first time
- The archaeology conference
- "Qpid" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Qpid" at Wikipedia
- Qpid at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Qpid" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
|TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint" • "Hide and Q" • "Q Who" • "Deja Q" • "Qpid" • "True Q" • "Tapestry" • "All Good Things..."|
|DS9: "Q-Less"||VOY: "Death Wish" • "The Q and the Grey" • "Q2"|
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