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The Star Trek Scriptbooks Book One:
The Q Chronicles

Gene Roddenberry, D.C. Fontana, Maurice Hurley, et al.
Pocket Books, 840 pages

The Star Trek Scriptbooks Book One: The Q Chronicles
John de Lancie
John de Lancie, the first ST: The Next Generation guest star, was born in 1948 and has acted since the age of 14. He attended Julliard but didn't take up acting full-time until the late 70s. After doing a good share of guest roles in film and TV, he achieved his widest fame thanks to a three-year stint as villain-turned-comic inventor Eugene on the daytime drama Days of Our Lives. Star Trek's Rick Berman mentioned that it was Leonard Maizlish, Gene Roddenberry's attorney, who first recommended the actor.


Past Feature Reviews
A review by Jonathan Fesmire

You know what they say about the corruptive nature of absolute power, but did you realize that it could also make someone absolutely bored, selfish, or lonely? It made Q all these things, as you'll see if you pick up a copy of The Star Trek Scriptbooks Book One: The Q Chronicles.

After finishing this book, I understood Star Trek's most popular supreme being much better than from watching the shows over the years, not because they're in script form, but because they're so nicely collected in one book. More than anything else, these stories are about Q's growth, which comes from a sort of reluctant fascination with humanity.

The script form does have its appeal. It's fun to read what the actors and directors used, and to supply the rest with your own imagination.

Except for one script, the book is presented in chronological order. All Good Things, the final Star Trek: TNG episode, comes last in this 840 page tome, though it was not the most recent Q appearance. Though I understand the idea of setting it apart, as it was a monumental episode, doing so breaks the continuity. As I mentioned, I think this book primarily shows Q's growth, and for that, the stories should stay in order.

Taken as they were aired, these scripts begin with Q's first appearance, the beginning of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and end with the ultimate proof that Q has grown. In The Q and the Gray, he tries to help the stagnant Q continuum end a war and become more open to change. How? By fathering a child, someone who can bring a new perspective to the ancient race. He even asks Voyager's Captain Janeway to be the omnipotent baby's godmother. (He had originally planned for her to bear the child herself.)

A few things, probably unintended, stood out for me. The first is how much Star Trek has improved over the years. Most of us Trekers were excited to see the first Star Trek: TNG episode, Encounter at Farpoint, when it initially aired. In hindsight, it doesn't stand out as one of the better Trek tales; it comes off as contrived. However, some of the later scripts in here are among the best, such as Death Wish and All Good Things.

I also noticed some inconsistencies in the Trek universe. To my understanding, nothing generated within a holodeck can be taken into the outside world, even the few things made of replicated mater. When someone tries to remove them, the items are essentially turned back into energy and transported into the holodeck. Yet in Encounter at Farpoint, Wesley falls in a holodeck river and when he enters the outside corridor, he's still soaked.

In the first Borg episode, Q Who? the cybernetic enemies of the Federation never mention assimilation. For that matter, Guinan, whose people encountered the Borg, never mentions it, either. In this script, the Borg care nothing about the humans, only about their technology.

Do I think the Trek writers should have stuck to their original ideas for holodecks and Borg? No. I think their later changes made these things more interesting and dramatic. I'm also sure they thought out the ideas well in advance. Sometimes new ideas come later that are just so much better. What would the Borg be now without assimilation?

Q himself, however, stays consistent. He's quirky, sometimes silly, selfish, and playful, but he's always Q. We can believe in him because he's like a big kid growing up. He thinks he knows everything, (which, arguably, he does) and feels he has no responsibilities. When he finally reaches emotional and mental maturity, he's able to help his race, on his own terms.

Overall, this is a fun read, at a great price. Some of these scripts, such as All Good Things, you may want to read over again. I know I do.

Copyright © 1999 by Jonathan Fesmire
Jonathan Fesmire has travelled to France, Germany, Estonia, Finland, and Ireland. He enjoys speaking French and learning bits of other foreign languages, but most of all, he loves writing, and has sold fiction to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, SpaceWays Weekly, Jackhammer, and others.

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