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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Q-Squared by Peter David (Review)

This January and February, we’ll be finishing up our look at the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and moving on to the third year of the show, both recently and lovingly remastered for high definition. Check back daily for the latest review.

We’ll be supplementing our coverage of the episodes with some additional materials – mainly novels and comics and films. This is one such entry.

Q-Squared is probably Peter David’s most ambitious Star Trek: The Next Generation novel. “Q-Squared is almost my challenge to the reader to keep up with me,” he boasted in Voyages of the Imagination. Essentially a meditation on reality and free will within that construct, Q-Squared is a breathtakingly confident endeavour. It’s an interesting reflection on the potentiality embraced by The Next Generation, the broadening of the franchise’s perspective to embrace the best of all possible worlds.

Q-Squared hit stands in early July 1994, just over a month after All Good Things… brought the curtain down on The Next Generation for one last time. It’s tempting to look at the two stories as companion pieces. All Good Things… is an exploration of the time that the crew spent together – jumping backwards and forwards to trace our heroes over the course of their lives. In contrast, Q-Squared jumps sideways – looking at what might have been, or what could have been.

tng-q-squared

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Star Trek – The Squire of Gothos (Review)

To celebrate the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness this month, we’ll be running through the first season of the classic Star Trek all this month. Check back daily to get ready to boldly go. It’s only logical.

It’s easy to see why The Squire of Gothos has become such a Star Trek touchstone. The show is iconic, but there are particular images and ideas that resonate beyond the core fanbase. Captain Pike’s wheelchair from The Menagerie is one such example, as is the fight with the Gorn from Arena. It’s amazing that Star Trek could produce so many memorable and distinctive images so quickly. Trelane might not have the same name recognition, or even the same pop culture cache, but The Squire of Gothos makes quite an impression.

Indeed, the image of a god-like being acting like a spoilt child, dressed in all manner of period military clothing is a great visual, and it’s little wonder that Roddenberry would return to that idea when he was writing Encounter at Farpoint, the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Similarly, The Squire of Gothos is one of the major influences on Futurama‘s superb parody/homage, Where No Fan Has Gone Before, right down to the wonderful “twist” ending that has been spoiled by almost half-a-century of pop culture osmosis.

Still, even apart from its massive influence on pop culture, The Squire of Gothos is still a fantastic piece of television, and an example of Star Trek at its very best.

It's hip to be squire...

It’s hip to be squire…

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