The Q and the Grey

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"The Q and the Grey"
Star Trek: Voyager episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 11
Directed byCliff Bole[1]
Story byShawn Piller[2]
Teleplay byKenneth Biller[2]
Featured musicDennis McCarthy
Production code153
Original air dateNovember 27, 1996 (1996-11-27)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Q and the Grey" is the 11th episode of the third season of Star Trek: Voyager,[1] the 53rd episode overall.[2] This is a science fiction television episode of the Star Trek franchise, that aired on UPN in 1996, featuring John de Lancie as the alien Q.

The Q character debuted with the Star Trek: The Next Generation and was also featured in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. This episode further explores this type of alien being, and its dealings with USS Voyager, with a focus on its Captain Janeway.


The episode first aired in the United States on November 27, 1996, and subsequently in Germany and Hungary in 1998 and 2001, respectively.[4] In the USA it was aired on the television network UPN.[5]

This was released as a single episode on VHS video cassette tape in July 2002.[6] This episode was also released in 2006, on DVD as part of the Q Collective, which features episodes from across the Star Trek franchise featuring this character.[7]


Captain Kathryn Janeway is surprised when Q appears in her quarters – and in her bed – one night. Q is intent on Janeway becoming the mother of his child,[8] and plies the Captain with gifts in an attempt to win her affections, such as an Irish Setter puppy.[9] Janeway is not amused, and demands that Q leave immediately. Q is persistent, claiming that he could have chosen any female in the galaxy and that his desire for Janeway should be regarded as an honour. Janeway continues to insist that Q leave, and eventually he does.

However, Q's absence does not last long, as he abducts the captain and takes her to the Q Continuum,[8] now appearing as an American Civil War period piece, with Q dressed in the uniform of a Union officer and Janeway herself as clothed in the attire of the era. Confederate soldiers fire on them, and Q is wounded – surprising Janeway. Q's sense of urgency becomes apparent: There is a real civil war brewing among the Q race, and Q hopes that he and Janeway can bring a child into the Continuum (which has not had a natural birth in billions of years and Q claims they have always existed) to avert the war. Q explains that the civil war started because of him – he leads a faction of the Q which advocates individual freedom, rather than the status quo enforced by the Q at large. Q shows Janeway the carnage that the war has inflicted on his group (represented by a refugee camp in which hundreds of wounded Q, all appearing as Union soldiers, are suffering).

The fighting breaks out again, and the Q authorities (represented as Confederate soldiers) arrive and capture Q and Janeway. The Q leader, appearing as a Confederate colonel, intends to execute them both, to serve as an example to the rest of Q's freedom faction. Janeway refuses to beg for mercy. However, while Q is willing to sacrifice his life for the cause of freedom, he pleads for his friend Janeway to be spared.

On Voyager, the remaining crew have been observing dozens of supernovae taking place throughout the area — many more than should be occurring. A Q female arrives and says that the civil war among the Q is the cause. The female Q is abrasive and insulting to the crew, and she explains that she is Q's ex-wife. As the civil war continues to rage, the female Q realizes she has lost her powers, and is forced to enlist the aid of the Voyager crew. She helps them reach the Q Continuum by flying into a supernova, and provides the Voyager crew with Q weapons which they use to free Q and Janeway. Q and his wife resume their relationship and decide to become parents themselves, thus providing the Q Continuum with "new blood" which they hope will revitalize the species.

Captain Janeway is witness to the two Q mating, which means they simply touch fingers, causing a flash similar to the effect used when a Q conjures something up. A moment later Q tells his wife he knows he was good. "That's it?!" a baffled Janeway asks. "You had your chance," Q jokingly responds.

Q returns later to Janeway's quarters with his infant son and asks her to be his godmother, which she happily accepts.


Cause of the civil war The trigger for the civil war among the Q was the suicide of the Q Quinn, the focus of the Voyager episode "Death Wish".[10]:220 The underlying cause for the civil war, though, was longstanding tension between two Q factions which maintain a tenuous balance between simple survival and creative advance as a species.[10]:220

Q made his television debut in 1987, in the pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation season 1 launch "Encounter at Farpoint" (2-part episode).[11] Q has appeared twelve times in the television shows Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager.[11]


  1. ^ a b ""Star Trek: Voyager" The Q and the Grey (TV Episode 1996)". IMDb. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Okuda, Michael; Okuda, Denise; Mirek, Debbie (17 May 2011). "Q". The Star Trek Encyclopedia. Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster). "Q and the Grey, The.". ISBN 9781451646887. OCLC 682113602. Retrieved 16 January 2017 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "Suzie Plakson". IMDb. Filmography:Actress:Star Trek Voyager (TV Series). Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  4. ^ ""Star Trek: Voyager" The Q and the Grey (TV Episode 1996) - Release Info". IMDb. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Star Trek: Voyager: The Q and the Grey".
  6. ^ "Star Trek - Voyager, Episode 53: The Q and The Grey VHS". Amazon.
  7. ^ "Star Trek Fan Collective - Q". Amazon. 6 June 2006.
  8. ^ a b Decker, Kevin S.; Eberl, Jason T. (2008). Star Trek and Philosophy: The Wrath of Kant. Popular Culture and Philosophy. Chicago: Open Court (Carus). Will Power Spoil Commander Riker?. ISBN 9780812697049. OCLC 651880141 – via Internet Archive.
  9. ^ "Mollie (Capt. Janeway's dog) – Star Trek: Voyager". Dog Actors. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  10. ^ a b Decker, Kevin S.; Eberl, Jason T., eds. (2016). The Ultimate Star Trek and Philosophy: The Search for Socrates. The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series. Wiley-Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons). ISBN 9781119146001. OCLC 926050643 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ a b "Star Trek Fan Collective - Q". 6 June 2006 – via Amazon.

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