Star Trek: Voyager (1996): S03E11 – The Q and the Grey


“The Q and the Grey” is the 11th episode of the third season of Star Trek: Voyager, the 53rd episode overall.

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.


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, and plies the Captain with gifts in an attempt to win her affections, such as an Irish Setter puppy. 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, 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 realises 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 revitalise 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” (S02E18).
  • 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.
  • Q made his television debut in 1987, in the pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 01 launch “Encounter at Farpoint” (2-part episode).
  • Q has appeared twelve times in the television shows Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager.

Star Trek TV Series

You can find a full index of Star Trek TV series here.

Star Trek TV Series, Films, and Documentaries

You can find a full index of all Star Trek TV series, films, documentaries here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Cliff Bole.
  • Writer(s): Shawn Piller.
  • Release Date: 27 November 1996.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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