Santa Q

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Star Trek: Hidden Frontier
Episode 3.06
"Santa Q"
Audio Play/Teleplay by
Rob Caves
Story by
Rob Caves
Directed by
Quinn Promarug


Episode Summary


As Ian Knapp, Myra Elbrey and Traya Knapp are preparing to celebrate the Earth tradition of Christmas, a surprise visitor arrives on the station. Someone is keeping an eye on the Briar Patch and is not saying why.

"It's All Part of the Fun"

Commodore Knapp, Traya and Counselor Elbrey work on decorating their Christmas tree.
Knapp tries to explain the meaning of Christmas to Traya.

All is quiet on DS12, as the traditional holiday of Christmas comes around. Station commander Commodore Ian Quincy Knapp, raised in an environment that embraced this tradition, has managed to procure a tree for his quarters. Along with his young daughter Traya and Counselor Myra Elbrey, is lavishing it with as many decorations as he can manage. As they help, Traya cannot help but question her father’s decision, since using one of the station’s holodecks would be much easier. But Knapp wants a proper affair, hence the tree, since it reminds him of his youth. Traya reminds him that Christmas is part of a religion from Earth that nobody practices these days. Elbrey explains that her own observations of humanity have shown her the humans take great pride in the traditions of their past, if not the religions that may have spawned them, as a way of celebrating their heritage. Traya is still confused about cutting down a tree and "making it look silly", although Knapp tries to explain it is all part of the fun of that time of year.

He regales the two of them with tales of his childhood, of his family’s Christmas dinner, as well as the exchanging of gifts. At the mention of presents, Traya’s attention is drawn back to the subject. When Elbrey jokingly mentions that Santa Claus may bring her something, she has no idea who the Counselor is referring to. Knapp is shocked by this, so proceeds to try and explain the concept. All he does is confuse Traya more, especially when he tries to explain about how he would go down a chimney to deliver presents. Elbrey admits she never really understood that part of the concept, and Traya cannot wrap her head the notion that a fire suppression system wouldn't put out a fire set in a home.

Knapp then explains about Santa’s ‘Naughty and Nice’ list, but Traya does not think that is very fair, before asking why the holiday is called Christmas. Elbrey explains that it was Christianity that predominantly celebrated the time of year, December 25th. Knapp explains to his inquisitive daughter that organized religion was very popular until the events of First Contact, which taught humans about the wider universe, resulting in narrower views of life to fall out of favor. Elbrey continues to explain, noting that what developed was a unified spirituality that embodied many of the values that the Federation now stands for. Traya talks about other religions she had read of, such as the Bajoran faith, and Knapp explains that this diversity is embraced by the idea of IDIC - Infinity Diversity in Infinity Combinations. People are encouraged to think for themselves and come to their own conclusions about life and the universe. Elbrey also points out that it helped end persecution for simply being different to everyone else - individuality was embraced and explored. The reason Knapp celebrated Christmas, even though it may come from a biased view of religion, is because it is about family, the people you love - keeping the good parts of the holiday and leaving the bad behind. Elbrey also explains about the Betazoid tradition of nudity at weddings, to show acceptance and good wishes, although neither Knapp and Traya seem too thrilled at the idea themselves.

Dressed in a typical 'Father Christmas' outfit, Q appears.

A few hours later, with the tree decorations finished, Traya listens to her father read her a traditional Christmas tale, “The Night Before Christmas”, as Elbrey watches on. But as he gets to the part where the child discovers Santa, there is a flash of bright light, and everyone is startled by the appearance of Q - dressed as Santa Claus! He pulls off his hat, takes an exaggerated stage bow and asks “Were you expecting someone else?” As Knapp and Traya look on in surprise, and Elbrey merely frowns in annoyance. Q chuckles in a very Santa-like manner.

Silent Night...

Captain Elizabeth Shelby watches over a quiet shift on the bridge of the USS Excelsior.

Aboard the USS Excelsior, nestled in her dock at DS12, Commander Shelby has the watch on the bridge, and is enjoying some coffee. Suddenly, Ensign Capell, manning the Conn, notices an unusual energy spike on the station. He manages to localize it to the vicinity of the Commodore’s quarters, prompting Shelby to hail Knapp. He quickly answers and allays Shelby’s concern, but does not admit to having Santa Claus (or at least a Q dressed as one) present. Instead, he tells Shelby that the lights she procured for him may be having an electrical problem. He also encourages her to stop by once her shift ends, noting that the evening might be quite interesting.

After she accepts the offer, Knapp focuses his attention back on his surprise guest, who is fitting his hat back in place. Q is impressed at the sensor’s ability to detect his entrance, and with such relative quickness (10.2 seconds), but Knapp is more interested in Q’s reason for a visit. The entity admits he was in the area, since the Continuum is keeping an eye on the Patch, when he noticed Knapp’s display of cultural heritage, and, intrigued, could not help his little surprise.

Traya admits she has read about him, addressing him as “Mr. Q”, to which he replies, “Please, call me Santa. It’s the only chance I get to dress and impress, you know.” She remembers that he was described as omnipotent, which means he can exist everywhere in the universe at the same time, although Q also hastens to add that they exist at every moment in time too. Traya wonders if this makes him a God, an idea Elbrey is quick to dismiss, telling Traya she would not worship him for a year on Risa. “You wound me, Counselor…” Q drawls, as Knapp explains that the Q are creatures of the universe, but did not create it, which is a necessary condition of God. He also explains some of the various definitions for God that exist. Elbrey also adds that God would be able to have many of the abilities Q has demonstrated. Q agrees with the assessment, complimenting Elbrey, a mere humanoid, for summing it up so well. When Knapp asks if Q does know what created existence, he only receives a cryptic answer that “to know God, is to be God,” an answer Knapp is not entirely surprised about, although he had to try.

"Monkey Curiosity"

Counselor Elbrey pours a glass of eggnog for a slightly-annoyed Q.

Traya, reeling from the conversation’s turn since her initial question, asks if they can change the subject to the gifts instead. Q offers her his sack of presents. Knapp immediately refuses any gifts Q might offer, although he offers such ‘presents’ as time travel or clairvoyance. Elbrey points out that the Continuum would punish him for bestowing such gifts on an innocent and inexperienced person like Traya, to which Q grudgingly agrees. Elbrey cannot help but be amused by Q’s wounded act, since he and his brethren have always tried to act like such "bad boys of the galaxy", when all they really do is try to protect the universe itself in an unbiased way. Q takes some umbrage to her statement, bringing up Farpoint Station and the decision they made regarding humanity's future, but Elbrey argues that although their opinions may be biased their actions are not. Traya labels them the "Galaxy Police", an idea which does not thrill Q at all, wondering what happened to the days of everyone hating the Q. Knapp points out they still do on occasion, but that feeling is often unwarranted, since the Q are "basically harmless". This prompts Q to accept the eggnog Elbrey offers, taking it strong, before avoiding answering Knapp’s question as to why he is keeping an eye on the Patch. He teases the Commodore with the idea that he might tell him, next Christmas, if he behaves.

Knapp presents Traya with her very first Christmas gift.

Traya then receives her first Christmas present, and politely refuses Q’s offer to find out what it is before she opens it. She finds a music box inside, which once belonged to Knapp’s mother. She thanks him with a hug, an act of sentimentality that makes Q realise it is time he left - the Borg are on the verge of discovering a wormhole to Andromeda, which is a headache he would like to avoid. Knapp offers their help if required, although Q sniffs at the idea of needing the help of mortals. Elbrey tells him to just go already. With a roll of his eyes, and snap of his fingers, Q vanishes just as he arrived, leaving the three alone again. Shelby then arrives, off-duty, with a bottle. They tell her she has not missed much, as she takes an offered seat. Knapp picks up the book again, giving Shelby enough time to pour a drink for herself and Elbrey. As they sip their drinks, Traya leans against her father and he begins to read again, “Twas the night before Christmas….”

'Santa Q' bids fairwell to DS12 and the Ba'ku system.

If any of them had been looking out of the window to Knapp’s quarters, they may have seen something interesting - after all, how many people could say they saw Santa Claus and his reindeer-pulled sleigh travelling through the Briar Patch? As he heads off, Q cannot help but deliver a rather sarcastic “Ho, ho, ho…” before he chuckles for real….

Happy Holidays From The Cast & Crew Of Hidden Frontier...

Background Information

Memorable Quotes

  • Knapp (Explaining about Santa coming down chimneys): "You see, houses used to have these combustion chambers called fireplaces with brick chimneys for the smoke."
Traya: "And the fire suppression systems didn't put them out?"
  • Q: "Oh please, call me Santa, it's the only chance I get to dress to impress you know."

Production Notes


Star Trek: Hidden Frontier Chronology
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Hidden Frontier Universe Chronology
"Modus Operandi"
Stardate 56xxx

Cast and Crew

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