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Spock vs Q, The Sequel

By Michelle Erica Green
Posted at April 19, 2001 - 1:48 PM GMT

'Spock vs Q, the Sequel' - image copyright Simon & Schuster Audiobooks Title: 'Star Trek: Spock vs. Q, The Sequel'
Starring: Leonard Nimoy and John de Lancie
Script By: Cecelia Fannon
Published By: Simon and Schuster Interactive Audio, 2000
Format: CD, Audiocassette, Audiobook

Following the success of 'Spock vs. Q' -- the audio recording of a staged show in which two Trek luminaries hashed out the fate of humanity -- John de Lancie and Leonard Nimoy return in a sequel that forces Q to be logical when Spock suffers delusions of Q-hood. Although the second installment suffers a bit from being 'The Sequel,' recycling jokes and spending time summarizing the original, the banter between the galaxy's most famous Vulcan and the universe's most contentious superbeing remains sharp and witty.

There's little philosophical depth, even less than in the original, and a few of the Trek cliches about Vulcan logic fall flat. But fans of the original series and The Next Generation can't help but be delighted by this subsequent clash of titans. As scripted by Cecelia Fannon, who also wrote the first 'Spock vs. Q,' the dialogue and occasional sound effects frequently send the live audience into raucous laughter.

In their first confrontation, Ambassador Spock convinced Q to save humanity from armageddon when an asteroid came hurtling toward 20th century Earth. Now Q, who complained in the first installment that Spock was violating the Temporal Prime Directive, learns that he's in trouble with the Continuum for interfering in mortal affairs. For punishment, he and Spock are torn away from the mortals they've been entertaining and are stranded on the same asteroid they stopped from smashing into Earth the last time out.

To make matters worse, some strange transference seems to have taken place. From the moment Spock and Q shake hands at the conclusion of an embarrassing dinner where Q put Scotty up to singing on the table, the normally logical Vulcan starts making terrible puns and cracking up at his own jokes. Meanwhile, carefree Q can't muster his powers to snap them to safety, so he must rationalize his way out of the situation. Despite this role reversal, Q finds Spock unbearably snooty -- "No wonder Kirk bagged all the babes," he snorts, though Spock denies that assertion. Yet the demi-god's self-aggrandizing continues to irk the Vulcan.

Much of the humor consists of in-jokes that require knowledge of the actors as well as Star Trek. These include references to Nimoy's career in musical theater and de Lancie's role as a founder of Alien Voices, the audio company that has produced several H.G Wells and Jules Verne works as well as the first Spock vs. Q recording. Naturally, there are also obligatory references to popular Trek themes like Chekov's Russian patriotism, Picard's stuffiness and whether or not Uhura should have stuck with mini-skirts.

Once the two begin to switch roles, Nimoy can really cut loose, which he does to great campy effect. At one point Q demands to know whether Spock thinks being omnipotent consists purely of dressing in drag and finger-snapping; the giddy Spock says that actually, yes, he figured it was something like that. Q panicks at the discovery that neither he nor Spock can save them from certain doom when the asteroid hits Earth, but a cell phone call from the Continuum offers a bit of hope, even if Spock hits on the millennia-old receptionist.

It's always a lot of fun to witness Spock in 'This Side of Paradise' mode, waxing poetical and giggling over the meaning of life, though one keeps fearing that Nimoy will start reciting his treacly Hallmark poetry. Q has a harder time playing the straight man, but de Lancie's comic timing is wonderful; one wishes to see his face wearing Q's unmistakable outraged glare. The 60 minutes of battle between logic and chaos move quickly to a hilarious denouement.

And in a universe where time travel and returns from the dead are possible, there are infinite possibilities for more sequels.

To listen to a free sample of 'Spock vs Q: The Sequel,' please follow this link to Audible. At their web store, you will be able to buy the audiobook for $8.95. If you are a new Audible customer, you will be able to get it for even less, as the company has just launched a new promotion campaign giving new customers 50% off the most expensive title in their shopping basket. Click here for more information on the audiobook.

This is the seventh installment in a series of regular book reviews Michelle Erica Green is writing for the Trek Nation. You will soon be able to find her reviews in a new column entitled 'The Book Padd'.

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Michelle Erica Green writes regular book reviews for the Trek Nation. She has written television reviews, interviews and other features for sites such as Fandom.com and SlipstreamWeb, as well as a a number of other web sites and magazines.

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