Star Trek (1966)

The Don McDougall directed original series episode “The Squire of Gothos,” first televised in the United States on Thursday, 12 Jan. 1967, was the eighteenth episode filmed but the seventeenth one seen on television.

With a story penned by Paul Schneider, it is in “The Squire of Gothos” the Enterprise crew encounter a being of extraordinarily immense power. This being takes the form of Trelane, played by William Campbell.

The powers Trelane possesses should sound familiar to fans of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” for he has similar abilities to members of the Q Continuum.

Further supporting the suggestion of Trelane being a member of the Q Continuum, in the early 1990s, writer Peter David was inspired by the similarities between Trelane and John de Lancie’s “Star Trek: TNG” character Q that the novel “Q-Squared” was written.

In the David written novel, the author explains in some detail the origin of the name “Trelane.” Because of an alternate version of the young Q operating among three “lanes” of alternate timelines simultaneously, the name Trelane came into existence.

It should be noted, at the time this episode was produced, no definitive reference to the century in which Roddenberry’s science fiction series was set had been made. In the episode, with the planet Gothos being 900 light years from Earth, it was indicated Trelane had “been looking in on doings nine hundred years past.” There is however a minor problem with this hypothesis.

The setting the Enterprise crew found themselves in when on the planet’s surface is reminiscent of that which would have been typical of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. If it is true Trelane was looking backwards 900 years, that would place “The Squire of Gothos” at some point in the twenty-seventh century. Fans of “Star Trek: TNG,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Star Trek: Voyager,” with those shows set in the twenty-fourth century, know this would be impossible.

While the title of this article, “Star Trek: S1.E18. “The Squire of Gothos’,” indicates this episode is episode 18, it should be noted it acknowledges the existence of the then untelevised Robert Butler directed “The Cage” as being the series’ first episode.