Way back in 1974, a TV movie by Gene Roddenberry and Gene Coon aired called the Questor Tapes. In the Questor Tapes, an android named Questor is activated and begins searching for his creator, accompanied by a human who serves as his moral guide, and pursued by the government installation that was trying to understand him. Questor eventually finds his creator and learns the truth: he is the latest in a long line of androids that have overseen humanity, sent from some long ago alien race, guiding humanity through their infancy as a species. Due to the damage he had received during his activation, he lacked emotion, but his human companion would continue to be his guide in emotional issues.
The plan was for this to become a series, but conflicts between Gene and the network led to the show’s cancellation following the pilot. Still, over a decade later, when Data was introduced on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Roddenberry and DC Fontana (who had written the novella of the Questor Tapes pilot, and was serving as the associate producer of TNG) used ideas, themes, and moments from the Questor Tapes to flesh out the new android. At one point, Questor adjusted loaded dice in a gambling hall, much as Data later did in the episode “The Royale;” Questor also told a female acquaintance that he was “fully functional,” much as Data later expressed to Tasha Yar in “The Naked Now”. In addition, the idea of an alien race benevolently guiding humanity was one that Gene had utilized before in Star Trek, with “Assignment: Earth,” and certainly fits within the overall themes of Star Trek.
With that in mind, my partner (M Downing) and I have imagined what Questor-type androids might look like within Star Trek, and to that end, we have put together this writeup for these androids for Star Trek Adventures. Enjoy!
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