Star Trek: John de Lancie Deconstructs Q from ST: TNG to Picard

While treading carefully around spoilers, Star Trek actor John de Lancie's offered a few teases on what's to come for the omnipotent Q, a character he's played for almost 35 years since The Next Generation in its pilot episode "Encounter at Farpoint" in 1987. As referenced in the first season two teaser for the Paramount+ series for its sequel Star Trek: Picard, "The trial never ends" is what Q tells Jean-Luc (Patrick Stewart). The plot of "Farpoint" is Q putting humanity on trial for its past crimes with the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise D making its case for the defense.

Star Trek: John de Lancie Deconstructs Q from TNG to Picard on Cameo
Screencapped from YouTube. Image courtesy of Paramount+

Trek Movie compiled a series of videos de Lancie made in response to fan inquiries on Cameo about the character and what he can offer in the upcoming season of Picard. He mainly referenced time spent with Stewart along with other TNG alum Jonathan Frakes, and Brent Spiner. "It's been a lot of fun working with Patrick and Jonathan Frakes and with Brent. It's a little bit like old home week as it were, after many many years…" de Lancie said in one of the videos. Frakes will reprise his role as Capt. William Riker as he did in season one as will also direct a few episodes on the Paramount+ series. Spiner pulled double duty reprising his role as Lt. Commander Data and Dr. Alton Soong, a descendent of Dr. Noonian Soong, Data's creator and roboticist.

Star Trek Actor John de Lancie Reflects Casting, Q's Return in Picard
Image courtesy of ViacomCBS

While Data died again at the conclusion of season one of Picard, Q's long documented history of putting Jean-Luc in alternate timelines could see the character make a return at least one last time even if some could feel it cheapens his death. Spiner confirmation of his involvement in season two at least probably confirms Alton's reappearance as the trailer also confirmed the android Soji's (Isa Briones) return. De Lancie also explained in another video how Q will change for the series. "It's going to be a different Q as well as it should," he said. "It's not quite octogenarian Q, but time has gone by. So, it will be a different Q. Other than I am still there to annoy Jean-Luc as much as I can. And I think I do it pretty well."

How John de Lanice Molded Q on Star Trek: The Next Generation

Despite Q's initial serious nature, de Lancie helped mold the character's playfulness throughout TNG to what he is today. "[Q] didn't quite start out [with humor and nuance]," he said. "When I first did it, Patrick Stewart came over 34 years ago with Corey Allen the director. And we sat in my backyard here and we banged out lines. And Corey would say to me whenever I would send something up, he would say, 'Oh, no no no. He's got to be really right down the middle. He's evil. He's a villain.' And I go, 'No, no. Smile and be a villain.' Otherwise, I just became a cartoon. So he sort of pressed most of that out of me for '[Encounter at] Farpoint,' but when I got my second chance I began bringing a little humor in. Hey, life is short. We need a few laughs every once in a while." Season two of Star Trek: Picard premieres in 2022.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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