How Star Trek's John De Lancie Feels About Reprising Villain Q For Patrick Stewart's Picard

Star Trek: Picard will bring in a very special and destructive guest for Season 2, with the recent teaser trailer for the upcoming season revealing that John de Lancie's Q will return to pester Jean-Luc Picard. Q always threw the strangest challenges and puzzles at Picard and his crew during Star Trek: The Next Generation, so the news of his reemergence was embraced by many fans eager for the Paramount+ series to return.

As for how John de Lancie himself feels about reprising the role many years after his last time in Q's shoes, he described it as a bit of a "mixed bag" when speaking with Variety. There, he spoke of how he learned the producers were interested in having him involved in Season 2, along with the obvious changes that Star Trek: Picard will have to address in regards to Q's physical changes. Here's how de Lancie put it:

You know, it was, and is, a little bit of a mixed bag. One of the issues that I have is you don’t want to fall into the trap of re-creating. I was obviously a little concerned — very concerned — about the issues having to do with, well, excuse me, this is 20 years later. I’m supposed to be immortal and I certainly look very mortal. There were issues about all of that. I was flattered. Of course, I said yes. I didn’t have to think about that part. And then I wondered, where are they going to go with this?

Q's immortality will be an interesting concept to address, given John de Lancie couldn't help but age naturally in the past few decades. Star Trek: Picard has already worked some of its magic in Season 1 to make Brent Spiner's Data appear as ageless as the Synth should have been, so that same magical (read: digital) touch could be utilized for Q. Of course, Q is the type of chracter who might make himself look old intentionally just to mock Picard, so there's plenty of avenues for the writers to take, depending on where they take his story.

John de Lancie also touched upon his discussions with Star Trek's current TV producers regarding his return to the franchise, and he revealed that he's already filmed some of Q's return. The actor couldn't talk specifics about what Q will be up to in Star Trek: Picard Season 2, but did he give broad strokes for what audiences should expect.

I’ve always thought of it as being kind of a diamond in the rough, and having new facets of that stone that’s going to be cut. So here it is, many years later, we’re still cutting that stone. There will be elements of that stone which have already been cut, and they will simply need to be burnished up. And then there will be elements of this stone that will be newly cut, for which there will be people who go, ‘Oh I always thought you would go in that direction,’ and then others, ‘Oh, I like him the way he was before!’ It solved one major problem for me, and that is I feel very strongly about the whole thing of, you can never go back. Dare I say, how often have we gone back to meet with old girlfriends or boyfriends or what have you and you go, ‘Oh, I think it would have been better just keeping this in my imagination!’ Here, we are not, in fact, going back. We are taking what we have and we are moving forward. And to me, that’s exciting.

John de Lancie essentially stated that "change is the only constant" when it comes to this universe, so I would wager some meaningful changes may be coming to the character's origin and main story in Star Trek: Picard Season 2. I'm not entirely sure what it could be, but hey, if this show could pull off making Picard a Synth after Season 1 without much of a fanbase uproar, I have faith we'll all be able to handle whatever changes are made to Q.

Star Trek: Picard is slated to premiere on Paramount+ at some undisclosed point in 2022. That means there's plenty of time for fans to speculate what Q may have in store for Picard and crew and how it could all tie into that major event that Picard probably wishes he could relive if given a chance.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.