It’s been 21 years since John de Lancie played a live-action version of Q on the final season of Star Trek: Voyager, and 28 years since he last saw Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard aboard the Enterprise in the Star The: The Next Generation finale. But while you’d think a few decades would mean nothing to someone who’s presumably immortal, apparently that isn’t the case. According to De Lancie, the Q we meet in the upcoming season 2 of Star Trek: Picard will be a changed Q.
John de Lancie attended a guest panel for the Trek Talks Telethon which, according to Daily Star Trek News, raised over $60,000 over the weekend for the Hollywood Food Coalition. Talking about the upcoming season of Picard, De Lancie said the Q of the new season is “older, more mature, a little more focused individual, with a very strong internal motivation and a desire to get Picard to do something.” De Lancie added that he didn’t think the Q of the TNG heyday would work in the new story. “It is different,” De Lancie said, “and it’s intended to be a little different.”
De Lancie’s been hinting for a while that fans should expect a different version of Q in Picard, but this is the most specific he’s been so far. Last April, TrekMovie reported that a lot of the info that was coming from John de Lancie about Picard‘s second season wasn’t being pulled from interviews or social media posts, but from video messages the actor was recording for Cameo. At first, the actor’s reveals about the new Q didn’t amount to much more than De Lancie saying he was “annoying the sh*t” out of Picard, which — as any TNG fan would agree — is just about the least surprising thing he could say. But by August, De Lancie was proving a little more revealing, adding things to his messages like, “It’s a different Q, but hey, it’s 34 years [since he first played Q] so I am a different John.”
For that matter, John de Lancie’s words on a changed Q go along with the little we’ve seen of his Picard appearances. With perhaps the sole exception of TNG season 3’s “Deja Q” in which the character is temporarily stripped of his powers, we almost never see Q respond to Picard or any of his other Starfleet playthings with anything but amusement. Yet when he snaps his fingers in the Picard season 2 teaser, the guy looks downright angry.
It apparently won’t be just the eponymous retired Starfleet admiral that John de Lancie’s Q will be annoying in the upcoming season. Only a couple of weeks ago Jonathan Frakes — who will once again reprise his role as William Riker in Picard — talked about what he called one of his “favorite scenes of the season.” He didn’t reveal exactly what happens in the scene, but did say he shares it with De Lancie and Brent Spiner, who will be returning not as the android Data, but as Dr. Altan Soong, the descendant of Data’s creator Noonien Soong.
In spite of it being just around the corner, Paramount has yet to unveil a specific release date for the second season of Star Trek: Picard. It was announced last September that the new season was expected to drop on Paramount+ by February 2022, but nothing more specific. We’ll keep our ears, pointed or otherwise, to the ground.