John de Lancie has a certain place in many a Star Trek fan’s intergalactic hearts. He spent more than a decade on a fan-favorite series and reprised the role in programs all over the franchise. It’s easy to do that when you play a character and also, sort of by proxy, the entirety of an alien race as well. Well, buckle up folks because there’s some cool news that just hit which will for sure have more than a few fans buzzing. According to Variety, de Lancie is returning officially on-screen as Q in the next season of Star Trek: Picard. He and the good captain will reunite in what could be Trekkie appointment television.
The word that John de Lancie was coming back to the role on screen came as part of Paramount+’s release of the trailers for the next seasons of Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Discovery respectively. The Picard trailer doesn’t give away much in terms of how the new season will play out, but there’s no doubt about what it’s getting to by the end of it. Check out the teaser trailer below and see what I mean about the lack of ambiguity around who is coming back into the mix.
And just in case you still had any lingering doubts about the validity here, or that maybe the folks from Picard were pulling some kind of bait and switch about this John de Lancie news, then here’s a series of interviews through Paramount+’s YouTube channel that lays it to rest. Q jumps in around the 1:50 mark to bid everyone a “Bonjour!”.
John de Lancie first took on the role of Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation in the pilot episode. The role only grew over time until he was one of the key components of the series over its seven-season run. The character Q refers to the actual *man* played by de Lancie but also the collective alien race. He’s superhuman in a number of respects and has abilities over space and time in particular but isn’t often using them as a means to a particular end. While he could have easily become one of the big bads of the series and the franchise as a whole, that really wasn’t the plan.
Instead, John de Lancie played something like a moral compass in the show, questioning Captain Picard, judging the human race, lending some comedic relief along the way, and just generally keeping himself in the mix of the story. He’d go on to reprise the role in Deep Space Nine and Voyager as well though in smaller roles.
Additionally, moving John de Lancie back into the role of Q doesn’t clear that many hurdles because the actor has been involved with the franchise in the short term as well. He’s just been doing it in the form of voice roles instead. His Q character has *appeared* on the animated series Lower Decks which is a more adult swim style cartoon show for the franchise.
This latest casting clearly is huge news for the Star Trek world and opens up a whole host of possibilities for storylines considering the um, changes, Picard went through at the end of the first season. But John de Lancie is back and Q will return to the scene.