John De Lancie Had One Demand Before Returning To Star Trek

He came back, but it wasn't guaranteed.

By Michileen Martin | Published

john de lancie star trek

John de Lancie, best known as the seemingly all-powerful Q who is introduced in the premiere episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, recently reprised the role for the second season of Star Trek: Picard. But apparently as much as De Lancie loves playing the mischievous Q, there was one thing he wanted to make sure would be different this time around. To put it plainly, he wanted to confirm the wardrobe situation would be different.

Speaking to Star Trek Explorer (via TrekMovie), John de Lancie said that upon meeting with Star Trek: Picard season 2 showrunner Terry Matalas, his character’s wardrobe was the very first thing he brought up. “[M]y first thing was, ‘You’re not putting me in tights, I hope.’ He said, ‘No, he’ll be just the way you are now.’ I said, ‘OK. Well, then, that makes a lot of sense.'” As fans will no doubt remember, for many of De Lancie’s appearances throughout the Trek franchise, he appears dressed in a Starfleet uniform in spite of not only not being a Starfleet officer, but consistently proving to one of the biggest thorns in the organization’s side. You can see examples of Q in TNG compared to those in Picard below.

john de lancie star trek
John de Lancie and Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: The Next Generation
john de lancie star trek
John de Lancie and Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: Picard

While John de Lancie appeared to be the villain of Star Trek: Picard‘s second season initially, we eventually learn that there’s more to his actions than meet the eye. Q ultimately reveals what was previously believed impossible — that he was dying. The trip across time forced upon Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his allies was, in fact, Q’s final attempt to help the former Enterprise commander.

For what it’s worth, we don’t actually believe we’ve seen the last of Q, and it’s Jonathan Frakes’ fault. Shortly after the season 2 finale, we reported on a conspicuous absence in season 2 of Picard. In spite of Frakes having mentioned in an interview a scene he shared with De Lancie and Brent Spiner, no such scene materialized in Picard‘s second season. In fact, Frakes doesn’t appear at all on screen in season 2. Since seasons 2 and 3 of Picard were filmed back-to-back, we theorized that Frakes got his wired crossed and was actually talking about a scene from season 3. It’s also worth nothing that while we’re left to assume Q dies after using the last of his energy to both send the heroes back to their present and to resurrect Elnor (Evan Evagora), we never actually see Q die. And, you know… considering he’s a character who’s been around for 35 years and has appeared in total of five Trek series, you would think — if genuine — his death would rate a camera shot. Just sayin’.

If we’re right and we’re destined to see John de Lancie appear in Star Trek one more time, we should know next year. While it doesn’t yet have a firm release date, Picard‘s third and final season is expected to stream in 2023. Almost the entire leading cast of TNG will be returning including Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, and Brent Spiner.