During a special Star Trek: Picard presentation last week, John de Lancie confirmed that he’s reprising his role as Q in season 2 of the Paramount+ series. Details on how his character will be incorporated into the show are scarce, but co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman has recently revealed that Q’s reunion with Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard has something to do with one of the themes in the upcoming season.
“There are a lot of people who think of Q as a trickster god, right? And he is. But he’s also a profoundly significant relationship in Picard’s life,” Goldsman told The Hollywood Reporter. “There’s a lot of discussion in Picard season 2 about the nature of connectedness. [So] Q’s kind of a great lightning rod for that because in some ways he’s one of Picard’s deepest — not deep in the same way that [William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) is or Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) was — but in its own uniquely, profoundly deep relationship.”
Though Lancie mentioned at the Star Trek: Picard presentation that “it’s not actually very difficult” to come back to his “deliciously naughty, marvelously annoying [and] terribly self-involved” character after so many years of not playing him, Goldsman said that Q has actually changed since his last meeting with Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
When asked how they evolved Q for his Star Trek live-action return so that he’s still the same character but not overly broad or cartoonish, Goldsman replied: “The answer is: ‘In the same way that we have tried to do with Picard himself.’ [Co-showrunner] Terry Matalas and I don’t pretend that the interstitial years didn’t happen. No, obviously, chronological time is less relevant to Q. The time between shows is probably not even the blink of an eye in Q time — if you even have Q time. But we definitely chose to follow suit when it came to him. So, as we tried to evolve the other characters, the same is true of Q. This is a show of a different time with actors of a different age. We’re now talking about the issues that come up in the last [stage] of your life. We wanted a Q that could play in that arena with Picard.”
As teased by Stewart during the Star Trek: Picard presentation, Q’s arrival in the show is, as it often was, “utterly unexpected” but also comes “at a shattering moment.” “Whether it’s directly connected to Q or not, I am still actually not quite sure,” added the actor. “But there is significant trauma. And, in fact, at the moment, I am working on how the trauma of this moment hangs around Picard for quite a substantial part of the episode and then [claps his hands] there he is.”
Production on Star Trek: Picard season 2 is currently underway, and while the new season doesn’t have an exact release date yet, it’s set to debut sometime in 2022 on Paramount+.