Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Star Playing Q Again Was No Problem for John De Lancie

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Nearly 30 years ago, Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise had his supposedly final confrontation with Q, the godlike alien who had been tormenting Patrick Stewart’s Starfleet leader since the premiere episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.

A real trickster god whose disdain for human beings had grown into an amused curiosity over the course of seven seasons, Q had morphed from an icy nemesis to frenemy. While the series finale brought an end to certain plot lines, it left the future of Q up in the air. The immortal alien being was always going to be observing. And waiting.

Q is back in Season 2 of “Star Trek: Picard,” played by actor John De Lancie, who has a long history in the Star Trek franchise.

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The power of current visual effects allows Q to make an astonishing (and effective) appearance as his ageless self before he ages himself up to better fit the decades older Picard.

The scenario has been set: Picard is now an old man, confronting threats both internal and external, and the biggest pain-in-the-ass he ever encountered while courageously going across the galaxy has strutted back into his life.

But what does Q want? And why did he save Picard and company from near disaster and place them in a dystopian parallel timeline?

Those feel like season-long mysteries. What’s not a secret is that De Lancie doesn’t lose a beat in returning to his most famous role, quickly tapping into Q’s arrogance and dark humor. It’s the same guy that tormented Picard for seven years back in the day, despite his apparent greying hairs.

However, was it a challenge to return to this role after such a long time? According to what De Lancie informed me over Zoom, Nah.

Star Trek Picard Season 2
Star Trek Picard Season 2

‘This Is Not the Beginning of the Party’

It turns out that De Lancie is as wryly humorous as Q. When I asked him if he had any difficulties portraying Q again 28 years later, he deadpanned, “I got a trainer, Jack Daniels, my acting coach, and it was not a problem.” To him, playing Q again was a straightforward process, one that sounds very pain-free.

According to him, “I know everybody probably wants to believe that I flagellated and hung upside-down and everything like that.”

Although it was easy for De Lancie to return to the character, he attributes that to the writing: “They got Q right on the page,” he says.

Still, there’s something just slightly … off about Q. The sly grin and cheeky glint are still there, but there’s now an underlying rage, aggression, that wasn’t present in his episodes of “The Next Generation.” Even Picard notes it, telling an ally that something about Q has changed. Q even hits Picard, resulting in a little amount of bloodshed, in an unexpected turn of events. For De Lancie, these new quirks were refreshing:

Do you think that “Star Trek: Picard” is about a man at the end of his life who takes stock of his successes and failures? De Lancie, very cryptically, suggests that it does:

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Season 2 of “Star Trek: Picard” is now available to watch on Paramount+.

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