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Star Trek: John de Lancie Hints at a Possible Return as Q

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John de Lancie hints that he could soon be returning to Star Trek as Q. One of the most memorable characters ever to appear on The Next Generation, the enigmatic Q made his debut on the show’s 1987 pilot episode. The member of a strange alien race possessing God-like powers, Q would return multiple times over the show’s run, using his abilities to test the Enterprise crew and sometimes troll Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

Though Q certainly caused a lot of mischief any time he appeared on TNG, probably the character’s most important contribution to the show came in the episode “Q Who” when he played a role in introducing the Enterprise crew to the terrifying new nemesis the Borg. After establishing himself as one of the biggest adversaries of the TNG cast, and one of the most fascinating of all Star Trek characters, Q later made appearances on the shows Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. Most recently, Q returned in animated form for an episode of the CBS All Access comedy series Star Trek: Lower Decks.

Fans were certainly happy to see Q and de Lancie come back, even in animated form, and now it appears there could be more Q in the offing. During a video message for a fan posted to Cameo.com, de Lancie hinted that he’ll soon be back as the character, and perhaps this time in live-action form. He said (via TrekMovie.com):

A voice behind my shoulder said, “You have no idea what you have got yourself into.” It was Gene Roddenberry and I said, “What are you talking about?” He goes, “Oh, you’ll find out.” And here it is, 34 years later, I am finding out. Oh and by the way, here is a little stocking stuffer… You are going to be seeing more of me. Cheers. Merry Christmas. And let’s just cross our fingers that 2021 is going to be better. It just has to be better than 2020.

De Lancie offered no more details about how or when he may return as Q. It’s of course very possible he’s referring to another voice-only appearance on a future episode of Lower Decks. Or perhaps there’s something a little more exciting in the works that would bring de Lancie fully back as a live-action Q. There is obviously no shortage of Star Trek-related shows Q could show up on, with CBS All Access filling its schedule with Trek. The most natural fit for him of course would be season 2 of Star Trek: Picard, given the long-standing and sometimes contentious relationship between Q and the former Enterprise captain. With Picard embarking on new challenges living inside the android body he was given at the end of season 1, it might be interesting to bring Q in to once again torment/instruct Jean-Luc.

However future Star Trek series choose to employ Q, the important thing is to use the character sparingly, and not allow him to wear out his welcome. The original TNG understood how to use Q to shake things up narratively and add spice to a season, but also knew to only use him 8 times during the show’s entire run. Too much leaning on Q would undoubtedly ruin his mystique and make his impish personality become gratingly annoying. But if used correctly, de Lancie’s Q could be a fascinating addition to an upcoming Star Trek show.

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