John de Lancie: Getting a little tired of Q

On Friday we previewed the upcoming ‘Q’ comic book from IDW, which prompted many fans to talk about the beloved character, including some who want to see more. But there is one person who seems to have had enough of TNG’s omnipotent troublemaker. In a new interview with John De Lancie, the actor says he is ‘tired’ of Q. 


de Lancie and Q
John De Lancie appeared in 12 episodes of Trek, spanning all three of the 24th century shows, starting off with the pilot episode of Next Generation in 1987. And even though those are just a tiny fraction of his acting credits on the big screen, small screen and stage, it is still what he is most famous for, and apparently that isn’t sitting too well for the actor.

After telling AMC’s Sci-Fi Scanner that he thought JJ Abrams had "really breathed life" into the franchise with the new Star Trek movie, he had this to say when asked if he was going to try and get Q into the next movie:

Uh, no. I have to say as the years have gone on I’m getting a little tired of just Q, because I do a lot of other things. Almost everywhere in the world you go, people will come up and say, "Oh my God you’re from Star Trek." But I was in Syria recently, and I had people stop me on the street, they came up to me and said, "Oh my God, we just saw Breaking Bad." That was a surprise. And it was great.

So there you have it, no more Q for De Lancie.

Go to AMC Sci-Fi Scanner for more from De Lancie on Alien Voices, his new futuristic version of Madame Butterfly, and more.

Here is the recap of the Breaking Bad season 2 finale, which featured John de Lancie (his third episode).




Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Good. Never really a huge fan of Q anyway.


It’s understandable. On those few episodes he probably covered as much as the character could go through and he has done so much other stuff. I blame Voyager for his disenchantment. Janeway would do that to anyone ;-)

2, agreed. As time goes on, the more I dislike The Janeway. She killed Trek.

I wish Trek IX / the third TNG movie would have been about the Dominion War and X / the fourth and last TNG movie about Q…

I too have grown tired of Q. Ever since “Encounter at Farpoint.”

@Trekee You mean BERMAN would do that to anyone, eh?

I for myself really loved that character “Q” and the way DeLancie acted. It was always a lot of fun with him around.

And I would really like to see him as Q in STXII. But that’s not going to happen I guess..

Voyager ruined a lot Q, the Borg and time Travel in Star trek.

De Lancie’s at that point a lot of actors go through; actually doing the thing is in the past and it irritates being known for something, however pleasant and worthwhile, that is in the past and can’t really do you any good financially or career wise. All it does is gets you bothered in restaurants or buying coffee on the streets. It’s not unlike Nimoy in his ‘I Am Not Spock’ phase or Tom Baker in the 80s. I don’t blame De Lancie for that at all.

Thought: He’s great as Q but Q works because he’s a foil for Picard. It’s the Stewart/De Lancie chemistry that makes those episodes work. That’s why the DS9 ep and the VOY eps work less well/not at all. (The only one I think works at all in ‘Death Wish’.)

I love Q and Janeway. But I’m not surprised to hear that the actor is tired of it. Who wouldn’t be.

Janeway had rock solid principles. Hard not to like that.

Saw him speak in Flagstaff AZ at a convention there. He was the ONLY guest… small venue. It was before DS9 had even finished its first season. Anyhow, he seemed to be tired of the character THEN. Thought Trek itself was a little tired and only wanted to be in Trek again if they could write something more… artistic and literary with Q. He took the job to pay the bills but really wants to be “an AAaaaaactooooooorrrrrrr.” Doesn’t see Trek as serious acting, art, or drama. The crowd was not pleased in Flagstaff.

The Sisko, Bajoran, Cardassian, Vic Fontaine, Dominion War, Blah Blah Blah ruined, killed Star Trek.

@9 – Jim Smith

I can’t remember DS9 episode names normally, but I thought he was a great foil for Sisko too, I don’t remember anyone else pushing all his buttons quite so much as Q. I think though, that in the end that was about all he did.

And I’m just being mean about Voyager of course, I don’t really know what I disliked about Voyager but I think that Janeway was a good idea poorly implemented. I don’t think the character really developed, but then as I skipped the last couple of seasons apart from dipping in now and again, I may have missed something.

I think for me, Trek jumped the shark when the brought 7 of 9 on. It said to me that they’d run out of ideas and were going all out for the spandex.

I know there were some good individual episodes and arcs in there, but I couldn’t face wading through the fluff to get to it.

I didn’t think Voyager was THAT bad. I mean, Kes was terrible, and the episode when Tom Paris broke the transwarp barrier and ended up turning he and Janeway into giant fish things who ended up mating, yea, that was bad. But there was a lot of good in Voyager too. And I always loved Q!

I loved voyager!!

#12 eh…no it didn’t. It was the most well written star trek series with characters who had a bit of DEPTH to them.

I can understand that de Lancie is tired of Q. It’s been two decades, and anyone would get tired of a character after it being tied to them for that long. Just look at the original series cast. They all went through periods of hating Trek.

I liked Voyager as a whole – I just wish they’d broken new ground with it as they did with the simply wonderful DS9. It started to feel like Trek by the numbers by the end. I always think they chould have taken ‘The Year of Hell’ two-parter and made that into at least a season-long ark and really put the crew and ship through the ringer, perhaps even killed some of them. That would have created an edge/excitement that was maybe missing – and would havfe broken the forumlaic nature of the show.

Agree about Q tho, enough’s enough – where on Earth (or elsewhere!) would you be able to take the character now, it’s all been done to death…

Well, I raise my glass in respect to John’s work in bringing the character of Q to Star Trek and I hope he finds some good memorable work in the future.

Well I don’t understand how he can be “tired” of Q, when he hasn’t played that part in the last 10 years! And only 12 episodes overall spread over many years…hardly pushing it. I was actually kinda hoping he’d be in the next movie, but I guess not now…

Time to bring on R


Yeah I agree.
“a bit of depth” nails it – they never came close to “Babylon 5” or had never characters that deep like “Farscape”‘s John Crichton.

He’d be far too old to play Q anyway.

re: 10
“Janeway had rock solid principles. Hard not to like that.”

Only when it suited the plot… Discovered an instant-home piece of technology in the first season? Nothing like the good old prime directive to put a stop to that… But when you’re trying to squeeze an ending out of your show she’s changing the past and attempting genocide left right and centre just to make her own life a little easier.

8 Tiberius1000: I agree 100%!

DS9 wasnt Trek to me, it was Babylon 5/Love Boat. Watched it thru 7 seasons because i felt obligated. Going back and watching Voyager on DVD again, I see it as better all around, a ship traveling thru space meeting aliens, going where no one had gone before….thats Star Trek, not sitting still and waiting for stuff to come to you.

I consider Enterprise seasons 3 and 4 as better than anything DS9 had to offer.

I agree with #9, de Lancie is going through this “thing” that most actors do when they want recognition for their other efforts, other than the ones they are currently most remembered for. Maybe he will do like most have, eventually learn to embrace his Star Trek character once again…

Q for Trek 12!!!

just kidding…

btw yknow that Pirate Galaxy ‘Explore Deep Space’ ad on the right on…im pretty sure thats an anime of Sophia Loren (with the red hair)…i just figured it out…been bugging me for a while

I’ve always liked Q. Shame that DeLancie is tired of him but hey, so what? If there’s another movie, I’d love to see Q in it. Bill Murray would be a great Q.

@ 26. Apologize for NOTHING Officer Crowley

DS9 episodes “Duet”, “The Visitor” and “In the Pale Moonlight” were the 3 best hours of Star Trek ever produced.

Maybe this was the evil Q from the parallel Shat on SNL …”get a life”…ha ha ha…I honestly loved Q..though in little doses…the TNG series finale especially..and had actually hoped they would put him into a TNG movie or something…I ‘m surprised he didn’t show up on Enterprise…he does not belong in the next movie though///please move on with TREK…no Q, KHAN, or SHAT…..there are plenty of stories for the new TREK to stand on it’s own without any of them!

Its interesting that while i never liked 7 of 9, thats when voyager started to get good. There were hints of it when the doctor was liberated from sickbay, but it really took off in the 4th season.

Enterprise was ALWAYS good.

I believe that if anyone in the industry killed star trek, it was UPN. However i blame the winy fans more than anything or anyone else. Appreciate the various star treks for what they are. Don’t complain about them just because it doesn’t have captain kirk in it. I love ALL star trek (even nemisis even though i thought it could have been better) and as such consider my self one of the few true fans.

Not that I want to see it in Trek 12 but I’d bet if JJ waved a big wad of cash under DeLancie’s nose he’d change his name to Q in a lens flare’s flash.

Hey now, John. As I recall he hasn’t had any trouble with milking the Q character over the years for every penny he could. Just be up front and admit the well has run dry!

Q, like the Borg, got overplayed. Bravo to Mr. de Lancie for speaking his mind.

Interesting. An article talking about John De Lancie, but the photo is of Jonathan Frakes? Wrong Jonathan. What gives?

I suspect that De Lancie is less tired of his portrayal of Q, but more for not being remembered for his many other roles. He has played on many types of programming, including West Wing, TREK and the Stargate universe.

I would think the TOS cast might feel much the same way (I know Walter Koenig has addressed this very issue at ST conventions before; during the years he playing Bester on B5 he mentioned wearily that people still remembered him more for Chekov than for the evil character Bester).

IF JJ brought Q in he’d recast the role anyway… he’d probably get Robert Pattinson from Twilight or James Marsters to play Q…or Megan Fox LOL

I remember John de Lancie from Days Of Our Lives. Anyway, I’ll never forget going to a convention and he asked that people stop taking photos while he was speaking. People continued taking photos and he was so irritated. I can understand him not wanting to be remembered just for Q, but he had an idea what he was getting into when he decided to join the Star Trek Universe. He should learn to accept it and use it to his advantage. Shame that he can’t.

imho Q was best in Voyager.

Q in next Star Trek movie? will be a next one? wasn’t the last movie enough terrible?

Agree that if Q was to return to Star Trek in any way, he would be best in a Next Gen movie (and I still hope there is another one someday.) Q was never one of my favorite situations/plot points, but it was usually fun to see his interaction with Picard.

#26 “DS9 wasnt Trek to me, it was Babylon 5/Love Boat.”

Agreed. I liked DS9 but I felt it was totally disjointed from the Trek I love. Imo, war hardly fits in Trek episodes.

I never understood the fascination so many had with “Q”, and frankly found the character to be tedious.

The problem with “Q” is that he was the opposite end of Wesley Crusher – where Crusher perpetually saved the ship, “Q” would reliably imperil it unil Picard doubletalked some sort of solution just before the final commercial. “Q”s semiomnipotent character strongly suggested that the core creative Trek team did not have great faith in their characters, or the perpetual conspicuous reinsertion of “Q” would hardly be necessary

I kept expecting the Q character/continuum to end up BEING humanity itself, highly evolved. Then along came Voyager to make them just as flawed as anyone else.

Q was fun, but it has been done, time for something new in the new films.

I like the idea of trying to tie the Multiverse Trek to Next Gen in some unique way – but I agree that Q is probably not the best thread between the timelines.

And just a question – maybe some of you can share your perspective. Why is it acceptable to the fanbase for stories in the novels to retread on past Trek territory and characters – but in movies it is verboten? I personally would love to see a big-screen take on some elements lifted from the TOS, TNG even ENT stories.

“Well I don’t understand how he can be “tired” of Q, when he hasn’t played that part in the last 10 years! And only 12 episodes overall spread over many years…hardly pushing it. I was actually kinda hoping he’d be in the next movie, but I guess not now…”

#20 – Hmm let’s see… frequently when appearing at conventions he is asked to perform a one hour play that was turned into an audio cassette featuring Q and other Trek characters… frequently being asked at conventions what is it like to play Q… stopped on the street for an autograph. Shopping and hearing someone say, “Oh my God!!! It’s Q!!!”

I’m sure with the body of work he has performed its flattering to be remembered for one role, but I’m sure it gets quite tiring hearing the same questions, performing the same play on stage at conventions and having few if any fans acknowledge his work in other areas. How many people ask him about the NID guy, Colonel Frank Simmons on Stargate SG-1? Or remembers his appearences as Odin from Charmed? Or even his performances on The West Wing? Anyone?

It’s his right to be sick of Q. He’s earned it, thanks to fans who only have eyes for Q. The man is a decent actor with a large list of credits. Fondly remember Q, but try to see something else he’s been in. You won’t be disappointed.

I can understand him. I kinda figure he doesn’t want to be remembered as a simple guess role.

@#36 MC1 Doug

That IS a picture of John de Lancie. It’s from his role in Breaking Bad this past season.

Killed Trek? Gee I hadn’tnoticed it was dead.

And he hasnt played Q in what, 8/9 years? LOL!

“38. Jeff – August 3, 2009

I remember John de Lancie from Days Of Our Lives.”

Yeah,…maybe he can go back to being Eugene on Days if Q’s not doing it for him.