The Star Trek: The Next Generation crew jumped from the small screen to make four feature films, including two directed by show star Jonathan Frakes. However, none of the TNG films featured the television show’s first iconic adversary, Q. Frakes and Q actor John de Lancie talked about Q’s roads not taken at one of two GalaxyCon TNG virtual panels held over the weekend.
Frakes wanted Q in the TNG movies
The character of unpredictable godlike being Q was introduced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation pilot, and he would return throughout the series, showing a particular interest in toying with the crew of the USS Enterprise-D and its captain. John de Lancie appeared as Q in a total of eight episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and played a critical role in the season finale “All Good Things.” He also appeared in episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Voyager.
During a discussion of Q’s character development at the GalaxyCon event, the moderator asked the pair to clarify something he’s heard before, specifically that there was a plan for the second TNG film to be “the ultimate Q adventure.” Frakes, who directed the second TNG film (Star Trek: First Contact), said involving Q was his idea:
That was my pitch. Well, from my good fortune of getting involved with the movies. I kept saying, “When is our our finest nemesis is going to be in the movies?” I’m still surprised that wasn’t so.
In the end, the second feature film brought back TNG’s other iconic adversaries, the Borg, with Alice Krige playing the new character of the Borg Queen. Ironically, the Borg were introduced in an episode featuring Q (“Q Who”). In Frakes’ second TNG film (Star Trek: Insurrection) the Son’a were introduced, with the main adversary played by F. Murray Abraham.
De Lancie agreed it was surprising Q hadn’t appeared in any of the TNG films:
Yeah. I have no idea what the story is there.
de Lancie wanted real visit to the Q Continuum and has an idea
When a fan asked what Star Trek planet either would like to visit in reality, de Lancie took that as an opportunity to talk about what he saw as another lost opportunity for the character:
The place that they never got into it, which is too bad. Which was: What is the Continuum? Other than a road in the desert that goes on, and the shingle in the old gas station,
de Lancie’s comment about a road with a gas station refers to the Voyager episode “Death Wish,” which showed a version of the Q Continuum that humans could understand in the form of an endless dusty road with an old gas station.
The actor also revealed that he actually developed a story about the Q Continuum on his own:
I actually—which I’m not going to tell people, even now—I did create a backstory on that, which would have been really interesting. But I think it’s actually someplace that would require a great deal of imagination, and I think the audience would go. So I wish that they had gone there.
Keep up on all our reports on the history of the TOS and TNG feature films.