Last week we reported how John de Lancie is peppering his video messages on Cameo with news on his return as Q in Star Trek: Picard. This week he’s still at it, revealing more about his character and about how much Q we can expect in season two and beyond.
Picard is getting a lot of Q
John de Lancie was part of the Star Trek: Picard teaser trailer and the Paramount+ First Contact Day panel from the beginning of April. We learned a little bit about his return as Q that day, but he has revealed more via his Cameo videos posted in April. Whether you ask for it or not, if you order up a special greeting from de Lancie and reveal you are a Star Trek fan, he is going to talk about how much fun he has been having with his return to his iconic role.
Last week, de Lance talked about how Q was “annoying the s#!t out of Picard” in season two. In multiple videos posted this week, the actor jokes about how Q’s needling is wearing thin on Picard star Sir Patrick Stewart. And as he told his tales of set life, he let it slip just how much Q we can expect in terms of episodes and even seasons. Here is an example from a Mother’s Day greeting posted today
Q is coming back. As a matter of fact, for the last two weeks I have been filming on Picard and really annoying Picard – really annoying him. [laughs] Patrick was delighted to see me for the first couple of days and after a couple of more days of really annoying scenes, he said, “SO, how many episodes are you doing?” In other words, ‘When are you going to get out of my face?’ And the answer is six episodes. I think they are going to be coming out – actually I don’t know. But we are shooting season two and three all at the same time right now.
And de Lancie mentioned he is appearing in a total of six episodes in a separate video, which means we are getting a good deal of Q in Picard. While producers have talked about the series running for three seasons, Paramount+ has not officially announced a third. It has been previously rumored that during the pandemic-forced hiatus, producers moved ahead with developing the third season to be shot back-to-back with the second season. When co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman was asked about this earlier in the month by The Hollywood Reporter, he demurred. But now it appears de Lancie has confirmed this two-season production plan is happening.
On Cameo, de Lancie also talked about what it’s like working on Picard with the strict COVID protocols:
And it’s really quite unusual to be shooting a television show during all this COVID stuff. It’s like walking into a surgical suite. We are masked and checked and rechecked. This morning I was checked to go back on Monday, tested. And when I get there on Monday I will be tested again. It’s quite an operation.
A different Q
While Q “annoying” Jean-Luc Picard does sound like a classic situation from his recurring role on Star Trek: The Next Generation, de Lancie has indicated he is actually playing Q differently Q on Picard. For example, he had this to say in another Mother’s Day greeting:
It’s a very different Q this time. They wanted to go with not kidding around not as much. We will see if the audience enjoys it. I think they will.
And in a wedding congratulations video he had this to say about Q on Picard:
They wanted a different Q and they got a different Q. Not the least of which is I am thirty years older. The first thing I said to them when they asked me to do the show, I asked them, “You are not going to have me in those tights again, are you?” You just don’t want a 70-year-old guy running around in tights. And they said, “Oh, no, no. It’s very different.” I went, “Okay, as long as I’m not in tights.”
Chewing the scenery with Sir Patrick
While there may not be as much kidding around for Q, de Lancie did reveal that he and Stewart have some good material to work with. For example, he had this to say in a birthday message:
I have making Sir Patrick Stewart’s life VERY difficult. Really annoying. He was happy to see me at first, but I don’t know if he is happy to see me now. In all seriousness, we have been having a really good time and the scenes have been really tip-top.
He followed that theme up in another birthday message as well:
Patrick and I have had a really good time. So good meaty scenes. It’s been fun chewing the scenery.
Picard on trial
Q famously put humanity on trial in the series premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and in his final appearance in the series finale he tells Picard “The trial never ends.” This line is also echoed in the Star Trek: Picard season two teaser (see below). One of his Cameo videos was for a fan of this trial storyline, and so de Lancie discussed how the trial has changed in Picard:
It says that you particularly love the fact that I have put humanity on trial. Oh my god, excuse me but humanity really needs to be put on trial right now. But this might come as a surprise to you, I don’t particularly put humanity on trial as much as I put Picard on trial. I’m back on the show in Picard and I make his life REALLY annoying, so tune in.
ICYMI – Season two teaser
Star Trek: Picard season 2 will arrive in 2022. Here again, is the teaser released on First Contact Day.
Find more news and analysis on Star Trek: Picard.