John de Lancie Hints ‘Star Trek Picard’ May Be A Swan Song For Q

John de Lancie is still at work on Star Trek: Picard and he is keeping his fans up-to-date through personalized messages posted online, many of which have new revelations about his return as Q.

Goodbye to Q?

In John de Lancie’s latest Cameo posts, the actor provided an update on how things are going on Picard, including revealing how much more work he has left:

“Q is back. Kind of a different Q, I must say. An older Q, no question about that. It’s been actually great. I have really enjoyed working with Patrick [Stewart]. I have enjoyed working with Brent [Spiner] and Jonathan Frakes. I’ve got two more episodes to do. So, things are good in Q land…

Q is back in the Star Trek Universe, making Picard’s life a little more difficult. It’s been actually great fun to work with Patrick, great fun working with Jonathan Frakes who was directing one of the episodes I was in, and great fun to work with Brent.”

While Paramount+ has confirmed that Brent Spiner is returning in season two, it still isn’t clear which character he’s playing. In a previous update, we reported that de Lancie said he was doing a scene with Data. While he may have misspoken, the alternate timeline indicated by the recent teaser trailer could allow for Spiner to play the android one more time.

De Lancie has also said he will be doing a total of six episodes, and has also indicated the show is filming seasons two and three back-to-back. It isn’t clear at this point if all six of his episodes are in season two, but it sounds like he may be wrapping up his time in the near future. In fact, in another message the actor indicated he this may be his swan song in Star Trek, or at least with regards to Jean-Luc Picard:

“You are going to be seeing me soon on Picard. I come back – not in a walker, but close to it. It’s my final carryings on with Jean-Luc Picard.”

John de Lancie as Q in season 2 of Star Trek: Picard teaser

A philosophical Q

De Lancie also gave a hint on what kind of tone we may see with this “different” Q. In response to a Cameo fan message about Q putting humanity on trial, de Lancie revealed:

“As the person who portrays Q, there are times that I wonder [if humanity is worthy] myself… You will be happy to know I am on Picard and many of the discussions I have had of late have been about just that – moral ideas… I think that the character of Q works best in the philosophical zone.”

John de Lancie as Q in “Encounter at Farpoint”

Mariachi Q improv

In one of his videos, John de Lancie spoke about the famous closing scene of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Deja Q,” where he appeared with a mariachi band. The actor revealed the scene as actually rushed and filmed at the end of a long day, so he did some improvising:

“It was shot at about 11:45 on a Wednesday night. Why? Because the next day was Thanksgiving and we could go midnight that night and we were running out of time. We set up the scene very close, maybe around 11:30, which means pulling the cameras in and getting everything, lighting and what have you. We knew we had a very short period of time. And I pulled out of the hat my experience from Days of our Lives. I had worked on Days of our Lives for three years on another character – Eugene -which became very, very popular. I used to do a lot of improv stuff and I just said, “Hey listen guys, we don’t have very much time, just roll the cameras.” And I just literally pulled that scene out of my a… out of my hat.”

While the setup was scripted, it does appear that de Lancie’s lighter take on Q was more his doing. He recently talked about how he had to fight at first to inject some humor into the role, which eventually became a standard part of the character.

John DeLancie in “Deja Q”

Find more news and analysis on Star Trek: Picard.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I missed Q and philosophical/introspective Q is certainly my favorite version of him (but I like every version of him ;)). Can’t wait to see how his presence fits in next season. But more importantly I just really really hope they don’t mess it up!


Six episodes in two (short!) seasons! This will be the highest concentration of Q episodes in a show the franchise has ever seen.

I’m thinking we are going to see a less adversarial Q in Picard – more akin to the relationship we saw in “Tapestry“ and “All Good Things…” By the end of “All Good Things…” it very much seemed that Picard and Q had developed a begrudging respect for each other with Picard thanking Q for helping him get out of the crazy mess and Q acknowledging (and seemingly almost feeling bad about it) that he got him in to the mess in the first place.

I agree with you whole heartedly

I agree. I think while Picard really does seem annoyed by Q he does seem to feel that Q has come more to his side of things, it’s just his methods that he resents. As for Q I think he really mistrusted humanity and thought humanity would ultimately be a threat to the galaxy in the long term but that clearly had changed by the end and respected Picard. It’s why I always enjoyed their relationship, to see how it grew and changed over the course of the show.

This is why this was such a great decision to go in. It’s a no-brainer really. But it doesn’t mean it will be good, but fingers crossed!

Thanking him for helping? He didn’t just “help”. He started to… Gave him plenty of clues then flat out told him a few things the audience was already in on. When Picard STILL couldn’t figure it out he flat out held his hand and guided him through everything! It wasn’t just help. I literally did it all for him!

Q’s last scene – sacrificing himself for humanity. Calling it now!

Oh please. I really hope they stop killing all of our favorites characters.

Besides Hugh, who did they kill that was a favorite? And I’m not reading too much into what he said, but, if a supposedly omnipotent being can die, I’m intrigued what they do with that


I thought they did in fact do a pretty decent job with that idea in “Death Wish”, but there must surely be limitless other good ways to explore the idea as well.

I forgot about Icheb. I honestly disliked the character so it didn’t bother me. But I suppose that’s why “favorite” in regards to characters is subjective. The Icheb death at least served more purpose than Hugh’s.

I liked what they did with Icheb. It was pretty clear that the original actor was NEVER going to be accepted back into the Trek family, so using his death to motivate Seven worked quite well (and the irony of him dying because they wanted the cortical node that he had previously given to Seven was a brilliant little touch).

Actually, Icheb’s death served a far greater purpose than Hugh’s. It was the chief motivation for why 7 does what she does. I actually thought that was a pretty good use for him.

In what universe was Icheb a favorite? LOL

If you were a middle-grader when you first watched Voyager, Icheb was intended the a character to identify with.

It worked that way for our kids.

And one of our kids – now in their mid-teens – stopped watching Picard after seeing Icheb’s death and doesn’t watch Voyager much anymore either – when it used to be their favourite series. More, it was only with great persuasion that they gave Lower Decks a try. Season 3 of Discovery was also flatly rejected.

So, yes, that fridging death sequence was a major fail in the category of building a new generation of fans.

I can only imagine kids who watch Prodigy and graduate to Voyager finding out that Icheb’s fate is to be tortured to death in an abbatoir for his Borg components.

I’m not really sure Hugh was a favorite, either. He was in one excellent episode but was wasted in his second.

Only one season, Icheb, Hugh, and Jean Luc, which technically, still alive.

Icheb and Hugh were minor supporting characters. All the cries of heresy over Hugh, who appeared in TWO episodes, is frankly, a little silly. And I loved the character. While I think there was a lot more that could have been done with him, his loss is not a big one.

Let it go, people.

Killing off favorite characters is what passes for writing talent these days.

Agreed. Last season Killing off Hugh and Icheb was just Lazy Writting

Was Icheb anyone’s favorite character?

Who says Q dies? Just because he said it’s his last time with JL doesn’t mean he dies, maybe JL dies, maybe they strike a deal that Q will truly never bother him again?

Was eyeball ripping anyone’s favorite?

The characters being fan favorites doesn’t matter so much as this series’ lazy habit of “fridging” characters as plot points or to give our heroes motivation. Hugh, Icheb, Bruce Maddox, and the non-death of Picard all felt like cheap melodramatic tricks.

I’m really hoping season 2 is just Q making snide remarks about season 1.

For some people, he was a favorite.

I’ve always LIKED Icheb, but I never thought of him as a favorite or anything. I was actually shocked just how angry people were when they killed him off lol. I was personally fine with it (although it was a bit brutal which was the other issue.)

But you would think they just killed off Kirk or something again. I don’t think any of the writers or producers thought a character that was just in 11 episodes and not even show up until the sixth season of the show would get so much outrage over it….and yet.

No, it was powerful writing; if you actually know who Icheb was, this was a profound sequel to his few episodes on Voyager such as Child’s Play. Whereas a minor character like himself could have just faded into oblivion. It’s really lazy copy/paste criticism to make your claim.

I was shocked about both death scenes. The shock moment worked because it was was indeed well written and an unexpected twist.

Those who accuse writers of “lazy writing” often show no knowledge of what good writing is. You’ve just proven that point true.

Along with destroying the Enterprise in almost every movie! Incompetent morons!

Bitching and complaining is what passes for fan comments these days.

Icheb was a minor character who only appeared in a handful of episodes on Voyager, and the story he received in Picard did him great honor; he was a good person who was loved but wound up being trafficked because of who he was. It was profound, and much better then the many dozens of characters who are simply never mentioned on Picard.

Fridging a character is no honour.

It’s a tired short-cut to justify character growth.

It was old in the 90s.

It’s inexcusable now.

A trend started by Wrath of Khan like Space Revenge movies in Star Trek. And Search for Spock started the trend of blowing up the Enterprise. The first time Spock died and the Enterprise blew up it meant something. Now its a tired trope. Just like time travel used to be special in Trek and so was the Mirror universe and they went to that well one to many times, the same with revisiting the Borg too much. Trek is kind of stagnant and free of new ideas and has been probably since the 1990s.

I don’t envy the writers and creators of Season 2 of Picard they have to make Q fresh as a character not warmed over late eighties, middle nineties leftovers. If all you got is nostalgia you haven’t much, its like the new Disney Star Wars movies they only existed for nostalgia and money.

I hope Q is back for season 3. He adds much needed Spice to the show.

He confirmed he’ll be in both season 2 and 3! :)

I really wish these articles (along with Paramount’s own promos) would spoil a little less. Episodes or entire seasons would be so much more surprising and exciting if less was revealed before they air.

Totally agree with you, Q-less, characters as well, would love the element of surprise.

No one is forcing you to read the articles. The site is free to post however they wish to post, and you are free not to read it.

I have said this before. I want to learn about the show. But not wish to know all the details. Who will show up for the upcoming episode. It takes away the element of surprise.

Take Marvel for example. They do an excellent job when they bring additional characters to the story. Wanda Vision was the most recent example that I can remember when Pietro from Fox’s X-Men showed up. It was so cool. Reminded me, my experience watching STNG Unification.

I was very busy at college, around midterms I believe, it was so cool to watch the episode without knowing anything. I may have missed few prior episodes, not sure, totally flipped out watching the episode and learning it was about Spock, Leonard Nimoy appearing at the end of the first episode!

I don’t think Q is going to die. Mr.De Lancie says this is his final carrying on with Jean-Luc Picard. To me, that doesn’t sound like Q’s going to die. It sounds like Picard’s going to die, which is what I theorized when Picard first started.
Sir Patrick Stewart said when he first started working on Picard that he wanted to give this show the Logan treatment. Logan was the end of the line for High Jackman’s Wolverine so he wanted Picard the series to be the end of Jean-Luc Picard’s story. And Sir Patrick has mentioned in numerous interviews how he only sees the show going for 3 years. When I watched Picard, it feels like it’s Jean-Luc Picard’s last adventure.
I always figured he would die in the end, even after he got transferred, mentally, into the Golem. Dr.Soong said he still has the same life span as he did when he was human so, at most, instead of dying instantaneously from the brain condition the Golem has given him an extra couple of years to live. My idea for the ending of Picard is that Jean-Luc goes with Q to the Continuum after his body shuts down. Then these words come up on the screen “And the adventure continues…”.
That’s how the show should end. Jean-Luc Picard is an explorer always looking for the next adventure. The only really big adventure left to him after he died would be for the Q Continuum to let him come live with them and see what they’re like. He can’t ever be human again so it’s not like with Wesley and the Traveler.
Once Picard’s body is gone, it’s gone. So he can’t be human ever again. So the only way to still exist is for him to evolve to a higher form of life like the Q. But that’s just my idea for how Picard should’ve ended.
With Mr.De Lancie saying this is his last carrying ons with Picard, Q probably makes the offer to Picard, Picard refuses saying he wants to remain human or some such thing, and then he passes away in bed with Soji nearby. That’ll probably be the ending we get. We’ll have to see, right🖖?

Yes I think this is what will happen too… when we look at a lot of sci-fi shows/movies, the main character often just disappears into a higher form of existence… it would be fitting…

I’d very much like to see Q take on the mantle of antagonist turned hero, a la John Vernon’s character Darro in THE QUESTOR TAPES. Not a facile Vader turns against the emperor kind of thing, but something that grows out of character. Q sacrificing himself or turning against the continuum in favor of humanity and lesser forms, but doing so out of respect for the future potential of the latter. Not getting the wording right, but if you go watch QUESTOR you can see that even if there had been a TV series, it would never have gotten better than the end of the movie, because Darro has the complexity of a Gene L. Coon rewrite (turned in days before he died, apparently) that nearly all post-TOS Trek lacks.

I had no interest in seeing any more PICARD after s1, but this has got me at least a little interested (as in, 1000% more interested than DSC, which I haven’t watched beyond s2, and with Pike gone, has absolutely zero to offer me.)

Yeah, it probably is Q’s last time with Picard…because Patrick Stewart is 81, and de Lancie is no spring chicken either. Sadly but inevitably, it’s almost certain this is the last time we’re gonna see them in those roles. I don’t think we need read any more into it than that. Let’s hope their last hurrah is a good one.

De Lancie is 73, Stewart will be 81 come July 13. You do the math about how much longer you’ll see these actors as these characters.

It sounds as though they’re pushing through to shoot S3 and finish the series.

Which is frankly a realistic approach with an octogenarian in the principal role.

I was hoping for much more of Q, maybe even as a regular / semi-regular character on Picard. Six episodes isn’t much…..and maybe after that, no more Q? I’m sad!!!!!!!!! :'(

Six out of ten is kind of a lot.

It’s 6 out of 20 if it’s two seasons being produced back-to-back.

It kind of sounded like he was saying that the remaining episodes he need to shoot are in the third season.

Given SNW is wrapping on its first ten episode season and Picard started shooting a week or two ahead, they should be moving on to shooting S3 about now.

Off topic, but congratulations to Sir Richard Branson on his safe trip aboard his *own* space ship! Great stuff. Looking forward to Jeff Bezos doing the same in a few more days.

Hope they don’t kill off another beloved character. Getting boring now 🙄

In honor of Q Squared ?

Weird that he would say that Q works best in the philosophical zone. And then turns out he was also the one who injected the clownishness into the character. The fact is Q works best as a comic foil rather than an honest to goodness grave threat.

Also, isn’t Q forever? Or at least hasn’t he been around for a VERY long time? Being a mere 30 years older wouldn’t be the same for him as it is for those with a far lesser life span. So that comment I find to be a bit odd…

Let’s face it. Nothing being said here is really making the show look like it has improved any.

Hopefully they will strike the balance between levity and potential danger. Voyager leaned to heavily into the trickster identity , while ignoring the sheer danger of interacting with a unstable omnipotent entity. Q should be a character that can clown on people one second, while threatening their very galaxy, all of which is part of a test the participant never gets the results from. I think we the audience should never really know if he is on the level or helping humanity. Unknowable. Sort of like Anthony Hopkins character in Westworld. Although that plot is kind of off the rails are this point I am still not sure if Anthony Hopkins character is good or bad.