Since the news first came out that John de Lancie was reprising his iconic role as Q in the second season of Star Trek: Picard we have been getting updates from the actor. This week we have some more clarity on how Q has changed as well as which role Brent Spiner will be playing in season two.
Not the trickster Q
We have been keeping track of John de Lancie’s comments to his fans on Cameo about his work on the second season of Star Trek: Picard. In some of his latest updates, he talks more about working again with some of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast and how Q is different from his previous appearances:
It’s been like 25 years, but I kind of found myself getting into the saddle really easily. It wasn’t difficult at all. But I must say it’s not the sort of Puck-ish, Mercutio of old. It’s a different Q this time. It’s what they wanted and I think that it makes sense. But Patrick and I have had a nice opening scenes and scenes with Brent and working with Jonathan Frakes. It’s been really interested and I am delighted. Who would have thought?
By invoking the playful and witty Shakespearan characters of Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet) and Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) de Lancie is indicating that Q is more serious in Picard, and less of the trickster god-like being seen on TNG, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.
In another message, de Lancie spoke more about the quality of the work he and his TNG friends were doing:
It’s the oldsters, but we’re pretty good. We really are. [Jonathan] Frakes and I and Brent [Spiner] and Patrick [Stewart] were all going, “You know what, we can still do this. Good! This is fun!” It has been fun, great fun. It’s a very different Q this time. As well as it should be. It’s a very different Q. As a matter of fact, I am going there tomorrow… to deliver a very important scene.
Spiner (probably) not playing Data in season two
Brent Spiner is confirmed to be back for season two, and on Cameo, de Lancie has mentioned working with him many times. In May we reported that he mentioned doing a scene with “Data” in one message. At the time it wasn’t clear if he had misspoken, and just meant Spiner, who played Data in a number of episodes of season one, but got closure for the character in the season finale. However, with the time-twisting and alternative timelines indicated in the season two teaser trailer, a return for Data seemed at least plausible. We now have some clarification thanks to an interview with Jonathan Frakes in The Main Edge in which he was asked if he personally would be returning for season two:
I just finished directing a couple of episodes of Star Trek: Picard. I can confirm that one of our old crew, the omnipotent Q, played by John de Lancie, is in fact in both of the episodes that I direct. As for the rest of the cast, I don’t know what the plan is for them. Marina Sirtis, who played Counselor Troi, and I were briefly in Picard last season. Brent Spiner, who played Data, is back in another role, but that’s about as far as I can see.
While Frakes didn’t indicate what this “other role” Spiner is playing, it is most likely Dr. Altan Inigo Soong, who was introduced in season one. After season one wrapped, co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman said the Soong character was introduced to “create a platform for which there could be more Brent in ensuing seasons.” In theory, Spiner could still play Data in another season two episode not involving either de Lancie or Frakes, so we can’t say definitively Data isn’t back. But this at least clarifies that de Lancie indeed misspoke when he said he was doing a scene with Data.
Star Trek: Picard season two will arrive in 2022.
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