John de Lancie Talks Moral Issues On ‘Star Trek: Picard’ As He Approaches Finishing Season 2 Production

The big news for season two of Star Trek: Picard is that John de Lancie is returning to play Q, appearing in multiple episodes of the season. The actor is about to wrap up and he is now reflecting on his work.

Finishing “nice run” as Q

We have been keeping track of John de Lancie’s video messages to his fans on Cameo about his work on the second season of Star Trek: Picard. In some of his latest videos, the actor has been giving updates on how he will be wrapping up within days:

I am finishing up my last couple of scenes on Picard. And that will have been season two. I’m back [as Q].

I’m on Picard right now. As a matter of fact on Tuesday I finish up my last scene for season two. It’s a different Q, but hey, it’s 34 years so I am a different John.

I’m on Picard. Next Tuesday I will be doing my last scene. It’s been a nice run.

De Lancie began work on the show around the beginning of April and he previously revealed he will be shooting six episodes. Last month he said his work on the show will be his “final carrying on with Jean-Luc Picard.” He has also indicated that the Picard production will be shooting seasons two and three back-to-back, so production may continue after the actor wraps up.

John de Lancie as Q in the Star Trek: Picard season two teaser

Dealing with moral issues in season 2

De Lancie’s message that his Q is different in season two has been a common theme of his Cameo messages over the last few months. In one from last week, he really emphasized this point:

I am going to be on Picard. A VERY different Q this time. We will see how everyone feels about it. I think it’s pretty good, though.

The actor has previously said that he is “annoying the shit out of Picard” in season two, so some things don’t change. In another recent Cameo video asking the actor for advice, he responded:

I’m not very good at advice stuff. I’m mostly good at banging people’s heads together, like Picard said. Which I do in Picard! So watch that.

But in another new video, de Lancie talked about how Star Trek has always been a show about asking questions and that his Q helps spark these moral discussions. And this will continue in season two where he is more than just a provocateur:

I have this sort of composite idea… of families getting together… and eating dinner and watching [Star Trek] and most importantly, talking about it afterwards. And because Star Trek is like secular cautionary tales, or moral tales of a secular nature, it just gave families something to talk about, and to ponder. I love all that stuff. By the way, I’m in it again. I’m doing Picard right now, and actually memorizing some lines right now that have just that type of kind of moral issue involved.

John de Lancie as Q in “Encounter at Farpoint”

Star Trek: Picard season two will arrive in 2022.

Find more news and analysis on Star Trek: Picard.

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DeLancie is running the lines in his head as he talks about the process of acting and the meaning of the lines. I love that last quote!

A VERY different Q this time.” I can hear people writing their essays already.

Right, and here it is…..

They’ve got to be careful with how they do this. When Q first popped up in Encounter At Farpoint, he was dead serious, ponderous and threatening. It didn’t come across very well. In later episodes, when Q “lightened up” and behaved more like an imp with omnipotent powers who could do ANYTHING on a whim, that was a much scarier individual.
If, on Picard, they have Q back to being deadly serious, that may not prove to be as entertaining as they hope.

I agree. They need to tread carefully. Here’s what I’m hoping: the tone of Q in Tapestry was the perfect balance. He’s still mischievous, but in a way that makes the core characters look inward and face themselves. With all the time shenanigans likely at play, I hope this is what they do. I think that could be compelling as hell

And Tapestry was not only the best Q episode but one of the best of the series. Q was the perfect foil to point out to Picard the road he didn’t take. Because by that point it was obvious Q cared about Picard. He was like the father who would help his son in ways his son may not yet fully understand but would never tell his son he cared. If they change that in Q while it might work in the context of the Picard show I still think it is a needless risk.

And speaking of the “road not taken” I really hope that is not the theme of this upcoming season. They did that already quite well with Tapestry.

I agree and disagree. He was never scary. In the beginning he was tiresome. Let’s start the new Trek off with yet another God-like entity. Yawn. Been there. Done that. But once they realized he was never going to be a serious threat he was used for comedy relief. And it worked. His appearances became more entertaining. But he was NEVER scary. The audience, and the characters, too I think, just knew he wasn’t going to do anything permanent.

I understand what you mean about Q not being scary, but there is one scene that jumped off the screen at me. In Q Who, near the end, when Picard tells Q they could have learned the lesson without the death of 18 of the crew, when Q leans over to Picard and utters, “if you’re scared why don’t you go back home and crawl under your bed”…..that scene practically crackled for me (personally).

If you’re looking for scary, TNG’s Douwd (Kevin Uxbridge) is likely a better candidate for a being wrestling with his moral core. Personally, as far as supreme beings go I think the writers struck the right chord with ‘The Survivors’. Q doesn’t seem to understand that the exercise of power requires responsibility – Q doesn’t attach anymore significance to snapping his fingers then we would farting. Kevin’s Douwd does, and goes to great lengths to not lash out again.

Picard only exists as an echo in the Nexus like Kirk. He is dead. What relationship does Q have to a confused android that is programmed to believe it is Picard?

Ultimately, the only thing that matters is that Picard the android has the memories of his past life. It’s really not that different from the idea that the transporter kills the original and creates a new being on the other side. And whether or not the transporter’s regular function does that, or if it really does move matter, it’s canon that it CAN do that, since they’ve resurrected characters by using stored patterns of dead characters before. So, the relationship is the same.

Not to mention there’s significant canon around the idea that one can transfer ones consciousness into another entity and still be the same. Hell, “Inheritance” explains this exact thing. I don’t understand the argument that Picard isn’t Picard anymore. I don’t see evidence supporting that from an in-universe perspective

I really really hate the idea of Picard being an android but yes end of the day it’s no different than all the other crazy ideas in Star Trek, especially when it comes to consciousness. It’s still Picard and the person he was. It’s no different than Spoack who clearly is in a different body than he was originally in after TSFS. And even if you can believe its the same body, his consciousness was still copied from the original Spock in TWOK. And yet nobody cares. Star Trek is just a very wacky universe at the end of the day and one in which ANYTHING is possible. Q himself represents that in every way possible.

If he maintains continuity of consciousness with Picard, then as far as I’m concerned he’s Picard; he just had all his parts replaced (just as he’d previously had his heart replaced).

My only issue with Picard “dying” and then being resurrected in the new body is that it seemed like a pointless fake-out to have all these other characters mourning and memorializing him as though he’d permanently died, when all they really did was transfer his consciousness into a new shell.

If I’m not mistaken, the production is going right into filming Season 3. I wonder if Q will have an appearance in that season.

That’s been implied pretty heavily…..

Will say this… I’m looking forward moreso to Q’s return than anyone else in the Picard cast. DeLancie is a gift.

Well… Nice to see characters change over time. But Q? Maybe… I guess… But being a very long lived entity I kinda question how much is he really going to change over such a VERY short (to him) time frame. They played with the character a little and it became obvious he worked best when he was used as comedy relief. So altering that to try something different? Feels like a risk. I suppose it depends on what they do to him. But like with most things Secret Hideout, I have my doubts. I mean, he did work when he was playing for laughs and appearing only one out of 26 episodes. But for half the season? I don’t know… It might work but given what we know of how the character works and the history of Secret Hideout Trek… I have real doubts.

Q could have been gallavanting across the universe for millenia, before deciding to revisit picard. Just because it’s been 34 years for picard, doesn’t mean Q hasn’t aged a couple eons, and come back in time. Kind of like how Dr.Who visits the same time periods on earth over thousands of years. So, he could have had time to change quite a bit

That is one possibility. Being omnipotent he very well could play with time and space to his heart’s content. But you are right… It is possible. However, my take on bringing him in and changing him away from the version that worked in small doses is a risk.