John de Lancie On ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2’s Connection To Classic ‘Next Generation’ Episode

Season two of Star Trek: Picard will include the return of John de Lancie as Q. In a new update from the actor, he reveals he has finished up his work on the show and draws a comparison between Picard and one of his classic Star Trek: The Next Generation appearances.

All good Q

Our last report from John de Lancie had him revealing he was about to shoot his final scene for Star Trek: Picard season two last week. His latest Cameo videos posted after his final day were actually filmed on his sailboat, where he revealed, “I just finished a bunch of work and I am giving myself four days” to go sailing.

In a video message for a big fan of the Star Trek: The Next Generation finale “All Good Things…,” de Lancie weighed in on how he ranked that among his various guest appearances on multiple Trek shows:

You know what “All Good Things…” is probably my favorite as well. “Tapestry” was also really good. But “All Good Things…” was a really good show.

But the actor wasn’t done yet; he also revealed that the TNG series finale relates to what he has been doing in his six episodes of Star Trek: Picard:

… if you liked that, I think you are going to like Picard. There are a lot of elements about what I am doing on Picard that have a kind of connection with “All Good Things…”… in terms of the breadth of the acting and what have you.

While he sees a parallel with “All Good Things…” the actor has also been pretty consistent about the fact that Q is “very different” in season two of Picard. And in a couple of his last Cameo messages before shooting his final scene, de Lancie stated:

It’s a different story told by different writers…

It’s going to be a very different show, Q-wise.

(Cameo/John de Lancie)

Picard’s last trial

Widely considered one of the best series finales, the two-part “All Good Things…” featured Q returning to test humanity once again. In the end—and with some help from Q—Captain Jean-Luc Picard was able to identify the source of the crisis—namely, an “anti-time disruption” that was moving backward in time from a point in his future.

The story is primarily set in three separate time frames: 2370 (the “present” for the seventh season of TNG), 2364 (around season one of TNG, when Picard took command of the Enterprise-D and first met Q), and 2395 (an alternate future). Q’s primary role was to move Jean-Luc around to the various times so he could both identify and solve the crisis.

In their last moment together in “All Good Things…” Q appears again to Picard in his judge’s robes, as he did in the series premiere. Picard thanks him for his help and says he hoped it was the last time he would be in Q’s courtroom, to which Q says, “You just don’t get it, Jean-Luc, the trial never ends.” (Watch the scene below, starting at 4:06.)

The trial never ends

A connection to this episode has actually already been made to season two of Picard. The first teaser trailer (which you can see below) had a consistent theme about time, but it also ended with John de Lancie’s voice as Q saying his iconic “The trial never ends” line again.

The first season of Star Trek: Picard left off in the year 2399, with season two likely picking up soon after. However, the second teaser trailer released in June (also below) made it even clearer that the season was going to deal with time travel and/or alternate timelines, just like “All Good Things…”

Over the last couple of months, de Lancie has revealed he appears in six of the ten-episode season, and he will primarily be doing scenes with Sir Patrick Stewart, where he will be “annoying the shit out of Picard.”  The actor also talked about how “the trial” is different on Picard:

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.

If season two deals with Jean-Luc Picard and his crew in an alternate timeline, it could be that this is just an extension of the Q Continuum trial. But in “All Good Things…” Q did end up helping Picard and even got a thank you for the whole ordeal, so perhaps on Picard, Q is there for more than just annoying and testing “mon capitaine.”

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

Update from showrunner

De Lancie may have gone sailing, but work continued last week on Picard. On Friday evening (August 20), showrunner Terry Matalas tweeted “Just another day”from the set of Picard, with a brief video clip of a Starfleet red alert display.

The two other live-action Trek shows on the Paramount Plus slate have already wrapped up, with Strange New Worlds finishing season one in late July, and Discovery season four finishing just yesterdayPicard started production on its second season in February, around the same time as Strange New Worlds, and both have the same number of episodes, so with de Lancie wrapping up, it’s likely that filming the second season is close to being done. However, there have been reports that the show will be moving into production on its third season with back-t0-back production, so the Picard production crew may not finish up until 2022.

ICYMI: Picard season 2 teasers

Here is the first teaser (see our analysis).

The second teaser (and analysis).

Star Trek: Picard season two arrives in 2022.

Find more news and analysis on Star Trek: Picard.

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There is an excellent fan theory video by The Popcast on YouTube that tries to connect the dots. What if Q undoes Picard’s first contact with the Borg in Q Who? Will that lead to the altered timeline that we observe in the trailer?

Interesting. Now why in the universe would he do that?

Tapestry scenario. Picard maybe having issues with his Locutus memories and Q offers him to undo all of that, leading to an even more dire situation. It’s a bit repetitive but maybe…

That actually could be a really interesting idea and it fits with what we seem to know, that being they go back on time to somewhere in the mid 21st century, around the time of first contact, probably a couple decades earlier in 2040s/50s.

I hope it’s not just another, much longer, version of the Tapestry-type scenario.
That would seem kind of lazy, that they couldn’t think of a clever new way for Q and time to both be involved.
Plus it would seem like Picard really didn’t learn his lesson by the end of Tapestry, if he voices some regret to Q about the way things are, and Q takes away the event that caused it all to unfold as it did.

No, because Seven is no longer Borg, and she became a Borg 20-ish years before Q-Who?

No, because if Q-Who doesn’t happen, FC doesn’t happen, thus ENT Regeneration doesn’t happen, The Borg don’t send the signal and thus no Borg rumors in the Beta quadrant and her parents would never go on a quest to explore the Borg… Q Who is pivotal for that Borg loop…
If it never happens, the Federation would also be unprepared for the Dominion because the Borg attack in BOBW has led to the development of more powerful weapons and ships such as the Defiant…

Wouldn’t there still have been plenty or Borg rumors from the El Aurians (like Guinan, who clearly knew all about them) after Generations? Or did Starfleet never ask them, “hey, who were all you refugees running from?”

Too bad they didn’t follow up on “Conspiracy”.

My guess is it’s a Tapestry-like tale where he’s showing him alternate events if Picard had or hadn’t done this or that. I don’t think, however, it will directly involve himself, ie: undoing their own encounters. I don’t think– or I really hope it doesn’t– revolve around Q trying to show Picard how important HE was to his life.

My HOPE is that the season starts with JLP questioning his existence as an android. Asking the question: am I really Jean Luc Picard? What does it really mean to be human? And Q showing him these myriad possibilities of his existence to illustrate “it’s not your body or even your brain patterns that makes you who you are.”

Something like that.

How does that fit in with the 21st century Los Angeles storyline teased in the season 2 poster?

But ENT established that the Borg had sent a homing signal to Earth in Archer’s era. Q doing that would presumably lead to the Borg showing up sometime after “The Neutral Zone” and completely taking the Federation by a surprise. Q did the Federation a favor in “Q-Who”; it was Picard’s arrogance that got them in trouble.

In the Voyager episode Death Wish Q says it was Q that saved the federation/alpha quadrant.
Yes, Q likes to go off on a tangent, but it probably has a ring of truth.

Picard: Q, what is it that you’re trying to tell me?

Q: You’ll find out. In any case, I’ll be watching.

Yup! It’s all there. The greatest Star Trek story that was never going to be told and we’re finally going to get to see it. I’m sure we’ll all bitch about it, whatever they come up with.

No doubt!

“Over the last couple of months de Lancie has revealed he appears in six of the ten-episode season”

Correct me if I’m mistaken, but I thought when de Lancie said: “six episodes” he meant strewn throughout the second and third seasons.

So has he walked back his earlier remark that they are shooting seasons 2 and 3 back to back?

I think the TPTB have told him to keep quiet about that. I’m sure he got a phone call soon after he made those comments.

My guess is that S2+3 will be released as one larger season now which would make sense if it does focus on one main idea and involve Q.

I also believe that this will be the final season and that the Worf (comedy) show will eventually replace it. That’s just a guess out of thin air but given Sir Patrick’s old age, I doubt he’ll be doing another two seasons of stressful TV.

If I were them, I’d establish the Worf-centric show as a Orville-style semi-comedy that could also be a a true rebirth of TNG. After all, Orville minus the napkin-eating and ravine-peeing… is TNG Redux.

Now I’m being a bit creative. Worf could command a decommissioned training ship (doing the TWOK Spock thing) with young cadets that have relations to all 24th century Trek shows. I could imagine Miral Paris and Kirayoshi O’Brien among the trainees or Elnor joing Starfleet, a seasoned Boimler or Tendi as Worf’s second-in-command and the Mark II EMH there to annoy everyone…

Interesting. The Worf semi-comedy idea both interests and worries me.

My guess is Picard Season 2 and 3 will be broken up and Strange New Worlds Season 1 will go in between.

Q will give Picard a new human body. I sincerely hope we can leave the Golem behind. :P

I mean, I don’t think it’ll be a focal point. So what’s it matter? It’s established that he’s the same person whose body happens to now be different.

You cannot be the same person in an artificial body as it is simply a soulless copy.

You can be whatever the writer says you are in a work of fiction!

Yeah nah.

Basically that’s what the transporter does every single time… It creates a copy of the original body. If the transporter can somehow mysteriously remerge your soul with that body so why shouldn’t Soong be able to transfer his essence into an artificial body?

I guess my point is there’s several in-canon examples for this very thing (Juliana Tainer) or main crew members dying and being resurrected in some fashion, some in other bodies (Spock, O’Brien, Harry Kim). There’s a lot of mind-body dualism examples like this in Trek. So either Picard is somehow different than these other examples (if so, how?) or none of these other examples are the “same person” and thus deserve the same scrutiny that the PIC writers get

Do you care to quantify what a soul is? Artificial or biological doesn’t really matter. We’re biological machines. Data has mechanical biology. This line you’re drawing around the idea of a “soul” is difficult to reconcile with the humanism of Trek.

A machine cannot have a soul. A machine is not alive.

the whole of the TNG era is about refuting that idea

That’s remarkably un sci-fi of you. Did you not perceive the entire point of Data’s 35ish-year character arc? “Alive” and “dead” are words made up by humans to describe states of being as best as we can describe them from our perspective. They’re hardly absolute concepts in the grand scheme of things.

Why not? The continuity of consciousness is what’s important.

I hope not. That would just completely undo the first season. And what would be the point, anyway?

To correct a gigantic mistake.

Wouldn’t be the first time. Search for Spock completely undid Wrath of Khan.

Not if you’re Captain Terrell, or Kirk’s eyeglasses (which came back in Star Trek IV), or Chekov’s ear. Or Khan himself!

I do not necessarily mean plot points like Terrell’s death. I mean it completely undid the theme of the movie. Dealing with death and loss, “the needs of the many…” and whatnot.

I think David Marcus sacrificing himself reinforced the needs of the many theme, albeit to a smaller degree.

I think I see where you are going with this but I think he was motivated by a desire for redemption more than anything else. He realized his actions led to this and decided he couldn’t let Saavik be killed like that. Also, it wasn’t stated so much in the film but he was developing feelings for her too.

What was the Point of making him a robot in the first place?

The first season was rife with hack writing. They had to give Picard a terminal illness to give the season high stakes. But they didn’t want to lose the potential cash-cow of a season two, hence robot Picard. Just lazy in my opinion.

There is nothing lazy about it at all. TNG has consistently explored the theme of integrating artificial and biological life, from Day One. Picard has an artificial heart. Geordi has his VISOR. Dr. Ira Graves downloaded his memories into Data. This is before we even get to Data himself and the Borg. The PIC finale was the culmination of this theme.

Not much of a culmination, if so.

Q kills Picard in the opening scene of the second season. Fade to black.

My guess is that Q taunts Picard by telling him if he’s alive, “Prove it!”

‘How can I prove to you that I’m alive?” “Die!”

That made me laugh. I liked it.

A few things… I hadn’t seen the 2nd trailer until now. And it really doesn’t make me curious to see the show. Let alone has me jazzed for it. In all honesty, this 2nd season does not sound or look promising at all.

Now… Cue the whiners to say, “Just another hater hating on a show he hasn’t seen yet”. Blah blah and blah. And now the reminder… This is speculation based on what we have seen and heard so far. It is possible the show might be better than the sum of its parts. I think it unlikely but possible.

Why unlikely? Well apart from the fact that this is produced by Secret Hideout who have gone 0 for 5 on their Trek seasons so far, Q for one thing. “The road not taken” for another. And now strike 3… Comparing it to the monumentally weak “All Good Things.” You know… That boring episode where the audience figured out what was happening long before the protagonist… Who had to be spoon fed everything by the omnipotent being who supposedly was independently judging him. So yeah…. This is not looking well.

So … what’s your favourite TNG Episode and Star Trek Show then?

Best of Both Worlds was a top TNG Episode. I also liked Heart of Glory, Tapestry and The Inner Light. My favorite Trek show was TOS. Next favorite was DS9.

Wow, not sure I’ve ever seen “All Good Things…” described that way before.

Following this person’s comments on this site for a while and I still haven’t figured out what Trek shows he likes or what he even likes about Trek, since 1969. To each their own, I suppose!

I’ve said plenty of times I think DS9 was the best post TOS Trek. I liked Enterprise, too. Voyager to some extent but honestly, TNG never really spoke to me. When it was on I never thought highly of it. I mainly watched only because it was new Trek and not a rerun. They had some good episodes, Stewart had charisma enough to make a boring character watchable and Worf was interesting but beyond that… Not much there.

Well.. Now you have.

I hate to say this, but the trailer doesn’t really care to get someone excited who didn’t like the first season at all, and isn’t really a fan of the character.

It’s designed to attract the attention of those who like the character of Picard, liked TNG, and at most, maybe perk up the eyes and ears of those who were disappointed in Season 1.

And I know this may sound harsh, but I don’t think anyone here cares or is really upset that it didn’t excite you.

I don’t think anyone here cares or is really upset that it didn’t excite you.

On the flip side if that is so then pretty sure nobody cares that you don’t think the trailer didn’t care about people who did not like the first season. Or about what anyone says. But in the grand scheme of things no one really cares what is said here. This is just a fun fan site to talk inconsequential things out. No need to be “harsh” like that. Geez…

Credit where credit is due, Q set up the time paradox for Picard, true, but it was Picard and Data who figured it out. Remember the scene in Ten Forward on the future D?

Q also allowed Picard to ask direct yes no questions. He took him to the past and showed him EXACTLY what was going on because unlike the audience, Picard still hadn’t figured it out and by that point Q seemed to just decide, “Eff it. I’m just gonna show and tell him everything.”

The only theory is Guinan dies and Q sends him through time to understand why

I’m starting to think you’re right. Why haven’t we seen or heard a bit of the big G?

Probably they want to leave some surprises for the actual show.

Yep, it was leaked a while back.

So it sounds like Q will be 6 episodes of season 2 after all. Nice. And it sounds like Picard will be last show to premiere, most likely after SNW. Lots of Trek to look forward to, let’s hope most of it is good.

I’m not so sure about Picard coming after SNW. I mean, we have a teaser and a short 1 minute trailer for the former and absolutely zilch for the latter. We don’t even know the names of the characters and what they will be playing in SNW.

I think they are just trying to keep the show as secret as possible until we get closer to the premiere. We knew nothing about Prodigy for a whole year either. We just found out who the characters are and got a one minute clip on First Contact day and that is suppose to air this year. We also seen more of Picard and that comes out next year too.

My guess is because PRO and SNW are completely new they are just going a different direction marketing wise. But sure I can still be wrong.

I wonder whether Picard will realise that he’s in a different timeline/alternate quantum reality because he notices visual discontinuities with his own reality.

And then Q shows up and just says “temper, temper, mon capitane. It’s just a visual reboot. This ship is the same as that ship”. What a naughty omnipotent trickster that Q is.

“All Good Things” isn’t just the best Trek finale, it’s among the best TV finales of all time. It was and exciting and intriguing story in its own right, and still managed to encapsulate the full breadth of its entire run, hitting upon both long running stories as well as established relationships. It was able to bring back long-gone cast members like Yar and O’Brien in a way that didn’t seem forced, but organic and necessary for this story (unlike a lot of other TV finales).

And of course, it was written well and still managed give every member of the ensemble something juicy to work with. It wrapped up the “story” of the Enterprise and its crew in a satisfying way while still showing a future for them together (and apart).

It’s still the only TV finale that ever got me close to tears at the end.

100% agreed.

Forced to disagree. Obviously you are fee to think it was good. That’s opinion. But I’m wondering on something specific you said… How did it “wrap up the ‘story’ of the Enterprise and its crew”? It didn’t feel to me like it wrapped up anything. They were all still there ready to begin shooting their movie the next week. I saw no character change. No growth. No one moved on with their life to other things… Things that one usually see in series finales. Not here to argue your opinion that it was great. That’s subjective. Just wondering about the “wrapped up” part.

Yes, I agree, it’s my opinion, and opinions are subjective. Glad we see eye to eye.

Way to not answer the question but that’s OK if you don’t want to discuss.

It wrapped up the series by being the other bookend to Farpoint and Q. It even included the Farpoint era. But it also teased things to come. It ended the series but not the journey…

So it sounds to me like you are saying because it was essentially a sequel to the pilot, that means it wrapped up the series. Not sure I can agree with that but OK.

Regarding ending the series but not the journey, I can agree. But it did nothing for the people of the series. As I said, no one moved on to other things. No one reached the end of a personal journey. It just didn’t feel like a series finale but I think that was intentional as we all knew the movies were coming. But Nemesis… That DID feel like the culmination of that crew’s journey.

I don’t know about the rest of the crew, but I thought it wrapped up Picard’s relationship with them nicely. Or at least it made him realize how much he appreciated them, as we saw in the final scene with him joining them at the poker table. The professional barrier he kept up throughout the series came crumbling down in that moment. He was no longer their captain at that table. He was their friend.

It’s essentially the workplace version of A Christmas Carol. Even has the ghosts of past, present, and future represented in the different time periods.

Hmm… Maybe that was Picard’s point of view. But I saw it more like from the crew’s perspective. This was THEIR comradery event away from the boss. And he decided to intrude on that. That scene felt extremely awkward to me. The subtext read to me like, “Oh crap… The Boss is here and want’s to join…”

Yep definitely agree! I rewatched it back in May after rewatching all of TNG and I still get choked up by the end. AGT is just an incredible finale.

Hmmm, with production of S2 of Picard still going on and S4 of Discovery just finishing up this week, I wonder if there is any chance that the series premiere of SNW gets moved up??
Even though I am anxiously awaiting what is in store for Picard and Q and to a lesser extent what is going on with Discovery, I have to admit seeing SNW moved up to later this year would be something many fans including myself would love to see.

If not for Covid, we likely would have had Trek almost year round in 2021: 8 episodes of Picard (February/March), 10 episodes of Lower Decks (May/June), 10 episodes of Strange New Worlds (July/August), 13 episodes of Discovery (Oct/Nov/Dec).

Would have been the most episodes of Trek in a year since 1998.

I just happened to re-watch “The Schizoid Man”, an episode where Picard berates Dr. Graves for cheating Death by downloading himself into Data to prolong his life. Picard told him he already had his time. I wonder if that idea is at all present in Season 2, you could image Q taking him to task for cheating death.

That’d be potentially interesting. I don’t trust this show’s writers to have an idea that good. I would love to be proven wrong, though!

Burton and Wheaton also set to appear, it’s all hush hush however. And Guinan only ‘alive’ in one ep

Just wanted to let you that John De Lancie is actually in 6 episodes across season 2 and 3 of Picard. So, in season 2, he’s actually only going to be in 3 episodes. And that Red Alert graphic that’s in that tweet from Terry Matalas? That looks very familiar to me.

It looks like it’s from the TOS movie era. It’s very reminiscent of the Red Alert graphic used for the refit Enterprise in The Wrath of Khan. My thoughts are that maybe that graphic belongs to the Stargazer? The Stargazer was an old starship before Picard ever took command of her.

And John De Lancie just said that his time on Picard reminded him of “All Good Things…”. So what I infer from that is that we’re going to be visiting 3 different time periods. We already know what 2 of the different periods are. One of them is the era of the Stargazer and the 2nd one is modern day (2021) Los Angeles and that was revealed on the teaser poster.

The 3rd one must be the present (2399). So, anyways, I think that Red Alert graphic is from the Stargazer. Live long and prosper, Trekmovie 🖖.

It might not be 3 each season though, it could be 5 in S2 and just 1 in S3

Of course they will be undoing things. Isn’t that the entire Kurtzman narrative? Sour the past and make older series episodes meaningless?

So many IPs are using the time travel and parallel universe crutch. It’s a weak trope that makes all potential character stakes meaningless.

“Does anyone remember when we were explorers?”

Here’s an idea: movie forward in the prime universe and explore the galaxy. Oh nevermind, I’ll just be told that’s not what Star Trek ever was.