John de Lancie Talks About His Experience Returning As Q In ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2

Titan’s revamped Star Trek Explorer magazine delivers its third issue next week and we have an exclusive excerpt from an interview with John de Lancie talking about his experience on the second season of Star Trek: Picard.

de Lancie on Picard

In the Star Trek Explorer exclusive interview, John de Lancie discusses slipping back into character, reuniting with Stewart and Brent Spiner, and much more. Here is an excerpt: 

Star Trek Explorer: How shocked – or not – were you to get a call saying, “Would you be interested in returning as Q?”

John de Lancie: I had kind of accepted the fact that I was never going to play it again. As I have said a bazillion times in the past, I don’t spend too much time angsting over whether or not I’m going to be invited to the dinner party. I knew they were doing Picard. I knew that they did one season of it. I hadn’t been asked to be on it, and I figured, “Oh, that’s the end of it. That’s the way it goes. There’s nothing.” That was about as much thought as I had put into it. When I did get a call, I was like, “Oh, wow! Great! That’s great.”

When I went in to meet with [Picard Executive Producer and Season 2 showrunner] Terry Matalas, my first thing was, “You’re not putting me in tights, I hope.” He said, “No, he’ll be just the way you are now.” I said, “OK. Well, then, that makes a lot of sense.”

Can we assume there’s a reason that, age-wise, you look like John de Lance, circa 2022?

Yes, and it’s something I really pushed for, and hope it’s in that opening scene. I believe it is. I know they wanted to do it, and I wanted to do it. As actors, we comb through scripts and we use a very fine comb. There was one thing where I said, “We really must include this, otherwise they’re going to think, ‘Well, he’s immortal! Why does he look different?” That problem was handled with this line. I say, “Jean-Luc, how I’ve missed you.” I forget if he has a response, but then I go, “Oh dear, you’re a lot older that I expected. Let me fix that. There! Better?” In other words, off-camera I have somehow made myself look my current age, or his age. That’s what we’re dealing with. That’s how that’s done.

What was it like to share scenes again with Patrick Stewart?

I was very pleased to work with Patrick, and I think that he was pleased to work with me. The set-up scenes were important. One had to commit to them in a certain way, which was not just simply, “I say my lines, and you say your lines.” He really met that challenge. It was clear to me, the two of us and the director, that these were establishing shots for which the rest of the episodes were going to go on. Those opening things had to do with, “This is the type of life you could have had. I am pointing you towards the type of life you should have, and that you still have within your capability to achieve.”

John de Lancie as Q in Star Trek: Picard

You can read the full interview in Star Trek Explorer #3 which goes on sale June 28.

Star Trek Explorer #3

The new issue also goes behind the scenes of Star Trek: Prodigy with an interview with the show’s producers and director along with an interview with Kate Mulgrew. There is also a feature with over a hundred Star Trek stars finishing the sentence “Live long and…”. The Enterprise is the focus of the issue’s Inside Trek supplement and there are two all-new and exclusive Star Trek short stories; and much more.

You can subscribe today to make sure you never miss an issue at Subscribers get  a digital supplement (including more new fiction, plus other added content)

Explorer #3 regular cover

Explorer #3 Previews exclusive cover


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John de Lance was great as Q as usual and didn’t miss a beat. Was happy he came back.

But what they actually did with him…🙄.

I think S2 was not that good on execution (Script, pacing). The story ideas were imho great. I would have been great to know why Q was dying. And the implications from that.

I think it was totally bizarre to bring de Lancie back and then not use him very much! The man is totally riveting, every moment he’s on screen. And if you can steal the scene from PATRICK STEWART, you are playing very well indeed. :-)

Considering the Q are masters of manipulating time and space, I would not be shocked to see Q back sometime or someplace in a future show.

Given the results, I wish this whole season had just not happened at all.

The last episode of season 2, made the whole season worth it!