The return of Q! According to multiple reports, John de Lancie is to reprise his role as “Q”, in the upcoming series of Picard (unfortunately delayed due to the current Covid-19 pandemic). The news has created quite a stir, and understandably so. With that in mind, here’s our take on it. First, though, let’s look back at their (and his) involvement with Captain Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart). And then, we’ll evaluate how the character might influence things, and fit into the show’s storyline, as well as discussing other issues.
A Brief History
In the events of Star Trek: Next Generation, humanity was put on trial, by the Q Continuum. The “Judge” was the Q member played by John de Lancie. Consequently, Sir Patrick Stewart represented humanity. The long and short is that humans are judged not to be savaged, although there is a suggestion that the trial never ends . . . But things were sort of turned on their heads in The Q Conflict Series. But now, the return of Q is set to occur within the live-action “Trek” universe. There’s bound to be some references to past events and TNG events, but the character’s resurgence will have to seem feasible. So, what do we think might cause it to happen?. .
Q’s Role in The Story
The return of Q will need to have a decent explanation. For example, perhaps a major event will take place, and that will act as a catalyst. Furthermore, this will need to have a personal significance for Picard. Perhaps it might resonate with the fact that Picard now has an android body. This would certainly seem to tie in with some of the themes in “Tapestry”, which for some fans is the best “Q” episode. Whatever happens, something that will almost certainly have to be addressed is the fact that John de Lancie has aged.
One way to manage the aging issue is to simply say that Q has chosen to take that appearance. Given the omnipotence, that would easily be feasible. Additionally, it might be that Q does this to continue the ongoing campaign of derision and mockery, towards humanity. Really, this isn’t a difficult thing to overcome. As stated, the writers have many available options, and can even make their decision a part of the story. One thing that omnipotent characters allow for is pretty much any plot device being easily explainable.
The Trial Continued?
Perhaps the most obvious storyline for the return of Q is simply that the trial never ended . . . We’ve already touched on this. Given the current state of The Federation, and events in Picard, Season One, having something to prove to Q, again, might work. Let’s hope that we see the return of the fantastic and ostentatious colourful robes that de Lancie made even brighter, with trademark outlandishness.
Another way that the old thread might be picked up is that something happens which simply hadn’t yet. An important part of the original story might be seen. It’s maybe unlikely, but possible. After all, Q doesn’t have to worry about linearity and the limits of time. The Q Continuum, and all of their fun, and wild, ceaseless possibilities are an absolute dream come true, from a writing point of view.