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SYFY WIRE Star Trek: Picard

Star Trek producer teases Q and the existential queries he brings along in Picard Season 2

By Josh Weiss

Question for you. Who's got two thumbs, near-omnipotence, and is coming back to the Star Trek universe for Season 2 of Picard? The first letter of the last sentence is the answer. John de Lancie will return as Q for Jean-Luc's sophomore outing, but don't expect him to be a highly exaggerated character like he was in Next Generation. Recently chatting with The Hollywood Reporter, series co-creator/executive producer Akiva Goldsman explained how Q will be presented in the more sobering world of Picard.

"[Co-showrunner] Terry Matalas and I don't pretend that the interstitial years didn't happen," he said. "No, obviously, chronological time is less relevant to Q. The time between shows is probably not even the blink of an eye in Q time — if you even have Q time. But we definitely chose to follow suit when it came to him. So as we tried to evolve the other characters, the same is true of Q. This is a show of a different time with actors of a different age. We're now talking about the issues that come up in the last [stage] of your life. We wanted a Q that could play in that arena with Picard."

Given his status as a Loki-esque alien of immense and god-like power, Q opens up the door for all kinds of existential topics. Despite his penchant for playing practical jokes on Patrick Stewart's aging captain, he's still got a very important role to play in the forthcoming season. In short, it's no laughing matter.

"There are a lot of people who think of Q as trickster God, right? And he is. But he's also a profoundly significant relationship in Picard's life," Goldsman continued. "There's a lot of discussion in Picard Season 2 about the nature of connectedness. Q's kind of a great lightning rod for that, because in some ways he's one of Picard's deepest — not deep in the same way that Riker is or Beverly crusher was — but in its own uniquely, profoundly deep relationship."

Q Star Trek The Next Generation

When asked if the Section 31 spinoff with Michelle Yeoh is still happening, Goldsman was a little more non-committal. 

"I don't know. I believe so. Alex [Kurtzman] has a plan," he said. "You know, Picard wasn't supposed to be a series. It was just a one-off scene in a Short Trek. He wasn't even going to be played by Patrick Stewart. They were going to have a young Picard at the end of a short we were making up. Then Alex was like, 'What if it was Patrick Stewart? ... What if it wasn't one scene?' Alex has a plan, and it's pretty cool."

Season 2 of Picard is now in production, but there's no confirmation on when the next batch of episodes will start to debut on Paramount+. That said, it is expected to premiere sometime next year.