Star Trek: Picard season 2 is bringing back one of the biggest thorns in Jean-Luc’s side – John de Lancie’s Q, with the extradimensional ne’er-do-well confirmed to be returning earlier this month. We haven’t even had all of Picard’s old Enterprise crew on the show yet, so it seem curious that Q is coming back sooner than the likes of, say, Worf. EP Akiva Goldman has explained, though, that Q was the perfect character to include in this season as his role links into its big theme.
Goldsman spoke with The Hollywood Reporter and revealed how Picard‘s next run is all about “connectedness,” something which the co-showrunner thinks made Q’s return a necessity as he and Picard have a complex but deep relationship.
“There are a lot of people who think of Q as a trickster god, right? And he is. But he’s also a profoundly significant relationship in Picard’s life. There’s a lot of discussion in Picard season two 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.”
Something that’s marked out Picard as standing apart from The Next Generation and other Trek shows is how the returning characters are much changed from when we last saw them. Riker and Deanna Troi have gone through a lot, as has Seven of Nine and obviously Jean-Luc himself. Likewise, this will be the same with Q, who Goldsman has teased will have evolved when we next meet him.
“You asked the exact right question, and the answer is: ‘In the same way that we have tried to do with Picard himself.’ [Co-showrunner] Terry Matalas and I don’t pretend that the interstitial years didn’t happen. 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.”
Goldsman confirms here that de Lancie will be playing Q as having aged, so we shouldn’t expect another CG de-aging like with Brent Spiner’s Data in season 1. Q could just change his appearance, electing to look like an older version of his usual form to match the nonagenarian Picard, but this wouldn’t indicate the kind of character growth Goldsman is talking about. So, maybe he’s been stripped of his powers and made human again, like in “Deja Q,” but more permanently this time?
This theme of connectedness is possibly also responsible for Whoopi Goldberg’s return as Guinan. Any further familiar faces have yet to be announced, but we can perhaps confidently assume they’re in there.
Star Trek: Picard season 2 is in production now and is due to hit Paramount Plus sometime in 2022.