Season two of the Paramount Plus original series Star Trek: Picard will see Starfleet Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart, American Dad!) come face-to-face with an old foe in the form of the super-intelligent and malevolent extra-dimensional being Q (John de Lancie, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), as reported by Entertainment Weekly. de Lancie’s return to the live-action arm of the ever-expanding franchise was announced on April 5, according to Entertainment Weekly. In-universe, the day is a holiday known as First Contact Day. Q’s upcoming comeback in Picard season two was one of several reveals that took place as part of a virtual First Contact Day celebration hosted by the ViacomCBS streamer, Entertainment Weekly reports. You can experience de Lancie’s special guest appearance during the First Contact Day panel here:
Within hours, Star Trek‘s official franchise-wide Twitter account posted the official teaser for Picard season two, which features de Lancie delivering the line “The trial never ends,” as reported by Entertainment Weekly. Check out the enigmatic minute-long promo below:
— Star Trek (@StarTrek) April 5, 2021
Q’s line in the teaser ought to ring bells for longtime Star Trek fans, since it is sampled verbatim from his speech in the series finale of The Next Generation, according to Rolling Stone. de Lancie’s Q, like Stewart’s Captain Picard, was introduced in the two-part premiere of The Next Generation, known as the ‘Humanity on Trial’ arc. During the episode, Q acts as magistrate in a case against the human race, who he sees as needlessly brutal and worthless in the grand scheme of things. In an interview featured in the Star Trek 25th Anniversary Special, de Lancie explained that his conception of the character was partly based on novelist Lady Caroline Lamb’s (Glenarvon) initial assessment of the Romantic poet Lord Byron (Don Juan), who she would one day take for a lover: “[He is] mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” via History is Now.
Star Trek: Picard will represent the end of a twenty-one year period where de Lancie’s Q has been absent from the franchise’s live-action television projects. The actor’s last in-costume appearance as the character was in 2001 during Star Trek: Voyager season seven. Since then, de Lancie has only returned to the character in a voice acting capacity, most notably in the 2020 animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks, which received a season three renewal order on First Contact Day, as reported by Deadline.
Season two of Star Trek: Picard arrives on Paramount Plus in 2022. Season one is available to stream exclusively through the platform. You can also witness Q and Picard’s fateful first encounter in Star Trek: The Next Generation when you watch the complete series on Paramount Plus.