Star Trek’s John de Lancie on Bringing Back Classic Characters for Revivals

Star Trek’s John de Lancie on Bringing Back Classic Characters for Revivals
John de Lancie Attends Star Trek Convention (Photo: Ethan Miller, Getty Images)

Season one of Star Trek: Picard is filled with nostalgia and characters Star Trek fans know and love. Season two will continue that legacy by having John de Lancie reprise his role as the high-powered entity Q. While it was a nice surprise to learn last week, in a new interview, the actor talks about how he wasn’t quite sure he’d be back in the revival despite other classic The Next Generation stars appearing.

Adam B. Vary at Variety asked de Lancie if he ever thought Q would appear in the new universe and where he might end up. After he spoke to one of the producers who told him they wanted Q to appear, the actor was a bit taken back, “Star Trek has done a lot of movies and other shows without me. So I did not assume that (returning) was going to be the case.” He prefers to spend his career not mulling over the what-ifs but moving forward with the opportunities when they presented themselves.

As for his interest in reviving the character, he says it’s a bit of a “mixed bag” and expressed his concern about having to reinvent the wheel. “I’m supposed to be immortal, and I certainly look very mortal. There were issues about all of that. I was flattered. Of course, I said yes. I didn’t have to think about that part. And then I wondered, where are they going to go with this?” After thinking long and hard about the decision, he came to terms with the idea that Star Trek: Picard — like many recent revivals — is not about reinvention but innovation. “I feel very strongly about the whole thing of, you can never go back,” he said “Here, we are not, in fact, going back. We are taking what we have and we are moving forward. And to me, that’s exciting.”

De Lancie does admit that the fan pressure made him nervous, mainly because he wants to live up to fan expectations and match their energy. “The pressure is on! That’s how I feel about it. I find that to be a challenge. I hope that I can match it.”

After completing seven seasons (1987-1994) of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Lancie has had an expansive acting career spanning film, television, and theatre. One of his biggest roles post-Star Trek is playing Donald Margolis on the hit TV series Breaking Bad. But to Trekkies, he will always be Q, and he’s ready and willing to pick up the mantle once again.

The second season of Picard is set to hit Amazon Prime Video in 2022.