The sixth season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation brought back Q
When Q (John de Lancie) was first introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation’s “Encounter at Farpoint,” he was established as a character that was dangerous to the crew with his abilities and complete disregard for humanity. However, other episodes brought in a lighter side of the supernatural being that detracted from the threat of his appearances. The season six episode, True Q, turned the tide somewhat back toward the original Q, but it wasn’t quite strong enough for the actor who portrayed the character.
In Captains’ Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, de Lancie said that he wanted Q to return to being malevolent, but it was difficult to do with lighter episodes. With True Q bringing in an intern who was actually a member of the Continuum herself, the episode created the perfect set up for a darker side of Q as he arrives back on the Enterprise to determine if Amanda Rogers (the intern) has to be terminated.
John de Lancie wanted True Q to take things further in the episode
de Lancie wanted Q to really envelop his cruel side in this episode, saying that he would have liked to “have taken it one step further where [Amanda] was killed.” While the actor didn’t say he necessarily wanted Q to terminate the young Q, that would certainly have changed de Lancie’s character into much more of a villain than a nuisance.
Unsurprisingly, though, he wasn’t the only one who wanted to bring back the meaner side of Q. Michael Piller, TNG’s showrunner, wanted True Q to return Q to his earlier malevolent tone to prove that the character wasn’t just there for comic relief.
While Q didn’t return to his earlier nastiness in the remaining two episodes of the series, “Tapestry” and “All Good Things,” he will get another shot at redefining himself as the villain of the Star Trek franchise when he returns in season two of Star Trek: Picard. While there’s a line that Star Trek hasn’t allowed this character to cross in the past, Picard is an entirely different, edgier series that could erase the line altogether.