Q and Picard are battling it out like never before in Star Trek: Picard.
On September 28, 1987, “Encounter at Farpoint” the pilot episode of Star Trek:The Next Generation hit the airwaves for the first time, and with the airing of that first episode, it became not only become a landmark series but also a permanent staple in science fiction and one of the most prolific television shows of all time. It also introduced one of Trek’s most memorable villains and this Trekkie’s personal favorite, the God-like being known as Q, played brilliantly by John De Lancie.
Throughout TNG’s seven year run, Q would make his annual appearance with the exception of season five. de Lancie starred in eight episodes on the series that revolved around the antagonistic relationship between Q and Captain Jean-Luc Picard. These episodes were always my personal favorites in the seasons, and for the most part, they were fairly light hearted and occasionally even comical, featuring Q in silly costumes of different time periods or portraying different characters. This coincided with the family friendly nature of TNG as a whole, while still maintaining an adversarial but sometimes almost playful relationship between the two opponents.
Star Trek: Picard brought Q back to the Trek universe.
I was beyond thrilled when the world found out that De Lancie would be returning to Trek as Q in the long awaited season 2 of Picard, but within the first ten minutes of episode 2, the dichotomy between the rivalry from the days of TNG and its current state is readily apparent.
Gone are the days of the banter back and forth between the two rivals.
Gone are Q’s comical costume changes.
As soon as both characters are together on screen, it is made perfectly clear with Picard’s exclamation of “G******** Q!” and my personal favorite “Q, I am too old for your b*******,” that the intensity has been ramped up between these two characters.
For seven years, Q was the perfect foil to the good natured Captain Picard, for he was just as smart and as refined as Picard but was much more manipulative and obviously possessed powers that Picard himself did not. Still, despite the rivalry, it was kept at a level that at times was just above a comic book or cartoon like nature; however, episode 2 of Picard made it perfectly clear that it was going to be anything but.
From the moment Q first appears, to Picard cursing at him, to Q backhanding Picard and bloodying his nose, it is made obvious that a much darker Q has plans for a much more vulnerable Picard, and what those plans are shall be unveiled in the episodes to come, but one thing is absolutely for certain, we will not see any gimmicks or random funny costume changes. This older more intense Q has darker plans for Jean-Luc Picard.