Gene Roddenberry was right to want to limit how much Q was used

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was wise to want to limit Q's appearances.
9th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival Opening Night - Arrivals
9th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival Opening Night - Arrivals / Michael Tullberg/GettyImages

There are many who claim that Q is the best part of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He's aloof but powerful. Wild yet urbane. He's a walking enigma, a quandary in physical form. The basis of his name? Who knows, but what we do know is that John de Lancie brought to life one of the best recurring characters in history and he really only showed up in 22 episodes across four series. His most being in Picard's second and third seasons.

He's been extremely limited and the reason for that is pretty obvious, he'd lose his appeal otherwise. Yet, the decision to limit Q's appearances was made by none other than the series creator himself, Gene Roddenberry. Speaking with Virtual Trek Con 5's Cirroc Lofton and Ryan T. Husk (via ScreenRant), de Lancie revealed that Roddenberry was the one to limit the Q appearances early on, saying;

“I come in and I’m spinning so the second time they brought me in, Gene said you know what I’m not gonna bring you back more than once a year because it occurred to us that then we would have a show where we’re just waiting for the clown to show up.”

Now, Q was far more than a clown and since this is second-hand information, we can't ask Roddenberry to further clarify the stance. That said, Q was so much fun, he would've easily overshadowed the entire cast if he was a regular part of it. Now, maybe it's the idea that if you eat candy every part of the day, eventually you're going to want something healthy for you, but that rarely is ever the case in entertainment.

When someone finds something that works, oftentimes that idea is overused and beaten into the ground until everyone hates it. It was smart to limit Q for that reason alone, even if that wasn't what Roddenberry was worried about.