Star Trek: Lower Decks Brings Back a Classic Next Generation Villain

This week's episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks brought back on of the franchise's most persistent antagonists. The Star Trek: Lower Decks episode "Veritas" shows the USS Cerritos' crew recounting recent events during what they believe is a trial of their superiors. This set up gives the show an excuse to cut to a series of flashback moments. One of these includes the return of Q, the near-omnipotent being played by John de Lancie. Q pestered Captain Jean-Luc Picard in eight episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and tried his hand with Captains Sisko and Janeway as well in episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager.

In the flashback to Cerritos, Q appears out of nowhere, as he tends to do, and forces the Cerritos bridge crew to partake in a contest to prove humanity's worth, which is Q's whole deal. But this contest is a particularly odd one, as it has the Cerritos crew are dressed up as chess pieces on a chessboard while Q stands in front of walking playing cards.

Q appears again at the end of the episode, challenging the crew from the lower decks f the Cerritos to a similar challenge. Ensign Mariner brushes him off and tells him to bother Picard. Q whines in response, "Oh, Picard. He's not fun. He's always quoting Shakespeare. He's always making wine."

In a recent panel appearance, Jonathan Frakes, the next generation star and director who helmed two Star Trek movies, revealed that he wanted to make one of his Star Trek movies into the ultimate Q adventure. "That was my pitch," Frakes aid. "Well, from my good fortune of getting involved with the movies. I kept saying, 'When is our finest nemesis is going to be in the movies?' I'm still surprised that wasn't so."

De Lancie was also on the panel and said he'd always wanted to see the Q Continuum. "The place that they never got into it, which is too bad. Which was: What is the Continuum? Other than a road in the desert that goes on, and the shingle in the old gas station," de Lancie said, referring to a version of the Q Continuum dumbed down for human understanding that appeared in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Death Wish."

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De Lancie continued, "I actually—which I'm not going to tell people, even now—I did create a backstory on that, which would have been really interesting. But I think it's actually someplace that would require a great deal of imagination, and I think the audience would go. So I wish that they had gone there."

New Star Trek: Lower Decks episodes stream Thursdays on CBS All Access.