Every Q Star Trek Appearance Ranked Worst To Best

Every Q Star Trek Appearance Ranked Worst To Best

John de Lancie’s Q became one of Star Trek’s mostbeloved recurring characters from his first appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation. In his debut in TNG’s premiere episode, Q antagonized Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the crew of the USS Enterprise-D, putting them on trial for the crimes of humanity. This trial would continue for all of TNG’s run, with Q popping up nearly every season to annoy Picard some more. Patrick Stewart and John de Lancie played off of one another well, making Q’s episodes some of the most compelling of TNG.

Part of the enigmatic Q Continuum, Q has almost limitless power and a particular fascination with humanity and its future. In addition to his appearances on TNG, Q briefly tried to bother Commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, before setting his sights on Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) of Star Trek: Voyager. Q also briefly appeared in Star Trek: Lower Decks before returning to live action in Star Trek: Picard season 2, where he reconnected with Admiral Picard. Here are all of Q’s Star Trek appearances ranked worst to best.

John de Lancie & Son Interview: FanFair Signatures & Q's Star Trek Legacy
John de Lancie & Son Interview: FanFair Signatures & Q’s Star Trek Legacy

Screen Rant interviews John de Lancie and his son Owen about their work with FanFair Signatures virtual autographs and Q’s legacy in Star Trek.

15 “Q2”

Star Trek: Voyager Season 7, Episode 19

Star Trek Voyager Q2 Captain Janeway

In a follow-up to Star Trek: Voyager season 3’s “The Q And The Grey,” Q returns to visit Captain Janeway with his teenage son, Q Junior (Keegan de Lancie) in tow. Q has been unable to control his unruly son and he seeks the help of Janeway (who Q named as Junior’s godmother). Junior is then stripped of his powers and left on Voyager, where he becomes friends with former Borg drone, Icheb (Manu Intiraymi). While “Q2” has some nice father/son moments and garners a few laughs, it fails to say anything that hasn’t already been said in other, better episodes of Star Trek.

14 “The Q And The Grey”

Star Trek: Voyager Season 3, Episode 11

Q returns in Star Trek: Voyager season 3, this time pursuing a romantic relationship of sorts with Captain Janeway. After the events of Voyager’s “Death Wish,” the Q Continuum has fallen into civil war, and Q believes having a child will end this conflict. Although he initially chooses Janeway as his partner, he later has a Q-baby with a former flame and fellow member of the Continuum, delightfully portrayed by Suzie Plakson. While “The Q And The Grey” has some interesting updates on the Q Continuum, Q’s pursuit of Janeway mostly just comes across as offputting and cringe-worthy.

Suzie Plakson also appeared in TNG as the Vulcan Dr. Selar and as Worf’s former flame, K’Ehleyr. She would go on to appear in an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise as an Andorian named Tarah.

13 “Q-Less”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 1, Episode 7

Star Trek DS9 Q-Less Sisko punches Q

Aside from the admittedly great moment where Commander Sisko knocks Q down with one punch, “Q-Less” is one of the character’s weaker episodes. After leaving to travel with Q in TNG’s “Qpid,” Vash (Jennifer Hetrick) arrives on space station Deep Space Nine, with Q not far behind. Vash fits in with the other characters of DS9, finding a kindred spirit in Ferengi bartender Quark (Armin Shimerman). Q, on the other hand, doesn’t quite gel with the more serious tone of DS9, despite the fact that de Lancie’s performance is as solid as ever. Plus, the B-story of “Q-Less” is largely unremarkable and the regular characters of DS9 feel like secondary characters on their own show.

12 “Veritas”

Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 8

Q arriving on the bridge of the Cerritos in Star Trek: Lower Decks

Star Trek: Lower Decks is a self-referential love letter to the Star Trek franchise, and Lower Decks season 1’s “Veritas” highlights a popular type of Star Trek episode in particular – the courtroom drama. In “Veritas,” Ensigns Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid), Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome), and the other Lower Deckers are asked to testify about their senior staff. As they recount various incidents that happened on the USS Cerritos, Boimler speaks about a time Q appeared on the ship with a puzzle for the crew. Q also pops up at the end of the episode, but Mariner says they don’t have time for his games. “Veritas” is an incredibly fun episode of Star Trek, but Q only appears briefly as another Easter Egg in a show that is full of them.

11 Star Trek: Picard Season 2

Episodes 1-5, 8, & 10

Star Trek Picard Season 2 Q Jean Luc

John de Lancie reunited with Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: Picard season 2, where he appeared in seven of the season’s ten episodes. Q sends Picard to an alternate timeline where a totalitarian Confederation has taken over. Picard and his friends then travel back in time with the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching) to figure out what Q altered in the past to change the future. Q appears agitated throughout Picard season 2, and in the finale, he appears to die after sending Picard and his companions back to the proper timeline. While it’s always great to see Stewart and de Lancie act alongside one another, Q’s plan seems unnecessarily complicated and Q’s death gets no real explanation.

10 “Encounter at Farpoint”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2

Q made his Star Trek debut in Star Trek: The Next Generation’s very first episode, in which he takes on the persona of a judge as he places Captain Picard and the USS Enterprise-D crew on trial. Q claims the human race to be savage and dangerous, but Picard and his crew prove Q wrong by solving the mystery of Farpoint Station. Although this performance impresses Q enough for him to let the Enterprise go, Q promises he is not finished with the ship and its captain. Q is the bright spot of an otherwise slow story, but he comes across as more antagonistic and less fun than he will be in later appearances.

9 “Hide And Q”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 1, Episode 10

Star Trek TNG Hide and Q

In Q’s second appearance, he picks on Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) rather than Picard, offering Riker a chance to join the Q Continuum. Q loses a bet with Picard when Riker ultimately rejects his omnipotent powers, but Q doesn’t hold to his promise to stay away from humanity. Q is more fun in “Hide and Q” than he was in his earlier appearance, and there’s a wonderful scene in which Picard out-Shakespeares the god-like Q. However, the Riker/Q pairing doesn’t work as well as Q and Picard, and the ultimate message is a bit on the nose.

8 “True Q”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 6, Episode 6

Star Trek TNG True Q John de Lancie

When Amanda Rogers (Olivia d’Abo) begins an internship with Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), she soon discovers that she has unusual abilities. Q then arrives on the Enterprise and reveals that Amanda is the daughter of two Q who left the Continuum to live as humans. After saving an entire planet, Amanda decides to join the Q Continuum and keep her powers rather than remain human. “True Q” has some funny moments and Amanda’s journey to embrace her powers is well done, but this episode lacks some of the spark found in other Q stories.

7 “Qpid”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 4, Episode 20

Star Trek: The Next Generation season 4 includes one of Q’s most lighthearted episodes, in which he sets out to teach Picard about love by placing the captain and his crew in an elaborate Robin Hood setting. Over the course of the episode, Q takes an interest in Picard’s love interest Vash, and eventually offers her the chance to travel with him. While “Qpid” lacks the impact of many of Q’s other outings, it’s a fun and diverting episode that garners genuine laughs. Lt. Worf’s declaration that he is “not a merry man” has been meme-d and repeated by many Trek fans, and everyone seems to be having fun in their outlandish costumes.

6 “The Last Generation”

Star Trek: Picard Season 3, Episode 10

John de Lancie as Q in Star Trek: Picard season 3

Q makes a surprise appearance in an end-credits scene of Star Trek: Picard season 3, which sets up a very interesting future for Admiral Jean-Luc Picard and Dr. Beverly Crusher’s son, Ensign Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers). Despite Q’s apparent death in Picard season 2, Q checks in on Jack to let him know that while Jean-Luc’s trial may be over, Jack’s is only just beginning. Although the proposed Picard spin-off, Star Trek: Legacy, shows no signs of happening, Q’s scene in “The Last Generation” perfectly sets up a new story arc for the omnipotent trickster and Picard’s next generation.

5 “Déjà Q”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 3, Episode 13

An image of Picard asleep on his bed in Star Trek

In “Déjà Q,” a naked Q appears on the bridge of the USS Enterprise-D after being kicked out of the Q Continuum and stripped of his powers. After all of the headaches that Q has given Picard thus far, it’s telling that Q would come to him for aid, and it makes for some entertaining shenanigans. Q fails spectacularly at being human, which generates some hilarious moments, but the former omnipotent being ends up learning a real lesson about humanity and mortality. “Déjà Q” is a fun episode with a lot of heart that only just fails to reach the heights of Q’s best outings.

4 “Death Wish”

Star Trek: Voyager Season 2, Episode 18

Star Trek Voyager Death Wish Q Captain Janeway

In Q’s first visit to Star Trek: Voyager, he arrives in pursuit of a rogue member of the Q Continuum named Quinn (Gerrit Graham). Quinn has gotten bored and wishes to die, but his immortality prevents him from harming himself. Quinn requests asylum on the USS Voyager, which Captain Janeway eventually grants, and Q honors the earlier bargain he made to turn Quinn human. Aside from the obvious question of why Q didn’t just send Voyager home to the Alpha Quadrant, “Death Wish” is a phenomenal Q episode, with great performances by de Lancie and Graham and real character growth for Q.

Jonathan Frakes’ Commander Riker makes a surprise appearance in “Death Wish” when Q calls witnesses to testify against Quinn’s suicide.

3 “Tapestry”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 6, Episode 15

Star Trek TNG Tapestry Picard Q

Another great Q outing, “Tapestry” takes a look at what could have been by giving Jean-Luc the chance to change a regret from his past. Unfortunately for Picard, this results in a future where he remains a junior officer because he never took any risks. Picard realizes that everything that happened in his past helped shape who he is, and he asks Q to put everything back the way it was. Magic happens when John de Lancie and Patrick Stewart share a scene, and it’s largely the performances of both actors (as well as a solid script) that turn a somewhat cliched premise into something truly great.

2 “All Good Things…”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 7, Episodes 25 & 26

Events come full circle when Q returns in the acclaimed series finale of TNG. When Picard’s mind begins jumping through time, Q reveals that the trial that began in “Encounter at Farpoint” never ended and this is Captain Picard’s last chance to save humanity. Q has become fond of Jean-Luc throughout TNG’s seven seasons, and he helps Picard solve this particular puzzle by allowing him to jump through time. “All Good Things…” remains one of the best television finales of all time and perfectly wraps up TNG’s story in a way that honors the show’s beginnings while also showing how far the characters have come.

1 “Q Who”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2, Episode 16

Q’s third appearance marks one of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s best hours, which is notable for introducing the Borg to Star Trek. Q may have threatened the Enterprise crew in his first two outings, but he didn’t do any lasting harm. “Q Who,” however, ups the stakes with the introduction of a Star Trek villain unlike any that came before, a villain that cannot be reasoned with. Everyone delivers a great performance here, and it’s frightening watching Captain Picard and the Enterprise crew face an enemy they have no hope of defeating alone. “Q Who” is a tense and memorable hour of television with repercussions that continue to be felt in the Star Trek franchise even today.

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