Say what you want about STAR TREK: PICARD (and goodness knows, most of you do!), but you have to admit that, this season, having JOHN de LANCIE reprise his iconic role of Q from Next Gen is just outright FUN! His almost annual appearances confounding Picard and crew during TNG‘s seven seasons made for some wonderfully light-hearted and comedic episodes—along with some terrifying ones like “Q Who” when the Enterprise-D is whisked to the Delta Quadrant for the show’s first encounter with the Borg…and some surprisingly touching ones like “Tapestry,” where Picard gets to glimpse the road not traveled and the life not lived.
Q never really worked as a character on Deep Space Nine, and fortunately, that series’ showrunners quickly realized they didn’t need Q on a darker, grittier show like that. If they wanted comedy relief, just toss in a Ferengi episode. As for Voyager, de Lancie’s three appearances on that series were kinda hit and miss and mostly miss…although I loved his brief cameo on LOWER DECKS!
Anyway, back to Picard, and the fifth episode of season 2, “Fly Me to the Moon.” Without providing any major spoilers, there is a scene where the letter “Q” appears with a phone number listed: (323) 634-5667. The area code (323) is for central Los Angeles, specifically Hollywood. Indeed, if you wanted to call Paramount Studios on Melrose Avenue, the number listed begins with (323).
But usually in movies and on television, the next three numbers are 555. This is a “safe” exchange, reserved exclusively for filmmakers and never assigned in any area code to actual phone customers. Otherwise, people watching a show or film might try to dial a number they see on screen and bother somebody with incessant calls. (Heaven help anyone with the number 867-5309…whether or not their name is Jenny!)
So when I saw the number on the still frame at the top of this blog was NOT a 555 number, well, I just had to pause playback and call it. I just had to! And this is what I heard…
Go ahead. Try it yourself. Hopefully, Paramount will leave it up for a while and not simply make it into an April Fool’s prank.
I’ll be writing my regular Picard editorial review later on this week, but I wanted to share this with you folks asap, just in case the phone recording doesn’t stay up for long.