Why Q had to "soften" as time went on, I don't know. Maybe they felt they had to tone down his attitude to keep him likeable, but that's just stinkin' thinkin'! Q's at his best when he's right and he knows it and he shoves your nose in it - like a dog's in shit. Maybe it's just boredom on everybody's part? Especially after Q started showing up on VOYAGER - ha! - that was it. He was a comic relief element who was there to try to sell us on Janeway being the most desireable woman in the whole galaxy! Nice try ... after that, he just wanders off into the sunset with Junior as a single parent ... not good. I didn't care for that kind of closure for the character, at all. Q should've been a bad boy and that's it. Maybe the advertisers were to blame. When was his last appearance? Like ... 20 years ago? Times were different then, that's for sure.