How Picard Season 3 Morphed Into a Star Trek: The Next Generation Reunion

The cast of Picard Season 3, including The Next Generation crew

Star Trek: Picard showrunner Terry Matalas reveals the decision-making process behind the Next Generation crew’s return in the show’s third season.

Star Trek: Picard showrunner Terry Matalas recently explained how Season 3 morphed into Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion.

Matalas unpacked the decision-making process behind the Next Generation characters’ inclusion in Picard‘s third season in an interview with SFX. “There wasn’t really a plan. When I came aboard on Season 2, [executive producers] Alex [Kurtzman] and Akiva [Goldsman] were always thinking about each one of these seasons being a different story. So while we were working on Season 2, we weren’t thinking ahead, aside from maybe some starship sets, to Season 3. So about halfway through shooting Season 2, when it was time for me to split off and do Season 3, the question became, ‘What is it exactly we’re doing for the last hurrah?'”

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“I had certainly always wanted to do one final Star Trek: The Next Generation adventure, but wasn’t certain that [Jean-Luc Picard actor] Patrick [Stewart] would be up for it,” Matalas continued. “So I sat down with Patrick at his dining room table and took him through what I thought was the final story of Picard, and some arcs that I felt needed to be paid off for his character and some relationships and some storylines and, after a bottle of wine, we were off to the races.” Star Trek: The Next Generation actors joining the Picard cast in Season 3 include Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, LeVar Burton, and Gates McFadden.

Picard Showrunner Discusses the TNG Cast

In the same interview, Matalas hinted that Star Trek: Picard‘s third season might not be the last time fans see the Next Generation cast reprise their iconic roles. Matalas recalled how much Frakes, Dorn, Sirtis, Burton and McFadden enjoyed the Picard Season 3 shoot and insisted they would all be open to appearing in future Star Trek film and TV projects. At the same time, the showrunner warned that some of Jean-Luc’s former crewmates might not survive Picard‘s next batch of episodes, although he added that the franchise’s sci-fi setting meant few characters were ever gone for good.

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For now, fans will have to content themselves with the Next Generation crew‘s return in Picard Season 3, which Matalas previously promised would more than meet expectations. In particular, Trekkies with a soft spot for Will Riker are in for a treat, as Matalas stated that the third season contains “a healthy dose” of the retired Starfleet commander.

Star Trek: Picard Seasons 1 and 2 are currently streaming on Paramount+. Season 3 is set to premiere on the platform on Feb. 16, 2023.

Source: SFX


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