Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) is destined for a rush of cosmic clock-altering action while accompanied by cameos from John de Lancie’s Q and Annie Wersching’s Borg Queen in sorting out the universe’s temporal anomalies back in the year 2024.
In season 1, Picard’s consciousness was downloaded into a fresh synthetic body courtesy of Dr. Altan Soong (son of Data’s creator, Dr Noonian Soong) due to terminal Irumodic Syndrome, giving the venerable starship captain a new lease on life. To get ready for season 2 of Picard, the folks at SFX Magazine, a sister publication of Space.com, have an exclusive look in its February issue at what we can expect Jean-Luc to get up to. If you need a refresher on season 1, check out our Star Trek streaming guide to catch up on any episode in the Trek franchise.
Season 2 will be wound around a time travel plot where Jean-Luc and the La Sirena crew zoom back to 21st Century Earth to try and reroute a devastating future. This year’s showrunners are “Lost in Space'” Akiva Goldsman, and Terry Matalas, the creative mind behind SyFy’s time-tripping “12 Monkeys” TV series, so prepare for some provocative paradoxes ahead.
The February issue of SFX Magazine has done much of the heavy lifting in sorting out what types of surprises await fans next month when “Star Trek: Picard” season 2 starts streaming the first of its 10 episodes. Speaking with Goldsman and Matalas, SFX got the lowdown on how time shifts will be presented and unfold when the series transitions into an “exploration of the heart.”
“The true final frontier is time. Time can turn even our most impulsive, our most ill-considered actions into history,” Picard muses in last year’s teaser. “What we do in a crisis often weighs upon us less heavily than what we wish we had done. What could have been.”
“It’s a time-travel story and all good time travel tales are emotional at their core, and speak to something that’s happening with your main character,” Matalas told SFX. “So we started by asking ourselves the question of season one: how do we deconstruct Captain Picard? What don’t we know about him? Why is he on a vineyard by himself with a dog? Why did he never marry Beverly Crusher and have a family of 10?”
To flesh out the organic themes and narrative arc for season 2, Goldsman and Matalas peered as cinematic historians into what emotional cores were left incomplete for Picard and discovered that an inward approach gazing back in time seemed the right path.
“So from our palette, we chose colours that allowed us to do that, and so you have two things that are canonically interesting,” Goldsman told SFX. “One is Q and his ability to manoeuvre us through time and space and this very interesting relationship that he has with Picard, one that one might say has always been left unresolved.”
Matalas points out that Q was truly the first influential relationship Picard had on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
“It was about how you tell a story about Q that’s unexpected, and not the same Loki-esque shenanigans that we are used to,” he told SFX. “How does it have real dramatic weight? And that was our jumping-off point. You will definitely see a side of Q you’ve never seen before. There’s some things going on with Q that are definitely surprising, considering the kind of being he is. And how that would reflect on Jean-Luc Picard and what’s going on with his life at the moment. The first two episodes are a pretty wild ride.”
As one of the most significant female connections in Picard’s life, it’s intriguing to see the return of the enigmatic and eternal Borg Queen as well.
“I’m a very big fan of the Borg, and there was a time travel element to the season,” Matalas added in the SFX feature. “One of the components was that the Borg have quite a bit of experience with time travel… This particular Borg Queen is unlike one we’ve seen in canon before. So a lot is going on with this Borg Queen that is very different. There’s lots of interesting Borg storytelling coming up. She’s definitely not Alice Krige’s Borg Queen. This Borg Queen has a very different history to her.”
SFX also chatted with Sir Patrick Stewart regarding the upcoming season and learned that he’s optimistic that fans and followers will open their arms to the new developments.
“There are some extraordinary scenes in it,” Stewart revealed to SFX. “I’ve only seen one episode of season two so far. But it was so exciting to see my character and other characters expressing themselves in ways that were unique and original to the show and I hope that that is going to excite our audience, stimulate them and make them want to see more.”
Injecting the complexities of time travel into the plot allowed for a far greater range of acting challenges that let Stewart chisel out many new facets into the Jean-Luc character.
“Yes. The time travel, which at some point becomes a big journey, a big jump in years, I really enjoyed,” Stewart said. “To be on the streets, the recognisable streets of Los Angeles, shooting ‘Star Trek’ was a real boost for all of us. I did enjoy that. It’s not just novelty that I’m looking for, it’s a different kind of originality in the work that we do. The unexpected, the surprises.”
Also appearing in this second outing are Alison Pill as Agnes Jurati, Isa Briones as Soji Asha, Evan Evagora as Elnor, Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker, Santiago Cabrera as Cristobal “Chris” Rios, Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, Orla Brady as Laris, Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan, and Brent Spiner as Altan Inigo Soong.
For the entire article in February’s SFX Magazine, including an illuminating chat with John de Lancie (Q), visit the official site here. You can also subscribe to SFX magazine and save 10% with the code Save10.
“Star Trek: Picard” season 2 beams down beginning March 3.