Star Trek Picard Series Adds Two New Cast Members [UPDATED]

The first casting announcements for the upcoming Jean-Luc Picard series are here. Joining Sir Patrick Stewart as he returns to the role of Jean-Luc Picard will be Santiago Cabrera and Michelle Hurd, both of whom have been cast as series regulars.

There is no official word yet on the character’s Cabrera and Hurd will play. [UPDATE] However, Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva offers some possible (unconfirmed) details:

I hear Cabrera will play the pilot of Picard’s ship who also is a skillful thief. Hurd is playing a former intelligence officer who is a brilliant analyst with a terrific memory that has not been affected by her drug and alcohol abuse.

The 40-year-old Cabrera began his career in England, appearing in various stage productions and television shows, and where he is best known for playing Aramis in the BBC series The Musketeers. Recently, he has appeared in HBO’s Big Little Lies and Alex Kurtzman’s CBS series Salvation. His feature film credits include Steven Soderbergh’s Che and Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight.

Santiago Cabrera in Salvation

Michelle Hurd has played several genre roles in her career, appearing on Ash vs. Evil Dead, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones, but is probably best known for playing Detective Monique Jeffries during the first two seasons of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Most recently, she’s had recurring roles on Blindspot and Lethal Weapon. She also has a Kurtzman connection, having guest starred in six episodes of Hawaii Five-O.

Michelle Hurd in Hawaii Five-O

This announcement confirms that casting is underway for the Picard show, as TrekMovie reported earlier today. Check out that earlier report for more details on the production, including a possible title for the show.


Keep up with all the news on the Picard show and other upcoming Star Trek TV shows here at TrekMovie.com.

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Eric

Damn, that was quick!

Michelle looks like she’ll be playing the character Connie (as per the cast breakdown listed elsewhere)

Eric

Could be. But, also could be “Alana,” which better matches her age.

Eric

Let’s also remember that trekmovie.com has not confirmed this source so it’s best to take it with a grain of salt.

Boze

Is she diverse enough to qualify for a diversity hire, though? I’m not sure what American norms are these days, but her face looks European enough to fit into my all-white East European homeland (skin tan notwithstanding; every other girl over here has a tan like this when the high summer hits).

If they went out of their way to specify the ethnicity of the character, they will surely go for somebody more recognizably ethnic. Speaking of which, I wouldn’t mind seeing Jade Eshete in a SF again… loved her very much in Dirk Gently.

Schultz

It’s Star Trek. “American norms” are irrelevant.

Vulcan Soul

Jeez Boze, listen to yourself. You guys don’t even see people anymore. You see skin colors that need to fill up a roster.

Josiah Rowe

Pet peeve: the use of “diverse” to mean “other than straight cis white male”. A cast can be diverse, or not. One person cannot be diverse.

Sorry, prescriptivist rant over. We now return you to your regularly scheduled political flamewar.

Madman

Should be Alana because of the age and the detail of deadline article if you see the original character leak it fits.

Tiger2

Wow, looks like its starting!!!!!

I said just a few days ago we would start getting news in the next few weeks, instead it look like the next few days lol. I know both of these actors and while Salvation was terrible Cabrera was great in it! Hurd I seen in a bunch of stuff most recently the Marvel shows and Blindspot. She’s great too. I guess we are going to be hearing all kinds of news now. The 24th century is on its way!

Oh NOICE! I loved Michelle Hurd in the first seasons of Law & Order SVU and was very disappointed when her character was written out. I must say, this is quite a change of genres for her–has she ever done science fiction before? As for Mr. Cabrera, I am not familiar with his work but oh my, he is very easy on the eyes.

CBS All Access certainly seems to be moving quickly with the Picard news!

p.s., After seeing that photo of Michelle above, can I throw in a quick word to The Powers That Be: BRING BACK PUSHING DAISIES ALREADY!! I miss Chi McBride, and unless I’m mistaken all the other cast members are available. Bryan Fuller certainly seems to be free at the moment. :)

I'm Dead Jim

I agree. Daisies is probably my favorite Bryan Fuller show (that or Hannibal). Sadly I didn’t start watching it until it was too late. The Pie Maker actor (can’t remember name right now) is probably too big of a movie star now. (Lord of the Rings & Lincoln, among others).

The entire cast from Lee Pace to Kristin Chenoweth have repeatedly stated in interviews that they’d be down for a reboot or reunion or whatever. Also, unless you’re an A-lister like Tom Cruise, everybody does TV these days.

Alex

Cabrera was the only good thing about Salvation (I only watched season 1 after I learned that it was cancelled after season 2 on a cliffhanger)

Douglass Abramson

If you have access to Hulu, I recommend The Musketeers. The last series was only available there in the US and I believe they had streaming for the whole thing.

Schultz

Cabrera!!! He was fan-tas-tic in Salvation… stole every scene in every episode. And by the way: Pisco is a great drink. ;) I think it’s a shame that they canceled that series, but props to Kurtzman for transferring him over to ST:Picard. Absolutely looking forward to seeing his character alongside Picard. Hurd is badass. I’ve seen her many times, mainly on Blindspot, and everytime it’s an emotional mixture of intimidation and admiration, or (if you will) wanting to kiss her or beat her up. (Not her, obviously, her character!) I just hope she isn’t typecast. She’s formidable.

I’d switch sides for Michelle. She is SO badass.

Tiger2

Yeah Hurd is badass! Her role in Blindspot was a very physical role and she did a lot of fighting on that show so I can see her mixing it up here on this show as well.

Schultz

That’s what I hope is *not* going to happen, at least not right away. The clue is in what @Scott_Gammans said: “I’d switch sides for Michelle”. Blindspot is all about joining this side, that side, FBI, terrorists. It’s one thing for the series’ writers to *tell* (or show) the audience that Jane/Remy is drawn to Shepherd, but it’s for Hurd to make us *believe* it. And boy did she make us believe it. And that was not due to her physical skills, which she undoubtedly has, and which (I hope) we’ll also see in the Picard series at some point, but due to her acting skills. While most of Blindspot is just good old action shlock, you just *believed* that her character could concoct such a plan for Remy, and make Remy believe in it too. Usually characters in fiction are about what they do, and their actions infuse the plot, but in the case of Blindspot the Shepherd/Remy backstory was in the past, and you needed a great actor to pull it of and fill it with life. And Hurd did it.

Tiger2

Well this show is not Blindside but its Star Trek and they all been action shows. I don’t expect any less with this one although maybe a bit toned down from Discovery.

But I agree Hurd was really good in it and I wish she stayed on it…well not anymore. ;)

She’ll probably play an action role here too, especially now that we know her character is a former intelligence officer.

Schultz

Don’t know. “Intelligence officer” could just mean “pencil pusher”. Would make for some interesting character arc, her going from an analytical genius (or just a worker bee) to action hero. But she would need to be trained over a couple of seasons… and there’s your next casting call: martial-arts-proven Klingon warrior. ;)

Tiger2

How many pencil pushers do we see on Star Trek though? And if she’s on a ship then clearly they are on a mission of some kind. If this show took place at Starfleet Headquarters or something I can see what you’re suggesting.

But we’ll see. I have a feeling this is going to be an action show though. I never believed the idea it was going to be Picard sitting in an office somewhere.

Vulcan Soul

“I have a feeling this is going to be an action show though.”

Sadly! If thats true they have a strange definition of “grounded” and “introspective” of course but then again we can all see in the Absramstrek movies which country Kurtzman is hailing from…

(And I’m sure you agree with this but to reiterate, action show is not the opposite of sitting in an office. By all means TNG was not an action show but no office to be found but Picards ready room! :D)

Tiger2

See to me TNG was an action show too. I mean it didn’t have action in every episode but it was still an action based show. If people are punching each other, shooting torpedoes, running around or the ship is about to explode, its an action show. It’s not Law and Order or a melodrama where 90% of the episodes are of people talking in an office or a room. But I know people see it differently. We can at least agree it has action elements, right? That’s all I mean for this show as well.

No I don’t think its going to be Daredevil or 24 but there are still going to be episodes of ships trading gun fire or people fighting on an away mission. Picard will probably get into a few scraps as well. I just meant I don’t see him just sitting behind a desk and giving orders as everyone else get into the thick of the action like you see on a cop show where the captain sits in his office while his officers ends up in a gun fight on the street. Of course I could be wrong, its just my guess.

Vulcan Soul

To me an action show has *predominantly* action elements (fights). For example there is no doubt that Voyager and Enterprise were much more action shows than TNG (even though ostensively being so similiar that Kurtzman can’t separate them) because they had a phaser fight in nearly every episode. For budget reasons alone (and the lack of CGI), that was rare on TNG. And thank god for that! In many ways more money and technology does not improve drama and intellectual quality at all!

Tiger2

Like I said people will see it differently. Yes TNG had the least amount of action out of the others and probably why some people think its ‘boring’ but it still had tons of action in it. But yes it wasn’t predominantly an action show the way TOS or DS9 was (or became because that show actually had less action in its first season than TNG had before it went full blown Star Wars lol).

But as I said I don’t see the new show not being action based at least. Maybe not as much as Discovery (which has less this season than first not being war based) but it will have some. If the cast list is true, they have a character there they emphasized has a martial arts background. That tells you everything lol.

Eric

With Discovery they struggled to find and sign the series lead. Sonequa Martin-Green was one of the last to be cast. That would really slow down a production. But with this show, once Sir Patrick signed, I am sure that everything moved at a very efficient pace. Everyone else is built around him. Plus Kurtzman’s production company already has one Star Trek series under their belt; starting a second one should come more easily.

I am still hopeful that the original cast will make meaningful guest appearances throughout the projected three-year series. Most interesting will be Gates McFadden’s Beverly Crusher. Even if the characters never eventually coupled, subtext will be strong and an interesting story for both Picard and Crusher.

These are very exciting times for a Star Trek fan. Now all they need to do for me is write a compelling story-line for Picard to need the assistance of Emissary of the Prophets Ben Sisko and convince Avery Brooks to take their money. To see Brooks/Sisko again alone would be worth a year’s subscription to CBS ALL Access.

trekfan67

They had to wait for Martin-Green’s contract to be done first. That was the only reason why things were delayed.

Schultz

I’m excited too. But I have to mostly disagree. First Brooks: Sisko should get his own series, or there shouldn’t be any mention of him at all. And I really mean that. DS9 was lightning in a bottle, and the ending of the series was mythological, and you can’t just bring Sisko back like that in a mundane way, unless you make the whole new series about *him*. Sisko must not be an auxiliary.

Then Crusher. They’d have to really cook up something wonderful for her, because in TNG her character was mainly bland. Stuff just happened to her, even when she was the main character of an episode. Pulaski was way more interesting because there was tension when she was involved. I’m good for a Worf or Data/B4 cameo, even at the very beginning, but for recurring roles I’d leave the old TNT crew out of it.

As for the original cast in general: it’s problematic, I think, because the ensemble is so monolithic, as a group. I actually like the idea of having Picard out there with new obstacles, but none of the old friends and crew to help him. Crossovers, okay, if there’s room, but not with leading characters, not with Sisko, Janeway et al, but maybe with Dax or Julian Bashir. Or be bold and add someone like Naomi Wildman.

If you add any of the old TNG (or any other) crew, it can’t be just for show, it needs to be integral to the plot. Or it has to lead to a grand reunion after three or four years (seasons), but then you’d have to build towards it, meaning the focus would have to shift away from Picard onto other characters all the time. But why? It’s the **Picard** series. The easiest and most promising solution would be to just roll with the original idea.

I don’t see Avery Brooks ever agreeing to return to the 24th Century though. He’s stated before that his time with Trek is over.

Emperor Mike of the Terran Empire

True. But so did Sir Patrick Stewart!!

Eric

It would be great for Sisko to get his own series, but I don’t think it’s likely. I know in the documentary that is still not finished, they pitch an eighth season. If its compelling enough, maybe Kurtzman and CBS might take interest. But if the story was interesting enough, I think Brooks would consider it. If they had something really fresh and interesting.

In regards to the TNG original cast (including Crusher), I think there is virtually NO way that most if not all will make an appearance. I get the sense that the Federation will have experienced a real change and Picard will not on board with it. This gives everyone room to grow and change. I’m pretty optomistic that Stewart and the writers are going to develop a story that is compelling and provoking. And visually stunning!!

But I think Avery Brooks is also retired from acting. Stewart was not.

Tiger2

Yes and so was Leonard Nimoy! ;)

JAGT

Gooood. It’ll be interesting to see the mean age of the supporting cast, since that could – in theory – give us a little hint about the setting of the show. That’s a big “in theory” though, considering that on Discovery the respective youngest and oldest regular cast member (of the first season) were covered in heavy makeup that made their age indeterminable, which was also reflected in their roles: Saru is supposed to be roughly the same age as Michael Burnham, while Doug Jones was already 56 at the start of the series. L’Rell, on the other hand, is never stated to be particularly young, even though Mary Chieffo was only 24 or 25 when the first season was shot. But even regarding the “human” cast such considerations are kinda moot, given that Tilly is supposed to be much younger than Burnham (around 22 in the second season), whereas Mary Wiseman and Sonequa Martin-Green are of the same age…
But still, it could be interesting to see whether this show will feature a cast whose mean age is either particularly low or particularly high – just speaking very roughly.

MattR

I don’t know if that’s true. Michael is supposedly 31 (born in 2226). Saru left Kaminar 20 years ago, in roughly 2237. Hard to tell age, but he seemed much older than 11 in “The Brightest Star.”

Schultz

tl;dr: age difference can be awesome.

Well, Stewart is a geezer, so probably almost every other character will be younger than him. ;D Seriously, though, the age difference could be fantastic, as a counterpoint, but also with regard to federation history, something that the series can draw from: young (or comparatively young) Starfleet officers working for a crumbling UFP, disillusioned, and the old fossil Picard trying desperately to hold it together, himself (because he’s old), the ship (his immediate surroundings), the federation & the quadrant (the hero’s fight against nature), a classical tale of the rested hero rising once more, trying to ignite the spark to reinvigorate the federation, first within himself, then on the ship, with his crew, then elsewhere… and at the end Picard sacrifices himself for it all, and with “all” I do mean the galaxy. I can think of so many wonderful ways this series can go, and I just hope that the showrunners can too.

Tezna

I can see the cast being overall older than most series. ‘The Mandalorian’ for Disney Plus has a fairly older cast with the youngest main actor being 36.

alphantrion

I still can’t believe they got Werner Herzog for a role in that. His films as a director are interesting, but I am very curious about his acting. Very unusual choice, but I like it.

brainhawk

He can definitely act but I’ve mostly ever seen him in very strange roles (e.g. Julien Donkey-Boy), most likely because he is a strange man interested in the strange and mysterious. I love Herzog though. His acting should bring a strangeness and gravity to the part, though I’m not sure about his range.

JAGT

His acting career is not quite as extensive as his directorial career, but at the very least he knows how to act. I would guess they cast him mainly due to his distinctive voice and accent. Oh my, that accent – as a native German I can tell you: That’s not simply a German accent. That’s a Werner Herzog accent! It’s its own beast.

GermanTrekkie

I learned about this only now through your post XD Whaaaat! That is beyond mind-boggling… imagine an episode narrated by him…
“Epizode Zix Zeason Won – ve can now clearly zee how ze mandalorian shows hiz true color – after all, iz in hiz nature.” XD

JAGT

Ohhh, yes! Some classic Werner Herzog doom & gloom voiceover narration, would be beautiful: “As ze cries of orphaned Wookiee cubs fill zee air, ze Mandalorian marches on – unfazed”

GermanTrekkie

Werner Herzog on Boba Fett facing a bunch of sand people:
“They zaid: ‘Shall we kill him for you?’ And I said: ‘No, for the forces zake! I still need him for shooting. Leave him to me!”

Vulcan Soul

“I can see the cast being overall older than most series.”

It better be older! How old is the typical non-casual Trek fan on average? The bulk must be with the old series from 20 years ago. The new series are not gonna replace that focus any time soon by sheer amount of episodes; the new shows only have half the episodes per season (and half the seasons per show probably!)

TG47

Super. Two solid casting decisions with one actor with significant across-the-pond experience.

Now let’s see if the casting team has the skill and the guts to really reach further afield than who’s available in LA.

Chuck Abernathy

Two theories:

1. They are Starfleet or Section 31 fixers.

2. Picard’s dream retirement job: Action adventure xeno-archeology for fun and profit with a surrogate Indiana Jones and River Song. High spirits and fun prevail! THAt would be a Picard we we’d seen hints of, but more in line with the joyfully adventurous person Patrick Stewart we’ve seen him become IRL. It would ALSO be nice counterpoint to the upcoming grimdark of the yummy Section 31 series coming up.

I believe TV Trek is where the Marvel MCU was in 2008. Now under one flag, and with the inmates running the asylum, they are set to make good on year round programming.

Professor Spock

Chuck Abernathy TV Star Trek is a lot like Star Wars under Disney. The MCU has the movies and TV shows are connected in one shared universe.

Vulcan Soul

“THAt would be a Picard we we’d seen hints of, but more in line with the joyfully adventurous person Patrick Stewart we’ve seen him become IRL”

Also Stewart has pushed for “Action Picard” ever since TNG’s Starship Mine!

JAGT

Also Stewart has pushed for “Action Picard” ever since TNG’s Starship Mine!

Yeah, there’s that famous quote about him wanting Picard to do some “shooting and screwing” (except he didn’t say “screwing”) – I think it was Ira Steven Behr who mentioned that, regarding the writing of the episode “Captain’s Holiday” – “Starship Mine” obviously followed suit concerning the action aspect.
But keep in mind that that was a 50-year-old Patrick Stewart talking, as opposed to a 78-year-old Sir Patrick.

Vulcan Soul

JAGT, we all know from at least one infamous example that even septuagenarians are not necessarily exempt from these “interests” ;)

JAGT

Yyyeah.. I was rather pointing towards the possibility that Stewart’s take on the role might be a different one nowadays than it was over 25 years ago. And I’d go out on a limb and say that Stewart himself clearly not opposed to any of these things – his beautiful wife has famously become a stepmother to two “children” who are older than her…

GermanTrekkie

Maybe this is Ageism XD but I doubt he can go full Han Solo / Indiana Jones in his age… (Harrison Ford himself could not go full Han Solo / Indiana Jones lately ;)

Tiger2

Aren’t they still making an Indiana Jones 5? I don’t suspect Ford to be any less in action mode like he was in KOTCS even if it has been another decade later.

ML31

I have heard that, yes. Great for Ford that he’s doing it but in MHO, I think the days of him playing the swashbuckling version of Indy ought to be retired.

Denny C

He wanted Picard to have a bit of Kirk from time to time but, yeah, may not be his primary focus now.

Corinthian7

@JAGT I have a feeling that Captain’s Holiday might tie into the series in a significant way. Obviously the origins of the new characters are wide open just now but I have a hunch that he could be playing the offspring of Picard and Vash. Clearly this is wild speculation that may be far wide of the mark but the character description fits, the actors both have similar accents and it could explain why Picard is mixing in circles that include thieves.

Schultz

But where does Picard go from “joyful”, if you project Stewart’s joyfulness onto the character? What lies at the end of that arc? Despair & ruin? Joyful-to-joyful would be meaningless and boring, especially if you’re only planning for three seasons. Wouldn’t it be better to begin at a (relatively) negative point and aim at a joyful & hopeful conclusion?

But I do like the aspect of archaeology! You can even make an episode about it, where the study of an ancient vanished alien culture, the study of how & why they perished, rekindles some spark in Picard, with direct consequences for his character and the future of the federation.

PS: we’re getting our own Section 31 show… leave them out of the Picard series. :)

Cervantes

I’m currently going with a ‘Guardians Of The Alpha Quadrant’ vibe for this show, which someone suggested elsewhere. ;)

Vulcan Soul

I think its “Star Trek: Gambit”, this whole mercenary vibe and hunt for archeology. Welcome back, Galen!

PEWDIEPICARD

Let me guess. Picard ran away from Starfleet after he failed or something and went into exile doing archaeology and shunning the galaxy. Sound familiar? *cough* The Last Jedi *cough*

Tiger2

Yes, that’s exactly it based on a few lines of cast info.

Denny C

I’m think he’s retired, not exiled but it sounds a bit like the fan film “Star Trek: Renegades”. Truth be told, my biggest concern is a visual reboot for the sake of a visual reboot.

ML31

It’s 20 years later. It will undoubtedly look different. That doesn’t make it a visual reboot. And besides… Visual reboot = reboot depending on how drastic one changes things.

PEWDIEPICARD

If it is visually different in terms of technology then that is fine because it is set in the future which is the issue I have with Discrappery. I hope it isn’t crazy busy and shiny like DSC.

Tiger2

It is amazing how shiny everything is in Discovery lol.

A34

Yeah it should look dull and gray just like TNG.

TG47

Uhm, if the plot of Dayton Ward’s last TNG Relaunch Book is what we expect it to be, Captain Picard will need to leave Starfleet in 2387 as part of the great fallout from the mass media public exposure of Section 31’s misdeeds.

While Picard was honestly deceived by S31, in the books he was implicated in something that his admirals were culpable in.

So, yup a kind of exile it would be Pewdiepicard.

If the show uses the backstory from the books, Picard will likely be at a turning point when Romulus is destroyed.

I’m not sure why they would have let the book go forward for release in late 2019 if they’re completely disconnected. It wasn’t in the forward publishing schedule until after the Picard show was launched, and Kirsten Beyer is managing the book and comic tie-ins.

Last note, Dayton Ward is an ex-marine. It could be helpful if they connected him up with one of the writers’ rooms.

While I personally appreciate that they are doing more to incorporate aspects of the books on film (Control with Section 31) I don’t see them taking that much from the novels.

If anything they would probably pull from Countdown first with Picard having left to become a Vulcan Ambassador first (Kurtzman was involved in that story).

Denny C

To avoid having to toss a check in the general direction of Ward and provide on screen credit (more money) it seems unlikely that they’ll utilize any of his work.

GermanTrekkie

Definitely has a “ragtag group” vibe to it. I am reminded a lot of “Gambit” or outings like “Ensign Ro” also. Operating in the grey area, far from (a supposedly more militarized and corrupt) Starfleet. Alien bar brawls, DS9 frontier stuff… i hope they don’t srcew this up…

I’m getting a Star Trek: Renegades vibe personally…

Wonder if Will Riker will be sent to bring Picard in…

Denny C

That’s what I was getting from it, too.

Vulcan Soul

“Definitely has a “ragtag group” vibe to it”

There’s nothing modern about that “ragtag” idea though. A bunch of scifi shows did that in the 1990s already, Farscape, Firefly etc. Even the Trek fan shows did it already. I dont see the appeal. So I hope to be proven wrong by the impression this casting sheet gives of course!

(And others have said that already but I could definitely do without thieves and addicts among Trek regulars! Another tired old idea they seem to collect from the attic with the sole intention of pissing off old-schoolers)

GermanTrekkie

Well, there are tons of ensemble shows that rely on a familiar constellation (of course with varying results).
I would not like another Starfleet Ship with Starfleet Officers much over this basic idea (if its even true). But in the end, it`s always about where they go with a basic idea. So everything could be a effective and nice ensemble show, no matter if the basic idea was used before.
Me personally would have liked this to be a look into the political gears of the Federation. But yeah..

Vulcan Soul

I don’t see the “either or”. What does it say about the civil Federation if any non-Starfleet crew automatically is one of thieves and addicts? We know from Kassidy Yates’ ship in DS9 already that this is not true. Let’s not kid ourselves, they are doing this (if they are doing it) to amp up the character conflict and “drama”. Because a Star Trek show where the core characters are cheating and threatening each other is such a joy to watch! /s

Vulcan Soul

“I would not like another Starfleet Ship with Starfleet Officers much over this basic idea (if its even true). But in the end, it`s always about where they go with a basic idea. So everything could be a effective and nice ensemble show, no matter if the basic idea was used before.”

If we think about it, all Trek shows after DS9 more or less abandoned their original premises and became more Trekkian comfort food (including Discovery with season 2), and only DS9 doubled down on its difference-ness in later seasons. So I could expect some course adjustments later on even if the cast and season one could be as conflict-laden as this sounds like…

GermanTrekkie

Yes, DS9 went pretty much away from the Trekkian comfort food with the War Arc. Granted, there’s a pattern… but maybe it is more complicated. Look at VOY, it could have been so much more. Going too comfort food crippled it badly imho. It was okay for me to turn the Borg into the main villains, but overall rehashing the old / established stuff did more damage than good imho. And ENT was way too formulaic with its Trekkian comfort food (season 1 to 2) and then way too gimmicky with the War Arc/Time Travel mess (season 3). Everyone seems to think, season 4 could have turned the tide. Maybe. I liked the TOS references too, but overall it was a giant missed opportunity to short cut the whole Federation Arc. But look: Using familiar trek races, trek characters and trek history for me is not primarily doing Trekkian comfort food. Telling the same tired old narratives is (wich remains to be seen).

David Alexander Harrison

Ooga-chaka, when Blue Swede couldn’t stop a feeling…

Professor Spock

I’m happy this show is not a TNG season 8. I’m excited to see what this TV will bring to Star Trek.

Vulcan Soul

I would lie if I said I’m not distressed it’s not (in any way) . Picard outside a Starfleet setting will take time to get used to. Like Pike, Picard IS Starfleet. Well, not anymore.

PEWDIEPICARD

Agreed. I want to see the old man in a starfleet uniform and on the bridge of a starship. Ok fine. Doesn’t have to be immediately but at some point!

Vulcan Soul

Yeah nothing wrong with that! It is curious that apart from Stewart of course they are casting nobody above 30 – this coming from the people who are frequently outraged about “lack of diversity”, it smacks of ageism. Stewart’s 79 and everybody else’s 30 minus is almost half a century apart! How about going for the middle?

Afterburn

Not true. Several characters are described as “20s or 30s”, and one female character is described as “40s or 50s”

Vulcan Soul

Which character is 40s or 50s? I must have missed that!

Mel

Michelle Hurd is 52, so her character will likely be so old.

Denny C

“So old”? Patrick Stewart is 25 plus years older than she is.

Afterburn

See below (I truncated the descriptions for brevity). Only two characters are specifically under 30. The two cast in this article appear to be Lawrence and Alana. Most of these names are probably placeholders, too.

Dr. Smith — Producers are seeking a male actor of any ethnicity in his 30s or 40s for the part of a hologram that assists the crew of Picard’s ship.

Starton — Producers are seeking a male in his early 30s of any ethnicity, to play a scientist-type.

Connie — An African-American female in her early 30s. A pilot with an impressive ship that she uses to “transport people to and from an artifact of some kind.”

Lawrence — a “handsome” man of any ethnicity in his 30s. He has “a dodgy moral compass,” and is the pilot of Picard’s ship.

K’Bar — This character is a 17-year-old Romulan, “the only child of what’s a mainly female Spiritual Order.”

Indira — A woman of any ethnicity in her early 20s. Described as “extremely agile and physically agile,” she is also described as “not so mature and a bit socially challenged because she tries too hard.

Alana — Producers are seeking a female of any ethnicity in her mid-40s to mid-50s for Alana, a “brilliant analyst” with a “great memory,” but a dark past.

Vulcan Soul

Thanks. I missed the Alana character is older and thus closer to Picard. Hopefully the names are placeholders! Though as discussed below, the final names for Discovery weren’t much better.

Denny C

A nearly three decade age difference isn’t exactly closer to Picard.

Vulcan Soul

“A nearly three decade age difference isn’t exactly closer to Picard.”

Closer than a 50 (in words: fifty) year difference though?
I know I may be splitting hairs here, but at least it’s not Klingon hairs ;)

Denny C

If Discovery season 2 is any indication, they will course correct if necessary based on fan reaction.

A34

Hope not. The fans have no idea what makes good television.

Tiger2

Agreed! Fan reaction is what made Discovery a better show. So if the Picard show is too different and not winning over the fanbase in season 1 they will naturally course correct. After all, every show has basically and seems to always be for the better IMO.

PEWDIEPICARD

Kurtzman, please don’t screw this ship up. Still nervous that Discrappery people are involved in this. Please don’t Last Jedi this.

Novarcharesk

Yeah, but DIS is good, so bring them on, I say.

Vulcan Soul

@PEWDIEPICARD Don’t hold your breath! These are EXACTLY the same kind of people that would’ve done Last Jedi.

PEWDIEPICARD

*nervous stare*

Denny C

You’re not wrong. At all.

MysticalDigtial

Considering Discovery is damn good and season 2 is quickly becoming one of the better Trek seasons, them being involved is only good for the show.

Vulcan Soul

“Considering Discovery is damn good and season 2 is quickly becoming one of the better Trek seasons”

If anything Discovery season 2 proves how important “loud’ fan feedback is to jettison the more anti-Trek elements of their shows!

A34

I still don’t see any different between season 1 and season 2.

Tiger2

Seriously? If you can’t see the difference. you’re not paying much attention. Season 1 felt like it was trying to be BSG in the Star Trek universe and alienated a lot of people in the process. Season 2 actually feels like Star Trek again, even if it still has many issues and flaws. Whats funny is Lorca and Pike are essentially representative of each season they appeared on. Lorca was what the show was trying too hard to be in the first season: edgy, cynical, constant plot twists, anti-Federation, war, dark and ultra serious. Pike represents this season: lighter, fun, adventure, Federation values, exploration, thoughtful, science and philosophical.

Or the kinds of things people think of when they think of Star Trek. And this is even WITH Section 31 lol. Those guys probably belonged on season 1 but they work here because they balance the show and doesn’t over take it.

They clearly listened to the fans and did a complete turnaround with the show and for the better. The fact we are getting 80% less Klingons is a HUGE plus alone since many fans thought they sucked last season and brought the show down.

ML31

The thing is, I felt Lorca was the most interesting Captain Trek EVER had! I loved the idea of a morally ambiguous captain. I wanted to learn about what caused this guy to turn this way. What made him tick? That was the one thing in season one they got right. At least until it was revealed that he really wasn’t interesting at all. And the sad part is the idiot Lorca stunt has probably ruined any future captain being fascinating in that way for quite some time.

Aus Trekker

Completely agree. After sitting through Star Trek Disgracery, my expectations for this new series are extremely low unfortunately. Let’s hope Klutzman and his team surprise.

J1user

Im willing to bet Cabrera is gonna be Young Picard! He kinda looks the part. The “pilot” rumors are misdirection. I hope they flashback his Stargazer years.

Josiah Rowe

Taking the unconfirmed casting notices with some salt, as prescribed… but with that caveat in mind, let’s start speculating wildly!

If the casting notices (and Deadline’s interpretation of them) are correct, Hurd would seem to be playing “Alana”:

“ a female in her mid-40s to mid-50s and is of any ethnicity. She’s a brilliant analyst and has a great memory despite abusing drugs and alcohol. Often times she gets irritated with her own vulnerability and is certain of herself, even when she’s wrong. A former intelligence officer, she sees conspiracies everywhere. Her professional and personal losses weigh heavily on her.”

Well, having a Starfleet character with a drug problem was a big no-no for Gene Roddenberry (that was one of his issues with Harlan Ellison’s original script for “The City on the Edge of Forever”). Of course, having the character be ex-Starfleet, or even ex-Section 31 might mitigate that… but what if the intelligence service she used to work for is the Tal Shiar? Having your planet blow up could certainly mess up a career in intelligence, and might well send you to the bottom of a bottle of Romulan ale…

(As an aside, I know that casting notices often don’t use the final names of characters. With that in mind, I’ll wager that “Alana” will not be the character’s name, in part because it’s very close to “Alara” on “The Orville.”)

GermanTrekkie

Right, I still remember Michael Rainsford (or something) before they changed it to Burnham. From rain to fire ;)
It was always indicated that – while most humans and federation species where quite “roddenberian” in ideals – there were fringe groups, thiefs, slave traders, mercenaries and all that (Orion Slave girls, Harry Mudd etc.). To believe there where zero humans who would become renegades or something is preposterous.

Under Roddenberry himself fascist species like the Klingons and Romulans where created – that alone induced a whole lot of grey area to the Star Trek Formula.

Vulcan Soul

” I still remember Michael Rainsford (or something) before they changed it to Burnham”

For all this tired talk about “diversity”, getting anything BUT Anglo-American or generic human names (Alana?) for main cast members seems still impossible for a Trek show in recent years (or any definite non American nationalities). Yeah i know, Picard. Nothing Kurtzman would have ever come up with. I think we gonna see half a cast of African-Americans before we see another French regular in those shows who’s NOT Patrick Stewart (or Italian or Dutch or Spaniard or Russian or Chinese or …)

TG47

Sigh. VS, I share your concern and wrote to it on another page.

Roddenberry had the daring to put a character called Pavel Checkov on the bridge as a regular at the height of the cold war.

Despite the deep commitment to a certain kind of diversity, there seems to be a real blind spot in current powers that be.

Delmar and Owoshekun are on the bridge in DSC, but the first tier cast all have middle American names (except Saru). And even when the cast Brits they use American accents and have American identities.

What, in particular, was with the decision to make May Ahern from California? … it kind of washed and denied the lovely Guyanese accent that Bahia Watson used. Couldn’t Tilly’s mum have had a posting the region…or is everything important on Earth in California or Paris?

While the US is Trek’s base market, it wouldn’t be financially viable with that alone. Are CBS and Kurtzman that concerned they’ll lose their subscribers in the lower 48 if they give the humans a less American feel?

GermanTrekkie

I read somewhere that one casting call says “…of no certain ethnicity”. Isn’t that what people often bring to the table as an argument, when they see non-white-anglo-male-casting choices? “They should get the person who is best qualified for the job, not choose based on gender/sex/ethicity…”. What makes people think, that Qualification is not what led to the casting? Why is this almost never implied (afaik) that its NOT based on Qualification when a white-anglo-male-casting-choice is made?

Vulcan Soul

GT, we are talking about characters and their biographies, not necessarily actors. They went from a Brit playing a Frenchman (which is fine in my book) to obviously non-American actors with non-American accents playing American characters (see May Ahern example above). Obviously a Russian character would still be white, which is why this “color casting” is such a red herring. They are still all American characters! Where’s the real diversity in a United Earth Federation? TOS had more of that already!

As for casting by qualification, in a majority country for one ethnicity, the natural result would be a cast predominantly of one ethnicity if hiring is done by qualification, unless they are implying that one ethnicity is relatively less qualified than others and thus should be under-represented (that’s what “equality of opportunities not outcome” is about). We wouldn’t expect more than one Caucasian character at most in an African tv show, right?

Vulcan Soul

“Despite the deep commitment to a certain kind of diversity, there seems to be a real blind spot in current powers that be.”

They went half the way with Michelle Yeoh and then turned back when the character went from having an actual Chinese name “Han Bo” (a casting rumour I can believe since the ship still ended up being called “Shenzhou”) to becoming “Philippa Georgiou”. Greek surname (?), alright. Not non-Western though. We all know the human future will be dominantly non-Western, and as such, all Star Trek shows including the new ones are instant failures, no matter how much (American) diversity they put into them!

“Roddenberry had the daring to put a character called Pavel Checkov on the bridge as a regular at the height of the cold war.”

Like I said before, I’d like them to challenge more than strictly inside their own world view and political in-group which has really become little more than preaching to the choir. Obviously a Russian crewmate would be more ballsy than a gay character at this point in history because it would make their own target feel uncomfortable, and maybe also challenge some preconceptions along the way. Same for Iranians and North-Koreans, which incidentally we have never seen on Trek.

As for May Ahern, her accent sounded Singaporean to me which we also have never seen in Trek.

“While the US is Trek’s base market, it wouldn’t be financially viable with that alone. Are CBS and Kurtzman that concerned they’ll lose their subscribers in the lower 48 if they give the humans a less American feel?”

This is something I also don’t get. Going global is sound business! Does a target group who apparently wants the one half of the cast be African-American and the other half gay really reject non-American crewmates with non-Western names at this point? How can they not have one or several Chinese crew mates; science fiction is soaring in the Chinese market! (Ever heard of Wandering Earth?) But then again they already abandoned half the American electorate in season one already (so that concern about “the lower 48” seems moot), meaning business is not coming first for them anyway…

alphantrion

Is Norman Lloyd still alive and acting? perhaps he can make a small appearance as a hologram or video recording as Prof Galen to get Picard back into archaeology or as a reminder for Picard of his old mentor.

alastair87

Apparently he is still alive. Remarkably in fact – he’s 104!!

Vulcan Soul

That would be one hell of a cameo!!!

JAGT

More than that: Apparently he’s even still somewhat active and had a recurring role on a STARZ TV series called “Fly” quite recently
http://www.jerseywood.net/2018/11/12/new-jersey-profiles/norman-lloyds-still-goin-strong/
Absolutely incredible!

Vulcan Soul

I’d not have thought that a character could best Picard age-wise in the new series, but seems we have found our perfect candidate :)

Gary 8.5

Michelle has a lovely smile.

JAGT

Oh that character description sounds like a very conscious misdirection. Still, well played!

The River Temarc

I read the description of the characters on “Den of Geek,” and frankly, I’m a bit disappointed (assuming it’s correct, which is a big assumption). “Picard-as-archaeologist leading a ragtag crew” was not the way I had hoped they would go.

JAGT

I’d say that’s CBS putting up a bit of a smoke screen if anything.

Denny C

Not so sure, really. The fans have been two steps ahead of CBS nearly every step of the way.

JAGT

And some “fans” have also been dreadfully wrong in the past. I don’t mean to badmouth the more investigative parts of the fandom here, but I’d say that any bit of “leaked” information is to be taken not just with a grain, but with an entire shaker of salt – especially since these particular “leaks” happened so very early on.

Afterburn

DING DING DING. I said so long ago, this show would NOT be what people really wanted. But that was what Stewart insisted: he wasn’t going to return to do another “Starfleet Ship” show. He said specifically that he’d been there and done that. He wanted to do something different.

Anyone who thought this was going to be Ambassador Picard on the USS Enterprise F, with Admiral Riker, Captain Tuvok, First Officer Paris, Chief Engineer Nog, and Doctor Ogawa were fooling themselves.

GermanTrekkie

That Enterprise-F crap sounds awful (imho). An invitation for recycled characters and story ideas.

Afterburn

I think you’d be surprised by how many fans wanted a 90s Trek All Star show. Either way, I think it’s safe to say a large majority of the fandom was hoping for a “Starfleet Ship Show” with Picard in charge (either as an Ambassador or Admiral).

But do we really need another one of those? Wouldn’t that be just as derivative and tiresome? A lot of critics today are saying this just feels like Firefly, or whatever other show/movie/book they see it influenced by, but the idea of putting a character like Picard into situations like those is at least a different spin, even if it was done in one or two episodes.

It’s what made “Starship Mine” and “Captain’s Holiday” so memorable.

Vulcan Soul

But then again who is paying money for an unproven show on a streaming channel that has nothing but new, unproven Trek? If not the fans? I think they boxed themselves in here by wanting to be different, but still needing the fans like never before. And as Discovery season 2 proves, for that reason in the end they always come back to fan service with Warp factor 9.

I could imagine something similiar will happen with the Picard show: the difference-ness will piss off TNG fans big time, and adjustments will be made after the initial mission in season 1 is over, for season 2. Going forward again, the sky’s the limit!

(And that’s why season long arcs are still much better than series arcs. They need the flexibility, and they know it!)

Tiger2

That is sort of funny it happened with Discovery. They tried a different approach with the types of stories and reimagined a lot of the look but now in season 2 they are back to the same stories you can find in any of the other shows and trying to please fans making the Klingons look closer to the others, etc. And its obviously working.

But this isn’t new, while DS9 was still a very different show from TNG they still added a starship to at least feel like they can explore and go on an odd mission together when they have to. Enterprise, like Discovery, realized it needed to be a more traditional prequel to TOS and started to tell those kinds of stories which pleased a lot of fans. I think what you said is true, they have to be a little flexible and try something different but also realize when its not completely working and change course just like they did with Discovery.

We still don’t know enough about any of the new shows yet but hopefully they all infuse more Trek elements even if their premises are different.

Vulcan Soul

“now in season 2 they are back to the same stories you can find in any of the other shows and trying to please fans making the Klingons look closer to the others, etc. And its obviously working.”

And I see nothing wrong with that! TBH Trek has been in a constant identity crisis since the mid Nineties now (when DS9 introduced Worf and Klingon war to “shake things up”), and this yearning for Trek to be different from what Trek is all about is really self-defeating. It’s like Coca Cola selling New Coke or McDonald’s selling salads (ok the latter is apparently happening :D) We want Trek because it is Trek and not Star Wars, not Firefly and not Dark Matter (God forbid!) Changing it into the latter shows is therefore a fool’s errand.

Tiger2

I’m not saying its wrong, obviously I’m saying the opposite. DIS is getting a much stronger reception this season because it is a different show from the first season. The problem with Discovery first season wasn’t just changing the look or trying to fit in an advanced looking show to a more primitive TOS universe, it also lost the essence or spirit of Trek which was really the main problem.

You could get over the other stuff more easily if you felt like you were still watching a Star Trek show and not an imitation of if. As you said we still wanted Star Trek, not something else pretending to be Star Trek. And that was the problem with season 1, the show felt like it lost that but season 2 has brought it back in droves. It doesn’t mean everyone suddenly loves the show and in fact there is still a big discourse of people who don’t but its clear the response overall has definitely gotten better because DIS is finally feeling like the other shows while still doing its own thing. So that’s a plus.

ML31

But it is also why the longer seasons are better than the short ones. The longer season allows the creators to see how the show is working with audiences. And it allows for them to make course corrections before finishing the season as typically shows are shooting through to about 3 months before the finale airs.

Tiger2

Well that’s just human nature though, people want what they are familiar with. How many times a week do we see people here who say they want a Captain Pike show with him back on the Enterprise with The Cage crew? Many have even said they would happily take that over Discovery because its Pike and the Enterprise although technically they can get the exact same stories on Discovery which is also a starship last time I checked. And most certainly want that over Section 31.

I think if the show is good and the characters interesting most will get over it.I’m super excited over the idea but I’m super excited over pretty much any idea that’s not another prequel lol. And TBH, we barely know anything, people are mostly responding to the cast list. We have to hear what the story is actually about first. But its the internet so we react to the first thing we hear.

ML31

In this case, people are responding to the superior characters of Pike, Nahn and Reno over the established Discovery ones. Hence the desire to see a Pike centered show over the Burnham centered one.

Tiger2

But couldn’t Nahn and Reno just stay on the Discovery then? And Reno was never on the Enterprise, she will probably just stay there. And I like Nahn, but she has been in two episodes and maybe said twelve words in each of them, is she actually that popular now? Pike is different for canon reasons of course but it sounds more than just missing that character (and I’m not convinced he’s leaving after this season yet). It sounds like people also just want to be back on a show with the original Enterprise. Not surprising obviously but it does prove fans do want to see certain things.

It doesn’t mean they can’t be persuaded to like other things though as DS9 certainly proved but I don’t think it proved that right away with a big portion of the base and why we got Voyager next, which was a watered down TNG.

For me, I do want to see different things but of course I’m still susceptible to fan service like everyone. I would be curious to see what it would be like to see Pike and Spock on the original Enterprise full time. Or see Picard back on a new Enterprise. But I also think Trek has to try new things to stay relevant and why I prefer they stick with Discovery over the Pike show and go a new direction with Picard. Maybe it won’t work out but I give them credit for going a different direction. And will pay off in dividends if it does.

ML31

OK. Nahn was a stretch. But they introduced two new characters this season and both were received better than anyone they had last season. What does that tell you? Since Pike came from Enterprise and obviously can’t stay on Discovery it makes sense that most viewers would want to stick with him. Sure, Reno could stay on Discovery. But here we are half way into the season and Reno has only showed up in 2 episodes. TWO! They have no idea what they have in that character, it seems. Which also tells me something about those who are currently running the show.

Ometiklan

I think Pike and Reno are as well liked as Stamets and Saru were last season.

ML31

I don’t know about Stammets. But for me Saru evolved into the most interesting character from season one in the end.

A34

Reno has been in like two episodes so far.

Vulcan Soul

“And most certainly want that over Section 31.”

The problem with the Section 31 show is not that it is something different or new but that it is antithetical to Trek at its core, especially in the way the current TPTB imagine it. Space Hitler and all.

And how exactly is Trek “staying relevant” with that? At best it’s the grandpa playing teenager that everyone is laughing about.

Tiger2

I mean it can’t just appeal to the SAME people whose been watching it for decades by doing the exact same things. It has to do things to appeal to difference segments and demographics of an audience to get them to watch it too or Star Trek is going to just feel like a dinosaur and the franchise already appeals to a much more older base than other famous franchises do like Star Wars and Marvel.

That’s what I mean. Section 31 may not be a show others here particularly like but it may grab new people who see Star Trek as one note and maybe will be interested in a spy show and check it out. Its also good to see shows like Lower Decks being made since Star Trek is not known for being a comedy (even though there is a lot of it infused in it) and may get people who wants something a bit less stuffy and serious. And another cartoon aimed at kids is something they should’ve tried long ago so looking forward to the new show premiering on Nickelodeon even if its something that doesn’t appeal to me directly.

Yes, if we left the future of Trek up to this board I’m sure everyone will love every new show for the next decade to take place on the Enterprise B or the Enterprise H or Captain April’s Enterprise and on and on. Hell I would watch them all no problem lol. But its not going to bring in a lot of new fans if its just a slightly new variation of an old theme either.

That’s what I’m talking about, keeping Star Trek relevant and changing with the times to grab new audiences, not just appeal to the same one for another two decades with a few newbies here and there. Now will it work will depend on a lot of factors (main one just being good) but again I give them credit for trying to mix it up more at least.

TG47

Yes, I’m hoping for the best, but this seems very derivative.

Not what I’d have thought that writers’ room would have come up with.

Vulcan Soul

I’m not necessarily opposed to the archaeology idea (episodes like “The Chase” were endlessly intruiging!) but the “ragtag crew of criminals and addicts” is what strongly puts me off. First, its been done before in shows like Farscape, which I never watched for a reason, and second it’s another Anti-Trek concept at its core which we don’t need after having the “Space Hitler show” for that already! And how would “Mr. Starfleet himself” Picard out of all people lead such a crew?

The River Temarc

Exactly. I mean, this is JEAN LUC PICARD, whose leadership skills are so good as to be used in training by the real military and United Airlines, and he’s ended up commanding a crew of teenagers and drug addicts? Eeeek.

LJ (was LJ)

The Chase should have been the premise for an entire show. Wasted in 45 minutes.

Josiah Rowe

TG47, “that writers room” includes a guy who wrote a novel that was basically “what if the creators of Superman had an encounter with the Golem of Prague”, and another that is a hard-boiled detective story set in an alternate history in which after WWII the state of Israel was not established, but Jews instead were given a hunk of Alaska as a homeland (a plan that was actually considered at the time).

So at least one of the writers is more than capable of thinking outside the box. I think we will have some surprises in store.

TG47

My thoughts precisely Josiah Rowe…and Kirsten Beyer has been very innovative with the characters she’s created in her Trek-lit.

But I expected something more novel.

So, maybe they’ll turn a derivative set up on its head. Maybe they were looking to give Picard the kind of leadership challenge he wasn’t getting on a Starfleet flagship.

Think of what Picard told Riker and Laforge when they wanted to offload Reg Barclay…

It sounds as though they intend to show how a saint can lead when he’s not in Paradise.

Josiah Rowe

Works for me.

Besides, most “rag-tag crew” stories don’t have someone like Jean-Luc Picard at their core. Even a changed Picard would have a moral center stronger than typically found in the “crew of thieves and misfits” subgenre. The interaction between that man, who dedicated most of his life to Starfleet, and people from the fringes of Federation society, would amount to something new.

Afterburn

These fall in line with the character descriptions leaked by the Hashtag Show. Including a holographic doctor, and a teenaged Romulan martial artist.

But whatever the case, from those leaks, this is definitely not a “Starfleet Ship” show, which I think is a very good thing.

FWIW. I think the descriptions will prove to be VERY divisive, and turn a lot of people off. I think 90% of fans are hoping for TNG Part II, but this is not that. As I said many moons ago when this was announced: be careful what you wish for.

Vulcan Soul

To be fair they have stressed from day 1 that this is VERY different more than they did for any other of the new shows, so I suppose I have given hope on that a long time ago already. Now the only question remaining is whether it is a worthy entry for Star Trek in its own right, or ramming the stake another inch deeper towards the heart of Trek (no doubt Section 31 will do the rest)?

Afterburn

For you, it’s another stake. For me, it’s another worthy successor, adding to the franchise in new and exciting ways.

Vulcan Soul

I’m not opposed to different or new, but first I don’t see this as new (Firefly etc.) and second for me it’s simply the wrong direction. I’d like them to double down on the aspects that made TNG or TMP stand out – hard science fiction, Utopianism, literature writers, concept-driven shows, anthologies… Movies like “Gravity” or “Arrival” prove there’s a market for this. Stuff like this is satisfying my thirst for “Star Trek” much more than any Star Trek in name they have given to us in the last two decades!

Sully

Couldn’t agree more with this comment. Well said.

Afterburn

lmao

LJ (was LJ)

I’d love them to cast Chris Barrie as the non-Starfleet hologram.

Yes!

In the role of Scientific, Medical and Emotional Grievances Hologram for Emergencies and Assorted Dangers!

Steve

Patrick Stewart will probably be the only straight white male on the show, like Pike is on Discovery. Welcome to 2019. (coming from a gay man from the middle east)

Afterburn

Yes, welcome indeed. I work in a 30-person office where I am one of only FOUR straight white men. I work alongside many women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans people. This is our world, now that people no longer feel the need to hide who they are, differences are accepted and tolerance is (largely) on the rise.

Vulcan Soul

AB, I didn’t know that skin color could be hidden ;) Joking aside, the producers of this show (which I thought they want to sell globally) should keep in mind that the majority of the world is not like America at all, even if your workplace was representative of the whole country (the official statistics say something else; look up “selection bias”). So if they want to sell this show, for example, to scifi-hungry China with a predominantly non-Western, and predominantly homogeneous population, but zero representation in the show, good luck with that!

Mel

China is one of the very few countries left in which Netflix isn’t available. They only have a licensing deal there with a Chinese streaming platform.

Does someone know if Star Trek Discovery has aired in China? It is forbidden to show homesexuals on TV there. They also forbid it for video platforms, but I am not sure how it is for their versions of Netflix.

Either way maybe just pick another Asian country which has Netflix. Why not India? They will have soon a larger population than China. Or Japan. Quite a big population and they are rich. Or if they are going for a positive message, then someone from North Korea.

Vulcan Soul

It was just an example. My point was that Discovery, and this new show too apparently, is closely tailored towards contemporary American sensibilities and representations (and only one faction of it if we are honest), and as such does not have the international appeal it could have. It certainly is not reflecting the makeup of humanity globally (then the crew should be majority-Asian).

I still maintain another Russian crew member (after Chekov) is the most ballsy choice in the current political climate. Coming full circle with TOS.

Mel

I get your point and agree. Characters from the USA and to a lesser degree from the British Isles were always very overrepresented. But I guess it will continue. CBS’s main interest is success in the USA. They want their own streaming platform to do well, so the appeal to the U.S. market is their priority. Netflix is just nice extra money.

Vulcan Soul

” CBS’s main interest is success in the USA.”

I’m pretty sure this will change in the future though, and the question is if they will adapt or die. We are now at that inflection point in history where for the first time there are more well-off people outside the Western world than inside of it. Right now global Netflix may still be regarded as “nice extra money” by TV execs, but as many multi-million-dollar movies saved by the “foreign box office” in recent years have proven, at some point relying on domestic audiences will not just be backwards, but financially suicidal. But it seems for Trek, that day of change is not today.

alphantrion

As an international Trekkie (I am from Turkey)I also agree that more international variety is required. I would love to see some Turkish crew members or Turkish actors in Trek.

Afterburn

I have no idea what your point has to do with the discussion, and “hiding” was a clear reference to sexuality and gender identity. Open your eyes.

Vulcan Soul

Nobody is hiding anything in anonymous statistics and longstanding scientific research, and a company self-selecting a more “diverse” makeup may contradict this of course, but doesn’t change the bigger picture. We all have our bubbles, that’s natural; it just becomes wrong when we mistake it for reality globally. That’s the point.

Afterburn

Nobody’s doing that. You have no point. You’re the one arguing AGAINST showing a diverse cast, for no reason.

Vulcan Soul

I did no such thing. Check out my other posts. I’m arguing for real diversities, opposed to imagined ones.

GermanTrekkie

Ok so how do you know Picard and Pike are straight?

Vulcan Soul

1. Vash
2. Vina

Mel

I dared to say a certain character of a TV show is straight based on her having be shown with a bunch of male love interests, her outright saying “I am not gay” and her acting really like a straight woman when her sister came out. It didn’t stop the “She could be bisexual.” comments and people accusing me of heteronormative thinking and being offensive. So be prepared. No matter the amount of love interests of the opposite gender you might be able to name for a character, while at the same time not being able to name one of the same gender, there will be people attacking you for saying the character is straight.

Vulcan Soul

Mel, no offense, but maybe you are hanging out with the wrong people? I can assure you for much of the people in most parts of the world that wouldn’t even cross their mind! This all starts to sound like a crazy cult in the meantime. People should really spend less time thinking about their sexuality as the overriding aspect of their identity and primary source of pride, and more time about what they can bring to the table *intellectually*. The Chinese competition in science and technology is not waiting.

Mel

I am not hanging out with them. It happens when you discuss TV shows online in forums. I guess it depends a bit on what specific character you are talking about and the kind of fandom. If the canon straight character is part of a popular fanon slash couple, reactions like I described are really not uncommon though.

Mark Calcagno

He did a pretty good job resisting Vina…

Afterburn

My wife is also attracted to– and had romantic/sexual relationships with– women, men, and trans people.

Vulcan Soul

And that makes you, your wife or your company representative of the whole country, let alone the whole world? I’m sorry, I trust in science and statistics more than personal anecdotes.

Afterburn

You need to learn to follow a discussion, it might serve you well. The point was to say that because a man dates women he is straight. Do keep up.

Also, I don’t care what statistics say, there is PLENTY of diversity and it’s OK for a series to showcase that. People like you who argue against it are barking up a very wrong tree. Move along.

Vulcan Soul

OK, no further arguments here I see :)

Afterburn

Sorry, I meant to say that because a man dates a woman it’s not a guarantee that he’s straight.

Vulcan Soul

“I meant to say that because a man dates a woman it’s not a guarantee that he’s straight.”

That’s a given of course; my prerequisite here was that these are sexual relationships (OK for Vina that is a stretch, but my impression was that Pike is sexually attracted by her, thus the need to “resist”).

thebiggfrogg

Boohoo! This is coming from a 50 yr.+ straight, white male. Maybe in 2019 it is time to let EVERYONE join the party (in fact, wasn’t that TOS’s breakthrough and main point: multinational, multiethnic, multispecies in the Mad Men heyday Iof the straight, white, middle and upper class male).

Mel

Santiago Cabrera is white and the character description doesn’t say that he plays a LGBT character, so there might be another straight white male.

Clearly started this topic simply to troll. Thread closed.

Mel

Lancelot!

Ryan

Every character needs flaws. I see we have a character with alcohol and drug habit or maybe she is in recovery to connect with what we see in today’s society along with a thief so he’s probably one of these characters that might do shady things. So far so good.

LJ (was LJ)

If that casting call is correct, we have a thief, an addict, a kid, a boffin – so far, so generic.

ML31

Hmm… Based on the update it sounds like Picard could be associating with elements outside of the law… Maybe Captain LaForge will be required to stop this renegade?

Vulcan Soul

Sigh. For everything we know about who IS Picard, that would be a complete travesty! I won’t get all worked up about it at this point though since this is all speculation.

ML31

We are speculating of course, but it would not be against who Picard is. He absolutely would go against the powers that be or Federation law if he felt they went against the ideals they supposedly stand for.

Vulcan Soul

Aka “Insurrection”, which ended up as Picard & crew standing up against one admiral though, really. So this scenario would require the entire Starfleet and Federation being corrupted to a degree that Picard would rebel, which is even worse in my book!

ML31

That one admiral actually told Picard “I’m acting on orders from the Federation Council.” It went way beyond one admiral, apparently. I don’t know how much I would like to see it but since I am not nearly as invested in Picard as others around here are, I honestly don’t care if he becomes an all out criminal in the series. So long as the man becomes interesting.

Vulcan Soul

I happened to have read a review of Insurrection just the other day and it reminded me that informing the Council of what is really going on over there (and the Son’a stopping the Enterprise from delivering that message) was a major plotpoint. So that the Federation had signed off on genocide is not exactly what happened. The entire decision to relocate the Ba’ku was based on a false premise due to lack of information, and that admiral plus the Son’a were keen to keep it that way.

ML31

The Federation did not sign off on Genocide. They signed off on relocation. Picard felt that move was morally wrong and since the actions were being taken surreptitiously he took it upon himself to make it public thinking that would be impactful enough to cause those in charge to stop and reconsider. The reason Picard decided to act against orders was preciously because Federation had OK’d the procedure. He had no other recourse.

TG47

I suspect this is on the right track VS and ML31.

Patrick Stewart has spoken about how Picard’s moral centre is especially relevant in current times.

If this new Star Trek story is to be allegorical and upholding positive Trek values, it may be that broader Federation values are threatened after war (Dominion, Borg) and destabilizing catastrophe (Romulus).

What Picard and his team from the margins can do to uphold the values is the challenge.

Last thought: we need to keep in mind Trek’s ‘bad admiral’ phenomenon. How can Starfleet have had so many ethically challenged admirals across the series without there being some kind of underlying issue?

Tiger2

Good point! Yes I think this is the direction they may be going as well, that Picard believes the Federation is undermining its values so he has to go rogue, just like he did in Insurrection. I would love this kind of story.

Picard has butted heads with many Admirals and Starfleet brass in the past, it would be good to see he’s still sticking to his values and the same Picard we all know and love. God I hope they spill the beans about this show soon now.

PEB

Former Intelligence Officer? …Romulan Intelligence? I’m a huge Klingon fan but I think the Romulans might be my favorite Trek alien, I hope we get a few really good new Romulan characters.

LJ (was LJ)

Cardassian for me. They always offered many of the more three-dimensional alien characters: Dukat, Damar, and obviously Garak.

Corinthian7

I wonder could the the pilot who is a skilled thief be the son of Picard and Vash? Admittedly I’m basing this on a flimsy character description and superficial similarities between the actors accents and yeah, before anybody else says this I do know that not every character in Star Trek needs to be linked to each other and that Cabrera is maybe a little too old for such a role. However, it is Trek and a ‘small galaxy’ so you never know.

LJ (was LJ)

Not another flimsy Picard pseudo-son. That was done already. His son should have been Wesley as it makes more sense.

alphantrion

I am beginning to think that “intelligence” and “intelligence agency” are the favorite words of the writers and producers of this Trek. Everywhere I go I seem to be hearing them again and again. Where does this infatuation with “intelligence” come from? Next thing you know we will have a tribble intelligence agency too.

Vulcan Soul

Totally agree! Maybe the CIA and NSA are meeting new approval in their home country due to their opposition to that infamous septuagenarian, but most assuredly outside of America they are still associated with illegal mass surveillance, disastrous regime changes, black prisons, forced abductions, torture, drone killings etc.

Something the producers should also keep in mind when building Trek for a global audience….

The River Temarc

You do realize that there’s a program called the “Five Eyes” under which Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and US share intelligence very extensively, right? And that NATO allies and other allies cooperate extensively on intelligence?

Vulcan Soul

Sharing the spoils of an illegal operation with selected friends doesn’t exactly make it better. Plus that was only one (the most minor one, and that’s saying alot) of a whole list of damning, human rights violating activities. Anyway, the point here was glorifying “intelligence agencies” and remodeling the Federation on that basis is the last thing Kurtzman & Co. should’ve done. It’s bringing 20th and 21st century medievalisms into the 23rd and 24th centuries for a supposedly enlightened Utopian organization.

Michael

That ship has long a go sailed on GR’s utopian society. It only ever existed in trek mythos anyway. How enlightened was Kirk when he was arming his friends in “A Private LIttle War”? or when he stranded Khan? Capitalism was quite alive and active on TOS and DS9. Members of Star Fleet do receive financial compensation, how else do they gamble, drink, etc.

Gathering intelligence is an essential part of governing in any organization. To think different is unrealistic. Even if the Federation is “enlightened” the rest of the universe is not. To not use every tool possible is suicide.

Mel

Uh, yeah. I really, really hope there will be no mention of Section 31 in this series. One of the worst invention in the Star Trek franchise.

PEWDIEPICARD

Seriously. Intelligence this intelligence that. Yet no one seems to be actually intelligent. It was fine the way it was in DS9. A shadowy organization no one knew about. In ST:ID and Discrappery it’s like Goth Starfleet that everyone knows about. You think in 100 years or so people will forget about them by the time DS9 rolls around? These people have bloody electronic records don’t they? I mean, heck, we still know about the Nazis and the SS and that was without computers! Give me a break.

Vulcan Soul

This is a good point, PDP. We keep coming up with justifications from history why an organization going undercover is not unprecedented and forget that there was no digital age before the digital age. It would be possible if the “forgetting” happened between now and the founding of the Federation (due to WW3), yet there is no evidence whatsoever that there was a corresponding dark age between the 2250s and the 2370s!

ML31

Yes. I would have to agree that Section 31 has been the singlemost worst invention ever in Trek. Way too much has been spawn from that little idea from just a couple of shows. The next worse thing was the MU. And that is only because it’s a good idea but got overused. DS9 dipped into it too much and certainly STD used it as a crutch.

PEB

Oh please, it was far from being a crutch for them. It’s a connecting sandbox that any person in their right mind would think of using.

ML31

The MU is hardly a “connecting sandbox”. It’s a candy bar that is nice to enjoy once in a while. But I don’t want a meal where candy is the main course. I’m not 8 years old.

Davidson

there were only about 4 eps in the whole of ds9 that were to do with S31.

ML31

I felt DS9 visited the MU too much. Section 31 first appeared on DS9 and that, IMHO, was the worst thing to come from that show. Not creating S31 in and of itself, but because others have picked it up and ran with the concept. I’m not a fan of it but the organization seems to work better when it is used sparingly.

So Picard is hanging out with thieves and drug abusers now. Got laughed at a while back when I suggested a broken Picard had hooked up with the Orions and was dabbling in sex trafficking and stolen antiquities.

Who knew?

A34

I imagined an old Picard hanging out in Thailand and drinking it up in Walking Street.

Bryan

I will of course reserve judgement, but these details don’t excite me very much. Seeing an old archeologist Picard with a pilot who’s a thief and a drug/alcohol addict intelligence officer seems kind of ‘off’ to me and an odd dynamic for a Star Trek story. I didn’t care for Gambit and this makes me think that will be the vibe. I don’t want a dark story with mercenaries and I definitely feel that this might be the direction they’re going.

I’ve always thought a story about the Federation at large would be interesting and Picard as an ambassador or Federation president would be an opportunity to show how a utopian future really functions. There’s lots of cool stuff to explore there that we’ve never seen in 50 years of the franchise and the possibilities for drama and parallels to present day are endless.

I don’t want a TNG retread either but some semi familiar surroundings would be nice. I hope they stun us with whatever they do. I just don’t want to see Picard as a broken man who has to seek redemption or something. That’s been done to death and is totally out of step with this character.

PEB

To be fair, Star Trek is mostly going to be utopian when focused on the Federation. From the actual synopsys, this is going to focus on an older Picard dealing with the aftermath of the destruction of Romulus. By nature, it was going to be darker. I feel he may find himself or his old self by the end of the series but that’s definitely not the Picard you’ll start off with. Honestly, he could feel that his last mission, his ultimate mission, is to restore what’s left of Romulus. I doubt it would be any type of a mission the Federation would sanction or allow for one of their most decorated former Captains so he would have to piece together a rogue or crew to help him do this. I could see this being the premise and that combined with Stewart’s acting when given interesting things to work with, I’d watch the hell out of.

PEWDIEPICARD

I absolutely agree. Though I liked Gambit as a one off story having the entire premise be that seems like a retread of so many other shows. I would like to see things being dealt with at the Galactic level and Picard being central to that. Sure, he was a great archaeologist and had a love for it but his diplomacy and leadership skills were second to none and him trying to bring about peace or justice in his waning years is something I think would be very in character for Picard. Dealing with issues at the Galactic level also allows the various characters and locations from the past series be touched on yet not be the focus of the show. But what you said is bang on. PIN THIS MANS POST.

Jai

“I’ve always thought a story about the Federation at large would be interesting and Picard as an ambassador or Federation president would be an opportunity to show how a utopian future really functions. There’s lots of cool stuff to explore there that we’ve never seen in 50 years of the franchise and the possibilities for drama and parallels to present day are endless.”

Completely agree with this. I’ve been saying this here too, for a long time.

However, there’s still hope. The cast details could be somewhat misleading, especially if Picard really is POTUFP. For example, for all we know, “pilot” actually means “captain of the Federation’s equivalent of Air Force One”. Not sure how “thief” would fit into that, although maybe there’s a coup and Cabrera’s character helps Picard escape by stealing the Presidential starship (with Picard on-board).

Michael

I’ll admit, I paused at the rumored casting decisions. Like many here, I was concerned about overdone tropes and this becoming some dark, renegade show. But I’m taking a step back and trying to wait. Everything I’ve heard about the show up until now has me excited and looking forward to the next chapter of Picard.

Even if the casting descriptions are true, I’m not getting caught up by what appears to be brief, high-level overviews for characters. Even if the pilot character description is true, that does not necessarily curtail any depth of a character’s storyline. One of my favorite characters of any show was Leo McGarry on The West Wing. They handled his arc as a recovering addict well, and he was always a principled, yet at times flawed, leader on that show.

I read a lot of Michael Chabon. I like Kirsten Beyer’s influence in this. And I trust that Patrick Stewart wouldn’t be coming back for nonsense. Yes, this will be different. But I’m (cautiously) optimistic.

LJ (was LJ)

Like many others, those rumoured character descriptions are giving me qualms – albeit I fully understand such descriptions are deliberately generic and characters change and grow as the writing staff gets working, and as the actors offer their own interpretations. It just all sounds a bit Star Trek Renegades to me, at the moment that is. And a Picard outside Starfleet is somewhat a betrayal of the advice made by Kirk in Generations. Sometimes it’s best leaving the ultimate destiny of a character to the reader (or viewer).

LJ (was LJ)

It’s a shame they already wasted the story The Chase, which is what this should have been – that idea could have, and should have, been the premise for an entire show.

David Knowles

They could still spin a story of that episode. Let say if there was a message hidden in the original message. We know the program was more than just a message, it reconfigure the triquarter to emit a hologram, so why not multiple messages.

I could imagine a story Picard is approach by a young cadet that use the message as part of a thesis project until all of his files became mysteriously corrupted. Then his room mate end up in sick bay having mysteriously been injured. He reveal he thinks he deciphered a second message.

Which lead the cadet and Picard on a journey to truly complete Galen work. Have it be reveal that Picard has his own vessel and been looking for an excuse to go off on a adventure for a while.

Michael

One is a thief, and the other has a drug problem? This is who Picard trusts? Seriously? Hopefully that is a joke. Is this the Picard with Irumodic Syndrome? Perhaps he’s lost it.

Marc from Chicago

I waited a minute to reply to this, but here’s my 2 cents… Destruction of Romulus = disbanding of the UFP. I predict little or NO Federation in this series…Stewart’s Brexit comments, humans backsliding into drugs, thievery, etc…