Star Trek: Picard executive producers Michael Chabon and Akiva Goldsman talked to the Hollywood trades about season one, the finale and where they see things headed going forward.
Note: Season one SPOILERS are discussed.
Picard’s fate was plan from the beginning
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Michael Chabon said they always planned to end the season with Picard’s death. He explained the reasoning behind the decision:
We had this realization that if we want to put our money where our mouth has been all season — if we’re saying that since synthetic lifeforms are real and legitimate and they have their sentience, and they have the right to life and existence, if we’re going to be putting Picard out there, where he’s going to stand up and be willing to sacrifice his own life to prove that point? Then he needs to prove it with his life.
Tying up loose end from Star Trek: Nemesis
The season one finale featured the deceased Picard’s consciousness uploaded to a quantum realm where he encountered Data, and specifically a version of Data that was copied to his brother B-4 as revealed in the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Akiva Goldsman explained how they sought to tie up that loose end:
That was intentional. Star Trek: Nemesis both furthered and abrogated Data’s arc. He didn’t get the full closure, so Data’s arc was sort of continued by Nemesis, but also stopped prematurely. We spent all those years with the character wrestling with the nature of what it is to be human. And he needed to complete that journey. And we wanted the season to aid him in that. To also help give us a chance to bring Picard’s arc to a conclusion, at least when it comes to the Picard that we knew.
Season two heading confidently in new directions, aspiring to grow the beard
Talking to Variety, showrunner Michael Chabon weighed in on Star Trek: Picard season two:
It’s going to be different in some ways. It’s definitely going to go in directions that we didn’t see in Season 1. I think we’ve been emboldened in many ways by the popularity of the show. I’ve only done this once, but I would imagine it’s probably true for a lot of television shows especially in this era: Season 1 was in many respects about learning how to make “Star Trek: Picard.” Both in a production sense, but also in terms of storytelling and who our cast is, how these characters end up forming surprising links and attachments to each other.
It’s in a way that I think was probably true back with “TNG” and what I was talking about — everyone agrees, once Riker grew the beard, the show got better. It was because they learned what they had. Going forward, we’re only going to be doing more of what we did, with greater confidence and with a greater sense of what this show feels like when it’s firing on all engines.
Keeping up with fan feedback, but not influencing S2
Chabon revealed that he has been keeping up with what fans are saying on social media and the web – saying that he prefers Reddit – but when asked if fan feedback is informing season two, he made it clear that the team is sticking with their vision of the show:
No, not at all. We’re true to what my dear friend and collaborator and partner Akiva Goldsman calls the object. The object is “Star Trek: Picard.” It is a show with a nearly 80-year-old actor playing a 94-year-old man who is if not in the final stages of his career, in the latter stages of his career, who has a period of great dismay and disillusionment in his immediate rear view, who has allowed himself to let ties that were formerly very important to him slip or fade away, and who has now re-engaged with the greatly changed world in which he finds himself. That is the story we’re telling. And we’re telling that story because it feels both interesting and true, but also because it reflects the nature of our star and both his desires and his capabilities. It was not ever going to be “The Next Generation Part Two” in any way. It was never going to have a regular cast made up of LeVar Burton and Jonathan Frakes and Gates McFadden and Michael Dorn. It was never going to be set on the bridge of a starship in Starfleet. It was never going to be episodic in format. It was never going to be any of the things that “TNG” was. Not only couldn’t it be those things if it tried, but it wasn’t going to try. Because that’s not what we have to do.
Season 2 will explore what it means to be Picard 2.0
The season one finale ended with Picard in a brand new – yet still old – synthetic body. Chabon tells THR that this won’t just be a reset, and they will address the implications in the upcoming season:
[W]e definitely don’t want to pretend like these events never happened. So, whatever the implications are going to be for Picard having this new body, and essentially a new brain structure, too — although his mind and his consciousness are the same — all of that is going to be part of [the character’s] way of thinking going forward
The season finale of Star Trek: Picard arrived today on CBS All Access. If you haven’t yet subscribed you can get a free month, just CLICK HERE to try CBS All Access FREE for 1 month. Use code ALL to redeem.
New episodes of Star Trek: Picard are released on CBS All Access in the USA Thursdays at 12:01 AM PT/3:01 AM ET. In Canada it airs Thursdays on CTV Sci-Fi Channel at 6PM PT /9PM ET and streams on Crave. For the rest of the world it streams Fridays on Amazon Prime Video. Episodes are released weekly.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Picard news at TrekMovie.