Whoopi Goldberg Talks About Joining ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2

Last January when appearing on The View to promote the first season of Star Trek: Picard, Sir Patrick Stewart formally invited Whoopi Goldberg to appear in season two, reprising her Star Trek: The Next Generation role of Guinan. Now the EGOT-winner is talking a little bit about doing just that.

Goldberg excited about joining Picard

The latest issue of SFX Magazine includes a brief interview with Goldberg promoting the CBS All Access mini-series The Stand where she talked about how Star Trek was her entry into genre fiction, and how thrilled she was to get the opportunity to join TNG as Guinan. Goldberg then brought up Picard in response to a follow-up question on if she was watching Star Trek: Discovery:

No, I haven’t seen [Discovery] – but I did watch the first season of Picard, which was great. From time to time, I talk to Patrick [Stewart] about Star Trek. Hopefully, I will be joining their cast for a little while next year. I’m very excited about that.

Whoopi Goldberg as Mother Abigail in The Stand

The Goldberg interview was conducted in 2020 so her “next year” comment is actually this year and we’ve recently reported that production on Picard season two is planned to start on February 1st. Goldberg talking about joining the cast “for a little while” is intriguing. This could indicate a more substantial role than just a single episode.

As for her comment about “hopefully” returning, perhaps Whoopi is just playing it safe with her NDA, but season one showrunner and season two writer Michael Chabon talked about preparing to write scenes for Goldberg’s Guinan last March:

“It’s amazing,” Chabon tells THR about the prospect of writing scenes between Picard and Guinan. (He’s currently in the early days of writing season two episodes now.) “I’ve gone back to rewatch some of the more key Guinan episodes from Next Gen, the major Picard and Guinan moments. She’s such an amazing actor; I can’t wait.”

Patrick Stewart as Picard and Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan in Star Trek: Generations

Guinan’s role in Picard could be something personal or to do with her history with Jean-Luc Picard.  It was established on Star Trek: The Next Generation that Picard and Guinan were very close. Picard once described their relationship as “beyond friendship and beyond family.”

There could also be a story related to her race, the mysterious and long-lived El-Aurians. They had been almost wiped out by the Borg, and former Borg played an important part in season one, including Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) who is returning in season two. Guinan also demonstrated some special abilities, such as being able to detect changes in timelines and even some kind of defense against the god-like Q. It was also established that Guinan and Q had some adversarial history, and John de Lancie recently hinted he may be returning to Star Trek, so seeing them together again is a possibility.

Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan and John de Lancie as Q in “Deja Q”

ICYMI: Patrick invites Whoopi to join Picard S2

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Picard news at TrekMovie.

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WB, Disney and CBS have all apparently extended Holiday filming breaks on in production LA based TV shows and delayed the start dates of up coming productions because of the strain on the county’s hospital system from the current COVID-19 surge. So, that February start date might be a little soft now, unless Sir Patrick has changed his mind about filming in LA.

Yeah, that’s pretty optimistic. California is an absolute hot zone right now and all production is suspended for now.

For some asinine reason, we in the film industry were classified as ‘essential’ workers. Productions are still going all over the place. Unless there is an outbreak in the cast/crew, you can be sure they’re going ahead with production.

California is in a bad situation.

Many other places as well — rough times are still very much at hand, and I suspect we haven’t quite managed to rock bottom yet.

I say No Chance. Stewart is would be classed as very high risk from this virus. And even if he has been vaccinated I doubt that he would still be allowed to film with fellow cast members who are not vaccinated. There is still a small element of doubt on if the vaccines are even working as well as scientists are hoping they will.

I love Guinan, but I am deeply skeptical they will do anything worthwhile with her on this show. Sure would love to be wrong.

I’m tipping they’ll turn her into an android also. It’s only logical.

I share your skepticism.

I actually thought she worked quite well in Generations the film even though lots of fans hated the Nexus as a concept. She at least helped to add a little bit of punch and mystery to it being the excellent actress she is, as a lesser actress would have just totally compounded the concept into a ditch even bigger than what it already is as we know it to be.

She could have been used more in Nemesis when you think about it, considering the confrontation Picard was having to deal with. She could have been utilised in a similar fashion to how she was used in I, Borg from S5 of TNG.

Forced to disagree. She is a weak character but she worked in Generations. Mainly because Soran was of her race. And it she was in and aware of the Nexus. Nemesis would have been very difficult to squeeze her in. In fact, I think she would have just gotten in the way. The main issue in that film was nature vs nurture. The Picard clone and the Data clone. I honestly do not see how she would have fit.

Well, every character on Picard was well-used and explored (except perhaps poor Icheb), so I have little doubt that Whoopi’s character will be well incorporated. You don’t cast a multi-award-winning actor and then not use her skills.

I love Guinan, too, and I’m hoping she’ll inspire Chabon to write something wonderful for her. The part in “The Measure of a Man” where she counsels Picard gave me chills.

Whoopi does wise so very well; I hope they keep that aspect of her character and don’t turn her return into some sort of angstfest.

When she was playing the trope of the “wiser than she appears” bartender it really wasn’t a good role for her. She couldn’t pull it off. She felt very forced doing it. In fact, she came across as monumentally restrained.

I don’t know man. I always thought she came across as a much better and more insightful counselor than the actual counselor on the ship. To me Troi always seemed pretty amateurish and much more “forced” by comparison.

Too bad that she did not incorporate some of those “wise” attributes into her real life.

Yes, well, there is that, too.

Personally I will stop watching if they bring her back. Did not see any purpose in her character when the series aired and certainly do not now. Now I do not even like her as a person so for me its quits if she joins the show.

Bye, then.

Good riddance to you too!

Oh, I don’t think I’m the one being told goodbye today…

I’m looking forward to it.

I’m just hoping that having been obliged to write it all well in advance of preproduction, let alone production, will lead to a more polished and coherent product.

I’m also hoping that the writers will have restrained the gore and fridging of characters as quick hits for intensity and character development.

They’ve already lost one member of our household to the series (and very nearly to the franchise). I’m pretty unhappy with them for that.

Great, now all Trek alumni octogenarians can croak at each other in turgid and dull ‘adventures’ about this and that.

I think you mean “formally invited…” not formerly invited. :)

Anywho, I’m excited for season 2. It’s their chance to actually expand the El-Aurian race and why they’re so long lived, or their interactions with the Q Continuum. Will their relationship change now that Picard is now a golem?

One thing that might be nice for stories taking place post-PICARD (and even earlier, come to think of it), would be pulling a BABYLON 5 shadows/vorlons resolution and removing the Q Continuum from our realm altogether, letting them explore the mirror universe or some other reality or state of being, so that we would be on our own without semi-omnipotent beings to use as deus ex machina plot crutches. No Qs, no Organians or Melkots as they evolve beyond ever interfering with the lower forms. Genuinely, childhood’s end.

Not feeling it.

Transcendent beings are baked into the universe. So is the idea that humanity will encounter a diverse range of sentient species at various stages of development.

It’s not just about deus ex machina plot devices, it’s about dealing with intelligences that are more advanced than we are but who have their own interests and agendas which may or may not make sense to us.

Getting rid of them would mean that humanity and the other aliens that rely on warp and other FTL hacks would become the apex of development in the Star Trek Prime Universe. It’s arrogant and humanocentric.

Clarke’s Childhood’s End was about recognizing that there is a continuum of development in sentient species not that sentience in itself is godhood.

We don’t agree often here, but I wholeheartedly support this comment. The supreme brings and time travel (edit:mine) crutches should have been kicked out of the Trek writing rooms decades ago.

I would certainly like to see Guinan again, but I’m wary this Picard series will go to their standard setting of ‘oh look how dark, sad or miserable this character is now.’

Well, except there was Hugh. He seemed well adjusted– wait, oh, aaand now he’s murdered.

Well, that’s what aging is for a lot of people. You lose touch with someone for two decades they’ll have had a lot of ups and downs over the years.

Sure. But they went overboard with the misery, to the point it became a drinking game. New character… tragic backstory coming up… get that glass ready…

Nerd voice…. I believe Guinan, not Picard, was the one that described their relationship as beyond friendship, beyond family…… in the episode Best of Both World’s Part II