Patrick Stewart Talks ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2 Prep, Teases Change That Will Have “Quite An Impact”

After a long hiatus Star Trek: Picard is set to go back into production for season two in a few weeks. Star Sir Patrick Stewart is  raring to go, and dropped some hints about what is to come.

Stewart studying season 2 scripts, excited to get back

Production for the first season of Star Trek: Picard wrapped in September of 2019, and with the pandemic lockdown following in early 2020, Sir Patrick Stewart is finding himself antsy. In a virtual chat with Gold Derby, the Picard star talked about what it’s been like waiting to get back to work:

This downtime is the longest period [without work] in my career – but in the last couple of weeks I have been called to the studio for wardrobe costume fittings. I woke up both of those mornings that I had to drive myself to Santa Clarita so excited that I was attending a wardrobe session! It wasn’t the same as walking in front of the camera and having to act a role, but the wheels were beginning to turn again and I felt so good. And now I have got five scripts of the show and different drafts of those scripts. I spend hours every day with them… I want to work! That is what I am here for, that is what I do. I want a script in my hand. I want actors in front of me. I want to hear somebody say, “Standby studio!” It’s going to happen and it’s within view now. I actually think the first couple of days might be a bit challenging because of how do we tune back into what we were doing back before. But we have such an extraordinary cast and these people will bring it and they’ll just hand it over to me.

Season 2 hints

The season one finale saw Jean-Luc Picard resurrected in a synthetic “golem” body, sparking a lot of discussion about how this new android Picard is different than the original. When asked about this, Stewart revealed a discussion he had about it with executive producer Akiva Goldsman and new showrunner Terry Matalas:

That’s a question that I brought up with Akiva and Terry when the three of us were having a script discussion. I wanted to know EXACTLY what they had done to me when they saved my life. And was there any chance that this might have an impact on Picard’s personality or behavior. They felt it probably wouldn’t but it lies there as an option should we need to take it. But also there is another human aspect being introduced in season two, which I am not allowed to talk about. But it’s going to have, I think, quite an impact.

Stewart also discussed the tone and themes of the upcoming season as part of a discussion on the optimism of the Star Trek franchise:

There is a strong element of a better future in all of the Star Trek versions… but it’s undergoing a bit of a transformation at the moment as we are working on season two of Picard. The world around us is not as calm, patient, democratic as it has been. There are issues that are very contemporary… we are not tuning in to European politics, or American politics at all, but there is a sense that things have gone wrong and they need to be put back on track again. I hope that will have a beneficial impact on our audience when they watch it. We don’t lecture to people. We tell stories. That’s our job. But I hope nevertheless that there is a sense coming through – and I am sure it will – of we have issues, and there are problems, and there is unfairness in the world. And we have got to resolve this, if we can.

Alison Pill as Dr. Agnes Jurati and Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard in “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2”

Hard to say goodbye to Data

Stewart also talked about how emotional it was for him personally to film the final scene with Picard and Data in the season one finale.

That long scene – I think it was seven pages, which is long for a TV series – at the end of season one when Brent and myself were alone on the set and that is when Data told me what he wanted from me, I think it was one of my happiest days on a film set. Because not only was the writing outstanding and complex and beautiful, but I was sharing them not only with the character of Data who I admire but one of my dearest and most-loved friends, Brent Spiner. It all became almost overwhelming. Right at the end of the scene I go to walk out of the door and leave him and then I turn around and I said, “Goodbye, commander,” and for several takes, I couldn’t say it. I couldn’t get the words out. I felt so emotional… It was exactly like [Star Trek: Nemesis] and I had a scene with Jonathan Frakes in my ready room and we were saying goodbye, and Riker said to me, “It’s been an honor,” and I had to say, “No, the honor is all mine.” And again, it was just too much.

While Data’s storyline seems complete, Picard may not have said goodbye to Spiner. Patrick Stewart and Akiva Goldsman have hinted Spiner could return in season two, playing Dr. Altan Inigo Soong.

Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard and Brent Spiner as Data in “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2”


See more Star Trek: Picard news and analysis at TrekMovie.com.

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Wondering if the human element will be the return of Dr Crusher and how their relationship changed and more so now that Picard is and is not the Picard that she knew.

Exactly my thought as well.

I really hope Beverly comes back! Hoping she helps him adjust to his new synth body and rediscover those feelings they never acted on.

Possible. There could also be a kid he’s not aware of or something like that.

Oh no, son-he-didn’t-know-he-had storyline was:
a) already done on TNG,
b) wasn’t very good to begin with.
As Picard pit it – there’s already enough drama on board LaSirena. Let’s not turn it even more soapy than they already did.

Was married to Beverly the entire time. She came back from a medical conference around episode 5 of the first season to an empty house with no note and has been slowly preparing his punishment ever since.

LOLOLOLLLOL love it! Thanks for a much needed laugh.

Make it so!

I still have to say I really hate giving Picard a synth body. I get why they wanted to do it, but it just felt so unnecessary. I like the idea of Synths and as someone who has been arguing for years we need to see more AI stories in Star Trek, I welcome it; but making Picard one just does nothing for me. But we’ll see what comes of it in season 2. Maybe it will surprise me.

And I’m very curious of what Patrick Stewart thought of season one? Since he said over and over he only wanted to play Picard if there was something really special done to bring both he and the character back, did he feel season one achieve that? I guess it did because he does talk about the show in admiration and it is a very different show from TNG, which is what convinced him to come back. But so far it’s nowhere on the radar of what made TNG great either. BUT to be fair, because I can already feel people typing with a response, TNG wasn’t great TNG in its first season either. So I’ll remain optimistic but the hype season 1 had feels really deflated now compared going into season 2. But as long as Seven of Nine is back, then that alone will drive me to watch it! Was the best thing about the season for me.

Last edited 3 months ago by Tiger2

Seems nothing will come of it anyway!

“was there any chance that this might have an impact on Picard’s personality or behavior. They felt it probably wouldn’t”

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I think that’s kind of the point. Synths are just as real as humans, and Picard is still the same person he always was even though he’s a synth.

But a lot of that human behaviour was due to premature physical and cognitive decline due to his condition.

So, it there is no improvement or reset, this entire point in season one is undone.

I’m sure his character will change somewhat due to the knowledge that he is no longer dying, but he will still basically be the same person.

I can so relate to what you’ve stated. There is one reality that, because I’m faced with it, could also be a valid point on STP as well: Sir Patrick Stewart is not as young as he once was. As human beings, there comes a time when we have to realize that we will not live forever (though I still wish to beat Methuselah at 969 years of age) The very idea that, one day, Stewart (and me, and all of us) will cease to exist. How do you plan for that? The idea that Picard has a Synth body provides a way to change to a different actor. Let’s be fair though, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible to recast Stewart. I know this sounds so very morbid but, it’s reality and it totally sucks. However, I have to be honest and point out the obvious.

That is a thought…. Transplant the “Picard Program” into a new robot every time you want a new lead. Make the show a little like Dr. Who.

For quite a few years he openly mentioned that he wasn’t really bothered about Star Trek. That tune unsurprisingly changed in more recent years.

I really hate giving Picard a synth body. I get why they wanted to do it, but…”

I actually don’t get why they wanted to do it. I do understand wanting Picard to die. But I sorta think that should have been saved for the series finale.

My guess is a dark horse: Q has been made permanently human. A revitalized “Odd Couple” routine emerges between him and Picard, this time with a more definitive conclusion.

I’m impressed that he’s still so eager to work at his age! The man is 80 years old, and to still have so much energy and enthusiasm for his craft … it’s impressive.

I love knowing that the scene with Data choked him up so much that he had trouble getting the words out; that’s really sweet.

Money and creative leadership are big motivators.

You gotta love this guys work ethic and eagerness to work at his age. He has my absolute respect for that. I am actually a bit more hopeful about this season because of Terry Matalas’s excellent previous work on 12 Monkeys. If he can bring that kind of flair and passion and sci-fi stuff into Picard it should work and hopefully Akiva Goldsman can take a back seat a little this year.

I’ve still got the meh feeling.

Season one was such rollercoaster of great promise and scenes I never want to see again.

So, the excitement just isn’t there at all.

I can hold out hope that it will be more coherent due to the time they’ve had to write and polish the entire season in advance. I can hope that it finds it’s groove before its third and likely final season.

But really, at this point I’m enjoying The Expanse and wishing Picard had the ambition to hit that caliber.

In terms of Trek, I’m looking forward to the next seasons of Discovery and Lower Decks, the premieres of Prodigy and Strange New Worlds, and even curious for more information on S31.

Picard is currently back of the pack in terms of my interest in the SH series. It’s going to take a lot for the EPs and promotional materials to convince me to care.

Last edited 3 months ago by TG47

I don’t want to be negative but I’m wondering about the process. As you mention the producers said last year that the delay would give them more time to polish scripts and to write the full season in advance. If so, how is it that Patrick Stewart is only getting scripts now? He’s not just the star of the show, he’s also an executive producer on it. Shouldn’t he have given feedback earlier? Also it seems that he didn’t even get the whole season, only the first half. If they consider a season to be like one big 10-hour movie that’s like sending him half a movie script where the climax is missing.
I mean it’s possible that he was involved in breaking the story in the first place. I just would have expected that he’s seen scripts and given feedback earlier than now if the original plan was to start shooting last summer.
I realize that it’s also possible that they rewrote the season either to be more topical or because the pandemic required them to make changes (due to production logistics).

I wondered the same DIGINON.

From earlier interviews, Goldsman said that they had drafts of all the Picard S2 scripts before he moved full time over to SNW as showrunner.

However, Kurtzman said in interviews, last fall as they were just starting production of Discovery and had a few weeks of Clarissa done, that one of the choices that they’re having to make because of COVID is to reduce the number of pages they shoot.

This either means reducing episodes, reducing the number of takes and camera angles pre scene, or being a lot more premeditated in what they shoot. It seemed that Kurtzman was saying that he and the showrunners had landed on reducing the number of scenes to make sure they had the coverage on those they will need to include. Practically, this means that Kurtzman and the showrunners will be making a lot more of the choices in advance about scenes in-or-out before shooting rather than in editing.

So, this will be very different for all the Secret Hideout productions. Up to now, Kurtzman has really leaned to allowing any scene that one of the writers or EPs wanted (including Patrick) to be shot and then making a decision if it works or fits. This could reduce creativity, but also improve coherence.

Patrick may have previously seen all the scripts in draft, but he’s likely now getting the final, lean versions that have to be locked down early so that the logistics of shooting within the COVID protocols can be worked out.

I am not sure this would really hurt anything. TNG was notoriously controlling about words and phrases that actors could say and how they would say it. Improvisation was not allowed for the most part.

Season 1 was terrible and actually hurt the legacy of the Picard and Data characters as well as some of the TNG era universe. It felt like a fan production with a large CGI budget.
After the abysmal ending of Season 3 of Disco, I’m not sure which of the two is the worse Trek ever.

I don’t think it hurt Data at all….. but Picard…. yes.

Didn’t hurt Data? Just killed him. Before Picard, he had survived in B-4’s body and was captain of the Enterprise. Then, for Picard, they retconned Data dead (Picard is in an alternate universe). Then they killed off the backup that was left.

I suppose the comic was in a different universe. Lets either forget Nemesis and VOY:Threshold ever happened or accept that this is fiction and there will be good stories and there will be bad stories and nothing of it is real, were not watching real people on real spaceships.

Last edited 3 months ago by Whatever

Interesting. While none of the three SH series’ have hit the mark for me, Picard, with all of its flaws, so far is the one I think holds the most promise. It has the best characters of any of the three shows we’ve seen thus far. (Although that might change when SNW starts… I hope) And has presented some interesting situations. They started off slow. The middle act worked well enough. And really stumbled the landing. But if they can change some of their writers I think there is enough there that can salvage the show to something above average.

Season 1 was patchy, a strong opening episode and a strong middle episode and a strong scene with data in the finale. Other than that, rushed. A theme with discovery as well, perhaps because they only have 10 or so episodes to get a story out…and in those 10 they need to keep an audience hooked with action. if they had 25 like back in the day then maybe they could have truly taken their time.

I also wish this was a miniseries…over 15 episodes or so with Picard succumbing at the end.

Last edited 3 months ago by Commander K

If they just had tried to squeaze 25 episodes into 10. But instead they extended 3 episodes into 10.

Actually working under the old network over-the-air schedule would mean the the pressure was on to get the shows out on schedule. Any delay was VERY costly. For streaming, they already could take all the time they want. So it’s possible they may have ended up with TOO MUCH time to craft season 2.

Picard becoming a synth was the biggest disappointment of the season. Picard is essentially dead, and we are just seeing a copy of his memories in an android. I’m guessing has lost his borg implants(so can no longer “hear” or connect to the borg?), his artificial heart, all the good and the bad from his life that made him who he is. I’m hoping Q or someone corrects this in season 2. It was unnecessary thing to an uneven plot of a season.

I agree. That was a tremendous mistake. It also completely goes against everything we saw from Picard in 7 seasons of TNG. But, and this is important, it was not NEARLY as bad as making a fantastic layered and interesting character and then making him…. Well…. Not.

Picard at the start of the season was resigned to retirement and death.
Now he has a reason to still exist and to restore Starfleet

I don’t see it. In fact, I think, based on what we learned about the man from 7 seasons of TNG, he would rather be dead than live out his days in an android body. Now it’s possible he could change his tune on that as he saw his end truly come. People do have changes of heart in different circumstances. But in this series I saw little evidence to suggest he had. In fact, in his dream where he spoke with Data about Data wishing for his “life” to end I would think would have resonated with Picard. And solidified his acceptance of his end. It was his own subconscious speaking to him after all.

You’re over thinking it. It’s just a tv show.

HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT!

>;>}

I don’t agree, Picard the human has a soul and spirit like any human except he has a synth body. So Picard is in there as he was before. Hell right now I would take a new body lol

“The human element” makes me wonder if they will give him a cloned human body after a few episodes.

Or could Q make him human again..

They very could do that. Hell, Q could have cured his disease to begin with.

That wouldn’t work and would be bad story telling. Fans would cry foul.

Since when has THAT stopped Secret Hideout?

Agreed!

Sorry if this is an ignorant question, but given that Picard’s mind and soul were stored in a virtual reality and then transfered to an android body, couldn’t the same process have been applied to Data’s “essence” in the virtual reality, and transfered into a new Android body? I thought that the reason Data wanted to die was that he was lonely and bored with the virtual reality in which he existed?

He could have been resurrected/reborn just as Picard was.

That wasn’t the point IMHO. IIRC Data wanted to die because he realized he would never fully realize what it meant to really be human until his existence had truly ended.

Except his existence already did end. So he needed to do it twice??

Q turns Picard into an old man again. Make it old!

Picard is already an old man.

One story could be that human consciousness and Borg Hive Mind consciousness are different. Even though Picard had all the Borg stuff removed he kept having flashbacks. Now he has a synth body and a brain on level with Data’s. Remember the Borg Queen wanted to assimilate Data. Could this lead to Borg evolution? It would explain why the Borg cube was on the first season for it really didn’t factor into the larger story very well in season 1.

After watching all of the Expanse I honestly think Naren Shankar should come back and run Star Trek since the Expanse is ending after season 6.

He’s got the show running experience now and he can still write. And he knows Star Trek, he was around for its best years.

Shankar seems to have moved on, but I’d love to see his take on a Star Trek limited series.

I’d love to see him come back. He’s so much better-suited to the job than the people (other than Mike McMahan) currently doing so that it makes the head spin.

I just don’t care. “Lower Decks” excepted, these new shows are not worthy of the Star Trek name. I keep watching them, and they keep managing to find new ways of disappointing me.

Except Lower Decks was meant to be a comedy. Funny. Have jokes in it. So while it might have felt more like TNG than the other SH shows (you know, other Trek shows that WEREN’T comedies), it really did fail 100% at what they were TRYING to do.

I laughed frequently and heartily, so no.

Well, I laughed more frequently at Jet Reno’s comments in her rare appearances in STD S3 than all of LDX S1. So yes.

Yes, but you have no sense of humor, so…

I have found that folks who claim others don’t have a sense of humor are far more likely to be devoid of it than those they accuse. So there’s that.

Ok

.. ummm kurtzman won’t be involved and the series might be worth watching after all?

Personally, the Romulan, er, strife and Borg recycling or whatnot, and the oppression of the Cylons didn’t much speak to me about the troubles in the world today. But these Secret Hideout Star Treck programmes change showrunners every year, because successful organizations tend to constantly shuffle managers, and so hope springs eternal that the new guy will be strong and smart and will find things that make the show go.

We’ve heard this sort of thing before. Where he or the producers speak about the show having some analogous elements to current world issues. And then nothing ever came out of it. Not sure why they think there is a need to pull the same stunt. Just make the show better, please. Myself, I wouldn’t mind a show completely about the other characters without Picard! He was actually the weakest part of the show. No, I think that goes to the elf. He was the 2nd weakest part of the show.

Looking forward to this. As much as I adored Discovery, it’s S3’s finale leaves me skeptical and leaning towards falling off. It’s encouraging to hear that Picard S2 won’t fall into the 20th century allegorical, political trap.

Picard’s sex drive is back