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.
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.