Because Sir Patrick Stewart was busy filming, there was no real Star Trek: Picard panel at Star Trek Day last week, but TrekMovie had a chance to get an exclusive chat with co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman about what they are up to in season two, and a bit about season three as well.
Can you give an update on the Picard production? You’re done with season two and then moving on to season three?
Season three starts the day after season two wraps.
So did you have all of season two written by late in 2020?
You were still writing season two this year?
You did once say your biggest lesson learned from season one was crafting the season as a whole to make sure stuff pays off.
Yes. I can’t answer whether or not we learned it because I haven’t seen the rough cuts yet of the last two episodes [of season two].
But there were efforts made.
Oh, yes, for sure.
A big change for season two was bringing in Terry Matalas from 12 Monkeys as co-showrunner. How did you decide to bring Terry on board? Was it time travel first or Terry first?
It was Terry first. And Terry brought time travel with him. Terry sort of said, “Hey, let’s do [Star Trek IV:] The Voyage Home.” And we kind of dug it.
Another big thing is bringing back John de Lancie as Q. He keeps talking about how his Q is very different. Do you see Q as different on Picard?
I do see Q as different. What we wanted to expose Q to—which by the way, was a little more complex than it was for the other characters—is time passed. We wanted to allow for the time between Next Gen and Picard season one. That was really important to us. We wanted those interstitial years to matter. Now Q doesn’t operate by the same rules when it comes to time and space, so we had to find a way of creating a unique piece of movement within Q in order to give him a reason to be in a show that is about destiny, capability at the end of life, opportunities to learn things we haven’t yet.
Would you describe him as an adversary or a companion to Picard in season two?
I think I would really want the audience to decide what they think of Q’s role. I will say that as significant relationships in Picard’s life goes, it would be hard to imagine many, if any, that are more significant than Q.
Season one was a lot about creating closure for Picard, like with Data. Is the introduction to the Borg Queen part of creating closure for the trauma he still carries from being Locutus?
I think that the Borg Queen’s utility here is probably not what you expect it to be. And I think that what Picard is wrestling with in this season—and this should come as no surprise in a season about time travel—is his own history.
Last year you guys were talking about writing for Whoopi Goldberg and they made a big deal out of Patrick inviting her on The View, but this year we haven’t really seen or heard anything about Guinan in season two. So is she still part of it?
[Goldsman just grins with no comment]
Plan A for Picard was to do one season, and then you transitioned to do three. So is the plan still to bring it to a close after three?
Well, the hope was to do three, but nobody greenlights three seasons of television, it turns out. So the plan was always three. The hope was always three. The trigger was for one, and then the plan remains three.
But do you see seasons two and three as completely separate stories?
I do see two and three as separate stories. But I see one, two, and three, as all separate stories of a piece.
What if they ask for more than three seasons? Isn’t there something to be said for having a planned arc and finality to something and be able to write to that?
Yeah, I think that think three [seasons] is the story as imagined. For me, as many seasons as Patrick Stewart wants to do, that’s as many seasons of Picard there should be.
But for example, the de Lancie Q story is a season two story?
Yes, Q is a season two story.
ICYMI – Star Trek Day trailer
More to come
There is still more to come from Star Trek Day, including red carpet interviews and more trailer analysis. So keep reading TrekMovie for our full Star Trek Day coverage.
Season two of Star Trek: Picard arrives on Paramount+ February 2022.
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