Michelle Hurd Talks Raffi’s Challenges And Working With Whoopi Goldberg In Star Trek: Picard Season 2

One of the stars of Star Trek: Picard is talking about the upcoming season of the show and confirmed what was starting to become a bit of a mystery.

Michelle Hurd on “very different” season two

Production on the second season of Star Trek: Picard wrapped in early September, and they have already moved on to shooting season three. Actress Michelle Hurd sent out a Cameo video which was posted on YouTube (via fan Timothy Roy) where she talks about the work done on season two and gave a hint of what is in store for her character Raffi Musiker:

I think you guys are going to really enjoy season two, it’s very different. It’s a very challenging ride for Raffi, but it is filled with some great guests… some very interesting things happen.

Raffi and Seven in Star Trek Day trailer

Whoopi is “the bomb”

Hurd went on to specifically talk about some of those season two guest stars:

Working with Whoopi and John de Lancie, it’s the same for me as working with Sir Patrick Stewart. I pinch myself. I am a fan too, I literally pinch myself when on set or get to work with these amazing iconic creatures.

John de Lancie’s return as Q has been a big part of the promotion for season two. Paramount+ announced his casting in April, and he has been featured in all three trailers, and he has been talking openly about his role in his own Cameo appearances. However, Goldberg’s return as Guinan’s has been a bit of a mystery—until now, when it was re-confirmed by Hurd. The actress went on to talk effusively about working with Goldberg:

I’ve got to say, Whoopi is the bomb. She is SO cool. She is just cool, she is just Whoopi. That’s all you can say.

In early 2020, star Sir Patrick Stewart invited Goldberg to appear in season two in a high-profile appearance on The View, and later that year, writer/executive producer Michael Chabon spoke about working on scenes for Guinan. However, Goldberg’s return as Guinan has not been officially confirmed by Paramount+, and she has not appeared in any promotions for the show. Last year (before production began) Goldberg did say she would “hopefully” be part of the show, but on Star Trek Day, co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman was pointedly silent when asked about Guinan’s return. It appears that Goldberg’s return as Guinan is being treated as a bit of a secret, even though it is an open one.

Whoopi Goldberg in her last appearance as Guinan in Star Trek Nemesis (2002)

How will Guinan fit into season 2?

Goldberg appeared as Guinan in 29 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation between seasons two and six. The producers were so excited to have the Oscar-winning actress on the series they built a whole new “Ten Forward” set for her wise El-Aurian bartender character, who had a special relationship with Jean-Luc Picard. Goldberg also played a key role in Star Trek Generations, where she helped Picard escape from the fantasy world of the Nexus. The actress last appeared briefly as Guinan in the 2002 film Star Trek Nemesis.

Nothing is known about how Guinan may fit into season two of Picard. The character has, of course, demonstrated a special ability to sense changes in timelines, which could factor into the time travel and alternate timelines featured in the upcoming season. El-Aurians are quite long-lived so she could potentially show up at different points on the timeline. In addition, Guinan had a particularly adversarial relationship with de Lancie’s Q, which indicated that the two had some shared mysterious past.

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

Season two of Star Trek: Picard arrives in February on Paramount+.


Find more news and analysis from Star Trek: Picard.

Subscribe
Notify me of
55 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Confirmed!

Quinan – episode title idea for ya.

When i finally get around to watching Disco 4 SNW 1 and Picard 2- I ope Picard S2 is a lot better than S1.

Just have to remind myself that TNG S1 was….not great.

Prodigy and Lower Decks have had some of the best first seasons since TOS.

So, it seems possible, but the experience of the 90s series should make us more tolerant of weak early seasons.

I’d also argue that the serialized live-action format magnifies any flaws. I would argue that Picard and Discovery had proportionately as many good season one episodes as any 90s series, but that the impact of poor episode and incoherence in seasonal arc writing, direction and editing was much more damaging.

It could be that the discipline of animations, which required much more preproduction, obliges the EPs, writers and creative arts to make the tough decisions earlier, but it’s also likely that the senior executives have more realistic expectations of the timelines to achieve a product.

I’m wondering if Guinan’s appearance here is going to be similar in how vital she was when time was “broken” in past episodes. She was the only one who knew something was wrong in Yesterday’s Enterprise with Data theorizing about her species having a perception that goes beyond linear time. She was also able to step into the Nexus to communicate with Picard, too.

Guinan isn’t going to be in this season past the first episode……hint hint…

You know this how?

It’s not even true. :)

How do you know that? You trolls need to stop spreading rumors.

I think you have it where the Borg have been playing dumb and hiding while secretly waiting for exactly what synth-Picard represents = the Federation developing them innovative/imaginative AI life tech where you make assimilation obsolete and don’t need organics. With that the Borg no longer need the federation to farm for tech and they come in and level everything. No mercy. Just one purpose – get Picard and that tech at all costs.
The hivemind wants to be fully alive, like V’ger in TMP but evil. The anti-V’ger back all Best of Both Worlds scary. Turns out was a plan the whole time, they’ve been treating the entire Federation as a farm and even manipulated Locutus/Picard his whole life to achieve their ends.
Guinan would obviously have seen it all before (her family being killed by the Borg) and be the one to understand just what exactly has been going on / understand why Picard ditched his friends/obsessed with AI, etc. Maybe even have it where Guinan was trying to help Picard but he ignored her. Can synth-Picard come to terms with what has happened and what he was? PTSD with Locutus back in full force and all that with Guinan helping him which of course that would make her a target.
She would also have to help robo-Picard decide what to do. Does he turn himself in and make the case there is no need for assimilation that AI life is the future but leaving organics alone? Does he sacrifice himself to prevent the Borg from taking everything over?
I think that’s how you’d make Picard epic.

Whoopi was FABULOUS in “The Measure of a Man” and “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” and I hope they write her something really wonderful.

This cannot be overstated enough!

I don’t have a favorite Star Trek character. They are so many who are amazing, cannot decide who I like the most. At the same time, I have to admit Whoopi/Guinan is on the top of my top-level list.

She is like Bakula/Archer, Nimoy/Spock, Spiner/Data, Ryan/Seven, Farrell/Dax, Auberjonois/Odo, Robinson/Garak, Shimerman/Quark, Visitor/Nerys, Jones/Saru. Love the actor and the character, both.

They are brilliant human beings, super talented. Feel like they can transmit their good vibes and energy to the producers and writers. From Day 1, Whoopi, like the ones I mention above, nails the character successfully, right from the beginning. Such a big fan. No words can describe my joy that she is back for Picard: Season 2!

…I know I am missing many others, but these are the ones I can think of right now. :P

Agreed!

In fact doing my grand rewatch of the franchise this year, I noticed Guinan was in some of the best TNG episodes made; those two being part of the best. Obviously a coincidence but a good one to have lol. I can’t wait to see her again!

Agreed! Fantastic actress! She deserves a part that really shows her abilities!

Whoopi did what she does best in Measure of a Man. Helping Picard realize that Data’s hearing wasn’t about the question of artificial life at all. It was about enslaving an entire race. And here we are on the verge of the 25th century and that’s pretty much exactly what has happened after the attack on Mars.

Guinan and Q bury the hatchet, and are now time cops…….

This is the ULTIMATE oppurtunity to build on the foundations that TNG set: Guinan’s hatred for Q; to finally know the reason behind that hate.

I just really hope it gets done in the right way!

Was it truly hate? Or, was it beyond that in ways Star Trek does really good …. it’s something about that gesture she made when Q said to Picard he could just make her go away — and she raised her hands in almost a mirror of Q’s, eerily similar to what she did with Danny Glover in “The Color Purple” when her character was leaving his. That was a shocker to see almost the same gesture in TNG that was in TCP. Hmmm. Others have speculated that Q offered Guinan the same thing he offered Riker (to experience the power of the Q), and perhaps their story-encounter history lies there: she may still have at least SOME of the power of hte Q if that was so, and perhaps the Continuum is furious over that issue as well – thus his fury over Picard being her friend. Also, what other names did she call herself during her time on Earth, and in between when we saw her with Mark Twain and TNG? Q mocked her, after Picard said her name, saying to Guinan, “Oh, is that what you’re calling yourself now?” Didn’t Q say something about her dealing with her “a couple of centuries ago” – which would be around the time of Captain Archer and the Enterprise NX-01 ……? One thing: I hope they reconcile Picard’s feeling of loss over Hugh, and that Guinan is made aware of that, due to her befriending Hugh in “I, Borg.” There is SO MUCH MORE that could be done with Guinan’s backstory that has yet to be put on film! Some may be taken from the [non-canon, so far] novels, an undisclosed/unread [freelance] ST: ENT teleplay (with Guinan) which was never seen by Paramount or any of the ENT production staff (due to CBS’s Les Moonves cancelling the series), which was written for that show’s aborted Season Five, …..and much more speculation that might be gleaned from Memory Alpha. I can’t wait to see where they take Whoopi’s character in ST: Picard.

I think it maybe that Guinan is a Q that has left the Continueum. She could, like Q, and Sisko appear in Discovery also.

Although we’ve always known Guinan was suppose to come back, it’s nice someone finally confirmed it! I’m so happy to hear she’s back and sound like she’s going to mix it up with everybody. And I hope they finally go into why Q and Guinan have such a disdain for each other.

I wonder though will this be a “Time’s Arrow” situation and will they meet a past version of Guinan living in the 21st or 22nd century? Or will she be in the 24th/25th century? I guess it can also be both of course. But pretty exciting either way. And Hurd seems to suggests we may be getting other surprise characters as well. Not holding my breath but please someone from DS9 already if true!

I totally think its going to be a Time’s Arrow thing where we see Guinan in the past as her 21st century self. Which would be totally cool seeing Guinan with an average modern day 9 to 5 job or something like that.

LOL that would be funny. She’s working at an insurance company or something. Of course if we do see her in the past, her presence will most likely tie in to the main story somehow.

Maybe she is running a bar.

That can work too!

Oh no doubt. She simply has to tie into the main story. Her presence would be wasted otherwise. I’m just saying it would be hard for her to be a debutant like she was in Times Arrow in the age of the Internet if she had any desire of staying out of the history books.

Right totally agree. I wouldn’t mind see Guinan just being a regular person as long as it’s more than just throwing her in an episode.

Maybe she’s the head host of a talk show…

Guinan: You told me you’ll see me in 500 years! It’s only been over 100! 

Picard: And you never told me about this meeting period! What else did you know about my future that you never told me?

Guinan: Don’t ask me, that hasn’t happened to me yet.

Picard: :(

LOL, that reminds me of 12 Monkeys so much. On the show a character would show up in the past thinking they are meeting someone for the first time but the other person remembered bumping into them 20 years before and so on. Time travel is t.r.i.c.k.y!

Until this review, I never realised Guinan was not in Season 7! That is a revelation in it’s self! How did I not pick that?

I hope we get to see some dramatic interaction between Guinan and Q.

Yeah it would be REALLY disappointing if we don’t see Guinan and Q together. I’m guessing the writers clearly know that that’s what a lot of fans want and hopefully follow that thread.

It’s still crazy to me, we are talking about characters and story lines again introduced over 30 years ago now and yet here we all are lol. I always knew Q would come back in some form one day because that character is so big in the universe and fandom. But Guinan is a nice surprise to have back, which I wasn’t sure we would ever see again.

Still just amazing and exciting to see all of this coming back for the old school fans! :)

I agree. Not having them share the screen a bit would unfortunately remind me of the missed opportunity to have Spock and Sarek appear together in Unification decades ago.

It would be nice to see them share screen time again. Unfortunately, I have a feeling they won’t. Seven and Hugh never shared screen time in Season 1 and they were supposed to be friends! Another missed opportunity.

To be honest, I think it was kind of silly to even make Hugh and Seven friends to begin with if they never bothered to even to put them in the same scene. But yes, another example why the first season of Picard was so bad IMO. What was even the point of it?

But in Q’s and Guinan’s case, their issue with each other started in season 2 of TNG, it would feel weird not to explore it farther. But after season one of Picard, we shouldn’t over think it. ;)

I still don’t have a clue what was the purpose of the borg cube in season 1 of PIC. It puzzles me to this day.

I’m hoping with Terry Matalas the show will become good(maybe even great)

To me, the best episode – the moment with the most gravitas – was when Picard arrives at the Borg cube and finally sees what he could have become. It was well written and reminds me of how Holocaust survivors see each other and understand the experience. Unfortunately, the action moved on and I do feel that a lot more could have been done with that. All trauma survivors feels this, hopefully, at some point.

Yeah, I agree. I loved the hug her got from Hugh. No shouting or swearing at Picard – as everyone seemed to be doing earlier – but tears of joy seeing his old friend after so long. It was a lovely moment. I wish their was more of that in the first season… ah well.

Yeah, it was a typical season one of a Star Trek series.

“I still don’t have a clue what was the purpose of the borg cube in season 1 of PIC. It puzzles me to this day.”

I think you’re very far from alone on that one. In fact, I rewatched the entire season back in September and I paid attention to every detail dealing with the Borg cube and why the Romulans were there. And I didn’t come away with anything new other than they were on the cube to exploit the technology, which seemed obvious, but they NEVER went any farther with it than that. And it was a line that Hugh himself implied, it was never directly said by the Romulans.

There is also the strange, but also dropped plot point. I forgot about involving one of the characters who was part of the Zhat Vash and saw the Admonition which helped bring down that cube when the Borg tried to assimilate her. A really interesting story development that went absolutely nowhere! Again what is the point of suggesting something like that if it’s never used or followed up on in any way? An image so powerful it managed to bring down a Borg cube because they couldn’t comprehend it. That would’ve been another interesting reason why they were there in some way; but again nothing was else was said or done about it.

It’s just soooo bizarre to base an entire season around a Borg cube and yet it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the story it’s telling beyond just being there. And the few things they sort of suggest are never developed.

For people who really liked the season, that’s great. But they can not deny how badly and shoddy so much of the story lines were done. It’s one thing when a storyline is just told badly, it’s another when it’s just completely ignored or dropped which happened so much on this show.

Re-watching season 1 with fresh eyes, there are so many things they were clearly setting up in the first half that they either didn’t have time to connect or finish up with by the end or didn’t think it was important enough TO finish. I don’t know which one is worst?

A bit off topic but since you mentioned Matalas, I actually just finished rewatching 12 Monkeys a week ago. Man I forgot so many details from that show but it was so fun binge watching the whole thing. That’s a show that had a show runner who knew exactly what they were doing and yes I hope does a much better job with season 2 of Picard. I think Michael Chabon was just a little in over his head…and everybody probably knew that.

Nice points about the Borg cube, I appreciate it.

Michael Chabon was over his head. I’m glad his no longer showrunner. I’m pretty positive of seasons 2 & 3 of PIC.

I think Chabon just bit off more than he could chew and kind of underestimated the intricacies of being a showrunner. He believed that he could be in full control while the reality was that that was never gonna happen. So as a result of having too many cooks in the kitchen, you get a jumbled mess like Picard season 1. I am also a big fan of Matalas’s work on 12 Monkeys so if he can have the same amount of control like he did in that show and if he can manage to keep all the plots and elements relevant, this season should be much better.

Yeah, the Hugh and Seven friendship thing wasn’t really thought out or implemented well in the first place.

I have a feeling we are going to meet up with Guinan as she was in the 21st century Los Angeles.

I just finished watching A Measure of a Man which was conveniently being shown tonight on the Sci-Fi network. Because she was a recurring character, sometimes I forget how important the character of Guinan was to Picard and just how great Whoopi Goldberg portrayed her. Thankfully we have scenes like the one I just watched tonight with Picard and Guinan discussing disposable people and slavery. It will be great to see Guinan once again helping out Picard in S2.

This article is ostensibly about Raffi, but literally every comment is about Guinan instead. Not a positive reflection on Raffi. Fine by me, I thought the character was awful. I hope they give Hurd enough good material to correct that in season two.

Good point. I would not go quite as far as awful, but a depressing, buzz-kill kind of character, for sure. Also agree that it’s not the actress’s fault.

Yeah, “awful” probably is an overstatement. I just didn’t think she fit the rest of the series, or Star Trek in general, very well; and that nobody seemed to realize it. Hurd did the best she could, though; she was certainly not the problem.

The bad part is she is actually a very good actor from the shows I’ve seen her in before. Let’s hope they give her more significant material in the next seasons.

Oh, I know. I’ve always liked her in other things. I just don’t think this particular role works at all. Or didn’t in season one, at least; she already looks improved in season two just from the previews. We’ll see!

I wonder if Guinan will know the timeline has been changed again??