‘Star Trek: Picard’ Showrunners Explain How Q’s Time Travel Turns Season 2 Into A “Wild Ride”

We are still pondering last week’s release date news and the new trailer for season two of Star Trek: Picard, but now there is a new cover feature in SFX Magazine that has a lot of insights into what’s coming in March.

Season 2 is about Picard’s heart

Star Trek: Picard is the cover story feature for the brand new issue of SFX Magazine out today, and includes an interview with showrunners Terry Matalas and Akiva Goldsman. They offer a lot of insights into how the new season is different from the last. Goldsman describes the first as being about “rebirth and renewal,” and says the second is about “an exploration of the heart” of Jean-Luc Picard. The pair then explained to SFX how time travel is used for this exploration:

“It’s a time-travel story and all good time-travel tales are emotional at their core, and speak to something that’s happening with your main character,” Matalas explains. “So we started by asking ourselves the question of season one: how do we deconstruct Captain Picard? What don’t we know about him? Why is he on a vineyard by himself with a dog? Why did he never marry Beverly Crusher and have a family of 10? Those are jumping-off points to answer some of those personal mysteries.”

“It will sound extraordinarily facile,” Goldsman volunteers, “but the idea of season two of Picard is that the only thing that actually transcends time – and I don’t mean time travel alone, I also mean emotional time, the kind of stuck in time that comes from trauma – the only thing that transcends time and which heals is love.”

Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard in season 2 (Paramount+)

Mr. Q’s wild ride

Goldsman explained how this focus on the heart of the character and “looking inward and looking backward” led them to examine what issues “remained outstanding” for Picard. And this line of thinking led to a particular character…

“One is Q and his ability to maneuver us through time and space and this very interesting relationship that he has with Picard, one that one might say has always been left unresolved. He’s the first relationship on Star Trek: The Next Generation, really, that Picard had,” Matalas adds. “It was about how you tell a story about Q that’s unexpected, and not the same Loki-esque shenanigans that we are used to. How does it have real dramatic weight? And that was our jumping-off point. You will definitely see a side of Q you’ve never seen before. There’s some things going on with Q that are definitely surprising, considering the kind of being he is. And how that would reflect on Jean-Luc Picard and what’s going on with his life at the moment. The first two episodes are a pretty wild ride.”

The feature story on Picard also includes an interview with Q himself, John de Lancie. The actor talked more about how this “much more mature ” Q “clearly has an agenda,” explaining to SFX:

“Clearly something is up, he doesn’t have too much time to screw around. Perhaps he has something to deliver. So hopefully we have threaded that needle, and still provided the storytelling that’s necessary and the catalyst, which is essentially what I am in this season.”

More familiar faces to come

Season one saw a number of familiar faces and characters on Picard. And in addition to de Lancie’s Q, season two will also bring back Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan. But Akiva Goldsman hinted there are more to be revealed:

“[B]y the time these three years are done, those that you know are coming will not be the last.”

Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan in season 2 (Paramount+)

Much more in the new SFX

The February 2022 issue of SFX has a lot more from the showrunners and de Lancie as well as an interview with star Sir Patrick Stewart and new images from season two of Picard. The issue is showing up on newsstands now in the UK and soon in the USA and around the world. You can also buy the issue directly online.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Picard news and analysis.

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Honestly, I find myself cautiously optimistic about this season. Emphasis on ‘cautiously.’ Must say though, I’m glad they’re bringing back legacy characters, because if it was just Picard and the new (flat, typical imo) characters they’ve created, I’d be out for certain.

Hmm, I have actually really liked most of the new characters (the murderous and apparently off-scott-free-without-even-a-line-of-dialog-justification Jurati is probably the only one I don’t care for). They are certainly better than most of the often very generic Voyager and Enterprise crew members. And I liked how they were each introduced with a strong character motivation or driving issue, even if some of them were less than excellently handled (Rios’s was a little too small-world to also be tied into the main Synth plot; and Elnor’s didn’t really go anywhere after he forgave Picard and joined his cause, but that can be fixed in the future).

I just hope this season is more than just action and ooh-dark-and-gritty alternate timeline. I really want this to more the “contemplative” Trek we were promised back before season 1 aired. More “Nepenthe” and less “Stardust City Rag”.

“Stardust” is something I can never watch again. That was so full of cheese I almost drowned in it. “Nepenthe” on the other hand, was the standout episode of the season, imo.

agreed on both counts.

Stardust was full of cheese and yet also genuinely disturbing in a way I really don’t think these shows should be.

Chabon’s had a lot of eloquent explanations for aspects of Picard, but his response to the backlash to Icheb’s fate never sat well with me. Chalked it up partly to people not wanting him to die at all, to it being violent in a way Trek just never was able to be before, and not thinking Seven’s rage would be justified if it wasn’t grisly. By that token should we have seen Renee and Robert burn to death in Generations to really get Picard’s pain? At the time, they assumed “Family” and Patrick Stewart’s acting was enough, so you’d think seasons 6 and 7 of Voyager, Jeri Ryan’s skill at playing buried trauma, and a lot less TV-MA gore would have done fine. I really don’t jibe with his POV there.

The one standout moment of Stardust City Rag was the quiet interaction between Picard and Seven of Nine before she transported back to the surface. When they spoke of their experience with the Borg, it was powerful. The subtle addition of the Voyager theme was icing on the cake!


Ironically I just rewatched that scene an hour ago. It was playing on Paramount+ and that scene was on. Yeah that is a great moment between Seven and Picard and one of the best moments of the show IMO. That Voyager theme always hits me anytime it plays and it was so touching in that episode.

What leads you to the conclusion that there will be No consequences for jurati and there wint even be a Line If Dialog about it??

Agreed Danpaine!

I’m much more excited about this season than I was a year ago, but I still have to be cautiously optimistic too. I remember how excited so many were before first season started and yes they were saying all the right things too. I loved all the trailers and so on. So far history is repeating itself in that regard. But it’s only sensible not to get too excited yet. In fact the two shows I wasn’t as excited about, Lower Decks and Prodigy, has exceeded my expectations. Maybe the trick is lowered expectations going in (but I think those are simply great shows).

As for the cast, I like the new cast members, but it’s really the legacy ones that has me the most excited to see again. Those will always draw the most interest for obvious reasons but you’re talking 30+ years of following these characters, of course you want to see where they have been since or just being together in the same room again.

TNG is not my favorite show but the is crew is my favorite out of all the shows hands down. So the more the merrier for me.

Thanks for covering this TrekMovie. I’m not much for print magazines, but love to get the scoop.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out and whether the EPs have maintained there focus to deliver a coherent plot while targeting their character arc for Picard. Matalas’ track record gives me hope, but still cautious given the indulgent incoherence of S1.

Last, while I generally don’t like to comment on actors’ physical appearance, I feel I have to say again that John de Lancie is one of those guys who actually looks better with age. I am really looking forward to his reprising his role as Q and am hoping that this might encourage other producers to use him in roles in other franchises.

am hoping that this might encourage other producers to use him in roles in other franchises.

He’s not exactly been wanting for them; he had an important role in BREAKING BAD, for instance.

That was more than a decade ago though…

How many will catch your “Mr. Q’s Wild Ride” section heading reference?

The name of the arcade game Mr. Do sequel was Mr. Do’s Wild Ride.

My God man you’re crazy. It’s a reference to the classic Disneyland ride Mr Toad’s Wild Ride, which goes back to 1955. I don’t think they’re referring to the 1984 obscure video game.

Yeah, I was about to say the same thing. :)

Which in turn was based on The Wind in the Willows.

In my defence, not a US resident so picking up on a Disney ride reference was not my first thought. And Mr. Q sounds more like Mr. Do than Mr. Toad.

This is going to be a great new season. While we see another show/season of where the universe or galaxy is in danger (once again) and the entire season is spent on fixing it. I have great expectations of PIC as I found it better than DISCO but that may be due to the familiarity of the characters watching TNG or VOY. From what little we have seen of the season, it looks very intriguing nonetheless. Based on the audience response to Sir Patrick when he announced that Jean Luc Picard will be back, that day at the CON in Vegas, he has a hit season once again.

If the final shot of the series is Beverly and Picard alone and happy at the vineyard, I’d be so happy.

I would like to see that.

Despite the powers that be saying this wasn’t going to be a sequel to TNG, it should be one in terms of characters and emotional connections. Picard is a great character (and Stewart a great actor) regardless, but the rest of the crew is a family (to the character and the audience) and should be included to truly further Picard’s story.

…very much agreed. TNG was an ensemble show, and while Picard grew to be a compelling character, I’d like to see how the rest of our main crew turned out as well. Like you said, family.

The best TNG ironically, perhaps the only episodes worth watching, Picard spent most of his time as a Borg trying to destroy the Enterprise-D. TNG more than other shows was the ensemble.

I think that’s how most of us fans feel. I always said I’m OK if we don’t see anyone else from TNG before the show started. But after seeing Data, Riker and Troi in fist season, I do want to see more of them now. And those were easily the best scenes for me.

I think they clearly know that and probably will find a way to bring them altogether in the third season, even if it’s just for an episode. Fingers crossed!

I think it’s great that they’re giving Whoopi Goldberg one more chance to shine. Hopefully, this sets up Guinan to be a part of Discovery or something (who KNOWS how long her people live!). But otherwise, these legacy characters deserve to be retired and make way for the younger, better generation of shows and characters.

While I would be happy to see the TNG cast get a nice send off throughout Picard’s remaining seasons, I also wouldn’t turn down any appearances in Lower Decks or any other legacy-burnishing shows (some kind of DS9 follow up show, please!).

I think LD is very much its own thing and is sort of the Friars Club Roast of Old Trek. That’s fine. You’re right — it would be fun to see them pop up in Lower Decks as caricatures that help our new main characters. They’ve been doing that on Family Guy or American Dad already, haven’t they (and Prodigy, of course)?

If you’re going to make way for new characters than retire all of them. Reviving Picard and abandoning the legacy characters leaves the impression that TNG was always about Picard, not the crew of the Enterprise and the bond they shared.

Also not entirely sure if I’m on board with the idea of a “younger, better generation of shows and characters”. Unlike the series that preceded it, I don’t see any of the current shows having a cultural impact or awareness beyond the fan base who stream the show.

Star Trek is now a tool to push subs for Paramount+. Actually marketing Star Trek to broaden its appeal has been a secondary consideration.

After Les Moonves (who according to The Center Seat despised Rick Berman) either voluntarily left or was squeezed out of CBS with or without cause, things changed drastically for the better in Kurtzman’s Trek universe. This included bringing on board Terry Matalas (from Voyager and Enterprise) to help with the last two seasons of Picard.

Although I liked most of S1, I know others did not like much of what we saw in first season of Picard, especially the death of Ichab – which really turned me off as well. I trust Matalas will help steer the show of such pitfalls in seasons 2 and 3 and I am looking forward to this season and next.

That said, even Berman occasionally really messed up (These are the Voyages – Yikes!!), so I understand why some are only “cautiously” optimistic.

It seems so weird that some people didn’t like the show. It has Star Trek in the title; therefore, it’s already better than most filmed entertainment.

The Moonves angle on the Discovery launch crises is fascinating. One gets the sense that there will be more to come out on this in future.

Retaliation and/or vindictive behaviour would seem to be on brand for him though DeanH.

You are mistaken about the circumstances of his departure as he was fired for cause, as was reported widely in reputable news sources at the time in the fall of 2018. Multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct (harassment and assault).

Moonves attempted a lawsuit against CBS and the law firm that was attempting to investigate the allegations for CBS as the employer, but dropped it so that he wouldn’t lose his contractual severance package worth $120 million – a good portion of which he donated to Times Up as part of the settlement.

Les Moonves despised a lot of people but if things were working he would let them do their thing even if he despised them. He gave Bryan Fuller the keys to the kingdom for Star Trek and Fuller dropped the ball. Moonves and company elevate the next two people in line and THEY get pushed out after numerous complaints to HR. Kurtzman being elevated was on Moonves watch and likely because of the work Kurtzman had previously delivered for CBS. Were Kurtzman’s shows groundbreaking or among the most critically revered on television? No, but they were successful, on time and on budget.

As for Moonves himself, not a great guy and for those working in this business stories of his exploits were well known and his departure seemed inevitable.

Interestingggg. This is not quite the trio that I would expect to see together in SEX magazine, but I dig it.

They did say next season was going to be wild. Now we know why. ;D

I keep looking for something to hook me in apart from it being Star Trek. Still not seeing it. Matalas is saying all the right things but we’ve heard all the right things from other show runners for other seasons before. Only to get something not at all like they said. That said, this is the first bit of at least semi positive news on Picard S2 that we’ve had since it started pre production. So I guess there is that. But it’s hard to have any kind of hope whatsoever. Maybe I’ll be surprised like I was with Prodigy. That’s the only hope….

I hear ya’. I found season 1 of Picard to be a bit of a mess. The tone shifted about a third of the way through the season and the season finale was awkward, rushed and unsatisfying.

They said it wasn’t a follow up to TNG and in many ways that was true since I never really felt like I was watching Jean Luc Picard.

Just as long as there’s a sizzling scene between Guinan Q. I will be so disappointed if there isn’t. And, please, less swearing. I don’t really mind it in other shows, but a little part of me dies inside when I hear Star Trek characters use the word “fuck”.

Star Trek has always had colorful metaphors. I don’t see why they shouldn’t say fuck.

I’ve been known to use the word a fair amount myself but when used in a series such as this, that intent of that f bomb should be to land in such a way that it has an impact on the scene. If it’s just dropped in there for the sake of using it, it’s a bit empty and lazy.

I’d say that in Picard it usually does have an impact on the scene. “Sheer fucking hubris” was a very memorable line, and it showed just how much Picard had managed to piss off Starfleet.

Fingers crossed for Season 2 that plot and competent writing take precedence over love, emotions and feelings. The biggest letdown for me on Season 1 was that we saw Jean Luc the man of decisive action replaced by a Jean Luc who is constantly on the emotional back foot as he was pummeled by verbal elder abuse from other characters.

I dont want there to be only 3 seasons of Picard. I want much more than that. Its the best of the current shows in my opinion and the one that excites me the most. Not that Discovery and Lower Decks arent massively exciting too.

SNW should be good as it has a strong leading cast but I’m not a TOS fan so a return to the OGprise isnt really a factor for me but I have hope in abundance.

Most fans want more too, but l am sure Sir Patrick is not up for a five-year mission. Heck IMHO we fans are pretty lucky he simply agreed to a couple of more seasons being made in the middle of the pandemic.

I for one just appreciate seeing 3 seasons of the continuing adventures of Jean Luc and his new and legacy Starfleet crew members. Let’s hope S2 and 3 are great!

Oh yes I’m just happy for the existence of the show. It’s one of those what a time to be alive moments.

Interesting that Goldsman acknowledged the “will they wont they” with Crusher that was conspicuous by its absence in season 1. If that relationship were a happy ending, she’d have still been in his life or perhaps still his doctor, not his old CMO from the Stargazer

She could still be in his life, just simply not on Earth at the time. She could be commanding her own ship like we saw in All Good Things and just be somewhere else exploring in the galaxy.

It’s a little sad the show will be ending after third season but it was always a big possibility of it happening. Unless season 2 and 3 go the direction of season 1, then maybe not that sad after all. ;)

Again they are saying the right things but we have to see the final product. I will say I do feel a little more upbeat about this season knowing the show runner and I think bringing back Q was the smarting thing they could’ve done. Now knowing it will end in season 3, it may have been better to wait until then, but season 3 could be out of the ramifications out of season 2.

Apparently the article is quite big and they say a lot more in it. I just saw a video of TrekCulture that discusses it in length and they talk a lot more about the Borg Queen and some of the other characters.

Goldsman also talked about some other show ideas after Picard and mentioned a possible anthology show. And he also threw out examples of seeing Sulu again or even Captain Archer after the events of Enterprise. Sounds good to me. ;)

An anthology shown would be great, but I’m still hoping for a revival of 15 minute Short Treks and a couple of made for streaming movies each year.

Paramount+ has committed to two new movies each month. Why can’t some of those be for it’s oldest franchise?

Fully agree about P+ and making Trek movies in the future. In fact I said that to you in another thread but I don’t think you responded. To me, its a no-brainer. It could be a big event and really get fans another reason to sign up and build the library up.

I think the next Star Trek movie will be a big factor (assuming it actually gets here by next year as planned…wouldn’t hold my breath though ;)). If its a huge hit (or at least one that reached expectations) then it will probably stay a theater event first before moving to P+. But if it doesn’t do as expected, I see future films being a smaller P+ entry. And especially now that they can tie the new movies closer to the shows again, unlike the Kelvin movies. Either way I feel the next movie will be in the Prime universe again if they are not using the Kelvin actors in it.

Primarily because they need to move beyond Star Trek. With the success of Yellowstone on the Paramount Network they see a path forward with original content that’s not necessarily tied to existing IP’s (and Viacom still hasn’t quite figured out how to utilize most of it).

Is there any information about the budget they are targeting for these movies? It’s pretty easy to do a small horror movie or a romantic comedy or a family drama if you want to keep the budget low. Unless using existing sets and other assets, any Trek movie would be quite expensive (even though probably less expensive than the Bad Robot movies).

Hold the phone… Where did you hear Goldsman say there were possibilities of seeing Sulu or Archer in the future? Not that I don’t want to see some original characters and situations but hey… Archer never got a proper send off and I for one would LOVE to see them be able to wrap things up.

Like I said, it came from a video from TrekCulture on Youtube. Here is the vid. That part starts at 11:50:


Of course, he may just be talking off the cuff but the fact he even mentioned Archer and giving him an entire season has said a lot about the state of Enterprise as a show today.

I agree with Sean (the presenter in the vid) and we shouldn’t be shocked that we may be seeing something Enterprise related in the near future because it has gotten a lot more love from the franchise in general lately, especially from Discovery. It’s funny, back when it was cancelled, fans treated it the same way that OTHER prequel series from a popular property with ‘star’ also in the title was treated by the time it ended. Back then fans from both franchises nearly wanted to pretend they never existed.

But today with decades of nostalgia and younger fans who watched them, now its all being embraced again. The SW prequels is constantly being referenced or shown through the new shows. And the same with Enterprise today. These have both turned around in a way even I wasn’t sure they would. And I think a lot of it is comparing it to some of the new stuff that has put them in better light in the last few years. ;)

…and I’ve just noticed NCIS: New Orleans has finished. What perfect timing for a Archer Show! I’m down for it. Lets go!

Well he’s done with NCIS, but it was reported a week or so ago he’s reviving yet another famous show he was in, probably his most famous, Quantum Leap! As a long time fan of that as well, that’s pretty exciting news.

But there is nothing that stops him from doing both roles (especially since another Star Trek show is probably a few years away).

I think most fans would be excited too if he came back to Enterprise. Just read the comments section of the Youtube video I posted. Anytime you get all around POSITIVE posts in the YT comments section, and especially one about Star Trek these days, that tells you everything. People are genuinely excited about the idea of an Enterprise revival. I’ve even said out of all the shows that should get more seasons it’s that one. Without a doubt and I used to be the ‘I hate prequels’ guy lol. Not anymore.

Ready to head back to the 22nd century with the NX-01 crew! Let’s go!!!

Won’t be the same without Dean Stockwell. Honestly after his passing i thought they would shelve the Quantum Leap sequel.

From what I know, it sounds like it will be a totally new team of leapers. I don’t know if Sam Beckett will be leaping himself (yes I know he never returned home, but who knows). It’s hard to say how important his character would’ve been to the new show since it sounds like it will be slightly revamped from the original show kind of like how Picard is to TNG.

But yeah it would’ve been nice to have him back.

Fascinating. I suspected it was just they guy talking off the cuff but I was happy to actually hear it even though I still think odds are pretty long such a thing would actually happen.

And even though the SW shows are embracing the events from the prequels that doesn’t change that those movies weren’t very good at all. That is not a knock on prequels. Prequels can be quite good. I liked Enterprise from the start and thought they did a pretty good job. And Rogue One was an excellent SW prequel. It is definitely NOT a given that prequels are a bad idea. I just think they might be a bit more difficult to do well.

We totally agree about the SW prequels. I still think they are bad too. They have gotten slightly better for me but still not great. That’s was confirmed when I rewatched all of the movies on Disney+ before TROS back in 2019.

But that said A. they are still canon and B. there is a large segment of younger fans who became fans of Star Wars thanks to those movies and cherish them. Sure you don’t have to like the movies themselves, but being canon it was a mistake for Disney to just pretend like they no longer existed when you had millions of new fans who grew up with those movies and wanted to see them represented in some fashion. When TFA came around, it was obvious they were really trying to avoid those films (it was recently reported JJ Abrams wanted to blow up Coruscant in TFA to literally symbolize the prequels as dead but Lucasfilm said no thankfully).

Now it’s a different story, they realized you can’t just ignore a large segment of your base and why Hayden Christensen is playing Darth Vader again. And to give them credit I think shows like The Clone Wars has really done a great job of enhancing both the prequel stories and those characters.

For Enterprise, it was never quite the same thing. I don’t think anyone was purposely avoiding the show in the same way. Even in the first JJ movie, they referenced Archer’s name, so it was always considered an important part of canon. And again, people may hate Kurtzman, but he has really done a great job of honoring the canon of all the previous shows IMO, especially Enterprise.

It’s really a question of will we ever see the characters again, which is still a question frankly. But considering there is so much Star Trek coming, fans saying they want to see those characters again and you have Trek creators like Mike McMahan who said he wants to bring T’Pol back, etc, it’s really only a matter of time IMO.

Especially like the SW prequels, a lot of younger fans have become fans of that show (probably thanks to streaming) and really like it because they watched it with fresh eyes and not the baggage like a lot of old fans did. And if there is nothing else you can say about Enterprise, it’s one of the most Star Trek-y shows in the franchise. It really honors Star Trek in a way even people like me didn’t give it enough credit for when it was on.

I love it so much today and I would easily take another season of that show over another Kelvin movie or even over a season of Discovery and Picard.

‘sith’ is the best of SW prequels from george.

order 66….

“Sith” is actually a great movie and arguably his best directed film.

What’s amazing about the prequel trilogy is the impact it’s had on Star Wars as a whole. Much of the mythology integrated into Star Wars today stems from the prequel era.

I agree ROTS is definitely the best of the three. Still had some issues but a very watchable film.

Archer could be drafted to fight the Temporal Cold War. Perhaps his ship disappeared. The best would be they reboot ENT and turns out what we saw on screen was post-intervention that we get some real wagon train to the star, space colonization, first contact adventures!

I would LOVE to see an anthology show with standalone Star Trek stories.

Yeah the more I thought about it, the better idea it is. They could literally do with what they did with Picard and just have a legacy character be the main star of it but just follow them in one season instead of three.

And it doesn’t have to be a big star, just anyone who is familiar enough in the fanbase. We could follow Sulu or Archer as Goldman suggested. Or O’Brien, Riker and even the Doctor. You can obviously add other known characters with them. Because everything is pretty much new again so you can do whatever you want with any characters in a post Nemesis setting. But you can still do plenty with characters in the TOS and ENT settings too.

And obviously you can do it with brand new characters, but the way they been making the new shows, more than likely they would go with known characters or at least a mixture of old and new like Picard, Prodigy and SNW is doing.

I have never liked Q, so I am not happy about his appearance in Picard.

We are on the same page. I never liked Q either. His presence in Picard S2 does not give me hope for the upcoming season.

but it means we get ‘trek’ in a trippy way, something not done since Voy or Ent