Interview: Akiva Goldsman On ‘Picard’ Going Beyond Season 3, And His Star Trek Anthology Series Idea

The second season of Star Trek: Picard is arriving in just a few weeks, with the third close to wrapping production. Recently there has been some reporting on what might come next, like a fourth season of the series or even a new anthology show. TrekMovie had a chance to ask executive producer and co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman about both.

Door remains open for Picard season four

In a TrekMovie interview last September, Akiva Goldsman stated that Picard was planned with three seasons in mind, with the door still open for more. But last month comments from both Patrick Stewart and Akiva Goldsman in the latest issue of SFX Magazine sparked more discussion and speculation over this topic. In a new group interview with Goldsman and members of the media, TrekMovie had the opportunity to get the latest update from Goldsman on that open door for a fourth season. Goldsman said:

The door is always open for a season four… but as of now, it is just three seasons. It was always planned to be three seasons… If some combination of CBS and Patrick [Stewart] and the world all said, “season four” I’m sure we would engage it, dare I say? But no, currently it remains a three-season object.

Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard in season two of Picard

About that anthology show idea

During that same SFX Interview, Goldsman talked about a concept he called “Tales of the Federation,” an anthology-style Star Trek show. He even suggested how it could bring back George Takei as Sulu or Scott Bakula as Archer. The comment garnered some fan speculation and media attention, so TrekMovie asked Goldsman if this was a real concept or just something he came up with during the interview. He revealed it was the latter:

The anthology show is sadly not a real thing. It was me riffing… [The SFX interviewer] said, “What’s your idea for a fun Star Trek show?” So, there are zero plans for an anthology show. Apparently, except my own whimsy.

Scott Bakula in Enterprise

More to come

The second season of Star Trek: Picard will arrive on March 3. TrekMovie will have more from the Goldsman interview as well as interviews with Patrick Stewart and members of the cast in the coming days, so stay tuned.


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PIC should end after S3, hopefully on a high note. Sir Patrick won’t be able to keep acting for years to come so I guess this is it…

As for the anthology… I hope that’ll happen some day… But call it FINAL FRONTIERS…

If they do series of streaming movies for P+, call them TREKBUSTERS…

Wasn’t there some talk that Fuller envisioned Discovery as an anthology show?

Yes but that was to be season long stories this idea sounds like it’s more episodic in nature. Whilst this is technically just pie in the sky at the moment it’s worth remembering that when Goldsman came on board Discovery it was he that had pushed for Pike and the Enterprise to be involved and he eventually got his way with that.

To me, it’s a positive that he’s even riffing about it. They’re going to need a lot of shows constantly in development if they want year round Trek for a decade, and only air 10-13 eps per season. Meaning there will be plenty of new Trek shows in the next few years. Fingers crossed that they resurrect his “whimsical” idea.

Agreed, like I was saying there was once a time when he was only riffing about exploring the Pike era on the Enterprise. We have a situation now where they’re producing shows for multiple Trek era’s for which they’ve already developed sets, props and costumes, you have the AR wall and for standalone episodes they’ve got nostalgia on their side so they wouldn’t have to spend a fortune upgrading the look of the sets and uniforms for the Berman era. In my opinion it’s never been more cost effective to produce an anthology show.

This seems like an archetypal trial balloon.

Fan enthusiasm clearly gave the Pike-led series a lift, fan enthusiasm for an anthology might open the door for a more serious pitch.

So the point of an anthology show today is to showcase Archer and Sulu.

What will that anthology show leave as its legacy? What would an anthology show 20 years from now showcase from today’s anthology show?

There’s a reason we loved following the careers of Kirk and Archer and Sisko and Janeway. An anthology show is a terrible, rootless idea.

with those new sets they have, that wall that can be whatever they want it to be, you’d think other than costuming, this Anthology idea would be kind of a no brainer.

I mean, other than length that’s kind of what Short Treks is/was.

And I do keep hoping we’ll finally get a season three of Short Treks.

Not really. Maybe Short Treks S2, but orginally Short Treks used to be nothing but vignettes to DSC. Then they did proto-vignettes for SNW without even knowing. Only the two animated eps. are actually independent enough to call in an anthology.

Pretty sure the SNW short treks were very well planned as a tease for the show. Sure, they were before it was given the green light, but many (including myself) speculated that SNW was coming the moment Pike showed up on DSC…

…you don’t build a permanent standing bridge set just for one episode, and you don’t cast someone like Rebecca Romijn for what amounted to a cameo. They fully planned the spinoff from the start. They were just wise to tamp down expectations until it was a sure thing.

Costuming doesn’t even have to be a problem if all the episodes are set in the existing time periods, as we now have three eras of Starfleet on the air (SNW, PIC, DSC).

Make some new 24th and 22nd century uni’s and we could go back to the TNG and ENT time frames.

I think if Picard has a season 4 or not, I highly doubt they would be done with those characters or this time period regardless. I think many would be more than happy to watch a Rios or definitely a Seven of Nine spin off show. The latter idea seems to pop up constantly online with fans. I would watch a Seven show in a heartbeat.

I certainly can’t blame Stewart if he really is done after three seasons given his age. It’s still a shock he came back at all. But I have a feeling Paramount is going to do everything in their power to convince him to come back. It’s pretty obvious they want more seasons, the three season thing just sounds like it’s what Stewart agreed to.

As for the anthology idea, I thought it was pretty obvious Goldsman was just throwing out ideas in the interview and not talking about a real project. But I think most can agree it’s something most fans would love happen because of all the story potential with it.

ST Picard feels like it was designed to carry on without Stewart at some point.

Since Picard doesn’t even have a direct premise the way DS9 or VOY did, then yeah, pretty much. When they originally announced the show and said it would be 3 seasons, I think most of us assumed it was going to be a specific Picard-focused story line that would carry the show until it was finished. But then we leaned it was more like what Discovery is doing and just throwing in whatever new story line they want every season.

So while the stories will be based around Picard, they can shift it to anyone on a dime since the show isn’t specifically about Picard’s life either. First season got him involved in a massive conspiracy to wipe out all synths and his issues over the Romulus evacuation; but you could’ve stuck Worf or Riker in Picard’s place instead and very little of the story would’ve changed.

Seasons 2 and 3 may be more directly about him, but can definitely see another character replacing him. And nothing stops them from just replacing him with another former TNG character if they are afraid losing him would create an exodus with some TNG fans. They are literally doing that with the new CSI revival show, replacing one of the original CSI characters with a different one also from the original show next season since some of the actors opted not to return.

It’s really a shame that the show is in fact so plot driven and less of a character study. In fact, I’d say you pinpointed my ambivalence about Season 1. With Q and Guinan in the mix, it could be far more Picard-focused moving forward as these characters played off him well and drew a lot out about the character during TNG’s run.

It is a bit odd how plot driven it ended up being considering they kept saying it would be slower and character driven. It was in a way, but I don’t think at the level most people thought. But yeah season 2 could be more of that, especially with Q in the mix, so we’ll see.

“ST Picard feels like it was designed to carry on without Stewart at some point.”

Then it would have been a very bad move to call the show “Picard”…

I vividly remember the producers saying they wouldn’t call the show “Picard”… In that case, it would have been easy to replace him. But you cannot just write him out of his own show.

“Aftermath” would have been the much better title… “Aftermath” of the Romulan destruction, the synth / Rom attack on Mars, of Picard’s Starfleet career, of Data’s death in NEM, of the Dominion War, of the Borg threat, of all 24th century spin-offs, of the Golden Age of the Federation, of a change in the timeline etc. “Aftermath” would have worked on so many levels AND would have allowed for Riker or Worf to take over…

They would obviously rename the show, they are only saying nothing really have to change within the show itself since it’s (at the moment anyway) Picard hanging out with a bunch of misfits (I don’t have a better word lol). It’s not the same as him being Captain of a starship.

But I don’t think it would be as simple as Picard leaving and the rest keep, um, whatever it they are doing. It will probably focus on one of the other characters and give them a new story to be part of, kind of like Worf got on DS9.

It would simply be sort of a linear spinoff with a different name. You are getting too hung up on the name.

It’s easy enough to change the name of the show.

Or they could just assign them to the USS Picard…


I wonder if they intentionally brought Seven back knowing that they were creating a crew with enduring appeal and would need a new lead character once Patrick Stewart was done.

I would love to think so, but I’m not sure they really thought that far ahead originally. But Seven would just be the obvious choice to keep the show going considering how popular she still is and was one of the highlights of first season.

I have to imagine they are planning a spinoff if Patrick Stewart is done. Maybe featuring Rios. Perhaps he returns to starfleet, and gets his own ship. The next Enterprise maybe? Raffi his XO. Jurati his CMO.

And if Seven doesn’t get her own spinoff, even for just a single season, i’ll be annoyed.

Agreed. I would be fine if Rios was the lead in a spin off show. And of course most of them could just stay together. But if they just wanted one character and shifted to another story Seven would be my first pick.

While she would be mine too, but I think they will ultimately want to move towards the newer characters first, rather than continuing to rely on nostalgia for the 90s shows.

I also don’t know if Jeri Ryan would sign up for an indefinite Trek series, especially as the star. But I definitely want a miniseries at least that explores the years leading up to PIC S1.

Sure, that’s possible, but considering 3 of the 5 shows so far are lead by old and iconic characters, I’m not sure how true that is either. And to me, it seems like every single show is being lead by nostalgia with the exception of Discovery. And that’s only because its circumstances changed that when it leapt forward in the future.

But maybe if they spin off this show, it will surprise me with a new character lead. Not really holding my breath though. The people running Star Trek today has a very different philosophy of the people running it back in the 90s and that was to have each show have its completely own identity with brand new characters with a few cross overs here and there. The new shows are a revolving door of old characters in every direction.

I would appreciate a definitive conclusion to the TNG cast and crew with Season 3, that would be a wonderful gift for a cast and crew that certainly deserve a proper finale.


I strongly suspect we will see all of the TNG crew back at some point before this thing wraps. Maybe not all at once. But I don’t think they’ll close this out without doing it.

“The Anthology show is sadly not a real thing”

Well that kills that conversation.

Ideas for an anthology show (each season 8-10 eps):
-Nick Meyers Khan/Ceti Alpha V (deepfake Montalban)
-Trek VI sequel/TNG prequel (Nick Meyer)
-Bennets Academy Trek VI (deepfake)
-Planet of the Titans/Phase II (deepfake?)
-Enterprise season 5

Enterprise season 5 would easily be at the top of my list! ;)

I don’t know that all those ‘deep fake’ ideas would fly though. It’s one thing to do it in a movie or an episode with a side character for a few minutes like Luke got in Mandalorian/BoBF. It seems like another to do an entire season with your starring character. And I don’t know how much something like that would cost. I literally have no idea but I imagine it could be expensive.

They couldn’t make the de-aging work very well with Data, I’m not sure cosy deepfakes are a good idea either. Recasting is really the only way to go if a story has to be about existing characters in their much younger days.

But I think most of us would welcome revisits to all of the shows, and certainly new adventures with the NX-01 crew, Sulu, and Worf have been clamored for for many years by their actors.

Excellent point!

They couldn’t even find a way to de-age Data well enough and he was in maybe ten minutes of the entire season. The deep fake thing is probably not being used outside of Youtube for a reason, so I don’t think that’s very viable either. Certainly not for an entire show. So you either have to recast or just don’t bother.

Yeah, so true… Deepfaking Younger Data should have been easy, him being an artificial life form… They sorta failed, so please no more deepfakes at this point. Star Trek Deep Fake Nine should be off-limits :-)

There are so many great actors out there who deserve a chance… Prequel to TNG… Make it Stargazer, with Nathaniel Bacon as young Picard… and MyAnna Buring as Lt Janeway :-)

The only great deepfake of Data was the Zuckerberg stuff on YT… and the new Playmates Data figure that goes along with Datazucc…

Yeah went overboard with the deepfake. probably best for just cameo stuff not main roles especially at this stage (e.g. TOS cameos in “Khan” or the Trek VI sequel). In which case no DF montalban, Academy VI with younger actors, and scrap Planet of the Titans/PII for ‘Yesterdays Enterprise’ a season based all on the Enterprise C with final 1 or 2 eps being the Narendra III battle.

No worries! :)

But yes I think if they did go with old characters in the TOS era, most would just be recast. And frankly thanks to SNW, they will be doing that a lot now anyway. And I’m hoping we never see Khan again at all frankly, but since we now have a descendent of his serving onboard Enterprise, we may be getting that character back too in some form.

I like some of these ideas, but enough with the deepfakes. Good grief, just hire some new actors.

Well, your concept of an anthology sounds for like American Horror Story.

I’d prefer The Outer Limits of Twilight Zone with stories from all over the cosmos over 1-2 eps only.

Because those longer arcs of yours could be easily turned into mini series… and yeah, I want to see all of that on your list, but w/o the deepfake…

Don’t deepfake Khan if you can cast Keon Alexander or Zahn McClernon!

An AHS-like anthology would be waste because if done as individual series, Trek would have a fighting chance to overtake Marvel or DC at some point.

I think cost has to be factored into any anthology proposition. It surely factored into why Bryan Fuller didn’t get his way for one 5 years ago. You still need to secure casts and build sets, costumes etc., the AR wall isn’t a magic fix-all, after all. If I were Paramount, I would balk at the thought of not being able to amortize those costs over the course of 10 episodes and force people to subscribe for more than 1 billing cycle! Plus, it’s riskier to try to have the audience reinvest in all the characters every week or two. There’s a reason few others shows do what The Twilight Zone did (and even that didn’t manage to make lightning strike again with two short lived reboots).

I like the anthology idea – keeps things fresh, allows for built-in resets in case one season goes badly without necessarily souring the audience, and if anything is overwhelmingly well received, you have the groundwork for another spinoff.

-Nick Meyers Khan/Ceti Alpha V (deepfake Montalban)

-Trek VI sequel/TNG prequel (Nick Meyer)

-Bennets Academy Trek VI (deepfake)

-Planet of the Titans/Phase II (deepfake?)

-Enterprise season 5

As they say, Hollywood comes up with so much original material these days.

Awwww…. Give with the one hand and take back with the other! Heh-heh.

I would love an Anthology show, and it’d just be like a more expanded Short Treks, going beyond connections to the ongoing crews. Obviously easier to do that and recycle sets etc, from the revived production line reliably turning out roughly 30-40 episodes a year.

Star Trek: Universe is the title I would go with.

If they have an anthology series and don’t call it Star Treks I’m gonna be pissed.

Final Frontiers! Goes along with Outer Limits.

But… that’s not a good name.

I think what they could do is basically turn the Picard concept into anthology shows. It doesn’t necessarily need to be based on characters but they can do 3-4 season shows about different parts of Trek or different characters, like Star Trek Janeway, or Star Trek Andoria etc…So we can have like short 10-20 episode shows about different parts of Trek. I think they can even fold Michael Dorn’s Klingon pitch into this style too.

I agree completely!

I have seen others mention this idea before. Stick with what they did with Picard, ie, focus on one main character but just for one season instead of three. I would love to see a season based around Archer, Worf, Riker, T’Pol, Shran, Garak, Janeway, etc. The beauty of Star Trek today is that for fans pretty much most characters have become quite popular and iconic the way MCU and Star Wars characters are for those fans. In other words, we’ll watch basically any character in their own show if the premise or story is strong enough. Some will be more popular than others obviously, but most will give it a chance.

And the other beauty is with the exception of TOS, pretty much every actor from all the previous shows, TNG-ENT, are both still around and working. There are no shortage of classic characters you can bring in. And of course you can still create new characters (but the old ones are more marketable ;)).

I mean if Star Wars can make a show around a character like Andor or an MCU show around Hawkeye, it shouldn’t be hard to make season based shows for a lot of Trek characters out there.

Exactly, basically they could take a page out of what Disney is doing with the Star Wars and Marvel shows. I mean most of those shows are basically miniseries with single seasons and even if they get more than one season they could be limited to 3 seasons at most and then move on to the next thing. If it works for Star Wars and Marvel, it can certainly work for Star Trek. In fact I think this may be the next evolution of streaming series as I highly doubt many shows will continue with a traditional 7 year arc in the future.

Akiva Goldsman. I remember being touched when at the Vegas convention shortly before Picard came out, he said Star Trek was, to him, really about empathy. My hopes were high. And then we get a show where 7 of 9 is now a “badass” and Icheb gets his eyeball plucked out. These current creators of Trek content are amazing. Either because they can lie to others so easily about what their shows are really about, or because they can lie to themselves so easily.

It’s not impossible to continue a series without the titular character, in the UK we had a detective series called Taggart when the actor playing Jim taggart died the series carried on for another 58 episodes without him (he was in the first 52)

Seven was always a bad-ass. And even though the show is about empathy, there are always characters who lack empathy. B’Jayzl ripped out Icheb’s eye because she lacks empathy, just like Kai Winn, Gul Dukat, and the Borg Queen lack empathy.

Icheb got what he F****** deserved

Please end Picard in season 3 I think it’ll be a nice wraparound story, extending to a fourth while I would always want to see it may reduce the feel good of the previous three.

I tend to agree with this.

The fans demanded SNW and we got it. Now it’s time to start begging for Tales of the Federation.

The fans demanded SNW because of the brilliant performances of Anson Mount and Ethan Peck.

An anthology series would feature those performances…once. One and done; it would be just as effective as the J&J vaccine.

Has there even been a successful anthology series since the original TWILIGHT ZONE, which, I remind everyone, was in the 1950s? THE ROMANOFFS never got a second season and was a niche play at best.

Well, I not sure why none of you thought of this but since Picard is a synthetic life form, they can always get another actor to play him and say that he either modified his body or got a new one. Problem solved in keeping the Picard title.

I have been a vocal proponent of an anthology series since at least the late 90s, when I first learned how they’d redress sets to become different ships. Why not have different ships and crews each week? Maybe get a superstar actor as a captain or villain for a single episode. Spin off a popular episode into its own series, making it a proving ground for new content. Would work even better now with digital sets and shorter season lengths.

BUT the DS9 episode “Field of Fire” also sparked in me this idea of a Star Trek version of Law & Order, a unit of investigators that probes crimes around the Federation. A sci-fi police procedural. It’s been done, but it would be cool for Trek.

WHICH in turn, sparked the idea of a show about the Temporal agents like Braxton, a mix between a police procedural and quantum leap.

THEN when they announced Section 31 with Georgiou, I thought, why not take those ideas, and mix them with Section 31 — a team of time traveling agents from multiple realities?

Why not have different ships and crews each week? 

Because there’s no dramatic continuity and no emotional investment in the characters.

I have always hoped for an anthology series. It would be the perfect opportunity to tell some great stories with Trek characters from literally everywhere. There could be a Klingon episode, an episode dealing with the Dominion, an episode showing Sisko returning from the wormhole, etc. They could also use it to “fix” broken or unfinished things. Like showing us how Trip didn’t really die in that horrible Enterprise finale, or actually getting Shatner back one final time as Kirk. How about a couple of episodes adapting some of those New Frontier books. The sky would be the limit.

Well, spoiler, Picard (and presumably everyone else) survives Season Three. :-)

Given Stewart’s age, I would not actually be surprised if he died in the final season. My biggest gripe is the android body. Not that I have any issue with it in concept, but in execution. If you’re NOT going to explore the issue, why do it?

Frankly, using the golem body as a way to dig into what it means to be human, is the perfect Trek story, and a great continuation of the series. It would also be very fitting for the character.

I’ve long hoped to see an anthology, though I can understand why that might be prohibitively expensive. But it doesn’t seem like Paramount is afraid to invest lots of money in Trek these days.

An animated anthology might be interesting, too. Maybe something like Star Wars Visions, where they play around with different artistic styles and so on. I dunno, might be fun.

Given the VIACOMCBS (now Paramount) stock decline past year(s) and the dreadful investor response to their plans for more shows/movies (including another Star Trek Kelvinverse movie), I think financial reality will hit soon and the saturation of Trek shows will be scrutinized and tampered down. I don’t foresee a separate ‘Anthology’ show, nor it being a replacement for any of the existing Trek series. ‘Anthology’ episodes would likely make its way into the current series (e.g. DSC, SNW or the animated) with Federation Anthology ‘lookbacks’ or time travel/ Holodeck summaries to give us universe expansion of Archer&crew, Khan, post-Nemesis events….or ‘Anthology’ is just another ‘idea’ in the dust-filled warehouse of great idea/series pitches that every Trek creator has done since the 1970’s….remember all the Berman-era Trek ideas and projects that were pitched, proposed and are now shelved and forgotten.

The anthology series would be “These Are the Voyages” writ large. That was the one-and-done episode of ENT; it was universally panned.

I really want a Clone Wars style animated show that continues the adventures of the different crews beyond their last seasons. I think that would be the best way to do it as you could involve characters wose actors have passed such as Scotty, Odo and Nog and also have younger versions of the characters instead of being forced to write years later due to aging. They could do so mething like Clone Wars where they do a 3-4 episode story arc set in various time periods or even a whole season set in a specific time period.

I still have to see something good enough to carry Picard on without Steward after season 3, I could see the show revolving around Rios or Seven, maybe both, even then I don’t know what would be a compelling direction. Possibly call it quits and developed something new in the same timeline, would be nice to see a live-action show set on a TNG era starship, or post TNG / Picard era. Possibly even go back and tell the stories of the Enterprise C?

If Patrick Stewart wants to be done after three seasons, I would like to see a spinoff in which the season long arc would follow Rios as he follows a pathway that would lead him back to Starfleet.