“Penance,” last week’s episode of Star Trek: Picard, featured a dark alternative timeline including a “General Picard” who kept a trophy room full of skulls of those he had vanquished. Thanks to production designer Dave Blass, we have a closer look and more details about this dark Picard’s victims.
General Picard’s trophies
As he did last week with the fleet from the season premiere, Dave Blass shared details on social media about the latest episode, this time in a detailed gallery on Instagram. Once again, and with his permission, we share these, formatted for the web.
In Ep 202, “Penance” we get a look at the dark side of Picard “The Borgslayer” with a showcase of his collection of skulls. As originally scripted it was going to be suits of armor, but I felt that A) That was going to be crazy expensive to do properly B) Might not be as impactful as we wanted. It felt a bit like Michael Keaton’s Batman’s display of Armor which wasn’t as vicious as our world. We went to the master Neville Page who designed the wide variety of skulls, some that were mentioned in the dialogue while others were intended to just be background.
Of course when it came to the Ferengi we discussed the Bone vs Cartilage in the ears. Many species have Flexible Dermal Armor, Microdocodon gracilis had hyoid bones that were flexible and required for eating. Add to that humans having bones in the ear specifically designed to facilitate auditory functions. The Ferengi Ears warranted this type of discussion. Would an alien species skeleton decay and exist in the same way as Humans? Osteology tells us that there is a wide variety of unique skeletal examples just here on Earth. Extrapolating that to species from other worlds, we can expect to find a wide variety of differences. Thus the slightly green hue of the Vulcan bones, and the fine detailed, “bones” of the Ferengi ears.
NOTE: Below we have paired up the skull photo with the character or race when possible.
Cardassian – Gul Dukat
Vulcan – Director Sarek
Ferengi – Grand Nagus Zek
Klingon – General Martok
Saurian – Commodore Y’Shi
NOTE: New character (using Linus as a stand-in)
Borg Sentinel – One of Two
NOTE: New character (using Borg from First Contact as a stand-in)
Lihn Zhee – Chieftan M’Talas
NOTE: New species named for showrunner Terry Matalas
Neville Page did the designs of all of the skulls and then fabrication was handed off to Vincent Van Dyke and his team for fabrication with Jeff Lombard in Props adding the weapons to the pedestals, and the pedestals themselves were designed by James Addink.
(All behind-the-scenes photos are from Dave Blass/Instagram)
Inside the dark world
Paramount+ has also released a video going behind the scenes in which Dave Blass talking about the trophy room and more.
New episodes of Star Trek: Picard premiere on Thursdays on Paramount+ in the U.S. and on Fridays where Paramount+ is available around the world. In Canada, it airs on CTV Sci-Fi Channel on streams on Crave on Thursdays. Picard is also available on Fridays on Amazon Prime Video around the world.
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I guess aliens are just “boned” in that reality…
This was incredibly dark and incredibly iconic idea. That cabinet of terror could become an instant cult feature in any Star Trek exhibition :-) Just missing a Gorn specimen…
dark kirk would have already wiped them all out
The Saurian is pretty close maybe?
DSC did give us a Gorn skeleton in Season 1. It was in Lorca’s study.
Very cool scene, very cool. And when Q described Sarek’s beheading, nice touch.
“And son” would imply singular son and thus Spock.
Sybok is well and truly gone…I presume as Gene intended lol.
I always felt like Sybok should have appeared in one of the shows (maybe he still can in SNW) played by Travis Fimmel. Fimmel plays that smart-crazy very well.
Agreed. Doing a re-watch of Vikings right now. Fimmel is a pleasure to watch.
Get on Raised by Wolves then. He’s great there.
With this sort of ethnonationalist state we’re looking at, it’s probably intended as a reference to Spock, but makes more sense as a reference to Sybok, actually. Or an entirely new character.
I would think Spock would be unlikely to exist in this timeline. I don’t think its likely that one of these humans would marry a Vulcan.
That is a factor I hadn’t considered in the slightest, thank you both!
Frankly, *none* of these characters should exist in a timeline that (1) diverges 300 years earlier, and (2) differs so starkly from our own. My own view is that this is an “artificial reality” created by Q, as in “Tapestry” and possibly AGT.
Spock existed in the Mirror Universe, even though the Terran Empire was a human supremacist state as well.
But the Terran Empire didn’t slaughter races everywhere they went. Killed many surely, but not outright “extermination”
In TOS‘ “Mirror, Mirror,” didn’t the whole plot hang on Mirror Kirk having orders to destroy an entire planet if they wouldn’t agree to give up their dilithium?
And Discovery has Emperor Georgiou boasting of destroying the Talosians, and dining on Kelpiens in the Mirror Universe.
Kirk’s orders were conditional.
Also, the Original Series was made first, and it wasn’t necessarily clear that the Empire was *that* kind of chauvinistic.
You said it yourself, Ed… may I call you Ed?
“if they didn’t give up their dilithium”
The Confederation would slaughter them outright, then take the Dilithium regardless.
Very good point as the confederation is killing off alien species and no human in this time line would want to sully the human bloodline.
I think it more likely, that in the Confederation timeline, Sarek’s son is indeed Sybok ! Remember, Spock is the product of a Vulcan father, and Human mother. In the Confederation, they have zero tolerance for alien races. Those who aren’t slaughtered outright, are used as slaves.
I doubt Director Sarek would be involved with Amanda Grayson in this timeline. Thus, Spock wouldn’t be born.
I felt like Q’s description there kind of mirrored Game of Thrones and what happened to Ned Stark.
The design of Martoks skull would seem to imply that if Klingons appear in Picard S3 that they’ll be a hybrid of the TNG/DS9 Klingons we’re familiar with and the reiminagined Klingons from Discovery
The orbital sockets for the eyes are more pronounced on the Martok skull than they are on the makeup we saw of him in DS9, as is the nasal ridge, which is more hooked than the makeup JG wore. The skull ridges are more pronounced and clustered together than the old makeup.
It’s clear a Picard S3+ Klingon will largely look like what we’re expecting but with some additionally pronounced features as we saw in Disco.
The Ferengi skull also definitely looks like a DS9 Ferengi, rather than the background Ferengi from Disco’s current season…
Yeah, as does the Cardassian skull looks basically the same as the TNG/DS9 versions we know
The ridging looks more like Duras, actually.
As gruesome at it is (the skulls being from pre-established named characters and all), this close look is exactly what I wanted!
It seems Sarek’s skull has a subtle V shape above the nose – perhaps suggesting that this is a Vulcan trait that over time got more pronounced in parts of the Romulan population?
Speaking of Sarek, here’s san interesting thought:
When Q name-drops him, the image that first takes shape in the mind of old school Trekkies (like me) is of course Lenard!Sarek.
But people who became fans only recently may rather see the face of Frain!Sarek from Discovery, or further Cross!Sarek from the Abrams-movies…
Good point…for me..Sarek is and always will be Mark Lenard..but I also grew up with TNG (started watching right before Best of Both Worlds Pt 1)
Are those Sareks’ ears hanging from the IDIC medallion mounted on the skull-podium?
Had to take a closer look. Definitely ears!
Also note the Borg’s designation..
1 of 2.
Meaning this was probably the last drone killed prior the Queens capture.
YES! EPIC! More of this, Matalas & co.!
Yoschi the Saurian … lol
I’m in Canada. On which streaming service can I watch Picard
All current Trek series are on the CTV SciFi cable channel and on the Crave streaming service in Canada.
Anyone else get a Starship Troopers vibe from the Confederation?
““We must meet this threat with our courage, our valor, indeed with our very lives, to ensure that human civilization – not insect – dominates this galaxy now and always!” would have been a perfect fit for this Picard’s Eradication Day speech.
Though never said, I’ll say the Ferengi skull is Rom’s or Nog’s. Quark would be too cliched.