Warning: Spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Picard season 3!
Star Trek: Picard season 3 showrunner Terry Matalas has been having fun talking about the upcoming reunion of the Next Generation cast. During a recent appearance on the Inglorious Treksperts podcast, he dropped another little tidbit indicating the core Enterprise-D crew members might not be the only familiar faces we’ll be seeing:
And funny enough, there are moments that are–because there are some people who come back from Star Trek in this season that aren’t just the Next Gen cast. There’s one character who is in Next Gen who I was like, “I really want this character to come back.” And when they did, that was weirdly more thrilling than everything else in totality.
Enough for a list of possibilities? Absolutely. Below you will find my top four candidates, then a list of other possibilities that intrigued the TrekMovie team, a few we just miss, and then some I personally hope are not on the return list—not because I dislike them, but because their stories have run their course.
Our top picks: characters with unfinished stories
Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes)
Viewers weren’t the only ones who wanted more Ro Laren; the original plan for Deep Space Nine was to have her as the station’s first officer under Benjamin Sisko. Forbes passed on the role, and we got the great Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor in her place), so that all worked out nicely, but it still left us curious about where Ro might have ended up.
The last time we saw her (comics and books notwithstanding), she’d left Starfleet to join the Maquis, telling Riker, “It’s been a long time since I really felt like I belonged somewhere” and asking him to apologize to Picard for her.
She’d be a nice choice for a return, especially considering she has specific personal relationships with several of the main characters: Picard, Riker (wink wink), Geordi, and Guinan.
Lt. Commander Shelby (Elizabeth Dennehy)
Shelby was a challenging foil for Riker in TNG’s classic two-parter (and agonizing cliffhanger) “Best of Both Worlds,” and left a lasting impression.
Perceptions of the character have changed a lot over the years, as actress Elizabeth Dennehy will attest. Fans at conventions would tell her “Oh, you were such a bitch, I hated you.” She said they’d tell her that even though she realized she made the right decisions, they didn’t like the way she spoke to the Enterprise crew and almost resented her for being as smart and as correct as she was. But she says these days, she gets nothing but “mad respect.”
While Lower Decks let us know she made captain a while back—and of course she did!—we don’t know much else about what happened to her after she went off to lead the task force rebuilding the fleet after the events at Wolf 359. Plus, Matalas said the fallout from the Dominion War plays a big role in the upcoming season, and Shelby served in Starfleet during the war, so she likely has some stories to tell.
Mirasta Yale (Carolyn Seymour)
“I have been prepared for the realities of space since I was nine years old, and sitting in a planetarium.”
I relate! This is what Mirasta Yale told Captain Picard at the end of the episode “First Contact,” when despite her best efforts and fervent wishes, her planet was still not ready to accept the existence of people from other worlds and their warp program was discontinued. Yale left with the Enterprise, but we never found out what happened to her since that fateful, life-changing day, or how long she was on the ship. Her character epitomizes what Star Trek is about as a franchise, and would tie in nicely with TNG reunion and a look toward an optimistic future.
Dr. Kate Pulaski (Diana Muldaur)
Being thrilled to get Dr. Crusher back in season 3 of The Next Generation didn’t make us miss Dr. Pulaski any less. She was smart, resourceful, and formidable, and when season 2 was over, she disappeared as quickly as she’d arrived at the beginning. She could be head of Starfleet Medical by now, or retired, having her own (transporter-free) adventures… and it would be great to see her back with the old gang. And who wouldn’t want to see her compare notes on Jean-Luc Picard with Beverly Crusher?
Other options: Whatever happened to…?
Captain Jellico (Ronny Cox)
Fans are still arguing over the merits of Captain Edward Jellico—the man who bossed Riker around and finally got Troi into a regulation uniform. Some think he was too hardcore, others think he was just what Starfleet needed to fight the Cardassians, so where did he land, in the end?
Molly O’Brien (Hana Hatae)
Terry told the Treksperts he couldn’t get Miles O’Brien into season 3, and it makes sense that wherever Miles is, Keiko is too. But Molly’s all grown up now, and wouldn’t it be fascinating to find out what she’s decided to do with her life? If there’s going to be any torch-passing—and we know that Geordi will have grown daughters on Picard—then Molly could easily be part of that.
Amanda Rogers (Oliva D’Abo)
She was only in one episode, but Amanda Rogers was a character of great significance. She was a Q, born on Earth. Her parents had disguised themselves as Humans and then were executed by the Q Continuum, so she was adopted and raised by Human parents. Q came to find out the extent of her powers, and eventually convinced her to embrace them, so off she went… but not before asking Dr. Crusher if she could come back and see her someday. Maybe that day has finally come.
Thomas Riker (Jonathan Frakes)
He started his journey on TNG before making his way to DS9, and last we heard, Riker’s transporter-created double was in a Cardassian labor camp after stealing the Defiant. But he’s a resourceful guy just like the original, so surely his story didn’t end there. Kira promised to rescue him, and both Jonathan Frakes and DS9 showrunner Ira Steven Behr had planned to have him return, so why not now?
A few more, just for fun
Matalas indicated there could be more than one former TNG guest star showing up on Picard, so here are a few others that would be nice to see:
Vash (Jennifer Hetrick)
Picard’s lover, Q’s partner-in-mischief, now Quark’s partner-in-crime… gotta wonder what messes she’s gotten herself into.
Moriarty (Daniel Davis)
A sentient hologram who predates The Doctor from Voyager, Moriarty certainly could’ve acquired a mobile emitter by now.
Simon Tarses (Spencer Garrett)
Poor scared Simon Tarses. Here’s hoping he’s been forgiven by Starfleet for concealing his heritage and has moved on to bigger and better things.
Roga Danar (Jeff McCarthy)
We left him at a particularly tense moment in Angosian history, determined to avoid violence but not sure he could. How’d it all turn out?
Robin Lefler (Ashley Judd)
She charmed Wesley Crusher, she charmed viewers, and no doubt she’s come up with even more Lefler’s Laws since “The Game.”
Mot (Ken Thorley)
Does Picard’s android body need haircuts anymore? He’s not the only one aboard whatever ship they’re going to be on, so let’s make sure they have a good barber on hand. We know Mot opened an Emporium in Stardust City on Freecloud, but that could be a franchise, leaving him free to rejoin his former crew.
Alyssa Ogawa (Patti Yasutake)
We haven’t seen her since Star Trek: First Contact, but she was always a favorite.
Please, not these: characters whose stories have run their course
Dr. Leah Brahms (Susan Gibney)
Some fans think she’ll turn up as Geordi’s wife on Picard, but given the whole basis of their relationship AND the fact that she’s already married, I think this would be a bit icky.
Lt. Barclay (Dwight Schultz)
There are Barclay fans and Barclay detractors, but either way, we did get some follow-through on his story when the character moved over to Voyager and helped bring the ship home. I’d be happy to hear that he’s still thriving, but for the most part, his story has been told.
Still a little mad I can’t include Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco) on this list since he was killed off in Picard season 1. (No, I’m not over it.) How about a flashback?
Let us know in the comments who you’d most like to see, and make your guesses for which TNG guest star you think Terry Matalas was talking about.
Cameos from Deep Space Nine and Voyager also coming
Terry Matalas has also hinted that Picard season 3 could include cameos from DS9 and Voyager, so we’ll be coming up with ideas for those next. Stay tuned!
Listen to Matalas on Inglorious Treksperts
It’s worth listening to the entire episode of the podcast for more insights into season 3 and beyond with Matalas. It’s a great conversation across the board.
Find more Star Trek: Picard at TrekMovie.com.