TrekMovie had a chance to talk to members of the cast and crew of Star Trek: Picard season 3 at the Hollywood premiere. Michelle Hurd who spoke to us about how Raffi is changing in the new season and her work with a certain TNG actor. She also talks about her hopes for a spin-off series.
[Minor spoilers ahead]
Terry Matalas has said that he “reinvented” Raffi for season 3. Were you involved in this, and how did you feel about moving the character in a new direction?
Actually, near the end of the second season, Terry called me into his office to pitch me this idea. And he literally said, he wants to bring out the superspy that is Raffi. That was what she did for Starfleet. This is all her skills. But then he added, like “I want to do a super spy Raffi like in the Bourne Identity.” And I was like,” Excuse me What? Bourne Identity? Sign me up. Absolutely.” I mean, that’s all you had to say. How could I say no to that?
Terry also talked about how Raffi and Worf cross paths, which means you get to work with…
It’s fabulous! I work with Michael Dorn!
In the trailer, We can even see you get into a fight…
I do! There’s a lot of stuff that goes on with Raffi and Worf. Absolutely.
And you are doing your own stunts?
Yep. For all my stuff I’ve done like, almost always on any production, I do my own stunts.
You have done this character for two seasons, so it should get easier, but with all these changes, would you say season 3 was your biggest challenge?
Biggest challenge? Maybe, but honestly, it’s the most satisfying. It was really yummy. I was excited to do all that stuff. As an actor, when you’re pushed to do a little bit beyond what you normally do, it’s so satisfying. So I say challenge, yes, but I say it was literally a gift.
Beyond the super spy aspect, there are more layers to Raffi in season 3. What would you say is the biggest difference on an emotional level?
I wanted to make sure, because we know Raffi is a recovering addict, or I should say she’s an addict because we’ve seen her go up and down. And I really wanted to make sure that we didn’t just like all of a sudden show up and we’re like, “Hey, I’m fine. I used to be an addict and I feel really good!” Because that’s not true, you know? I wanted to make sure that we didn’t just pass that over. So what I really love about Raffi’s journey is that you still see that she has these stresses. She is still an addict and struggling, and going one day at a time. But she’s persevering. She’s strong. And you’ll see a lot. Raffi’s always going to be complicated.
Does it feel like a new show? There are a lot of changes for the season with cast members, new cinematographer, new composer, new sets…
New everything! I don’t know if I’d say it’s felt like a new show because we have these legacy characters. So it was almost like they came on and reinvented it, in a way. But I have to say, it’s interesting because I’m first-season Picard. There is a little bit of how these people are coming on and I’m like, “Oh that’s cool, But this is my gig!”
Besides a certain Sir Patrick Stewart, you are the only series regular to make it through.
Yeah, I know. And I’m so grateful.
When we talked ahead of season 2, you and Jeri responded very positively to my suggestion of a Seven/Raffi spin-off. Lots of fans have talked about this idea. How much thought or discussion have you put into this notion of staying with the role?
I love Raffi and I also think that she has an important point of view. I think she’s necessary. There’s more things that her voice can speak to. And I absolutely adore Raffi and Seven. Raffi loves Seven, period. No matter what, she’s going to love Seven until the end of time. If you can think about how many adventures we could have, all the different kinds of trouble that those two characters could get into, I’m all aboard a spin-off. So you guys, if you like this, if you want that, make a lot of noise. Be bold, be brave, get out there and let us all know.
More Picard coverage to come
There are many more interviews from the Hollywood premiere event coming up this week, including series star Patrick Stewart and showrunner Terry Matalas.
We will be posting our regular recap/reviews on a weekly basis, starting with the first episode on Thursday, February 16, and each week our All Access Star Trek podcast will discuss the latest episode, starting on Friday, February 17. Our Shuttle Pod podcast team will also discuss the upcoming season. Until then, you can read our spoiler-free review of season 3, written by Mark. A. Altman.
The third and final season of Picard premieres on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., and Latin America, and on February 17 Paramount+ in Europe and elsewhere, with new episodes of the 10-episode-long season available to stream weekly. It will also debut on Friday, Feb. 17 internationally on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.
Keep up with news about the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.
“Besides a certain Sir Patrick Stewart, you are the only series regular to make it through.”
Jeri Ryan might have something to say about that.
Ryan was guest star in S1
That seems awfully nitpicky, but I guess that’s Trek. Fair enough.
…from the franchise that gave us 10 eps of Prodigy called Season 1 volume 2 over a year after the first 10 eps…instead of just calling it Season 2.
Instead of New Math, we have Trek Math. LOL
You just wont let this go will you? 😂
It wasn’t a year btw, it was around 7 months of a gap.
But if you remember they also took a break between the first 5 episodes and the second 5, so I guess by that logic we have already seen 3 seasons of Prodigy and should be all looking forward to seeing season 4 coming to our screens sometime this year 🎉
So you are saying I exaggerated a bit to make my point? That would never happen, right? ;-)
“Michelle Hurd, you’re the last remaining original actor on Survivor: Picard. Tell us your strategy to keep from being voted off the island.”
Hmm, maybe this could work…
My name is Raffaela “Raffi” Musiker. I used to be a spy. Then I got burned…
I like it!
A Trek version of Burn Notice? Could work. I’d say Seven would be more suitable for a Trek version of The Equalizer – alllllthough Raffi’s character would work well in that concept too.
Reading between the lines here, could it be that given Michelle Yeoh’s continued availability issues that they may instead rework the section 31 series around Raffi/ Michelle Hurd?
I mean this super spy stuff is seeming to come out of nowhere… I doubt that’s accidental?
That would be a hell of a lot better outcome. Although I am personally not a fan of spy stories.
Spy stuff is hugely popular right now.
I’m not surprised it got woven into this season. That doesn’t sell me on the idea of a Next Next Generation show where espionage is the major focus though.
Giving Raffi credibility and development as a spy, especially mentored by Worf, seems a good way to advance her character in a way that recaptures the potential we saw in the opening episodes of Picard S1. It doesn’t mean that it would be her role in any spin-off series though.
I suspect that the Michelle Yeoh led series is still a possibility if she wants it. Given her top priority is to get adventurous roles that don’t often come to women in their 50s, they may still be offering something she really wants to do.
Raffi was originally billed as an intelligence officer in season one, it was just never made the focus in the season itself and look like it was basically dropped completely in season 2 outside of her hacking stuff I guess.
Matalas is just showcasing what the character was suppose to be originally. Sure intelligence officer doesn’t mean you are suddenly James Bond but it was pretty clear to me they hired this actress specifically because she’s done action roles in the past and was meant to be more physical.
In fact I remember arguing with a poster about this same thing at the time she was announced to be on the show because they assumed she was just suppose to be a paper pusher and I argued how many fictional intelligence officers are paper pushers in TV shows and movies? Most gets their hands dirty.
And she just confirmed it. ;)
Okay, I went and found that article:
“Hurd is playing a former intelligence officer who is a brilliant analyst with a terrific memory that has not been affected by her drug and alcohol abuse.”
So it’s not a new idea, it’s just the writers never did anything with it (surprise, surprise) and just made it a title until now I guess.
Great digging Tiger2.
I found her intriguing in the opening episodes, and then she just became sad.
Kudos to Matalas for going back to the original series bible to reground the character.
As an aside, some of Raffi’s intelligence competence was reflected in the Una McCormack tie-in prequel novel “The Last Best Hope”.
Either way, it’s definitely a thread, as you say among many, that seemed to have been lost in the incoherence of season one and COVID rewrites of season two.
Yep, it sounds like Matalas has took all these characters and emphasized their traits a lot more, certainly for this show.
But yeah I completely forgot that was suppose to be Rafffi’s background too until this article reminded me lol. But in the early stages of season one and when we learned there was a conspiracy happening, I thought that’s why the character was being introduced and Picard went to her because she could get them into places Federation citizens or non-Starfleet officers weren’t usually allowed to go. Or at least use her to find former assets to either help find Maddox or uncover why he disappeared. I really thought Raffi was going to be a big part of uncovering the conspiracy by doing, you know, spy stuff, so I was intrigued.
And then none of that happened.
You know it shows how little the writers in S1 and S2 cared about the defined character backgrounds — that background of hers never was touched up in either season…they focused too much on her being a sad drunk.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the ultimate endgame was to have them both in it.
Once they sent Georgiou into pasts unknown, at first I just assumed she’d get a time travel spin-off. I know the assumption is they are planning a conventional show in one time with some legacy characters like Raffi and Bashir. But even though Trek is hit or miss with time travel, it’s been a staple of every series at some point, so why not finally have a show that leans into that?
I wouldn’t be surprised if the ultimate endgame was to have them both in it.
Meh maybe not Bashir since he really wanted nothing to do with Section 31.
I guess we’ll see what Lower Decks does with William Boimler but I wouldn’t say no to having Jack Quaid as part of it.
LOL I forgot the other Boimler is now in Section 31 too!
Bashier does join Section 31 in the novels but from what I know, it was to take it down. But they can change that in canon and he basically creates a more friendly S31 I guess.
Let’s make it the ultimate crossover Section 31 show: Georgiou, Boimler, Bashier and even Raffi. Might as well bring Tyler back too. I see none of this happening but I would definitely watch if it did, especially if they got Bashir back.
And then bring in Trip since he obviously faked his death too. Perfect little dream team.
I love where you guys are going with us…lol
If the show is time travel based then yeah they can absolutely bring Trip back and have be in whatever century the show takes place in! So yeah, he can be in the show too lol.
Wouldn’t that be ironic if they threw a bunch of dollars his way and he costarred with Michelle Yeoh on the section 31 series. Money talks in Hollywood.
If you meant Siddig: 🤷 it’d be a job for him I guess even if it completely ignores how Bashir felt about Section 31 but then what else is new, apparently everyone does.
If you meant Quaid: lol I hope so, better than that 💩 he’s in right now for Amazon.
Yeah, meant Siddig. Forgot to say that — thanks for pointing that out, my friend.
Good point on Quaid — I agree!
Hot Mess Raffi and Adolf joining forces for a Section 31 show?
Yeah that definitely sounds like Kurtzman Trek! 🤣🙄
If they throw in Carl/GOFl as part of the team and they time travel every episode, OK, now we got a real show! 😎
Carl is so awesome! I really want to see him back again.
More Carl the GOF avatar please!
What a brilliant innovation that was in Discovery S3.
Yes, I want more Carl too!! I was hoping he showed up i season 4.
I still love my idea of a Q/GOF show who has to work together to save the universe every week. It would be the ultimate comedy buddy show!
That makes so so much more sense than Emperor Georgiou working for S31. I could do without a S31 show but if it’s Raffi and 25th century based, it certainly has some potential…
This is a really good theory!
Given that they’re going back to the drawing board with Raffi and hopefully levelling up the characters writing to match the talents of the actress, which they failed to do previously, all going well I’m hopeful that this idea will become a reality. I’m onboard!
Thanks. Maybe this season in some way might also lead to a soft setup to a S31 series follow-on series?
Raffi started off as one of my favorite new characters at the beginning of season one, but by the end of it she was just annoying. I didn’t hate her but I wouldn’t have issues if she was gone. Then season 2 and again, she started fine and a little better but went back to her same annoying self by the third episode.
But listening to others who hated the character in the first two seasons says she’s almost a different character and is so much more interesting to watch. Matalas really used her and this time and made her more likable in the process.
And I completely forgot originally she was marketed as an intelligence officer in the first season. I think everyone literally forgot because it was never really focused on at all. But I remember when we first met her and she was going on about the Mars attack being a cover up for something bigger, I thought we were going to see as a spy then. That’s she was going to use her skills to uncover the Romulan conspiracy that they were trying to wipe out the Synths…but then none of that happened. And proceeded to do even less with it in season 2.
So it’s nice Matalas actually remembered lol and it sounds like we’re going to see what she was intended to be all along.
Well, they sorta did something with it. Remember on La Sirena when she’s piecing together the Conclave of 8 and stuff with all the Rios holos? It wasn’t a sexy spy thrilling-style affair, but her ability to pull all that stuff together I thought was made mostly pretty evident.
Yeah she did a little, but still very little. I did like scene with the Rios holos though.
I just don’t understand why anyone would want a Raffi spinoff. She’s the worst PICARD character by a mile. They jettisoned all the best characters and kept her. I can’t fathom that. A spinoff about this one-dimensionally written, overacted mess of a character? No thank you. A spinoff about Rios would have been great. Or Borg-Agnes. Or Seven and the Rangers. Or, heck, even holo-Elnor. But Raffi? No.
Note I said “Seven and the Rangers.” That’s because Seven’s belated entry into Starfleet doesn’t work as the landmark event they’re making it out to be. The idea that Seven is only now being allowed to enter Starfleet makes no sense at all. Locutus decimated the Federation, yet Picard was allowed to serve. Icheb was raised by the Borg, yet he was allowed to serve. Janeway was promoted to Admiral after being assimilated, and Torres and Tuvok continued to serve as well after they were, too. And on Prodigy, Zero is assimilated, then is soon thereafter allowed to enlist. But Seven, for some reason, is denied entrance for decades. It’s nonsensical.
While I love Seven and am glad she’s finally allowed to join Starfleet, there’s a BIG difference between her and Picard. Picard was BRIEFLY a Borg, whereas Seven has been a Borg since she was a small child and still has Borg technology in her bloodstream. Can the Borg somehow activate those remnants?
Seven still had a fairly Borglike persona even after being on Voyager for several years and had a much more pragmatic, much less conventionally moral worldview even during Season 7 of Voyager. Much as I love her, I understand why at that time, Starfleet decided she wasn’t for them.
I find Raffi an interesting character, far more interesting than sword-elf boy.
far more interesting than sword-elf boy.
LOL, yes, “Trek-Legolas” was a misfire. Great kid though — met him at a convention.
Eh, I thought Elnor worked fine in context of the “scrappy little ship and misfit crew” take of S1. But once it was decided to lean the show back toward Starfleet, I suspect there wasn’t much use for a guy who solves conflicts with decapitations, hence shoehorning him into Starfleet. Plus the character fell victim to the same appalling writing as everyone else in S2, which didn’t help. I’d be fine with seeing him in a post-PIC spinoff if we got writers who actually cared about building up the character. There are definitely stories to be told about the first full Romulan in Starfleet, especially after the reveal that Romulans were responsible for the disaster at the Mars shipyards.
But you just described Icheb–who was in Starfleet.
Perhaps we should watch her in this completely new version of Picard this season first before rushing to judgment?
I mean…. I’ve seen 20 episodes of the character, out of 30. I don’t think that qualifies as rushing to judgment. I’ve already seen 2/3 of her appearances. :)
Perhaps. I still want to see this season with her performing in an allegedly much better written role.
After everything Seven did to help Voyager, and having Admiral Janeway’s full backing, I agree it’s silly that Seven was denied entry.
But, to play Devil’s Advocate, she did have a few incidents where her rebelliousness would need to be explained, and she had a lot of Borg tech she still relied on. It’s possible she doesn’t need to regenerate anymore though, based on what we’ve seen in Picard. And as Corylea said, it’s easy to imagine that right after Endgame, Seven probably didn’t give the best interview.
Picard was not drummed out of Starfleet after Wolf 359, but obviously there was a lot of animosity he had to deal with – just look at Sisko and Admiral Satie. And then the fact that Starfleet expressly forbade him from engaging the Borg in “First Contact” because they were paranoid is a decent precedent for how they viewed Seven.
As for Icheb, we’ve seen in the Prodigy season 1 finale how Starfleet Academy isn’t quite as trusting as it could be. But the whole, “He’s just a kid” aspect probably was the deciding factor there, plus his “Imperfection” selflessness and the nature of how he was assimilated.
Sounds like it’s going to be a good season for Raffi. Fingers crossed – I like the character, and she really needs an arc that’ll shake off the stink of S2.
I like Raffi, especially after you read the tie in novels and comics that came out before / during Picard.
although preference would have been Rios to have been here as well…even to captain the titan, what a great legacy of old and new.
Rios, Raffi, and Worf out there kicking a**! That would be a hell of a time.
I don’t really get this deep and abiding Seven/Raffi relationship when we saw them half-holding hands (out of nowhere) for about one second at the end of Season One and by the beginning of Season Two they’d broken up and spent the rest of the season bickering. I mean, maybe they had some amazing and profound relationship in between the two seasons, but without us having seen it, it’s hard to sell it.
Yup it’s been pretty badly developed.
Despite what the cast and writers say in interviews, onscreen Seven and Raffi were nonexistent as a couple. I’m not sure why people seem to find them interesting together. As you say, we say a brief hand-holding, then some bickering devoid of actor chemistry. And that was it.
As a member of the LGBT community, it’s 100% because we’ve waited so long for Trek to follow up on its claims of being progressive by including us and to actually give us LGBT couples. I’m a gay man so Seven and Raffi wasn’t for me but their relationship was special to the lesbians I know.
You say it’s non-existent onscreen. I’m not really surprised. If anything Trek just remained the same there. Since this and the one in Lower Decks is ???? probably broken up. So we’re just clinging to the scraps that we’ve been thrown.
I really like Raffi. I get that these seasons of PIC are self-contained stories, and that time passes between them, but I wanted to see the journey of how Raffi pulled herself together after S1 and rejoined Starfleet. In S2 I wanted to learn more about what makes her the messy person she is, because that was a lot more satisfying for me as a viewer. I wanted to like her relationship with Seven, but we really didn’t get to see much of it. This interview and some of the others we’ve seen make me excited to see where Raffi is at. *** By the way, a bit off topic, but Una McCormack wrote a great PIC novel called “Second Self,” and Raffi is awesome in it.
Raffi was also great in McCormack’s prequel novel to S1 “The Last Best Hope.”
Raffi Trek would be Awesome
If we’re honest, Rios was the only new character/actor worth preserving from S1/S2. The rest I wouldn’t miss.