Interview: Todd Stashwick Talks Captain Shaw’s Backstory; Hints The Character Will Be Sticking Around

A major character introduced in season 3 of Star Trek: Picard is Captain Liam Shaw, and at the purple carpet at the Hollywood premiere, TrekMovie had a chance to talk to actor Todd Stashwick about bringing the character to life. Shaw has been one of the most talked about characters on the show, with fans noticing his tension with familiar characters like Picard, Riker, and Seven. We talked to him about developing the character, his history, and how he wants fans to respond to the captain of the USS Titan.

[Minor spoilers ahead]

Obviously, you and [showrunner] Terry [Matalas] are pals…

We were thick as thieves. From the moment we met at my audition for 12 Monkeys, we were like, “Oh, I know you.”

So how early on in the process were you brought in as they were developing the character of Captain Shaw?

Shaw was developed by the writers in the writers’ room. They obviously knew they wanted to bring me along for the ride. So I think I kind of was already in the development process, whether I was present or not. They already knew my voice because of the four seasons of 12 Monkeys.

There is something a bit different, perhaps even a bit off, about Captain Shaw. There is an expected level of competence with being a Starfleet captain; how do you balance that with also adding this unique take?

When you’ve lived as long as I have, there are bumps along the way. And there are traumatic events that happen in one’s past that actually might make them really good at their job. His history actually prepares him to keep his crew very safe. That’s his primary job is to keep everybody alive.

Todd Stashwick as Captain Liam Shaw and Jonathan Frakes as Captain William Riker

I know you were already a fan, but did you do any special Star Trek prep for the season?

I did my brush-up on kind of a chain of command and understanding rank and positions on the bridge and refreshed myself with that and understanding what class of ship I have. And I wanted to know all that stuff to feel prepared. But everything about the character is on the page. And all I had to do was read it because they wrote such a beautiful, beautiful scripts.

Shaw may be one of those debated Star Trek characters. How do you want fans to feel about Shaw? Love him? Hate him? Respect him? Sympathize? Did you have a goal with your performance?

I want them to be delighted. I want them to delight in him, in all that that means. Not just giddy happy. I want them to be angry with him. I want their heartbreak for him. I want them to love him and laugh with him. All of it.

Assuming Shaw makes it through the whole season, do you have the Trek bug now? Terry wants to do more, are you on board for any spin-off?

Look, I take everything one step at a time. And if all I ever get to do were these 10 episodes of this season, my belly is full. Everything else would be a dessert, because this was a meal.

Are you confirming you are in all ten episodes?

Well, there are 10 episodes of the season. I was just using that as an example.

Embed from Getty Images

Jeri is up for that spin-off with Todd

When our very own Laurie Ulster suggested a spin-off with Shaw and Seven, none-other than Jeri Ryan retweeted it, adding how Shaw was her favorite new character. She also used an interesting hashtag to give him the nickname “delightful asshole.”

Stashwick relishing his role

Since his character was revealed, Todd Stashwick has been having fun sharing images and more showing off his Star Trek fandom and from his time on Picard. Here are some highlights, including a tweet with the hashtag “Shaw is right.”

More exclusive Picard coverage

There are more interviews from the Hollywood premiere event coming, including one with series star Sir Patrick Stewart. Check out previously released Picard purple carpet interviews plus a post-premiere chat with 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 crew 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

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Plot twist: he is actually a Romulan spy who served with T’Pol while posing as a Vulcan ;)

HAHA – I get that. Clever! For those of you who don’t, re-visit ST: ENT and watch the credits on who portrays T’Pol’s husband-to-be. (And I DON’T mean Trip.)

That would be Michael Reilly Burke.
Todd Stashwick played Talok, a romulan operative posing as a vulcan military officer, trying to stop Archer from delivering the Kir’shara to the vulcan capital.

This just in: Working actor would like to have another job. More news at 11.

More news water. Wet.

I think you are selling him short, and it comes across as sort of mean-spirited. I think he loves doing Trek — I don’t think it’s just another job as you are suggesting.

Yeah, Stashwick is the real deal. The man is a proper nerd and a talented actor to boot! He has an ease of delivery with his lines. His approach to the character is one of a man who does not suffer fools.

I still stay to my Speculation :). But well, it’s an Speculation not the Truth. That we will see when :) Please do not take it Personally :)

What is this referring to?

My Speculation about him at the “Preview “Disengage” With New Images And Clips From ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Episode 302”

It’s pretty funny, but Stashwick went hardcore over his love playing a Starfleet captain just like Anson Mount did after he got the role of Pike. I remember going to his twitter page after that season of Discovery started and it was a ton of pics of him as Pike, various memes and a bunch of Star Trek stuff he had in his house etc. Stashwick went one step farther and got a Titan logo tattoo on his forearm lol. He showed it off in a video on RMB YouTube show with Matalas. Once I saw that tattoo I knew he wasn’t being killed off after one episode lol.

It sounds like he will be in all 10 episodes based on hints from people who seen the entire season. If he does, we don’t know if he dies or not but if not I hope he is involved in whatever the next show will be. I really loved Shaw after the first episode. I know he’s very divided now lol but it sounds like he will be softened as the season goes. I’m really excited to see where he goes.

Well, perhaps his Role is also chained with Seven. Perhaps he once was that Violante like her and try to bring her back on the right track to be an Starfleet Officer.. Well. They could show more of his Face on the Trailers, if they want to keep him on this Season. But perhaps they have their (P)Reasons :)

Originally they didn’t show him because I think they just wanted him to be a surprise for people familiar with the actor. But since then he seems to be front and center of the marketing like this interview for example.

As for his relationship with Seven, I do think he has some connection to Wolf 359 many has been speculating and he can’t get over his Borg prejudice. And that’s been a big part of the show in the prior seasons and many feel uncomfortable with her given her past and why she originally couldn’t join Starfleet until Picard and Janeway stepped in. I’m pretty sure Shaw was one of those people who thinks she shouldn’t have been accepted either.

Then he took Seven on his Ship to “break” her to Prove Borg are not trusted?. Well, we will see

But then why he insists of using her “old” Human Name?. It is Complicated! :)

It’s definitely complicated lol. And I know traditionally Captains can choose their first officers, but this may be a case she was just assigned to him. We’ll see.

Yeah, perhaps the Officer he wanted got taken away and he got Seven

I think Matalas has said that Shaw chose Seven, so I’m sure we’ll get some explanation in a bit.

Tiger2, like many of the other Stashwick fans from 12 Monkeys, it sounds like we both want Captain Shaw to live long and prosper in the franchise.

We’ve both seen the semi spoilers that just basically says he has ‘reasons.’

Most of us here have been speculating he was a junior officer at Wolf 359 since the timing lines up age-wise.

I’ve started to wonder though if there might more to it. As I’ve suggested on a previous thread, I am wondering if he had family members or colleagues assimilated and saw them while Borg.

If he is still traumatized and longing for those people, he may find it less difficult that Seven is a ‘former X-Borg’ as he puts it than that she doesn’t completely reject her Borg experience and instead owns part of the identity.

It’s clear that this is an analogy. It makes sense to take it further to give Shaw that underlying longing to ‘restore’ Annika Hansen.

Stashwick is a strong ally of the LGBTQ+ community and has played queer roles previously. So I can see him taking this on.

Okay so the Titan-A is a “Constitution III” class

I’m guessing we’re now going to call the Refit the Constitution II class?

Neo Constitution Class… I think this was the Word i heard between the Lines from the Free Clips on the Net

It’s Constitution III-class. Riker calls the ship “neo-Constitution” because that’s how he’s describing it–it’s similar to the Constitution class, hence, “neo.” But the official designation is “Constitution III-class.”

Ah, that’s was it. Thanks

And the dedication plaque identifies it as Constitution III.

Take in Mind, that i have only the Free Clips on the Net.

Hope you can subscribe and watch soon.

That was Enterprise-class according to Probert and Lee Cole, over a decade before it was Okuda’d.

I liked him. He was a proper jerk.

His acting and lines were one of the highlights of Ep 1 for me!

I remember watching the premiere of DS9 way back when and after watching just an hour and after seeing the open hostility aimed at Picard, I dismissed Ben Sisko as being a character I didnt want to watch on a regular basis.
Boy was I offbase and wrong! So let’s see how this Liam Shaw turns out!


jellico got lots of fans after his appearance in TNG and written into books and now ‘prodigy’

Class act, this guy. I really like him and have high hopes for his character.

We’re only one episode into the 3rd season and he’s already my favorite new Trek character! Such an asshole! 😉

I have been a big fan of Stashwick’s since his 12 Monkeys days (another big fan here, Tiger2 will know) so I was so happy to see him involved with this season of Picard. And from the looks of things his role is going to be a delight, a kind of pseudo-Jellico.

My first thought from the trailer was that he’d be a son of Jellico…

I’m thinking he’ll surpass Jellico though.

I hope that the fans who’ve taken offence at his (intentionally) offensive starting point will eventually understand where he’s coming from and appreciate him.

My take on Shaw: You are a member of NASA, you had relatives at Peenemünde and therefore you refuse to shake hands with von Braun.

I don’t think he’s the asshole he’s being presented as. He likes his to have his ship in order, and smelt something rotten when Picard and Riker showed up suddenly.

The only really shit thing he’s done IMO, is demanding Seven call herself Hansen.

He probably has baggage with the Borg.

I actually kind of think he is an a–hole, far worse than Jellico who was just a different kind of captain. Shaw seems to be a genuine jerk. But I kind of like that, because it’s basically saying that being an a–hole does not mean you can’t be good at your job.

I was initially thinking there was a big X on his forehead. Now, I’m not so sure. I mean, his character had all the trappings of one that would be killed off, although…it just goes to show you not to jump to conclusions.

Probably good actor whose character as written almost had me turn off the first episode.

Was no thought given to ease us into how hostile he was going to be? They didn’t earn that massive assholery or Seven’s open and immediate distaste for the guy. Besides, how would a guy this perverse rise to his rank of captain? I prefer the POV presented in TOS “Bread and Circuses.” A starship captain is a different breed. The best of the best. They’re going to be the most courageous, the most principled, iron willed… a born leader.

Subtlety isn’t exactly Kurtzman/Matalas though, is it? Starfleet has to be rotten to the core. Everything has to be amped up to the max. Max violence, max character extremes, max crisis… All the time.

It’s exhausting.

I really liked him. I’ve always wanted to see a 100% by the book, rules are rules captain.

Love this new show, season 1 was a bit slow but 2 and 3 very exciting.