‘Picard’ Cast Talks “Cozy” Enterprise-D, Gates Hosts “Genesis” Watch Party, And More Star Trek Cruise Day 6

Beginning its two-day trip back to Port Canaveral, Star Trek: The Cruise VII spent its sixth day at sea. The past week has been exhausting, and six days in is a good time to make use of the amenities offered by Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas. For example, on Tuesday, if you wandered down to Quark’s Casino, you could try your luck at a craps tournament, hosted by Garrett Wang.

Garrett Wang Gambling

Quark is nowhere to be found, so Garrett Wang runs the casino

With a whole day of shipbound fun, the schedule featured some substantial Star Trek-related panels. By this point in the week, first-time cruisers are understanding why STTC is so unique in the convention world.

Picard panel celebrates multiple generations of Trek

The big can’t-miss event of the day was the Star Trek: Picard panel with a capacity crowd of over 1,300 cruisers. The biggest panel so far, it featured Gates McFadden, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Todd Stashwick, Michelle Hurd, Peyton List, Ed Speleers, and John de Lancie. With a crowd full of enthusiastic fans, the panel eschewed stock questions and went right to an audience Q&A.

Michelle Hurd Ed Speelers Todd Stashwick at Picard Panel

The crowd takes a moment to recognize Michelle Hurd for her efforts during the SAG-AFTRA strike

There was a lot of talk among the Next Generation cast about getting to return to the Enterprise-D set…

Gates McFadden: It was cozy… And the special thing is they had all the Picard cast and crew names – and not the TNG names – that were on all the   it was their names, not the TNG names, they were on all the [LCARS graphics].

LeVar Burton: The thing for me was how it made us all feel. It was like being in a time machine. It was 1987 again and we were silly and very much rejuvenated by the space.

Brent Spiner Gates McFadden LeVar Burton at Picard Panel

The TNG cast members well represented at the Picard panel

Even though he was not part of the shoot on the Enterprise-D set, Todd Stashwick revealed he snuck onto the set and “I did sit in the chair.”  He was also asked if he felt that Captain Shaw suddenly embracing Seven of Nine’s rebellious streak was a betrayal. Among fans, Stashwick is able to talk about Shaw the way he’d intended to play the character as opposed to the meme version that has circulated since his first appearance. Stashwick sees Shaw as a guy who sticks to protocol because he believes it protects people, but that he also weighs the input of his inner circle. “We are not one thing,” Stashwick explains, insisting that Shaw is more complex than that:

Todd Stashwick: If the traumas that happened had not happened to him, he probably would have been a bit more bold, a bit more daring. And so I think there was understanding that that needed to happen. When you’re so far out in space, you don’t know what you’re going to run into. Trauma, though, put him in a place where he felt the need to protect as many people as he could.

Todd Stashwick Picard Panel

Todd Stashwick explains how trauma shaped Captain Shaw

The word “Legacy” was mentioned a few times, but John de Lancie spoke for all about the possibility of a “Legacy” series:

John de Lancie: I have no idea. I wouldn’t be the last to know. And I never think about it because as far as I’m concerned, it is being concerned about whether you’re going to get invited to somebody’s dinner party. You can’t spend your life being concerned about things like that.

But Ed Speleers, wearing his optimism for a spin-off on his sleeve, hopes we can celebrate some good news soon:

Ed Speleers: I hope, I know we did mention about dinner parties but I really, really hope we have a massive dinner party coming on.

Ed Speleers Michelle Hurd Picard Panel

Ed Speleers continues his push for more Jack Crusher

Gates McFadden gives her commentary on TNG’s “Genesis”

Downstairs in Studio B, Gates McFadden hosted a watch of her Star Trek directorial effort, TNG’s “Genesis.” While she went into Star Trek already an accomplished director, McFadden spoke with real pride in how she was able to adapt to the unique challenges that came with working within the Star Trek system as it was in 1994. The episode was projected onto the large theater screen while Gates sat beside it, making quick comments as it rolled and asking playback to be stopped when she had a bigger story or observation.

Gates Mcfadden STTC7

Gates McFadden offers her commentary on “Genesis”

McFadden pointed out stylistic changes she made to the set and story to give it the “creepy” feel the episode is known for. Unlike the rest of the series when the Enterprise is clean and shiny, Gates intended to shock the audience by having Picard and Data return to a ship that was dark, dirty, and broken. Although the end result was not nearly as dark or dirty as Gates envisioned, it’s still a stark contrast to the rest of the show. She was also responsible for Counselor Troi being found in the tub fully clothed: The original script called for her to be naked in a bubble bath.

Counselor Troi in Genesis

This scene was written to feature Troi in a much more provocative bubble bath

When asked about challenges directing her co-stars, Gates admitted that there were some scenes that had to be handled with care. In particular, Sir Patrick Stewart had his doubts about the scene where Picard is attempting to lure the monstrous de-evolved Worf down the hall. The scene as shot has Picard sneak into the corridor and observe Worf, then sneak away. Stewart wanted Picard to simply make a mad dash, as Gates describes:

Patrick wanted to just start, and I said no, I need another shot to set it up and make it really clear, so just go the other side and hide back there as you’re getting the idea of when to spray and then you start going. It just gives the audience a second and it gives the characters a second to lock into it. And thought no one would do that.

Plenty of time for spacetime

For Trekkies wanting their dose of real science, Dr. Erin Macdonald hosted “Spacetime and Star Trek” in the 5 Forward lounge. Using a wide range of science-heavy clips, she introduced the concept of gravity wells, adding extra drama to the Protostar’s dilemma in “Starstruck” and the slingshot attempt in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as well as making Data’s rapport with hologram Isaac Newton much funnier in “Descent.”

Erin Macdonald hosts a science seminar

Setting the groundwork for discussions on spacetime

As an official science advisor for the Star Trek franchise, Macdonald had an icon of herself at the corner of the presentation to indicate when she was discussing a scientific analysis she had personally contributed.

STTC7 cosplay group

Star Trek: The Cruise makes for interesting travel companions

For the last and final theme night, passengers brought out their most elaborate and creative cosplays for “Q’s Costume Party.” Parading around the Promenade deck, fans who entered the costume contest were judged on who could make the most accurate costume, the most elaborate costume, the best mash-up of Star Trek with any other work, and the best costume not at all related to Star Trek.

Scorpion Tendi Cosplay

Q’s Costume Party brings out the most elaborate costumes.

Keep cruisin’ with TrekMovie

Check out cruise logs for Day 1 Day 2Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5.  TrekMovie is also providing updates on Star Trek: The Cruise VII on Twitter and Threads.


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Can you imagine what the Special Science Advisor must have thought when she saw the Picard S3 screenplay?


I’ve often wondered if it’s possible that in Genesis one the crew members of the Enterprise D de-evolved into one of the ancient humanoids from The Chase.

That would have been so cool. Maybe that crew member, still being an intelligent sentient being could have helped Data and Picard!

That, or s/he could have fled the ship to put some dastardly plan into motion. Definitely something the comics could explore.

I recently watched season 3 again and kid you not I choked up again when the Enterprise D came into view lol. It was so beautifully done. I love that moment. It brought me back to my childhood. The season still wasn’t perfect but it got enough things right for me to cherish it.

Season 3 was not perfect, the understatement of the year. In five years, no one is going to remember *anything* about it except the fan service, legacy characters and cameos.

I disagree the 3rd season was more than that for some of us. There were other characters besides the cameos. For example, I thought the bridge crew characters did a fantastic job with the material they got! And I thought it was fairly believable progression for the characters given how some of them were written. Overall I felt it was the best season of Picard! As for the fan service I really liked it although I do think it would be toned down for a spin off show. Speaking of that the only way I can see Legacy appearing is as a tv movie. Or I could see another streaming service splitting the cost with paramount. Either way I would take it. Lots of new stuff for that show to explore.

I would be happy with a Legacy movie someday.

I’ll take my chances.

Season 3 is when Trek first started getting good. And is no one remembering BOBW?

Oh, Emily. That’s so great that you feel that way. But, saying “no one is going to…” anything is just an automatic loss in any debate or argument. Part of maturity is learning to speak for yourself and being okay with a diversity of options and ideas that don’t match yours. (For that matter, I think Star Trek has a lot to say about that idea.) I thought S2 of Picard was a pile of hot garbage, but I’ve talked to others who loved it. I can hold my opinion and simultaneously be genuinely happy for people who were able to find something enjoyable there. There are a lot of people who genuinely enjoyed S3 as one of the most imperfectly fun rides Star Trek has provided in a long, long time. Don’t try to take that from them.

I certainly won’t do anything to try to rain on your parade. It was a beautifully handled moment.

Totally agree. I bought Picard S3 on blu ray (wish it was in 4k!) and watched on my 85″ QLED. It was amazing! While I agree with Tiger2 about that Enterprise-D reveal and bridge scene at the end of episode 9, my favorite Trek-goosebumps-moment was right in the first episode: 7 taking the Titan out of spacedock. Looks fantastic on a big screen!

Picard Season 3 is my favorite Star Trek production since DS9 season 6. I know I will be re-watching this for many years to come!

The music was memorable for S3 too. Actually bought the soundtrack.

Oh yeah the first episode is still one of the best of the season for me too. It set things up very well and have a great movie feel.

There is something to be said for the days when they used actual ship models instead of CGI

Watching Genesis with Gates does actually sound very fun.