LeVar Burton & Jonathan Frakes Discuss the Final Season
Feb 12, 2023
With Star Trek: Picard Season 3 starting to stream on February 16th on Paramount+, I spoke with LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) and Jonathan Frakes (Commander William Riker) about the new season. During their interview, Burton and Frakes talked about being part of a show that still resonates with so many people 30 years after it first premiered, which episode of the ten-episode third season they’re most excited for fans to see, and why you don’t have to have seen Picard Season 1 and 2 to watch Season 3.
While I know many people were disappointed with the first two seasons of Picard, myself included, I’m pleased to report Picard Season 3 is fantastic and a love letter to Star Trek. I’ve seen the first six episodes and each one raises the stakes and builds the mystery. I can’t wait to see how it’s going to end. For more on the Season 3, you can read Maggie’s glowing review.
COLLIDER VIDEO OF THE DAY
Picard Season 3 sees the return of Patrick Stewart in the titular role along with Gates McFadden as Beverly Crusher, Jonathan Frakes as Will Riker, Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi, Michael Dorn as Worf, LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge, and Brent Spiner as Lore.
Also returning from the first two seasons of Picard is Jeri Ryan, who originated her role as Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager, and Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker. Other incredibly talented newcomers for Season 3 include Amanda Plummer as Vadic, an enemy of Picard’s set on destroying the Federation, as well as Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut and Mica Burton as Geordi’s daughters Sidney and Alandra La Forge. Outlander’s Ed Speleers and 12 Monkeys star Todd Stashwick are set to appear in Season 3—with Speleers joining as a series regular as an associate of Beverly Crusher, while Stashwick plays the new captain of the USS Titan.
Check out what Burton and Frakes had to say in the player above, or you can read our conversation below.
Image via Paramount+
COLLIDER: What does it mean to both of you to be part of a show that still resonates with so many people 30 years after it first premiered?
JONATHAN FRAKES: 35 years. It’s a privilege, obviously, and a blessing. I think, if anything, this Season 3 of Picard is as strong as we’ve ever been, as in terms of the writing, in terms of the acting, of the storytelling. Because we have not played these parts in a long time, it was fun to come back to them with the wisdom of some age and new confidence, and new experiences. I think it’s thrilling.
LEVAR BURTON: And, inasmuch as our relationships among each other have deepened when we’ve talked about this. The work is that much more rich and nuanced, and powerful. So there’s a lot to be said for the history that we have together and the time in between. Right? And now, getting an opportunity that I personally never thought that we would get, this chance to go out consciously. This is a real blessing.
Listen, as a fan, it was thrilling to see the people that have not been together in over 20 years together, and I just want to know what it was like that first day on set when everyone was together.
FRAKES: Well, it’s probably a little different than you imagine because we get together. We have been friends for 35 years. We’ve stood up in each other’s weddings and [are] godparents to each other’s kids, and been through divorces. There’s a lot of history. We have dinner and coffee and drinks, and we do conventions together.
BURTON: And texts.
FRAKES: Yeah, we have a hysterical group text. So it wasn’t a surprise, and we knew what everybody looked like. This, we just happened to be going to work together for the first time in a while. So there weren’t any… there were no shocking reunions.
Image via Paramount+
The third season is 10 episodes. Which is the one that you’re most looking forward to fans seeing?
BURTON: Well, I’ve seen five and six, and that’s all.
FRAKES: Six is awesome.
BURTON: Six is… Six doesn’t suck.
FRAKES: Yeah, six is awesome. Four is awesome. 10 is awesome. One and two.
BURTON: Pretty good.
FRAKES: Three is great. Five, excellent episode.
BURTON: Yeah, five is really, really good.
FRAKES: Eight… Nine.
BURTON: I think it’s pretty good all the way through. I mean, that’s what I’m getting.
Image via Paramount+
I don’t actually think you have to have watched Season 1 and 2 of Picard to watch Season 3. Do you agree with that?
BURTON: Not only that, that hasn’t really been true since [Star Trek: First Contact], which we all agreed that you don’t have to have seen any Star Trek in order to enjoy First Contact. You can come to it fresh and new, and I think that’s true for Season 3 of Picard as well.
FRAKES: I completely agree with LeVar.
BURTON: You directed First Contact.
FRAKES: Yeah, but that was a script. That was bulletproof, that script.
BURTON: You’re pretty deft at the helm.
The final season of Star Trek: Picard premieres on Paramount+ on February 16. Watch the trailer below.
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