Picard’ Season 3 Showrunner on Creating a Satisfying Conclusion

Feb 11, 2023

Before Star Trek: Picard Season 3 premieres on Paramount+ on February 16, Collider’s Steve Weintraub spoke with the showrunner, Terry Matalas, about his vision for the final season of this chapter of Star Trek. During his interview, Matalas discusses avoiding “over-saturating” the universe and fanservice vs just existing within said universe. He teases familiar characters and locations for fans, promises more to come, as well as a satisfying conclusion to Star Trek: The Next Generation. He also reveals how he included a reference to the Transformers movie from 1986 in the season…

Though the first two seasons of Picard disappointed some fans, Patrick Stewart returns as the titular Jean-Luc Picard in what’s being called a “love letter” to Star Trek. Season 3 sees the return of Next Generation’s Gates McFadden as Dr. 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. Michelle Hurd is also back as Raffi Musiker, as well as Star Trek: Voyager’s Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine.

Picard Season 3 isn’t just about bringing back familiar faces, the show is also introducing fans to new talent, including Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut and Mica Burton as Sidney and Alandra La Forge and Amanda Plummer as the villainous Vadic. Others joining the fray are Todd Stashwick (12 Monkeys) as Captain Shaw of the USS Titan, and new series regular and associate of Beverly Crusher, Ed Speleers (Outlander).

Check our conversation with Matalas in the player above, or read the full transcript below. For even more on Star Trek: Picard, you can read what Maggie Lovitt’s rave review.

Image via Paramount+

COLLIDER: You got to include nods in the first six episodes to things from the past. I’m curious, was there anything that you really wanted to include as a nod to something from the past that you just couldn’t figure out how to work in?

TERRY MATALAS: No, no, not really. There are characters that I wish could appear, but might be appearing on other Star Trek shows. You don’t want to over-saturate the universe. But for the most part, I couldn’t believe I got away with what I got away with. Especially when you see the last four. There’s more to come. But I think the most important part is hopefully – and I hope that you felt that – is that it feels organic.

You know, specifically [in] Episode 6, we go to some locations that are rich with Star Trek history. And so, there’s a fine line between fanservice and just being in the universe in which 50 years of history exists. If you don’t take a moment and reference it and have a little fun, what are you even doing?

So it’s hard, it’s a difficult thing, but we feel like we got to do almost everything we wanted to do.

What was it like actually coming up with the finale? Because this could be the last time all these characters are depicted together on screen. I mean this could be the end.

MATALAS: Yes. I can’t really talk about it too much, but I will tell you that I think it’s satisfying. I think when you get there and you realize, when you see the whole picture and the puzzle comes together, it feels like a satisfying conclusion to Star Trek: The Next Generation.

However, it also is a passing of the torch of the last generation to the next generation, and there are some new characters you might want to see continue, and some new starships you might want to continue to see boldly go into the final frontier.

Image via Paramount+

I was wondering when you’re doing something like this, and you’re writing the finale of Picard Season 3, who was the person at the studio you were saying, “This is what I want to do, is this okay?”

MATALAS: I was very fortunate, particularly with this season, that they kind of let me do my own thing. That is not a common experience, but I had a lot of trust given to me – it was lovely – by everyone involved, and I could not be more appreciative of that. Again, it could be a complete failure. Fans could have been like, “What did he do? He just made this mess of a thing.”

But yeah, there were moments when I had to call and say, “I’m going to fly in this guy from New York. He played Professor Moriarty.” “He played who?” “He played Professor Moriarty, he’s an important part of Star Trek history.” “Alright, look, we’re going to trust you. You’re paying for flights, you’re paying for…” “Trust me. It’s important to the DNA of who these characters are.” And they did.

And, certainly, others, as you’ve seen looking at the first six, there are others that are meaningful. It’s pretty great when the powers that be are like, “Okay, if you say so.”

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 premieres on Paramount+ on February 16.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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