This Thursday, “Star Trek” boldly went where it once went before with the second official “Star Trek Day” celebration. In celebration of the franchise’s five ongoing shows and the 56th anniversary of the original series’ first episode, Paramount+ held a special event at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles to unveil news about the ongoing shows, like “Discovery,” “Picard,” “Strange New Worlds” and “Lower Decks.” The event, hosted by “Lower Decks” cast members Tawny Newsome and Paul F. Tompkins with red carpet interviews by “Discovery’s” Mary Chieffo and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Jackie Cox. The day was packed with cast panels, special sneak peaks at the upcoming seasons of the shows and a tribute to the recently passed Nichelle Nichols. Here’s all that happened at the event that you need to know.
The third and final season of “Star Trek: Picard” will debut on Feb. 16, Paramount+ revealed on Thursday during the streamer’s “Star Trek Day” festivities, along with a new teaser for the season that showcases the return of “Star Trek: the Next Generation’s” original cast.
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The video, which you can view below, features a first look at the Patrick Stewart-led show’s new starship, the U.S.S. Titan, as well as hints at the central storyline, which appears to involve the old bridge crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D rallying together to support Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), who seems to find herself in mortal peril.
The 10-episode season of “Picard” stars Stewart reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard, which he played for seven seasons on “The Next Generation,” and follows Picard in his next — and likely final — chapter. Along with Stewart and McFadden, LeVar Burton (as Geordi La Forge), Michael Dorn (as Worf), Jonathan Frakes (as Will Riker), Marina Sirtis (as Deanna Troi), Brent Spiner (in an undisclosed role), Jeri Ryan (as Seven of Nine) and Michelle Hurd (as Raffi Musiker) round out the cast.
During a panel conversation with Ryan and Hurd, Stewart pushed back on calling the season as just a “reunion,” saying that the storyline is far more weighty and serious than what that might imply.
“It is not a reunion,” Stewart said. “It is an essential gathering of all of the most essential elements of ‘Star Trek: the Next Generation’ coming together to do what they do best.”
Terry Matalas serves as executive producer and showrunner for this season of “Picard,” along with executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman, Stewart, Heather Kadin, Aaron Baiers, Rod Roddenberry, Trevor Roth, Doug Aarniokoski and Dylan Massin. “Picard” hails from CBS Studios in association with Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment.
Watch the teaser for “Star Trek: Picard” Season 3 below.
“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”
Oscar-nominated actor Carol Kane (“The Princess Bride,” “Hunters”) is joining “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” for its second season, for the recurring role as Pelia. According to an official release from Paramount+, the character is “highly educated and intelligent” and “suffers no fools.” The character is likely meant to replace the Enterprise engineer Hemmer (Bruce Horak), who died giving his life to save his colleagues in Episode 9 of the first season.
“She adds a color to ‘Star Trek’ that no one has never seen before,” Rebecca Romijn said during the announcement. “It is incredible and we are thrilled that she is part of our team.”
Romijn announced the casting during a conversation with “Strange New Worlds” costars Celia Rose Gooding, Jess Bush, Christina Chong, Melissa Navia and Babs Olusanmokun. They also premiered an exclusive clip from Season 2, which focuses on Navia’s character, Lt. Ortegas; watch below.
“Star Trek: Discovery”
In anticipation of current flagship series “Star Trek: Discovery’s” fifth season, cast member Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber) gave fans a behind the scenes tour of the show’s set. During the tour he ran into other members of the “Discovery” crew, including Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham) and Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets). Watch the video below.
In addition, the presenters released a first look photo of the fifth season, which is scheduled to premiere early 2023. Check it out below.
“Star Trek: Lower Decks”
Out of a panel for the animated comedy series “Lower Decks,” Newsome (Beckett Mariner), Noël Wells (D’Vana Tendi) and Thompkins unveiled an exclusive clip from Episode 8 of the ongoing third season, set to air Oct. 13. Watch below.
During the panel, Newsome, Wells and Thompkins spoke about working together on the animated series and bonding with the voice acting cast. Newsome, who will appear in a “Strange New Worlds” live action episode, teased an episode that will follow up on one of the franchise’s films.
“Give us a live-action movie, you cowards!” Newsome said during the panel.
“Star Trek: Prodigy”
Billy Campbell will reprise his role from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” as Thadium Okona on the animated series “Star Trek: Prodigy,” which will have its mid-season premiere on Oct. 27 on Paramount+. Campbell first played Okona, a rogue space captain, 34 years ago on a Season 2 episode of “The Next Generation”; on “Prodigy,” he’ll encounter the young crew of the U.S.S. Protostar and serve as a less-than-stellar mentor.
The announcement of Campbell’s appearance on “Prodigy” was made during a panel with Kate Mulgrew (Hologram Kathryn Janeway) and Brett Gray (Dal) accompanied by a clip from the series, that also featured the transformation of the beloved character Murf. You can see the clip below.
Along with the main cast of Mulgrew, Gray, Ella Purnell (Gwyn), Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk), Angus Imrie (Zero), Jason Mantzoukas (Jankom Pog), Dee Bradley Baker (Murf), John Noble (The Diviner) and Jimmi Simpson (Drednok), Campbell joins previously announced guest voice actors Robert Beltran (reprising his “Star Trek: Voyager” role as Capt. Chakotay), Daveed Diggs (Commander Tysess), Jameela Jamil (Ensign Asencia) and Jason Alexander (Doctor Noum).
Executive producers and showrunners Kevin and Dan Hageman developed the series.
Tribute to Nichelle Nichols
Near the close of the livestream, “Star Trek” stars gathered together for a tribute to original series cast member Nichelle Nichols, who passed away in July at 89.
Nichols, who portrayed communications officer Uhura on the first three seasons of the show and in six film sequels to the series, was one of the first major Black actors on a major television series, and one of the first portrayed in a role of authority. Her impact was so notable that Martin Luther King Jr. famously convinced her to stay on board the show, and she has been cited as an inspiration to Black actors like Whoopi Goldberg and astronauts like Mae Jemison. After her groundbreaking role, she spent decades volunteering to recruit women and people of color to NASA.
After a moment of silence, Rose Gooding, who portrays a younger version of the character in “Strange New Worlds,” came on stage to speak about Nichols and introduce a video tribute to the actor.
“I stand on Nichelle Nichols shoulders not only in portraying the character she originated and embodied, but in following a path she blazed for Black women and femmes onscreen and off,” Gooding said. “As I sit on the bridge of the Enterprise, I feel her presence, I see her influence in those who knew her, and I strive to carry the majestic legacy forward into the future she wanted for all of us.”
“Star Trek” Podcasts
During the ceremony, it was confirmed that official “Star Trek” podcast The Pod Directive will return for Season 3, with Newsome and Thompkins returning to host. In addition, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” screenwriter Nicholas Meyer announced the first “Star Trek” scripted podcast, “Star Trek: Khan – Ceti Alpha V,” which will cover the 15 years between when iconic “Trek” villain Khan Noonien Singh was deposited on the planet Ceti Alpha V by Capt. Kirk (in the episode of the original “Star Trek” series entitled “Space Seed”) and is rediscovered during the events of “The Wrath of Khan.”
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