As the marquee panel in today’s Trek-verse Hall H extravaganza, the Sir Patrick Stewart-led CBS All Access series revealed that Brent Spiner, Jonathan Del Arco, Jonathan Frakes and Star Trek: Voyager‘s Jeri Ryan will be appearing with the Star Trek T.N.G. Captain when he returns.
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The big reveal came on Saturday afternoon in a new trailer for the upcoming Picard, that also shed more light on what the former Enterprise leader has been up to for the past almost two decades. Comic-Con alum Stewart dramatically introduced the three out of the four castmembers at the conclusion of the new trailer.
Spiner played Lieutenant Commander Data, a Soong-type android, the first and only such being to ever enter Starfleet. Data was created some time in the 2330s.
In the trailer, Picard says from his mansion, “Data sacrificed his life for me. These past few years I feel like I don’t belong here.” Picard in his retirement state is approached by enigmatic girl played by Isa Briones, and she’s something of a bad-ass fighter. “Do you know who I am?” she asks Picard, “Everything inside says I’m safe with you.”
“She is the end of all, she is the destroyer!” screams a Starfleet member.
At the end of the trailer, Picard and Data are seen playing cards. Picard says “I don’t want the game to end,” and Data responds “I can see that Captain.”
Spiner told a packed and cheering Hall H how he came to the new spinoff: “I first heard that there was going to be Star Trek: Picard and I called the producers and said ‘You don’t have anyone for the role of Picard? And they hung up on me,” he joked.
“Then I spoke to Patrick and he said there’s a possibility — would you think about coming on the show in some way? I said ‘I don’t think I can do that’. He started crying….the possibility of standing next to Patrick on the set again was more than I could say ‘No’ to.”
Frakes plays Commander William Riker. Frakes couldn’t make the panel today as his plane was held over in Charlotte, NC. Del Arco played Hugh the Borg, who was originally brought to the Enterprise-D for medical attention by Dr. Beverly Crusher despite protest from Captain Picard. Picard would wind up giving asylum to Hugh, and Hugh would eventually rescue Picard from Data’s brother Lore.
Ryan played Seven of Nine on Voyager, a former Borg drone who joined the crew of the Federation starship Voyager. In the trailer she exclaims, “What the hell are you doing out here Picard?”
Stewart first announced Picard, and thus confirming rumors, at a August 2018 Las Vegas Convention. Picard is the first Star Trek spinoff in the Alex Kurtzman led CBS All Access franchise.
EP Akiva Goldsman said that Picard “pointedly wasn’t a sequel to Next Generation...it’s more gentle and lyrical, and certainly more character based.” Similar to Next Gen, Discovery the take here on Picard, “is a future that is better than what we live with today.”
“Picard needs to soul search,” said Kurtzman. He goes through dark side so that he can come out brighter on the other side. “In the darkest of times, the best side of ourselves will emerge and that is Jean Luc Picard,” said Kurtzman.
Toward the end of the panel, moderated by Deadline’s Dominic Patten, Stewart shared an emotional moment from the last day of production on Next Generation. Frakes had a line in the Captain’s ready room where he says “it’s been an honor Captain” and Stewart responds “The honor has been all mine.” Stewart couldn’t say the line, because he kept breaking down crying.
“As soon as we began talking in the (Picard) writers’ room, that powerful emotion came surging back, and it’s still right here on this platform and it’s not going away.”