We’re in the middle of season 2 of Star Trek: Picard, and we’ve already seen some returns from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Along with Patrick Stewart reprising the title role, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, and Marina Sirtis all showed up for the first season. Even Jonathan Del Arco — who played the recurring role of the Borg Hugh on TNG — made a few appearances. Season 2 so far has seen John de Lancie return as Q, Whoopi Goldberg reprise the role of Guinan, Brent Spiner as Adam Soong, and Frakes is expected to show up on the series soon. But today, Paramount announced that TNG fans are going to be a whole lot happier for the third and final season. Season 3 of Picard will see the returns of LeVar Burton along with almost the entire regular cast of TNG.
Along with the announcement (via The Hollywood Reporter) came a teaser with soundbites from all the returning cast members, as well as a couple of brief shots at the end with Picard and Riker holding phasers at an unseen enemy. The returning cast members are LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, and Brent Spiner. You can see the announcement teaser below.
Picard is writing when he hears the familiar comm badge chirp, prompting him to fish out his old pre-First Contact uniform as we continue to hear the voices of LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden, and more in the background. The lines being read do seem to be brand new lines of dialogue for the characters, suggesting they are from Picard‘s next season. We know that Picard filmed its final two seasons back-to-back, so the new material already exists.
Terry Matalas, season 3’s showrunner, doesn’t spill too many details of Picard‘s third season but he does call it a “final, high-stakes, starship-bound adventure.” With “starship-bound” it sounds like he’s signaling that, fittingly, the final season of Picard will take place like most Trek series, aboard a starship. Of course the talents of LeVar Burton’s Geordi La Forge would be wasted otherwise, but it does raise the question of exactly what starship they’ll be aboard.
There’s one big mystery that’s barely even been talked about so far in Picard — namely, is there an Enterprise in active service during the era of Picard? If so, is it the Enterprise-E which we last saw in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis? And regardless of which letter it bears, who’s sitting in the captain’s chair? LeVar Burton? Michael Dorn? Gates McFadden? We know Riker took command of the Titan, so it isn’t him.
Then there’s the question of some missing names from the list, which fans will no doubt be petitioning to get added to the cast. While we’ve got Marina Sirtis and LeVar Burton, we don’t have Denise Crosby, who played the twice-doomed Tasha Yar and the Romulan villain Sela. Wil Wheaton, who played Beverly Crusher’s son Wesley, isn’t on the list. Then there are some fan-favorite recurring actors like Dwight Schultz who played the terminally phobic engineer Barclay, Colm Meaney who played Miles O’Brien, or Michelle Forbes as the the rebellious Ensign Ro Laren.