Patrick Stewart Didn’t Want Next Generation Reunion On Picard, But One Person Changed His Mind

Patrick Stewart reveals it was his signature character's reunion with Will Riker and Deanna Troi in Season 1 of Star Trek: Picard the convinced him to lift his veto of a Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion.

By Michileen Martin | Published

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Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, and Marina Sirtis in “Nepenthe” – S1, E7 of Star Trek: Picard

When the revival series was in development, Patrick Stewart was adamant about not turning Star Trek: Picard into a Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion. But when Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis made their pizza-baking guest appearance in Season 1’s “Nepenthe,” Stewart changed his mind. The Star Trek alum spoke to PEOPLE recently, and admitted his early stance was “wrong.”

Patrick Stewart recalls he had “certain conditions” that needed to be met before he signed on to Picard, and making sure it wasn’t a repeat of TNG was one of them.

“But then in season 1, I played one scene with Marina Sirtis and Jonathan [Frakes] as Riker. And little by little I saw that I had been wrong to put a veto on full TNG cast elements in this new series. And I think that it’s worked out to everyone’s satisfaction. I know I enjoyed it immensely.”

-Patrick Stewart speaking to PEOPLE

Jonathan Frakes added that, before he changed his mind on the reunion veto, Patrick Stewart made a point to tell all of his former cast mates about Picard so that there would be no surprises. In fact, Frakes said it was Stewart’s eventual turnaround that came as the surprise.

Of course, Picard hasn’t been completely without the TNG crew. Along with Frakes and Sirtis’ guest appearance in “Nepenthe,” Frakes once more popped up for the Season 1 finale. Jonathan Del Arco, who played Hugh the reformed Borg in two episodes of TNG, reprised his role for Season 1 of Picard. Likewise, both Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan) and John de Lancie (Q) returned to their recurring TNG roles for Picard‘s second season.

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Brent Spiner as Lore in Star Trek: Picard

Ironically it’s the actor who played the android officer Data — one of only two TNG lead characters to die before Picard (the other being Denise Crosby’s Tasha Yar) — who has spent more time with Patrick Stewart in Picard. Along with playing a not quite completely dead Data in Season 1, he also played Noonien Soong’s descendant Altan Ingo Soong in the first season, and Soong’s ancestor Adam Soong in Season 2. In the third and final season, he’ll reprise the role of Lore, Data’s malevolent twin brother.

Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes both tell PEOPLE that the reunited cast in Season 3 of Picard allowed for a therapeutic experience for all involved. That 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis — the last pre-Kelvinverse Trek film — seemed until now to be the final adventure of the TNG crew was a “brutal” surprise according to both actors. Stewart says another movie was already in the works, but it was canceled once Nemesis proved to be the first Trek feature to lose money.

You can watch the beginning of what may very well be the very last adventure of the TNG lead cast when Season 3 of Star Trek: Picard premieres on premieres on Paramount+ Thursday morning.

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