For the most part, nostalgia and Paramount’s expansion of the franchise has been kind to the cast of the Star Trek: The Next Generation and the other actors from that era of shows. Not only were Patrick Stewart, Jeri Ryan, Whoopi Goldberg, and more all brought back for Star Trek: Picard, but almost the entire principal cast will be returning for season 3 of the series. Kate Mulgrew is voicing a holographic version of Voyager‘s Janeway on Star Trek: Prodigy and even the infamously Trek-critical Robet Beltran was tapped to return for that animated series. But in a recent interview, TNG alum Marina Sirtis said the red carpet treatment is pretty new, and even referred to her and her fellow cast members as being “discarded” after 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis.
Sirtis — who plays Counselor Deanna Troi on TNG, in the TNG-era films, and on guest appearances in other series — was speaking to Red Carpet News (via TrekMovie) when she talked about how well she and the rest of the cast of Star Trek: Picard season 3 had been treated compared to what it was like after Nemesis. “The [Star Trek: Picard] producers… did say that they felt that we hadn’t been given a proper send off in Nemesis,” Sirtis said. “And that they wanted to send us off the right way, which I appreciated because this is something that’s taken up my life on and off since 1987. And I did feel that we were kind of discarded a little bit. But we were definitely cherished on this project.” You can see the interview below.
Star Trek: Nemesis marked a depressing end to the TNG era of films and it would be the last film in the franchise until 2009’s Star Trek. Nemesis made only $67 million against a $60 million budget. In comparison, 1998’s Insurrection made $112 million and 1996’s First Contact made $146 million. Story-wise it ended on a tragic note — with the death of Brent Spiner’s Data. Reviewers weren’t anymore impressed with it than audiences were, as evidenced by the fact that of all of the franchise’s films Rotten Tomatoes has given it the second lowest score of 38%. It beats out only 1989’s truly terrible Star Trek V.
To be fair, according to Sirtis herself, she wasn’t being treated much better even before filming on Star Trek: Nemesis began. At a TNG cast reunion at 2017’s Star Trek Las Vegas event, Sirtis said the studio tried to lowball her during negotiations in spite of her character having a bigger role in Nemesis. She pushed back and the studio supposedly threatened to fire her and replace her with Jeri Ryan as Voyager‘s Seven of Nine. Sirtis said her response to the studio was “Well Jeri Ryan won’t do it for that money, that is for sure.”
In April it was announced that the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard would reunite LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, and Brent Spiner all as regular cast members. One of the biggest questions about the reunion is in regards to who Spiner will play, since he’s insisted Data is gone for good. One possibility is that he’ll play one of Noonian Soong’s descendants, though some fans are no doubt hoping he might play either Data’s evil twin brother Lore or perhaps the somewhat limited prototype B-4.