The endings of television shows, finales if you will, are often the most-discussed episodes a program will ever have. It makes sense considering they are the culmination of a season or seasons of build-up, the piece that decides whether it’s all been “worth it” or not. So much hinges on the ending of a program and it can almost solely cement a show’s legacy. Which is why it’s interesting to hear the showrunner for Star Trek: Picard come right out and talk about the plans for the show’s ending, and what they might have gotten wrong in Season 1. But that’s just what Avika Goldsman did in his interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Goldsman sat down to talk about a wide variety of topics because he has a wide variety of projects. Two of them are massive productions within the rejuvenated Star Trek franchise, Picard as well as the upcoming Strange New Worlds. He discussed all manner of things having to do with these shows, which could end up being quite diametrically opposed when it comes to storytelling, plot mechanics, and overall feel. Here’s what he had to say when asked about lessons learned from Picard’s first season and what they would be keeping in mind for the second time around.
“Figure out the end earlier. If you’re going to do a serialized show, you have the whole story before you start shooting. It’s more like a movie in that way — you better know the end of your third act before you start filming your first scene.”
On the surface, from a writing perspective, this seems like a “no duh” moment but then you look back at the history of television and see that so many times writers missed the forest for the proverbial galaxy when it came to this idea. Too often there was a meandering or overly complicated (or drawn out) approach to a show that left fans and characters flapping around in the cosmos. But because Goldsman admits that there may have been some mistakes the first time with Star Trek: Picard they are prepared to ensure it doesn’t happen again for this second season.
That being said, it wasn’t like Star Trek: Picard was problematic during its first run, much the opposite. The continued story of the titular captain in a show about what happens as our favorite characters age gracefully (or not so much), went well overall. The first season ended with considerable questions about the show’s future, specifically about the humanity of the good Captain and where he stood in terms of his true, well, form going forward.
But if Goldsman’s comments are any clue here, they have a clear path for the second season and a way to ensure that all roads and paths are aligned with what will happen in the end. And it makes sense because it’s also clear that this next season will deal heavily with the ideas around time. We saw this in the teaser trailer for the second season. It had a voiceover by Patrick Stewart’s Picard that waxed on the idea that the last great frontier was “time”. And it ended with the reveal that we’d be getting a return of John de Lancie’s Q. Star Trek: Picard will reunite these two characters and will be driven by a story about the true nature of time and space. If the writers are going to tackle these concepts head-on, they sure as heck better have a good idea of the ending.
Star Trek: Picard Season 2 is set to come out this year on Paramount+ and will continue the story of the Captain, his ship, and the idea of time. It should be great and we know the writers know how it will end.