Before Star Trek: Picard Season 3 premieres on Paramount+ on February 16, Collider’s Steve Weintraub spoke with returning stars, Jeri Ryan, who was first introduced to Star Trek in Star Trek: Voyager as Seven of Nine, and newcomer, Todd Stashwick (12 Monkeys) as Captain Shaw of the USS Titan. During their interview, Ryan and Stashwick share what they’re most excited for fans to see, discuss the nods to previous Star Trek series, and their favorite Season 3 episodes. Ryan also talks about Seven of Nine’s struggles this season, and where she ends up.
While the previous two seasons weren’t fully embraced by fans, Ryan says Season 3 is “so respectfully and beautifully done.” This third and final season will see Patrick Stewart returning to the helm as the titular Jean-Luc Picard in a high-stakes mystery that not only nods to past series but also brings back several Star Trek alums. The Next Generation’s Gates McFadden will also reprise her role as Dr. Beverly Crusher, along with Jonathan Frakes as Will Riker, Michael Dorn as Worf, Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi, LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge, and Brent Spiner as Lore. Also returning from Picard Seasons 1 and 2 is Michelle Hurd as Raffi.
This season isn’t just about bringing back familiar faces, the show is also introducing fans to new talent, including Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut and Mica Burton as Sidney and Alandra La Forge and Amanda Plummer as the villainous Vadic. Others joining the fray are Stashwick’s Captain Shaw and new series regular and associate of Beverly Crusher, Ed Speleers (Outlander).
Check our conversation with Ryan and Stashwick in the player above, or read the full transcript below. For even more on Star Trek: Picard, you can read Maggie Lovitt's review calling it “the start of something new and exciting.”
COLLIDER: Jeri, when I spoke to you last time for Picard, you were, I believe, filming the Season 3 finale, which was a while ago. Is it nice to finally be so close to actually being able to talk about things?
JERI RYAN: It is! Yeah, it's really fun, although it's a little difficult because people are asking me questions. We had a couple of interviews ago that I couldn't remember anything about the scene he was asking me about because we wrapped it so long ago. So some of this was a year and a half ago. But yeah, it's nice to finally get to talk about things, like this guy being part of the show, Todd Stashwick, who's really beyond words, and I cannot wait for everybody to see him in action, and to meet Captain Shaw and… Oh, just so good. So good. And Ed Speleers, being able to talk about him being with us. I mean, this is just… We've got such a great show for Season 3 and it's really exciting. I'm excited for people to see it.
I've seen the first six episodes of Season 3 and I will agree with everything you said, it's fantastic. What can you tease people about the season without getting in trouble, and without getting me in trouble?
RYAN: What can we say without getting into trouble? I will say, I mean this is not really a tease–
TODD STASHWICK: The birthday cake episode.
RYAN: I will say, the fans are going to be thrilled. I really believe that. I think that every part of the story is just so beautifully done for all of these characters, the arcs for all of these characters [are] so respectfully and beautifully done, and when it finishes I think the fans are going to be very, very satisfied. I will say that. I can't tease much without giving stuff away. What do you think, What am I missing?
STASHWICHK: Wow! I think it feels old and new, and it has something for every part of [the] Trek fandom. There [are] nods to the original series, [there are] nods to [The Next Generation] and Voyager and [Deep Space Nine], and Picard itself. It is its own animal because, while it's looking back, it is making something new, but with the ingredients of the past. I'm an old Trek fan myself, and I would feel fortunate that this is made with such heart and affection for Trek lovers as well.
I agree, there are a lot of nods in the first six episodes that people are going to enjoy. I have to ask, for both of you, of the 10 episodes in Season 3, do you have a favorite of the 10, and why?
STASHWICK: For Shaw, I love 304, personally, because that was the one episode I kind of got to do everything in. Without giving anything away, there's this amazing scene that they wrote for me with Patrick [Stewart] and Ed [Speleers]. Then, by the end, you and I have all that fun in the engine room, and it ends with such wonder, the whole episode ends with this beautiful… So it runs the gamut for me in terms of what I got to do as an actor, and then as a Star Trek fan. It's just a lot of fun, and wonderful, and heartfelt, and all the things.
RYAN: I don't know if I can pick one episode. For Seven’s arc, I love where we end this season. I love her struggle for this entire season. I love her discomfort with where she is and trying to figure out if this is where she belongs, and if she really truly should be here in Starfleet. I love where we end up with her at the end of the season.
STASHWICK: It’s pretty special.
RYAN: I don’t want to say too much, but it’s pretty cool.
Star Trek: Picard Season 3 premieres on Paramount+ on February 16. For more on Picard Season 3, here's our interview with LeVar Burton & Jonathan Frakes .