The nostalgic reunion of The Next Generation has a few party crashers. Although Season 3 of Star Trek: Picard will feature the return of all seven main cast members from TNG and reunite the bridge crew of Enterprise-D, the final trailer for the show reveals two new faces. Here’s what these surprising character additions might mean, plus what to expect from Season 3 of Picard, dropping on February 16, 2023, on Paramount+. No spoilers ahead.
For all its ups and downs, Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard resolved most of its plot threads, leaving the further adventures of Jean-Luc Picard open to all sorts of possibilities. We last saw him, relatively happy, at his vineyard in France, embarking on a new romance with Laris (Orla Brady), who has been confirmed to return in Season 3. Raffi (Michelle Hurd) is also back for Season 3, along with Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) reprising her role from the previous seasons of Picard, and of course, Star Trek: Voyager.
However, a huge chunk of characters exclusive to the first two seasons of Picard will not appear in Season 3, for a variety of reasons. At the end of Season 2, Rios (Santiago Cabrera) elected to remain in the 21st century, while Dr. Jurati (Alison Pill) became a new, benevolent type of Borg Queen. Elnor (Evan Evagora) remained dead, while Kore (Isa Briones) was recruited by Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) to become a time-skipping Traveler. Isa Briones’ other character, the Synth Soji is still alive, but will likely not appear in Season 3 of Picard at all.
So, with all these departures, Season 3 of Picard will include all members of the main cast of The Next Generation, including Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Worf (Michael Dorn), Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) and Brent Spiner in a role that has not yet been disclosed, though the New York Comic Con trailer teased he is playing Lore, Data’s evil twin brother. That said, Brent Spiner has played more than one role in Star Trek, many, many times before. So, don’t assume anything. And, in the trailer, it’s not clear exactly what’s going on with Spiner at all. Though, the way he speaks to Geordi saying “That’s human nature, pal!” is certainly closer to Lore than Data.
And yet, with all of those names, we’re still getting new characters in Picard Season 3! As revealed in the final trailer — aired on January 29, 2023, during the AFC Championship Game on CBS and Paramount+ — two brand new faces are joining the cast. But, if you’re a fan of genre TV, you’ll recognize both of these guys right away.
Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Final Trailer
The final trailer doubles-down on much of what has already been revealed about Season 3. Much of the action will take place on the USS Titan, with Picard and his allies battling a mysterious villain named Vadic. Previously revealed in 2022, this villain is played by Amanda Plummer, daughter of Christopher Plummer, famous to Trek fans for his role as the Shakespeare-quoting Klingon villain, Chang in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). Showrunner Terry Matalas has even compared the feeling of Picard Season 3 to The Undiscovered Country, calling it “game-changing” and will “feel like an event in Star Trek history.”
In the new trailer, the stakes feel huge, closer to a movie than a regular season of a new Trek show. And, because the trailer closes with the TNG crew, all together again, it feels momentous and big, and yes, game-changing. But, there are a lot of mysteries here. Why is Moriarity there? Why is he calling everyone “old warriors?” How does Raffi fit in? And just why are the crew on the USS Titan?
On top of all of this, the game-changing aspects also include two brand-new characters. But who are they? Like Vadic, these two are shrouded in secrecy. In fact, their names haven’t even been revealed!
Picard Season 3 new characters
According to Paramount, and as evidenced in the trailer, Picard Season 3 will also feature Ed Speleers and Todd Stashwick. Fans of Outlander will recognize Speleers, while 12 Monkeys diehards will remember Stashwick. (Picard showrunner Terry Matalas also brought on 12 Monkeys alum James Callis for Picard Season 2 in a pivotal role.)
Not much has been officially revealed about the new roles, only these details from Paramount: Ed Speleers will “appear as a series regular who aids Beverly Crusher’s medical efforts on worlds Starfleet has forgotten.” Meanwhile, Todd Stashwick “will also appear in a recurring role as captain of the U.S.S. Titan.” In the trailer, Stashwick’s character gives Riker and Picard a decent amount of ribbing about their colorful past. Meanwhile, Speleers’ character has a phaser on Riker at some point!
In the final art for Picard Season 3, Ed Speleers is part of the regular cast, indicating a huge role for him this season. With the premiere of Picard Season 3 just a few weeks away, it should be clear that these ten episodes are hiding much more than has been revealed. If you think you know what to expect from Picard Season 3 — think again.
Picard Season 3 hits Paramount+ on February 16, 2023.