Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Picard Season 1 as well as for other iterations of the Star Trek franchise.
I really hope Star Trek: Picard Season 2 goes ahead. With all of the delays and cancellations flying around in this unpredictable environment, and with California – where the show is filmed – being one of the worst-hit locales, I’ll be at least slightly concerned about the show’s future until I know for sure that filming has wrapped!
Regardless of events in the real world, I wanted to take a look at some characters from past iterations of Star Trek that it could be fun to see make a return in Season 2 of Picard. I wrote a similar list of characters that I think would make fun additions to Strange New Worlds, and this one is going to be in a similar vein.
The usual caveat that I always give applies here: I have no “insider information”. Nor am I suggesting in any way that any of these characters will appear. I’m simply saying that I think it could make for a fun and interesting story if they did.
Season 1 surprised me by bringing back several characters that I would have never expected – Seven of Nine, Icheb (briefly), Hugh the Borg, and of course Bruce Maddox, who was the driving force behind the plot of the first half of the season in particular. With that in mind, here are a few picks for characters it could be fun to see return.
Number 1: Dr Beverly Crusher
Of The Next Generation’s main cast, only Beverly and Wesley Crusher weren’t confirmed to be alive in Picard Season 1. Data has died, of course, and we saw the return of Riker and Troi. La Forge and Worf were both mentioned by name, and I take that as confirmation that they’re alive. But no mention was made of the Crushers, and given Picard’s closeness with Beverly in particular, that strikes me as odd.
Is Dr Crusher dead? We have no evidence for that really – and no, lack of evidence that she’s alive is not evidence that she’s dead! There weren’t really any points at which the conversations Picard had could have turned to discuss Dr Crusher, so it may simply be the case that he was busy and so didn’t talk to or about her during his mission to find Soji.
In at least one future timeline – that seen in The Next Generation’s finale, All Good Things – Picard and Dr Crusher had married. Again there was no evidence of this in Season 1 of the show, and I took several remarks by and about Picard to mean that he had been alone in his retirement in France. But there’s nothing to say that he couldn’t have had a relationship with Dr Crusher in the years between Nemesis and his resignation from Starfleet.
Picard and Crusher had come close to romance at several points but never crossed that line. Partly this was Picard feeling responsible for the death of her first husband, who died under his command years previously. But perhaps something could have inspired them to take their relationship beyond friendship – such as two close friends of theirs rediscovering their own romance. In Nemesis, Riker and Troi were married, and indeed remain so as of Picard Season 1. Could that event have been the catalyst for Picard and Crusher to realise it was now or never for them?
Number 2: Narek
Narek’s storyline may not have been everyone’s favourite in Season 1, but I liked that it was unpredictable and that he didn’t follow the trope of being the “spy with a heart of gold” who falls in love with his target. Sadly, Narek was simply abandoned about halfway through Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2. We don’t know what became of him after he worked with Rios, Raffi, and Dr Soong to try to stop Soji building the beacon.
The last we saw of Narek he was being wrestled to the ground by Soji’s synth allies – in what was a pretty weak scene. But we’ll set aside criticisms of the finale for now. What happened to him next is a mystery.
There are several possibilities, though. He may have been taken into captivity by the synths as he was a Romulan spy and had been instrumental in leading the Zhat Vash to Coppelius. He could have been recovered by the Romulans during their brief visit to the system, probably by beaming him aboard one of their ships. He could have been taken into custody by the Federation to be interrogated about the Zhat Vash. It’s even possible – though unlikely – that he left Coppelius aboard La Sirena with Picard.
Regardless, Narek’s story feels incomplete. I want to see more of him and learn what impact Soji’s decision to stand down had on him. Did he still believe synths needed to be destroyed when he saw firsthand that Soji could be reasoned with, and that the prophecy he believed in was not going to come true? We simply don’t know, as the finale robbed his character of any conclusion. There’s more for Narek to say and do – and though I don’t expect to see him back, I hope we at least learn what became of him.
Number 3: The Lower Decks ensigns.
No, not those ones. The four survivors from The Next Generation Season 7 episode Lower Decks. There was Lavelle, who was promoted to lieutenant at the end of the episode, Nurse Ogawa, Taurik, and Ben the waiter. Of the four, perhaps the one I’d be most interested to see is Lavelle, whose story of receiving a promotion in the aftermath of the death of his friend could certainly be given an epilogue. I picture him having ascended through the ranks to be a commander or captain by this point in the timeline.
Nurse Ogawa would be nice to bring back too, given her role as a secondary character across a number of episodes from Seasons 4-7 of The Next Generation – as well as two films. In an episode which focused on Dr Crusher’s reunion with Picard, perhaps she could make an appearance too. She could also be a senior medical officer in her own right, perhaps being someone Picard or one of La Sirena’s crew seeks help from.
I recently re-watched Lower Decks, and you can find my thoughts on the episode by clicking or tapping here.
Number 4: Ezri Dax
This ties into a theory I have that the Dax symbiont could make an appearance in Star Trek: Discovery, which we know from the trailer is going to have Trill characters. I keep talking about the need for modern Star Trek to get some threads of consistency going between the various shows – which are split up across multiple time periods right now. One way this could happen is for Dax to appear in both Discovery and Picard.
What became of Dax after the end of Deep Space Nine is totally unknown. There were novels in which she became a captain, but of all the Star Trek novels, those struck me as some of the worst examples of fan-fiction! I think it’s much more likely she continued her role as a counsellor and scientist rather than made an attempt to move into command, though twenty-five years on from when we last saw her she could really be doing almost anything. She and Dr Bashir may still be together – or their relationship at the end of Deep Space Nine may have been little more than a fling.
Because Ezri only got one season before Deep Space Nine ended, she’s a character we didn’t get to know as well as we otherwise might’ve, and even the last time we saw her she was still adjusting to her new life as a joined Trill. Just like with Seven of Nine in Season 1 of Picard, it would be great to see her years later having made that transition and adjustment and being a more settled character.
Picard may even have need of a counsellor – having your consciousness transplanted into a new body is going to be a shock for anyone, and as someone who seemed to have made his peace with dying, he’s now been thrust into a new phase of life. Maybe Ezri, whose own life was majorly disrupted by the Dax symbiont, could offer her services?
Number 5: Sela
When I looked at the Romulans in the run-up to Season 1, I wrote that I didn’t think we’d see Sela back, and I wasn’t particularly bothered because she wasn’t someone Picard knew very well. That was in the context of Sela being some kind of high-ranking Romulan, and after two major defeats in her two engagements with Picard, I highly doubt she’s in any kind of leadership position.
Whether the Romulans will feature as prominently in Season 2 is unclear, but perhaps there could be an opportunity to see Sela again in a different way. She could be a minor officer, having been demoted after her failures and may even hold a grudge against Picard. She could have been involved with the Zhat Vash. Or she could have been exiled by the Romulans, perhaps as a result of her failures in The Next Generation.
Sela is not the most interesting Star Trek villain, and she’s not the most exciting adversary Picard ever faced. But now that the series has survived its first season and is standing on its own, Sela could make a return in a way that would be interesting. Her relationship with Picard as the daughter of Tasha Yar was touched on in The Next Generation, but arguably never resolved. Perhaps there’s a chance to resolve it now, one way or another.
Number 6: Ro Laren and Thomas Riker
Although these two characters never interacted on screen, they share a similar – and ambiguous – fate. Both Ro Laren and Thomas Riker defected to the Maquis in the years before the Cardassian-Dominion alliance and the Dominion War, and what became of them after that is unclear.
Thomas Riker (a transporter-created clone of William Riker) was taken into captivity by the Cardassians not long before war broke out, and as far as we know, remained in captivity from that point onward. However, it seems logical to assume that – if he survived the war – he would have been rescued by the Federation. With William Riker having made an appearance in the first season, the potential conflict between the two characters could be an interesting reason to bring back Thomas as well.
Ro Laren’s fate is a little less clear. The Maquis were wiped out by the Cardassians and their Dominion allies when they were on the verge of declaring independence, and many Maquis were killed. However, it stands to reason that some were captured alive, so it’s possible Ro was among them.
The reason why I feel they could show up together is if Season 2 were to take a look at Cardassia, Bajor, and the aftermath of the war, they may be able to play a role in that story. I doubt they could both still be in Cardassian captivity twenty-five years later, but they may be working together in the former Maquis territories. With Picard taking a look at the Federation and Starfleet from the outside, and showing both organisations as being flawed, a potential Maquis story could take advantage of that.
Number 7: Q
Q could be an interesting character to bookend Picard’s story. He appeared in Encounter at Farpoint, when we first met the Enterprise-D’s captain, and there would be something poetic about Q appearing in whatever season or episode will mark Picard’s end as a Star Trek character. While I hope there will be a third and perhaps fourth season of Picard, if it is to end with Season 2 I’d definitely bring Q back.
When Picard “died” in the Season 1 finale, I half-expected him to encounter Q in the afterlife. This would have been wrong for many reasons, of course – not least because it would have been very confusing to large parts of the audience! Nevertheless, if that were to have been Picard’s end it could have been very fitting.
I wonder if we’ll learn that Q visited Picard during his self-imposed isolation in France. That seems like something he might have done – to try to prompt some kind of reaction from his adversary. Q has no concept of ageing or even of death really, so the notion of Picard getting old and becoming depressed would be things he might have wanted to examine.
Q seemed to consider Picard a friend, if it’s possible for him to have friends, and he certainly went out of his way to help him on several occasions. I’m sure Q would be upset at the thought of Picard dying, and even if he were to have no impact on the story, could still be one of the characters seen at a funeral service or wake for Picard if the show is to end with the character’s death.
Number 8: Nella Daren
This is a sad one, as original actress Wendy Hughes passed away in 2014, but her character could be recast as Dr Maddox and Icheb were in Season 1. Lieutenant Commander Daren was an officer who briefly served aboard the Enterprise-D as a scientist. But more interestingly, she was one of the few characters linked romantically to Picard during The Next Generation’s run.
Could she have resumed her relationship with Picard at a later date, when they weren’t serving together? As with Dr Crusher above, it’s at least possible. The episode which featured Daren was Lessons, from the sixth season of The Next Generation, and it was a solid episode that appears to have been well-received. There’s no reason why we couldn’t learn what happened to her after she was transferred off the Enterprise-D.
Giving Picard a romantic interest may not seem to be a natural fit for the series. But romance (or past romance) can be a great source of drama in storytelling, and as he readjusts to life outside his vineyard Picard may be interested in rekindling relationships that fell by the wayside.
Number 9: Thadiun Okona
Okona was only seen in one episode of The Next Generation’s second season – but so was Bruce Maddox, so we shouldn’t count that against him! Why would this roguish character be a good fit, though? Well, Picard is currently operating outside of Starfleet, and unless that changes, finding allies who know their way around the rules could be useful and important.
I see at least a little of Okona in the character of Chris Rios, perhaps because they’re both independent captains of small ships. I wonder how they’d react to one another? A story which required Picard and the crew of La Sirena to think creatively could suit a character like the “outrageous” Okona.
William O. Campbell, who played Okona, was recently the lead in a series called Helix on the SyFy channel, so he is still active as an actor. Perhaps he could be tempted to reprise the role.
Number 10: Dr Leah Brahms
Dr Brahms appeared twice in The Next Generation, albeit once only as a hologram. She was a colleague and love interest for Geordi La Forge, and it was implied in at least one future timeline that they had married. Any story featuring him could thus include Brahms as well.
Dr Brahms was also said to work at the Daystrom Institute – which would potentially make her a colleague of Dr Jurati, assuming she was still there after more than twenty years. Perhaps they know each other, and that could be another point of connection. Dr Brahms was an expert in warp drive, and if La Sirena needed to undergo repairs or upgrades, she could prove useful in such a story.
So that’s it. Ten characters who could – but most likely won’t – appear in Star Trek: Picard Season 2. I managed to avoid putting Benjamin Sisko on a list of character reappearances for once! Whoever would have guessed that, eh?
Jokes aside, I think we will see several characters from past iterations of Star Trek crop up in Star Trek: Picard Season 2, whenever it may eventually be broadcast. Season 1 brought back several unexpected characters, and I hope we’ll get more of that next time as well.
Some of these characters may not be a good fit for whatever story the showrunners and writers have in mind for Season 2, so we’ll have to wait a little longer to learn what became of them after we last saw them. That’s okay, because what matters most is that whichever characters come back are the right ones for the story.
It remains my hope that Star Trek: Picard will serve as a launchpad for more Star Trek adventures at the dawn of the 25th Century, and while there has been no confirmation of that just yet, there is at least one other Star Trek project in development that we have no details on. Could it be another show in the same era? Possibly!
The Star Trek franchise – including Star Trek: Picard and all shows and films mentioned above – is the copyright of ViacomCBS. This article contains the thoughts and opinions of one person only and is not intended to cause any offence.