Five main characters from Star Trek’s past that I’d bring back

Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Picard Season 1, Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, and for other iterations of the franchise.

This is going to be the first part of a short two-part series in which I look at a few significant characters from past iterations of Star Trek that I would love to see return. Rather than tying these characters to a specific series, film, or ongoing project, this list is more general. I’m not advocating, for example, for any of these characters to necessarily appear in Picard or Strange New Worlds, but rather to return to the franchise at some point, when a suitable story could be written.

The Original Series Season 2 cast (without George Takei).

It goes without saying that practically every major character (at least those who weren’t killed off) could be brought back in some capacity, and with the franchise continuing to expand I think it’s increasingly likely that we’ll get some significant moments where characters reappear. For the sake of this list I’m not counting characters who are starring in shows that are currently in production, so I’ll be limited to characters from The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, and the films.

The Next Generation cast in Season 4 – plus Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan.

By my count there are 42 characters across those five series that we could call “major” – i.e. they regularly had their names listed in the main credits, and weren’t considered guest stars or just recurring secondary characters. This time I’m picking on just five, and my usual caveat applies: I don’t have any “insider information!” This is just a short list of characters that I think could be fun to bring back in some capacity, nothing more.

The Deep Space Nine cast in Season 4.

Of the 42 characters that occupied major starring roles in at least one season of the five aforementioned shows, I’m excluding five: James T Kirk from The Original Series, Data and Tasha Yar from The Next Generation, Jadzia Dax from Deep Space Nine, and Trip Tucker from Enterprise. All the exclusions are for the same reason: those characters have died in-universe. While there could be convoluted ways to bring back alternate versions (such as we saw with Sela, for instance) the original character can’t return after death.

The Season 2 cast of Voyager.

Though it may be controversial, I don’t believe that the death of an actor necessarily excludes a character from returning. The Kelvin films recast the entire main cast of The Original Series, and Star Trek: Picard recently recast a couple of legacy characters as well. So characters whose primary actors have passed away are still in contention.

Now that we’ve laid down the ground rules, let’s take a look at my choices.

Number 1: Chakotay

This one is inspired by the return of Seven of Nine in Season 1 of Picard. I’ve written about this before, but Seven’s return to Star Trek was cathartic for me, because the passage of time allowed her to be a very different, more emotional, and much more human character than she ever was in Voyager. Seven was sometimes annoying and difficult to root for, especially toward the end of Voyager’s run, and basically the reason was that she’d always seem to “reset” after learning what should have been a big and important lesson in how to be human. It made her character bland and repetitive. But we’re not here to talk about Seven of Nine!

Chakotay didn’t have a lot to do in Voyager, despite being the first officer. There were a handful of episodes in which he was given a storyline, but a lot of the time he was just a presence, someone there for other characters to bounce ideas off or to tell Captain Janeway he didn’t recommend she do something we all knew she’d end up doing anyway. In short, bringing back Chakotay is something I would see as a chance for his character to get a Seven of Nine-like “redemption,” with some genuine development and a significant storyline.

One thing Voyager touched on briefly but never really explored was the way Chakotay felt about the deaths of the Maquis. The episode Extreme Risk focused on B’Elanna as she struggled to come to terms with what happened to their former colleagues, but Chakotay never really got a similar moment. As part of a larger story looking at the aftermath of the Dominion War, learning what happened to the Maquis’ colonies in the aftermath of that conflict could include Chakotay, as one of those worlds was his home.

We could also learn that Chakotay was allowed to remain in Starfleet following Voyager’s return to the Alpha Quadrant, and may even have been given his own command. Given that Voyager quite quickly dropped the Maquis angle, I’m not sure this is the route I’d go down because it doesn’t seem like it offers a lot of development or growth potential for his character, but it’s a possibility.

The final few episodes of Voyager’s seventh season saw a burgeoning relationship building between Chakotay and Seven of Nine. With Seven now a recurring character in Picard, and with the possibility of her entering into a relationship with main character Raffi, we could potentially explore what happened between Seven and Chakotay. Voyager’s finale certainly suggested that he had strong feelings for her, even after her death in that timeline.

Unfortunately, for reasons that aren’t especially clear, the producers of Voyager lost interest in – or didn’t know what to do with – the “one ship, two crews” concept that had been part of the show’s inception. Chakotay and the rest of the Maquis were absorbed into the crew by midway through Season 1, and while lip service was paid to Chakotay’s Maquis past at numerous points, I think that’s one aspect of his background that would be ripe for exploration. In any 24th or early 25th Century story that looked at Bajor, Cardassia, and the aftermath of the Dominion War, I’d spend at least an episode or two considering the legacy of the Maquis, and Chakotay could play a major role in such a story.

Number 2: T’Pol

I’ve mentioned T’Pol before in relation to Strange New Worlds, and that series is certainly one where we could see her crop up. Because of Enterprise’s place in the timeline, unless Star Trek plans on returning to the 22nd Century for some other story, there aren’t many characters who could realistically still be active and able to play a major role. The 23rd and 24th Centuries (as well as Discovery’s 32nd Century) are where current Star Trek projects are focused – and I have to say I think that’s the right call. Enterprise was an interesting experiment, but I see no pressing need to return to the 22nd Century at this stage.

The story I’d include T’Pol in would go something like this: she’s a senior Federation ambassador by the mid-23rd Century, and accompanies Captain Pike on a diplomatic mission. The mission would make first contact with a race we met in The Next Generation era, such as the Cardassians. We’d thus tie together all three of Star Trek’s eras in one story! I think an episode like that would be incredibly rewarding for longstanding fans of the franchise; a “love letter” to the fans.

But there are many other roles T’Pol could occupy. Having spent so long with humans during those early days of humanity striking out into space, she could prove an invaluable guide or advisor to a young Spock. Whether Spock is “the first Vulcan in Starfleet” is a point of contention without an obvious answer, but even if he wasn’t it’s clear that the Vulcans continued to operate an independent fleet into the 23rd Century, and thus Vulcans serving in Starfleet seem to have been rare. T’Pol is well-placed to be a kind of mentor to Spock for this reason.

However, both of those story concepts take T’Pol out of her usual scientific role, and perhaps a story could be devised which would be better-suited to her career as a scientist. I’m still thinking of a 23rd Century story, but one which perhaps requires high-ranking Federation scientists to work on a mystery or puzzle.

Number 3: Dr Pulaski

I’ve never met a fan of The Next Generation who likes Dr Pulaski as much as I do. I understand why she wasn’t popular with fans, replacing Dr Crusher after one season and especially because of her early run-ins with Data that amounted to anti-android bigotry. But where Dr Crusher could be fairly bland, Dr Pulaski had a really strong personality that shone through.

On another occasion we’ll talk about Dr Pulaski and how her introduction in Season 2 of The Next Generation was an attempt to shake up the new series and bring in a Dr McCoy-type character. But for now I want to consider how she could return, and what sort of role she could have.

Picard Season 1 missed an opportunity to bring back Dr Pulaski – or another medical officer from The Next Generation like Alyssa Ogawa – in the second episode. Picard receives bad news from a doctor he knew while serving aboard the USS Stargazer, Dr Benayoun. This was a new character created for Picard, and if I’d been writing it I might have chosen to bring back Dr Pulaski at this moment instead. I don’t know if that was ever suggested, because it’s well-known that actress Diana Muldaur didn’t have a great time working on The Next Generation. But it would have been neat to see!

One series that has been doing great with references to less well-known parts of canon is Lower Decks, and perhaps that means Dr Pulaski would be a good fit to return there. I don’t know if Diana Muldaur is still working, nor whether she’d be well enough or willing to reprise the role. But it was at least a little sad that Dr Pulaski was dropped in The Next Generation Season 3 with no explanation. There’s scope, I feel, to learn what came next for her – even if the character has to be recast.

Almost any medical story or story involving characters from The Next Generation Season 2 could see Dr Pulaski return, and of course Star Trek: Picard has to be the prime candidate of the shows currently in production. She could, for example, be one of the chief medical officers assigned to help the surviving ex-Borg now that they’re (presumably) under Federation protection. Or how about this: in a storyline that clearly shows how much she’s changed her attitude to synthetic life, she could be the head of a Federation medical team sent to Coppelius to help the synths. This would cement her “redemption” from her earlier interactions with Data, and would perhaps provide a suitable epilogue to her role in The Next Generation Season 2.

Number 4: Benjamin Sisko

Captain Sisko is probably the character whose return I’ve touted the most! Because of the unique nature of his disappearance in the Deep Space Nine finale – vanishing into the realm of the Bajoran Prophets – he could return literally anywhere, in any time period. The Prophets don’t experience time in the same linear manner as humans, so they could send him to a point in his future, his past, or anywhere along the Star Trek timeline.

This is why I’ve proposed Sisko as a character who could appear in Picard, Strange New Worlds, and Discovery – because he could be sent back by the Prophets at any moment in time. I would argue he would have more to do in a story set in the late 24th or early 25th Centuries than he might in the 23rd or 32nd, but in any story that brought back Bajor, Sisko could play a major role.

He could also be part of a story looking at the aftermath of the Dominion War, at Cardassian relations with the Federation, and of course at Deep Space Nine itself. I think Sisko has the potential to be a useful character too. If he joined the story right at the moment of his return to normal spacetime, he could potentially be a point-of-view character, and an excuse for a film or episode to dump a lot of exposition that could otherwise feel clunky and out-of-place. This would be done under the guise of other characters bringing Sisko up to speed on what he’s missed – and we could catch up on galactic affairs right along with him!

Of all the characters on this list, Sisko is the one whose story feels the most unfinished. There was almost a cliffhanger ending to his role in Deep Space Nine, with a tease that one day he’ll be coming back. Whether we’ll ever see that on screen is another matter, of course, and Avery Brooks has seemed less willing to reprise the role than some other Star Trek actors. But you never know!

Number 5: Montgomery Scott

It would be relatively easy for Scotty to crop up in Strange New Worlds as a junior engineer – or in any other 23rd Century series, for that matter. But that’s not really what I’m proposing this time. That idea has merit, and I think I included Scotty in one of my character ideas lists for Strange New Worlds. However, this time what I’m suggesting is Scotty in the 24th Century.

Relics, the Season 6 episode of The Next Generation, established that Scotty had been kept alive in a form of transporter stasis of his own devising for over eighty years, finally rematerializing when the crew of the Enterprise-D encountered his crashed ship. After working briefly with Geordi La Forge, Captain Picard, and others, Scotty was given a shuttle and set out to explore the new century on his own. We would later learn in 2009’s Star Trek that Scotty had gone back to work, developing a method of “transwarp beaming” that became important to the plot of that film.

After that, however, what became of Scotty is a mystery. He had initially intended to retire, so did his stint with Starfleet continue? Or did he resume his planned retirement in the 24th Century, catching up on the eight decades of galactic history that he’d missed? He reunited with Spock, apparently, and it’s at least possible he would have been able to visit the elderly Dr McCoy as well.

Scotty offers a “coming out of retirement” story, perhaps prompted by some horrible event or disaster that requires an engineering solution. We could learn, for example, that he’d worked alongside Geordi La Forge in preparing the Romulan rescue fleet, or even that he was helping to rebuild the Mars shipyards after the attack by the Zhat Vash. Those are two ideas based on events from Picard Season 1, but of course there are many, many other ways Scotty could have contributed to Starfleet and the Federation in the late 24th Century.

So that’s it… at least for now. The second part of this short series will look at five secondary or recurring characters who I also think could be fun to bring back!

With so many ongoing and upcoming Star Trek projects occupying different places in the timeline, there really is scope to bring back almost any major character, and I hope the creative team don’t feel constrained! As a Trekkie I think I’d be happy with literally any of them making an appearance, though of course it would have to make sense in-universe as well as not be offputting for casual viewers.

The cast of Enterprise during Season 1.

We mentioned the episode Relics, and I think that story manages to walk that line exceptionally well. For fans of The Original Series, Scotty’s return was an amazing treat. But for folks who weren’t familiar with the older series, his inclusion in the episode still managed to make sense. The story was well-written, and while knowing more about who Scotty was and where he’d come from certainly added to it for Trekkies, it didn’t put off casual viewers by demanding a lot of knowledge of Star Trek canon. That’s the kind of model any future episode, film, or story that brings back a character should try to emulate.

We can also point to If Memory Serves, from the second season of Discovery. That episode began with a short recap of the events of The Cage, establishing what happened to Captain Pike on Talos IV, who the Talosians were, who Vina was, and so on. By beginning an episode which features a returning character with a clip or compilation of their past Star Trek exploits, almost any character could be integrated into an ongoing production.

The Discovery Season 1 cast (without Wilson Cruz).

The Star Trek franchise has been running for over five decades, and has a huge roster of wonderful characters. The fact that there are too many to put on the list – or the fact that the list could literally include every single one – is testament to the quality of the franchise and the creative teams who’ve contributed to it over the years.

Stay tuned for the next part in this series, where I’ll look at five secondary or recurring characters who I’d also love to see come back!

The Star Trek franchise – including all series mentioned above – is available to stream now on Paramount+ in the United States and other territories where the service exists, and on Netflix in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. The Star Trek franchise – including all properties 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.

Ten character ideas for Star Trek: Picard Season 2

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.

Jean-Luc Picard.

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

Dr Crusher with her son Wesley in Star Trek: Nemesis.

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.

Q in “the afterlife” in the episode Tapestry.

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.

Some characters it could be fun to see in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Spoiler Warning: There will be spoilers ahead for the Star Trek franchise, including the most recent seasons of Discovery and Picard.

Excitement for a series led by Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike had been sky-high since the second season of Discovery was on the air early last year. The series was finally announced a few weeks ago, and if you somehow didn’t know, it’s going to be called Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. I took a look at a few ideas for the upcoming series shortly after it was announced, but today I wanted to get specific. We’re going to be looking at some characters from past iterations of Star Trek that it could be fun to see return in some way.

Probably not the title card for Strange New Worlds!

Some of the characters on this list could join the main cast – though with three of its main roles taken up with re-cast characters, I feel sure that the creators of the show will want to put in some brand new ones of their own too. Others would make great secondary or recurring characters – if Strange New Worlds is to have a large secondary cast like Deep Space Nine had. And of course, some characters would be interesting to see just as one-offs.

This article shouldn’t be interpreted as me having some kind of “insider information”; I don’t, and quite frankly I doubt anyone else in the blogosphere or on social media does, so you should always take any such claim with a grain of salt! This is pure speculation, as well as a bit of fun.

Number 1: Alternate reality Pike and Spock

In 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness, the alternate reality version of Captain Pike (played by Bruce Greenwood) was killed. However, by setting any potential crossover before this event, such as shortly after the events of 2009’s Star Trek, for example, it would be possible for the prime timeline and alternate reality versions of the characters to cross over… somehow.

We know from 2009’s Star Trek that travel to the alternate reality was possible by traversing a black hole, so perhaps something like that could happen. It would definitely be expensive to bring in Bruce Greenwood and Zachary Quinto – as film stars they command a higher salary – but if contracts could be negotiated, and a suitably engaging story written, I think it could be fun to see the two versions of the characters team up.

The kind of story I’m thinking of would follow a similar theme to the classic Mirror, Mirror or Discovery’s first season – the Enterprise, or just Pike and Spock, accidentally cross over to the alternate reality and have to work out how to get back – enlisting their alternate reality counterparts for help.

Number 2: James T. Kirk

In the alternate timeline mentioned above, we saw how Kirk and Spock met at Starfleet Academy. However, in the prime timeline we’ve never seen their first meeting. It could be interesting to see a young Ensign or Lieutenant Kirk meet Spock for the first time, and there are many ways this could be included.

However, the way I think it would work best would be in the series finale. And I know, thinking about the finale of a series that hasn’t even premiered yet is very premature! But hear me out because I like this concept. After what will hopefully be a number of successful seasons of Strange New Worlds, Captain Pike gets promoted and will be leaving the ship. The final moments of the finale could see Captain Kirk coming aboard the Enterprise for the first time – and this could be a great moment to use the CGI seen in films like Rogue One to have the character look like a young William Shatner. Shatner himself could even do Kirk’s voice.

That’s one concept that I really think could be cool. But we could also see a young Kirk as a guest star, perhaps as someone who is a junior officer aboard another ship that the Enterprise works with. We know that Kirk served on a ship called the USS Farragut before becoming captain of the Enterprise, and that name-drop could be a great reference to The Original Series.

Number 3: T’Pol

Aside from one brief reference in Discovery, there hasn’t been much acknowledgement of Enterprise in modern Star Trek, despite the fact that the events of that show are canon in both the alternate reality and Discovery. With Strange New Worlds taking place over a century after Enterprise, most of the human characters will probably no longer be around – though there was a hint in the alternate reality of an “Admiral Archer”. However, Vulcans are very long-lived, and it’s quite possible that T’Pol would still be alive and active in this era.

As the first Vulcan to work extensively with humans and Starfleet, T’Pol could offer invaluable advice to Spock as he joins the crew of the Enterprise. Or she could be a senior figure within the Federation – perhaps at Starfleet, working on research, or even taking on a role similar to Spock’s in The Next Generation era, working as a diplomat.

If T’Pol were a senior diplomat or ambassador, she could join the crew of the Enterprise on a mission of first contact – and this could be a great story to show off first contact between the Federation and one of Star Trek’s established races, like the Cardassians. A story like this would tie all three of Star Trek’s main eras together: the 22nd Century, represented by T’Pol, the 23rd Century, represented by Pike, Spock, Number One, and the Enterprise crew, and the 24th Century, represented by a race like the Cardassians that we got to know in that era.

Number 4: Commodore Decker

William Windom played the role of Commodore Matt Decker in one of the best episodes of The Original Series: The Doomsday Machine. Decker is a broken man in that story, having witnessed the loss of his entire crew. He becomes consumed by revenge and tries to take down the planet-killer himself. But in Strange New Worlds, we could see Decker before that catastrophe, as the level-headed senior officer we know he was.

He could retain the rank of Commodore, perhaps serving as the senior officer for the region of space that the Enterprise is assigned to – making him, in effect, Pike’s boss! Or, as Strange New Worlds is taking place a decade or so earlier, we could see Decker as a captain or even a first officer, making a one-off appearance or even becoming a recurring character.

It would be great to put Decker in a story that pays homage to – and foreshadows – his later role in The Doomsday Machine, but it can’t be something too obvious and overt. So no return of the planet-killer please!

Number 5: Sarek

James Frain put in a creditable performance as Sarek across Discovery’s first two seasons. With that show now leaving the 23rd Century behind, it would be possible to keep Sarek as a recurring character in Strange New Worlds.

We know from Spock’s comments in The Original Series and The Next Generation that he and his father don’t get along particularly well. Yet in Discovery they seemed to be doing okay together – perhaps Strange New Worlds could explore how the relationship between father and son soured and why, as of The Original Series, Sarek and Spock were maintaining a cool, logical distance from one another.

It would also be a way to keep Discovery in the minds of the audience. Strange New Worlds is but one part of an expanding Star Trek franchise, and convincing fans of one show to hop over and try others is arguably the key challenge for the team behind Star Trek. With the franchise split up into different eras and timelines, finding ways to get some consistency is important and recurring characters have the potential to be an important link between shows.

Number 6: Benjamin Sisko

Wait. Stop. Don’t skip ahead! I know this one seems a little “out there”, but bear with me because it could be amazing. I wrote a few weeks ago that Strange New Worlds could potentially encounter the Bajorans, making first contact with them decades before the Cardassian occupation of their world. That alone could be a fascinating story, especially because we know Bajor in that era was very different: a strict, caste-based society.

In What You Leave Behind, the finale of Deep Space Nine, Benjamin Sisko is saved by the Prophets – the noncorporeal aliens who live in the Bajoran wormhole – and disappears from normal spacetime, going to stay with them. He promises to return, and because of the Prophets’ non-linear view of time, he could return anywhere, at any time.

That means he could return from the domain of the Prophets years before he left – such as during the era when Captain Pike commanded the Enterprise! I know this is a bit out of left-field, but Star Trek has shown with Discovery’s second season that bringing characters back and telling stories that tie into much older iterations of the franchise isn’t something it’s frightened of trying. Heck, that’s how we came to have Captain Pike and Strange New Worlds in the first place! With a brief recap of Deep Space Nine, like the recap we saw in the Discovery Season 2 episode If Memory Serves, Sisko could be introduced to the audience and his presence explained.

I’ve long felt that seeing Sisko’s return could make for a fascinating story, and while it would make more sense in many ways to bring him back in Star Trek: Picard or another 24th or 25th Century series, it’s a story that could be made to fit in Strange New Worlds too.

Number 7: Shran

As I mentioned when talking about T’Pol, Enterprise has very few ties to the rest of the Star Trek franchise at the moment. We don’t know exactly how long Andorians live, but Shran was alive at the end of Enterprise, and as a father to a young child, can’t have been especially old by Andorian standards. It’s at least possible that he’s still alive as of the era of Strange New Worlds, though he would be well over 100 by this point.

Similar to T’Pol, we could see Shran taking on an elder statesman kind of role, and we’d perhaps learn that he had been instrumental in convincing the Andorians to ally with humanity and the Vulcans, making him an important founding father of the Federation.

I could see Shran in this kind of role, and perhaps a story that included him could see him bringing a wayward group of secessionist or renegade Andorians to heel. He could even be teamed up with T’Pol in some kind of big diplomatic mission which the crew of the Enterprise are roped into.

Number 8: A character played by a cast member from The Original Series

George Takei appeared in Season 2 of The Terror in 2019.

A few weeks ago I wrote an article looking at comments by William Shatner that he’d love to reprise his most famous role and play Captain Kirk again. I doubt that will happen – not least because Kirk died in Star Trek Generations – but it got me thinking about the potential for Shatner, or another main cast member from The Original Series, to play a new role in Star Trek.

At time of writing, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, William Shatner, and George Takei are still alive and thus could potentially return to the franchise in some way. Takei played a role in a horror series called The Terror in 2019, so he’s still active as an actor. And Walter Koenig has recently produced a Star Trek fan film called Star Trek Renegades. Koenig and Takei also played roles in the Star Trek fan series Star Trek New Voyages in the mid-2000s.

All four are in their eighties – Shatner will be 90 next birthday. Sir Patrick Stewart, who is himself almost 80, has shown that older actors can still put in exceptional performances, so it isn’t impossible to think that any of these actors could make a return to the franchise that made them household names. With time marching ever onward, there won’t be many more opportunities. It would require a story that was really crafted to make such a role prominent and wholesome, but I think it could be done – and based on what Shatner had to say only a few weeks ago, at least one of them would be willing to do it.

Number 9: Dr Boyce

This character only appeared in The Cage (and in reused footage in The Menagerie) and was the Enterprise’s doctor during Pike’s tenure in command. While it could be possible to bring in a different ship’s doctor (such as Dr Nambue, who was the USS Shenzhou’s doctor in Discovery’s premiere) I think Dr Boyce is a prime candidate for re-casting.

Strange New Worlds has promised to be a series in the mould of classic Star Trek shows of the past, and if that’s the case a chief medical officer will be essential. Dr Boyce seemed to have a good relationship with Captain Pike in The Cage; the relationship between Dr McCoy and Captain Kirk was foreshadowed here. This could be a great way to give Pike a McCoy-esque older figure to lean on for advice and to serve as the show’s moral compass.

Dr Boyce – and indeed most of the characters from The Cage – are practically blank slates, so while his surname and approximate age would be constraints, the rest of the character could be up to the new show’s creators to explore and expand.

Number 10: José Tyler

Speaking of The Cage, one character it introduced who hasn’t been since since is the young Lieutenant Tyler. Given the first name José in the novelisation of the episode, Tyler is similar to Dr Boyce in being an almost-blank slate for the new show.

However, one thing that is interesting with this character is that he shares a surname with Ash Tyler – the character introduced in Discovery. While Discovery’s version of Tyler is actually a Klingon named Voq, there’s the potential for Strange New Worlds to explore that relationship. Are they brothers? Cousins? What would José make of the revelation that Ash is a Klingon? How would he react to that? There’s a lot of potential for interesting stories, and it would be a way to include Ash Tyler and potentially the Section 31 organisation that he now leads.

If the currently-untitled Section 31 series retains a 23rd Century setting – and isn’t following Discovery into the far future – then Ash Tyler looks almost certain to be a part of that show. Tying it to Strange New Worlds would keep the two 23rd Century shows together, and there’d be great potential for crossovers.

Number 11: Ash Tyler

At the end of Discovery Season 2, Ash Tyler was appointed head of Section 31. The diminished, arguably decimated organisation – in the wake of what happened with the Control AI – will have to be carefully managed, and in addition we really need to see it disappearing and going underground – so that by the time of Deep Space Nine it’s truly in the shadows. But that seems like something to see happen in the upcoming Section 31 series!

If Tyler is included in the Section 31 show, having him appear in Strange New Worlds would be a crossover, tying the two shows together as already mentioned. Something like that makes a lot of sense, and as a character we know Captain Pike knows quite well from his time in the captain’s chair of the USS Discovery, there could be a continuation of that somewhat frosty relationship.

Characters from Discovery seem far more likely than any others to crop up in Strange New Worlds, and though the main crew have left this time period, Tyler and others who remain could be interesting to see return.

Number 12: The prime timeline version of Captain Lorca

I mentioned this when I looked at some story ideas for Strange New Worlds a few weeks ago, but just to recap: the version of Captain Gabriel Lorca that we got to know in Discovery’s first season was in fact from the Mirror Universe. He was killed there while attempting to seize power, so he obviously won’t be coming back. But the prime timeline version of the character still exists – most likely trapped in the Mirror Universe.

While it was suggested in Discovery that Lorca would have been killed shortly after the accident which sent him to the Mirror Universe, that was purely speculation, and as he was known to be a fairly rough character, it’s at least possible he would have survived – even if he ended up incarcerated.

If it were demonstrated to Captain Pike that Lorca is alive, surely he’d want to launch a mission to rescue him! This would make for a great two-part story, and after Lorca has been retrieved he could even go on to be a recurring character in later episodes and seasons of Strange New Worlds.

Number 13: Dr Richard Daystrom

In The Original Series Season 2 episode The Ultimate Computer, Dr Daystrom is the computer scientist who has developed an AI capable of running an entire starship. We’ve seen the Daystrom Institute – which was named in his honour – appear prominently in Star Trek: Picard, so bringing the man himself into Strange New Worlds would be a neat little connection – one of those threads running through the franchise.

While I don’t expect Strange New Worlds to spend much time dealing with the fallout from Discovery’s second season storyline, we could find out that Dr Daystrom was one of the scientists who had worked on the Control AI. His new work on shipboard computers – which will culminate in the M-5 computer seen in The Original Series – could even be a result of seeing how Control went wrong.

Dr Daystrom was a great character in The Original Series. In the 1960s, seeing a black man as a senior scientist was something genuinely different and pioneering, and actor William Marshall played the role expertly. I would love to see a role for him in some way in Strange New Worlds.

Number 14: Arex

This one is a complete long-shot, but we’ve never seen Arex – or indeed any Edosian characters – outside of The Animated Series. The Edosians were a race which had three legs and three arms, and Arex was an Edosian officer who served on the USS Enterprise when it was under Kirk’s command. James Doohan – better known as Scotty – provided the character’s voice. While animating a “tripedal” character was easy, it was prohibitively expensive to try to recreate Arex when Star Trek returned to live-action in the late 1970s, and his character was never mentioned.

Interestingly, Nepenthe – the seventh episode of Star Trek: Picard – mentioned the Kzinti, who were a race only ever seen in The Animated Series. As I wrote when I picked out a couple of episodes from The Animated Series as part of my Ten Great Episodes articles, the show is considered a full part of the Star Trek canon, which means Arex is too.

Today’s special effects – both physical and digital – are much better than they were in the 1970s, and having a character like Arex in a live-action show no longer faces the obstacles it once did.

Number 15: Samuel T Cogley

First encountered by Captain Kirk in The Original Series first season episode Court Martial, the old-fashioned lawyer – based on famous American lawyer Clarence Darrow – is a fascinating character, and one who has seen homage paid to him in the show Futurama. Cogley was based at Starbase 11, where he successfully defended Kirk against an accusation of murder in his court-martial.

Court Martial was the first of a number of Star Trek episodes across multiple series which showed that the franchise can do courtroom drama incredibly well. While I hope Captain Pike won’t need Cogley’s services, someone might – and the result could be another great piece of drama.

Number 16: Colonel Worf

As we saw with returning characters in Deep Space Nine, Klingons are almost as long-lived as Vulcans. Colonel Worf – played by Michael Dorn – was intended to be the grandfather of the Worf we’re most familiar with from The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. The character played a role in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, where he served as the defence attorney for Captain Kirk and Dr McCoy during their rigged trial on Qo’nos.

Discovery’s first season brought back the concept of Klingon Great Houses – and the House of Mogh, to which the more familiar Worf belonged, was certainly among them as of the mid-24th Century. Colonel Worf could have played a role in the Klingon-Federation war, and even if he isn’t the head of his house in this era, he could still have a role in a Klingon-focused episode.

While Michael Dorn wouldn’t be suitable for the role of a much younger Colonel Worf, he could perhaps play his father – our Worf’s great-grandfather. Are you confused yet?

Number 17: Montgomery “Scotty” Scott

There’s a case to be made for practically all of The Original Series main cast having roles in Strange New Worlds. But one character who could be included in some capacity is Scotty. He could be an assistant engineer under Pike’s command – such a long record of service aboard the Enterprise could explain why he was so knowledgeable about the ship and its systems by the time Kirk took over.

The Enterprise needs a chief engineer if Strange New Worlds is to have a similar setup to Star Trek shows of the past. While I wouldn’t necessarily place Scotty in that role, he could certainly be working in engineering in some capacity while Pike was in command. Even if he wasn’t a main character, Scotty could be there in a recurring role; a nice little nod to returning fans, but without doing anything quite as dramatic as has been done with Spock.

Number 18: John Gill

The Original Series had a number of episodes with premises that modern Star Trek almost certainly wouldn’t touch. One of these was Patterns of Force, an episode in which John Gill – a Federation historian and anthropologist – introduces Nazism to a developing planet. At the time Patterns of Force premiered, the prevailing theory that John Gill was said to have been inspired by was that Nazi Germany was a very efficient state – a claim challenged by more recent historical analysis.

While I don’t want to see Gill arguing in favour of Nazism in Strange New Worlds, we could see him engaged in other historical or anthropological research – he was, at the time, one of the Federation’s leading experts in those fields. Pike and the Enterprise could even convey him to Ekos – the planet he’d become führer of.

Number 19: Cadet Sidhu

Cadet Sidhu appeared in the Short Treks episode Ask Not, where she was subjected to an intense test by Captain Pike. After passing the test, she was assigned to a role in engineering aboard the Enterprise.

Ask Not was partly a vehicle for Anson Mount to reprise his popular role as Pike. But almost any story could have been written for that purpose – bringing in a new cadet and assigning her to the Enterprise feels like a deliberate character introduction, and we could certainly see Sidhu return.

Number 20: Admiral Anderson

If you read my write-up of Discovery’s premiere, you’ll know I felt Admiral Anderson’s main scene – in which he makes a charged racial comment to Michael Burnham – was one of the story’s weakest points. However, I’d like to give the character a second chance – not because I like him, but because I think there’s great potential to have an Admiral who’s kind of a jerk.

That character archetype – the self-centred, egotistical power-abuser – is one which practically all of can relate to having had a boss, manager, or teacher like that at some point in our lives. If Anderson had been handled better – and Discovery’s premiere as a whole had been a better story – we could have got that from him then. As it is, maybe we could have another chance.

While Anderson’s ship was destroyed, many escape pods evacuated beforehand so I’d say there’s a better than average chance Anderson was among the survivors. Every Star Trek show has used admirals to great effect in a select number of episodes, and Strange New Worlds will need a senior flag officer at some point in its run. Why not Anderson?

So that’s it. A few characters from past iterations of Star Trek who could – but most likely won’t – appear in Strange New Worlds. There are others, of course, including some I would probably never expect! Star Trek: Picard caught me off-guard by bringing back Seven of Nine and Hugh, two characters I would never have thought the producers of the show would seek to include. Some of the team who worked on Picard are also taking senior roles behind the scenes of Strange New Worlds, which I honestly just think is great. Picard did a great job of walking the line between being something new and bringing back characters and story elements from Star Trek’s past – something I hope Strange New Worlds will do too.

On the whole, I’d say some of Discovery’s characters – like Ash Tyler – are probably more likely than some of the others mentioned on the list to make a return in the new series. But as with Seven of Nine and Hugh in Picard, the producers sometimes like to be unpredictable, and we could see any one of a hundred or more characters make some kind of return – or have no returning characters at all!

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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is currently in early production and will premiere on CBS All Access in the United States in the future. Plans for international distribution have not yet been announced. The Star Trek franchise – including Strange New Worlds and all other properties 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.