Star Trek: Picard season 2 is in the works, and though there's no release date just yet, there's plenty of information out there to keep us excited about everything to come. Patrick Stewart is back as Jean-Luc Picard in this follow-up to The Next Generation, and season 2 will also see the return of some familiar faces – and show us what's going on with Picard after his synthetic transformation.
We've dived deep into everything there is to know about the second season, including casting details and potential plot points. We've also done our best to guess when we might finally see the next installment in Picard's adventures on Paramount Plus. The good news is, the fresh batch of episodes are being filmed now, and, thanks to Q actor John de Lancie, we also know that season 3 is in the works, too. So, scroll on to check out everything there is to know so far about Star Trek: Picard season 2.
Star Trek: Picard season 2 release date
In another world, we might have already been watching Star Trek: Picard season 2. A second outing for the show was announced in January 2020, before the first had even aired, and it was slated to start shooting last summer.
Then Covid-19 changed everything, and production was put on hold until early 2021. Co-star Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) tweeted in December that cameras were set to roll on February 1, 2021, but there was another delay, and filming began later that month. At least, then, production is ongoing.
With 10-episode's underway and a lengthy and visual effects-heavy post-production to follow (Star Trek: Discovery’s third season wrapped in March 2020, but didn’t make it to TV screens until October), it’s unlikely we’ll see Star Trek: Picard season 2 before 2022. In fact, it seems likely that we’ll be watching the already-in-production Star Trek: Discovery season 4 before Jean-Luc continues his post-Next Generation adventures.
By which time, the show’s US home will have a new name – from March 4, 2021, streaming service CBS All Access will be rebranded as Paramount Plus. Expect to watch Star Trek: Picard season 2 on Amazon Prime Video in other territories.
Star Trek: Picard season 2 trailer
Despite the Star Trek: Picard season 2 being potentially a long way off, we already have our first teaser – though not much is revealed except the return of a certain extra-dimensional being.
"Time can turn even our most impulsive, our most ill-considered actions into history," Picard says. "What we do in a crisis often weighs on us less heavily than what we wish we had done. What could have been.”
Then, as we take a brief tour of Picard's home, a Queen card is seen and then vanishes, leaving behind... Q. Given Picard's time monologue, it stands to reason that we'll be seeing a season-long game between one of Star Trek's best Captains and the nefarious (and hilarious) Q.
Star Trek: Picard season 2 plot
Since Discovery brought Trek back to TV in 2017, the franchise has been prioritizing one-year arcs that are (mostly) wrapped up come the end of the season finale. That means that the main storylines that provided the first year’s narrative thrust – the Romulan crusade to destroy all synthetic life, the reclaimed Borg Cube, Data’s synthetic children, and Picard’s terminal Irumodic Syndrome diagnosis – are more or less done.
The story so far: Data’s android daughter, Soji, had a change of heart, and switched off the beacon summoning advanced synthetic beings ready to wipe out all biological life in the galaxy; the zealots of the Romulan Zhat Vash subsequently abandoned their mission to wipe out the synthetics’ homeworld, Coppelius; the Federation revoked the synth ban that had been in place since an uprising on Mars 14 years earlier in the Star Trek timeline; Picard got the chance to say the tearful farewell to Data he was denied in Star Trek: Nemesis – before Data’s consciousness was deleted once and for all; and although Picard’s human body passed away, his consciousness was downloaded into a new synthetic 'golem' created by Dr Altan Soong – the biological son of Data’s creator, Dr Noonian Soong.
That gave Jean-Luc another shot at life – and an excuse for a second season.
In fact, by the time Picard boards La Sirena to warp off into the sunset with Cristobal Rios, Raffi Musiker, Dr Agnes Jurati, Soji Asha, Elnor and Seven of Nine, the biggest unanswered questions concern the location of duplicitous Romulan agent Narek, and the fate of the reclaimed Borg Cube – and the rehabilitated Borg, or xBs, on board – downed on the surface of Coppelius.
So what do we know for sure? Season 1 showrunner Michael Chabon told an Instagram fan Q&A (via TrekMovie) that Jurati "will put herself in the hands of the law" after she murdered her former mentor/lover, Dr Bruce Maddox. He also said that the romance between Raffi and Seven, hinted at in the finale, will be explored in Star Trek: Picard season 2.
Then there’s the not insignificant fact that Picard is not quite the man he used to be, having had his expired human body replaced by a newer synthetic model. "Whatever the implications are going to be for Picard having this new body, all of that is going to be part of [his] way of thinking going forward," Chabon told the Hollywood Reporter.
"I wanted to know exactly what they had done to me when they saved [Picard]’s life," Patrick Stewart said in an interview with Gold Derby. "Was there any chance that this might have an impact on Picard’s personality or behavior? [Executive producers Terry Matalas and Akiva Goldsman] felt it probably wouldn’t, but it lies there as an option should we need to take it. But also there is another human aspect being introduced in season 2, which I am not allowed to talk about. But it’s going to have, I think, quite an impact."
Who – or what – could that "human aspect" be? It could be someone entirely new, though we suspect it’ll either be a familiar face, or someone connected to Picard and his past. Because if there’s one thing you can say about the current generation of Star Trek TV shows, it’s that they have a penchant for diving deep into existing canon. And seeing as there have already been five decades of storytelling on the final frontier, Picard won’t be short of options on his next mission. Could someone else be joining him and John de Lancie's returning Q?
The story of the former Borg and their Cube (aka the Artifact) certainly seems unfinished – their welfare is sure to be a priority for Picard himself and Seven of Nine, both former members of the Collective. "We shot a scene intended to show Ramdha and other xBs beginning to form a kind of community with the synths under the auspices of [Dr Altan] Soong," Chabon said in his Instagram Q&A. "In the end, we couldn’t find a place for it that worked and we felt that losing it didn’t hurt too much. Maybe we were wrong!" But remember, if it didn’t happen on screen, it’s not canon…
Star Trek: Picard season 2 could also bring back the Borg Queen who assimilated Picard, after it was strongly hinted in season 1 episode 6, ‘The Impossible Box’, that she’d done a runner with a spatial trajector. It’s conceivable she’ll return to the Alpha Quadrant to reclaim all those lost drones.
Picard also has history with the Klingons, the Cardassians and practically every other race Starfleet has faced, so pretty much anything seems on the table at this point. Star Trek: Picard season 2 could even pick up the story of Deep Space Nine antagonists the Dominion – let’s face it, it’s more likely than an extended stay on the pleasure planet of Risa.
"[Picard] has no idea where he is at because he has no idea what the future now might hold for him," Stewart told the official Star Trek: Picard podcast (via Deadline). "He has pulled off a very, very successful mission throughout the first 10 episodes of season 1. And he feels that therefore he can be certain that his abilities have not become fractured. His skills as an ambassador, as a negotiator, as a decision-maker are still present. I think he is actually excited by the ignorance that he feels about the future. He doesn’t know, and he would rather be at the point of undertaking something he doesn’t know anything about than sitting on the veranda at his vineyard in France."
John de Lancie also confirmed on Cameo that season 3 is in the works, and revealed
how many episodes of season 2 he's set to appear in: "Q is coming back. As a matter of fact, for the last two weeks I have been filming on Picard and really annoying Picard – really annoying him. [laughs] Patrick was delighted to see me for the first couple of days and after a couple of more days of really annoying scenes, he said, "So, how many episodes are you doing?" In other words, 'When are you going to get out of my face?' And the answer is six episodes. I think they are going to be coming out – actually I don't know. But we are shooting season two and three all at the same time right now." (Via TrekMovie)
Star Trek: Picard season 2 cast
As well as Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc himself, we can expect returns for Isa Briones as Data’s 'daughter' Soji Asha, Santiago Cabrera as La Sirena captain Cris Rios, Michelle Hurd as Picard’s former Starfleet colleague Raffi Musiker, Alison Pill as cybernetics expert Dr Alison Jurati, and Evan Evagora as Elnor, a warrior raised by the Qowat Milat, a Romulan sect who believe in 'absolute candor'.
In fact, it looks like the only series regular who won’t be back in the Star Trek: Picard season 2 cast is Harry Treadaway, who played Romulan Zhat Vash agent Narek. "I think we may have said goodbye to Harry Treadaway," Stewart told Gold Derby, "which I am very disappointed about, because I enjoyed working with him so much." (The door may still be open for a return, however – Chabon said on his Instagram Q&A that Narek was "a casualty of the editorial process, alas. The intention was for him to be taken into Federation custody." He could still be out there, looking to mess with Soji’s head…)
Jeri Ryan’s Seven of Nine is definitely back in action, and may have an even bigger role to play this time out, seeing as she was seemingly part of La Sirena crew when the credits roll on the season 10 finale. Chabon’s also strongly hinted that Picard’s Romulan housekeepers, Laris and Zhaban (Orla Brady and Jamie McShane) will return – though we can’t find any confirmation of more screentime for Picard’s dog, Number One.
For fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation, however, the biggest question concerns how many of Picard’s classic Enterprise crew will cross paths with their former captain. We’ve already met older versions of Captain William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Commander Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) – in season 1 episode 7, 'Nepenthe' – and Picard may well pay them another visit, if only to find out how Riker’s getting on with his wood-fired pizza oven? Seeing as Frakes is already on board as a season 2 director, a cameo shouldn’t be too difficult to arrange.
John de Lancie has also revealed on Cameo that he's worked with Frakes: "I am back into the Star Trek Universe. I am doing Picard right now with – of all people – Mr Picard. So, that's been great fun. It's been great fun to see Patrick, to see Brent [Spiner], and to see Jonathan [Frakes]. I am going to be working with Jonathan coming up here in a couple of weeks. So, it's great fun." (via TrekMovie) This could just refer to Frakes directing, though.
De Lancie has apparently confirmed Spiner's return, even though the actor says he’s played Data for the last time. While Spiner told TV Guide that, "I wouldn't really entertain the idea of doing [Data] again because I just don't think it would be realistic," he is up for returning as Dr Altan Soong – indeed, one of the reasons for creating the younger Soong was to make it possible for Spiner to come back in Star Trek: Picard season 2. Interestingly, de Lancie also said on Cameo that he'll be filming a scene with Data: "I am on the next season of Picard. And Sir Patrick and I have had a whole bunch of scenes, which we thoroughly enjoyed working with each other. I have got one coming up with Data on this coming Tuesday. So yeah, we are moving along." How exactly that will play out is unclear – though there's a chance de Lancie meant Soong rather than Data. This series seems to involve a time travel aspect, so that could be the key to Data's return, however.
Working through the old bridge crew, LeVar Burton (Geordi LaForge) told Entertainment Tonight (via Space) that "I think it’s reasonable to assume that those people are [still] part of Picard’s life," before adding: "I think you’ll see us all. [...] Probably not all at the same time. Although, you know, you never say never." (He also revealed that he’s suggested to the producers that, "we find Geordi in a position where he’s teaching, passing his knowledge onto other people.") However, it doesn't seem that we'll be seeing Burton in season 2 – the actor said on The View that: "I can say unequivocally that I am not doing season two of Picard." He added of a chance to return in the future: "I believe it's reasonable, in fact practical, to assume that Picard still knows these people... I think we might see some more of his friends, at least I hope we do, before this is all over."
Gates McFadden, AKA Picard’s former love interest, Dr Beverly Crusher, is up for a return, telling a GalaxyCon panel in June 2020 (via TrekMovie), "There’s a good chance," she’ll be back, though "I have no contract signed."
The one Enterprise crew member sowing seeds of doubt is the man who’s appeared in more Star Trek episodes than anybody. Michael Dorn played Starfleet’s resident Klingon Worf through seven seasons of The Next Generation, four seasons of Deep Space Nine, and four movies, but says he’d be reluctant to wear those famous forehead prosthetics again for a mere cameo.
"I’m only interested in if it’s something really interesting," Dorn told Inverse. "If the character was a major part of the franchise or whatever the show is. He’s not just going to show up, beat somebody up, and then go home."
We wouldn’t be surprised if we also see Wil Wheaton back as Wesley Crusher – especially as Wheaton already hosts Picard after show The Ready Room – while we know for sure that Whoopi Goldberg will be back as bartender/unofficial ship’s counselor Guinan.
"It’s amazing," Chabon told the Hollywood Reporter. "I’ve gone back to rewatch some of the more key Guinan episodes from Next Gen, the major Picard and Guinan moments. She’s such an amazing actor. I can’t wait."
She'll likely lock horns once again with her old sparring partner Q, the god-like entity who’s been testing Picard since the beginning of The Next Generation – actor John De Lancie has already cameoed in animated show Lower Decks, and has confirmed his return here.
There’s also a possibility of returns for Starfleet officers from other ships in the TNG era. Kathryn Janeway appeared as an admiral in the Enterprise crew’s final adventure, Nemesis, and Kate Mulgrew is reprising the role in kids’ cartoon Star Trek: Prodigy – maybe she’ll get a live-action cameo in Star Trek: Picard season 2?
As for the USS Enterprise, fans are desperate to see the latest iteration of the most famous ship in Starfleet – presumably on its F or G model by now. (The Enterprise was conspicuous by its absence when Riker led a giant armada of Starfleet vessels to Coppelius.)
"I don’t know for sure because we’ve gone back and forth," Chabon said in a Hollywood Reporter interview. "I think you’ll just have to wait and see. [We didn’t include it in the season 1 finale because] it would have been such a throwaway [moment] and it doesn’t seem right to give the Enterprise a throwaway. If you’re going to do the Enterprise, you do the Enterprise."
Now that you're all caught up on Star Trek: Picard season 2, make sure to read all about Star Trek: Discovery season 4.