As was very clear from the off with Star Trek: Picard, the Next Generation sequel series is not simply a nostalgic retread of familiar ground as the writers have been keen to bring Jean-Luc’s adventures up to date, with season 1 featuring a lot of themes keyed into our contemporary times. The Romulan refugee crisis, for one, obviously parallels a real-life issue. You might be wondering, then, whether the show’s second season will again look to the world around us for inspiration and involve some sort of pandemic storyline.
If Picard himself has anything to say about it, though, then this is not something that’s going to happen. Speaking with CBC, Sir Patrick Stewart was asked about the possibility and maintained that he thinks coming up with some sci-fi version of the coronavirus outbreak would be “too sensitive” to handle as the “frightening” situation isn’t comparable to the political topics the first season explored.
“I would not encourage that. This is a disturbing and frightening and sad time for many thousands of people. I would feel feel uncomfortable if we were to make this a theme of the second season of [Star Trek: Picard]. It is too sensitive, too upsetting, too frightening, than some of the other issues that we have dealt with, which are much more of a political nature.”
On the one hand, this is surprising to hear, as Stewart was the one who pushed for Picard to tackle up-to-the-minute themes, with the bold ideas the writers had come up being what ultimately convinced him to come out of Star Trek retirement for the series. However, you can absolutely see his point that a pandemic storyline would be a lot less tactful than engaging with the politics of the day.
Interestingly, though, if you would like to know how such a storyline would go down, you’re in luck. Vulture has run a feature in which they’ve asked numerous TV writers to pen a plot for an imagined pandemic episode of their shows. And Picard‘s Akiva Goldsman wrote the following Admiral’s log for a fictitious installment of season 2.
“Admiral’s Log. The quarantine stretches on. Essential systems continue to fail. And though many of us are used to long periods of isolation, the prohibition on physical contact, not to mention our inability to leave the ship, is beginning to wear on even the most seasoned members of the crew. Remote communication flourishes — still I am reminded there is no substitute for a direct gaze or the reassurance of a friendly touch. I am emboldened by the crew’s resilience. Despite the hardship, they continue to work their stations; productivity and routine can be an excellent balm on fear. And fear they do, how could they otherwise? The threat we face is real with no immediate end in sight. But that does not make it endless. On the contrary, this period of darkness will end, as surely as it began. Fear will fade to memory. We will survive, stronger, perhaps more aware of the profound connections we have always shared. And a time will come when we once again right this ship and sail forward together into the future, that bright unknown.”
Pretty interesting, eh? Tell us though, what do you want to see in Star Trek: Picard season 2? And is Stewart right about his reaction to a pandemic storyline? Sound off in the comments section below.