Star Trek: Picard season 1 proved that the writers were keen to make it feel as contemporary as possible, despite its far-future setting, with the first batch of episodes of Patrick Stewart’s big comeback show dealing with hot-button themes such as the refugee crisis, racism and terrorism. Given that the world is currently in the grip of a pandemic, you might expect season 2 to dive into that well a little bit. However, it’s been confirmed that this isn’t in the planning yet.
Marc Bernardin has joined Picard for season 2 as its new supervising producer, but you might know him best as the co-host of Kevin Smith’s Fatman Beyond podcast. In the latest episode of the show, the pair discussed the overall impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on film and TV narratives, with Smith asking Bernardin if it’s going to be factored into Picard.
Here’s what he had to say:
“Thus far no. But I think we talked about it last time – the trying to figure out how our lives will be impacted on a long-term basis. And not specifically people who like lost somebody during the pandemic – in the same way not specifically people who lost someone during 9/11 – but how the culture changes. You know I was talking to somebody online the other day, and I was like, ‘Do you actually think that professional sports come back… do you think people are going to show up and fill those arenas anymore? Like, that’s 60,000 people sitting on each other’s laps, all the time. How quickly do you think people are going to get to a point where they’re cool with that?'”
This confirmation that Picard won’t reflect the health crisis, at least in season 2, echoes Stewart’s own opinion on the matter. When asked the same question on a previous occasion, the British actor suggested it would be “too sensitive” a subject to explore on the show as it was something that personally affected all of us, and so was not on the same level as the ethical and political questions raised in season 1.
Bernardin’s argument that the coronavirus pandemic will change our culture and therefore the stories that are told in film and on TV is an interesting one to consider, though. Given its sci-fi nature, Picard may be able to avoid it, but many other series set in the present-day may have to adjust plots in some major ways to account for how the world is altered, even after this period is over.
Star Trek: Picard continues with its second season sometime next year. In the meantime, Star Trek: Discovery airs its third season on CBS All Access later in 2020.