This Thursday, “Star Trek” boldly went where it once went with the second official “Star Trek Day” celebration. To celebrate the franchise’s five ongoing shows and the 56th anniversary of the first episode of the original series, Paramount+ held a special event at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles to reveal news about ongoing shows such as “Discovery,” “Picard”, “Strange New Worlds” and “Lower Decks”. The event, hosted by “Lower Decks” cast members Tawny Newsome and Paul F. Tompkins with red carpet interviews by “Discovery’s” Mary Chieffo and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Jackie Cox. The day was filled with cast panels, special sneak peaks at upcoming seasons of the shows, and a tribute to the recently departed Nichelle Nichols. Here’s everything you need to know about what happened at the event.
“Star Trek: Picard”
The third and final season of “Star Trek: Picard” will debut Feb. 16, Paramount+ revealed Thursday during the streamer’s “Star Trek Day” festivities, along with a new season teaser featuring the return of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” original cast.
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The video, which can be seen below, includes a first look at the show’s new starship led by Patrick Stewart, the USS Titan, as well as hints at the central story, which appears to involve the crew of the old bridge of the USS Enterprise-D. they rally to support Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), who appears to be in mortal danger.
The 10-episode season of “Picard” stars Stewart reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard, which he played for seven seasons on “The Next Generation,” and follows Picard in his next — and likely final — chapter. Stewart and McFadden are joined by LeVar Burton (as Geordi La Forge), Michael Dorn (as Worf), Jonathan Frakes (as Will Riker), Marina Sirtis (as Deanna Troi), Brent Spiner (as has not been revealed), Jeri Ryan (as Seven of Nine) and Michelle Hurd (as Raffi Musiker) round out the cast.
During a panel discussion with Ryan and Hurd, Stewart pushed back against calling the season just a “reunion,” saying the story is much heavier and more serious than it might imply.
“It’s not a reunion,” Stewart said. “It’s a meaningful gathering of all the most essential elements of ‘Star Trek: the Next Generation’ coming together to do what they do best.”
Terry Matalas is executive producer and showrunner for this season of “Picard,” along with executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman, Stewart, Heather Kadin, Aaron Baiers, Rod Roddenberry, Trevor Roth, Doug Aarniokoski and Dylan Massin. “Picard” comes from CBS Studios in association with Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment.
Watch the teaser for “Star Trek: Picard” Season 3 below.
“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”
Oscar-nominated actress Carol Kane (“The Princess Bride,” “Hunters”) is joining “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” for its second season in a recurring role as Pelia. According to an official release from Paramount+, the character is “highly educated and intelligent” and “doesn’t suffer fools.” The character is likely meant to replace Enterprise engineer Hemmer (Bruce Horak), who died giving his life to save his colleagues in episode 9 of the first season.
“It adds a color to ‘Star Trek’ that no one has seen before,” Rebecca Romijn said during the announcement. “It’s incredible and we’re thrilled to have him on our team.”
Romijn announced the casting during a chat with “Strange New Worlds” cast members Celia Rose Gooding, Jess Bush, Christina Chong, Melissa Navia and Babs Olusanmokun. They also premiered an exclusive clip from Season 2, which focuses on Navia’s character, Lt. Ortegas. watch below.
“Star Trek: Discovery”
In anticipation of the current flagship series “Star Trek: Discovery’s” fifth season, cast member Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber) gave fans a behind-the-scenes tour of the show’s set. During the tour he met other members of the “Discovery” crew, including Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham) and Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets). Watch the video below.
In addition, the showrunners released a first photo of the fifth season, which is scheduled to premiere in early 2023. Check it out below.
“Star Trek: Lower Decks”
During a panel for the animated comedy series “Lower Decks,” Newsome (Beckett Mariner), Noël Wells (D’Vana Tendi) and Thompkins revealed an exclusive clip from the ongoing third season episode 8, which will air on October 13. See below.
During the panel, Newsome, Wells and Thompkins talked about working together on the animated series and connecting with the voice acting cast. Newsome, who will appear in a live-action episode of “Strange New Worlds,” made an episode that will follow one of the films in the franchise.
“Give us a live-action movie, cowards!” Newsome said during the panel.
“Star Trek: Prodigy”
Billy Campbell will reprise his role from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” as Thadium Okona in the animated series “Star Trek: Prodigy,” which will premiere midseason on Oct. 27 on Paramount+. Campbell first played Okona, a rogue space captain, 34 years ago in a Season 2 episode of “The Next Generation.” in “Prodigy,” he will meet the young crew of the USS Protostar and serve as a less-than-stellar mentor.
The announcement of Campbell’s appearance in ‘Prodigy’ was made during a panel with Kate Mulgrew (Hologram Kathryn Janeway) and Brett Gray (Dal) accompanied by a clip from the series, which also featured the transformation of beloved character Murf . You can watch the clip below.
Along with the main cast of Mulgrew, Gray, Ella Purnell (Gwyn), Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk), Angus Imrie (Zero), Jason Mantzoukas (Jankom Pog), Dee Bradley Baker (Murf), John Noble (The Diviner) and Jimmi Simpson (Drednok), Campbell joins guest voice actors Robert Beltran (reprising his “Star Trek: Voyager” role as Capt. Chakotay), Daveed Diggs (Commander Tysess), Jameela Jamil (Ensign Asencia) and Jason Alexander (Doctor Noum).
Executive producers and showrunners Kevin and Dan Hageman developed the series.
Tribute to Nichelle Nichols
Near the end of the live stream, the “Star Trek” stars gathered for a tribute to the show’s original cast member Nichelle Nichols, who died in July at age 89.
Nichols, who played communications officer Uhura in the show’s first three seasons and in six of the series’ film sequels, was one of the first major black actors in a major television series and one of the first to be portrayed in a role of authority. Her impact was so remarkable that Martin Luther King Jr. famously convinced her to stay on the show, and she has been cited as an inspiration for black actresses like Whoopi Goldberg and astronauts like Mae Jemison. After her pioneering role, she spent decades volunteering to recruit women and people of color to NASA.
After a moment of silence, Rose Gooding, who plays a younger version of the character in “Strange New Worlds,” took the stage to talk about Nichols and present a video tribute to the actor.
“I stand on the shoulders of Nichelle Nichols not only in portraying the character she originated and embodied, but in following a path she blazed for black women and black women on screen and off,” Gooding said. “As I sit on the bridge of the Enterprise, I feel her presence, see her influence on those who knew her, and try to carry the grand legacy into the future she wanted for us all.”
“Star Trek” podcasts.
During the ceremony, it was confirmed that the official “Star Trek” podcast The Pod Directive will return for Season 3, with Newsome and Thompkins returning as hosts. In addition, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” writer Nicholas Meyer announced the first “Star Trek” scripted podcast, “Star Trek: Khan – Ceti Alpha V,” which will cover the 15 years between of the iconic ‘Trek’ villain. Khan Noonien Singh was deposited on the planet Ceti Alpha V by Capt. Kirk (in the original “Star Trek” episode “Space Seed”) and rediscovered during the events of “The Wrath of Khan”.
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