The second voyage of "Star Trek: Picard" launches on Paramount Plus arrives today, March 3, and eager fans will be experiencing a bit of temporal distortion as Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the crew of the La Sirena whip back to Earth of the year 2024 to try and correct the timeline as a final test for humanity orchestrated by the cosmic trickster known as Q (John de Lancie).
This year's showrunners for the 10-episode outing are Akiva Goldsman ("Lost in Space," "A Beautiful Mind") and Terry Matalas (SyFy's "12 Monkeys").
Besides de Lancie's mercurial character, Trekkies will also catch glimpses of more returning personalities such as Whoopi Goldberg's Guinan and Annie Wersching’s seductive Borg Queen.
Other main cast members include Brent Spiner, Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Orla Brady, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, and Jeri Ryan, who portrays the ex-Borg drone Seven of Nine. If you're wondering how to watch the Star Trek show, check out our streaming guide for Star Trek: Picard.
To prime viewers for Picard Season 2, sci-fi enthusiasts at SFX Magazine, a sister publication of Space.com, scored an exclusive chat with Seven of Nine herself, Jeri Ryan, in its March issue for the show's launch. Here she lays out the stellar map for this sophomore effort and what romantic twists and internalized story points her character’s fate might experience on this time-altering Earthbound mission
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Ryan reveals that for her, the time travel narrative was very different and made it simpler to confront the task of filming a series during an ongoing pandemic and all its mandates and restrictions.
"So the whole cast as a group was not together for most of the season, we were split up into pairs, so Michelle’s [Hurd] character and my character were together basically all season, and we had a ball!" Ryan tells SFX Magazine. "We were shooting in downtown Los Angeles, present day, which was very, very different for Star Trek. The practical challenges that come with that, of trying to keep things under wraps before that news had broken, when we're literally shooting during rush hour on the streets of downtown Los Angeles."
One of the most intriguing elements to contend with for Seven of Nine this season is her visible transformation as a result of the scripts’ century-hopping plot and what emotional conflicts it inevitably stirs up.
"Her Borg implants are gone – she wakes up and she’s human, she's fully human," Ryan explains. "That's the biggest part of Seven's journey in season two, learning how to reconcile her half-Borg nature and her human nature and experience what life might have been like had she remained human."
Another seismic shift in Seven of Nine's relationship with Raffi (Michelle Hurd) this year is their blossoming romance, which adds an entire new dimension to the Human/Borg hybrid. This particular creative suggestion apparently originated from Ryan and Hurd themselves.
"It was actually Jonathan Del Arco, who played Hugh, and Michelle," she explains. "I sort of dropped a seed and then they picked it up and ran to the producers with it. We were at the network party at Comic-Con and we took a picture together, Michelle and I, that Johnny took. I said: "Well, there's the hottest lesbian couple that never existed" and they both went "Oh my god, that's it. That’s perfect!" They grabbed the phone and ran to Michael Chabon and his wife, and pitched the idea and they loved it.
"This is a relationship with two very damaged people who are trying to figure out if they can heal themselves enough to actually be together, if that makes sense. It's an unusual thing, in "Star Trek," to pick up in the middle of a relationship. This is not the beginnings and the flirtation and all of that – you see that just for a glimmer in the finale of season one. Then there's a time-cut, and we're dropped into the middle of this relationship."
Ryan expresses great relief in comparing the tough production schedule during her days on "Star Trek: Voyager" to the more streamlined, easier shooting routine of "Star Trek: Picard."
"It's different in so many ways," Ryan notes. "We're doing a 10-episode season as opposed to a 26-episode season. The hours are much more civilised. [Laughs] I had a handful of 20-hour days on 'Voyager,' including make-up and prosthetic removal and things like that. That was a brutal schedule. It's a happy set, it's fun to be around. We're all excited to be there. It’s been very, very refreshing and really cool to revisit this character again and to see her interact with these other characters.”
"Star Trek: Picard" Season 2 premieres on Paramount Plus on March 3 and internationally on Amazon Prime Video starting March 4. If you need a refresher on the entire Trek franchise, check out our Star Trek streaming guide.