It’s all hands on deck for Jean-Luc Picard and his old Enterprise crew in an extended teaser trailer for Star Trek: Picard that debuted during New York Comic Con this weekend. We also got a short first-look teaser for Star Trek: Discovery’s fifth season, currently in production, as well as a midseason trailer for the animated series, Star Trek: Prodigy.
(Some spoilers below.)
As fans well know by now, Discovery is set 20 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. The first season’s notable guests included Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis, reprising their roles as William Riker and Deanna Troi, sparking rumors about the possible return of other Star Trek: The Next Generation characters. Patrick Stewart personally invited Whoopi Goldberg to reprise her role as Guinan in S2, with John DeLancie also returning as Q, keen to stage one last trial with his old friend Jean-Luc. We even saw the of the Borg Queen (now played by Annie Wersching), and the briefest of cameos by Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton).
At the end of the season, we said goodbye to three main cast members: Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill), who became the new Borg Queen; Chris Rios (Santiago Cabrera), who chose to stay on Earth in a past alternate timeline with the woman he fell in love with; and the Romulan Elnor (Evan Evagora), who was shot and eventually died early in in S2, but turned up alive in the final moments of the finale in a new timeline.
Those farewells cleared the stage for the third and final season, because this time the showrunners have pulled out all the stops in the name of fan service. In April, Paramount+ confirmed that LeVar Burton (Geordie LaForge), Michael Dorn (Worf), and Gates McFadden (Beverly Crusher) would reprise their TNG roles, along with Frakes and Sirtis. Brent Spiner reprised his role as Data in S1 before morphing into Data’s creator, the human cyberneticist Dr. Noonien Soong from S2. In the third season, Spiner will reprise his role as Lore, a prototype android and Data’s “brother” first introduced in TNG. I guess his deactivation in the TNG S7 premier wasn’t “permanent” after all. Daniel Davis will also return to guest star as the holographic Professor Moriarty (“Elementary, My Dear Data,” “Ship in a Bottle”).
New cast members include Mica Burton (daughter to LeVar) as Ensign Alandra La Forge and Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut as Sidney La Forge, conn officer of the USS Titan—both Geordie’s children. We’re also getting a brand new villain for S3: Vadic (Amanda Plummer), captain of an alien ship called the Shrike. Judging by the teaser trailer, Vadic has a major grudge against Picard and his crew and seems hellbent on exacting revenge not just on him, but Starfleet as a whole.
The trailer opens with Picard just trying to enjoy a quiet evening meal in peace, when he is interrupted by emissaries. We learn he has received a distress call form Beverly Crusher: “We are being hunted.” Enter Vadic, who wastes no time opening fire on Picard and his ship, chortling with glee at the ensuing damage. That’s reason enough to bring back the old crew, although a reluctant Worf informs everyone that he now prefers pacifism to combat. (“We’re all gonna die,” Riker sighs.) Geordie also seems less than thrilled at the prospect. But Vedic is sufficiently menacing to overcome that reluctance. “We will scorch the earth under which he stands and the night will brighten with the ashes of the Federation,” Vedic declares, picking bits of scenery out of her teeth. “But first we will have vengeance.”
The third and final season of Star Trek: Picard will premiere on Paramount+ on February 16, 2023.
Star Trek: Discovery
The fourth season of Star Trek: Discovery wrapped a two-season arc set in the distant future. As I’ve written previously, in S3 Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), Discovery, and her crew arrived in the future and were relieved to find that life still existed. But the galaxy was very different thanks to something called The Burn, a catastrophic event that caused all the dilithium in the Milky Way to explode and destroy much of Starfleet in the process. In the aftermath, with no warp drive possible, all the planets had become disconnected and were no longer governed by the Federation.
The Discovery crew reunited with what was left of Starfleet, figured out what caused The Burn, and managed to defeat a rival syndicate known as the Emerald Chain. In the S3 season finale, planets were beginning to rejoin the Federation—although Earth remained reluctant—and Discovery set out to bring dilithium from a nebula to planets that had been cut off by the Burn, presumably resurrecting the warp drive and enabling travel between distant worlds once again. Burnham finally became captain of Discovery.
In S4, Captain Burnham and her crew faced a devastating “gravitational anomaly” five light years in diameter moving through the galaxy—powerful enough to destroy Book’s (David Ajala) home planet of Kwejian in the very first episode. Book’s devastation and grief led him to make some questionable choices and strained his relationship with Burnham. Eventually we learned that the anomaly had been created by a new alien species, 10-C, with connected minds and a communication method beyond the scope of the crew’s universal translators. Burnham et al. ultimately saved the day, and Earth finally rejoined the Federation.
Judging by the first look from NYCC, the fifth season will kick of a new and rather different storyline: a space-based treasure hunt that seems to have a bit of an Indiana Jones vibe—including a mysterious wooden puzzle box. “The greatest treasure in the known galaxy is out there,” David Cronenberg’s Kovich tells Burnnham as the teaser opens. “What are you waiting for?” Of course she responds with an enthusiastic “Let’s fly.” Said treasure is an “ancient power” lost for centuries, and Burnham and her crew aren’t the only ones searching for it. Two of those rivals are a pair of former couriers turned criminals: L’ak (Elias Toufexis) and Moll (Eve Harlow). Also joining the cast this season is Callum Keith Rennie as Starfleet Captain Rayner, described as being on the gruff side (if course).
The fifth season of Star Trek: Discovery is slated for release in early 2023.
Star Trek: Prodigy
As we’ve reported previously, the computer-generated animated series, Star Trek: Prodigy, is aimed at a younger audience, and centers on a “motley crew of young aliens” living in the Tars Lamora prison colony in the Delta Quadrant. They stumble upon the USS Protostar, an abandoned Starfleet ship, and decide it’s the perfect vessel to get them to the Alpha Quadrant. The series is set in 2383 and takes place after the events of Star Trek: Voyager. Kate Mulgrew voices Captain Kathryn Janeway—or rather, the ship’s Emergency Training Hologram, who teaches the crew how to navigate the ship through the vastness of space.
Brett Gray voices teen maverick Dal, who takes on the role of captain; Angus Imrie voices a non-corporeal energy-based lifeforms named Zero; Ella Purnell plays a Vaunt N’Akat named Gwyn; Jason Mantzoukas voices the Tellarite Jankom Pog; Rylee Alazraqui voices an animal-loving eight-year-old named Rok-Tahk; Dee Bradley Baker voices an indestructible blob named Murf; John Noble voices Gwyn’s tyrannical father, colony leader the Diviner; and Jimmi Simpson voices the Diviner’s robotic enforcer, Drednok.
We haven’t had any new episodes since that cliffhanger midseason finale on Feb 3 (later airing on Nickelodeon on August 5). The Diviner sent a message to the Protostar and her motley crew, offering to free the remaining prisoners at Tars Lamora in exchange for the return of the ship. Dal and the rest of the crew tricked the Diviner, who turned out to be someone sent from the future to prevent his people’s destruction. Apparently civil war broke out upon first contact with Starfleet, and the Diviner had a plan to destroy Starfleet with the Protostar. He was driven mad when Zero revealed their true form, and ended up in exile on Tars Lamora. Meanwhile, Dal and his crew rescued the colony’s miners and headed toward Federation space. And we learned they were being tracked by none other than the real Captain Janeway on the USS Dauntless.
As the trailer opens, we’re told that it’s been weeks since the Protostar and her crew left Tars Lamora for good, and it’s looking like everyone’s dream of finding a place where they are truly accepted is on the brink of coming true (“We wanna join Starfleet!”). But the Federation doesn’t seem to be all that welcoming as Janeway insists that whoever stole the Protostar must be stopped. “The real me is hunting us?” hologram Janeway observes. “Good luck with that.” Clearly they can’t go and join Starfleet, but the crew decides they can still help others. And more wacky hijinks will no doubt ensue.
Star Trek: Prodigy returns to Paramount+ for the second half of its first season on October 27, 2022. A second season is already in production.
Listing image by YouTube/Paramount+