Star Trek: Patrick Stewart Talks Season 2 Regrets, TNG Reunion & More

Before the streaming era, Sir Patrick Stewart was used to filming 20+ episodes on the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Things have considerably changed in that time with Paramount+ opting to have 10-episode seasons for the sequel series Star Trek: Picard. The actor was able to unload on the developments of the second season while having to film the third season back-to-back with the TNG cast back into the fold. Stewart spoke withThe Hollywood Reporter about the grueling shooting schedule, having to film during the pandemic, his journey with John de Lancie's Q, and delving into his TNG past.

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Pictured: Patrick Stewart as Picard of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

"It was tough. You know, we were set up to go with season two when the pandemic broke out, so we were shut down and sidelined," Stewart said on what happened on the Star Trek set. "About after eight months, I was called up and told, 'Look, here's the plan: We've lost a lot of time and we need to record both seasons two and three back-to-back.' Normally, there is a long break between a season's shooting. But we wrapped season two at about 7 p.m. and started season three at 7 a.m. the next morning. We worked for about 14 months, continually. It was thrilling and exciting much of the time, but it was also for me — who I would imagine is more than double the age of anybody else in this series… tough. (Laughs.)"

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Pictured: Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard and John de Lancie as Q of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

Stewart recalled the final scene he shot with de Lancie in the season two finale "Farewell". "I watched the episode for the first time this morning, and I was so deeply moved by those scenes with John de Lancie and the content of those scenes because he was making himself, as a character, vulnerable," he recalled. "John can bring complexity to the simplest line. I mean that as a compliment. I'm envious. His whole attitude and the things he was saying and his gentleness and sensitivity, it choked me up." The two go back to TNG's premiere episode in 1987's "Encounter at Farpoint". "And then when we came to the moment when [Borg Queen] Alison Pill took off her mask. We had this curious angle shot, rather low into her face, looking up into her eyes. I'm afraid I began to weep, it was so touching. Because, of course, it meant that I was saying goodbye to John and to Alison, who are both wonderful actors."

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Pictured: Allison Pill as Jurati of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

Pill, Santiago Cabrera, Isa Briones, and Evan Evagora are all departing the Star Trek series for season three. Orla Brady, who played Laris/Tallinn, hasn't confirmed her status. Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) and Michelle Hurd (Raffi) confirmed their return leaving Raffi as the only original character created for the series to return as Ryan reprised her role from Star Trek: Voyager. Stewart broke down what Picard allowed him to do the things he couldn't do on TNG.

Star Trek: Patrick Stewart Talks Season 2 Regrets, TNG Reunion & More
Pictured: Dillon Von Halle as Young Picard of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

"My only regret is that once Jean-Luc revealed those hidden facts about his childhood to us, I almost wished we could immediately put him back on the bridge of the Enterprise to hear and see what the impact this revelation had on him. But we couldn't do that. There are so many emotional complexities in this whole series that we did not investigate much in 'Next Generation', he said. "I grew up in a violent home and over the years, thanks to lots of very expensive American therapy, it's something that I think I've come to terms with. But the harm that it could do while it was being compressed and kept out and kept back and not acknowledged, it was very dark. I realized this was the same with Jean-Luc. Now, if you watched episodes nine and 10, you will hear that my voice sounds different. Whenever smoke is used onstage, I have to make a protest because — I know it's not poisonous, it's not going to harm — it gets onto the vocal cords. I particularly suffer badly from this. And it made me a little hoarse. So, at first, we were going to rerecord a lot of what I said, but I urged [executive producer] Akiva [Goldsman] and my fellow producers not to do that because the weakness in my voice was reflecting the weakness in the character."

Star Trek: The Next Generation (Image: ViacomCBS)
Star Trek: The Next Generation (Image: ViacomCBS)

Stewart will be joined by TNG castmates Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, and Gates McFadden. Frakes and Sirtis appeared in season one while Spiner played multiple roles in both seasons. Wil Wheaton made a cameo during the Picard season two finale and remains coy for season three. For more on Stewart's thoughts on the Picard-centered TNG episode "Tapestry" & the bond he still shares with the TNG cast, check out the full interview here.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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