Star Trek Picard EP & [SPOILER] Discuss Revisiting "The Voyage Home"
It provides a rare opportunity when Star Trek gets to time travel to contemporary time as the franchise is set in the future. Season two of Picard has Jean-Luc & company go to 2024 to escape the dystopian alternate timeline of the tyrannical Confederation. Their ship in La Sirena finds itself in a bit of disarray following their trip through the sun back to Earth. With limited time remaining on their quest to change the past, they seek the Watcher in hopes to set things back into their proper place. Since the franchise found itself back in modern California, executive producer Terry Matalas thought it would be a great idea to revisit an old friend. This is your minor spoilers warning.
Among the parties split up are Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) and Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd, who find themselves on a Los Angeles bus with a familiar face from Star Trek's past. The two are visibly annoyed by a punk fan with a boombox playing his music out loud. When Seven asks him to shut it off, he defends how he loves the song before complying. That fan is played by none other than Kirk Thatcher, who reprised his role from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home that found him putting up much more resistance on a San Francisco bus Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) are aboard. After the punk fan, who apparently wasn't given an official canon name, flips the captain and first officer off, Spock uses his Vulcan neck pinch to subdue him to the cheers of the other bus patrons. Thatcher and Matalas spoke to TrekMovie about the actor's return to the franchise since the 1986 classic.
"It was one of the first things I had pitched actually," Matalas said. "We loved the idea that maybe this guy migrated from San Francisco to Los Angeles at some point. Now technically, 'Star Trek IV' wouldn't have happened in this alternate timeline, but maybe SOME part of him remembers his encounter with Spock in the Prime Timeline. And it made me chuckle that he'd go up against Seven of Nine. I reached out to Kirk right away, who was absolutely game to return." "I texted Terry back and I said, 'What took so long?' And we had a laugh," Thatcher added. "I met with him and I said I'd love to do it, and that was pretty much it. I was happy. I love that role. It's probably the most famous thing I'm known for. So, it was great."
Matalas broke down on how they recreated his punk look. "It was one of the easiest things to come together actually," he said. "Kirk is a wonderful working director — have you seen his work with the Muppets?! So, making sure he was available was probably the biggest stress. But Kirk had a great take on what our Punk would look like now. It's perfect." Thatcher was also an associate producer on Star Trek IV and composed the punk song for the film and the remake on Picard. "It was just really about chewing gum and bopping along to a song that was playing in my head," he said. "At least this time, I kind of knew what the song was. I was very appreciative of the silliness of the role and how iconic it was. So yeah, it was just kind of a big giggle fest. Everyone had fun. And it was fun to play him again, just sort of that angry guy. But this time, of course, I backed down from flipping them off. So that was an interesting turn. And I actually got a line, which I did not, originally. It was just an ad-lib. I was like, 'Sorry, I just liked that song,' which seemed kind of funny on two different levels.'"
For more including Thatcher's own history with series director Lea Thompson, his follow-up punk song to "I Hate You" he played for the series, why Matalas thinks The Voyage Home still holds up, & more, you can go to TrekMovie. Star Trek: Picard streams Thursdays on Paramount+.