Star Trek: Picard S03: Patrick Stewart, Gates McFadden on TNG Return

As fans got a first look at most of the returning Next Generation characters along with holdovers Seven (Jeri Ryan) and Raffi (Michelle Hurd) for the third and final season of Picard at the Star Trek panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Paramount Plus sat down with stars Sir Patrick Stewart (Jean Luc Picard) and Gates McFadden (Beverly Crusher) on what it was like getting the original Enterprise-D/E crew together again.

Star Trek: Picard Teases Next Gen Characters & More for Season 3
Paramount+

"We're good friends, as we are with the whole of our Next Generation crew. I love these people, and I miss them, and I don't see them often enough," Stewart said. "I mean, we have a group text that we do, all of us. We really are close, and there's such a great sense of humor with everybody," McFadden added. "So, even when we were back together, there's one part of it for me that was like we'd never stopped filming. There was another part that was actually so bittersweet. It was even nicer to be back filming, 'cause we're usually just hanging around drinking, or whatever we do."

Stewart explained that Picard will catch up with everyone on what the years have done to the TNG crew aside from what we've already seen of Jonathan Frakes' Riker & Marina Sirtis' Troi, last seen during the first season. Brent Spiner's Data, which was preserved in Dr. Alton Soong's (Spiner) lab, was erased at the android's request at the end of the opening season.

Star Trek: Picard: Patrick Stewart & Gates McFadden on Continuing TNG
Gates McFadden in Star Trek: Picard. Image courtesy of Paramount+

As far as anything the cast will get to explore in the third season that they didn't get to during TNG, "There were things that I saw from your character [Patrick] that were really rich and new things that I'd never seen. I feel that's very true with the character of Crusher, and even our exploring the tricky relationship was really fascinating, I thought," McFadden said. "It becomes extremely tricky in season three," Stewart emphasized. The two talked about two characters' arcs that stood out.

"Yup. The story is so wonderful for this season, in my opinion," McFadden said. "I love it for all the characters. I think everybody—Worf's [Michael Dorn] character. I think there's so many wonderful things that come out." "There have been incidences and experiences in the space that we are trying to fill when our lives have been transformed, in fact," Stewart added. "When we were meeting one another, we were almost meeting new people. I felt that particularly about Geordi [LeVar Burton] and Worf, particularly about the two of them."

For more, including what Stewart and McFadden think fans will love about the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard, how Star Trek affected their lives & more, you can check out the video in its entirety below:

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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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