Star Trek: Picard Season 3: Marina Sirtis Talks Troi, TNG, Dorn & More

Marina Sirtis' Deanna Troi is one of the most versatile characters of the Star Trek franchise. Not only did she serve onboard the U.S.S. Enterprise-D as the ship's counselor on The Next Generation, but Troi generally became the front line when it came to bridging the communication gap between new worlds and species with her abilities as a Betazoid. Her mother, Lwaxana Troi, was played by The Original Series actor Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the wife of franchise creator Gene Roddenberry. Seven seasons and four films later, the TNG crew is ready to embark on at least one last journey through the cosmos in the third and final season of Picard. While promoting her Cold War drama Crossing, Sirtis spoke with Bleeding Cool about what she could share from where Troi's mindset is, some thoughts on who the season's MVP is, and the character's missed opportunity regarding her bridge command on TNG.

Star Trek Picard Marina Sirtis
STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Aaron Epstein/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Troi's Mindset Since Season One of 'Star Trek: Picard'

Bleeding Cool: What can we expect about Deanna Troi's role in the new season?

Sirtis: I can't tell you anything because we've all signed an NDA, and Jesus, I've signed so many NDA I feel like one of Donald Trump's mistresses, which is ridiculous. What I can tell you is that this is 20 years on. We've evolved, and I can tell you that what we saw of Troi in that first season episode of 'Picard' with the last episode of season one and that side of her is much more prevalent now. She's not as sweet as she was [laughs]. She was a little saccharine back in the day. That element has gone because she's now in her 50s. Of course, it's gone. So she's very different. Everyone's character has evolved. I can tell you one thing: the person who knocked it out of the park in season three of 'Picard' is Michael Dorn [Worf]. Knocks it out of the park!

Jonathan Frakes, Patrick Stewart and Marina Sirtis in Star Trek: Picard
Jonathan Frakes as Riker; Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard; Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi  STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Aaron Epstein/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

There's so much untapped potential from the characters.

[Michael] literally peaks. I haven't seen it, but it's what I've heard from those who have the first couple of episodes. He's getting all the reviews, so I'm dying to see it. The one thing I can tell you about it is that the look of it is ridiculous. It's like you're watching a multi-billion dollar movie. It looks amazing. People have been begging for us to come back, and they're going to watch, won't you?


I hope it gets more views than [Prince] Harry and Meghan [Markle]. That would make me really happy when [Picard] drops [laughs]. I think it might.

Star Trek: Picard Season 3: Marina Sirtis Talks Troi, TNG, Dorn & More
Marina Sirtis in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode "Thine Own Self" Image courtesy of Paramount

One of the things I wish 'TNG' expanded upon was Troi's bridge command on the Enterprise since there was an episode dedicated to her path there to be a commander in "Thine Own Self."

That's kind of you & that's very sweet; thank you, and I agree as well. Listen, you have to remember, when we made this, we made this show in the late '80s and early '90s. With #MeToo, all that was just a twinkle in its father's eye. What I always tell people is, "Yes, we were shooting a show that was set in the 24th century, but in the majority, it was being written by 20th-century men." I'm not saying the writing was bad. On the contrary, the writing was great. We were always gobsmacked about how they turned out these amazing scripts week after week in such a short amount of time, but the mentality of that time was very different from what it is now.

So our steps forward as women, you have to look at the progression of women in 'Star Trek.' It was back to 'The Original Series.' It was huge, but Nichelle [Nichols], God rest her, was on the bridge as a regular character, as a black woman. That was groundbreaking, like head explode time, right? Then when you get to us [Gates McFadden and I], you got two women in positions of power, in positions of responsibility, both in the caring professions. One's a doctor, and one's a psychologist. When we get to 'Voyager,' we've got a female captain, and look how far we've come. It's baby steps. Now we have 'Discovery,' which is pretty much all women. It's amazing. You have to remember the time and what the situation and society were at that time.

Star Trek: Picard Season 3: Marina Sirtis Talks Troi, TNG, Dorn & More
Marina Sirtis Image: Paramount+

I can only imagine how many medical professionals have approached you, saying how Troi inspired them to get into psychology.

Whenever we meet the public, it's going to happen so many times "I became a psychologist, therapist, doctor, or social worker because of you." LeVar [Burton] gets, "I became an engineer because of you." I have to be honest, Tom. I'm an actress. I learn my lines, go out there, and try not to bump into the furniture. I never in a million years thought that I would be in a show that would literally impact and change people's lives or the direction their lives took. I feel so bloody humble and privileged. I never imagined when I was at drama school back when dinosaurs walked the earth that I would have people literally bursting into tears when they met me because there were so emotional because I had impacted them so much. It's mind-boggling.

Off Shore Productions' Crossing, which also stars Rudolf Martin, Teri Reeves, Kathleen Gati, Mesrop Tsaghikyan, Alex Veadov, Isidora Goreshter, Lily Vardan, and Ilia Volok, is available on digital. Star Trek: Picard premieres on February 2023 on Paramount+.

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Tom ChangAbout 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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