Thursday, April 18

Picard’ And The Fate Of The Enterprise-E –

The third and final season of Star Trek: Picard was full of legacy characters and legacy ships, but there were even more considered, according to showrunner Terry Matalas.

More Voyager and DS9 cameos considered for season 3

During a Master Replicas Collectors Club Zoom chat in February, Terry Matalas talked about several other characters they had considered for season 3. One example would have reunited Seven of Nine with her grown-up Voyager protégé Naomi Wildman:

“There was an episode once the Titan was on the run and it needed to hide. And so we had this idea of Seven bringing them to sort of like space Tortuga, like spacedock for pirates where the Fenris Rangers were. And she gets help from an older Naomi Wildman who had also followed in her footsteps as a Fenris Ranger and was a badass. But Seven realizes she sort of created a monster because Naomi had become harder than she was. And so it was it was a Seven/Naomi story. We broke the story and we had reached out to the actress who played Naomi [Scarlett Pomers]. But it just didn’t feel—if you had 13 episodes, you were doing this for sure. But if you had 10, you’re like, ‘I need to get to LeVar.’ It’s time to get there.”

Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine and Scarlett Pomers as Naomi Wildman in Voyager “Bliss” (Paramount)

The main plot of season 3 led up to the Federation’s Frontier Day celebration with Starfleet assembled for one big event in episode 9 (“Vox”). That episode featured the return of Elizabeth Shelby (Elizabeth Dennehy) from TNG, but Matalas revealed the original plan was even more ambitious:

“Harry Kim appeared as the captain of the Voyager-B in the first draft of Frontier Day. But Prodigy was telling a lot of Voyager stories and we didn’t know if Harry was going to appear and we didn’t want to step on their toes. But yeah, for me, I would have had as many as we could get. I would have made that Star Trek Avengers: Endgame. I would have made Frontier Day with many ships… I would have Kira [Nerys from DS9] there, even if all you get is a bridge shot. But all of that is very expensive. We were already way too ambitious.”

Garrett Want as an alternate future Captain Harry Kim in Voyager “Endgame” (Paramount)

In the final episode, they’d considered reuniting Seven of Nine with Admiral Janeway, her former captain on the USS Voyager, but again, it was a bit too ambitious:

“We had talked about Janeway, obviously, because her name got dropped a bunch of times. But mostly just because she’s the admiral everybody knew. It would have felt like if we had put Janeway in the in the finale—specifically in the last scene where [Seven] is promoted—that was the original idea, she gets a promotion from Janeway, it might have overwhelmed the scene and made it more about Janeway and less about Seven of Nine. And we couldn’t afford Kate [Mulgrew] even if we wanted to. So it all worked out as it was supposed to.”

Admiral Janeway inProdigy episode 10 (CBS Studios)

The showrunner was happy with how everything worked out and glad to bring back the characters they could. He talked about how there was some pushback from the studio and Paramount+ when it came to his ambitions:

“They got the last two scripts and they were like, ‘How do you?’ We had to start building the Enterprise-D in the second week we turned the key on season 3, because it takes so long. So honestly, the fact that we got away with what we got away with—like Tuvok. I was really glad to get Tuvok, I always loved Tuvok.”

In the end, Tim Russ appeared in two episodes, one as a Changeling infiltrator posing as Tuvok and then as the real Tuvok, who informed Seven of her promotion to captain in the finale.

Tim Russ as Tuvok in “The Last Generation” (Paramount+)

What happened to the Enterprise-E?

Season 3 of Picard had several USS Enterprises. It brought back the USS Enterprise-D from TNG, which Geordi restored at the Starfleet Museum, and introduced the Enterprise-F, commanded by Admiral Shelby on Frontier Day. It also rechristened the USS Titan as the Enterprise-G. What is missing from that list is the USS Enterprise-E featured in the final 3 TNG movies and fully operational at the end of Star Trek: Nemesis. According to canon, after Jean-Luc Picard was promoted to admiral and left the ship to take over the Federation’s efforts to help Romulan refugees, Worf was promoted to captain and given command of the Enterprise-E.

USS Enterprise-E

Picard season 3 was set two decades later and turned the fate of the Enterprise-E into a gag, with Goerdi noting the ship wasn’t available and Worf defensively saying it wasn’t his fault, leaving a mystery. Matalas was asked if he and the writers had worked on what really happened to the E. He said they had ideas but felt it worked better as a gag:

“We had ideas, but in the moment where they’re asking, ‘What about the Enterprise-E?’ it would not have been good for someone to be like, ‘Well, the Battle of duh, duh, duh.’ You are looking at the Enterprise-D! You couldn’t do it and you wouldn’t do it justice, whatever it is. You could say it is in storage or we are repainting it. You could, but I thought, but I thought it was way funnier if they all turned to Worf and he’s like, “It wasn’t my fault.” So everyone is going, “What the hell happened?” That’s way more fun. Somebody can tell that story some day about what happened with Worf and the Enterprise-E but it’s more fun to imagine yourself all the possibilities. Is it lost in an interdimensional rift and it’s still out there somewhere? Was it an accidental self destruct? Who knows? The question is almost better than the answer.”

Perhaps someday the story of the Enterprise-E and why it wasn’t Worf’s fault will be picked up in the books or comics or even on another Trek show.

Worf gets defensive over the Enterprise-E in Picard “Vox”

More from Terry…

See what Terry said about Star Trek: Legacy in his Master Replicas Collector Club chat and check back later for more of what he had to say on roads not taken in Picard seasons 2 and 3.

The Master Replicas Collector Club offers discounts and early access to product releases and more including these members-only Zoom chats with celebrities. The next one will be with Battlestar Galactica star Jamie Bamber.

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