12 Monkeys Guaranteed Todd Stashwick A Spot In Season 3 Of Star Trek: Picard

On "12 Monkeys," the 2015 TV series based on Terry Gilliam's 1995 feature film, actor Todd Stashwick played a character named Theodore Decaon, the leader of a dangerous band of scavengers and outlaws in the year 2043. Deacon only appeared occasionally throughout the show's first season, becoming a proper regular character for its remaining three. "12 Monkeys" was developed by Terry Matalas, who was previous a writer on "Star Trek: Enterprise" and "Nikita," and who would go on to write and/or showrun SYFY's "Blood Drive" and the network's new "MacGyver" series. Matalas is currently the showrunner for the newest season of "Star Trek: Picard." Not incidentally, Stashwick also appears on it. 

On "Picard," Stashwick plays the gruff and plainspoken Capt. Liam Shaw, commander of the U.S.S. Titan-A. Unlike previous starship captains on "Star Trek," Capt. Shaw has no interest in being friendly with his crew. He doesn't establish trust, but demands his orders be followed. Prior to taking command, Capt. Shaw was an engineer, and he seems to prefer a technical, rules-oriented approach to his managerial style. When Picard and Riker (Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes) appear on his ship, hoisting high their status as elder statesmen of Starfleet, Shaw rejects their pomp, refuses their requests, and forces them to sleep in the ensigns' bunks. 

There was no chance that Stashwick wasn't going to appear on "Star Trek: Picard." Not only was he already part of Trek's legacy, having appeared as a Romulan in an episode of "Enterprise," but Matalas has revealed that the part was pretty much written with Stashwick in mind

Capt. Stashwick

In an interview with /Film's Vanessa Armstrong, Matalas admitted that the writers for "Picard" never referred to Capt. Shaw by his character name during brainstorming sessions. The personality of Capt. Shaw, as well as his look and demeanor, were, the showrunner said, ported directly over from his preferred actor. Shaw wasn't just written for Stashwick, but was modeled after him. Matalas said: 

"I think I said it just like that in the room and I go, 'Just imagine Captain Stashwick,' is what I said. So we immediately just ran from there, and there was never anyone else up for the role from that moment forward."

Whatever alchemy was at work, Matalas hit on something wonderful. Stashwick is wonderful in the role, and Capt. Shaw is a character Trekkies are sure to love ... to hate. One might compare Capt. Shaw to Capt. Jellico, the onetime commander of the U.S.S. Enterprise on "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Jellico, played by Ronny Cox, was all business, all confidence, and expected total loyalty. He was a massive change of pace from the ordinarily open-minded and egalitarian Capt. Picard. Jellico and Riker butted heads confidently. At the end of the day, however, Jellico proved that he was capable in a pinch. He simply had a different style. The same is true of Shaw, a self-described a-hole. 

While Capt. Shaw is only a supporting character in this season of "Picard," there may be a chance to see the character more ... under the right circumstances. The third season of "Picard" was announced as its last, but Matalas says to never say die. 

Season 4?

Nothing is set in stone at this point, but if the third season of "Star Trek: Picard" proves popular enough, Terry Matalas is fully prepared to work on more. Ultimately, it will be up to the current executive producer of all things "Star Trek," Alex Kurtzman. No one yet knows how the third season will end, but it seems that there will be no dramatic deaths to stand in the way of continuing certain stories. At least that's the implication. On the off chance that more should be needed, Matalas has ideas at the ready. When EW recently asked him about a potential fourth season, he said: 

"It's up to the television gods. And by that I mean Paramount+ and Alex Kurtzman. [...] There's certainly a desire by me and many of the actors to continue some of these stories. I think the way this season ends, there's a tremendous opportunity. So I'd be lying to say that I don't have a thousand and one ideas ready to go. But you know the nature of television is mercurial. So we'll see."

It's worth remembering that no "Star Trek" series started at its strongest. "Picard" has struggled through two ambitious but poorly written seasons that involved android clones, parallel timelines, and Cthulhu from space. The third season is already shaping up to be excellent, resembling a really good NextGen movie. If the third season is to be seen as the show hitting its stride, rather than its grand finale, more may be possible.

But this, dear readers, is mere speculation.