Todd Stashwick's Favorite Patrick Stewart Memory From The Star Trek: Picard Set

Captain Liam Shaw, played by Todd Stashwick on the third season of "Star Trek: Picard," has rapidly become a favorite of Trekkies everywhere. Unlike the aloof-yet-diplomatic Captain Picard, the no-nonsense Captain Sisko, or the family-friendly authoritarian Captain Janeway, Shaw is brusque, unfriendly, and even a bit of a jerk, more willing to adhere to protocol than listen to his crew. He's the kind of boss you hope you never have to work under. He's also not necessarily an incompetent starship captain and will follow whatever course of action that keeps his crew safe. Naturally, Trekkies have been quick to suggest that Captain Shaw and his crew be given their own spin-off TV series. Whether or not "Star Trek: Titan" ever appears remains to be seen, but the current season of "Picard" has not yet concluded, so many viewers are holding their breath, hoping that Shaw and his crew survive to the end. 

Stashwick has been very open about how much fun he had playing Shaw, and how astonishing it was to act alongside legacy "Star Trek" actors like Patrick Stewart, Jeri Ryan, Brent Spiner, and Jonathan Frakes. Indeed, in a recent interview with Collider, Stashwick recalls a heart-exploding moment where he realized that he had attained the rare honor of being a "Star Trek" character. Trek has always been notoriously faithful to its actors — minor supporting players have a tendency to return as regulars — and Stashwick was elated to realize he had been welcomed into that family. He was, as confirmed by Patrick Stewart himself, a starship captain. 

One of us

When asked about some of the more challenging moments of filming "Picard," Stashwick was also careful to include some of his more exhilarating experiences as well. He recalled a day during filming when he was finally given the Trek actor's equivalent of a blessing from the Pope: He gained official acceptance from none other than Patrick Stewart himself. Stashwick said: 

"Sir Patrick, he's the titular character of the show, the eponymous Picard. There was one moment, and I've shared this, where I was sitting in the captain's chair in between takes — my captain's chair on my ship. Patrick was sitting next to me, we were just waiting for setups, and Brent Spiner comes over, and he is sort of playfully roughhousing with Patrick. [...] Patrick looks, and he goes, 'Have you met Todd Stashwick?' Then he leans in conspiratorially, and he goes, 'He's one of us.' My heart popped. Then I got up and walked into the scene."

That Stashwick was able to complete a workday after such a profound compliment speaks volumes about his professionalism. That Stashwick also had good chemistry with his co-stars speaks volumes about his talent.

Stashwick's appearance on "Star Trek" was actually a result of his having worked on the "12 Monkeys" TV series a few years prior. The current showrunner of "Picard" is Terry Matalas, who developed "12 Monkeys" and initially cast Stashwick in that series. Matalas has gone on record saying that he conceived of the role of Captain Shaw specifically for Stashwick, so the actor was always going to be a good match for the material. 

A 'next-level experience'

Stashwick also acknowledged the importance of having a familiar team to collaborate with, citing that Matalas was not the only "12 Monkeys" alumnus to work on "Picard." He knew he was in a uniquely beneficial position as a performer, and wanted to give credit to the people who brought him on. He said: 

"Given permission, acceptance, and room to play in material like this is a rare and wonderful thing that actors don't often get. They are few and far between. I got it with Terry, Chris Monfette, and Sean Tretta, who were all '12 Monkeys' writers. I got it on '12 Monkeys' — room to experiment and collaborate — and then I got it here again in a next-level experience.”

Prior to "Picard," Stashwick also appeared in the TV series "9-1-1: Lone Star," and in three episodes of the rebooted "S.W.A.T." He wrote the 2023 video game "Forspoken," and was in the feature film "Love, Weddings & Other Disasters." These, of course, are only a few samples from the actor's rather extensive résumé. 

As of this writing, Stashwick has not yet announced he will be part of any future "Star Trek" projects, and the idea of "Star Trek: Titan" has remained in the realm of fan fantasy. But, because of the aforementioned loyalty that "Star Trek" has notoriously held for its actors in the past, odds are in Trekkies' and Stashwick's favor that he will return in some capacity. At the very least, a young Shaw may appear on the animated "Star Trek: Lower Decks," and event one can certainly get excited about.