A Major Star Trek: Voyager Cameo Didn't Make The Cut For Picard Season 3

The showrunner of the third season of "Star Trek: Picard," Terry Matalas, began the season with a few cute references and cameos to whet the appetites of nostalgia-hungry Trekkies. One of the first shots of the season was a slow pan over the belongings of Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden), and sharp-eyed fans would likely recognize several trinkets and pictures and audio logs left over from "Star Trek: The Next Generation." For five episodes, Matalas played light and fair with additional nostalgic references, focusing instead on new characters, a new ship, and the story at hand.

In the back half of the season, however, the dam burst, and the cameos and references began coming fast and furious. There were small notable roles for Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes), Tuvok (Tim Russ), and Commander Shelby (Elizabeth Dennehy). The eighth episode saw the entire central cast of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" in the same room at the same time, and it was revealed that the Borg were once again the villains of the piece. The final episode of the series, called "The Last Generation," featured an audio cameo from Walter Koenig, playing Anton Chekov, the son of Pavel Chekov. And, of course, the finale centered the Enterprise-D, the ship that was destroyed in "Star Trek: Generations."

In a roundtable discussion, attended by /Film's own Vanessa Armstrong, Matalas revealed that he actually wanted to cram in even more references and cameo appearances. He mentioned that he wanted justice for Harry Kim, the eternal ensign, by giving him a captaincy. He also wanted to establish that two characters, presumed dead or imprisoned, were alive and well, and he wanted a cameo from the first two seasons of "Picard." Notably, he wanted an on-camera appearance from Admiral Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), the captain of the U.S.S. Voyager.


The reason he couldn't have the cameos, Terry Matalas said, was an issue of both budget and of scheduling. Getting all his intended actors in the room at the same time would have been a logistical nightmare, and not everyone he wanted was available during the "Picard" shooting window. Additionally, he noted that Paramount didn't have the budget to pay all the actors in question; it seemed getting the "Next Generation" cast back was expensive enough. He also wanted to link this season of "Picard" — which largely stands apart from the previous two seasons — back to the first. It seems Soji (Isa Briones) was a part of Matalas' original ideas. He explained: 

"[T]here were characters I really wanted to see again. In the original finale script ... look, it was a giant movie that we were building on a television time schedule. The fact that you saw what we saw was miraculous that we pulled it off. It nearly killed us all. But there was a scene with Soji and Data that we could not afford to do. And another actor."

Matalas was coy about who "another actor" might have been. 

Soji, for those who forgot, was a central character in the early episodes of "Picard." It seems that a Federation scientist salvaged a particle of Data's android brain, left exploded after the events of "Star Trek: Nemesis." Someone then essentially "cloned" Data from the particle, not only re-growing his consciousness and memories (!), but also creating a pair of organic android twins. Even for "Star Trek," the pseudoscience was far-fetched, but it resulted in a character, Soji, who found herself struggling with the revelation that she was an artificial being with false childhood memories. 

Because she is technically Data's daughter, Matalas wanted Soji to meet Data.

Janeway herself

At the end of "The Last Generation," Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) is recommended for a promotion to captain. Terry Matalas wanted an additional Starfleet officer present for her promotion, an officer that Seven served with for many years aboard the U.S.S. Voyager. Yes, Matalas wanted Admiral Janeway to be there. He also mentioned that he wanted to resurrect Tuvok and Ro and Harry Kim. Sadly, none of this was in the budget. In his words:

"Ro, there was a scene in which they found Ro Laren in the dungeons of the Intrepid with Tuvok, and that she had survived. We weren't able to pull off. Harry Kim had appeared at one point. We really wanted to bring back ... we wanted Kate Mulgrew to be part of Seven of Nine's promotion. These are all things that ... they're all in the first script, and then your line producer says 'Are you out of your f***in' mind? You can't afford these things. You are not 'Avengers: Endgame.” So they got to go away. And so those are our regrets. But I'm very happy with what we were able to pull off."

While a scene between Mulgrew and Ryan would have pleased the many "Voyager" fans, it should be noted that modern "Trek" is not absent Captain Janeway. The character appears — in two different forms — on the animated series "Star Trek: Prodigy." One version of Janeway is an instructional hologram that constantly instructs and subtly mothers a crew of non-Federation teenagers. Later in the series, after the teens manage to fly their ship into the outer edges of Federation space, they run into the real Janeway, now grumpy after switching from coffee to tea. 

She might not have been in "Picard," but she is present in "Trek."