“Star Trek: Picard” Season 3 is bringing the “Next Generation” cast all back together for the first time in over 20 years, and series showrunner Terry Matalas is well aware of the high expectations fans are going to have.
In an interview with Variety, Matalas said it was “beyond an honor” to work on the third and final season of “Picard,” but added “there’s an incredible pressure to that, as well.”
“The second I had the story in my brain as sort of a final ‘Next Generation’ story — the moment it became a reality — I didn’t sleep for about nine months straight. I was just too terrified of screwing it up,” Matalas said.
Matalas is the third showrunner on “Picard,” following in the footsteps of Michael Chabon in Season 1 and Akiva Goldsman in Season 2. While characters and story points carry over between the seasons, Matalas says they are “three very different stories from three different storytellers.”
“I think Season 1 is Michael Chabon’s beautiful arc of reintroducing us to Picard and these characters,” he said. “Then the second season is Akiva Goldsman, digging deeper into what makes Captain Picard Captain Picard, and going back into his past trauma and telling this beautiful story with Q. And this is a different kind of story, because it’s going back to the beginning. It’s the ‘Next Generation.’ It’s back out into space. It’s much more nautical.”
Season 3 also sees Jonathan Frakes return both in front of behind the camera. Frakes has directed two episodes on every season of “Picard,” and had a guest role in the first season. He not only gets a much larger role as Capt. William Riker in the third season, but directs two pivotal episodes.
“There’s no better collaborator than Jonathan Frakes,” Matalas said. “I say to him over and over that I think Episode 4 [of Season 3] is the best thing he’s ever directed. There’s so much emotion and he nailed all those reveals.”
“Star Trek: Picard” Season 3 premieres on Paramount+ on Feb. 16 with new episodes debuting weekly.