May 28 2024

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Goldsman On Strange New Worlds And Picard

3 min read

Akiva Goldsman, co-showrunner for both Strange New Worlds and Star Trek: Picard spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the two series and what fans can expect.

Strange New Worlds, said Goldsman, is “unlike the other shows in that it’s really episodic. If you think back to the original series, it was a tonally more liberal — I don’t mean in terms of politics, but it could sort of be more fluid. Like sometimes Robert Bloch would write a horror episode. Or Harlan Ellison would have City on the Edge of Forever, which is hard sci-fi. Then there would be comedic episodes, like Shore Leave or The Trouble with Tribbles. So [co-showrunner] Henry Alonso Myers and myself are trying to serve that. We’ve all become very enamored, myself included, with serialized storytelling. And I’m talking to you from behind the stage where we’re shooting Picard, which is deeply serialized. But Strange New Worlds is very much adventure-of-the-week but with serialized character arcs.”

Directing the pilot for Strange New Worlds was “super fun” said Goldsman, “and I’ve finished almost all of it. There were certain scenes that we couldn’t shoot in Toronto because of quarantine — in terms of limits on the number of extras [in a scene] — that I’ll [go] back and finish pretty soon I hope. But there’s something extraordinary about, uh, a bunch of folks coming together to do a new thing; you’re surrounded by people who would be perfectly happy to be on the floor of a Star Trek convention, which is a little different than a typical show.”

There will be “a few more reach-backs [to the original series]…When you close your eyes and think of the key sets and situations that you think of the original series, that’s what we’re looking to do.”

Goldsman said that he was responsible for the Pike/Spock spinoff, Strange New Worlds. “There are few things I will take credit for in the Star Trek universe but this is actually one of them,” he said. “I started agitating for them because the timelines overlapped with Discovery and the Enterprise was out there. When the Enterprise appeared at the end of the season one, and once Anson and Rebecca and Ethan started living those characters in Season Two, I think it sort of became this wonderful inevitability.”

When it comes to the next season of Star Trek: Picard, the buzz is around the re-appearance of Q. Goldsman was asked how Q would be evolved for the new show.

“You asked the exact right question and the answer is: ‘In the same way that we have tried to do with Picard himself.’ [Co-showrunner] Terry Matalas and I don’t pretend that the interstitial years didn’t happen. No, obviously, chronological time is less relevant to Q. The time between shows is probably not even the blink of an eye in Q time — if you even have Q time. But we definitely chose to follow suit when it came to him. So as we tried to evolve the other characters, the same is true of Q. This is a show of a different time with actors of a different age. We’re now talking about the issues that come up in the last [stage] of your life. We wanted a Q that could play in that arena with Picard.”

Q is a “profoundly significant relationship in Picard’s life,” said Goldsman. “There’s a lot of discussion in Picard Season Two about the nature of connectedness. Q’s kind of a great lightning rod for that, because in some ways he’s one of Picard’s deepest — not deep in the same way that Riker is or Beverly Crusher was — but in its own uniquely, profoundly deep relationship.”

Does Picard’s new body impact his character in Season Two? “It doesn’t,” said Goldsman. “We did fundamentally try to address that at the end of [episode] Ten. He’s not Super Picard. We reset this congenital problem he lived with him since Next Gen and gave him the opportunity for rebirth, but it’s nothing more than a record as he might have been were he not here.”

Season Two of Star Trek: Picard will arrive next year.

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