Paramount is still trying to figure out how to tackle the film side of the “Star Trek” franchise. A fourth installment has “WandaVision” director Matt Shakman attached at the helm, but the studio jumped the gun about having cast members Chris Pine, Zoe Salanda, Zachary Quinto, and others returning for a shoot later this year as they haven’t signed on. However, Paramount is grinding out multiple shows on their streaming service Paramount+, and it looks like fans will have something to cheer about.
Today, it was announced by Paramount+ (see below) that “Star Trek: The Next Generation” cast members such as LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, and Brent Spiner will join Patrick Stewart for the third and final season of “Star Trek: Picard.”
Some cast members had already appeared on “Picard,” including Spiner’s Data, Frakes’ William T. Riker, Sirtis’ Deanna Troi, and Whoopi Goldberg most recently reprised her role of Guinan. However, it will be their first return to the franchise in years for others.
“The Next Generation” debuted in 1984 and took many seasons before being fully embraced by fans and new audiences alike, ending in 1994. The studio focused on a string of feature films following the end of the series with “Star Trek: Generations,” which had the final appearance of William Shatner as Kirk, “Star Trek: First Contact,” “Star Trek: Insurrection,” and finally “Star Trek: Nemesis” in 2002, the last time they were all together on the big screen.
Also, given that “Picard” is ending, they might want to give other “Next Generation” characters a show to replace it.
Dorn had continued to play his Klingon character Worf on the series “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and had been campaigning for a Worf series. Hypothetically, the cast’s return in “Picard” could lead to that Worf show potentially materializing since a lot of these character cameos on other “Trek” shows on Paramount+ have led to spinoff shows like “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” that feature new versions of Christopher Pike, Spock, and James T. Kirk.