Star Trek: Picard aired its third and final season in 2023. However, like all Star Trek, that’s just the beginning of the show being watched by Trekkies repeatedly until the end of time. Plus, now that the story is familiar, anecdotes about the season’s production can begin circulating.

For this week’s edition of Trek Tuesday, here are eight behind-the-scenes nuggets we learned from the Picard season 3 commentaries. These are just a few of the intriguing details from the commentaries and in Picard season 3’s special features. Did we include your favorite fun fact?

Cover photo credit: Sarah Coulter/Paramount+. © 2023 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Star Trek: Picard’s Generational Chair Spin

Amanda Plummer as Vadic in "Surrender." She is sitting in the captain's chair of the Titan-A and smoking her cigarette.

Photos: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Everyone knows that Vadic (Amanda Plummer), an antagonist for Picard season 3, is played by the daughter of Christopher Plummer. However, you may have overlooked the direct homage to her father’s performance as General Chang in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

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In Picard season 3 episode 4, “No Win Scenario,” Vadic performs a spin while sitting in the center seat on the bridge of the Shrike. This pays direct homage to a chair spin executed by Chang on the bridge of the Klingon Bird of Prey in The Undiscovered Country. In fact, the inclusion was suggested by Plummer herself.

The Search for Arcanis

Patrick Stewart as Picard and Ed Speleers as Jack Crusher in "No Win Scenario" Episode 304, Star Trek: Picard. Picard is behind the counter at holo-Ten Forward and handing Jack a drink. In the background is the Arcanis Lager neon sign.

Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) appears in Picard season 2, but not Picard season 3. However, the Earth-based incarnation of her bar, Ten Forward, does appear throughout both seasons. Among the myriad significant decorations on the bar’s walls is a neon sign advertising Arcanis Lager.

This sign pays homage to a similar sign in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. In a scene in that movie, Doctor McCoy (DeForest Kelley) enters a bar searching for passage to the Genesis Planet. However, the sign in Picard is a recreation made especially for the show.

Like Father, Like Son

Patrick Stewart as Picard and Ed Speleers as Jack Crusher in "No Win Scenario" Episode 304, Star Trek: Picard. They are sitting side by side on the Titan-A bridge at Red Alert.

Near the conclusion of “No Win Scenario,” Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers) bends over a sink and washes his face. This gives way to a vision of red vines and whispering voices. Later in the season, we will learn this hints at Crusher’s connection to the Borg. However, while the Borg connection won’t be made textually explicit until later in the season, shrewd viewers might have guessed it from this scene.

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That’s because the shot pays homage to a scene near the beginning of Star Trek: First Contact. In that scene, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) experiences a vision of the Borg after washing his face in the sink. As “No Win Scenario” and First Contact director Jonathan Frakes confirms in the “No Win Scenario” commentary, the shot of Crusher in the episode uses the same lens and timing as the shot of Picard in the movie.

A Warrior’s Snore

Brent Spiner as Data, LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge and Michael Dorn as Worf in "The Last Generation." All three are sitting on the bridge of the Enterprise-D.

Picard season 3 is filled with instantly memorable (and wholly meme’able) moments. One example comes from the season finale, “The Last Generation.” To triumph over the Borg Queen (Alice Krige; Jane Edwina Seymour), Picard’s crew must work together. However, once they’ve played their respective parts, everyone unwinds in their own way. For Worf (Michael Dorn), this means passing out on the bridge of the USS Enterprise-D.

In the commentary for “The Last Generation,” showrunner Terry Matalas reveals the source of the snore. The snore comes from his brother. A sound clip was recorded by his sister-in-law and included as Worf’s snore in the episode.

President Chekov

LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge, Brent Spiner as Data, Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher, Michael Dorn as Worf, Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi, Jonathan Frakes as Will Riker and Patrick Stewart as Picard in "The Last Generation" Episode 310, Star Trek: Picard. They listen to the President's message from the bridge of the Enterprise-D.

At the opening of “The Last Generation,” Star Trek: The Original Series alum Walter Koenig appears as President Anton Chekov. But how did this cameo come to be?

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As revealed by Matalas in the commentary, Koenig is the real-life neighbor of Todd Stashwick (Liam Shaw). To ask him to appear in the series, Matalas and Stashwick literally knocked on his door. Koenig would later join Matalas at his home for a special personal screening of the season finale.

Reusing Star Trek: Picard Sets

Michael Dorn as Worf, Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker and Thomas Dekker as Titus in "Seventeen Seconds." Titus is tied up and being interrogated by Raffi and Worf in the La Sirena.

As any Trekkie knows, reusing sets is an important part of Star Trek. In fact, according to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: The Making of the Classic Film, an estimated 65 percent of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was filmed on the same set. This is because the bridge of the USS Enterprise was the same set as the bridge of the USS Reliant.

Picard season 3 carries on that proud tradition by shooting many scenes on the same set. The same location was used to depict the downstairs portion of the La Sirena, the USS Eleos, the bridge of the Shrike and the interior of the Borg Cube.

Practical Effects

Patrick Stewart as Picard and Ed Speleers as Jack Crusher in "The Last Generation" Episode 310, Star Trek: Picard. Green lighting glows in the background as they have a heart to heart.

During the climax of “The Last Generation,” Picard enters a virtual space to communicate with an assimilated Crusher. This virtual space includes swirling green lights.

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In the long shots of Picard and Crusher speaking, computer effects were used to depict the Borg-based virtual space. However, the emotional close-ups of Picard’s conversation with Crusher feature the use of practical effects. As explained by Matalas, the glowing lights in the background and sparks in the foreground were all accomplished via effects that were present on the set.

Star Trek: Picard: Best Friends Forever

LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge, Brent Spiner as Data, Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher, Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi, Jonathan Frakes as Will Riker and Patrick Stewart as Picard in "The Last Generation" Episode 310, Star Trek: Picard. They are joyfully sharing a drink at Ten Forward as Picard plays bartender.

One thing is obvious after listening to the commentaries: this is a group of people who are truly friends with one another. This includes not just the returning cast from Star Trek: The Next Generation but Jeri Ryan, Michelle Hurd, Stashwick and Matalas, as well.

And it extends to the next next generation, too. Asheli Sharp Chestnut joined onscreen family LeVar Burton and Mica Burton at Thanksgiving dinner. Meanwhile, Speleers was welcomed by the returning cast, who universally lauded his performance. And in the commentary for “The Last Generation,” Speleers makes it very clear he’s willing to return for Star Trek: Legacy. Maybe we can look forward to a series announcement on First Contact Day 2024? Hey, a Trekkie can dream.

Picard season 3 is available on home video now. Meanwhile, the episodes are currently available for streaming on Paramount+.

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