5 Takeaways From the 'Star Trek: Picard' New York Comic Con Panel

Ileane Rudolph
Comic-Con Trae Patton/CBS

Madison Square Garden’s huge Hulu Theater resonated with the sound of a standing ovation as Sir Patrick Stewart stepped on stage for New York Comic Con's Star Trek: Picard panel on Saturday afternoon.

The packed house was thrilled to be there for both the Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 panel as well as for Picard, but there was no doubt that the return of The Next Generation’s Jean-Luc Picard was the high point for the franchise’s fervent fans.

Sir Patrick said no to the first ask from the producers.

But he reconsidered, asked for a short description of the proposed show. He got “a 35-page long one;” he read it and loved it. 

Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard; Isa Briones as Dahj (Matt Kennedy/CBS)

Lots of legacy actors, but not in a TNG reunion kind of way

There had been a trailer shown in July at the San Diego Comic-Con, but the new one had lots more info including the return of  Jonathan Frakes as William Riker.  (Frakes also directed four episodes.) When Picard and Will Riker hugged on screen, it again brought the house down.  Not far between in excitement, was an early scene that turned out to be a dream, alas perhaps, between the long retired Picard and Data ( Brent Spiner) and crossing over from Voyager,  a swashbuckling  Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) “Each actor,” says producer Heather Kadin,  “plays an emotional and pivotal role” in the story.

Sir Patrick finds the new cast not only talented but “immensely likable.”

A few notes about their roles from each of the actors on stage:

In the trailer, Stewart says Picard went to his family vineyard in France “to find safety. But there is no safety from the past.”

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Isa Briones says Dahj “is a lost soul who went through a horrible tragedy and felt a strong need to see out Picard for help. He helps her, but I think they help each other.”

Michelle Hurd’s Raffi is a “genius hacker and security analyst, who is not too pleased to see Picard again after a huge falling out.  She is not warm and fuzzy.”

Santiago Cabrera’s Rios is the pilot under the command of Picard. “He’s ex-Star Fleet and part of the band of misfits on the show’s mission.”

Patrick Stewart as Picard; Jonathan Frakes as Riker (Trae Patton/CBS)

Allison Pill’s  Dr. Jurati is a scientist specializing in robotics. “Going on this mission with Jean-Luc Picard is something she’s spent her life dreaming about.”

Harry Treadway’s Narek "is a Romulan agent.” He’s involved in a mission “To save a lot of people.”

Picard has a dog, a pit bull he calls “Number one”

The actor is a pit bull advocate, and when he learned there was to be a dog, he insisted it be the sorely maligned pit bull. He joked that Brad Pitt got there first with his pit bull in tk.

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The canon is greatly respected.

The producers says it will fit perfectly with the last TNG  movie, and fans won’t be disappointed, though newcomers to the franchise will enjoy it as well.