Star Trek has cast a major Battlestar Galactica alumni in a pivotal franchise role! The latest episode of Star Trek: Picard Season 2 sees Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard trapped inside his own mind after suffering a grave injury while stuck in the year 2024. Supervisor Tallinn (Orla Brady) jumps into Picard's head via neural link to help coax him back from death – but Jean-Luc has a lot of demons of his own (literal and figurative) to fight. And, helping Picard navigate his mental scape is none other than Battlestar Galactica's Dr. Gaius Baltar himself, James Callis!
(WARNING: Star Trek: Picard Season 2 SPOILERS Follow!)
In "Monsters" we find Picard speaking to what he thinks is one of those helpful Starfleet ship analysts (Callis). The analyst is helping Jean-Luc to unravel the traumas of his own childhood, and why he has spent his lifetime avoiding intimate connections with potential loves. However, as the episode unfolds, Picard and the analyst dig through the fantasy of Jean-Luc as a boy, and his mother, Yvette (Madeline Wise), as a queen who is stolen away by a fearsome monster lurking in their castle home. It's when the analyst finally pushes an emotionally-shaken Picard to see the truth that things take a real turn...
The climax of Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 7 reveals that James Callis isn't just playing an "analyst" in Picard's mind: he's the embodiment of Jean-Luc Picard's father (who is unnamed by is known in canon as Maurice Picard). The point of "Monsters" for Jean-Luc to take another look at his own past (at the behest of Q) and re-examine it from adult perspective. Picard realizes the fantasy of "the monster" was his childhood memory of his father abusing his mother and locking her away for periods of time; in reality, his mother had been seriously mentally ill, and had done dangerous (if not harmful) things to Jean-Luc and herself. As the embodiment of Maurice Picard explains, his ignorance of mental health at that time made had him simply attempt to ride out Yvette's 'dark spells' by locking her away, and he ultimately felt he had failed her and his son.
It's made explicitly clear that this story of Picard's family life and past is still not done being revealed. That said, James Callis's scenes with Patrick Stewart are without a doubt some of the best character work we've seen for Jean-Luc Picard in all of Star Trek.
Star Trek: Picard is streaming Season 2 on Paramount+.