Star Trek: Picard brings back Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The first season of the series includes a few additional guest stars from The Next Generation, including Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi and Brent Spiner as Data. Stewart has been open about how he was reluctant to reprise the role of Picard for a long time. ComicBook.com spoke to Sirtis and Spiner about whether they were as reluctant to return to their characters as Stewart was to return to his. Sirtis revealed she had a certain condition she wanted to be met before signing up for Picard. “I only had one proviso: I’m not wearing a spacesuit,” she says.
Beyond that, her concerns were of a practical nature. Her first questions after being asked to return were, “How much? How much am I getting? How much are you going to pay me?” she says. “We played these characters for a long time, so it’s not really a challenge. We know these characters inside and out and backward.”
But the real draw of returning in Picard was getting to act alongside her old colleagues. “I think both of us were excited to work with our friends again,” she says, speaking for herself and Spiner, “because when people ask me, ‘What is the thing you miss most about TNG?’ it’s these guys, working with these guys every day, seeing them every day, hanging out all day. I miss that. We were a good group.”
She goes on to say that, despite the decades that have passed since The Next Generation ended, that same chemistry was still present on the set of Picard. “When Jonathan [Frakes] and I were shooting our episode, LeVar [Burton] and Michael Dorn came to visit and within five minutes of them arriving it got really loud,” Sirtis says. “A lot of laughter, a lot of jokes, a lot of fun. And when they left after lunch, the crew were coming up to me and saying, ‘Is that what it was like? Because we could hear you laughing like 300 yards away. Is that what it was like on the set?’ And I said, ‘Yep, that was exactly what it was like.’ Because we had so much fun. There was no divas… It was just brilliant.”
Spiner spoke about how the surreal nature of his and Stewart's return to Star Trek hit him while he was filming his first scene. “Sitting across from Patrick, it was the first shot of the series,” he says. “And we looked at each other and just sort of went, ‘This is bizarre,’ because I see Patrick all the time and I wasn’t actually sitting across from Patrick, I was sitting across from Captain Picard, and he was looking at Data, and we hadn’t done that in a long time. So it was kind of special."
Spiner also says he sees a lot of the potential in the new cast of Star Trek: Picard. “I think this new group is going to have a lot of the same kind of chemistry," he says. "They were really terrific to be around. They had a lot of fun and they all seem to really like each other, which I think is critical.”
Star Trek: Picard premieres on CBS All Access on January 23rd.