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Star Trek: Picard season 2: story, trailers, release date and everything we know

Star Trek Picard
(Image credit: Trae Patton/CBS)
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Star Trek: Picard season 2 has a stardate! The ongoing mission of Admiral Jean-Luc Picard (retired) will resume on Paramount Plus in March 2022.

Jean-Luc will be joined on his sophomore voyages by some familiar faces from The Next Generation era – both friends and foes.

Most excitingly, John de Lancie is back to cause trouble as the omnipotent Q, but we’ll also see returns for the Borg Queen (now played by Annie Wersching) and Whoopi Goldberg’s Guinan. Brent Spiner, best known for playing android officer Data, is also back in a new, but as-yet-unidentified, role.

The Star Trek: Picard season 2 plot is set to take the former captain of the USS Enterprise-D where he’s never gone before – our present. He’ll travel back to 2024 to fix a 24th century that’s turned into a “totalitarian nightmare”, and he’s taking Cris Rios, Agnes Jurati, Seven of Nine and the rest of the newly assembled crew of La Sirena along for the ride.

With Picard’s latest adventure approaching Paramount Plus at something close to warp speed, we’ve analyzed Starfleet’s databanks to tell you everything you need to know about Star Trek: Picard season 2.

As a certain former Enterprise captain was so fond of saying: engage!

Spoilers lie ahead if you're yet to watch Star Trek: Picard season 1

Release date: Star Trek: Picard season 2 will debut for US viewers on Thursday March 3, 2022. It'll stream on Paramount Plus in the US and Amazon Prime Video in other territories.

Story: Jean-Luc Picard and the ragtag crew of La Sirena travel back in time to the 21st century to fix the timeline – with a bit of help/hindrance (depending on your point of view) from the god-like Q, Guinan and a Borg Queen.

Is there a trailer? A new Star Trek: Picard season 2 promo was unveiled in January 2022, in addition to the trailer that launched at September 2021's virtual Star Trek Day event, and two earlier teasers.

Star Trek: Picard season 2 release date

Star Trek: Picard season 2 release date: March 2022

Star Trek: Picard season 2 was originally supposed to go before the cameras in June 2020 – just a couple of months after the first season ended – until Covid-19 put everything on hiatus. Production on the 10-episode run eventually got under way in California in February 2021. 

That delay means we'll have to wait a little longer than we'd originally hoped to see Jean-Luc back in the captain's chair, but our patience will soon pay off.

Star Trek.com (opens in new tab) confirmed in January 2022 that the Star Trek: Picard season 2 release date is Thursday March 3, 2022. New instalments of the 10-episode run will be available on Paramount Plus every week and – as with season 1 – the show will stream on Amazon Prime Video the following day.

This is slightly later than the February 2022 launch date announced at September's Star Trek Day event. The tiny hold-up means Picard's second season will overlap for a few weeks with Star Trek: Discovery season 4, which returns from a brief hiatus on February 10. 

This is undoubtedly good news for Trek fans, however – this brief double hit of boldly going harks back to the glory days of the 1990s, when The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager ruled the stars.

Star Trek Picard

Jeri Ryan is back as former Borg Seven of Nine in Star Trek: Picard season 2 (Image credit: CBS)

Star Trek: Picard season 2 trailers

Star Trek: Picard season 2 trailers: see Guinan and Brent Spiner’s latest Trek role 

The first teaser for Star Trek: Picard season 2 was released during the First Contact Day event in April 2021. Alongside numerous Next Generation Easter eggs (including a model of Picard's first starship command, the USS Stargazer) the major reveal was that John de Lancie will be reprising his role as omnipotent superbeing Q. 

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A more full-featured trailer featuring Stewart, de Lancie and other members of the cast was released on June 16, 2021. It doesn't give much away about the plot, other than suggesting that Picard and company are trying to stop a dark future from coming to pass. 

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We learned even more about Star Trek: Picard season 2 in the longer trailer unveiled at Star Trek Day – including a sighting of the Borg Queen...

And Paramount Plus have continued to spoil us, bringing out yet another trailer in January 2022. This one sees Whoopi Goldberg reprising her Next Generation role as Guinan – her request for “some tea, Earl Grey, piping hot” suggests she hasn't forgotten Picard's beverage of choice – and former TNG regular Brent Spiner playing a new character who looks a lot like an older version of Data. The question is, why is he talking with professional trickster Q? 

Star Trek: Picard season 2 plot

Star Trek: Picard season 2 plot: Jean-Luc's new mission involves traveling back to 2024

(Image credit: Trae Patton/CBS)

Red alert! Big spoilers for Star Trek: Picard season 1 follow – change course now if you haven’t seen it yet.

Jean-Luc Picard will be a new man in Star Trek – literally. When Picard’s human body succumbed to terminal Irumodic Syndrome, his consciousness was transferred into to an artificial ‘golem’ body created by Dr Altan Soong, the biological son of Data’s ‘father’, cybernetics genius Dr Noonian Soong. Although Soong Jr made it clear that the new body is effectively identical to the old one – it will still age and die, for example – it’s going to have an effect on the way the 90-something character approaches his life. 

“I wanted to know exactly what they had done to me when they saved [Picard]’s life,” Patrick Stewart said in an interview with Gold Derby (opens in new tab). “Was there any chance that this might have an impact on Picard’s personality or behaviour? [Executive producers Terry Matalas and Akiva Goldsman] felt it probably wouldn’t, but it lies there as an option should we need to take it. But also there is another human aspect being introduced in season 2, which I am not allowed to talk about. But it’s going to have, I think, quite an impact.”

With the first year’s main story arcs about a the Romulan Zhat Vash’s efforts to wipe out all Synthetic life and the reclaimed Borg Cube (now crash-landed on the Synthetic homeworld of Coppelius) now seemingly done and dusted, Star Trek: Picard season 2 is primed to seek out all-new worlds – and civilisations.

“Despite 178 episodes of TNG [The Next Generation] and four feature films, there are events coming up in season 2 that have never been seen before,” Stewart teased at First Contact Day.

It’s clear that not everything will be new, however, now that we know Q is back in Jean-Luc Picard’s orbit. A member of the omnipotent Q continuum, the mischievous character cropped up regularly in The Next Generation (and spin-off shows Deep Space Nine and Voyager) to make life as awkward as he could for Starfleet. He always took a particular interest in Picard, having put humanity on trial in TNG pilot ‘Encounter at Farpoint’ – an arc that was only partially resolved in series finale ‘All Good Things’. 

It looks like Q will be continuing his self-convened legal proceedings in Star Trek: Picard season 2. “Do you recall what I said, Jean-Luc, when last we parted ways?” Q asks Picard in the latest season 2 trailer. “The trial never ends.” Not only do we learn that Picard and Q haven't met in the more-than-two-decades since Jean-Luc's days on the Enterprise-D, we know that the former Starfleet officer is “way too old for [Q’s] bulls**t.”

“Q's arrival is, as it often was, is unexpected,” said Stewart. “But it also comes at a shattering moment in the episode. And I do mean a shattering moment. Whether it's directly connected to Q or not, I'm not sure, but there is significant trauma. And in fact at the moment, I'm working on how the trauma of this moment hangs around Picard for quite a substantial part of the episode and then – there [Q] is.”

“In the same way that we have tried to do with Picard himself, Terry Matalas and I don’t pretend that the interstitial years [between The Next Generation and Picard] didn’t happen,” executive producer Akiva Goldsman told the Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab). “Obviously, chronological time is less relevant to Q. But we definitely chose to follow suit when it came to him, so as we tried to evolve the other characters, the same is true of Q. This is a show of a different time with actors of a different age. We’re now talking about the issues that come up in the last [stage] of your life. We wanted a Q that could play in that arena with Picard.”

Goldsman also described Q as a “trickster god” and expanded on the importance of Picard’s relationship with Q. “There’s a lot of discussion in [Star Trek: Picard] season 2 about the nature of connectedness,” he said. “Q’s kind of a great lightning rod for that because in some ways he’s one of Picard’s deepest… not deep in the same way that Riker is or Beverly Crusher was but in its own [way, a] uniquely, profoundly deep relationship.”

Jean-Luc Picard with his new crew: Soji Asha, Elnor and Dr Agnes Jurati. 

Jean-Luc Picard with his new crew: Soji Asha, Elnor and Dr Agnes Jurati.  (Image credit: CBS)

Picard's relationship with Q may be deep, but it's also problematic. In the Star Trek: Picard season 2 trailer that debuted in September 2021, Jean-Luc says that "Q went back in time and turned our world into a totalitarian nightmare,” amid scenes of a drastically changed 24th century. Seven of Nine – now without the residual Borg implants on her face – points out that “time has been broken”. Picard adds that, “The only way to heal our future is to go back and repair the past.”

This means a trip back to 2024, where Picard and his newly formed crew will have “three days before the future is changed irrevocably” – and Seven of Nine will have to take a crash course in driving a car. 

Perhaps the biggest surprise unveiled in the Star Trek: Picard season 2 trailers is that Jean-Luc's route back to the 21st century involves the Borg Queen – though it's yet to be revealed whether this is the Borg Queen from Star Trek: First Contact, the one presumed dead after Voyager's return from the Delta Quadrant, or some other incarnation. It could just be that we're guilty of thinking in [merely] three-dimensional terms...

Whichever Borg Queen it is, time travel is familiar territory for Star Trek, the most famous examples coming in Star Trek 4 (where Kirk and crew travelled back to 1980s San Francisco) and First Contact (where Picard fought the Borg in 2063). Expect plenty of culture clash comedy/drama as Jean-Luc and his highly sophisticated 24th century companions get used to slumming it present-day Earth.

One major difference between Star Trek: Picard season 2 and its first year is that this time Jean-Luc – now long-retired from Starfleet – has his own crew. We probably shouldn't be surprised, then, if the new season feels more of an ensemble show, with more time devoted to Cris Rios, Raffi Musiker, Soji Asha, Dr Agnes Jurati, Elnor and Seven of Nine. Integrating all of them – and new characters – into the narrative will be one of the new season’s hardest missions.

“It has to be focused on Picard but have room for all the other characters,” season 1 showrunner Michael Chabon told the Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab). It’s never going to be just a show about the crew of a starship that's part of Starfleet and everyone's wearing uniforms and they're flying around, encountering alien life and weird planets. Those are the challenges we face going into season 2, and I'm so excited about the story we’ve come up with.”

And for any viewers who were left underwhelmed by the season 1 finale, the production team have hopefully found a solution going into Star Trek: Picard season 2. 

“Figure out the end earlier!” Goldsman said when the Hollywood Reporter asked what the team had learned from their first year. “If you’re going to do a serialized show, you have the whole story before you start shooting. It’s more like a movie in that way – you better know the end of your third act before you start filming your first scene.” 

Surely that's good advice for every screenwriter.

Data in Star Trek Picard

A new role for Brent Spiner – but who's he playing in Star Trek: Picard season 2? (Image credit: CBS)

Star Trek: Picard season 2 cast

Star Trek: Picard season 2 cast: Q, Guinan, the Borg Queen and other returning characters

This is the crew manifest for Star Trek: Picard season 2 as it stands:

  • Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard
  • Alison Pill as Dr Agnes Jurati
  • Isa Briones as Soji Asha
  • Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker
  • Santiago Cabrera as Cris Rios
  • Evan Evagora as Elnor
  • Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
  • John de Lancie as Q
  • Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan
  • Annie Wersching as the Borg Queen
  • Brent Spiner as a new member of the Soong dynasty

The show was always built around the star power of Sir Patrick Stewart, and we don't expect that to change second time out. He’ll be joined in the Star Trek: Picard season 2 cast by his regular La Sirena crew: Michelle Hurd (Raffi Musiker), Santiago Cabrera (Cris Rios), Evan Evagora (Elnor), Alison Pill (Dr Agnes Jurati), and Isa Briones (Soji Asha). Star Trek: Voyager veteran Jeri Ryan will also be back as former Borg Seven of Nine.

It was confirmed at September's Star Trek Day that Seven will come face-to-face with another former member of the Collective, as the trailer introduced the latest iteration of the Borg Queen. Annie Wersching (Tess in the The Last of Us videogame) takes over the role from Alice Krige (Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Voyager) and Susanna Thompson (Star Trek: Voyager).

In addition to the returning John de Lancie as Q, there are some other The Next Generation veterans heading back to the Final Frontier.

The first is Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan. 

Stewart formally invited his former co-star to join the Star Trek: Picard season 2 cast during an appearance on Goldberg’s US TV show, The View (opens in new tab). “It was wonderful having you, and we cannot wait to have you with us again one more time," said Stewart.

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Officially the bartender in Ten Forward, the Enterprise-D’s bar/relaxation area, Guinan (a centuries-old El-Aurian) was Picard’s confidante. She also had little time for Q, so it’ll be intriguing if they end up colliding with each other in the new season.

And although Brent Spiner said he'd played the android Data for the last time in Star Trek: Picard's first season – “I wouldn't really entertain the idea of doing [Data, an ageless character] again because I just don't think it would be realistic,” he told TV Guide (opens in new tab) – he is back in season 2. So who's he playing?

“I can tell you I'm not Data,” Spiner told Inverse (opens in new tab). “I know they haven't revealed much about me being in the show. I can tell you I'm a member of the Soong family. And, that I'm not playing a character I've ever played before.” 

In the words of Data himself, this is "most intriguing". 

Alongside his most famous role as the Enterprise's resident artificial human, Spiner has also played Data's android ‘brothers’ Lore and B-4 – as well as their creator, Dr Noonian Soong and his 22nd century ancestor, Arik Soong. He also appeared in Star Trek: Picard season 1 as a new member of the family (and AI expert), Dr Altan Inigo Soong. 

So who is this mysterious new character? We're ruling out a new model android, because if Spiner's too old to play Data, he's too old to play another robot. But could the character be Altan's human brother in the Picard era, a new person in the new, alternative, dystopian 24th century, or a great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent (approx) living in the 21st century? The latest trailer certainly suggests the latter and – seeing as both Picard and Soji (one of Data's daughters) have connections to Data – they'd surely have an interest in meeting an ancestor.

As for the rest of the Next Generation crew, the one star certain to return is Jonathan Frakes – though not necessarily on screen. He confirmed to TrekMovie (opens in new tab) that he’s back to direct a pair of Star Trek: Picard season 2 episodes, but claimed that he wasn’t sure whether he’d be back on screen as Captain William Riker after his memorable appearances in the debut season. 

The time travel element of the story may make make bringing the Next Generation cast harder this time out, but if Riker does return, it’s a safe bet Marina Sirtis will be back as his screen wife, Deanna Troi.

But what about Worf, Geordi LaForge and Dr Crusher?

Thanks to the amount of time the role requires in the make-up chair, Michael Dorn said he’d only be up for returning as the Federation’s resident Klingon, Worf, if it was really worthwhile.

“I’m only interested in if it’s something really interesting,” he told Inverse (opens in new tab). “If the character was a major part of the franchise or whatever the show is. He’s not just going to show up, beat somebody up, and then go home.”

While Worf’s status is ambiguous, two cast members have seemingly ruled themselves out of a return.

In April 2021, LeVar Burton told Whoopi Goldberg on The View (via TrekMovie (opens in new tab)) that, “I can say unequivocally that I am not doing season 2 of Picard” – though it’s important to add that he hasn’t ruled out an appearance as Geordi La Forge in a future season.

And there’ll be no return (yet) for Gates McFadden – which means that Star Trek: Picard season 2 won’t be able to explore the status of Jean-Luc’s will they/won’t they relationship with Dr Beverly Crusher.

“I’m not in the second season,” she told TrekMovie (opens in new tab). “I’m sad that I’m not. I’m disappointed because it would have been so much fun to just work with those people. But we’ll see. I have no idea…”

But don’t give up hope just yet, because this could be a clever deployment of smoke and mirrors. Marina Sirtis claimed she wasn’t going to be in the first season of the show and look what happened there…

Cris Rios at the helm of La Sirena.

Cris Rios at the helm of La Sirena. (Image credit: CBS)

Star Trek: Picard season 3 has also been confirmd

Star Trek: Picard season 2 won't be the end of Jean-Luc's story – the show's Star Trek Day panel confirmed that a third season has been given the greenlight by Paramount Plus.

StarTrek.com (opens in new tab) confirmed in January 2022 that season 3 is currently in production, and it's likely to be the show's last. "The plan was always three,” co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman told TrekMovie (opens in new tab).

Star Trek: Picard season 2 showrunner: there's a change at the helm

According to an interview in Variety (opens in new tab), Michael Chabon won't be as heavily involved in season 2 of Star Trek: Picard as he was in the first. While he's shifted much of his attention to a Showtime series based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, however, he will continue to give notes to the writers. 

"I’m still an executive producer on Picard," he said. "I’m writing two episodes. I was there breaking the second season, all the way through. I was engaged, I think, to exactly the same degree as I was on the first season."

Terry Matalas, a veteran of Twelve Monkeys and MacGyver will take over as the Star Trek: Picard season 2 co-showrunner, alongside the returning Akiva Goldsman.

Star Trek: Picard will be available to watch from February 2022, on Paramount Plus in the US and Amazon Prime Video in the rest of the world.

Richard is a freelance journalist specialising in movies and TV, primarily of the sci-fi and fantasy variety. An early encounter with a certain galaxy far, far away started a lifelong love affair with outer space, and these days Richard's happiest geeking out about Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel and other long-running pop culture franchises. In a previous life he was editor of legendary sci-fi magazine SFX, where he got to interview many of the biggest names in the business – though he'll always have a soft spot for Jeff Goldblum who (somewhat bizarrely) thought Richard's name was Winter.