Sir Patrick Stewart is back for a second season of Star Trek: Picard, with the opening episode, 'The Star Gazer', set to arrive in the UK on streaming service Prime Video on 4 March, 2022.
After vanquishing a Romulan threat in the first season of this Next Generation spin-off, Jean-Luc is to encounter another old antagonist while on a time-twisting, mind-bending mission.
Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming drama.
What's the plot of Season Two of Picard?
This new 10-episode run is a time-travel adventure that will send Picard and his cohorts off to 2024 in order to save their own present day, which has somehow turned into a dystopian hellscape.
Also involved are some returning characters from the era of Star Trek: the Next Generation, including enigmatic bartender Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg), omnipotent alien Q (John de Lancie) and the silkily malevolent Borg Queen.
Read more: Everything new on Prime Video in March 2022
Incidentally, 2024 has been seen before in the franchise when Deep Space Nine regulars Benjamin Sisko and Julian Bashir found themselves caught up in civil rights disturbances that were depicted as being pivotal events from that year. Those who want to learn more should seek out the DS9 two-parter Past Tense.
Where does Picard S2 fit in the Star Trek timeline?
The first season of Star Trek: Picard was set in 2399, some 20 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis that saw android Data sacrifice himself in order save his friends on board the USS Enterprise E.
Picard was promoted to the rank of admiral in 2381 and subsequently played a key role in the relocation of Romulans fleeing their homeworld when its sun threatened to go supernova. However, those efforts were abandoned when rogue synths killed thousands of workers and destroyed many of Starfleet’s vessels at the Utopia Planitia Shipyards on Mars.
Picard then quit Starfleet and opted to see out his days on his family vineyard in France. But in 2399, he was compelled to leave Earth behind once more after learning of a deadly Romulan threat.
The new season is set to begin 12 months or so on from these events, so sometime in the early 25th century. And Picard has returned to Earth, rejoined Starfleet and is now running the Academy.
By his side is Raffi, while Elnor is now among the student body. Seven of Nine, meanwhile, is once again a member of the Fenris Rangers, only now she's operating out of the command chair of the La Sirena. And what of its former captain? Well, Rios has become the commanding officer of the USS Stargazer, so he's been tempted back to Starfleet, too.
Read more: How can sci-fi fans keep up?
Elsewhere, Soji and Jurati are also out in space, trying to drum up support for synthetic life. But a new crisis on board the Stargazer looks set to bring many members of this disparate band back together...
Who's who in S2 of Picard?
So where did we leave the main characters at the end of season one? And who are the Next Generation favourites resurfacing in these new episodes? Read on for a recap:
Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart)
Having found out about the existence of a murderous secret Romulan group known as the Zhat Vash, who were intent on destroying artificial intelligence, the retired Starfleet admiral headed back out into space in season one to rescue the synthetic lifeform Soji Asha. It was a mission that would cost Picard his life, though his consciousness was ultimately transferred into an artificial life form known as a golem whose appearance matched his own. Now, he’s set to clash once again with his old adversary Q.
Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan)
The former Borg done was revealed to have turned vigilante in the years since her time aboard the USS Voyager, having joined the Fenris Rangers peacekeepers and made it her mission to avenge the murder of her friend Icheb.
But, by the time of season one’s finale, she’d also had opportunity to fight evil Romulan agent Narisa and form a bond with new crewmate Raffi.
Christobal “Chris” Rios (Santiago Cabrera)
The one-time Starfleet officer turned civilian captain piloted the ship La Sirena, which became a home for Picard and his ragtag band. A notable feature of the ship were its holographic programs – which all resembled Rios himself!
Now, Rios has entered a new stage in his career having re-embraced the Federation and Starfleet.
Soji Asha (Isa Briones)
Android Soji almost turned against the La Sirena crew last season when she began to unleash a destructive AI intent on destroying organic life. But she was convinced by Picard to halt this attack, and will be seen next exploring the next stage of her evolution.
Thankfully, the ban on synths that was made law following the massacre at Utopia Planitia has now been lifted, so Soji is free to live her life.
Raffaela “Raffi” Musiker (Michelle Hurd)
Although initially unwilling to accompany her former superior officer (known to her as “JL”) on his quest, the disillusioned Raffi became a key member of the La Sirena crew and was last seen getting closer with Seven of Nine.
Dr Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill)
After coming under the control of rogue Starfleet Commodore Oh thanks to an intrusive mind-meld, the cyberneticist killed her mentor, Bruce Maddox but later confessed her crime. There are hints that these new episodes will see her establish a connection with the monstrous Born Queen.
Elnor (Evan Evagora)
Raised on the planet Vashti by a sect of warrior nuns known as the Qowat Milat, the Romulan Elnor joined Picard on the mission and quickly proved his worth thanks to an expertise with a sword known as a tan qalanq.
Laris (Orla Brady)
The Romulan housekeeper (and former member of the Tal Shiar) who looks after Picard’s chateau is also returning, though there’s no word as to whether she’ll still be working alongside her colleague Zhaban.
Soong (Brent Spiner)
It’s a good job all these Soongs look so similar, otherwise there’d be no work for Brent Spiner. This time around, we’ll be meeting yet member of the family, who was glimpsed in the season two trailer being offered a mysterious vial by trickster Q.
Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg)
She was the Enterprise D’s wise and enigmatic bartender in the Ten Forward lounge, and she’s back to offer more astute advice - this time at a drinking establishment with the address of 10 Forward Avenue. Geddit?
Q (John de Lancie)
The snarky extra-dimensional being first made himself known to Picard in the Next Generation’s pilot episode when he put humanity on trial for being a dangerous race. And it seems he’s not yet done with setting tests for poor Jean-Luc…
The Borg Queen (Annie Wersching)
She may have brought “order to the chaos” when it came to her drones. But the Borg Queen’s reappearance is sure to unsettle Picard when he crosses paths with her for the first time since the 1996 movie First Contact.
Will there be a third season of Star Trek: Picard?
The good news is that there will be a third season, as production began immediately after season two was in the can. It’s expected to be made available to stream sometime in 2023 but may end up being a swansong for the series. Showrunner Akiva Goldsman recently told SFX magazine: “The door is always open for a season four…but as of now, it’s just three seasons. It was always planned to be three seasons.”
Fans wanting to delve deeper should seek out Una McCormack’s excellent 2020 novel The Last Best Hope, which reveals all about the events leading up to season one, including Picard’s resignation from Starfleet.
More recently, the original audio drama No Man’s Land written by Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson explored the burgeoning attraction between Seven of Nine and Raffi.
Star Trek: Picard returns to Prime Video on Friday, 4 March. Watch a trailer below.