Star Trek: PicardThe final season throws everything it can at Patrick Stewart’s legendary hero in terms of big shocks, big enemies and big reunions. But while the show teased the run-up to season three by loudly proclaiming the return of The next generations iconic bridge crew, some returns have been kept quiet — no matter how vital they were to the show’s arc.
Talking to Collider, Picard showrunner Terry Matalas discussed the heartbreaking return TNG‘s Michelle Forbes, aka Calm down Larenthe one time Enterprise-D Fændrik became a Maquis defector, ind today’s excellent episode “Imposters”. According to the manufacturer, Picard always wanted Ro Laren back for the story it had to tell here – that Starfleet had been compromised of the changesnow more able to conceal themselves from detection than they were under DS9‘s Dominion War. But more crucially, the person who warns Picard of this threat had to be Ro in Matala’s eyes for a very simple reason: There had to be a level of mistrust and drama that only Picard’s greatest regret could match.
“This story was always—the pitch that I had for it was, ‘How great would it be to do a paranoia thriller with someone who you have all this baggage with?’ The only way to be sure you’re sitting across from the person you hope you’re sitting across from is to go through your trauma with them,” Matalas explained to Collider. “I thought if we could pull that off, we’d have a really interesting episode of television. But it required us to get Michelle Forbes and convince the studio and the network that it was the right idea and educate a lot people about who Ro Laren (was).
It’s a shame he had to explain which one TNG‘s best supporting characters—her position as Picard’s reluctant protogue in final seasons of the program created its most fascinating combative relationship—was to the higher-UPS. But if you’ve already seen “Imposters,” you’ll know that Matalas’ advocacy for Ro was more than worth it, and a story worth bringing her back for.
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