New Star Trek spin-off Picard sees Patrick Stewart’s former Starfleet Captain face one of his toughest missions to date, pulled out of retirement to investigate a vast conspiracy involving Romulans, Borg Cubes and synthetic androids – and as Picard is forced into more and more difficult situations, fans may find themselves asking a simple question.
Why doesn’t he just call his friends from Star Trek: The Next Generation?
Yes, Jonathan Frakes’ Will Riker has a cameo later in the series and we’ve seen Commander Data’s (Brent Spiner) form in some dream sequences, but come on – surely this is the time for Picard to bring all his old buddies onboard for one last mission.
Instead, the series sees Picard recruit a new crew – and in the second episode we finally find out why he's shunning the former crew of the USS Enterprise-D.
“You can’t do it alone. You need help, you need protection,” Picard’s housekeeper Zhaban (Jamie McShane) tells him ahead of Picard’s journey out to the stars.
“You need a crew! Riker, Worf, LaForge. Hmm?”
“No,” Picard replies. "I thought about it, and they would do it in a heartbeat. And that’s precisely why I cannot ask them.
“They would put themselves at risk out of loyalty to me. And I do not want to have to go through that again.”
It’s implied, but not explicitly stated, that the death of Data in Star Trek: Nemesis has left Picard with a fear of his other former crew losing their lives in his service. Instead, as Zhaban notes, he decides to go after “someone who hates you, and has nothing to lose” – Michelle Hurd’s former Starfleet intelligence officer Raffi, as it turns out.
So there you have it – Picard doesn’t call on the TNG cast for this new mission because he just cares about them too darn much. Hopefully his new crew don’t take the implications of that too personally.
Picard releases new episodes weekly on Friday on Amazon Prime Video