‘Picard’ Gets Season 3 Renewal, Will Time Travel to 21st Century in Season 2; ‘Strange New Worlds’ Bringing Back Uhura, Nurse Chapel

The “Star Trek” franchise celebrated 55 years of boldly going where no one has gone…

The “Star Trek” franchise celebrated 55 years of boldly going where no one has gone before with a three-hour live presentation of all five ongoing “Trek” series for Paramount Plus — including the new series “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” Season 2 of “Star Trek: Picard,” Season 4 of “Star Trek: Discovery,” the animated series “Star Trek: Prodigy” (premiering later this year) and “Star Trek: Lower Decks” (currently streaming its second season).

“The goal for us has been to really try to make sure that each ‘Star Trek’ show has had its own identity, its own individual reason for being,” said Alex Kurtzman, who’s served as the admiral leading all of the “Trek” TV efforts for Paramount Plus.

More from Variety

Asked by moderator (and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” alum) Wil Wheaton about the future of “Trek” on TV, Kurtzman said that with five ongoing series, he’s “not in a hurry” to launch any more. But he did bring up the fan enthusiasm for a series set at Starfleet Academy.

“I know there’s been a lot of conversation about Starfleet Academy, which we are very excited about,” he said. “When we talked about, there’s this new generation that’s going to inherit the problems of the old generation, what are they going to do to make the world better to solve it, how are we going to avoid the mistakes of our elders, and how are we going to learn from the wisdom of our elders — that’s a really wonderful thing to consider when you think about something like Starfleet Academy.”

The event, which was hosted by Wheaton and Mica Burton (actor and daughter of “Next Generation” alum LeVar Burton), did run into a few hiccups along the way. Although an official press release for “Discovery” touted that a “sneak peak clip” for the new season played during the event, the “Discovery” panel came and went with no mention of it. (UPDATE: According to TrekCore.com, the clip played as an exclusive to the audience watching the Star Trek Day event in person. Reps for Paramount Plus have not responded to requests for clarification.) And “Picard” star Patrick Stewart did not appear at the end of the evening as announced to discuss Season 2 of the show, so instead costar Jeri Ryan took to the stage to introduce a trailer in lieu of a panel.

Along with retrospective looks at past “Trek” series from actors of color who starred in them, the “Star Trek” Day event did feature many first looks, trailers, and announcements for all five series. The highlights are below.

“Star Trek: Picard”

“Star Trek” loves a good time travel storyline, and the first full trailer for Season 2 confirms that “Star Trek: Picard” will be traveling back to the 21st century. The series was also renewed for Season 3, well in advance of its Season 2 premiere in February 2022.

As part of the never-ending trial of humanity’s worthiness initiated in the 1987 series premiere of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” the omnipotent being Q (John de Lancie) creates, with a snap of his fingers, an alternate reality that plunges Earth into a totalitarian state. But only Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his compatriots from Season 1 of “Picard” seem to realize something has changed, and they decide to travel back to modern day Los Angeles in order to set things right. To get there, however, they have to go through Picard’s old adversary, the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching) — who, in this alternate reality, appears to be a captive on Earth.

Watch the trailer below:

“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”

Ever since the announcement of the first “Trek” TV series set on the U.S.S. Enterprise since “Star Trek: Enterprise” ended in 2005, fans have known that “Strange New Worlds” would feature three major characters that date back to the first pilot episode of “Star Trek” (that NBC infamously rejected as too cerebral): Capt. Christopher Pike, his first officer Number One, and Vulcan science officer Spock.

Anson Mount stepped into the role of Pike in Season 2 of “Discovery,” along with Ethan Peck as Spock and Rebecca Romijn as Number One. “Strange New Worlds” follows their exploits after Pike and Spock return to the Enterprise – and it turns out these three characters aren’t the only iconic Enterprise crew members “Strange New Worlds” is bringing back to TV.

Celia Rose Gooding (a Tony nominee for “Jagged Little Pill”) will play Cadet Nyota Uhura, the role first played by Nichelle Nichols on the original “Star Trek” series. Jess Bush (“Playing for Keeps”) is stepping into the role of Nurse Christine Chapel, first played by Roddenberry’s wife Majel Barrett on the original “Star Trek.” And Babs Olusanmokun (“Dune,” “Black Mirror”) is playing Dr. M’Benga, a medical officer first played by Booker Bradshaw on two episodes of the original “Star Trek.”

“Strange New Worlds” will also feature several new characters: Lt. Erica Ortegas, as played by Melissa Navia (“Dietland”); Hemmer, an alien played by Bruce Horak, the first legally blind actor to play a main character on a “Trek” TV series; and La’an Noonien-Singh, whose last name strongly implies she’s related to the infamous Trek villain Khan Noonien Singh, who will be played by Christina Chong (“Doctor Who”).

During the panel, executive producer Akiva Goldsman talked about how “Strange New Worlds” will return “Trek” to its roots in episodic storytelling.

“There’s a great thing that episodic television does, and ‘Star Trek’ did it greater than most, which is to teach while, as my late wife would have said, sugaring the pill, not letting the audience know that what we’re doing is telling a story with a moral,” Goldsman said. “‘Star Trek’ came, not incidentally, in the late ’60s, at a time where we could really have used a lens on our behavior, our society, our hopes for the future and the present we were living in. It’s not particularly different today, sadly.”

A featurette introducing the full cast also officially reveals the full name for Number One: Una Chin-Riley.

You can watch it below:

“Star Trek: Discovery”

The fourth season of the mothership series for the newest iteration of “Trek” TV series will debut on Thursday, Nov. 18 on Paramount Plus, panelists announced on Wednesday. The new season is the first in which Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) will serve as captain of the U.S.S. Discovery, which leapt nearly 1,000 years further into the future for Season 3. In the newest season, Burnham and her crew will be faced with an immense gravitational anomaly — five light-years in size — that threatens all life across the galaxy.

Doug Jones (as Saru), Anthony Rapp (as Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (as Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (as Dr. Hugh Culber), David Ajala (as Cleveland “Book” Booker), Blu del Barrio (as Adira) and Ian Alexander (as Gray) will co-star on “Discovery” for Season 4.

Cruz revealed that the promise at the end of Season 3 that Dr. Culber made Gray — who was a non-corporeal entity attached to his beloved, Adira (it’s “Star Trek”!) — that Gray will get a corporeal body will be realized in Season 4. It’s all part of the found family that Culber and Stamets made with Adira and, in effect, with Gray.

“It’s been a really fantastic way to spend a season, to create this family where people are relying on each other and supporting each other and creating the world that we all deserve to live in,” Cruz said.

That found family quality translated off stage, too. Del Barrio, who had never worked on a set before getting cast as the first non-binary regular “Trek” character, said that they have both Cruz and Rapp “on speed dial” to ask both actors “for parent-related things.”

“Star Trek: Prodigy”

The cast and creators of the first “Trek” series aimed specifically for younger audiences announced that the show will premiere on Thursday, Oct. 28, with a one-hour episode. Kate Mulgrew — who plays a holographic version of her “Star Trek: Voyager” character on “Prodigy” — introduced the official trailer for the show. The series follows a crew of young aliens who stumble upon the experimental Federation starship the U.S.S. Protostar, but they’ve never heard of Starfleet or the Federation.

It’s up to Janeway’s hologram to teach them how to use the ship to navigate the cosmos, while villains the Diviner (John Noble) and Drednok (Jimmi Simpson) pursue the ship for their own nefarious ends. “Prodigy’s” voice cast also includes Brett Gray (as Dal), Ella Purnell (as Gwyn), Angus Imrie (as Zero), Rylee Alazraqui (as Rok-Tahk), Dee Bradley Baker (as Murf) and Jason Mantzoukas (as Jankom Pog).

You can watch the trailer here:

“Star Trek: Lower Decks”

The first pure comedy in the “Trek” universe is currently in the middle of its second season on Paramount Plus. To tease what’s in store for the rest of the season, executive producer Mike McMahan and stars Eugene Cordero, Noël Wells and Jerry O’Connell (on stage), as well as Jack Quaid and Tawny Newsome (on video) introduced a mid-season trailer.

You can watch it below:

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.