Patrick Stewart Explains Picard’s Season 3 F-Bomb”


In a recent revelation, Patrick Stewart, famed for his portrayal of Jean-Luc Picard in “Star Trek: Picard,” sheds light on the controversial use of profanity in the show’s third season. While some praised the authenticity it added, others were taken aback. Let’s dive into Stewart’s explanation and the showrunner’s perspective.


Context and Background

Discover why Patrick Stewart defends Picard's use of strong language in Season 3 and the showrunner's perspective on this bold choice.

“Star Trek: Picard” serves as a sequel to “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Nemesis.” The series features an ensemble cast, including Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Jeri Ryan, Santiago Cabrera, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Kay Bess, Orla Brady, and Ed Speleers. Having premiered in 2020, the series recently concluded its third and final season.

The Controversial Moment

The pivotal moment in question occurred in the fourth episode of the third season, titled “No Win Scenario.” Jean-Luc Picard, portrayed by Stewart, shares a story with his son, Jack Crusher, played by Ed Speleers, recounting a harrowing experience where Picard and Lt. Jack R. Crusher, portrayed by Doug Wert, were stranded in a shuttlecraft for “ten f***ing grueling hours.” While some fans appreciated the raw authenticity of the ad-libbed expletive, others found it jarring.


Stewart’s Justification

In the special features of “Star Trek: Picard” season 3’s home video release, Patrick Stewart elucidates his character’s use of the F-bomb. He notes that he believed it was “arguably appropriate” because Picard was on the brink of losing control. Stewart emphasizes that the choice of language was not intended for sensationalism but rather to convey the character’s emotional turmoil.

Stewart explains, “When you use language, you use it sometimes in a certain way in order to have an impact, not just on the character you’re addressing, but on the audience who are watching. And I felt that this was arguably appropriate because Picard was almost out of control. He was out of control — the fact that he used the language he did. I regret if people were offended, but it was not something we did for pure sensationalism. It was something that we did because he had lost control.”


Showrunner’s Perspective

Terry Matalas, the showrunner for Picard Season 3, also weighed in on the character’s use of the F-bomb in “No Win Scenario.” Matalas acknowledged being taken aback by the choice but praised its authenticity. He described it as a powerful moment between a father and son, underscoring the importance of authenticity in artistic expression.

Matalas stated, “When I got the director’s cut, I was so taken aback by it, but it was so real, and everything you do as artists, as writers and actors, even editors is authenticity, that’s the thing you want to feel. I was really torn because hearing that word come from your childhood, Captain Picard, it throws you. But wow, is it powerful, and it’s a moment between a father and son.”

He further emphasized the dual nature of “Star Trek,” as a franchise rooted in hope and optimism but also committed to exploring the complexities of humanity. Matalas acknowledged the criticisms while standing by the decision to retain the moment in the show.

Matalas concluded, “Star Trek is about hope and optimism and certainly cursing is not really in that vein, but it is also not just an exploration of the final frontier, but an exploration of humanity and the human heart, and that was such a human moment and real. It had to stay in. I stand by it, and the criticisms will be valid for anyone who doesn’t like it, and anyone who does are equally valid.”

The debate surrounding Picard’s use of profanity in Season 3 of “Star Trek: Picard” continues to ignite discussions among fans and creators alike. Patrick Stewart’s justification for the bold language choice and showrunner Terry Matalas’ perspective shed light on the decision-making process behind this controversial moment in the beloved franchise.

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