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LeVar Burton, other Star Trek: The Next Generation cast, to join Star Trek: Picard season 3

1987 crew portrait for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Pictured are from left, front row, British-American actress Marina Sirtis (as Counselor Deanna Troi), British actor Patrick Stewart (as Captain Jean-Luc Picard), and American actress Gates McFadden (as Doctor Beverly Crusher); from left, back row, American actors Jonathan Frakes (as Commander William T. Riker), Brent Spiner (as Lieutenant Commander Data), Whoopi Goldberg (as Guinan), LeVar Burton (as Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge), and Michael Dorn (as Lieutenant Worf).
(Image credit: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Brent Spiner and other key members of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast are getting beamed up to join Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: Picard. Paramount Plus announced the casting news with the added information that Star Trek: Picard season 3 will be the "concluding chapter" for the original series.

Officially, Burton (Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge), Dorn (Lt. Worf), McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher), Spiner (Lt. Cmrd. Data), Jonathan Frakes (Cmdr. William Riker) and Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Tori) are all set to reprise the roles that they made famous on The Next Generation. Just how they will appear is being kept under wraps. Star Trek: Picard season 2 has been dealing with time travel and has seen the return of popular Next Gen characters including John de Lancie’s Q and Whoopi Goldberg’s Guinan.

Check out the cast announcement video for Star Trek: Picard season 3 right here, which includes the first look at one of the returning Next Gen characters:

"I remember watching the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation almost 34 years ago with my father like it was yesterday. It was the spark that ignited my love for science fiction," said Terry Matalas, Star Trek: Picard season 3 showrunner and executive producer, in the official announcement. "So, it’s most fitting that the story of Jean-Luc Picard ends honoring the beginning, with his dearest and most loyal friends from the U.S.S. Enterprise. It would be an understatement to say that giving these characters a proper send-off is an honor. The entire Star Trek: Picard team and I can’t wait for fans to experience this final, high-stakes, starship-bound adventure in season 3."

Star Trek: Picard season 2 is still airing new episodes, with five having been released exclusively on Paramount Plus thus far and new ones dropping weekly on Thursdays (season 2 episode 6, "Two of One," will arrive on April 7). The Star Trek: Picard season 2 finale is scheduled to be released on May 5. 

There was no indication in the Paramount Plus announcement when Star Trek: Picard season 3 could be expected (outside of a likely 2023 arrival), though we know the final season has already wrapped production.

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Another fun nod to the lasting legacy of the Star Trek series, the news comes on April 5. In Star Trek lore, April 5 is known as "First Contact Day," as the franchise detailed that April 5, 2063, was the day humans first made contact with Vulcans.

For anyone wanting to watch Star Trek: Picard or any of the Paramount Plus Star Trek original series (Discovery, Strange New Worlds and more), you’ll need to be a subscriber to Paramount Plus.

Michael Balderston
Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun.