The Connections Between ‘Star Trek: Picard’ & ‘Back to the Future’

Captain Picard and Doc Brown

Paramount / Universal / Heavy Illustration Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Doc Brown (Christopher LLoyd).

Since the release of the original trailers for the second season of “Star Trek: Picard,” fans have known that some time travel was involved in the storyline. As Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) proclaimed in the first teaser, which was released in April 2021:

“The true final frontier is time,” Picard’s voice declared. And as the old admiral, now living as an android, spoke, the screen filled first with scenes of his vineyards. “Time can turn even our most impulsive, our most ill-considered actions into history.”

As Stewart’s voice went on, objects inside his office filled the screen. These were clocks, a model of the U.S.S. Stargazer (Picard’s ship before taking command of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D), a portrait of the Enterprise on a mantle, and an hourglass. That is the same portrait that hung in Picard’s ready room throughout “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” 


Picard: Season 2 Teaser Trailer 


Star Trek: Picard | Season 2 Teaser | Paramount+The true final frontier is time. The new season of "Star Trek: Picard" is coming 2022, exclusively on Paramount+. Paramount+ Now Streaming. Try It Free bit.ly/2OcXr0G Follow Star Trek on Paramount+ for the latest news: Facebook: facebook.com/StarTrekOnPPlus Twitter: twitter.com/StarTrekOnPPlus Instagram: instagram.com/startrekonpplus Follow Paramount+ for the latest news: Facebook: facebook.com/ParamountPlus Twitter: twitter.com/paramountplus Instagram: instagram.com/paramountplus2021-04-05T19:08:21Z

“Time offers so many opportunities, but never second chances,” Stewart said. The camera then zoomed in on a chessboard, where a deck of cards lay. A single card sat apart from the deck, which was the Queen of Hearts. As the camera drew closer, the card dissolved — except for the Q. Then the familiar voice of John de Lancie spoke.

“The trial never ends,” said the god-like Q

Oddly, this teaser trailer seems a whole lot like the opening scene of the science fiction classic “Back to the Future.” Fans of BTTF know that scene showed off the clock collection of Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), which featured a small clock with a figure hanging on the hour hand — which was exactly how the movie ended. Was there an embedded clue as to how the “Picard” series will end?

Fans of “Star Trek” are no strangers to time travel. In fact, the “The Original Series” featured five time-travel storylines in just three seasons, while “The Next Generation” has ten in seven. Trek films have dabbled in time-travel, too, especially the beloved “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.” 


The Final Teaser


Star Trek: Picard | Season 2 Official Trailer | Paramount+The new season of Star Trek: Picard premieres March 3, 2022 exclusively on Paramount+. Paramount+ Try It Free: bit.ly/3haabAD Follow Star Trek on Paramount+ for the latest news: Facebook: facebook.com/StarTrekOnPPlus Twitter: twitter.com/StarTrekOnPPlus Instagram: instagram.com/startrekonp… Follow Paramount+ for the latest news: Facebook: facebook.com/ParamountPlus Twitter: twitter.com/paramountplus Instagram: instagram.com/paramountplus2022-01-21T18:00:04Z

The final teaser for “Picard: Season 2,” released in January 2022, showed even more journeys through time and space. While there was some fan grumbling about the premise of Picard, Soji (Isa Briones), Rios (Santiago Cabrera), and the rest of the crew traveling back to what looks like modern America, it might calm those worried if they knew a bit more about who was at the controls of this new season.

For its second season, “Picard” is under the watchful eye of two gentlemen — Akiva Goldsman and Terry Matalas. Goldsman is the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “A Beautiful Mind” and has been helping create “Picard” and the upcoming “Strange New Worlds.”

Matalas, on the other hand, has been involved with Trek since “Voyager,” when he served as a production associate. He worked on “Enterprise” and even appeared in the final episode of the show as a member of the Enterprise-D crew. His resume doesn’t end there. Matalas has worked on the shows “12 Monkeys,” “Terra Nova,” and the “MacGuyver” reboot. Two out of those three involve time travel of one kind or another. 

He also co-wrote a four-issue comic book series starring Picard and Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) called “Hive.” Even the Amazon listing for the series reports that “the only hope for the future lies in the past.” 


Matalas & ‘Back to the Future’


Doc Brown’s DeLorean – Jay Leno's GarageJay joins “Back to the Future” Creator Bob Gale, and Restorers Terry Matalas and Joe Walser to go in-depth with one of the most iconic movie cars of all time in this incredibly detailed recreation of the DeLorean time machine. » Subscribe: bit.ly/JLGSubscribe » Visit the Official Site: bit.ly/JLGOfficialSite THE BEST OF JAY LENO'S GARAGE…2018-06-11T04:00:00Z

Matalas is such a fan of “Back to the Future” and its DeLorean time machine that he helped renovate one. There’s even a documentary about this, called “Outatime: Saving the DeLorean Time Machine.” He told comedian and television personality Jay Leno, that the car made a real impact on him when he first saw the film.

“It’s one of those things that stays with you — the shape of a car when you’re a certain age,” Matalas told Leno for an episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage.”

“I’m a television writer, and I was working on a time travel show at the time, so we were talking a lot about this movie,” Matalas told Leno. While most BTTF fans have their toys, they do note that Matalas has one of the best DeLorean “full-size replicas.” 

Matalas told the “Sending the Wolfe” podcast that “Back to the Future” was his favorite movie. To say that Matalas is a fan of BTTF might be a bit of an understatement. 


Direction From ‘Back to the Future’ 

Lea Thompson, who BTTF fans know as Marty McFly’s mother, Biff’s wife, and a few other characters, directed Episodes 2 and 3 of this new season. Indeed, if anyone understands how to put together a time travel story, it’s Thompson. In the tweet where she announced her role on the show, she thanked Matalas and said she finally got to be “Little Lea the Trekkie.”

READ NEXT: ‘Star Trek’ Actor John De Lancie Shares What’s Coming in Picard: Season 2

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