Star Trek: Picard’s lack of consistency with showrunners is why the show ultimately failed
Star Trek: Picard was greenlit with three seasons originally, and it was set up to be Patrick Stewart’s swan song as Jean-Luc Picard. Yet, Stewart enjoyed the experience so much that he became interested in doing more seasons, and even the Picard showrunner, Akiva Goldman has said they wanted to do more.
Five seasons were discussed, as was not putting a final number out there and just going all out. Considering Goldsman said the show would go as long as Stewart wanted to, and how Stewart started talking about doing a Picard film now, it’s pretty obvious that the crew wanted to be more than three seasons. Had the shown been a success, knowing how American production companies are, they would’ve kept making new seasons.
So it’s fair to say the show failed. Do with that as you will, but it’s true. It was never the hit the folks at Paramount+ needed it to be. Part of that reason may have been due to the fact that it had three series leaders.
Star Trek: Picard was a disjointed mess starting from the top down
When we talk about movies, directors are usually the core piece. They’re what makes the film go. They often have the most creative influence and are the ones that lead the project. In television or streaming, that person is the series showrunner. They’re the ones that keep the show cohesive and organized while bringing in writers and directors to execute their vision.
So when you have a show, with interconnecting seasons but three different showrunners, of course, the tone and feel of the show are going to be out of whack. Season one saw Michael Chabon helm the show, and after he was dismissed in season two, Akiva Goldsman took over. Goldsman left the project as showrunner and in came Terry Matalas.
And if you ask Gates McFadden, who plays Beverly Crusher, Matalas may have been the only one of the three to “get” what fans liked about the original series (The Next Generation). As Crusher said to Den of Geek;
"Terry Matalas is pretty great as far as I’m concerned. There was sort of a generational difference. He grew up watching [TNG], and he had a certain kind of respect for the characters who weren’t captains. He really listened to all of our ideas, and we absolutely felt encouraged to talk about everything."
It’s fair to say that had someone like Matalas taken over the show from the jump, maybe Picard as a concept would’ve been far better than it was.