This post contains spoilers from Star Trek: Picard, season three, episode 1 “The Next Generation.”
In the first episode of season three of Star Trek: Picard, Admiral Jean-Luc Picard and Captain Will Riker were busy with trying to abscond with the U.S.S. Titan in an effort to rescue Dr. Beverly Crusher while Raffi Musiker was undercover on a dangerous planet for Starfleet.
Of course, the planet’s name sounds familiar: M’Talas Prime. It closely resembles the last name of the series’ showrunner, Terry Matalas, but it wasn’t named for him…at least not during the run of Picard. Instead, it got that name over twenty years ago during Matalas’ time as an assistant on Star Trek: Enterprise.
Star Trek: Picard brought back the planet’s name from Star Trek: Enterprise
In a conversation with TrekMovie, Matalas told the story of the origination of the planet which came from Chris Black, who was a staff writer on Star Trek: Enterprise for three years. For some reason, wanted to name the most horrible place in the galaxy after Matalas.
"I think it was Chris Black who came up with it on Enterprise. The idea was to name the most horrible place in the galaxy after me. And when I was a young assistant on Star Trek: Enterprise. The most vile place in the galaxy was of course named “Matalas.” So on Picard when we were trying to name a place for sort of the epicenter of organized crime in the galaxy, somebody said, “Shouldn’t it be named after that vile place named for you?” And so the idea was it was supposed to be self-deprecating, hoping that fans would run to Google to find it."
And even though Raffi seems to have overstayed her welcome on M’Talas Prime, we haven’t seen the last of the planet on Picard as Matalas confirmed the area is outside Federation jurisdiction, and there is “a specific underworld story that we’re going to be telling for a bit.”
With Dr. Crusher being in an area outside Federation space, and M’Talas Prime being outside Federation jurisdiction, it brings up the question just how close these two areas are. With the planet returning in subsequent episodes, it’s almost certain the two are closely connected, and they may even be Vadic’s home territory.