Terry Matalas considered another alien race for Star Trek: Picard before the Changelings

Amanda Plummer of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: James Dimmock/Paramount+. © 2022 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Amanda Plummer of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: James Dimmock/Paramount+. © 2022 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Terry Matalas did in fact consider another alien besides the Changelings for Star Trek: Picard

The Changelings are the main villains of Star Trek: Picards’ final season, a move that has been questioned by a great number of fans. While it may be a good story, that’s entirely subjective, the fact is that many don’t see the Changelings as having anything to do with Jean-Luc Picard or the USS Enterprise.

Since the Enterprise crew, at least the one from the Next Generation, had nothing to do with the Dominion War, at least that was ever properly shown on television or in films, many thought this was a not-so-great move.

Especially since there was already an alien race that the Next Generation crew had dealt with who were still out there in the ether; the Parasite aliens from the first season of The Next Generation. Using them would’ve made more sense in the bigger picture of Picard, and apparently, Picard’s showrunner Terry Matalas had considered them.

Matalas spoke to Collider about the show and revealed that the Parasite aliens from The Next Generation’s Conspiracy were in fact considered.

"It was right away, early on. They were the perfect villain because they can look like any anybody, and there’s an episode around the midpoint where it is absolutely critical, where you’re not sure if the person sitting across from you is a changeling or not, and the only way that you can know is to have an emotional catharsis with that person. It gives you such incredible drama. And it wouldn’t have worked… I do like the conspiracy bugs, I did consider for a hot minute, the conspiracy bugs. The issue with the conspiracy bugs is they kill their host. So that would mean anyone that you saw with a bug in them was dead, and you wouldn’t be able to do the paranoia thriller that you wanted to do if it was somebody you loved, that meant they were dead. So there [were] about three storylines I couldn’t do without killing legacy characters."

The Parasite aliens were still a better fit than the Changelings

The Changelings definitely do fit the espionage angle of Picard’s final season better than the Changelings. Yet, Picard is a spinoff/sequel of the Next Generation and so the main villains shouldn’t reflect Picard and his crew’s journey.

We mentioned before that the show ending with the Borg as the central villain was the obvious choice to go with, but they pooched that pretty early on. So if not the Borg, then someone else with ties to Picard. The Changelings just aren’t that species.

It may have made more sense to not do the “who can you trust” story arc that Matalas was so gung-ho about, and instead find a way to bring in Sela or the parasite aliens. Anyone who had more profound ties to Picard.

Even just leaning hard on Lore as the main villain would’ve made more sense.

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