Star Trek: Picard showrunner, Terry Matalas, was forced to jettison several ideas he had for the final season of the series.
With a lot of ideas comes the need for a lot of money, and, unfortunately, there were more ideas than money for the final season of Star Trek: Picard. Showrunner Terry Matalas had a scene in mind that would have made a lot of sense, but it would have required bringing back Isa Briones’ first season character, Soji.
Because Soji was essentially cloned from Data, she had his consciousness and for that reason alone, a connection between her and her android father, played by Brent Spiner, would have made for an excellent, emotionally-charged scene. But, as I mentioned in a recent post about Matalas’ desire to fix the wrong done to Ensign Harry Kim, it all boiled down to money, which is what Matalas said at a rountable interview which Slashfilm attended.
"“[T]here were characters I really wanted to see again. In the original finale script … look, it was a giant movie that we were building on a television time schedule. The fact that you saw what we saw was miraculous that we pulled it off. It nearly killed us all. But there was a scene with Soji and Data that we could not afford to do.”"
Scheduling conflicts also prevented Terry Matalas from bringing back every actor he wanted to.
Though Matalas wanted to link the final season of Picard back to the first season to have some sort of connection, getting everyone he wanted back was impossible. Not every actor he wanted was available during the time PIcard was being shot. Add that to the expense of the salaries for the Star Trek: The Next Generation characters, and it most likely would have vastly exceeded the budget Paramount+ allotted to the ten episode final season.
One can only imagine, though, what the scene between Data and Soji would be like, especially since Data had emotions. From what we’ve already seen from Matalas, it would have been an unforgettable moment, probably as Emmy-worthy as many of the scenes from the final season.