Star Trek Is A “Historical Show,” Not Fantasy Says Picard Production Designer


  • Picard season 3 pays homage to Star Trek history, reuniting the crew from The Next Generation and adding new elements to their stories.
  • The show intentionally includes references to past Star Trek, aiming to add depth and history rather than just fan service.
  • The production design of Star Trek is a unique challenge, as it must envision the future while incorporating modern technology and staying true to the Trek aesthetic.

Star Trek: Picard production designer Dave Blass strove to make sure the design of Picard built upon the Star Trek history that came before it. Picard season 3 reunited the crew from Star Trek: The Next Generation, leaning into nostalgia more than the first two seasons had. Star Trek: Picard season 3 built upon the established backstories and camaraderie of the USS Enterprise-D’s crew, while also adding fascinating new elements to their stories. With the rebuilt Enterprise-D, Admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his oldest friends saved the galaxy yet again and proved why they are one of Star Trek‘s most beloved casts.

There were nods to Star Trek: The Next Generation scattered throughout all three seasons of Star Trek: Picard. While many fans refer to these little shout-outs as Star Trek Easter eggs, production designer Dave Blass says these references to past Trek are much more intentional than that. In an interview with Warp Factor Trek, Blass spoke about his stance on Easter eggs and wanting to avoid simple fan service. Read his quote below:

I think that [Easter egg] becomes almost a negative term because it becomes that thing of, like, ‘Oh, we’re just doing it to get fan service.’ And for me, it’s actually about adding as much history into the show as possible, because Star Trek isn’t a fantasy show; it’s a historical show that has sixty years of history. So, it’s about world-building and putting elements of the past of Star Trek into that.

Dave Blass has been a fan of
Star Trek
since he began watching reruns of
Star Trek: The Original Series
as a child.



Star Trek: Picard Production Designer On Season 3 & The Enterprise-D Set

Screen Rant interviews Star Trek: Picard production designer Dave Blass about the Enterprise-D set, his season 3 memories, and Star Trek: Legacy.

Why Designing Star Trek Is Different From Other TV Shows

Boldly going where few production designers have gone before.

The Star Trek franchise timeline has the interesting distinction of having a long history but being set in the future. So, while the production design should build on what came before, it also has to look futuristic and incorporate modern technology. Production designers working on historical period dramas, for example, already have a blueprint for the look they should go for, but science fiction shows like Star Trek do not have that luxury. In the above-mentioned interview, Dave Blass talks about the thought process that goes into designing a show like Star Trek:

The challenge with Star Trek is you’re designing for the future and you have to spend more time envisioning what things could be, so everything becomes more of a thought process. It’s about considering what the methodology is of doing whatever you’re going to do in the future. It’s like, you don’t put a pencil on the set of Star Trek. It has to be something, so everything has to be created, everything has to have thought go into it, so that is always a challenge. Because if you’re doing a historical show, you may have to fabricate things to make them historically accurate, but you know what you’re going for. Whereas in Star Trek, it’s more envisioning what it might look like and even if I think something doesn’t have to function, it needs to look like you have put some thought into it about how it would function if it did.

From replicators to transporters to phasers, the technology of Star Trek continues to advance as the shows progress, and the production design staff have to keep up with how the view of the far future changes over time. What looked futuristic in the 1960s or the 1990s does not have the same effect today. Picard season 3, in particular, does a wonderful job of bringing the look of Star Trek into the modern era without compromising the Trek-ness of it all. Star Trek: Picard season 3 still feels like Star Trek, but incorporates the modern technology and special effects that today’s Hollywood has to offer.

Star Trek: Picard
is available to stream on Paramount+.

Source: WarpFactorTrek

Star Trek Picard Poster


Terry Matalas


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