May 28, 2023

“We wanted Kate Mulgrew to be part of Seven of Nine’s promotion,” Matalas told MovieWeb, referring to Admiral Kathryn Janeway. Although he doesn’t get more specific, Matalas hinted at even more when talking to Variety, “We have wanted some more Voyager folks to come be part of Seven of Nine’s promotion to captain.” He definitely means Neelix, right?

Speaking of Tuvok, Matalas had written a scene of Starfleet rescuing the Vulcan from the Changelings, which included a compelling plot hook: “There was a scene in which they found Ro [Laren] in the dungeons of the Intrepid with Tuvok and that she had survived,” Matalas told MovieWeb.

Yes, you read that correctly: the sequence would have revealed that Michelle Forbes’ Ro Laren had in fact survived her apparent death in a shuttle explosion earlier in the season. Matalas even had a plan for how her return would have been explained in the finale, “[She] had been beamed off of her shuttle and was still being used by the Changelings for information.”

So why didn’t any of this happen, you ask? Matalas has a simple answer: money.

“It comes down to how many pennies you have left in the piggy bank after building a Borg cube and an Enterprise,” he told Variety. MovieWeb relates a much more forceful response from producers who read Matalas’s first script: “Are you out of your f*****g mind with these things?” Matalas claims a line producer told him. “You’re not Avengers: Endgame.”

Despite these restrictions, Matalas did pull off one unlikely cameo, the aforementioned return of Q. On the day that Q actor John De Lancie finished shooting Picard season two, Matalas came to him with a wild pitch: “Look, I want to bring you back literally in the post-credit sequence for this final season,” he told Variety. “I will have no time and I will have no money, but I guarantee it will be one of the coolest Q scenes and it will be touching back to [TNG Premiere] ‘Encounter at Farpoint.’”

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