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The tone, substance, and quality of the second season of Star Trek: Picard seem vastly different than season one. I understand that there are people out there who view this as an improvement, but my household has been disappointed to the point of confusion.

We are wondering, how did this happen? Did the show get a completely different group of writers?

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    @Joachim Executive Producers, directors, head writers, & cast do sometimes answer questions like this to some degree. I have already found a little snippet from new show runner Terry Matalas that does note some of these changes. Sometimes I think we should give answers to these kinds of Q's a little time, before jumping the gun on "opinion-based" answers, because EPs/ETC do explain/give a lot of interviews these days. May 4 at 18:40
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    @DarthLocke I really don't mind doing so, but then we'll have to define these things (and maybe that's happened; if you can link a Meta thread about it, that would be great). The problem is, a line needs to be (and usually is already) drawn somewhere, and in some SE communities these things are treated differently than in others, and change with time without there being transparency about those changes.
    – Joachim
    May 4 at 20:03
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    It should remain. The question is factual. Their reason for asking it is irrelevant; it does not matter that their reason for asking the question is opinion based.
    – Xalorous
    May 4 at 20:23
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    @Xalorous It's about Q's generating "opinion-based" answers, they are off topic here, often for good reasons (ie: avoid rants), but in this case, I do feel like the Q, becase it goes out of the way to specifically ask/consider different writers, points to wanting a more factual answer from those that work on Picard, as opposed to someone's opinion backed by zero facts. May 4 at 21:50
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    It's the future. This type of information is readily available (see list of episodes along with the writers for each one).
    – J...
    May 6 at 23:26

2 Answers 2

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Based on the per-episode crew credits found on IMDB: yes, season two has new writers.

Creators

Every episode of season one and two credits Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon, Kirsten Beyer, and Alex Kurtzman as the creators of the show.

Season One Writers

During season one, Michael Chabon is the primary writer, with occasional contributions from the other creators as well as a few others.

In addition, Nick Zayas serves as the executive story editor for every episode, and also the writer for episode six.

Season Two Writers

For season two, it appears that the writing duties were mostly handed off to a group of staff writers including Chris Derrick, Juliana James, and Kiley Rossetter. None of these individuals had any credits for season one. Five other writers who were not credited for season one contribute to a handful of episodes, and some of the creators have writing credits on an episode or two as well.

The story editor also changed, with Matt Okumura taking over for Nick Zayas. Nick Zayas is not credited at all in season two.

Visual Summary

Here is a table I made, with all the credits for each episode, color-coded by credited role(s):

StarTrekPicardWritersByEpisode

You can clearly see that an almost entirely different group of people is credited with writing season two.

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    What an excellent visualization! It makes it super easy to see at a glance that the writers are completely different between seasons! +1 May 5 at 13:55
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    Can you provide a text (or preferably markdown table) version of the chart? It's necessary so that everyone can understand the information, even when navigating with a tool like a screen reader.
    – Laurel
    May 5 at 14:09
  • @Laurel The chart is a visualization of information which is summarized in the text. I can provide a link to the google sheet, if that helps: docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/…
    – DCShannon
    May 8 at 9:58
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While he also seems to have about three co-writing credits on the second season (2.01, 2.02, 2.10), one major change from season one to season two was Showrunner Michael Chabon being replaced by Terry Matalas. However, Michael Chabon still serves the series as an executive producer.

In this interview over at TrekMovie.com, Matalas talks about these changes, as he explains that Picard is really a 3-Part Story with very distinct chapters all meant to deconstruct Picard in unique ways.

The episode felt quite a bit different than season one with a lighter tone, and faster pace. Would you say this is indicative of season two as a whole?

I’m answering these questions as we’re literally just days away from the completion of season three, the gigantic high-stakes finale, so I have the benefit of some future perspective here… I think the tremendous thing about the three-part story of Picard is that each chapter, each season, feels incredibly distinct. Visually, tonally, narratively, thematically. They’re each deeply emotional pieces of character-driven sci-fi, but they’re also exploring very different things, asking different questions. I think Season 2 is similar to Season 1 as it deconstructs Picard in ways we’ve never explored before. So, for all the genre popcorn, there’s also a lot of psychology and–dare I say–romance.


As an aside: I would also like to point out that Terry Matalas was the creator and Showrunner for the TV series adaptation of 12 Monkeys and that IMO the lighter tone, the romance angle, the execution of certain plots, the fact that this is also a time travel story, and the lucky happenstance of being able to snag actor James Callis for a similar mythos-important kind of role feels rather 12 Monkey's-esque.

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    If he's referring to the science fiction part of this show as "genre popcorn", that explains a lot, as does looking at his credits and seeing Terra Nova and Star Trek Enterprise. Although this doesn't directly answer my question about the writers, it does provide some highly relevant additional context. Thanks. +1
    – DCShannon
    May 8 at 10:04
  • No problem! The other answer shows you different writers for sure, but it doesn't aknowledge the changes made, which is what you were really asking. May 8 at 13:04

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