/Film’s own Vanessa Armstrong recently spoke with “Star Trek: Picard” showrunner Terry Matalas about Capt. Shaw and the dynamic the new character brings to both the show and the franchise at large. Matalas knew Stashwick from his TV adaptation of “12 Monkeys,” and actively created, with the other “Picard” writers, a character that wouldn’t just stand in the way of Picard in terms of plot, but stand opposite him in command philosophy. Matalas said:
“Todd was on my last show, ’12 Monkeys,’ which was a four season show that was also my baby. When we got in the writers’ room, some of those writers are also in this writers’ room, and we knew we wanted to create a different kind of captain, a kind of blocking character for Riker and Picard. We thought it would be fascinating to see them throw around their Starfleet weight, and then suddenly there was a guy who was like, ‘I don’t give a s*** about you.'”
Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Picard, it should be noted, are older, retired Starfleet officers in “Picard,” and aren’t on active duty. They are respected for their past careers and their “elder statesman” status, but Shaw sees them as last-minute guests on his ship, the USS Titan-A. Picard and Riker are forced to sleep in bunks and have no sway when it comes to command decisions. Capt. Liam Shaw, then, is the captain who prefers structure and propriety to romantic notions like “legacy.”
It’s weirdly refreshing to see ordinarily respected “Star Trek” characters taken down a peg. Not everyone, it seems, is going to react with awe and respect just because two old men are on board.