Most every fan will agree that Star Trek: Picard had its most successful season in season three.
Not every fan liked the first two seasons of Star Trek: Picard, (I did.) and there were a lot of people who were very vocal about their disappointment. That all changed in season three when Terry Matalas took over as showrunner for the series. Not only did Matalas take Picard back to its Star Trek: The Next Generation roots, he also did something that no other showrunner in the earlier days of Star Trek has done.
In the Special Features section of the Picard DVD and Blu-ray release, the cast have nothing but good things to say about working with Matalas. That’s largely because Matalas made the show a collaborative effort. He ran the characters’ stories by the actors to get their approval before just running with them. He wanted and accepted their input. Even Dr. Crusher and Admiral Picard’s son was put forward for approval before production.
Star Trek: Picard may be the first show that allowed the actors’ such opportunities.
According to CBR, other producers like Rick Berman and Brannon Braga just provided the cast with the story and that’s was that. If the actors had a problem with any of the storylines, they would be dealt with later. But actors weren’t solicited for their approval of the character arcs.
In the Special Features, the actors talk about how they weren’t allowed to improvise anything on previous Star Trek sets, but Matalas allowed it. And the cast all appreciated how open he was in involving them in the scripts and how they respected the writers he brought onboard.
The writing for the final season of Picard was incredible as was the cinematography, the sets, and everything between. But would this season have been as successful if the actors hadn’t been as involved in their characters’ storylines? Probably not. They know these characters better than anyone, and having to play them, they certainly knew what would or would not work. And Matalas gave them an open playing field that invited teamwork. And it showed in the final season.