Get ready to see more of Alison Pill on Star Trek: Picard. At a press event during the Television Critics Association’s 2020 winter tour, The Newsroom and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen actor explained to a small group of journalists including Decider exactly her character is and what’s in store for her upcoming episodes.
Pill’s Dr. Jurati only appears a handful of times in Picard‘s pilot. But there seem to be bigger plans for her character. “Agnes Jurati is a scientist on Earth with a specialty in robotics who gets to meet Picard having worked kind of alone in a room by herself for a number of years. His visit brings the promise of the potential fulfillment of her biggest dream,” Pill explained. “So it’s a pretty big deal.”
Prior to being cast for the show, Pill wasn’t much of a Star Trek fan. When she was preparing and researching for Dr. Jurati, she focused less on the mythology or technology of Trek and more on its philosophy. “It’s a much more novelistic approach. It’s a longer narrative structure,” Pill said. “But again the same truths apply about discovering what’s best about humanity, whether through humans themselves or through other races, creatures, aliens, whatever they may be.”
We can also expect Pill’s character to have more time onscreen with the captain himself, Sir Patrick Stewart. “I’m very lucky. We’re very lucky because we get to spend a lot of time with SPS,” Pill said. “He’s such a gorgeous actor and person. … It’s just exciting to see him both embrace and sort of surpass his age. The feeling of this show is just so tied into that. At one point it’s nostalgic but it’s also incredibly new and exciting.”
Pill wasn’t able to spoil much, but she did give a tantalizing clue about what may be ahead. Picard’s pilot episode briefly mentions someone by the name of Doctor Maddox. As devoted fans know, Bruce Maddox was a Starfleet cyberneticist who once admired Data and dreamed of making more androids to help Starfleet. His research and quest for control later turned sour, and at one point he forced Data to obey him and claimed that he was property instead of a sentient life form. In Picard, he and his research about android development were the precursors to Doctor Jurati’s work.
When asked if we will be seeing Doctor Maddox in Picard, Pill teased, “I will say that he is mentioned more than that time.”
New episodes of Star Trek: Picard premiere on CBS All Access Thursdays at 3:01 a.m. ET.
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