Star Trek Guide

“Star Trek: Picard” Casts “Queen Sugar” Star Amirah Vann in Fierce Romulan Role

Fans of CBS All Access‘ upcoming Star Trek franchise spinoff series Star Trek: Picard have been buzzing about the series when it was first announced, with the release of teasers and trailers dumping a whole lot of fuel on an already blazing dumpster fire of speculation and excitement. Combine that with news that Star Trek familiar faces like Jonathan Frakes (Cmdr. Will Riker) and Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) – and many more – would be reuniting with Patrick Stewart, it’s easy to see why excitement levels were so high heading into its January 23 premiere – and the response has been growing strong ever since.

For those of you who’ve watched this week’s episode “The End is the Beginning” (more specifically, the teaser at the end for next week’s “Absolute Candor”), what we’re about to report is something you already have a clue about – but if you haven’t? MAJOR SPOILERS ahead…

Deadline Hollywood was the first to report that Amirah Vann (Queen Sugar, How to Get Away with Murder) is joining the series beginning next week, who is set to play Zani – a member of the fierce, all-female Romulan religious order Qowat Milat, who make their home on the colony planet Vashti. Having played an important role in Elnor’s past (Evan Evagora), Zani is expected to have a major impact on Jean-Luc’s future.

The streaming service’s excitement was clearly pretty high during last month’s Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press event, with CBS All Access confirming (reconfirming?) the series had been given a second-season greenlight. A day before the show’s debut, Stewart was a guest on daytime talk show The View – which Star Trek family member Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost, CBS All Access’ upcoming The Stand) is a co-host of.

You see where this is going right?

With the second season already on his mind, Stewart formally invited Goldberg to join the series for its second season. Goldberg played Ten-Forward lounge bartender, trusted personal and professional confidant, and more Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation and the films Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: Nemesis.

Here’s what Executive Vice President of Original Content for CBS All Access Julie McNamara had to say about the decision to renew the series:

Hanelle Culpepper directed the first two episodes of the season. The series is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment. Kurtzman, Chabon, Goldsman, Kadin, Stewart, James Duff, Rod Roddenberry, and Trevor Roth serve as executive producers and Aaron Baiers (Secret Hideout) serves as co-executive producer and Kirsten Beyer as supervising producer.

In an interview with Trek Movie from April 2019, Frakes shared what he could about the upcoming series – and wants fans to know that’s its something worth getting excited about:

Star Trek: Picard will air exclusively on CBS All Access in the United States and will be distributed simultaneously on the global scene by CBS Studios International on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories; and in Canada on Bell Media’s cable networks, Space and Z, and OTT service Crave.

About Ray Flook

Proudly serving as TV Editor, Ray started with Bleeding Cool in 2013 as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought aboard as staff in 2017. Counting John Cusack as his pop culture "spirit animal," his "word fu" stays strong as he continues trying really hard to be the sheppard...


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