Warning: This post contains spoilers from Thursday’s Star Trek: Picard.
Yes, we’re enjoying seeing all our Next Generation favorites this season on Star Trek: Picard… but we’re also enjoying getting to know their latest adversary.
This week’s episode introduced Amanda Plummer — a celebrated actress with credits like Pulp Fiction, The Fisher King and So I Married an Axe Murderer — as Vadic, a cackling bounty hunter intent on taking custody of Beverly’s son (and Jean-Luc’s son!) Jack Crusher. With her gleeful malevolence and boldly literary proclamations, Vadic is already making a place for herself in the pantheon of all-time great Star Trek villains. In fact, she most closely resembles the vengeful Klingon warrior General Chang from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, a role played by Amanda’s own father Christopher Plummer.
The role of Vadic was written specifically with Amanda Plummer in mind, Picard showrunner Terry Matalas tells TVLine: “I have always had this fascination with Amanda Plummer. I mean, going back to her winning the Tony for Agnes of God, to The Fisher King to Pulp Fiction to The Prophecy… I just loved her. There were two actors that we wrote for: One was Amanda Plummer. The other was Todd Stashwick, who plays Shaw, who I’ve worked with before on 12 Monkeys. There was never anyone else ever envisioned in those roles besides those two people, and the value of that is you get to write towards their strengths.”
They did hit a slight snag with Plummer’s availability, however, Matalas recalls: “Amanda was shooting another show, Ratched, so she came in after we had already shot the majority of Episodes 1 through 5. So we didn’t know who was going to appear on the viewscreen. By the first rehearsal, we were all holding our breath, and [when] she gave that performance, people were hugging each other, people were congratulating each other. We were so thrilled to have a classic, larger-than-life Star Trek villain.”
Vadic isn’t just a one-dimensional bad guy, though, Matalas adds, hinting that she “has her own story and reasons to sympathize with her as well.” Why is she so dead-set on capturing Jack Crusher? “She has very personal reasons, but she also answers to a higher power, let’s just say.” And as far as how Vadic fits into the larger Star Trek universe, “she absolutely connects to canon,” Matalas promises. “It’s coming up.”
Drop your thoughts on Picard Season 3 so far in the comments below.