You might agree that Seven of Nine actor Jeri Ryan’s new favorite Star Trek character is one of the best parts of Star Trek: Picard season 3.
- Jeri Ryan has a new favorite Star Trek character from Picard, Captain Liam Shaw, who became a surprising fan favorite.
- Todd Stashwick’s portrayal of Captain Liam Shaw as an antagonist was perfect, with complex layers and a sympathetic backstory.
- Captain Shaw’s pain and resilience make him an ordinary yet compelling character in the Star Trek universe.
Seven of Nine actor Jeri Ryan has a new favorite Star Trek character from Star Trek: Picard, who is probably yours, too. Ryan joined co-stars Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, and Michelle Hurd for a Q&A following a screening of Picard season 3’s series finale, “The Last Generation”, for the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. With the SAG strike in the rearview, thanks to the work of picketing actors like Ryan and Hurd, the Star Trek actors are finally able to promote their work on Picard‘s final season for consideration in the upcoming awards season.
Ryan’s Seven of Nine appeared in Star Trek: Picard season 3 as a Starfleet Commander, First Officer to Captain Liam Shaw (Todd Stashwick) on the USS Titan-A. Seven and Shaw butted heads frequently, with Shaw’s disrespect of Seven encapsulated in Shaw’s insistence on Seven using her birth name, Annika Hansen. Representing imperfection and disruption with his brusque attitude and famous “No”, Shaw quickly became a surprising fan favorite and one of the best new Star Trek characters of 2023. When asked about Stashwick’s unexpected popularity, Ryan was ready with praise for her co-star. Read her quote and watch the video below:
I think [Picard season 3 showrunner] Terry [Matalas] was caught by surprise how huge [Captain Liam Shaw] ended up being, how popular. But I was not surprised. I told [Todd Stashwick] on that very first day … you are my new favorite Star Trek character ever. You are genius, you are perfect. And the fans agreed.
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Todd Stashwick as Captain Liam Shaw Was The Perfect Antagonist for Picard Season 3
Todd Stashwick as Captain Liam Shaw was the perfect antagonist for Admiral Jean-Luc Picard, Captain William Riker, and Commander Seven of Nine in Star Trek: Picard season 3. Shaw’s cold dismissal of Picard and Riker directly contrasts what’s expected when receiving Starfleet legends, and immediately marks Shaw as someone to dislike. The later reveal that Shaw is a survivor of Wolf 359 explains Liam’s abrasive treatment of Picard and Seven as ex-Borg, and simultaneously makes Shaw more sympathetic. It doesn’t excuse Shaw’s behavior, but the trauma Shaw experienced at Wolf 359 reveals the humanity within Shaw as an antagonist, as Star Trek does so well.
Todd Stashwick brings Liam Shaw to life masterfully, with concise words and deliberate actions that are subtly informed by Shaw’s past without being wholly defined by it. Shaw’s pain and desperate desire to survive are ever-present in Stashwick’s performance, like the constant hum of a warp core that’s easily forgotten as background noise until there’s a plasma breach. Captain Shaw is an ordinary person living with the scars of trauma, but he keeps on going and doing the work, as proof that humanity remains imperfect even in Star Trek‘s utopia. It’s no surprise that Liam Shaw is Jeri Ryan’s new favorite character in Star Trek: Picard, and probably yours too.