***WARNING: SPOILERS FOR STAR TREK: PICARD SEASON 2, EPISODE 7***
Ok, you’ve been warned. If you’re still with us, then you already know that at the end of “Monsters,” Guinan tried to summon Q for Picard. The effort, apparently for the first time in…well, all time, failed to summon the interdimensional trickster, but the pair did get a visitor to Ten Forward.
The man who showed up seemed affable enough, and pretty insistent on getting a drink. Guinan reads the man, pushing him away from the hard liquor and toward a nice white wine. The pair go back to their speculation about why Q didn’t show, when the man reveals he’s an LAPD detective, revealing he has footage of Picard beaming into the nearby alley, and arrests them.
But for Star Trek fans, there’s something familiar about the sci-fi loving detective, and for good reason. The actor, Jay Karnes, played Lt. Ducane on the 29th century time ship USS Relativity in Star Trek: Voyager.
Not just that, but Ducane worked closely with Voyager‘s Seven of Nine, now a cast member on Picard. The Voyager time travel episodes dealt with Starfleet’s Temporal Integrity Commission, tasked with preserving the timeline and preventing unauthorized incursion (their absence during TOS‘s “Assignment: Earth,” Star Trek IV, TNG‘s “Time’s Arrow,” DS9‘s “Trials & Tribble-ations,” or JJ Abrams’ Star Trek are a matter for another…time).
With a temporal incursion (presumably unauthorized), and Seven of Nine here to identify him (if they ever meet up), it’s not crazy to think that “Agent Wells” could in fact be Lt. (maybe even captain at this poin) Ducane, here to figure out why Picard and his people are in 2024, and get them out.
The argument against this theory is that plenty of actors have appeared in the Star Trek universe as more than one character (not least of which is Brent Spiner). Mark Lenard played a Romulan commander in “Balance of Terror” before playing (a very similar looking) Ambassador Sarek. He also played a not-so-similar-looking Klingon commander in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
David Warner played three separate characters (though they were also different species): Federation representative St. John Talbot in Star Trek V, Klingon Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI, and the Cardassian interregator Gul Madred in TNG‘s “Chain of Command, Pts. 1 & 2.”
Maybe the biggest counter to the “Wells is Ducane” theory is Voyager‘s own Robert Duncan McNeill. Before portraying Voyager‘s redemption-seeking helmsman, McNeill played nearly the exact same character in TNG‘s “First Duty,” as Cadet First Class Nicholas Locarno. VOY”s producers were reportedly so interested in having a “Locarno-type” on the show, they cast McNeill as a version of his previous character.
That’s not to say that Karnes’ character is definitely not Ducane, especially for a show so dedicated to fan service that it echoes scenes from Star Trek IV. Either way, we’re set to find out more in the next episode of Picard on April 21, since promotional images show Wells/Ducane interrogating Picard.
What do you think? Is Agent Wells actually Lt. Ducane, or is this an example of the Sci-Fi Recycle™?