Social distancing has impacted a lot of events around the world, including events that may not impact the world at large. Many are currently celebrating birthdays and anniversaries in isolation, though through modern technology, friends can still find ways to make the best of a not so great situation and still celebrate a friend while staying safe from COVID-19. This is actually what the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation did, as they all gathered in an effort to properly celebrate Marina Sirtis' birthday.
Sirtis shared a screengrab of the moment with fans, who were delighted to see the actors all together again, even if it was only happening virtually. Check out the picture and see Sirtis, Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, and Wil Wheaton all hanging out on Zoom and having fun:
It's saying quite a lot about this cast to see that they're all still so close they'd hop on an app to hang out decades after Star Trek: The Next Generation ended. It's no surprise that Patrick Stewart ideally wants all of those pictured to eventually appear in Star Trek: Picard, provided Alex Kurtzman and others can find ways to organically work them into the story. Given some of the story lines we saw in Star Trek: Picard Season 1, it's hard to imagine that being much of a problem.
While there may have been some talk of Star Trek: Picard and whether or not any of these folks would be down to return for Season 2, it seems as though everyone was also discussing the COVID-19 situation and how it has impacted their everyday lives. Wil Wheaton said on Instagram the chat with his former TNG costars had a massive impact on him and provided some support for him to lean on during the stress of this whole situation:
Yesterday, LeVar organized a Zoom thingy for all of us from TNG, because normally we would be together for Marina’s birthday, but obviously we can’t do that this year. For about 90 minutes or so, we all hung out, visited with each other, loved each other, laughed our faces off, and felt connected, as a family. I didn’t realize until long after we had ended the thing, just how much it meant to me to be with my family, the family that loves me unconditionally, unselfishly, simply because I exist. I’ve been so focused on being a reliable husband and father, I haven’t had a moment to exhale, and just be a son who is scared and anxious and needs parents to just tell him everything is going to be okay, and who will acknowledge that he’s doing the best that he can. I got all of that from my Star Trek family, at a time when I didn’t even know just how much I needed it. I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for weeks, and yesterday, I exhaled for the first time. And can I just take a moment to observe how totally cool it is that we were using a real technology to be together, a technology that we used to pretend was real, for our job. I can’t prove that video conferencing like this exists because of Next Generation, but I can certainly choose to believe that we played some part in inspiring the engineers who developed it. Wherever you are, I hope you’re getting the love and support that you need and deserve. We’re all going to get through this, together.
Many in the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast have been staying busy in quarantine and searching for ways to encourage fans in this tough time. Patrick Stewart has taken to reading sonnets, and LeVar Burton has been looking for ways to do an impromptu Reading Rainbow-like series while he is in quarantine. It's the kind of service and optimism fans may expect from these individuals, and why Star Trek: The Next Generation still has a ton of loyal fans to this day.
Catch Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access, which is now available for a free trial while people practice social distancing. Of course, be sure to stick with CinemaBlend throughout this quarantine process to get frequent updates on how the pandemic will affect your favorite shows and movies, and to get some recommendations on what the next big series on the way may be.