Episode two of Star Trek Picard has already aired on CBS All Access and the second episode of the series is all about the Romulans and a new conspiracy that reaches right into Starfleet Command.


Helping Picard from the beginning of the series has been the duo of Laris and Zhaban, played by Orla Brady and Jamie McShane. But who are these mysterious Romulan companions and what is their connection to both Picard and the events that are unfolding on the new series?


Prior to the first episode of Picard on CBS All Access, IDW Publishing released a limited series chronicling the events leading up to the new series called Star Trek Picard: Countdown. The series, written by Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson focuses on Picard’s attempts to evacuate the Romulans from their empire before the Romulan star went supernova. Beyer is a producer and writer on the new series.


Picard, in command of the USS Verity, has been diverted to the planet Yuyat Beta to evacuate the ten thousand Romulans living on the planet. When he arrives and realizes that the Romulans live among a native population of over four million, Picard tells the governor that his mission is to evacuate all sentient life. The governor refuses to allow him to help the natives and takes him and Musiker hostage while she plans how to take over the ship. When the natives revolt and rescue Picard and Musiker, the pair are taken to meet the ones responsible for their rescue, Laris and Zhaban.


The Tal Shiar agents reveal their identities and explain the reason behind their betrayal of the organization. Together, they must find a way to leave the planet and prevent the Romulan governor from stealing the ship and abandoning the natives to die. Unfortunately, leaving the Tal Shiar is not an easy decision and there are more secrets to uncover.


In only two episodes, Zhaban and Laris have proven to be interesting and engaging characters who have a unique relationship with Jean Luc Picard. One that makes their connection to the Romulan conspiracy storyline in the first season of Star Trek Picard more intriguing as the season unfolds.

Star Trek Picard: Countdown Parts 1-3 are available from IDW Publishing. You can order them from your local comic book shop or on Digital.


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