We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Admiral Shelby’s Star Trek Picard return explained

A familiar face returned in the new episode of Star Trek Picard, so here's everything you need to know about Commander Shelby, now Admiral Shelby.

Star Trek Picard: Shelby in Best of Both Worlds

Who is Admiral Shelby, and what do we know about her history and return in Star Trek Picard season 3? This article contains minor spoilers for Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 9.

Star Trek Picard season 3 has been filled with cameos from Star Trek characters within the franchise’s past. We’ve had Ro Laren, Tuvok, Moriarty, and plenty of mentions of Admiral Janeway. Now we can add another to the list: Admiral Shelby. From the TNG episode The Best of Both Worlds, Shelby makes her return in Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 9. But who is Admiral Shelby, and what do we know about her Star Trek history?

Commander Shelby in TNG

Elizabeth Shelby was first introduced to Star Trek in the famous two-parter The Best of Both Worlds. She was then a lieutenant commander who had been overseeing preparations for a potential Borg invasion, and was stationed aboard the Enterprise-D when a Borg incursion into Federation space was confirmed.

As an expert on the Borg, Shelby temporarily served as the first-officer of the Enterprise-D after Riker took command of the ship when Picard was abducted. She was promoted over the likes of Geordi, Data, and Worf due to her expertise in the Borg.

Star Trek Trek Picard season 3 episode 9 recap - Locutus

This promotion came despite personal conflict with Riker, who she saw as too settled and comfortable on the Enterprise-D. Shelby was highly ambitious, and had a huge respect for Picard in particular.

After the events of The Best of Both Worlds, where she proved invaluable, Shelby would go on to attain the rank of Fleet Admiral as seen in the animated series Lower Decks.

YouTube Thumbnail

Admiral Shelby in Star Trek Picard season 3

Admiral Shelby makes her latest Star Trek appearance in Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 9. She is seen in command on the Enterprise-F, which replaced the Enterprise-E.

Admiral Shelby was leading Frontier Day celebrations, and demonstrating new Starfleet technology which allowed the entire fleet to synchronise its actions. However, when the Borg took command of the fleet Shelby was seen being shot by two members of her crew, which seems to have killed her.

That would be an unceremonious end for a Star Trek character who had proved herself to be so competent and wary of the Borg. But, that’s the brutality of Starfleet: being in the line of duty always has its dangers. Just ask Tasha Yar.

That’s it on Star Trek Picard season 3 for now. For more on the show, check out our guide to Captain Shaw and the USS Titan. Or, find out more about the Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 release date.