Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and by extension Patrick Stewart, has a very blunt tell when he isn't impressed, and it's called the "Picard Facepalm." But usually it has something to do with a malfunction on the Starship Enterprise and not a very sweet marriage proposal, as a photo circulating the internet would suggest.
At a recent "Star Trek: The Next Generation" event that allowed fans to take a photo with members of the cast, one man took the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend, much to the surprise of the Enterprise crew as well as the woman herself. In a photo the captured the moment, everyone looks rather confused, and Patrick Stewart (back, centre) looks downright annoyed. But Wil Wheaton (who played Wesley Crusher), seated to the proposee's left, set the record straight on Reddit.
"I'm not sure why this picture is being circulated online, like Patrick is giving the literal Picard Facepalm, because that's just not what happened," Wheaton explained. "We were all delighted for this young couple, and I know that I was honoured to be part of this moment in their lives. I think it's likely that Patrick was just wiping sweat off his brow or something like that."
Another photo taken shortly after the first gives a better representation of how the entire cast felt. Stewart looks adorably pleased as he claps for the couple, as does Marina Sirtis (top right). Jonathan Frakes and LeVar Burton (top and bottom left) look close to tears, and Wheaton himself arguably gives a better performance than the surprised fiancee herself.Luckboy28/Reddit
"Marina started to cry, I felt like I was going to cry, and we all applauded and celebrated when she said 'yes.' Apparently, they'd met Marina earlier in the day, and Marina had given him sh-- for not marrying her, so Marina was embarrassed about that," Wheaton wrote.
The actor also felt the need to explain his awkward body language at first. "I had the flu, and almost missed this photo session. Though I had a fever and no cowbell, I sat there and smiled for everyone as best as I could, grateful that I'd spent the entire night throwing up so there was nothing left in me to vomit all over the fans like I was cosplaying from the Exorcist."
But Wheaton also says he was glad he didn't let his sickness keep him from witnessing this special moment.
"Once we knew what was happening, it was awesome. I'm incredibly happy for these people, and I love that I got to be part of what is hopefully a moment they'll celebrate and remember for the rest of their lives," he wrote.
As one particularly punny Reddit-er replied, "I guess when the cast of Star Trek tells you to engage, you make it so."