Patrick Stewart will return as Jean-Luc Picard in a new Star Trek series.
The long-running sci-fi franchise has taken off with renewed success in recent years, with both JJ Abrams’ big screen reboot spawning multiple sequels and the second season of CBS’ Star Trek: Discovery currently in production (see the trailer here). While Discovery, in particular, has taken the show in new, modern directions, even as it delves into the universe’s past before the USS Enterprise, CBS is now looking to go back to familiar territory, with a brand new series that will see Patrick Stewart reprise his iconic role as Captain Picard.
The series has been the subject of speculation for several months, after CBS confirmed it wanted to expand the Star Trek universe with new projects, but was finally confirmed today, when Stewart himself made a surprise appearance at Star Trek Las Vegas, alongside Alex Kurtzman, co-creator of Discovery and one of the leads on CBS’ Star Trek development.
Like Discovery, this new series will be produced for CBS’ streaming service, CBS All Access. With Discovery airing on Netflix internationally, the odds seem high that the project, when it eventually comes to life, will follow in its footsteps, although More4 is another UK broadcaster home to CBS All Access content, with The Good Fight premiering exclusively on the Freeview channel, before being released on Amazon Prime Video.
For now, what we do know for sure is that Picard is back, and that the series will not be a reboot from scratch, rather telling “the story of the next chapter in Picard’s life”.
“I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation,” said Stewart in a statement. “But when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course. It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over.”
“During these past years, it has been humbling to hear stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps pursuing science, exploration and leadership,” he added. “I feel I’m ready to return to him for the same reason – to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times. I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavor to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more.”
“He may not be a Captain anymore,” he told fans at the convention. “He may be someone who has been changed by his experience. We have no scripts as yet. We’re just talking talking talking storylines. It will be something very different but it will come to you with the same passion.”
In the meantime, Star Trek: Discovery will return for Season 2 in early 2019. Still need to catch up? Season 1 is available on Netflix UK. Read our reviews of each episode here.