For the better part of two decades, Rick Berman oversaw the Star Trek universe, having taken over after the passing of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry in 1991. Since exiting the franchise after the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005, Berman has kept mostly quiet about new Trek projects, and he has not commented at all on Star Trek: Discovery, the first Trek TV series since Enterprise. But yesterday (and unprompted) the former producer did weigh in on the next Star Trek series
Berman gives Chabon on Picard series the thumbs-up
As announced at Star Trek Las Vegas last month, the next Star Trek series will feature Patrick Stewart returning to the role of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Jean-Luc Picard. Rick Berman took to Twitter to give praise to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, who is one of the executive producers of the unnamed Picard series. Berman said of the author:
“Michael Chabon is one of America’s greatest writers. Having him involved with Star Trek is beyond amazing!.”
Akiva Goldsman, who was an executive producer on the first season of Discovery and is one of the executive producers for the new Picard show, chimed in following Berman’s tweet with “Amen brother.”
— Akiva Goldsman (@AkivaGoldsman) September 3, 2018
Michael Chabon joining Star Trek was a surprise. It was first revealed in a TrekMovie.com interview from SDCC in July, when executive producer Heather Kadin spoke about how plans to extend the Star Trek universe on TV has attracted a variety of talent:
What’s amazing about Star Trek is that it’s such a beloved franchise that we have writers calling – I mean, Michael Chabon, who wrote one of the shorts that Aldis Hodge is starring in – Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, is like “Hey, I want to write a short for you for $2.55”. So we get people from all different tones – comedy writers, animation writers, who just want so desperately to be a part of Trek.
As noted by Kadin, Chabon wrote one of the Star Trek: Short Treks mini-episode “Calypso,” which will air this fall. Not much is known about the Picard Star Trek series except that it takes place 20 years after Star Trek: Nemesis. Chabon did reveal a galactic sketch from the writers’ room a few days ago, and news of that may have led to Berman chiming in on Chabon’s involvement with Star Trek.
Berman helped Patrick Stewart become Captain Picard
Rick Berman knows something about Patrick Stewart and Jean Luc-Picard. He was involved from the beginning with the development of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and was there for the casting of Patrick Stewart. Star Trek: The Next Generation creator Gene Roddenberry was against the idea of Patrick Stewart, and he took some convincing. In the clip below from his 2011 interview with the Television Academy, Berman talks about how he and fellow producer Robert Justman conspired to convince Roddenberry to choose Stewart.
Berman remained producer and executive producer for the entire run of The Next Generation and went on to produce four TNG feature films starring Patrick Stewart as Picard. Stewart and Berman have kept in touch in the years since as well, so perhaps Rick knows a little something about the show, as we suspect the TNG cast does now that they all got together for dinner over the weekend.
Keep up with all the news about upcoming Star Trek TV series at TrekMovie.com.