The upcoming thing Trek fans seem to be most excited about is the return of Sir Patrick Stewart to the role of Jean-Luc Picard for an upcoming series on CBS All Access. For the first time since announcing his return at Star Trek Las Vegas last summer, Stewart is talking about what we can expect for the new show.
Series will reference present day, and no old-age makeup needed
Speaking to Yahoo, Patrick Stewart gave a bit of info on what we can expect from the show:
And what we have coming up is exciting. It’s exciting for me because it excites me as an actor. Oh, the story is great. And – I could be so careful what I say or they’ll skin me alive if I say the wrong things. But it has – it references the present day at times, and that’s all I can say, really. I’m not saying we are in the present day. We’re not. But the world that we find Jean-Luc Picard in is not quite the world that we left him in.
Stewart’s comments about changes to the world we left him in likely refer to changes in galactic politics in the 20 years following his final appearance in Star Trek: Nemesis. Alex Kurtzman has already given a big hint regarding these changes, recently revealing “Picard’s life was radically altered by the dissolution of the Romulan Empire.”
He also joked about how today he doesn’t look as old as he was made to look in the flash-forward in the Star Trek: The Next Generation season finale “All Good Things.” Stewart indicated he will look as he does now on the show, saying:
[In “All Good Things”] I grew a beard, and they made me up old. I looked older then, eighteen years ago, than – I don’t think I am saying too much – than I will in the upcoming series… Jean-Luc Picard and Patrick Stewart are the same age.
A 10-hour movie, with more a possibility
Stewart also indicated that the show will be ten episodes, in a serialized arc, telling Yahoo:
They are writing a 10-hour movie.
One of the questions regarding the series is whether it will be a limited series or an ongoing series. Initial assumptions were that the show would be limited, with Stewart’s comment about a 10-hour movie seemingly confirming that. A recent report in Variety also indicated the show would be a limited series. However, at NYCC in the fall, executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin told TrekMovie the show is being planned as an ongoing series with hopes for multiple seasons. In the new interview with Yahoo, Stewart added some clarity to all of this, saying:
We’re hoping for more than one season.
Why he signed on
Stewart also discussed how he has long resisted a return to the role of Picard but ended up signing on to the new show after hearing the pitch (presumably from executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Michael Chabon and others) for something “very unusual” that got him “intrigued.” Stewart gave some more details about the path to his decision, saying:
What I was afraid of was in some way, this is going to be jokey. And I don’t want to do that. I respect the work we did on Next Generation, and also it changed my life in every way. I said “you know what? I think I am up for this.” But I asked a lot of questions and the answers were very satisfying. And I was struck by how clever these people were I was talking to, who could tell a narrative very well and seemed to be tuned into what an actor might need to hear. So, I signed on.
Stewart also gave an update to the process of making the Picard show – on which he is also an executive producer – saying:
I have been in the writers’ room for a total of three weeks in the last couple of months. The work that is being done there is extraordinary. I basically just sit and listen. I mean, these clever guys’ ideas going backwards and forwards like what if, what if what if, nah, that wouldn’t work, what if.
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Keep up with all the news on the Picard show and other upcoming Star Trek TV shows here at TrekMovie.com.