Everyone who grew up with the Star Trek series has a love for Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the inspiring leader of the USS Enterprise-D. Portrayed by Sir Patrick Stewart, Picard is one of the most beloved characters in television history. And with CBS planning a long list of Star Trek shows, they decided that it was time Picard came back in his own series.
The return of Captain Picard
The announcement was made at a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas. Stewart appeared on stage during the event alongside Alex Kurtzman, the executive producer of the Star Trek: Discovery show at CBS All Access.
“During these past years, it has been humbling to hear many 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. 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,” the Chicago Tribune quotes Stewart.
Patrick Stewart portrayed the character of Picard in all seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation broadcast between 1987 and 1994 for a total of 176 episodes. The show was a massive hit, garnering an average of 20 million viewers and receiving 18 Emmy awards. The TV show was rated number 7 in Entertainment Weekly’s “25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years” list. Stewart also appeared in four Star Trek movies.
“With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold. For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and that day is finally here. We can’t wait to forge new ground, surprise people, and honor generations both new and old,” The Hollywood Reporter quotes Kurtzman.
CBS plan for Star Trek
The studio reportedly has big plans for the Star Trek franchise and wants to ensure that there is always some Star Trek series running on the network. And it is for this purpose that CBS signed on Kurtzman for a 5-year deal and made him responsible for the expansion of the Star Trek shows.
“We’re looking at limited series for some Trek shows, and we are looking at ongoing series for some other Trek shows. We’ve obviously announced the one that’s coming next with Sir Patrick Stewart, but we have more in development there,” Julie McNamara, executive vice president of original content at CBS All Access, says in an interview with Gizmodo.
Stewart’s Star Trek series will reportedly take place 20 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, the final film in which the character appeared. In addition, CBS is also planning out Short Trek series, which will feature other characters from the Discovery show. Based on the audience response, CBS will decide whether to commit to a full blown show focused on these characters.
While the other shows are being developed, CBS plans to release the second season of Star Trek: Discovery sometime in early 2019. And though CBS has not made it clear when the series focusing on Picard will be broadcast, many believe that it will follow Discovery and will be the second show of the planned Star Trek series.