CBS announced a new Star Trek Series starring Patrick Stewart in his classic role as Jean-Luc Picard. The announcement took place at the Star Trek Las Vegas Convention. The series will be on the CBS All Access streaming channel and will explore Jean-Luc Picard’s next chapter. Patrick Stewart followed the Convention stage appearance with an announcement on social media.
The news of Stewart’s return follows the June announcement that the Star Trek saga would return on CBS All Access, the network’s streaming service, as a new series. Alex Kurtzman, a showrunner on CBS All Access’ Discovery, is leading the creative team behind the reboot, and made the announcement on stage at the Star Trek Convention.
“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.”
Patrick Stewart took the stage, noting that there was no scripts or specific storylines yet and it’s all to be decided. Either way, we all know the Hollywood rumor mill will run wild until the questions are answered about the CBS All Access series. He emphasized this with the following statement on stage:
“It will be, I promise you, I guarantee it, something very, very different. But it will come to you with the same passion and determination and love of the material — and love of our followers and our fans — exactly as we had it before.
There’s no name for the series, but Stewart will also serve as executive producer on the series in addition to his role as Captain Picard. Speculation is that it will focus more on Picard’s life, but again, there no clear answers or teasers.
Stewart followed the announcement with a touching social media post that reminded us all why Jean-Luc Picard was so special to us in the first place. He not only acknowledged his perceived end of the role and the excitement he felt in embarking on a new journey with the iconic role.
His social media post stated,
I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, 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. 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.
Star Trek: Discovery did acknowledge that the showrunners are keeping in mind the way the audience loved the original show led by Picard. He promised that questions on whether the show will feature or return to the original canon would be answered in time.
Star Trek: The Next Generation was on for seven seasons from 1987 to 1994, and featured over 170 episodes. It starred Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Jonathon Frakes as Commander William Riker. It had the highest ratings of any of the Star Trek series, and actually became the top syndicated show during the last few seasons in its original run. It earned Emmy awards and nominations, along with Peabody Award for Outstanding Television Programming for the episode, “The Big Goodbye.”