CBS All Access is doubling down on its Star Trek slate, announcing Saturday at Star Trek: Las Vegas convention that Patrick Stewart will reprise his role as Jean-Luc Picard for a new series. Alex Kurtzman, who also serves as showrunner on CBS All Access’ Discovery, announced the yet untitled Star Trek show alongside Stewart. Here is the official CBS statement:
“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.”
Likewise, Stewart made a similar statement regarding his return to the Trek universe:
“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 a new life for him, when I thought that life was over. 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.
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.
Stewart remains a vocal and guiding force for the show even when he is far away. “Patrick will send us beautifully written emails about what he feels about Picard and where he feels Picard has been. That’s so inspirational,” Kurtzman shared.
The new Star Trek series starring Patrick Stewart as Picard, debuting sometime in late 2019 on CBS All Access, is reportedly set 20 years after Star Trek: Nemesis and will follow an older Jean Luc who is in a new phase of life.
Reports indicate that the show is not a reboot of The Next Generation, and (heaven forbid) let’s hope it doesn’t involve time travel. No further details, like an episode count, a location, or a premiere date, are available right now.
In a new interview, Stewart confirmed the first season will run for ten hour-long episodes following the former Starfleet captain whose life had been “radically altered” following the destruction of Romulus seen in the prime timeline of 2009’s Star Trek. As the writers’ room overseen by creator and executive producer Alex Kurtzman continues scripting the series, Stewart shared that the episodes will not be standalone, self-contained stories.
“They are writing a ten-hour movie,” explained Stewart in an interview, before revealing there may be plans for more than the initial ten episodes. “We’re hoping for more than one season.”
Much of the upcoming series is still being kept under wraps, though it will reportedly take place 20 years after the events of 2002’s Nemesis with Picard no longer commanding the Enterprise. The series is expected to premiere on CBS All Access sometime in late 2019.