5th August 2018
Sir Patrick Stewart to return as Jean-Luc Picard in new Star Trek TV series
Sir Patrick Stewart – who appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation from 1987-1994, followed by four Star Trek movies – is to reprise his role as Jean-Luc Picard in an upcoming TV series.
The new show will be produced by CBS, with Alex Kurtzman as the executive producer. No premiere date has been announced yet. The exact plot details are also being kept a secret, but the series is said to tell the story of the next chapter of Picard's life. That would mean that it takes place after the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG), rather than being a prequel or reboot.
The final episode of TNG – titled "All Good Things..." – saw Captain Picard successfully passing a test of humanity's worth issued by the Q Continuum and preventing the destruction of the human race by a temporal anomaly. The final movie – Nemesis – saw him taking on the rebel leader Shinzon, an imperfect clone of Picard, created by the Romulans with the intent of replacing him. Nemesis is set in 2379, while the new series is apparently set 20 years after that, indicating it will be 2399 or possibly the early 2400s.
"For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and that day is finally here," said Kurtzman. "We can't wait to forge new ground, surprise people, and honour generations both new and old."
"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," said Stewart, who made a surprise guest appearance at the Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas this week (see video below). "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 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 endeavour to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more."
With its bold, awe-inspiring and optimistic view of humanity's distant future, Star Trek: TNG is often rated among the best TV shows of all time. Reviving a major part of this franchise and its central character is sure to please fans, though expectations will be high.
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