Patrick Stewart is ready to say “make it so” to the rumors he would play Captain Jean-Luc Picard again.
According to actor, he will return to the role in a new Star Trek series for CBS All-Access. After years of listening to how Picard inspired fans, Stewart said he is “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.”
It is 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. Read my full statement in the photo. #StarTrek @cbsallaccess Photo: @shervinfoto pic.twitter.com/8Ynuj3RBNm
— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) August 4, 2018
Stewart played Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation from 1987 to 1994. Originally conceived as more of a hard-ass commander with few friends and a distant family by series creator Gene Roddenberry, Stewart’s natural warmth soon saw the character reformed into a man with a love of tea, his command staff and archeology. Although, the discomfort around children Roddenberry wrote into the part remained for a most of the series run and even into the four Next Generation feature films. Following the release of Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002, Stewart said he was ready to hang up his Starfleet uniform even as a very tenuous plans for another TNG outing were in the works. These never came to pass and Stewart moved on to other films, like the X-Men series, and the television program Blunt Talk.
The new series will not be a reboot of TNG, but “an exploration of the next chapter of Picard’s life,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the two part Next Generation finale, Picard was depicted as a retired ambassador happy to carry on as a winemaker in his twilight years. It is doubtful the newly-devised program will leave him in that destiny for very long, if at all.
Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzman will develop the series as part of his role as the de-facto boss of Star Trek on television. Others involved in the development include Kurtzman’s Discovery co-horts Akiva Goldsman and Kirsten Beyer, as well as The Closer‘s James Duff and novelist Michael Chabon, who is also scripting an episode of the Short Treks anthology series set in the Discovery era. Stewart, Rod Roddenberry and Heather Kadin, president of Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout production company, will also serve as executive producers of the new series alongside the others.
“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,” Kurtzman said in a statement.
It is unclear how quickly the new series will make it to screens, but Star Trek: Discovery returns in January. In the meantime, though, we can all enjoy another look at the Picard Song in celebration.