The Star Trek legend will return as Jean-Luc Picard in a “very different” CBS All Access TV Series
“Jean-Luc Picard is Back!”
These are the iconic words that echoed around the Star Trek convention hall in Las Vegas, Nevada when screen legend Sir Patrick Stewart took to the stage to announce his return to the Star Trek franchise.
The final frontier is a bizarre place. We’ve seen James T. Kirk faze out of existence, only to be rescued by Mr Spock and the unswerving crew of the Enterprise. We’ve seen Jean-Luc Picard face down an evil clone of himself, and we’ve even crossed into a mirror universe where evil doppelgangers of the crew are free to wreak havoc on the galaxy. In short, anything can happen in the Star Trek universe.
In 2002, Patrick Stewart walked away from the iconic role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and never looked back. It was a closed chapter of his career, one that he would look back on with great pride and affection. It was a role that touched people’s lives, and the actor took pride in the knowledge that his efforts on screen had made a real impact on the viewers. However, following 178 incredible episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and four gruelling feature films, Jean-Luc Picard returned to drydock aboard a battered Enterprise-E and said farewell to most of his crew. Commander Riker had finally accepted promotion, and along with his new wife Deanna Troi, had set off on a new adventure aboard their very own starship. Data had perished in the explosion aboard the Scimitar, and all that remained of him were a few memory engram chips which were inserted into an inferior doppelganger.
Star Trek: The Next Generation was over.
Or so we thought.
Earlier this year, rumours had surfaced suggesting that CBS was interested in bringing Stewart back to reprise his role as Jean-Luc Picard in an all-new Star Trek series, and the fans responded with delirium. After finding himself typecast in the wake of The Next Generation and its succeeding movies, the idea of a return to the bridge of the Enterprise seemed highly unlikely but the love of the fans is a powerful motivator and the rumours refused to die.
Stewart confirmed that after re-watching many episodes of The Next Generation, including several he’d never seen before, he received an “interesting and charming offer” from the studio’s bosses at CBS about reprising his role as Picard. As flattered as he was, the actor was reluctant. He attended a meeting with the CBS status quo and discussed the project at length, forwarding several valid reasons why he shouldn’t return to the franchise, but after hearing their ideas for the character, and with the love of the fans at the forefront of his thinking, he quickly fell in love with the project.
After what has felt like an eternity, Patrick Stewart himself has announced that he’ll be returning to the role of Jean-Luc Picard for an all-new television series for CBS All Access in the coming months. Details about the new series are rarer than the “Doomsday Machine” and no scripts have been written as of press time, but Stewart offered an insight into what we can expect when Picard makes his highly-anticipated return to the final frontier.
“Jean-Luc Picard is back!
He may not, and I stress…may not be a captain anymore. He may not be the Jean-Luc you recognise and know so well. It may be a very different individual, someone who has been changed by his experiences. Twenty years have passed, which is more or less the time between the very last movie, Nemesis and today.
There are no scripts, but we are talking, talking, talking about storylines. It will be, I promise you, I guarantee it, it will be something 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”
So, Jean-Luc Picard is back. He may not be the captain of the Enterprise anymore but a series detailing the aftermath of his career in Starfleet is a tantalising prospect, one equally as exciting as a new adventure aboard the bridge of the regal Federation flagship. Sadly, no other details have emerged about the series, nor whether his The Next Generation co-stars will be making an appearance, but the idea of immersing ourselves in the trials and tribulations of Jean-Luc Picard once again is far more powerful than the majority of television today.
Until new details emerge about the series, the fans can dare to dream. To ponder the ramifications of being the Captain of the Enterprise and the toll it takes on their very soul. The after effects of Borg assimilation and the crippling symptoms of Irumodic Syndrome. All these questions may soon have answers, but one thing is beyond certainty…Jean-Luc Picard will return.
Make it so.
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