There’s been a resurgence in Star Trek over the last year or so and though you can’t please everyone all the time, the line-up of projects (the current Discovery, the upcoming animated Lower Decks and the character-driven Picard) undoubtedly has a diverse enough tone to attract a wide audience.
But it is indeed Picard that has long-standing fans the most excited. Patrick Stewart and his role as Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the Enterprise in The Next Generation phase of the franchise, is arguably just as iconic as William Shatner’s Captain James T. Kirk. The Yorkshire-born actor reprised that role in several Trek movies, but last year’s announcement of a new series exploring Picard’s life after he left Star Fleet certainly whetted the appetite of the faithful.
The new show is being run by Michael Chabon, but little was known about the plot behind the return of the character and the first real trailer for the show, currently in production, certainly revealed its ambition to the gathered SDCC crowd.
We’re looking at a Picard twenty years after his last screen adventures and one questioning where he considers ‘home’. When he encounters a young visitor to his vineyard, he becomes convinced of the danger she may be in and is seeking to get answers, encountering bureaucracy, possible conspiracy and several familiar faces. The trailer notes the return of Brent Spiner as Data and also Jeri Ryan (Voyager‘s Seven of Nine) and the menacing vision of a Borg Cube. Jonathan del Arco (who played the rogue Borg called ‘Hugh’ in TNG) also appears. We do know that Jonathan Frakes will be directing episodes and that both he and Marina Sirtis may also be in front of the camera at some point. New faces include Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera and Harry Treadaway, though we still don’t know much about who they will be playing.
Franchise overseer Alex Kurtzman also noted that a second season of ‘Short Treks‘ was on its way – telling shorter, nearly standalone stories – and will include tales featuring the likes of Spock (Ethan Peck), Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) and Number One (Rebecca Romijn) as well as one featuring Picard, filling in some of the intervening years.
Picard will be shown on CBS All Access (and in other territories on Amazon Prime) late this year.