Sir Patrick Stewart shook Star Trek fans to the core last August when he announced that he would be stepping back into the shoes of Jean-Luc Picard, captain of the U.S.S. Starship Enterprise-D. He is going to star in a new Trek series centered around Picard, set 20 years after his stint on Star Trek: Next Generation.
The series will air on CBS All Access and is executive produced by Alex Kurtzman, who is overseeing the Trek universe for CBS Studios. The show begins production very shortly, and we're gathering everything that you need to know about the series leading up to the premiere. Here's what we know so far.
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What it's called: The series was officially dubbed Star Trek: Picard by CBS in May.
When it will air: CBS All Access Executive Vice President of Original Content Julie McNamara told the press at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Wednesday that the series is expected to drop at the end of 2019.
Where you can watch it if you don't have CBS All Access: If you don't live in the United States or Canada, and thus don't have CBS All Access, you can still watch Star Trek: Picard! Amazon Prime will be distributing the series for international audiences.
When and where it will shoot: Kurtzman told a small group of reporters including TV Guide that the show will begin shooting in mid-April in Los Angeles.
It will not be the same Picard you're used to: The new series takes place 20 years after Next Gen ended, in approximately 2399 -- putting it further in the future than any previous Trek iteration.
"Patrick was very clear to us in the beginning. He did not want to repeat what he had already done. And by the way, it's been 20-plus years, so he couldn't possibly be that same person anymore," Kurtzman teased. "And so the question becomes: What has happened to him in that period of time? Have there been occurrences that force him to reckon with choices that he's made in his life? How do you hold on to being the person everybody loved when the circumstances around you may have changed so radically? Those are the big questions that we're asking."
Acclaimed novelist Michael Chabon is executive producing: Kurtzman admitted that he's been a fan of Chabon's work since he read The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay on his honeymoon almost 20 years ago. Now Chabon is one of the key people helping to build the Picard series. "I stalked him, and to my great delight found that he didn't require any stalking. I talk to him every day; I talk to him several times a day as we build this thing," Kurtzman gushed. "His voice has been really critical. He's so brilliant. He's so thoughtful. He truly understands the core of what Trek is and what Picard and Next Generation is specifically. He is one of the many wonderful voices in the room."
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The destruction of Romulus will play into the series: That's all Kurtzman would say. It plays a part, but we'll have to wait and see what exactly that is.
Stewart is guiding the train about what's right for the character: Stewart reportedly told Kurtzman and the writers, "I want you have the freedom to explore this character from a new perspective, and I will always know in my gut if it feels like something he would or wouldn't do." Kurtzman said the writers are prioritizing thinking about Picard's feelings and perspective, but ultimately Stewart has the say in what feels correct.
"We feel confident that we're making choices that he would be happy with and is happy with because ultimately he's a producer on the show, too, and he gets as much of a say," Kurtzman said.
The pilot has found its history-making director: Hanelle Culpepper has been selected to direct the first two episodes of the series, breaking ground as the first female director to launch a new Star Trek series in franchise history. Culpepper previously helmed two episodes of Discovery.
"Hanelle is a gifted and dynamic filmmaker whose directorial choices are always deeply rooted in character," Kurtzman said in a statement. "I've been a huge fan of her work since she started with us on Discovery and she's the perfect person to re-introduce the beloved character of Picard to longtime fans and new viewers alike. We're thrilled she's joining our Trek family on this next adventure."
The series has enlisted some other familiar faces: Big Little Lies hunk Santiago Cabrera and Blindspot's Michelle Hurd have been added as series regulars, but details about who they're playing remain tightly under wraps. The cast will also include American Horror Story: Cult's Alison Pill, Hamilton alum Isa Briones, and The Crown's Harry Treadaway.Patrick Stewart, Star Trek: The Next Generation " data-image-credit="CBS Photo Archive, Getty Images" data-image-alt-text="Patrick Stewart, Star Trek: The Next Generation‹" data-image-credit-url="" data-image-target-url="" data-image-title="Patrick Stewart, Star Trek: The Next Generation‹" data-image-filename="190130-star-trek-tng-patrick-stewart.jpg" data-image-date-created="2019/01/31" data-image-crop="" data-image-crop-gravity="" data-image-aspect-ratio="" data-image-height="1380" data-image-width="2070" data-image-do-not-crop="" data-image-do-not-resize="" data-image-watermark="" data-lightbox="">
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