This is not a drill: Patrick Stewart is returning to Star Trek – over 30 years after his debut on The Next Generation – for a new TV series from the makers of Star Trek: Discovery, which will follow Jean-Luc Picard in the latter stages of his life.
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Stewart announced the news during a surprise appearance at the annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, and backed this up with an open letter on Twitter.
The actor said he believed his time in the franchise was up after wrapping Star Trek: Nemesis in Spring 2002, but that the idea of exploring “new dimensions within” the character in the next chapter of his life was too tantalising to turn down.
“I will always be very proud to have been a part of the 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,” he wrote.
“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.” Check out his post in full below.
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
The series is being developed by CBS All Access, the broadcasters behind Star Trek: Discovery in the USA, and its show-runner Alex Kurtzman, will serve as an Executive Producer.
The series has yet to begin production, and we are still in the dark about the title, release date and plot. But during his speech in Las Vegas, Stewart assured the audience that it the series was going to be “very, very different” to what has come before it – and that we should expect to see a new side to Picard.
“He may not – and I stress, may not – be a captain anymore, he may not be the Jean-Luc that you recognise and know so well,” he told the audience.”It may be a very different individual, someone who has been changed by his experiences. 20 years will have passed, which is more or less the time between the very last movie, Nemesis and today. We have no scripts as yet, we’re just talking talking, talking storylines. it will be something very, very different.”