Patrick Stewart’s French Accent In Star Trek: Picard’s Actually An Inside Joke


One of the more enjoyable parts of the first season of Star Trek: Picard has been the show’s willingness to offset its grim storylines with funny asides, nicknames, and Patrick Stewart indulging in his comedic talents as Jean-Luc Picard. In episode 5, we get to see Picard take part in a plot to rescue Bruce Maddox from black marketeer Bjayzl, which involves him adopting an eyepatch, beret and a broad French accent. Even better, it now turns out that the accent was a nod to reservations around casting Stewart in the role back in the 1980s.

Picard and his makeshift crew visit the Freecloud planet, which appears to be a living embodiment of the dark web, to try and exchange Seven of Nine for Maddox. Not much explanation is given in the episode for why Picard has the French accent, other than the general idea that the crew are meant to be flamboyant to blend in with the world of Freecloud. According to Screen Rant, Stewart’s exaggerated character is an in-joke about Gene Roddenberry questioning how the classically trained Englishman could work as the seemingly French Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Given that playing the lead in a sci-fi series didn’t carry a whole lot of prestige in the 1980s, Stewart was probably wondering what he’d entered into when the producers then suggested trying a French accent for the pilot. Evidently, that didn’t work out, and Stewart eventually made the role of captain his own. Furthermore, his current performance on Picard shows that the actor is still able to bring nuance to a well-established part, which also doesn’t shy away from criticizing the character’s decisions.

In any case, we’re keen to see how Star Trek: Picard wraps up its first season storyline, especially considering how it’s expanded ideas of the franchise’s universe, while tying itself into the rich history of the show.

Source: ScreenRant