Star Trek: Picard became one of my most anticipated shows the moment it was announced. It’s been way too long since we saw Patrick Stewart in the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and the rubbish Star Trek: Nemesis was no way for the Next Generation crew to bow out.
Since then, I’ve been hoovering up every bit of news I can about the series, hoping that it’ll capture some of the magic that had me running home from school to find out what the crew of the Enterprise had encountered this week. But perhaps this show won’t be tickling those nostalgia vibes quite as hard as many anticipated.
Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman spoke about his feelings on the project in an interview with TrekCore and explained that he sees it as a completely different beast than any Trek show that’s come before:
“You know, we feel a tremendous responsibility to the fans who have loved [the Picard character], and Patrick himself, who took a massive leap of faith with us in choosing to come back and play Picard [after] he said he was done forever. He also said, ‘I want to make sure if I come back, if you loved TNG, you’ll feel we’re honoring it, but this is a very different experience.’
This is really a very different experience. It looks incredibly different, the kind of storytelling is different, but if you’re someone who’s never watched it at all, it’s been built for you to come into it and get to be dropped into this very emotional story about this captain who’s in the late stage of his life and is dealing with the sum total of all his choices.”
This isn’t wholly unexpected. The trailers have shown a much more introspective take on the character than previously seen. Presumably, this is because Picard was strongly affected by the destruction of Romulus and feels as if, despite his many victories, he ended his career as a failure. Hopefully, the new series will offer some redemption and closure.
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Kurtzman went on to say the following:
“It also has an incredible new crew — incredible, to a person, they’re all so wonderful. And we have now started showing it to the studio, and they’re thrilled with it, so that gave us a lot more confidence that we’ve hit the mark. We’ve now watched five episodes with Patrick and he’s thrilled with it too. Because he was so happy with it, it makes us feel like it honored what we promised.”
The last word went to Executive Producer Heather Kadin, who explained:
“I just hope that it delivers for everyone. I think people have this love for The Next Generation… obviously, people’s love for Trek informs how they feel about Discovery, but we were introducing brand new characters. And [with Picard] you can tell when we released the trailer, people’s love for [the TNG characters] is so deep and so real, we all felt so obligated to not let people down — which I don’t feel we’re going to — but I think we just really want people to embrace it and love it as much as we have, and they’re so excited about it.”
We don’t have too long to wait to find out for ourselves, as Star Trek: Picard premieres on January 23rd on CBS All Access, and personally, I can’t wait.