Just more than a week before Star Trek: Picard debuts on CBS All Access, the return of the legendary Next Generation captain is as much a tale for the early 21st century as it is for the late 24th century, the Television Critics Association learned Sunday in Pasadena.
Our world is pretty fractured, executive producer Akiva Goldsman said of the subtext to the Patrick Stewart-led spinoff series in the deepest tradition of science fiction. “The marginalization of others, not being open-hearted or seeing with empathetic eyes, this seems to be a pervasive problem we all saw as ripe for healing,” the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind scribe added. “Star Trek does its bit to heal social ills.”
“I’m not saying we are turning Picard into a political show, not at all, Stewart chimed in, “we are making entertainment.” Back in the Jean-Luc Picard role for the first time since 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis movie, Stewart shifted and additionally said, “Perhaps it should reflect the world that we’re living in, and that’s what Star Trek has always done.”
“The best sci-fi is about that, without hitting you over the head,” EP Heather Kadin noted.
Officially renewed for a second season earlier today by CBS All Access, the 10-episode first season of Picard debuts on the ViacomCBS streamer January 23.
Similar to the big reveal at San Diego Comic-Con last summer, knight of the realm Stewart, executive producer Goldsman and Kadin were joined today on a packed TCA stage by co-stars Alison Pill, Isa Briones, Evan Evagora, Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera plus Trekverse overlord and EP Alex Kurtzman, departing showrunner and EP Michael Chabon, and supervising producer Kirsten Beyer.
Of course, as was unveiled at SDCC, Next Gen alum Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner plus Jeri Ryan and Jonathan Del Arco are also part of the cast — and they may not be the only blasts from the past.
“It is my hope that whenever the series wraps, we will have encountered all the principal actors from Next Generation,” Stewart said in the last words of the panel.
As Jean-Luc himself famously says, “Engage.”