CBS All-Access just dropped a surprise teaser for Star Trek: Picard, the eighth live-action series under the venerable Trek banner but the first one with a title devoted to a single character – a nod to the star power of Patrick Stewart and the ongoing resonance of his signature role, Jean-Luc Picard, the erudite captain who commanded the USS Enterprise-D on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The teaser shows pastoral images of a wine vineyard on earth, a setting that fans of Next Generation will remember is part of Picard’s family heritage on Earth. As a voiceover begins citing the accolades of Picard’s space-faring career in Starfleet, a man’s shadow is seen as he walks through the vineyard’s dusty paths and along its vine-staked ridges. The voice asks Picard whether he lost faith in himself or others? Is that why he quit Starfleet? The voice finally addresses “Admiral Picard” directly and Stewart’s face fills the screen. His expression is that of a man just roused from deep thoughts or a meandering memory. He considers the question and seems ready to reply but, instead, the teaser ends with the question hanging in the air.
The timing of today’s teaser release was both sentimental and symbolic. Today is the 25th anniversary of “All Good Things,” the final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The series finale capped a seven season run that established Next Generation as the most enduring small-screen mission in the storied history of the overall Star Trek brand.
Next Generation aired 176 episodes in total, starting in 1987 during the Reagan Era and ending in 1994 during Bill Clinton’s first term. By comparison, the original Star Trek series, created by Gene Roddenberry and starring Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, aired just 79 episodes during its brief but influential 1966-69 run.
Stewart reprised the Picard role on the big screen in four feature films, the most recent among them Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002. The British actor, who turns 79 in July, has distinguished himself on stage (he was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 1966 through 1982) and in feature films, often in cerebral and compassionate roles. After the Picard role, Stewart’s most identifiable screen role has been as Professor Charles Xavier, the powerful telepath who leads a upstate New York school for mutant students in seven of Fox’s X-Men films.
Stewart’s Picard character has moved on from his Starfleet command in the new series, which follows him into a “new chapter” of his life, producers say. Stewart is joined by a new ensemble of actors and a new generation of characters. The cast includes Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, and Harry Treadaway.
Star Trek: Picard will air exclusively on CBS All Access in the U.S. and distributed concurrently in more than 200 countries and territories by CBS Studios International on Amazon Prime Video. In Canada on Bell Media’s cable networks, Space and Z, and OTT service Crave.
The series is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Michael Chabon, Akiva Goldsman, James Duff, Patrick Stewart, Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry, and Trevor Roth serve as executive producers. Aaron Baiers of Secret Hideout serves as co-executive producer and Kirsten Beyer as supervising producer. Hanelle Culpepper will direct the first two episodes of the series.
Chabon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author for The Adventures of Kavalier and Klay, told Deadline that Stewart’s participation in the writing room may pay dividends for the ramping Picard franchise.
“I think its going to make the show, Chabon told Deadline in November. “It’s going to take it to another level. Just to have him participating in the way he participated? Amazing. He understands drama and he understands character and can bring to bear on that all of his experience doing Shakespeare and Beckett and everything in between. Plus he’s incredibly sweet and funny and charming and surprisingly humble and modest. He’s a wonderful collaborator and I can’t say enough about the amazing and unexpected benefit of the process.
CBS All-Access also released key art today for the series (see below) that suggests the former Starship captain may be earthbound beyond the teaser. Star Trek: Picard will join Star Trek: Discovery and The Twilight Zone as the CBS streaming service’s core offering of original programming. The Star Trek brand will soon return to cable television, too, with an upcoming CG-animated series for Nickelodeon from Kurtzman, CBS TV Studios, and Emmy-winning writers Kevin and Dan Hageman.
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