Captain Picard will lead a ‘radically altered’ life when his new Star Trek spinoff series begins, according to creator Alex Kurtzman. Following the success of the Star Trek movie franchise, which featured the cast of the original series, it was decided in 1986 the time was right to develop a new show. There had actually been plans to reunite the original cast in 1977 for a series dubbed Star Trek: Phase II, but this was cancelled in pre-production when Paramount decided to focus on a movie instead. Several plot ideas and characterizations from this show would later be recycled for The Next Generation.
Star Trek: The Next Generation took place around a century after the original series, and followed a whole new Starfleet crew, led by Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). Stewart has since admitted he didn’t expect the show to last beyond the first season, but fans quickly grew to love this new team. The success of The Next Generation would eventually lead to four movies featuring this crew, beginning with Generations and ending with 2002’s Nemesis. Sadly, Star Trek: Nemesis would prove to be a box office dud and a disappointing end to Picard’s journey.
The movie franchise was later rebooted with J.J. Abrams Star Trek in 2009, and CBS All Access would later develop a show called Star Trek: Discovery. Stewart had naturally assumed his time with Picard had come to an end, until it was announced in late 2018 that CBS was working on a new spinoff that would bring the character back. Now in a new interview with THR, Alex Kurtzman states ‘Picard's life was radically altered by the dissolution of the Romulan Empire,’ and spoke about what Stewart himself wanted from the show.
He threw down an amazing gauntlet and said, 'If we do this, I want it to be so different, I want it to be both what people remember but also not what they're expecting at all, otherwise why do it?'
To that end, Kurtzman and his collaborators prepped a huge document outlining their vision to Stewart.
It turned into a 34-page document — with no way to shorten it. We were going on all in and he was going to read it or not read it, love it or hate it. It was our best attempt at trying to get him to say yes.
While the question of who the best Star Trek captain was is a lively one in fan circles, Picard is often considered ranked on top. Having Stewart return to the part after so many years is a very exciting prospect, as is the actor’s desire to give fans what they want, but not necessarily what they expect. Kurtzman is still playing coy with actual plot details surrounding the Picard spinoff, but considering how much their outline impressed a skeptical Patrick Stewart, it must be something pretty interesting.
With Star Trek: Discovery, the Picard spinoff, an animated show and a host of other planned content, the Star Trek franchise is currently doing very well on TV. Unfortunately, the same can’t seem to be said for the movie franchise, with Paramount reportedly shelving Star Trek 4 for the time being. The movie’s announced director S.J. Clarkson has moved on to direct the Game Of Thrones prequel pilot, and Paramount has yet to make an announcement on the movie’s status. It was also revealed in August 2018 that contract negotiations with star Chris Pine had broken down and he may not return as Captain Kirk.