Filming has started on CBS All Access' as-yet untitled Star Trek series featuring Patrick Stewart back in his Star Trek: The Next Generation role as Jean-Luc Picard. It's the first time since that Stewart's reprised his iconic character since Star Trek: Nemesis hit theaters in 2002, crashing and burning at the box office and bringing The Next Generation films to an unceremonious end just four movies in (counting Star Trek: Generations). In the years since then, however, fans have only continued to look back with fond memories on Picard's original voyages with the U.S.S. Enterprise.
Like so many other franchises these days, Star Trek is tapping into nostalgia with a new show about Picard and his adventures in space. The series was officially confirmed last summer, when Stewart made a surprise appearance at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention to announce that he would be starring in the CBS All Access offering. It's one of several Star Trek projects to come out of Star Trek: Discovery co-creator Alex Kurtzman signing a five-year deal with CBS television to expand the property on their streaming service, along with a spinoff following Discovery's Philippa Georgiou and a handful of animated Star Trek series and shorts.
Stewart and Kurtzman are among the producers on the Picard series, and have been working alongside a brain trust that includes Discovery's Kirsten Beyer, James Duff, and Akira Goldsman, in addition to Michael Chabon (John Carter) and relative newcomer Diandra Pendleton-Thompson. In a since-deleted post, Chabon confirmed that filming is now underway on the series (see below), with Hanelle Culpepper (Star Trek: Discovery) and Stewart's The Next Generation costar Jonathan Frakes serving as directors on the first handful of episodes.
The Picard show will pick up in real-time (read: about 17-18 years) after Nemesis, as Picard deals with the aftermath of the destruction of Romulus in the 2009 Star Trek movie reboot. While Trekkies are no doubt curious to find out what a nearly twenty-years older Picard is like, the series is far from a solo adventure and features brand-new characters played by names like Santiago Cabrera (Big Little Lies) as the pilot of Picard's new ship and Michelle Hurd (Blindspot) as an ex-intelligence officer with addiction issues, along with Alison Pill (American Horror Story), Isa Briones (Takers), Harry Treadaway (Penny Dreadful), and relative newcomer Evan Evagora in currently-unknown roles.
With a mix of old and newcomer talent on both sides of the camera, the Picard series looks to follow in Discovery's footsteps and blend old-fashioned Star Trek tropes with fresh sci-fi ideas and a more modern tone. Of course, this show has an advantage over CBS All Access' first Star Trek series in that it's not a prequel and has more freedom to play around with its storytelling, as opposed to having to work around classic lore and mythology. Something like the Star Wars sequel trilogy has certainly gotten a passionate fan response by bringing back old characters for new adventures, so it'll be very interesting to see how Trekkies take to Picard's story continuing by comparison.
CBS All Access has yet to announce a premiere date for the Picard series.
Source: Michael Chabon