We still don’t know too much about the storyline for upcoming Star Trek spin-off series Picard. From the two trailers we understand that the legendary Starfleet captain (Patrick Stewart) will be protecting a young girl but we don’t, as yet, know why.
The trailers have also given us a glimpse of what appears to be a souped up Borg cube and returning former-Borg character Seven-of-Nine (Jeri Ryan).
Now, whilst sitting down with Vanity Fair, executive producer Alex Kurtzman and Julie McNamara, CBS All Access’ Executive Vice President of Original Content, have revealed that Stewart was adamant he did not want to retread old ground with the new series.
“Julie and I were very excited about the idea of bringing Patrick back. But… he did not want to come back,” Kurtzman confessed. “He said he was never going to play that part again. So we entered into that knowing Patrick is going to have a major, major voice in whatever this becomes if we’re going to get him to say yes. He doesn’t want to repeat what he’s done already, which was by the way, the best bar he could have put forward. The show is inspired by Next Gen, and it’s written by people who grew up loving it but it is very much not Next Gen. It feels like a modern adult drama in the world of Star Trek, which has not actually really happened before. It’s also singularly about a man in his emeritus years and there are very few franchises that would allow you to have an almost 80 year old lead and tell his story.”
Kurtzman continued by saying, “It’s not like we ever had conversations where All Access said, ‘Look, we really want it to be this or we really want it to be that.’ If anything, I think we were coming to them and saying, ‘Here’s what’s emerging from the room,’ and trying to give them real time assessments as the story was breaking. It didn’t follow a particularly traditional development process either. Usually there’s an outline and then there’s everybody reads it and they give notes. We didn’t go through that either and I think that was a testament to the trust that Julie gave us.”
“His constant refrain was: ‘I don’t want to do what I’ve already done,'” Kurtzman shared. “Obviously, it’s not a secret that the Borg were involved, and his first instinct was not to do the Borg. He was like, ‘I did that story. I don’t want to do that story.’ And we couldn’t just say, ‘Yeah, but we loved you in it so much, we just want to do that again.’ And what ended up emerging was actually a result of that back and forth, a very unique and very different Borg story. Definitely not the one that you could have told in Next Generation. And certainly not what I think anyone’s expecting.”
Star Trek: Picard is set to star Patrick Stewart, Santiago Cabrera, Michelle Hurd and Evan Evagora and will debut on CBS All Access on January 23, 2020 followed by a release on Amazon Prime in the UK and internationally on January 24.