Everything We Know So Far About 'Star Trek: Picard'

Patrick Stewart returns to his iconic role, but what's next for Jean-Luc Picard?


With several series, dozens of seasons, and thousands of characters, the Star Trek franchise is as sprawling as the far-future worlds it explores. But few have captured the hearts and minds of Trek fans as much Jean-Luc Picard.

As the Captain of the USS Enterprise-D, Picard wasn't as brash or boisterous as the franchise's forbearer, James Kirk. Instead, Picard, played by English legend Patrick Stewart, ruled his ship like a philosopher king, more comfortable debating the finer nuances of moral quandaries than socking a Gorn in the face.

It's been nearly 17 years since the character last appeared on screen, in the much-maligned film Star Trek: Nemesis, so it's no wonder that fans were excited when CBS All-Access—and Patrick Stewart—announced last year that the character would be returning.

Then nearly nine months later, on May 15, 2019, CBS began letting details slip about Picard's next adventure, as well as the show's name. So what do we know about this new show? Will Picard return to the Captain's chair? And what stories are possibly left to tell?

So What's the Name?

: Picard will stream exclusively on in the United States, on Amazon in more than 200 countries and territories and in Canada on Bell Media’s and OTT service .

— Star Trek (@StarTrek)

Somewhat unimaginatively, the show is simply called Star Trek: Picard. Of course, when you have a character as storied as Stewart's even-keeled Captain, you don't really need much else.

The name does support what previous rumors have suggested: that this is Picard's story and not a reboot of The Next Generation.

In early September 2018, Marina Sirtis (aka TNG's Deanna Troi) posted a picture with Stewart and others from the TNG cast, causing fans to believe that other cast members would be appearing in the Picard series. But at Rose City Comic Con, Sirtis cleared things up by stating:

"All I have to say, all we have to say...when Patrick said 'Jean-Luc Picard is Back,' he didn't say TNG is back."

The conversation also included Michael Dorn (Worf) and Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher). All three confirmed that they were not asked to be a part of the show.

Of course, what one says in public isn't necessarily what's true—fans don't want spoilers, after all. It also seems incredibly unlikely that CBS, which seemed more than happy to dredge up some for Star Trek: Discovery, wouldn't want to do the same for Picard. But I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

What's it about?

The first image of Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard in the new Star Trek series.

So we don't know much about what, but we do know when. CBS confirmed the show will take place 20 years after Nemesis, making this the farthest into the future any Star Trek show has had its primary setting (except maybe Discovery, but I'll say no more on that subject).

The only image we have from Picard also shows the former Captain in civilian's clothing, though a Starfleet uniform can be spotted in the background. So it would appear that Picard isn't involved with Starfleet, or at the very least, isn't involved at the show's opening.

As for other details, we need to turn to the head honcho himself, Alex Kurtzman. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Kurtzman declined to give any juicy plot details, but did flesh out the general brush strokes of Picard:

"The mandate was to make it a more psychological show, a character study about this man in his emeritus years. There are so few shows that allow a significantly older protagonist to be the driver...What happens when circumstances have conspired to not give him the happiest of endings? Hopefully, it’s a reinforcement of Roddenberry’s vision of optimism. He’s going to have to go through deep valleys to get back to the light."

He also added:

"It’ll be very different than ‘Discovery.’ It’ll be slower, more meditative. It speaks to the rainbow of colors we’re playing with in all these different shows."

Additionally, in an interview , Kurtzman let slip that "Picard's life was radically altered by the dissolution of the Romulan Empire." In Star Trek (2009), we see a pretty radical end to the Romulan Empire, and in Nemesis, the film's main bad guy—a clone of Picard himself—was created by the Romulans. It looks like that scar runs deep as the Romulan Empire crumbles away.

Of course, fans aren't completely in the dark about Picard's fate after the conclusion of Nemesis. In "All Good Things," the two-part finale of the TV series, we see a Picard in the year 2395.

We learn that at one point he became an ambassador, married and divorced Crusher, and eventually retired to his French vineyard. But most importantly, we learn Picard's been inflicted , a degenerative neurological disorder, which Picard says can take "years to run its course."

TNG cleverly wrote in a workaround. In the same episode, Data says that "there have already been changes in the way the timeline is unfolding. The future will undoubtedly be different from the one the Captain encountered."

This certainly isn't a happy ending for our hero, but the Romulan Empire comment appears to complicate things. It seems more likely than not that Picard writers will fully do away with this TNG pseudo-ending.

Who's Involved with the Show Anyway?

The journey has begun. Kirsten Beyer, Michael Chabon, Akiva Goldsman, Diandra Pendleton-Thompson, James Duff, and yours truly.

— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew)

Acting wise, the big one is Stewart, a necessary ingredient for a show called Picard, but the creative roster is a bit more fleshed out. Actors Santiago Cabrera (Salvation) and Michelle Hurd (Blindspot) will also be joining the cast, with rumors suggesting Cabrera will be the pilot aboard Picard's ship and Hurd an expert intelligence officer, .

that Alison Pill (Newsroom), Harry Treadaway (Penny Dreadful), and Isa Briones (American Crime Story: Versace) will star in the series as well, but it's a mystery who they'll be portraying.

One big name added to the list of producers is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon (pictured above), who recently wrote a script called "Calypso" for CBS's Short Treks—arguably the best story of the four shorts—and even received from previous Trek showrunner Rick Berman.

Although it's far too early to speculate casting for the series, James McAvoy, who famously played Stewart's other iconic character Charles Xavier in the X-Men films, has already offered , but nothing definitive has been announced.

will direct the first two episodes of the series, becoming the first woman to launch a Star Trek show. Rounding out the creative roster is Kurtzman (the chief in charge of all things Star Trek for CBS), Akiva Goldsman, James Duff, Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry, and Trevor Roth as executive producers.

So When Can I Watch It?

Star Trek: Picard's release date is currently sometime in the year 2020, so we still have a bit of a wait on our hands.

Like Star Trek: Discovery, the franchise's newest show, Picard will debut on CBS All-Access but will stream outside the U.S. on Amazon Prime Video instead of Netflix. If you can't wait that long for Picard's return to screen, no worries. Just give yourself a thorough refresher . Might we recommend some favorites?

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From TV