Patrick Stewart is boldly going back to where he’s gone before — just not in a very long time — when he reprises his role as “Star Trek: Next Generation” captain, Jean-Luc Picard in his untitled CBS All Access series.
While details are few and far between, some intriguing bits of information have trickled out regarding what Picard, last seen in the 2002 film “Star Trek: Nemesis,” will be up to when the show premieres.
Below, TheWrap has round up what details we do know.
1. We know when it will premiere… kind of.
Although we don’t have an exact date, CBS’ chief creative officer David Nevins spilled that it will debut by the end of 2019. “In 2019, it’s not one ‘Star Trek,’ it’s two ‘Star Treks.’ ‘Discovery’ at the beginning of the year, and Picard will start at the end of the year,” he said during December’s 46th Annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference.
2. It will be the first “Star Trek” series to have a women direct its pilot or debut episode.
Hanelle Culpepper, who directed a pair of episodes for “Star Trek: Discovery,” will helm the first two episodes for the untitled series. Though many female directors have been behind the camera for “Star Trek” episodes over its decades-long history, she will be the first to direct a pilot or debut episode. All 13 “Star Trek” films have been directed by men.
3. He won’t be your father’s Jean-Luc Picard.
Viewers may have a hard time recognizing Patrick Stewart’s former U.S.S. Enterprise captain.
“It’s been 20-plus years, so he couldn’t possibly be that same person anymore,” said Alex Kurtzman, who is shepherding CBS All Access’s burgeoning “Star Trek” universe, during the Television Critics Association Press Tour in February.
“The question becomes: What has happened to him in that period of time? Have there been occurrences that force him to reckon with choices that he’s made in his life?” he continued. “How do you hold on to to being the person that everybody loved, when the circumstances around you may have changed so radically? Those are the big questions that we’re asking.”
Stewart had been reluctant to revisit the role of Picard over the years, but Kurtzman said he agreed to get on board only if he could do something radically different with the character. “Patrick was really clear with us from the beginning he did not want to repeat what had already been done.”
4. It will be the furthest in the future than any “Star Trek” property has explored.
Since the show picks up Picard 20 years later, that means it will also represent the furthest into the future that any “Star Trek” film or TV show has ever explored, though Kurtzman said they’re not going to get carried away with too much futurism. “No matter what choices we’re making about portraying the future, it has to feel grounded,” he continued. “The easy thing to do is come up with crazy floating skyscrapers and the clichés of science fiction. We’ve tried to avoid that across the board.”
5. It will include a tie-in to the most recent “Star Trek” film series.
The one plot detail that Kurtzman would actually confirm will be a tie-in to J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the franchise “Star Trek.”
Picard’s storyline will incorporate the destruction of Romulus — the Romulans were a primary antagonist for Picard and the “Next Generation” crew — an event that also served at the catalyst for Abrams’ film.
In “Star Trek,” the Romulan Nero (Eric Bana) blames Spock (Leonard Nimoy) — now an ambassador — for the destruction of his home planet, which was destroyed by a supernova. This supernova sucks in both Nero and Spock, flinging them back in time by 150 years, and bringing Nero face-to-face with the U.S.S. Kelvin. This is important because George Kirk, the father of legendary captain James T. Kirk, is aboard this ship and ends up sacrificing himself to save his wife and newborn son.
That event creates an alternate timeline — dubbed “The Kelvin Timeline” — that the rebooted franchise, which includes “Star Trek: Into Darkness” and “Star Trek: Beyond,” exists in.
6. We know a few castmembers not named Patrick Stewart.
“Salvation” alum Santiago Cabrera and “Blindspot” actress Michelle Hurd will join Stewart in the series, even though CBS All Access is staying mum on just who the two will play.