“Star Trek”: How Patrick Stewart is Reinventing Jean-Luc for “Picard”
Sir Patrick Stewart was given an opportunity no other Star Trek actor had in seven decades: star in his second television series for the franchise. In the near-18 year gap between his last Star Trek: The Next Generation-related project in Nemesis (2002) to the new CBS All Access television series Star Trek: Picard, Stewart reprises his role as Jean-Luc Picard. With CBS All Access set for their Television Critics Association‘s winter press event this weekend and the series set to premiere on January 23rd, the 79-year old actor spoke with Variety on what it was like coming back to the character:
Following Stewart’s retirement from the role of Prof. Xavier in Fox’s Logan (2017), he spoke with series creator and executive producer Alex Kurtzman on reprising the iconic pop culture character. A smart move considering CBS gave Kurtzman the keys to the television franchise following the success of Star Trek: Discovery.
“Star Trek: Picard” – The Pitch
Stewart felt Picard needed to change with the times since the world moved on from TNG’s galaxy. He stated the conditions of what it will take for him to return to the role.
Despite initially balking at the deal, Stewart changed his mind and asked Kurtzman to put his ideas into writing. In two days, Kurtzman sent him a 30+ page packet of the concept of Picard. Stewart said the series remains faithful to creator Gene Roddenberry’s original vision of a future where humanity becomes free of internal conflict, but have to deal with external conflicts. He said the galaxy of Picard reflects on how contemporary issues factor in.
Contrasting Performances in “The Next Generation” to “Picard”
Jonathan Frakes, who plays Enterprise-D’s first officer Commander William Riker on TNG, reprises his role for Picard. Since the series, he’s concentrated more on directing including two of the episodes on the CBS All Access series. He said age gives Stewart an extra nuance to his performance.
For more on Stewart’s life and career, you can check out the rest of the interview on Variety.
About Tom Chang
I'm a gamer, sci-fi and fantasy fan. film and TV snob. I love to write and read the classics. Anything you want to talk about, I'm here to entertain or at least pretend to be interested.