Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: The Surprising Reason Stewart Joined The Next Generation Cast

In 1987, Patrick Stewart joined the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which completely reinvigorated the iconic sci-fi franchise. He would go on to portray the latest captain of the Enterprise for seven seasons and four films.

Now, with Stewart reprising his fan-favorite role for the first time in 18 years in the upcoming CBS All Access series Star: Trek Picard, the actor spoke with Variety about the reason he joined the franchise in the first place.

Stewart said he didn't want to star in the series when first offered and was content on remaining in London. However, he noted that a starring role on a major television series in the United States came with a salary that made up "more money than I’d ever seen in my life." Assured by his agent that the series wouldn't likely last more than a single season, Stewart agreed to take the role and relocate to Los Angeles.

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Of course, The Next Generation proved a huge hit with audiences and Stewart remained on the series until 1994 before transitioning to cinematic roles. That said, with Stewart returning to the role, it seems the actor's initial misgivings about joining the Star Trek franchise are far behind him.

Star Trek: Picard stars Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera and Harry Treadaway. The series is set to premiere on CBS All Access Jan. 23, 2020.