Eighth Star Trek series details next phase of Jean-Luc Picard's life; debuts in early 2020
In early 2020, the eighth Star Trek series will debut on the CBS All Access online platform, but fandom has been buzzing with excitement since nearly nine months before shooting on the new series even began: For not only will the ’20 release be set in a time period further than we’ve yet seen in detail (“The Next Next Generation,” if you will), but feature one of the most beloved characters in all of ST lore, Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
It’s quite the credit to the production team of what CBS executive confirmed in mid-May 2019 would be called “Star Trek: Picard” that incredibly few concrete details about the series have leaked between the first announcement at Trek Vegas 2018 and SDCC 2019. Star Trek Guide will regularly aggregate the newest news on this latest series as it is released but on this page we’ll take stock of what we know thus far. If you bookmark one page of StarTrekGuide.com, make it this one.
Here’s what we know so far (Last updated 22 July 2019):
• Naturally the San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC) of 2019 was a huge info-dumping ground for the various Star Trek projects (except for that Quentin Tarantino production, about which the only hard truth known is that the universe needs this film very, very badly) – and none as much as Star Trek: Picard. Of all the information we got from SDCC, though, the new CBS All Access trailer has Trek fans brain-quakingly giddy.
That’s right. Seven of Nine, the Borg, quite possibly a Q and *Commander freakin’ Data!!!* for the heavens’ sake! On top of this, the SDCC Star Trek: Picard panel was able to reveal that Captain Riker and Counselor(?) Troi are confirmed to return as well, despite early denials from Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis. Time will tell if the rest of the TNG gang shows up – STG is actually quite surprised the admiral who Picard is speaking to isn’t Janeway, but we’re thinking a Kate Mulgrew appearance wouldn’t be surprising; after all, wouldn’t she know how to get in touch with Seven?
But we’re not going off-course here with speculation. We also know a bit more about cast and characters.
• The SDCC trailer makes it appear as though the plot of ST:P revolves around the retired captain’s efforts to assist Dahj who appears drawn to Picard and who may have something to do with the Borg. (If you ask STG, she’s also down with the Q; just look at the way she disappears in mid-air: That ain’t Federation, Romulan or Borg technology.) Joining Isa Briones as Dahj among the new supporting crew are Michelle Hurd’s character is named Raffi Musiker, but everything else remains unknown; Evan Evagora is an earnest-looking, sword-carrying Romulan named Elnor; a second Romulan called Narek is in close contact with Nahj; and Alison Pill is researcher Dr. Agnes Jurati.
• Finally, Johnathan Del Arco reenters the Star Trek fold to reprise his role as the dissimilated Borg drone Hugh.
• In late May 2019, CBS All Access released the first teaser trailer for the series. And here it is:
• The series is now scheduled for an “early 2020” release and will be 10 episodes, which Patrick Stewart has described as, plot-wise, one single motion picture-like story.
• The setting is 20 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis and includes as backstory the destruction of the planet Romulus referenced in the 2009 movie. In fact, Picard himself was directly involved in the cataclysmic event, as seen in the Alex Kurtman/Roberto Orci comic book story Star Trek: Countdown – though STG is pretty confident Countdown won’t be referenced in this series.
• Along with the announcement of the title, producers released a single image of Patrick Stewart in the new series; fans have all but unanimously decided that the background setting is Starfleet Academy.
• Principal shooting began in the second half of April 2019, though pre-production discussions and work started as early as January ’18.
• Jonathan Frakes, a.k.a. Commander Riker, will be adding a seventh Star Trek title to his résumé in directing the third and fourth episodes of the series. Frakes has directed episodes of TNG, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise (though he’ll probably want to forget that one) and Discovery, plus the films First Contact and Insurrection.