Captain Jean-Luc Picard was last seen in the Enterprise-E ready-room at the end of Star Trek: Nemesis,. That film featured Picard behaving wildly out of character, and despite a strong turn from a then-unknown Tom Hardy, it ended up one of the worst and most-reviled films in the Trek franchise. Not a great swan song for the beloved character, or for actor Patrick Stewart's Star Trek tenure. Stewart has stated he'd like to work on Quentin Tarantino's Trek film, but given that that project keeps fading further from reality, it seemed unlikely Picard would ever return.
Until now! Miracles do happen, and it seems that the newly-envigorated Star Trek franchise is about to expand in a dramatically fan-pleasing way. At this weekend's Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas, Stewart took to the stage to announce that he's set to return to his Picard role in a new series on CBS All Access. Here's his official statement on the matter (corroborated, for what it's worth, by the official Star Trek account):
It is an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Read my full statement in the photo. #StarTrek @cbsallaccess Photo: @shervinfoto pic.twitter.com/8Ynuj3RBNm— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) August 4, 2018
It's safe to assume that the show in question is the one Alex Kurtzman was recently said to be developing, in addition to several other Trek series including Discovery and the recently-announced spin-off miniseries Short Treks. Per Variety, Kurtzman is heading the creative team of James Duff, Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon, and acclaimed Trek novelist Kirsten Beyer, who reportedly came up with the show's initial concept.
As for the content of The Picard Show With Jean-Luc Picard: it seems this will be a sequel show, giving Picard the proper send-off we always wanted - akin to Stewart's magnificent final (or maybe not-final) turn as Charles Xavier in last year's Logan. Stewart's statement suggests, too, that Picard's return is designed specifically as a tonic for the "often very dark times" in which we live, which honestly sounds about as Star Trek as it gets. I'm about ready to cry just thinking about what a role model the guy was for me growing up.
Critic, occasional BMD contributor, former official Star Trek podcast host and wonderfully committed Trek fan Jordan Hoffman tweeted this quote from the convention floor:
Stewart on the new Picard Show: “He may not be a Captain. He may not be the Jean-Luc you remember. 20 years has passed. It will be different but with the same passion and love of the material and of the fans: EXACTLY as we had it before!” #stlv— Jordan Hoffman (@jhoffman) August 4, 2018
So: are you excited for a Picard-centric Star Trek show in 2018? How do you think the good Captain might have changed over the last twenty years - will he be an Academy professor? A diplomat, à la late-model Spock? Or something different? Will John de Lancie return as Q? What would you like to see from this show? Sound off in the comments below, and be forewarned: in this household, we love and respect Captain Picard. Make it so!