'Star Trek': Patrick Stewart Says Picard Series Is Not Episodic, Wants Fans to Binge Watch

Star Trek fans should set aside some extra time later this year. Patrick Stewart teases that his return to Star Trek as Jean-Luc Picard will be a binge-worthy affair.

Speaking to Yahoo, Stewart teased that the new series will different from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Where The Next Generation told episodic stories, the new Picard series will tell one long tale over the course of its first season and, hopefully, beyond.

“We’re hoping for more than one season,” Stewart said. “And with this first series, and this is one of the things that’s so interesting about the writers’ room, they are writing a 10-hour movie. In The Next Generation, it was a story, a different story, a different story, all with the same characters as many series are. But this time it is one story, from beginning to end. I hope that will lead people to...binge-watching, that it might lead to something like that because the idea of it being an unfolding narrative is really terrific.”

Based on Stewart’s description, it sounds like the new Picard series will embrace the season-long arc structure that has characterized most of Netflix’s original scripted series and even Star Trek: Discovery. Unlike Netflix’s original series, fans most likely won’t be able to binge Picard immediately since the series will probably be released week-to-week, like Discovery, rather than all at once, as Netflix releases its originals.

At the TCA 2019 Winter Press Tour, producer Alex Kurtzman explained some of how Picard will be different from The Next Generation.

“Everybody in that room loves Jean-Luc Picard very deeply, and obviously, the benefit that we have is that Jean-Luc Picard is in the room with us,” Kurtzman said. “And so, as we're breaking story, we're asking ourselves, ‘How do we live to the spirit, and to the character, and for the tone that Next Gen set, but also make it something very, very different in other ways?’ And Patrick was really clear with us from the beginning. He did not want to repeat what he had already done. And by the way, it's been 20 plus years, so he couldn't possibly be that same person anymore.

“And so, the question becomes, ‘What has happened to him in that period of time? Have there been occurrences that forced him to reckon with choices that he's made in his life? How do you hold on to being the person everybody loved when the circumstances around you may have changed so radically?’ And those are the big questions that we're asking.”

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The Picard series is expected to debut in late 2019 on CBS All Access.