'Star Trek': Picard Series Surprise Announcement Was Patrick Stewart's Idea

In 2018, Patrick Stewart shocked Star Trek fans by appearing at Star Trek Las Vegas and announcing his return to the role of Jean-Luc Picard. It turns out the surprise announcement was his idea.

Speaking to Yahoo, Stewart says that the people behind the upcoming CBS All Access series had a more traditional idea about how to announce the show.

“When they said - I’d signed the contract - ‘Yeah, we’ve got to announce it so we’re going to have one of our team, we’ll make the announcement, there’ll be a press conference,’” Stewart recalls.

He thought it over and came up with a better idea.

“I went home with that knowledge and got back to them and said ‘Look, I have done a lot of Star Trek conventions over the years. I do very, very few appearances now. Here’s what I think: Coming up is [Star Trek Las Vegas]. Why don’t I just show up?’ And as it happens, I showed up right after [William] Shatner’s hour that he’d done. Nobody was expecting me to be there.”

Producer Alex Kurtzman introduced Stewart, and the response was electric.

“Alex Kurtzman, who is senior executive producer, he went out and said ‘Well, I would like to talk to you about [Star Trek:] Discovery,’ his show, ‘and I know there have been rumors about other things. You know what, why don’t I bring somebody out who really knows what’s going on.’ He didn’t announce my name, I just walked on to the stage. And well, of course, there was a lot of enthusiasm. I think there were between two and three thousand people in this hall. I talked very, very little about what we had in mind, but at the end of my little five-minute speech, I said. ‘So the one thing I have to tell you is the captain is back.’ And the response was incredible, I mean far better than any press conference could possibly have been. And that excited me too. There is still enthusiasm. Mind you, I think for science fiction nerds it never goes away, you are for life.”

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The Picard series is now in pre-production. Filming is expected to begin in mid-April. The series is expected to debut on CBS All Access in late 2019.