The retired Jean-Luc Picard will be “haunted” by his past when fans catch up with him in the new CBS All Access show Star Trek: Picard. Producer Alex Kurtzman says the rescue mission to Romulus is just the first ghost that Picard will have to wrestle with. “There are many things that haunt Picard,” Kurtzman tells Entertainment Weekly. Showrunner Michael Chabon adds, “He’s a lot older and we’re not shying away from that at all — we’re dealing with a man who’s in a very different place in his life.”
That said, they didn’t want to alter the core of who Picard is. “It was terribly important to us that he remains fundamentally Picard,” Kurtzman says. “You will not see a version that betrays the man we loved from Next Generation. We’re not doing that. But we wanted to put a character with that level of morality and leadership and who always does the right thing no matter how hard the circumstances … we wanted to put that to the test.”
Kurtzman suggested something similar about Picard in June when he hinted that the former Starfleet admiral made some regrettable decisions. “I think we’ve found a story that honors everything that people love about the character, but in ways that are not what you expect — and yet, become more and more familiar as the show goes,” Kurtzman says. “And that’s what’s exciting. A lot has happened to Jean-Luc Picard in the intervening years [since Nemesis]. There’s been a lot going on and he’s had to deal with some new things, he’s had to deal with some old things, and both of those things kind of come colliding together. He’s made choices that he’s not necessarily feeling great about — and yet I think the audience will understand exactly why he made them.”
Anyone worried about Picard's treatment in the new series should remember that the man who knows the character best, star and producer Patrick Stewart, had significant creative input in developing the new show.
“It was essential,” Kurtzman said on an episode of the Crew Call podcast. “We spent a lot of time with Patrick, and you know what? He’s incredibly brilliant just as a human, and very warm, and obviously he knows Jean-Luc Picard better than anybody — and you know, he was really the one who from the outset said, ‘I don’t want to do this unless we’re breaking new ground. I don’t want to just play the character I played, why come back to that? We did that already.’0comments
“So it’s been a really wonderful give-and-take in our collaboration with Patrick where he very quickly came to trust that we were both going to do exactly what he said in taking Picard to a new place, but also — and he doesn’t look at himself this way — we’re reverent of him, you know? He’s Patrick Stewart! When we’re in a room with him, his opinion really matters to us, and his happiness really matters to us, and ultimately, we couldn’t do this show the way we’re doing it if he wasn’t excited about it and excited to play it.”
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