The first season of Star Trek: Picard wrapped up this week, bringing a season of big moments for the Star Trek universe to an end. It also wraps up Michael Chabon's time as showrunner on the series. While Chabon seems satisfied with the work he's done, there's a different version of Star Trek: Picard he would have rather made. He revealed an even more ground pitch for a Star Trek series during an interview with Variety. "You know, personally speaking, my own tastes and inclination, I always said when we were in the earliest versions of the room for this show, if we could have just done a whole show about Picard and the dog on the vineyard in France, with no starships, no phasers, the only Romulans would be those two Romulans who work for him on the vineyard, and no politics — just, like, there's a funfair down in the village and they all go, and maybe Picard solves a very low stakes mystery in the village, like, someone has stolen the antique bell out of the bell tower, or something like that? I would have loved to write that show. Um. I don't think the world's quite ready for a Star Trek show like that, and there's probably maybe not that big of an audience for a Star Trek show like that."
He also goes into detail about how he and the other writers and producers tried to balance personal, character moments with the demands of the series' plot. "I mean, there's always going to be a tension — and this applies when you're writing novels, too," he says. "It's a tension that all writers experience when you're trying to produce a sustained work of fiction, whether that's on the page or on screen.
"I think a useful metaphor for thinking about it is an Etch A Sketch. If you remember, there are two dials on the Etch A Sketch, one is plot and one is character. What you're trying to do, and it's really hard, is to turn them exactly the same amount so that you're getting a perfect 45 degree angle. But as soon as you commit to a plotted story, which we committed to from the opening scene of Episode 1, you've strapped yourself to a plot-driven engine that you're going to have to push back against really hard to try to hold it into that 45 degree angle."
Chabon's time as showrunner is done, but he'll be back to write two episode of Star Trek: Picard's second season. Writing on the new season is already underway.