Star Trek: The Next Generation fans are eager to see Patrick Stewart return as Jean-Luc Picard in the upcoming series Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access. But fans shouldn't expect Star Trek: Picard to be a throwback. Executive producer Alex Kurtzman says the new series is its own experience different from The Next Generation, as Patrick Stewart hoped it would be. "You know, we feel a tremendous responsibility to the fans who have loved [the Picard character], and Patrick himself, who took a massive leap of faith with us in choosing to come back and play Picard [after] he said he was done forever," Kurtzman told TrekCore. "He also said, 'I want to make sure if I come back, if you loved TNG, you'll feel we're honoring it, but this is a very different experience.' This is really a very different experience. It looks incredibly different, the kind of storytelling is different, but if you're someone who's never watched it at all, it's been built for you to come into it and get to be dropped into this very emotional story about this captain who's in the late stage of his life and is dealing with the sum total of all his choices.
Kurtzman continued, "It also has an incredible new crew — incredible, to a person, they're all so wonderful. And we have now started showing it to the studio, and they're thrilled with it, so that gave us a lot more confidence that we've hit the mark. We've now watched five episodes with Patrick and he's thrilled with it too. Because he was so happy with it, it makes us feel like it honored what we promised."
Executive producer Heather Kadin also discussed her hopes for the new show. "I just hope that it delivers for everyone," she said. "I think people have this love for The Next Generation… obviously, people's love for Trek informs how they feel about Discovery, but we were introducing brand new characters. And [with Picard] you can tell when we released the trailer, people's love for [the TNG characters] is so deep and so real, we all felt so obligated to not let people down — which I don't feel we're going to — but I think we just really want people to embrace it and love it as much as we have, and they're so excited about it."
Are you excited about Star Trek: Picard? Let us know in the comments. Star Trek: Picard premieres January 23rd on CBS All Access.