Alex Kurtzman, the man tasked with developing the Star Trek television franchise, has offered the first clues as to what the new Star Trek series bringing back Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard will be like.
Kurtzman is also the co-creator and now showrunner of Star Trek: Discovery, but he says that if you think the new Picard series will be just like Discovery but with the Star Trek: The Next Generation captain at the center then you couldn't be more wrong.
"It's an extremely different rhythm than Discovery," Kurtzman told EW. "Discovery is a bullet. Picard is a very contemplative show. It will find a balance between the speed of Discovery and the nature of what Next Gen was but I believe it will have its own rhythm."
Fans may remember that Picard was not in the best place the last time he was on screen, in the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis. He had to face down an evil clone of himself and then, at the end of the film, face a future where the little family he had built for himself aboard the Enterprise had scattered apart. Data was dead, Riker and Troi were leaving for Titan, Worf had left the ship years ago and taken a post at Deep Space Nine, and Dr. Crusher was heading back to Starfleet Medical on Earth, leaving just Picard and Geordi La Forge as the only two core cast members still posted to the Enterprise.
Picard's story may have gotten more closure in the planned fifth and final Star Trek film to feature The Next Generation crew, but the poor reception and performance of Nemesis led to Paramount's decision to cut their losses by scrapping the last movie.
Kurtzman says that the new series will finally give fans the opportunity to get some of the answers they've been looking for.
"Without revealing too much about it, people have so many questions about Picard and what happened to him, and the idea we get to take time to answer those questions in the wake of the many, many things he's had to deal with in Next Gen is really exciting. 'More grounded' is not the right way to put it, because season 2 of Discovery is also grounded. It will feel more … real world? If that's the right way to put it."
Kurtzman also offered an update on where the project is in terms of development. While Stewart remains the only actor cast in the series so far, Kurtzman says, "The writer's room has broken about eight episodes and we're moving quickly and I couldn't be more excited about it."
It was today announced that the Picard series will film in California. The project is aiming to start production in April, and CBS hopes to have the show premiere in late 2019.
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