Star Trek: Picard

Star Trek: Picard is an American web television series created for CBS All Access by Kirsten Beyer, Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon and Alex Kurtzman. It is the eighth series in the Star Trek franchise and centers on the character Jean-Luc Picard. Set at the end of the 24th century, 18 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis (2002), the storyline revisits the death of Commander Data, which occurred in the climax of that film, as well as the destruction of the planet Romulus, which occurred in the 2009 film Star Trek.

Star Trek: Picard
In gold letters, the words Star Trek are written above the word Picard, with the A in Picard replaced by the Starfleet symbol reflecting a bright light.
Genre
Created by
Based onStar Trek: The Next Generation
by Gene Roddenberry
Starring
Composer(s)Jeff Russo
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes1 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s)Santa Clarita, California
Production company(s)
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Release
Original networkCBS All Access
Original releaseJanuary 23, 2020 (2020-01-23) –
present (present)
Chronology
Preceded byStar Trek: Discovery
Related shows
External links
Website

Patrick Stewart is the executive producer of the series and stars as Picard, reprising his role from Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as other Star Trek media. Santiago Cabrera, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Alison Pill, Harry Treadaway, and Isa Briones also star. Several actors from previous Star Trek series also reprise their roles, including Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan, Marina Sirtis, and Jonathan Frakes.[1] The series was first rumored in June 2018 when Kurtzman began his expansion and was officially announced that August after months of negotiations with Stewart, who had previously said he would not return to the franchise after Nemesis. Filming began in California in April 2019, with the series' official title announced a month later.

Star Trek: Picard premiered on January 23, 2020, and its first season will consist of ten episodes. Ahead of the premiere, CBS All Access renewed Star Trek: Picard for a 10-episode second season.

Cast and charactersEdit

Main castEdit

  • Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard: A retired Starfleet admiral and former captain of its flagship vessel USS Enterprise. Stewart returns to the role after last portraying the character in the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis. He felt that at that time his role in the franchise "had run its natural course", but in the years since he was humbled by stories of the impact the character had on the lives of fans and so was now happy "to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times".[2]
  • Isa Briones as Dahj: A young woman who comes to Picard for help. Revealed to be an android and to be Data's daughter.
    • Briones also stars as Soji Asha, Dahj's twin.[3]
  • Alison Pill as Agnes Jurati: A doctor working for the Daystrom Institute's Division of Advanced Synthetic Research in Okinawa. She was recruited by Dr. Bruce Maddox, who developed a highly experimental synthetic development technique known as fractal neuronic cloning.
  • Santiago Cabrera as Cristobal "Chris" Rios:[4][5] The pilot of Picard's ship, a skilled thief and a former Starfleet officer.
  • Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker:[4][5] A former Starfleet intelligence officer struggling with substance abuse and is Rios' partner.
  • Harry Treadaway as Narek:[5][6] A Romulan agent who joins Picard's crew in investigating what his people are doing to former Borg drones.[7]
  • Evan Evagora as Elnor:[5][8] A Romulan refugee who is an expert in hand-to-hand combat and is fiercely loyal to Picard.[7]

Recurring and returning castEdit

EpisodesEdit

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [11]
1"Remembrance"Hanelle CulpepperTeleplay by : Akiva Goldsman and James Duff
Story by : Akiva Goldsman & Michael Chabon & Alex Kurtzman and James Duff
January 23, 2020 (2020-01-23)
Following the Romulan supernova, Admiral Jean-Luc Picard has resigned his commission from Starfleet in protest of their failure to save the lives of Romulan citizens. This was, in part, caused by an attack on the Confederated Martian Colonies, and the Utopia Planitia Shipyards, by synthetics - and would lead to a ban on them. Picard retires to his country estate in La Barre, France. In Greater Boston, Dahj is enjoying an evening with her boyfriend, when Romulan assassins transport into her apartment. They kill him, but before they can kill her, something activates in Dahj, and she kills the assassins. She experiences visions of Picard, and seeks him out after seeing him being interviewed on the Federation News Network. Dahj finds sanctuary in La Barre, but soon runs away out of fear of bringing harm to the Admiral. Picard calls on the Starfleet Archives and discovers a painting Data made thirty years previous entitled "Daughter", bearing a female figure resembling Dahj. Dahj tracks Picard down and reunites with him, but it proves to be a brief reunion, as she is killed by the same assassins from earlier. Picard travels to the Daystrom Institute in Okinawa and meets with Dr. Agnes Jurati, who reveals Dahj may be Data's daughter through an experimental procedure known as fractal neuronic cloning – meaning she is an android with an organic body but a positronic brain. Jurati reveals this process results in twins. The episode ends in a Romulan reclamation site where a Romulan named Narek meets with Soji Asher, Dahj's twin. A final view of the reclamation site reveals it to be a Borg Cube.
2"Maps and Legends"[12]Hanelle Culpepper[13]TBAJanuary 30, 2020 (2020-01-30)
3TBAJonathan Frakes[14]TBAFebruary 6, 2020 (2020-02-06)
4TBAJonathan Frakes[14]TBAFebruary 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

In June 2018, after becoming sole showrunner of the series Star Trek: Discovery, Alex Kurtzman signed a five-year overall deal with CBS Television Studios to expand the Star Trek franchise beyond Discovery to several new series, miniseries, and animated series.[15] One of these new series was believed[by whom?] to star Patrick Stewart, reprising his role of Jean-Luc Picard from the series Star Trek: The Next Generation.[16][17] Kurtzman and Akiva Goldsman (who worked on the first season of Discovery) were attached to the project.[17]

When CBS first approached him about making more Star Trek series, Kurtzman believed that Picard was the greatest Star Trek captain and included a series featuring the character on his wish list. Despite Stewart's statements that he was done with the franchise, Kurtzman and Goldsman contacted Stewart in late 2017,[citation needed] initially to see if he would be willing to appear in a Star Trek: Short Treks episode.[18] Kurtzman, Goldsman and Discovery writer Kirsten Beyer met with the actor,[19] who took the meeting with the intention of turning the project down, but was intrigued enough by their discussion to ask them for a three-page document outlining their ideas.[19][20] At that time, Goldsman invited novelist Michael Chabon, a friend, to work on the project as well and the four ultimately produced a 34-page document that they sent to Stewart. He organised another meeting with them in March 2018, where he expressed his approval of their pitch. While deciding whether to join the project, Stewart asked Kurtzman that the series be "so different" from previous Star Trek stories, "both what people remember but also not what they're expecting at all, otherwise why do it?"[19] He was also concerned that the series would be "jokey", but received assurances from the project's creative team that it would not be.[20]

On August 4, 2018, Stewart made a surprise appearance at the annual Las Vegas Star Trek Convention to officially announce the series and confirm that he would star in it. Stewart was also set to executive produce the series alongside Kurtzman, Goldsman, Chabon, Discovery's James Duff, Heather Kadin of Kurtzman's production company Secret Hideout, and Rod Roddenberry (the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry) and Trevor Roth of Roddenberry Entertainment. Beyer remained part of the creative team as well.[2] The series was expected to premiere in 2019.[21] Kadin revealed in October that the series was intended to be ongoing rather than a limited miniseries, and that its release would not overlap with Discovery or any other new Star Trek series. Kurtzman added that the Picard series would be "its own thing",[22] later elaborating that where Discovery is "a bullet", the Picard series is "a very contemplative show" with its own "rhythm" and more of a "real-world" feeling.[23] CBS CCO David Nevins confirmed in December 2018 that the series was intended to debut on CBS All Access at the end of 2019, after the full release of Discovery's second season and several Short Treks shorts.[24]

Stewart revealed in January 2019 that the series would consist of 10 episodes, and reiterated that the intention was for it to continue for multiple seasons,[20] adding a month later that "we are set up for possibly three years of this show".[25] A production listing in March gave the series' title as Star Trek: Destiny, which CBS had trademarked in 2018.[26] However, the official title was revealed as Star Trek: Picard at CBS's upfront presentation that May.[27] At that time, Kurtzman revealed that the series does not have a traditional showrunner and instead was being "shepherded" by a larger creative team.[28] Chabon was later named the showrunner for the series.[29]

In December 2019, ahead of the series premiere, CBS All Access renewed the series for a 10-episode second season.[30]

WritingEdit

An initial series' writers room had begun work by the end of September 2018, and worked alongside Stewart for two weeks.[21][31] The room soon expanded to include a full roster of writers for the series,[31] and they had broken the stories for eight episodes by that December.[23] The series is set 20 years after Stewart's last appearance as Picard in the film Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).[14] Kurtzman revealed that the series would find the character "radically altered" by the destruction of Romulus several years after the events of Nemesis, as depicted in the film Star Trek (2009).[19] Stewart said the series would tell a single serialized story, and despite taking place at a similar time to flashforwards in the Next Generation finale "All Good Things..." he would not be growing a beard for the series as he did for those scenes.[20]

Kurtzman said the mandate for the series was to make it "a more psychological show, a character study about this man in his emeritus years", and noted that it was rare for a television series to star an older actor like Stewart. In the series, the character must find his way back to Roddenberry's original optimistic vision for the franchise, which Kurtzman hoped would reinforce that original vision while allowing the character to "go through deep valleys".[28]

CastingEdit

 
Patrick Stewart reprises the series' title role from previous Star Trek media

With the initial series announcement in August 2018 also came confirmation that Stewart would star in the series as Picard.[2] At the start of March 2019, Santiago Cabrera and Michelle Hurd were both set to co-star in the series, with Cabrera being one of the most sought-after actors during the 2019 television pilot season and choosing this series over many other offers.[4] Later in the month, newcomer Evan Evagora was cast as another series regular role.[8] In April, Alison Pill, Harry Treadaway, and Isa Briones joined the cast.[6] During an episode of The View, the day before the premiere of the first episode, Stewart invited Whoopi Goldberg to reprise her role as Guinan in season 2.[32]

DesignEdit

Acknowledging that the series would be set further in the future than any previous Star Trek film or series, Kurtzman explained that the production was aiming for a "grounded" approach rather than having things like "crazy floating skyscrapers and all the cliches of science fiction ... we've tried to avoid that, across the board, in the production design and the look of it and the feel of it. It's all about the personal details that you can connect to now, even though it takes place so far in the future."[33]

FilmingEdit

Production began on April 22, 2019,[34] at Santa Clarita Studios, California, under the working title Drawing Room.[26] In December 2018, the series was granted $15.6 million dollars in tax credits by the California Film Commission for the production to take place in California rather than in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where Discovery is filmed.[35] The first two episodes are directed by Hanelle Culpepper, who previously directed for Discovery and is the first woman to direct the initial episode of a Star Trek series.[13] These first two episodes make up the first "block" of filming for the series, with its 10 episodes split into five blocks total. Jonathan Frakes, who also previously directed for Discovery, directs the second block of episodes and stated his belief that this block system had more to do with amortization than any story-based reasons.[14] Filming concluded on September 1, 2019.[26]

ReleaseEdit

Star Trek: Picard premiered on January 23, 2020, on CBS All Access in the United States,[24][36] and will run for 10 episodes.[14] Like Discovery before it, each episode of the series will be broadcast in Canada by CTV Sci-Fi Channel[37] (English) and Z (French) and available to stream on Crave.[38] Amazon Prime Video will stream the episodes within 24 hours of their U.S. release in over 200 other countries and territories around the world; this is different from Discovery, which is released internationally by Netflix.[39] The deals with Amazon and Bell Media for the series were made by international distributor arm CBS Studios International.[39][38]

ReceptionEdit

On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 94% with an average rating of 7.92/10, based on 49 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "Helmed by the incomparable Patrick Stewart, Picard departs from standard Starfleet protocol with a slower serialized story, but like all great Star Trek, it tackles timely themes with grace and makes for an exciting push further into the final frontier".[40] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 77 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[41]

Tie-in mediaEdit

ComicsEdit

In December 2019, IDW released the first issue of a 3-set mini series called Star Trek: Picard Countdown, which is a comic book–based story set in 2385 – two years before the destruction of Romulus and 15 years before the TV series. It deals with Admiral Picard's actions during the evacuation of Romulus and the affected planets near it.[42]

The Ready RoomEdit

On January 12, 2020, CBS All Access announced that a new season of The Ready Room will accompany the upcoming Star Trek: Picard series. Hosted by actor Wil Wheaton, new episodes will air after a new episode of Star Trek: Picard is released on CBS All Access. The Ready Room originally debuted as an aftershow to accompany the second season of Star Trek: Discovery (replacing After Trek).[43]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Otterson, Joe; Otterson, Joe (July 20, 2019). "'Star Trek: Picard' to Feature Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan". Variety. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (August 4, 2018). "Patrick Stewart To Star In New 'Star Trek' Series As Jean-Luc Picard On CBS All Access". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 4, 2018. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "Soji Asher". Memory Alpha. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (March 4, 2019). "Santiago Cabrera & Michelle Hurd To Co-Star In 'Star Trek' Jean-Luc Picard Series On CBS All Access". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 5, 2019. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
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  43. ^ "Wil Wheaton to Host 'Star Trek: Picard' After-Show 'The Ready Room'". TREKNEWS.NET | Your daily dose of Star Trek news and opinion. January 13, 2020. Retrieved January 17, 2020.

External linksEdit