Image: CBS Television Distribution
Captain Picard is coming back, and the plan is to have Patrick Stewart return to play him. This news rocked Trekkies this weekend when Stewart said in a statement that it was "an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over."
It is an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Read my full statement in the photo. #StarTrek@cbsallaccess Photo: @shervinfotopic.twitter.com/8Ynuj3RBNm— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) August 4, 2018
The announcement came at a Star Trek convention, where Stewart revealed the news to his biggest fans. Watch it in full below:
As fans process this news and look forward to the new series from CBS, there is no info yet on what Picard's new show will be about or when we can expect to watch it. But that got us digging back through old interviews to remember the last time Stewart was charged with rebooting Star Trek for TV in 1987.
When Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered in fall of 1987, Stewart and his Enterprise crew - characters who became iconic themselves, Commander Riker, Geordi La Forge, Tasha Yar, Worf, Deanne Troi - had huge shoes to fill from the nearly 20 years that had passed since the original series had left the air and found success on the big screen with characters like Spock and Kirk and Bones.
Stewart and his castmates had nothing to fear, though. The fans responded overwhelmingly positively when TNG debuted, and if you were among the reboot's earliest fans contributing to the outpouring of letters sent to Stewart in support, it's likely you got a handwritten response almost immediately, because Stewart said in an interview back then that he'd take his fan mail home on weekends to write personal answers to every fan.
In an interview on CNN's "Showbiz Today" in 1988, Stewart expressed some of the anxiety he felt joining the Star Trek cast at first, saying, "Revivals, repeats, they’re always very difficult, especially when it’s something that has this cult status that it’s acquired over the years."
In the same interview, though, it floored us to hear Stewart basically predict the future we're living now, when he discussed how much there was to his character and even hinted that he could be bringing Captain Picard back for more eventually, forecasting this present day 30 years later. "The only downside is possibly the length of the commitment and the other things that I might not be able to do. What’s happened now is I wonder now whether we shall have long enough, really, to do all the things that we’re planning to do with the show. "
It seems now they will have long enough, with the promise of Picard returning to the starship Enterprise soon, continuing its mission, to explore new worlds... and, apparently, bring back some familiar faces.
Sundays 9 PM & Weeknights 9 PM Eastern