This past summer at San Diego Comic Con, Patrick Stewart unveiled the first trailer for the upcoming CBS All Access series Star Trek: Picard, which sees the actor returning to his iconic role of the intrepid Starfleet officer Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Not to let the attendees at New York Comic Con feel left out, Stewart opened up the panel for the show by premiering a brand new trailer for the show.
The new trailer also revealed that the series premier is scheduled for January 23, 2020.
After the screening of the trailer, and a repeat showing of it at Stewart’s command, the panel discussion got down to business as a number of creative personnel from both behind and in front of the camera talked about the upcoming series.
Series creator ane executive producer Alex Kurtzman spoke briefly about how the concept for the series grew out of an idea to revisit the character of Jean-Luc Picard for one of the Star Trek: Short Treks short films that they had been producing for CBS All Access. That quickly grew into the series that will be premiering early next year on the streaming service.
“We wanted it to be a real time follow-up to where we last saw Picard,” Kurtzman explained. “We wanted to let the eighteen years that have passed for us also have passed for Jean-Luc. We all spent a lot of time collaboratively filling in those points. We know pretty much everything that’s happened in that time and the actual evolution of his character as we could anticipate and imagine.”
Once of Stewart’s initial concerns about the show was that it not necessarily become a Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion show, which is something that the producers were keen to avoid as well.
“I think you can tell in the trailer and you’ll definitely tell when you watch the series that we’ve only brought people back if their stories really mattered to the story we were telling,” added executive producer Heather Kadin. “We didn’t want it to be ‘Oh, an over here is Riker!'”
But Picard is very much not about revisiting old friends as it is about meeting new characters on Jean-Luc’s journey. And as one can see in the trailer, it is a journey started by his chance meeting with a mysterious young woman named Dahj who comes to the Picard family winery seeking help.
“When Dahj and Picard first meet it’s this special moment of two lost souls in a way colliding in this crazy circumstance born out of tragedy,” states Isa Briones, who plays Dahj on the show. “It starts with me asking for help but in a way we help each other, which is really a beautiful moment to have with Sir Patrick Stewart.”
Santiago Cabrera, who plays pilot Cristobal Rios, describes the ensemble of characters that Picard teams up with after Starfleet refuses to help Dahj as “band of misfits in a certain way.”
“My character is ex-Starfleet,” Cabrera says of Rios, “Due to some traumatic experiences in his past, he’s stepped away from Starfleet. He’s very reticent to take on Picard.”
Michelle Hurd, who plays Raffi Musiker, states that her character’s relationship with Picard will not be smooth at first as well. “Raffi and Picard have a very complicated history. We have a past. We worked together and we had a falling out. She also has a very complicated relationship with the Federation in general. She’s very complicated in general. I wouldn’t say she’s warm and fuzzy. She’s sarcastic and she has vices that she leans on.”
And while it seems as if Picard will initially not get along with some of his new companions, he might have an easier time with Allison Pill’s Dr. Agnes Jurati.
“Picard’s mission ends up being exactly what she has spent her entire life dreaming about,” Pill explains. “So they have the same goal in mind and the possibility of it invites this woman to want to go on an adventure unlike any other she’s every wanted to go on.”
While the producers handled the casting chores for most of the series, Stewart admitted that he gave input for one of the roles, that of Number One, Picard’s pet dog.
“I did campaign vociferously for [Picard’s dog] to be a pit bull,” Stewart stated. He then wryly added, “What I didn’t know at the time was that Brad Pitt [in Once Upon A Time Hollywood] got in there ahead of me. There’s another pit bull now who has gotten famous in the last few weeks.”
But while the trailer that was unveiled at the start of the panel promised lots of action in the series, Kurtzman did point out that the show will still hold true to the franchise’s tradition of using science-fiction to explore modern day society.
“Star Trek is a mirror,” Kurtzman says. “It holds itself up to society. We’re in a massive immigration conversation right now and we’re diving head first into that and using Trek as a way of exploring it from all points of view.”