Star Trek fans have been eagerly awaiting the new series Star Trek: Picard, slated to debut in January 2020. It was first announced at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention in August 2018, and a nice long trailer just debuted at this weekend’s New York Comic-Con. It’s practically a Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion, featuring plenty of familiar faces alongside the new cast.
Rumors began swirling about a Picard-centric spin-off series shortly after Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzmann signed a five-year development deal with CBS to further expand the franchise for its streaming service. One potential snag was whether Patrick Stewart, who created the character, would reprise his role. Kurtzman envisioned a more contemplative tone, describing the series as “a more psychological show, a character study about this man in his emeritus years.” The concept was sufficiently unique that Stewart signed on.
“I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its course,” Stewart said at the 2018 convention. But he professed himself “humbled” by the stories from fans about how much the character of Picard and ST:TNG had comforted them during difficult times in their lives. “I feel I’m ready to return to him for the same reason—to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times.” There are ten episodes in the first season, with plans for two additional seasons if the series succeeds.
The first trailer debuted at San Diego Comic Con in July. Picard has retired to the family vineyard, filled with regret because Data sacrificed his life to save him in Star Trek: Nemesis. (The series is set about 20 years after those events.) His bucolic existence is interrupted by the arrival of a mysterious woman named Dahj (Isa Briones), who pleads, “Everything inside of me says that I’m safe with you.” It’s unclear who she is, but she has shapeshifting powers and is quite the athlete. Clearly Picard has his suspicions, telling an admiral at what appears to be a Starfleet outpost, “If she is who I think she is, she is in serious danger.”
We caught glimpses of Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) and Data (Brent Spiner). And the SDCC unveiling included confirmation that at least two other regulars from ST:TNG would at least make an appearance on Picard: Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco) and William Riker (Jonathan Frakes). We do indeed catch sight of Riker in the latest trailer, along with Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis). The new cast members include Christobal (Santiago Cabrera), a skilled thief who becomes the pilot of Picard’s ship; Raffi (Michelle Hurd), a former intelligence officer and recovering addict; Dr. Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill); and two Romulan refugees, Elnor (Evan Evagora) and Narek (Harry Treadaway).
The new trailer opens with a dream sequence, as Picard encounters Data in the vineyard working on a strangely haunting painting of a woman. He offers to let Picard complete the painting, but Picard responds he doesn’t know how. “That is not true, sir,” Dream Data replies, handing him the paintbrush. As images of past tragedy flash by, Picard wakes up next to his trusty dog, Number One. “I came here to find safety,” he says in a voiceover. “But one is never safe from the past.”
When the mysterious Dahj shows up, he travels to Federation headquarters to convince them to help her. But he’s been gone a long time, and his entreaties are rebuffed. Never one to admit defeat, Picard amasses his own crew, both old and new faces, for a top-secret unauthorized rescue mission. “The past is written,” he intones. “But we are left to write the future.”
Star Trek: Picard premieres January 23, 2020, on CBS All Access. Feel free to toast the occasion with a nice glass of Star Trek Wine.
Listing image by YouTube/CBS All Access