11:52am PT by Graeme McMillan
'Star Trek: Picard' Unveils New Trailer, Release Date
The Star Trek Universe panel at New York Comic Con thrilled audiences with the debut of a new trailer for Star Trek: Picard, as well as as well as announcing Jan. 23, 2020, as the premiere date of the 10-episode series.
Work on the show started despite expectations that Patrick Stewart would never reprise his role as Jean-Luc Picard, executive producer Alex Kurtzman said.
“We were sitting in a room, we were actually doing some stuff and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to do one of the Short Treks about Picard,’ and we said, ‘A Short Trek would be great, but wouldn’t it be great to bring him back?’”
Stewart turned down the idea in the initial meeting before finding himself curious about the concept; a request for more details led to the creation of a 35-page document from writer and executive producer Michael Chabon, which got the actor to sign on.
“I was working with Akiva [Goldsman] on a totally unrelated film project, and these guys were just starting to work on the first round of Short Treks. In my mind, I was walking past the office when I was grabbed and asked, ‘Would you have any interest in writing one of these short Treks?’” Chabon said. “I’ve lived with these imaginary worlds since I was 10 years old. … From that moment until the day Akiva proposed this to me, I’ve never stopped living in these imaginary worlds.”
Executive producer Heather Kadin said that there was also an important consideration about keeping the show contemporary, and not just an exercise in nostalgia. “Patrick did not want it to be a TNG reunion show,” she said. “We only brought people back if their story was part of the story that we were telling. We didn’t want it to be, ‘Oh! There’s Riker!’”
The panel also included actors Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, Michelle Hurd, Alison Pill, Harry Treadaway and Evan Evagora, as well as executive producers Kurtzman, Chabon, Goldsman and Kadin, co-executive producer and director Hanelle Culpepper and supervising producer Kirsten Beyer.
The cast talked about what Cabrera described as a “motley crew” of characters that builds itself around Stewart’s central character in the new show. “Raffi and Picard have a complicated history. They have a past, they’ve worked together,” teased Hurd of her and Stewart's characters, while Treadaway and Evagora talked about their dual Romulans were very different from each other. “He’s more secretive, lying,” Evagora revealed, “and my character was raised to always tell the truth, speak his mind. I don’t even think, to begin with, he’s even capable of lying.”
Kurtzman confirmed that the events of the 2009 Star Trek movie — which saw the Romulan homeworld destroyed — will play into the events of Picard, mentioning that Trek’s status as a mirror to the real world will be preserved and that issues of immigration were considered in creation of the story.
As for Pill’s Dr. Agnes Jurati, and how she becomes involved in the adventure, the actor said, “Picard’s mission ends up being exact what she’s spent her entire life dreaming about, so they have the same goal in mind. The possibility of it invites her to go on an adventure unlike any she’s dreamed of.” And as to whether or not the character’s robotics expertise will come into play? “Oh, you’ll see,” she replied, laughing.
The CBS All Access series is set to debut Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, with new episodes airing weekly afterwards.